CT DPH, DEEP Issue Consumption Advisory for Fish from Hockanum River

April 8, 2022

Staying Current with Currey
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Before we get into this week's update, the state Department of Public Health and Department of Energy and Environmental Protection have issued a joint advisory recommending residents to avoid eating fish from the following bodies of water:
  • Hockanum River starting below the Shenipsit Lake dam (Tolland Ave, Vernon) to the Connecticut River, including the riverine impoundments of Papermill pond (including Pitney Park, Vernon)
  • Union Pond in Manchester
  • Several small impoundments or ponds on the Hockanum River in East Hartford
  • The Tankerhoosen River (from the Hockanum River upstream to the dam at Main Street)
Click image to expand
This consumption advisory is based on elevated per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substance (PFAS) levels in fish tissue samples collected from the Hockanum River in Vernon. PFAS are known to be pervasive contaminants with serious health impacts, even at low levels. Health risks can include developmental effects in fetuses and infants, kidney and testicular cancer, liver, thyroid, cholesterol, immune system, and reproductive effects. 

The Hockanum River and its tributaries are located in the towns of Vernon, Manchester, Ellington, and East Hartford. The advisory does not apply to Shenipsit Lake or affect the public drinking water supply. Local and State officials will be placing signage along these waterways.

DPH and DEEP would like to emphasize that while fish in the Hockanum River are not safe for consumption, recreational activities such as fishing (catch and release only) and boating are safe. This announcement comes ahead of Spring Fishing Day on April 9.

To learn more, please click here.

So now, to all my fishing and non-fishing Friends and Neighbors,

With three weeks and some “change” to go, the legislature’s laser focus this week was on just that – the state budget and your dollars and cents. Both the Appropriations (spending) and Finance (revenue) Committees approved their respective state budget proposals. In addition to these proposals, they also voted to move a number of other bills out of committee that will likely be part of ongoing negotiations before the gavel comes down on May 4. With the state's finances anticipated to be in good shape, with an expected budget surplus and historically high rainy day fund, we are working collaboratively to find ways to pass along savings to residents like you and our neighbors.

The Appropriations Committee, of which I am member of, released its budget proposal on Thursday. The committee's approved proposal funds various state services like child care, workforce training, domestic violence prevention, open space preservation, smoking cessation, clean air, government accountability, and more. 
On Wednesday, the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee approved a budget proposal that increased the income tax credit to offset property tax bills, lowered the state cap on municipal vehicle tax rates, created a child tax credit, and accelerated the phase out of the pension and annuity income tax exemption.
This is a good start, and please keep in mind, this is just the first step in our state's second year budget process. As budget negotiations between legislators and the governor occur, the final budget bill the General Assembly votes on may look different than the proposals voted out of committee. 

You can follow the proposals through the legislative process by signing up to become a bill tracking user at cga.ct.gov. For more information about the next steps for this bill and others as they move through the legislature, please click here.


 To stay up-to-date with everything happening in Hartford, click the "At the Capitol, In District, & Beyond" link below, but also please check out the other subject links in this intro to go right to the topic in the body of this email.

You can find additional resources and information on my web site,
www.housedems.ct.gov/currey. If there's something you need help with that isn't included in this email, please check my website. If you can't find what you're looking for there, please don't hesitate to reach out to me.



Overall Summary

(except for hospital census)

Past 7 days*

Positive PCR/NAAT Tests



All PCR/NAAT Tests



Test Positivity (pos/all PCR/NAAT)



Patients Currently Hospitalized with COVID-19



*This column indicates all PCR/NAAT tests by specimen collection date from the past 7 days. Hospitalizations over the past 7 days indicates the change in the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 over that period. Deaths over the past 7 days indicates the number of new COVID-19 associated deaths reported; deaths are reported once weekly.

As of April 4 2022, negative rapid antigen and rapid PCR test results for SARS-CoV-2 are no longer required to be reported to the Connecticut Department of Public Health. Negative test results from laboratory based molecular (PCR/NAAT) results are still required to be reported as are all positive test results from both molecular (PCR/NAAT) and antigen tests. Both positive molecular (PCR/NAAT) and antigen tests will continue to be used for determining case status.

Of the 117 patients currently hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, 48 (41.03%) are not fully vaccinated.

Data on COVID-19 associated deaths is updated once per week every Thursday. The most recently reported total number of deaths is 10,795.

Click Here for COVID-19 Data Updates
Click Here for Governor Lamont's Updates
Click Here for Information on Getting Vaccinated

Specific Updates for Our Community

Town Total Cases Total Deaths Number of Tests Number of Positive Tests
East Hartford 12,565 198 214,831 15,784
Manchester 10,360 188 208,390 12,655
South Windsor 3,836 65 75,246 4,485

Weekly Update of the Department of Public Health's COVID-19 Alert Map

Medical experts are tracking the most recent COVID-19 omicron subvariant, BA.2. The subvariant is becoming the dominant coronavirus strain in U.S. and could lead to a surge of cases this spring. With at-home testing options and boosters available, our state has the resources necessary to manage another wave of infections. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have authorized second booster shots for individuals 50 years and older. Vaccines continue to be effective tools in protecting residents from severe COVID-19 infections. To get vaccinated or your booster, please click here to locate vaccination sites in our community.

Below are several vaccine clinics happening in our community:

  • Tuesday, April 12
    • Stone Academy, 745 Burnside Ave, East Hartford, 3 p.m. - 7 p.m., for ages 5+
  • Wednesday, April 13
    • Raymond Library, 840 Main St, East Hartford, 4 p.m. - 7 p.m., for ages 5+

Information about getting vaccinated, including how to make an appointment and a list of clinics, is available on Connecticut's Vaccine Portal, here.

If you need assistance finding transportation to and from a vaccine appointment, you can find transportation resources here.

If you're a homebound resident, you can receive your COVID-19 shot at home. Complete the state Department of Public Health's Homebound Intake Form to get the appointment process started.

Testing remains a vital strategy to curb the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. Individuals who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been identified as a close contact of someone who has had a confirmed case of COVID-19 should get tested. There are several drive-up and walk-up test sites in our area for residents who need a COVID-19 test now. Click the links below to find sites near you.

East Hartford

South Windsor

In observance of Good Friday on April 15, all town offices in East Hartford, Manchester, and South Windsor will be closed. State offices will also be closed. Offices will reopen on Monday, April 18.

Curbside trash pickup and recycling in East Hartford scheduled that Friday will be delayed until Saturday, April 16. There will be no delay in curbside collection in Manchester or South Windsor.

To keep more money in Connecticut residents' pockets, we recently passed legislation to suspend our state's gas tax and offer free bus service through June 30. The bill also created an additional Sales Tax Free Week happening this Sunday, April 10 through Saturday, April 16. If your kids are home on spring vacation, this is a great opportunity to save on their spring and summer wardrobe. If you don’t have kids, then go get something for yourself. You deserve it.
During this one-week sales tax holiday, retail purchases of most clothing and footwear items under $100 will be exempt from Connecticut's sales tax.

You can learn more about Connecticut’s Sales Tax Free Week, including a list of tax exempt items, here.

We recognize that this is a short term savings, but hopefully alleviates some of the financial pressure on consumers' wallets, and we hope to deliver more relief this session. The legislature's Appropriations and Finance Committees are expected to announce their state budget proposals this week. Keep an eye out for updates about what these proposals could mean for consumers like you and the tax relief they may offer.

Congratulations to Langford School Principal Cyndi Callahan for being named Connecticut's 2022 Elementary Principal of the Year! This award recognizes outstanding elementary school principals who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership, a passion for educational excellence, a selfless commitment to their students and staff and ongoing service to their communities. Thank you Principal Callahan for all that you do for our students and town!
Congratulations to soon-to-be Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. The U.S. Senate confirmed Jackson's appointment on Thursday. She will be the first Black woman to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. This is a historic moment for our country. Jackson's experience and background and public service make her a well-rounded, highly qualified choice. Judge Jackson will become Justice Jackson later this year.
Over the last 15 years, every juvenile justice bill has gone to the Governor’s desk with strong support from members on both sides of the aisle. As we work to respond to the pandemic-driven uptick in car thefts and other criminal activity that all states have experienced, House Democrats have led bipartisan discussions since last summer to develop juvenile justice reforms without undoing our recent progress.

A product of these discussion is House Bill 5417, which the Connecticut General Assembly's Judiciary Committee, of which I am a member of, voted overwhelmingly to approve (35-4). The proposal would make reasonable adjustments to Connecticut's existing juvenile justice laws without reverting to the failed tough on crime strategies enacted decades ago. This bill would:

  • Increase funding to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) to expand Regional Police Task Forces devoted to motor vehicle crimes. (Appropriates money for regional crime reduction strategies.)
  • Work with the Judicial Branch to speed up juvenile arraignments.
  • Provide additional funding to the Judicial Branch for juvenile probation flex funding accounts to get youth on probation into afterschool, sports, or job training programs.
  • Require GPS monitoring for repeat juvenile offenders.
  • Grow Connecticut's REGIONS Programs by allocating funding to Juvenile Justice Outreach Services.
  • Provide flexibility with the 6-hour hold at a community correctional center or lock-up if an arresting officer is in the process of seeking a detention order.

H.B. 5417 is smart on crime, includes provisions to address some of the challenges law enforcement face when attempting to solve a crime, and invests in community-based programs to reduce recidivism. We negotiated with our Republican partners to establish a training program for police officers on when to apply for and issue a detention order, to require judges who decline a detention order to articulate in writing why the order was declined, and redefine car theft in Connecticut.

As the committee and legislative leaders developed the proposal, many of us stood in firm opposition to efforts to permit the transfer of juveniles to adult court and reopen a centralized juvenile jail. There is a trove of data that demonstrates these approaches to crime are detrimental to our communities. As we work to address juvenile crime in our state, we cannot fall back on the reactionary measures of our past.
The House and Senate must vote on the proposal before it goes to the governor's desk for consideration.


Over the past two years, we have seen the impact of isolation on mental health. Below are several resources if you or someone you know is in need of support: 

  • Mobile Crisis Service 2-1-1: If your child is actively harming themselves, having suicidal thoughts, or planning to hurt others, call 911, or 2-1-1 and press option 1 for the Mobile Crisis Service. This is a 24 hour, 7 day a week free service to have your child immediately evaluated by a mental health professional. NOTE: If calling by cell phone, 2-1-1 can also be reached toll-free at: 800-203-1234 
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628- 9454 for Spanish, or Lifeline Crisis Chat.
  • Crisis Text Line - Text “HOME” to 741-741, or visit http://www.crisistextline.org/ for more info.
  • NAMI Education Courses: The National Alliance on Mental Illness offers online education programs for parents and caregivers to learn more about supporting youth who are experiencing mental health symptoms. The NAMI Basics OnDemand is a free, six-session that can be completed on-demand, at your pace.
  • The State of Connecticut has several mental health resource. Find the list here
  • The Connecticut Children's Behavioral Health Toolkit also has helpful resources for children experiencing a mental health crisis. 
  • State Rep. Liz Linehan's website also has helpful mental health resources for children.
  • WrapCT is part of the Connecting to Care network. WrapCT emphasizes is a holistic approach to addressing mental and behavioral health changes for children and family. Click here to learn more.
  • CHR Health can help young adults and teens who may be struggling with substance use disorder through a comprehensive network of support. For more information about CHR's Substance Screening and Treatment Recovery services, click here.
Although the rate of suicide in young people is lower than the rate of suicide in adults, in 2019, suicide was the second leading cause of death among U.S. adolescents. Studies analyzing suicide risk have found that overall, more sexual minority and gender minority adolescents will attempt suicide compared to their heterosexual and cis-gender peers. There are resources for LGBTQ adolescents who may need support.

If you or someone you know is elderly or disabled and currently renting housing, the Connecticut’s Renters’ Rebate Program is now open.

Applications are being accepted through October 1 and eligible renters may be able to get a rebate up to $900 for married couples and $700 for single persons.

The renters' rebate amount is based on a graduated income scale and the amount of rent and utility payments (excluding telephone) made in the calendar year prior to the year in which the renter applies. 

Here are some of the guidelines to qualify for the rebate:

  • 65 years old or above
  • 50 years old or above and the surviving spouse of a renter who at the time of the renter's death had qualified and was entitled to tax relief provided such spouse was domiciled with such renter at the time of the renters’ death
  • 18 years old or above and eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits
  • One-year state resident

Please click here to download the application, which can be made to your town social service agency or the assessor’s office. For additional questions about the program please call their hotline at 860-418-6377 or visit the Connecticut’s Renters’ Rebate Program website for more information.

For additional state and local resources, click the links below:

Residents who may need help paying their water and sewer bills may be able to get assistance through the Connecticut Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP). This program can help households whose water has been disconnected or have overdue water bills. Eligible households can qualify for up to $1,000 in water assistance. You can learn more about this program here.
On April 23 at 12 p.m. at 235 E. River Drive in East Hartford, the Town of East Hartford will unveil its second Racial Equity Mural. This mural features several heroines and leaders of East Hartford including:
  • Mary Johnson - East Hartford's first Black elected official and recipient of the East Hartford Black Caucus' first Service Award
  •  Melody Currey - Former East Hartford Mayor, State Representative, and Commissioner of CT Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Administrative Services, and Department of Agriculture. (If ya didn’t know before, now you see where I get part of my passion for public service!)
  • Rosa Cruz - A native of Puerto Rico, she lived in East Hartford for over 40 years. Her family owns and operates Cafe & Bakery to honor her legacy
  • Amisha Patel - A 2001 graduate of East Hartford High School, she is now a lawyer in Washington DC. Her work focuses on diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Odessa Terry - Served on the Town Council in 1969 and served four terms as Council Vice Chair. Odessa also founded the EMS Commission

The first Racial Equity Mural was unveiled on September 3, 2021. You can find it on Main Street in East Hartford. Both murals are part of the MLK Racial Equity Mural Tour coordinated by CT Murals. To learn more about this initiative, please click here.

The Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity & Opportunity (CWCSEO) and Disability Rights CT (DRCT) present: Colors of Autism: Raising Awareness at the Capitol. Please Save the Date for this momentous occasion and join us on Friday, April 29, 2022 from 10 AM – 3 PM for a full-day of activities in support of Autism advocacy at the Capitol. This event is free and open to the general public. The public is highly encouraged to attend. Interpreters will be available in the following languages: American Sign Language and Spanish. If you need interpretation services in another language, please let the Commission know before April 15, 2022. For more information contact Denise.Drummond@cga.ct.gov or Michael.Whilby@disrightsct.org

Capital Workforce Partners has launched its 2022 Summer Youth Employment and Learning Program (SYELP). This initiative connects youth ages 14 to 24 who live in north central Connecticut with paid summer jobs and career readiness experience. Wages range from $12 to $14 per hour depending on the participant's age and program placement. This is a 6-week program that will provide young adults with valuable work experience across a range of industries including retail, education, health care, and other sectors. To learn more about this great program, please click here.

East Hartford Parks and Recreation is bringing back its Teen & Adult Social Club meet ups. The Teen & Adult Social Club Spring schedule has a variety of activities held April 8 through June 10th. The club is for participants with special needs, ages 13 & up. Staff are trained in the field of special education and are able to provide the necessary skills to facilitate the program. Prices and times vary based upon the designated activity. For additional information call 860-291-7160 or click here.

High schoolers in grades 10 to 12 can now apply for Goodwin University's 6-week Youth Leadership Institute! This residential program helps prepare students for success in college and beyond. Students will gain the social and academic skills they'll need to succeed in school and as leaders in their community. To learn more about this program, please call Ariel Robinson, Program Coordinator of Educational Opportunity Programs, at 860-913-2206, email gcp@goodwin.edu, or visit www.goodwin.edu/prep.

Do you own a small business and have questions about how to implement Connecticut's Paid Family and Medical Leave program? On Tuesday, April 12 at 11 a.m., the CT Small Business Development Center in partnership with the Human Resource Consulting Group and host a free webinar on how to manage paid leave. 

During this webinar, you'll learn about the new Connecticut Paid Leave (CTPL) program that went into effect on January 1, 2022 and what it means for your business. The updated law includes all employers with one or more employees, and small businesses may experience operations changes participating in the program. This webinar will help businesses prepare and establish a plan. Experts from CTSBDC and the Human Resource Consulting Group will provide actionable advice for small businesses to incorporate.

Registration to attend this helpful event is required. Click the button below to register. Upon registering, you will receive an automatically generated e-mail that includes the WebEx and call-in details. 

Register Here
On Wednesday, Governor Lamont announced that the Town of East Hartford, was awarded $2 million under his administration’s newly established Connecticut Communities Challenge Grant Program. East Hartford will partner with Goodwin University to build a publicly accessible marina on campus that will include new transient slips and a water taxi. Future phases will include restaurants and lodging.

The grants, totaling $45 million, leverage approximately $74 million in non-state and private dollars, will help support projects that improve the livability and vibrancy of communities throughout our state.

Click here to read more.

Through the state's Department of Labor, the American Job Center offers resources, information, and support for individuals throughout the state searching for a job. You can receive help writing a resume and attend interview technique workshops for those currently on the job hunt. For more information, click here.
The State of Connecticut is hiring! You can find a variety of seasonal, part-time, and full-time positions. There are jobs open to members of the public as well as those already employed at a state agency or organization. You can find a full list of openings here.
If you're experiencing unemployment, the WorkPlace's Platform to Employment program can help you get the skills and confidence you need to thrive in your next job. Participants will receive career coaching and paid work experience. The program has a 95% success rate. Virtual classes will begin soon. To learn more and apply, click here.

Game on! 

It's spring sports season at our middle and high schools! Click the links below for schedules of this week's games:

You can also find schedules and results on the CIAC website.

CIAC Website

Click here for the Town Meetings calendar.

Click here for the Community Events calendar.

Click here for information on the East Hartford Public Library. 

Click here for East Hartford Community Television. 



Click here for the Public Meetings calendar.

Click here for the Community Events calendar.

Click here for information on the South Windsor Public Library. 

Click here for South Windsor's Government Television Programming - watch LIVE town council meetings! 



Click here for the Town Meetings and Community Events Calendar.

Click here for information on the Manchester Public Library. 

Click here for Manchester Public Television. 

Upcoming Meetings and Events

A full calendar of all events happening at the Capitol next week, including public hearings, is available on the General Assembly website

You can find the agenda for public hearings on the calendar by clicking on the calendar item and following the link to the committee page. For instructions on how to testify at a public hearing, please click here.

You can view a list of all the bills passed by the House so far this session here.

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