COVID-19 Updates 5/1

May 1, 2020

I hope you are continuing to stay strong because we will get through this together. Here is the latest on COVID-19 data, resources, and words of encouragement from local, national, and world leaders.

Local and National Data Updates
(Latest Data as of 4:30PM on Friday, May 1, 2020)

  Confirmed Cases Deaths Tests Completed
Worldwide 3.3 Million 235,290  
U.S. 1.1 Million 62,406 6.55 Million
Connecticut 28,764 2,339 100,257
Waterbury 1,392  116  

For several additional charts and tables containing more data groups, including a town-by-town breakdown of positive cases in each municipality and a breakdown of cases and deaths among age groups, click here.

Positivity for the Future

"Going forward we will continue to focus on getting Connecticut residents back to work so we can all contribute to rebuilding our economy and the financial security of our families." - State Rep. Jason Rojas

"It's obvious to say that we have challenges ahead, and support from the federal government will be an important part of the equation, but thankfully we have a significant cushion that will help us as we move forward together as a state." - Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic and daily information on cases and outcomes, we are finally seeing some steady progress towards re-opening.

Thanks to the social distancing measures we put in place and most everyone's cooperation and compliance, we have seen a daily decline in hospitalizations across the state.

As a result, Governor Lamont announced the state will begin a cautious, phased-in re-opening beginning on May 20th.

Key points that will contribute to the decision to begin opening the state:

  • A 14-day decline in hospitalizations
  • Increased testing
  • Enough contact tracing
  • Protection for those at highest risk,
  • Adequate protective equipment and hospital capacity
  • Social distancing protocols

Many of us are anxious to resume our daily activities and interacting with family and friends, however we must do so responsibly. The health and strength of our businesses and economy depends on all of us.

I will keep you updated as we make progress and more details are released by the governor's advisory group.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and social distancing measures remain in effect, The Black and Puerto Rican Caucus (BPRC) will host a series of Virtual Town Hall Meetings entitled “You Matter!” to provide opportunities for continued community engagement.

Through these four Town Hall Meetings, occuring from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. the next four Thursdays and be hosted on The BPRC Facebook page, The Caucus hopes to bring attention to the Coronavirus‘ disproportionate impact on Black and Latino communities in the state of Connecticut.

Dates and Topics:

May 7: Housing and Education
May 14: Economic Empowerment
May 21: Criminal Justice Reform

The BPRC has joined other civil rights groups in sounding the alarm about the coronavirus’ effect on Black, Latino, and Undocumented persons, including and especially the racial health disparities. But while the coronavirus is primarily a health issue, this respiratory disease will have a broad stretch of impacts across Connecticut, ranging from voting access to quality of life for incarcerated people to socio-economic status to much more.

Do you have a question you’d like asked during the town halls? Reply to this email and I’ll do my best to get you a response either during a town hall or as soon as is practical.

You can view the Facebook event for the first town hall by clicking here.

Connecticut Department of Labor launches new system today for self-employed to apply for federal unemployment benefits

The Connecticut Department of Labor today began accepting claim applications for the self-employed, many of whom are eligible to collect unemployment insurance benefits under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Program.

Federal guidelines require that self-employed individuals, including independent contractors and “gig” workers, first apply through the Connecticut unemployment system located at Applicants must receive a determination notice in the mail from the Connecticut Department of Labor before they can apply on the newly-designed Pandemic Unemployment Assistance online system that will also be located at

Self-employed individuals must follow this two-step application process:

  • STEP ONE: Beginning April 30
    • File a regular state claim application with the Connecticut Department of Labor at using the BLUE button to file.
    • NOTE: Self-employed individuals who already filed a claim application through this system should not file again. The agency has these original claims and a duplicate is not needed.
    • After completing and submitting an application, claimants should look for an email from the Connecticut Department of Labor stating, “Thank you for submitting your online application for unemployment compensation benefits with the Connecticut Department of Labor. … Please look for a CONFIRMATION EMAIL notifying you that your claim has been processed. This email will include your NEXT STEPS information including instructions for when to start filing your weekly claims.”
    • Claimants should then be on the lookout for a second email from the Connecticut Department of Labor stating, “Your claim for benefits has been processed! If this is a new claim then we are sending information regarding your claim via US mail.”
    • Claimants should then look for their eligibility determination (Form UC-58 Monetary Determination) that must be sent through the US mail service.
      • If the UC-58 Monetary Determination shows that the claimant has a “zero” weekly benefit rate (which means they do not have wage earnings in the state system) they are not eligible for state benefits and are eligible to file in the ReEmployCT system for self-employed individuals.
      • If the UC-58 Monetary Determination shows a weekly benefit rate, they have wage earnings in the state system and are entitled to collect state unemployment benefits.
  • STEP TWO: Once the UC-58 has been received via US mail
    • Go to and click the PUA button.
    • The PUA system will have a record of the claimant’s state benefit ineligibility status
    • Complete the PUA application.
      • Applicants will need their 2019 IRS forms, 1099, 2019 W-2s, and Schedule C. Applicants will be asked to provide earnings for 2019, broken down by quarters. Those without tax records for 2019 can self-attest their earnings, but will be subject to audit.
      • Applicants will be asked the date when COVID-19 impacted their employment. Federal guidelines allow this to go back to February 2, 2020. If an unemployed status goes back to retroactive weeks, the system asks the claimant for weekly earnings through the current week filing.
    • Once the PUA application is completed, if applicants did not select a payment method when filing under the state unemployment system, they will select their method of payment (direct deposit or debit card – the agency recommends direct deposit for much faster payment). Payment selection is made by returning to and selecting the “method of payment” green button.

A frequently asked questions document located on the Connecticut Department of Labor’s website is being updated to include a section on the PUA application process, guidelines, and additional details.

For more information, read the press release issued yesterday by the Connecticut Department of Labor.