COVID-19 Resources and Information

March 25, 2020

Connecticut's fight to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues. As of yesterday, March 23, at 8 p.m. Connecticut joined New York and several other states by suspending all non-essential functions in the state.

 

The "Stay Safe, Stay Home" directive comes from an Executive Order issued by Governor Lamont on Friday. The order excludes essential services or functions, such as healthcare, food service, law enforcement, and similar services. Businesses are strongly encouraged to employ work-from-home procedures.

Here is the 

essential business guideline as defined by the Department of Economic & Community Development.
 
I am also including a list of 
Branford Resources that I hope you find helpful.

During the last few days, I have been sending updates with some of the information that I am re-sharing below. I understand that some of you may feel overwhelmed with the amount of information you are receiving from different sources; however, I thought this all-inclusive guide may be helpful to keep on hand for reference.

Please feel free to forward this to your friends and neighbors. They can sign up to receive my updates by visiting my state website HERE.

Stay safe. Stay healthy.

In response to COVID-19, below you will find:

  • Governor Lamont's Update
  • Recommendations to Minimize Exposure
  • What to do if you're sick
  • Blood donations
  • Volunteering opportunities
  • Healthcare and Insurance Resources
  • Resources for Workers
  • Resources for Employers
  • Resources for Consumers
  • Resources for Seniors
  • Education Resources
  • Family resources
  • Public Transportation
  • Information for Pet Owners
  • Primary Elections Update

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay Informed!
 

 
GOVERNOR LAMONT PROVIDES UPDATE ON CONNECTICUT’S
CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE EFFORTS

Latest Data as of 7:00 PM on Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7L enacts the following provisions:
  • Extends the cancellation of classes at public schools statewide through at least April 20: To promote and secure the safety and protection of children in schools related to the risks of COVID-19, the order extends the cancellation of classes at all public schools statewide through April 20, 2020. The governor notes that this date could possibly be extended further. Private schools and other non-public schools are encouraged to follow the same schedule.
  • Orders the early opening of the fishing season, effective immediately
  • Suspends restrictions on the re-employment of retired municipal employees: To enable municipalities to meet critical staffing needs caused by COVID-19 with skilled and experienced employees who require little to no additional training, the order modifies state statutes to allow certain retired employees who are in the municipal retirement system to work without any hourly or durational limitation while also continuing to receive retirement allowances.
  • Exacts flexibility to maintain adequate medical marijuana access for patients: The order modifies the state’s medical marijuana program to improve patient access and address staffing shortages in facilities. This includes permitting patients to be certified via telehealth; extending expiration dates for patient and caregiver registrations; allowing dispensary facility staff to move work locations among facilities and, with approval of the state, make adjustments to staffing ratios; and waiving the fee normally charged if someone loses or misplaces their registration certificate.
  • Extends the time period for nursing home transfers: The order extends the time allowed for an applicant to transfer from a nursing home where they were temporarily placed after their nursing home closed from sixty days after their arrival at the new facility to “not later than one year following the date that such applicant was transferred from the nursing home where he or she previously resided.”
  • Enacts flexibility in availability and registration of vital records: The order authorizes the Commissioner of Public Health to conduct birth, death and marriage registration, in order to assist local registrars of vital statistics in carrying out their duties as may be required, and to issue any implementing orders she deems necessary.
  • Suspends in-person purchase of copies of vital records at the Department of Public Health: The order suspends the requirement that the purchase of vital records at the Department of Public Health be available in person, and limits those requests to online or mail.
  • Modifies the requirement that marriage licenses be obtained in the town where the marriage will be celebrated: As municipal offices around the state are closed or have selective hours due to the COVID-19 crisis, the order permits those seeking a marriage license to obtain it in a different municipality than where it will be celebrated.
 

Data updates on testing in Connecticut
 
Since yesterday’s update, an additional 203 Connecticut residents have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 618. To date, more than 5,300 tests have been conducted in Connecticut among both state and private laboratories. Approximately 71 people have been hospitalized and there have been another 2 fatalities, bringing the total number of fatalities due to complications of COVID-19 to 12.
 
A county-by-county breakdown includes:
 

County Laboratory
Confirmed Cases
Hospitalized Cases Deaths
Fairfield County 384 23 7
Hartford County 88 17 2
Litchfield County 22 3 0
Middlesex County 8 4 0
New Haven County 89 19 0
New London County 6 1 0
Tolland County 19 4 3
Windham County 2 0 0
Total 618 71 12
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, visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

To read Governor's press release click HERE.

 

 


Governor Lamont's Update
The Lamont administration has put together a fact sheet on the state’s response to COVID-19 that provides guidance for constituent concerns. Click here to see the FAQ Sheet.
 
The sheet will be updated regularly, and is available on the state's coronavirus website. Click here to visit the Connecticut Coronavirus website.
During his daily COVID-19 press conference update Friday, Governor Lamont directed Connecticut residents to "Stay Safe, Stay at Home." 

Lamont also signed an executive order directing all non-essential businesses statewide to close effective Monday, March 23 at 8 p.m. until April 22. Workers of essential businesses will continue reporting for work. Essential businesses, as defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, include, but are not limited to:

  • Hospitals
  • Dentists
  • Elder Care
  • Home Health Care Companies
  • Pharmacies
  • Grocery Stores
  • Gas Stations
  • Banks and Credit Unions
  • Liquor/Package Stores
  • Trash/Recycling Collection
  • Post Offices/Shipping Services
  • Legal and Accounting Services
  • Pest and Landscaping Services
  • Child Care

Here is the essential business guideline as defined by the Department of Economic & Community Development.

Individuals will not be arrested or fined, however businesses could face punishment if they fail to comply. Restaurants will be permitted to continue providing take-out, pick-up, and delivery.

Click here to read Governor Lamont's Executive Order.

You can read more about Lamont's "Stay Safe, Stay at Home" plan here.

Click here to read Lamont's Friday update.

You can read the Governor's executive orders here, and read his full updates here. To watch his daily briefings, click here. 


Minimizing Exposure
To ensure our healthcare system does not become overwhelmed, we must take appropriate precautions, like practicing social distancing, to limit the spread of the virus. 

The best way to avoid coronavirus and other illness is to avoid exposure.  

  • Practice social distancing 
  • Work from home if possible 
  • Avoid large gatherings and crowded public spaces 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds 
  • If unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth 
  • Stay home when you are sick 
  • If you are over 60 years of age or have a chronic illness, limit the amount of time you spend in public and avoid large crowds if possible 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces with a regular household cleaning spray or wipe

If you begin experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please call your healthcare provider. There are 15 drive-through test sites for people with a doctor's referral to be tested for COVID-19. Click here to read more.

 

I'm Sick. What Do I Do?
You should first call your primary care doctor if you believe you have COVID 19. If you don't have a primary care doctor call 2-1-1 or Call Yale New Haven Hospital if you have questions or need help (833) 275-9644. 

Do not go into a hospital without an appointment or without calling ahead if you feel sick, unless it is an emergency.

If you are sick, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following:

  • Stay home if you are mildly ill with COVID-19, and do not leave EXCEPT to receive medical care
  • Stay in touch with your doctor, and call before you get medical care. If your symptoms become worse, or believe it is an emergency, seek medical attention 
  • If you are sick, ensure you wear a facemask when you are around other people and before you enter your healthcare provider's office
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the used tissue in a trash can
  • Wash your hands for AT LEAST 20 seconds. Can't wash your hands? Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol
  • Disinfect high-touch surfaces, bathroom, your or the sick person's room

Emergency Warning Signs - Seek Medical Attention if:

  • You have difficulty breathing/shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in your chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

Call 9-1-1 if you are experiencing these symptoms and notify the operator that you have or may have COVID-19.

Additional Resources on what to do if you're sick and might have COVID-19:


Consider Donating Blood
The Red Cross is seeking blood donors as Connecticut experiences a blood shortage. Blood drives nationwide have been cancelled, but hospitals across our state and country still need blood. To allow for social distancing, donors can call the Red Cross to make an appointment. Interested individuals can make an appointment using the Red Cross web site, here, or by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App. Download it here. They can also call 1-800-Red-Cross

Volunteering For Your Community
Do you have a background in medical care? You can contact your local health department. Locate your local health department here.

If you are a nurse, you can register to volunteer through the Connecticut Nurses Association web site: www.CTNurses.org/coronavirus

There is also a need for personal protective equipment for medical workers at hospitals and long-term care facilities. This includes:

  • N95 Respirators
  • Face Masks/Surgical Masks
  • Face Shields 
  • Surgical GownsGloves (nitrile, or non-latex)
  • Thermometers
  • Thermometer Covers (if applicable to type of thermometer)
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Other Medical Items

The public, businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations may donate these items through the Connecticut United Way/211. Click here to learn how you can donate.


Healthcare & Insurance Resources
The Connecticut Dept. of Social Services will cover telemedicine services for individuals and families enrolled in Medicaid/HUSKY Health. 

DSS is also planning to:

  • cover testing for COVID-19. 
  • make prescription drug coverage more flexible. 
  • eliminate cost sharing in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (HUSKY B) and for members enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid. 

Telemedicine coverage includes:

  • implementing real-time video conferencing, as can be enabled with a smart phone, between HUSKY Health members and their health care providers for specific medical and behavioral health services. This will enable many members and doctors to communicate remotely, with Medicaid covering the virtual visit. 
  • broadening video conferencing to include all primary care type evaluation and management services for medical and behavioral health.
Emergency Telemedicine Details
Connecticut Medical Assistance Program Details
 
  • Access Health CT recently announced a Special Enrollment Period from March 19 until April 2 for uninsured CT residents. Call an enrollment specialist at 855-365-2428
  • If you are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus but don't have health insurance or a primary care doctor, call 2-1-1. A number of hospitals have set up hotlines, which you can find using the CT Hospital Association COVID-19 Update Center, here
  • There are several drive-through testing locations in Connecticut. Find one near you here.
  • The Jackson Laboratory in Farmington announced it would partner with the Connecticut Dept. of Health, UConn Health, and Hartford Hospital to test patient samples for COVID-19, allowing our state to test more people quickly. Read the Governor's release here.
  • The American Dental Association has recommended dentists nationwide postpone elective dental procedures. Visit the below resources for additional information:

Resources for Workers
The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services is extending filing and payment deadlines for personal income tax returns to July 15, 2020. 

Resources for Employers
The state Department of Revenue Services has extended the deadline for the below businesses tax returns: 
  • 2019 Form CT-1065/CT-1120 SI Connecticut Pass-Though Entity Tax Return: Filing date extended to April 15, 2020; payment deadline extended to June 15, 2020 
  • 2019 Form CT-990T Connecticut Unrelated Business Income Tax Return: Filing date extended to June 15, 2020; payment deadline extended to June 15, 2020 
  • The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services is extending filing and payment deadlines for personal income tax returns to July 15, 2020. 

The Connecticut DRS also advised that  due dates for filing and payment of state income taxes could be adjusted to align with any specific, actionable announcement from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding due dates for the filing and payment of federal income taxes.

Call DRS at 860-297-5962 if you have questions, or email the department. 

For Employers and Small Business Owners:

Resources for Consumers
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), has put together some tools to help you detect scam emails, calls and texts and ensure charities are on the up-and-up.

If someone is claiming they have a cure or vaccine for COVID-19, they are lying to you. You should stick with the experts at the CT 

Department of Public HealthCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO). AARP (www.aarp.org/coronavirus) and the Connecticut Attorney General's office are also great resources if you are worried about COVID-19 scams.

More information and resources about targeted scams: 


Resources for Seniors

What You Need to Know About the Coronavirus Outbreak

Education Resources
Updates from Branford public schools can be found HERE.

Internet/Wi-Fi:

  • Folks who need wi-fi to help their kids stay online, AT&T, Verizon are waiving fees, promising not to terminate services, and Comcast is providing internet to low-income families during the outbreak. Click here for more information.   

Fun stuff for kids:

Additional Resources:


Resources for Families
The CT Office of Early Childhood has a number of resources for parents with children. Click here for updates.

Additional resources:


Public Transportation Resources
The state Department of Transportation has modified several operations in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Due to a decrease in ridership, the Hartford Line and Shore Line East train schedules have been reduced, using weekend schedules on weekdays, and holiday schedules on the weekends. 

Metro-North New Haven lines are operating as normal.

If you plan to use rail transportation, check www.hartfordline.comwww.shorelineeast.com, and www.mta.info/mnr for updates. 

CTtransit bus service has also been impacted, but is operating on normal weekday and weekend schedules. Check www.cttransit.com for updates.

Read more information here.


Resources for Pet Owners, Shelters & Veterinarians
For Pet Owners:

For Shelters and Veterinarians


Election Update
Thursday, Gov. Lamont announced Connecticut's Presidential Primary will be postponed until June 2.