COVID-19-Related Information, Resources And Updates

April 15, 2020


As you know I am in full support of relief for workers, including undocumented workers, during this COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

I'm hardly alone.

(photo crosscut)

Please see the letter penned to Governor Ned Lamont below:

Connecticut Must Support All Workers – Including Undocumented Workers - During the COVID-19 Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a public health and economic crisis in Connecticut. Low-wage and immigrant workers are among the most vulnerable, particularly immigrants without authorized federal immigration status. Connecticut is home to approximately 100,000 undocumented immigrant workers. Tens of thousands of U.S. citizen children in Connecticut have an undocumented parent. Undocumented workers pay about $400 million in state and local taxes annually. Yet they are currently left out of every relief program.​

Undocumented workers are disproportionately likely to own small businesses and to work in the sectors that have been hardest hit by coronavirus-related closures. However, workers without federal immigration status – and their US citizen families -- are largely excluded from the programs that are supposed to help workers who lose their jobs or have their work hours cut. This includes the federal stimulus payments, state unemployment benefits and federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and most temporary leave and disability payments.

In order to address our current economic crisis and effectively spur demand in our local communities, it is critical that Connecticut provide safety net support to all individuals, regardless of federal immigration status. Thousands of undocumented workers across Connecticut have lost their jobs and have no income to rely on or income support. Still, tens of thousands more continue to work in frontline work without access to health care or income support, although they are doing the very work that allows Connecticut residents to stay safe at home.

We ask that you support taxpaying Connecticut residents who have been excluded from federal disaster assistance by creating either:
1) A temporary wage replacement program for workers who paid into the system through an ITIN number, but are ineligible for federal funds due to their immigration status, to be administered by the Department of Labor; or
2) A disaster relief fund for state residents suffering economic harm but excluded from state and federal relief. Both the 9/11 fund and other disaster relief funds have included people regardless of their immigration status.

We, the undersigned, ask that you put $20 million towards this effort immediately, to help taxpaying Connecticut residents, otherwise excluded from federal relief, to survive this crisis.

350 CT
ACLU of Connecticut
ACLU People Power – New Britain
AFSCME Council 4
All our Kin
American Federation of Teachers-CT
Brazilian Workers Center
Building One Community
Coalition of Residents and Immigrants in Solidarity
Collective for Resident Rights at Yale
Connecticut Bail Fund
Connecticut Citizen Action Group
Connecticut Employees Union Independent
Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance
Connecticut Immigrant & Refugee Coalition
Connecticut Independent Drivers GuildConnecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants
Connecticut Legal Services
Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund
Connecticut Shoreline Indivisible
Connecticut Students for A Dream
Connecticut Working Families Organization
Embracing the Same Dream/Abrazando el Mismo Sueño
Greater Hartford Legal Aid
Green Party of Connecticut
Hartford Deportation Defense
Immigration and Refugee Task Force – UU of New Haven
Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services
IRIS – Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services
Latino Advocacy Foundation of Fairfield County
Livingston, Adler, Pulda, Meiklejohn, and Kelly, PC
Make the Road Connecticut
Mattatuck Unitarian Universalist Society
Middlesex Immigrant Rights Alliance
Naugatuck Valley Proejct
National Domestic Worker Alliance
The Neighbor Fund
New Haven Legal Assistance
New Haven People’s Center
New Sanctuary CT
People’s Medics of New Haven
SEIU Local 32BJ
SEIU 1199 NE
SEMILLA collective of New Haven
Shea law, Inc.Social Justice Council of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Danbury
Social Justice Council of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Meriden
UAW Region 9A
Unidad Latina en Acción
United Action Connecticut
Uniting For a Safe Inclusive Community-Manchester

Senator Julie Kushner
Representative Robyn Porter
Representative David Michel
Representative Josh Elliott
Representative Anne Hughes
Representative Joshua Hall
Representative Mike Winkler
Representative Pat Dillon



I've included some valuable COVID-19 related information for us on the federal level from Senator Chris Murphy here:

Aid Directly to Individuals: 

  • Every individual making less than $75,000 will receive $1,200 in cash payments, with an additional $500 for each dependent child in the household under 17.  Those making over those levels will see their benefits phased down. 
    • The IRS launched a web portal for people who do not usually file a tax return to enter their information in order to receive their Economic Impact Payment. Today, the IRS rolled out a tool called “Get My Payment” where people can track their payment and enter their direct deposit information if desired. I just did a test of the site and it works very well after going live this morning. Information on both of these programs and answers to frequently asked questions can be found at

Aid to Support Connecticut and Connecticut Cities and Towns: 
**Note, these are estimates and more information comes out from agencies daily.  We have included some of the announcements that have happened below, and if you have further questions on specific lines don’t hesitate to reach out.

  • $1.3 billion through a new “Coronavirus Relief Fund” to help the state and towns cover costs of responding to coronavirus;
  • $489 million to maintain transit systems in Connecticut;
    • The FAA has announced the aid to CT airports;
  • $440 million in increased Medicaid payments for the duration of the public health emergency for COVID-19; 
    • 16 Health Centers in Connecticut will be receiving $16 million to support the state’s COVID-19 response as part of the funding Congress provided in the CARES Act. 
  • $24.1 million of emergency Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for Connecticut cities and towns; 
    • Here is a list of CDBG funds that have already gone out the door
  • $111 million in additional funding to school districts distributed through the Title I formula to help address problems caused by school closures due to coronavirus, as well as an additional approximately $28 million through a new Governor’s Stabilization Fund to help K-12 districts and colleges respond to coronavirus; 
    • The Department of Education announced more information today regarding the Governor’s Stabilization Fund
  • $134 million to help Connecticut colleges and universities respond to coronavirus; ​​
    • Here is a list of funding for colleges and universities. You can use “ctrl+f “to find a Connecticut college in your district.  
  • $23.3 million in Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) funding to help child care providers maintain operations and meet emergency staffing needs;
  • $12 million from the Community Services Block Grant to address unemployment and economic disruptions in local communities;
  • $11.181 million in additional funding for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to provide low-income residents help paying heating and cooling bills; 
  • $8.4 million to Connecticut and localities through Byrne-JAG to help state and local law enforcement respond to the crisis, including through the purchase of personal protective equipment and other needed items;
  • $7.8 million to Connecticut’s state and local health departments through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness to be used for medical supplies, surveillance, lab testing, infection control and mitigation;
    • This is in addition to the $7.558 million Connecticut received on March 11 under the first relief package, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, to support the state and local public health response.
  • $5.4 million to help Connecticut prepare for, and respond to, coronavirus in the 2020 Federal election cycle, including new election security measures to protect the integrity of voting systems and access to the ballot box; 
    • The Connecticut delegation and Secretary of State Denise Merrill did a joint announcement on this funding
  • $679,000 through the Manufacturing Extension Partnership to help small and medium sized manufacturers;  
  • $486,000 through the National Endowment for the Humanities and $447,100 through the National Endowment for the Arts for grants to museums, libraries, and other organizations;  
  • $475,421 through Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS to assist with rental payments as well as additional funding to help Connecticut residents avoid evictions.
  • Billions in additional SNAP and WIC funding to meet new demand for those programs and increased program flexibilities that let more people get the maximum SNAP benefit and waivers for work requirements. 
  • $3 billion to help those currently assisted through federal housing programs remain in their homes and avoid evictions. 
  • $900 million in additional assistance to food banks to help ensure shelves are stocked.
    • Yesterday the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) announced the allocation of over $3.8 million in federal food assistance to two of the state’s largest food banks as part of The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) funding included in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020. The CARES Act authorized additional funding.
  • Nearly $23.5 billion in aid to farms that has yet to be announced how it will be distributed
  • There are updates daily on what Congress is doing to respond to this crisis. Here are some good resources:
  • For information on federal coronavirus relief, including help for small businesses, direct cash payments and more, visit This page provides answers to frequently asked questions and gives a summary of available programs and funding. 
  • For the latest information about keeping you or your family safe go to For resources and information about Connecticut’s response visit
  • Subscribe to the latest updates on Senator Murphy's work in the Senate by following him on Facebook and Instagram. You can also sign up for daily email updates here.

On Monday, Senator Murphy announced that Sonitek of Milford is this week's "Murphy's Monday Manufacturer." Sonitek specializes in the manufacturing of heat staking machines, ultrasonic welders, and air presses. In recent weeks, Sonitek has stepped up in the fight against COVID-19   and is offering ultrasonic welding, tooling, and automation for joining, cutting, and sealing of non-woven materials like N95 masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE), and the company’s employees have been working around the clock in order to help their customers make more ventilators, face masks, and testing equipment—many of the vital products that will help save and protect lives. 

A Judicial Branch Update 


Remote Processing of Certain Civil and Family Matters
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the CT Judicial Branch has concentrated its efforts on mitigating the spread of the virus, focusing our work on handling only those Priority 1 matters that must be addressed.  Beginning Monday, April 20 we will expand the scope of our work to include certain matters other than “Priority 1” matters. 
Our goal is to incrementally increase the volume of court work that can be handled by Judges and court staff. Key to this initiative is the ability to process, review and/or resolve matters remotely. We will concentrate initially on civil and family cases. 

More information on these efforts can be found here.  A complete list of the matters which will be handled remotely beginning on Monday, April 20 can be found here.  

We plan to continue to add to the list of matters that we will process.  For the most up-to-date information, please visit the Judicial Branch’s website.  

Supreme and Appellate Courts to Hear Cases Remotely
In an effort to continue hearing cases amid the pandemic, Connecticut’s Supreme and Appellate courts will hear arguments remotely in April and May, respectively. The case assignments will be available on the Judicial Branch’s website no later than Tuesday, April 21 for the Supreme Court and Tuesday, May 5 for the Appellate Court. 
Audio recordings of these oral arguments will be available to the public on the Judicial Branch’s website following the argument. 
More information can be found here.  
Jury Service
Finally, notwithstanding the fact that our jury system still sends out jury summonses, we would like to reiterate that all jury service is suspended until further notice. If an individual has been summoned for jury duty, please be advised that her or his service has been cancelled and that the individual should not report.

Department of Children and Familes Update

DCF is open for business and continues to protect and provide services to children and families across the state. DCF has taken several steps to initiate our continuity of operations plan since the beginning of the pandemic.

The Careline remains open 24/7 and we have been getting calls throughout the crisis and accepting reports. Our investigations units continue home visits when safety factors cannot be mitigated virtually.

Particularly over the next two weeks, when COVID 19 community transmission is projected to be at its highest, a report triage process has been activated. If the triage determines that face to face contact must occur, DCF's responding staff have been issued scarce personal protective equipment (PPE) ensuring children's safety.​

For Ongoing Services cases, we check in our families and children regularly using the telephone and videoconferencing capability. If a situation cannot be resolved via remote technology, by DCF or a community provider, a face to face response will occur to ensure the child's safety and well-being.
We are balancing the mission of the agency with the safety and health of our workforce. Our practices continue with a heightened sense of caution due to the virus and with flexibility and unique planning.

Our Community Relations unit is also fully functional and has been taking calls and answering questions frequently. They also refer cases to the area office for assessment and follow up when necessary.
Visits between families and their children in care are being conducted via FaceTime, Skype or other forms of videoconferencing.
We immediately sent out communications and guidelines to our employees, foster parents and providers. All of those communications are available on the Departments COVID-19 website located at

We have had over 10,600 unique users visit the site since its creation. Along with the communications, the website includes buttons with links for families to access different service types across the state. The numbers of the various service type visits are as follows:

A few other key activities we engaged in:

  • We are in consultation with other state agencies and child welfare jurisdictions across the country to be informed of best practices in our work.
  • Deployed over 1,800 Tablets, including approximately 600 in one week alone, leading to over 80% of staff teleworking.
  • Established a foster parent contact database so communications can be quickly and consistently delivered.
  • Confirmed backup and childcare plans with each foster and adoptive parent.
  • Engage in weekly conference calls with our legislators
  • Met with leadership from 8 different state employee labor unions to answer questions and clarify operational procedures for staff throughout the department.
  • Conduct weekly videoconferencing with the Children's League of Connecticut (CLOC)
  • Daily outreach from our Licensing Division to private providers caring for our children in residential facilities.
  • Ongoing provider outreach from program leads to identify problem areas and trouble-shoot concerns with maintaining virtual connections
  • Fiscal follow up on contracted and fee-for-service credentialled provider queries
  • Solicited PPE need from nonprofit provider community and submitted through the Essential Support Function process
  • Solid contact tracing process guided by DCF Medical Director of all COVID 19 positive situations ( as of 4/14/20 four + children/youth, twenty + staff and 1 deceased relative foster parent)

Food:                                   866
Child-Care:                         321
Income:                              254
Family Activities:              221
Housing:                             203
Mental Health:                  197
Education:                          186
Substance Use:                 56
DV / IPV:                             64
We have also established an e-mail address for individuals, both internal and external to DCF, to ask questions specific to the pandemic. That address is

During times of crisis, we come together like no one else.
I am launching an effort with my colleagues in the House of Representatives to honor our friends and neighbors who are going above and beyond.
Do you know a first responder? A health care worker? Grocery clerk? Great neighbor? Nominate them for recognition!
I will feature these community heroes in my e-newsletters and Facebook page. And we are launching a new website to recognize everyone.

Please send me your nominee’s name, picture, street address, email or phone, and two sentences as to how they have made our community stronger during the pandemic.
Together, lets thank them for being them.

Nominate a community hero here.