Weekly Update/Highlights

May 21, 2020

COVID Update

I am pleased to share this update with you as Connecticut finally starts to turn the corner with brighter days ahead!

In this weekly update you will find information on the state's latest data as well as:

DMV, DSS, DOL Updates
Campgrounds & Outdoor re-opening Guidance
Phase 2 and 3 state re-opening plans
Additional Updates/CVS Announces more testing sites

For several additional graphs and tables containing more data, including a list of cases in every municipality, visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

Governor Lamont signs 45th executive order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19
Governor Lamont today signed another executive order – the 45th since he enacted the emergency declarations – that builds upon his efforts to encourage mitigation strategies that slow down transmission of the virus. Executive Order No. 7RR enacts the following provisions:

  • Authority for DEEP to issue rental refunds: Authorizes the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to reimburse funds that were collected from rent paid by any person for use of state park property, including for camping or any special event.
  • Modification of age limit for early intervention coverage: Requires health insurance policies to continue providing coverage for birth to three programs after a child’s third birthday in the event that school closures may delay a child’s transition to other services for older children.
  • Waiver of requirement for guest books at private clubs: Waives the statutory requirement that private clubs maintain guest books to reduce shared points of contact.

**Download: Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7RR

Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles extends expiring credential deadlines to 180 Days
The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) today announced that as the state continues responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, its previously enacted 90-day extension for Connecticut residents with expiring credentials is being extended to a total of 180 days. Eligible DMV credentials that expire between March 10, 2020 and June 30, 2020 are automatically covered by this extension.
In addition to extending the expiration date of DMV credentials, late fees associated with eligible expired credentials will be waived during the time period of the extension for qualifying credentials.
Deadlines have been extended for the following DMV-related items:

  • All Licenses, Permits and Identification Cards: Lengthens the credential extension to 180 days for credentials that expire between March 10, 2020 and June 30, 2020.
  • All Registrations Including International Registration Plan (IRP) and Boat Registrations: For credentials expiring between March 10, 2020 and June 30, 2020, credentials will be extended by 180 days from the expiration date.
  • Emissions Testing and Retesting: For test due dates that fall between March 10, 2020 and June 30, 2020, the due date will be extended by 180 days from the emissions expiration date.
  • Permanent Disability Placard: Any permanent disability placard that expires at the same time as a credential that is subject to a 180-day extension, will be extended by 180 days.
  • Business Licenses: For credentials expiring between March 10, 2020 and June 30, 2020, credentials will be extended by 180 days from the expiration date.
  • Temporary Registrations: Temporary registrations obtained after March 10, 2020 are extended by 180 days.
  • Temporary (Paper) Licenses: Expiration dates will be extended by 180 days for all temporary (paper) licenses obtained after March 10, 2020.
  • Flashing Light Permits: Expiration dates between March 10, 2020 and June 30, 2020 are extended by 180 days.
  • New Residents: For any person who moved to Connecticut after March 10, 2020, the deadline for obtaining a license, registration, or emissions inspection in Connecticut will be extended by 180 days.
  • Suspension Related Matters: Suspensions that take effect between March 10, 2020 and June 30, 2020 will be delayed by 180 days as a result of failure to attend an Operator Retraining or Child Safety Seat Program, or nonpayment of fees due to a returned check or rejected payment.
  • VIN Verification: Waived until September 10, 2020.
  • School Bus Proficiency Tests: Extends the validity of school bus proficiency tests that are due between March 10, 2020 and June 30, 2020 by 180 days.
  • Ignition Interlock Devices: Waives violations and penalties associated with failing to meet 30-day recalibration of ignition interlock devices until September 10, 2020.

For updates and more information about the DMV credential extensions, visit CTDMV.info. For questions, residents can call 860-263-5700 or 1-800-842-8222.

Connecticut Department of Social Services preparing online access to food with SNAP benefits

The Connecticut Department of Social Services is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, the state’s electronic benefit transfer (EBT) vendor, and participating food retailers to implement SNAP online purchasing in Connecticut.

Federal approval of the state’s plan was received May 20, and system testing is scheduled to be completed on May 29. The beginning of online food purchasing is tentatively scheduled for June 2. When activated, enrollees will be able to use SNAP benefits on their EBT card to purchase eligible food items online for delivery or curbside pickup at participating food retailers.

Participating food retailers to start are Amazon, including Amazon Pantry and Amazon Fresh; 12 Walmart stores (click here for list); and Wakefern Food Corp., which has 22 participating ShopRite stores in state (click here for list).

Based on successful system testing, online SNAP access is currently scheduled to begin on Tuesday, June 2, with all participating outlets online by June 3. A full schedule and contact points will be announced closer to June 2.
To read the federal approval announcement, click here. For more information about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in Connecticut, visit www.ct.gov/snap.

Connecticut Department of Labor notifying more than 75,000 individuals about potential eligibility for extended unemployment benefits

Leadership at the Connecticut Department of Labor today announced that the agency is planning to mail instruction letters this Friday to approximately 77,000 individuals in the state who have been identified as potentially eligible to apply for 13 weeks of emergency extended unemployment benefits.

Labor Commissioner Kurt Westby said that the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) included an extension of the 26 weeks of regular state unemployment insurance to 39 weeks through the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program. PEUC could be retroactive to March 29, 2020 and will be in effect through December 26, 2020. Weekly PEUC benefits are based on wage history using the same formula for determining state unemployment insurance benefit amounts. It also includes the additional $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefit.

The notifications will include instructions on steps that potentially eligible claimants will need to follow to receive the emergency extended benefits.

For more information on this announcement, read the press release issued by the Connecticut Department of Labor.


RE-OPENING GUIDE

Below is a list of what businesses are open:

State establishes enforcement protocols for safe reopening

State re-opening is underway with some restaurants and retail stores back in business throughout Connecticut.

The State of Connecticut has established new enforcement protocols to ensure businesses follow the Sector Rules for May 20th Reopen designed to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Enforcement will be done by local health officials, local law enforcement, and municipalities. These agencies have the authority to inspect businesses for compliance with public health and the reopen sector rules established to protect businesses, employees, and residents from spreading or contracting COVID-19.

In most instances, a first violation will result in a warning and education by local law enforcement. In instances of a second or more egregious violation, law enforcement will refer complaint to the local public health department or chief elected official designee. The local public health department and chief elected official’s designee may order business closure.

Residents and employees who want to report noncompliance should contact local law enforcement or use the online complaint form at ct.gov/coronavirus. Those who do not have internet access can call 2-1-1 and an operator will fill out the form on their behalf. After submitting the form, users will receive a customized response pertinent to the complaint, including contact information for local law enforcement, local public health, CONN-OSHA, or OSHA.

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection outlines state park operations plan heading into summer season

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Wednesday released an operation plan that outlines current guidelines around the operation and use of Connecticut state park grounds, trails, beaches, boat launches, and other areas amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The resource – available at portal.ct.gov/deep-parkscovid19 – provides a “one stop shop” for the latest information on outdoor recreation offerings administered by DEEP.

As the state begins a phased reopening of its economy, many state parks remain open, as they have been throughout the pandemic. The restrictions that they’ve been operating under, such as daily capacity limits, social distancing guidelines for visitors, and use of face coverings, also remain in place.

For more information, read the press release issued Wednesday by DEEP.
 
Please note:

  • State Parks Remain Open with Restrictions
  • Shoreline Swimming Areas are Open
  • Inland Swimming Areas Closed
  • Capacity Limits and Social Distancing Guidelines Remain in Place 


Additional Updates

Governor Ned Lamont announced that because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, he has signed an executive order allowing all registered voters in Connecticut to vote absentee in the August 11, 2020 primary elections.

https://portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/News/Press-Releases/2020/05-2020/Governor-Lamont-Signs-Executive-Order-Allowing-All-Eligible-Connecticut-Residents-to-Vote-Absentee

Governor Ned Lamont is applauding an announcement made by CVS Health that the company is opening 13 new COVID-19 test sites at select CVS Pharmacy drive-thru locations in Connecticut. These test sites, which are set to open on Friday, May 22, come in addition to the 12 locations the company previously opened in the state on May 15.

https://portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/News/Press-Releases/2020/05-2020/Governor-Lamont-Applauds-CVS-Health-Announcement-on-the-Opening-of-13-Additional-Test-Sites