State Capitol Update for the Week of June 22

June 26, 2020

Our schools are central to our communities in ways that go well beyond their core purpose of providing a quality education to every student.  In addition to teaching literature, biology, or Spanish, schools impact our social and emotional development in profound ways, and can help craft lasting relationships between peers, families, and teachers that can sustain us over a lifetime. Over the last three months, we’ve been forced to expand the means by which instruction is provided, which took ingenuity, creativity, and courage.   It has illuminated the work we know we need to do to ensure online access for every member of our community.  Some components of that online education are likely here to stay, but we are all hungry for the live, in-person piece that’s been missing.  So I was pleased to see the Commissioner of Education announce plans for re-opening schools in the fall – the plans are contingent on Connecticut’s continuing success fighting the pandemic and keeping infection rates low, and there are plenty of details that remain to be worked out, but it is a plan that is an excellent, pragmatic start. 

Another thing schools provide for many families is a consistent source of nourishment, for the mind and for the body.  Tomorrow, we will be acting that out at Housatonic Valley Regional High School by delivering free boxes of fresh produce to anyone who arrives while supplies last.  Distribution starts at 8 am.  Maybe we’ll see you there, and you can tell me what your favorite memory from high school is.

Here’s a list of today’s topics:

  • Executive Order No. 7BBB (including travel advisory re other states, ability to modify requirements at day care and day camps)
  • Executive Order No. 7CCC (including DMV, boards of assessment appeals, fire service examinations)
  • CDC Survey 
  • CHEFA announces $3 million to support Connecticut health care, education, child care, and cultural organizations
  • Connecticut ranked as one of only four states on track to contain COVID-19
  • Further detail on joint announcement re travel to Connecticut and the need to self-quarantine
  • Plan announced for the 2020-21 school year amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
  • Contact tracing efforts
  • Connecticut ranked as one of the top 5 most innovative states
  • Community college is free beginning this fall
  • ICYMI: DMV reopening plan
  • Road resurfacing project on Route 7 in Sharon, Salisbury, and Canaan
For several additional graphs and tables containing more data, including a list of cases in every municipality, visit and click the link that is labeled, “COVID-19 Data Tracker.”
Updated data on the impact of COVID-19 on nursing homes and assisted living facilities
The following documents contain updated data regarding each of the nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Connecticut that are reporting positive cases of COVID-19 among their residents. The data is presented as it was reported to the state by each of the facilities. If a facility is not listed, that means it is reporting that it does not have any residents who have tested positive. This data is updated on a weekly basis.
**DownloadData on nursing homes in Connecticut as of June 23, 2020
**DownloadData on assisted living facilities in Connecticut as of June 23, 2020


Governor Lamont signs Executive Order No. 7BBB enacting the following provisions:
1.     Safety advisory regarding travel from states with high infection rates: Requires the commissioner of the Department of Public Health to issue a travel advisory for self-quarantine of people who arrive in Connecticut from states with significant community spread of COVID-19.
2.     Amended deadline for candidates to withdraw from presidential primary: Moves up the deadline by which presidential candidates need to request that their name be removed from the ballot for the August 11 primary, and moves up the date for the secretary of the state to choose by lottery the order of names on the presidential primary ballot. This will allow the secretary to finalize preparations and for election officials to order and public ballots sooner.
3.     Accelerated date to finalize order of names on presidential primary ballot: Moves up the date by which the Secretary of the State is required to determine by lot the order in which names of candidates will appear on the ballot for the 2020 presidential preference primary.
4.     Temporary commercial pesticide junior operator certification: Allows the commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to issue temporary certifications for commercial junior pesticide operators before candidates have completed the examination, and defer the fees until a permanent certification is issued.
5.     Authority to modify enhanced health procedures in child care and day camps: Authorizes the commissioner of the Office of Early Childhood to modify the enhanced health procedures required in child care facilities and day camps in order to permit the safe provision of adequate child care services while protecting children, staff, and their families from transmission of COVID-19.
Governor Lamont signs Executive Order No. 7CCC enacting the following provisions:
·       Clarification of time periods in Executive Order No. 7I: Clarifies the authority granted to allow boards of assessment appeals to extend deadlines to file tax assessment appeals to ensure that grand lists are completed on time.
·       Extension of time for fire service personnel examinations: Modifies regulations in order to extend by 180 days the date by which examinations for fire service personnel must be completed.
·       Issuance of duplicate licenses and identity cards: Modifies regulations in order to waive for six months the requirement that customers appear in person at the Department of Motor Vehicles to obtain a duplicate license or identification.
CDC releases results from first six sites of large-scale seroprevalence survey, including Connecticut
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today released the results of the first six sites involved in its large-scale seroprevalence survey, which includes Connecticut. The federal agency partnered with commercial laboratories for the survey that tested de-identified clinical blood specimens for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. The survey included people who had blood specimens tested for reasons unrelated to COVID-19, such as for a routine or sick visit blood test by commercial laboratories in participating areas.
In Connecticut, the survey estimates that 4.94 percent of the state’s population was positive for antibodies, after age and sex-standardizing to census data and after accounting for the sensitivity and specificity of the CDC assay used. The samples were collected between April 26 and May 3. Connecticut had the second highest seroprevalence in the first round of the study. Blood samples from approximately 1,400 people in the state were tested.
More data on the survey can be found on the CDC’s website.
CHEFA announces $3 million to support Connecticut health care, education, child care, and cultural organizations
The Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA) has approved $3 million in grants to assist Connecticut health care, education, child care, and cultural organizations in their response to the COVID-19 crisis. Earlier this spring, CHEFA’s board of directors decided to replace all of its typical FY 2021 grant programs with a COVID-19 grant program to help these organizations meet the needs of these unprecedented times.
CHEFA’s FY 2021 COVID-19 grants are being awarded to the following organizations:
·       4-CT Fund: $304,200 To Support the 4-CT Card Initiative, an effort administered through community-based organizations and community health centers to provide emergency funds to the Connecticut undocumented population.
·       Boys and Girls Clubs of Connecticut: $300,000 to support summer/fall youth programming with increased safety protocols, staffing, and support for families.
·       Community Health Center Association of Connecticut: $486,000 to support increased COVID-19 testing at federally qualified health centers throughout Connecticut, acquire additional medical equipment, and provide patient care kits.
·       Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU): $350,000 to support a student relief fund for undocumented students attending Connecticut state colleges and universities.
·       Connecticut After School Network: $220,000 to support after school programs throughout Connecticut with programming, PPE, and health/educational resources.
·       Connecticut Association for Community Action, Inc.: $99,000 to modify existing facilities to implement social distancing protocols and acquire PPE.
·       Connecticut Early Childhood Funder Collaborative: $150,000 to support the public-private partnership with the Office of Early Childhood, focused on family childcare provider resources and technical support during COVID-19 crisis.
·       Connecticut Humanities: $100,000 partnership with the Connecticut Office of the Arts to provide support to arts and cultural organizations affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
·       Gaylord Hospital: $40,800 to acquire UV cleaning machine and glide scope intubation equipment for support of COVID-19 patients.
·       Hartford HealthCare: $400,000 to support ten COVID-19 mobile testing sites in five Connecticut regions with testing supplies, PPE, and staffing.
·       Hospital for Special Care: $75,000 to purchase two ventilators, pulse oximeters, and other medical and technology equipment to care for COVID-19 patients; to enhance community supports, virtual visitation, and create autism video series in response to COVID-19 crisis.
·       Oak Hill (Connecticut Institute for the Blind): $75,000 to support health, education, and physical education programs for individuals with disabilities and a food coordination program for group homes, due to COVID-19 closures and lack of access.
·       Trinity Health of New England: $250,000 to support stage II convalescent plasma therapy clinical trial for COVID-19 patients.
·       United Way, Inc.: $150,000 to support the Connecticut United Ways COVID-19 Response Fund providing emergency support to Connecticut individuals and families.
CHEFA is a quasi-governmental agency created to help Connecticut-based nonprofit organizations raise the funds needed to meet their goals of improving the health and education of Connecticut citizens. CHEFA accomplishes this by providing tax-exempt financing and other financial assistance to educational institutions, healthcare providers, childcare providers, and other eligible nonprofit entities. Since its inception in 2002, CHEFA grant programs have provided more than $33 million to Connecticut nonprofit organizations. CHEFA grant programs utilize no State of Connecticut funds.

Connecticut ranked as one of only four states on track to contain COVID-19
Connecticut is one of only four states in the nation that are on track to contain COVID-19, according to a study by Covid Act Now. The organization is highlighting the state’s steadily decreasing rate of cases, while also stating that its preparedness efforts “meets or exceeds international standards.”
The other states identified as on track to contain COVID-19 are also in the northeast and include New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.

Further detail on joint announcement re travel to Connecticut and the need to self-quarantine
In regards to the joint announcement regarding travel to Connecticut and the need to self-quarantine, the following website is operational and will be updated weekly to reflect impacted states on a weekly basis. Click here to learn more.
Plan announced for the 2020-21 school year amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
Governor Ned Lamont and Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona announced details of the framework to allow all students – in all school districts statewide – the opportunity to have access to in-school, full-time instruction at the beginning of the 2020-21 academic year, as long as public health data continues to support this model. While Connecticut has determined reopening schools for in-person instruction can be achieved based upon the state’s successful COVID-19 containment efforts, this model will be supported with more intensive mitigation strategies and specific monitoring, containment, and class cancellation plans.
In assessing the approach to a required operating model, the Connecticut State Department of Education (SDE) considered input from school representatives, educators, families, students, educational stakeholders, advocacy organizations, and union representatives. The department conducted a review of nationally and globally published school reopening plans. The importance of access to in-person schooling rose as a priority related to educational opportunities, safety, wellbeing, and social-emotional learning.
In addition to the framework released, SDE plans to release a more detailed guidance document next week that will provide more comprehensive information for school districts.
**DownloadExecutive summary of Connecticut’s 2020-21 school planning
**DownloadPresentation on Connecticut’s 2020-21 school planning
Framework for Connecticut Schools During the 2020-21 Academic Year
Guiding Principles
As Connecticut schools plan to reopen, the guidance and considerations outlined in this framework are grounded in six guiding principles:
  1. Safeguarding the health and safety of students and staff;
  2. Allowing all students the opportunity to return into the classrooms full time starting in the fall;
  3. Monitoring the school populations and, when necessary, potentially cancelling classes in the future to appropriately contain COVID-19 spread;
  4. Emphasizing equity, access, and support to the students and communities who are emerging from this historic disruption;
  5. Developing strong two-way communication with partners such as families, educators and staff; and
  6. Factoring into decisions about reopening the challenges to the physical safety and social-emotional well-being of our students when they are not in school.

These guiding principles require all districts to develop their plans with a certain level of consistency, however they retain wide discretion in implementing approaches to reopening given unique local considerations. School districts must balance their planning with contingency plans to provide robust, blended learning or remote learning for all grades in the event that a school, district, or region has to cancel or limit in-person classes due to health precautions.
Main Operational Considerations

  • Districts should emphasize grouping students by the same class/group of students and teacher (into a cohort) so each team functions independently as much as possible. Consider this methodology by grade levels.
  • Placing students in cohorts is strongly encouraged for grades K-8, and encouraged where feasible for grades 9-12.

Social Distancing and Facilities

  • Review building space and reconfigure available classroom space, such as gymnasiums and auditoriums, to maximize social distancing, consistent with public health guidelines in place at that time.


  • Districts should plan for buses to operate close to capacity with heightened health and safety protocols, including requiring all students and operators wear face coverings.
  • Transportation operators will need to activate increased social distancing protocols based upon community spread.

Face Coverings

  • All staff and students will be expected to wear a protective face covering or face mask that completely covers the nose and mouth when inside the school building, except for certain exceptions including when teachers are providing instruction.

Ensuring Equity and Access

  • Equitable access to education is a top priority that supports a full-time in-school model by mitigating any barriers to education or opportunity gaps that increased during the pandemic. Efforts to support equity, close the opportunity gap, and provide a wide range of support for students in the state is best achieved with in-person schooling opportunities for all ages.
  • Districts should identify gaps and develop action plans for reopening that specifically address inclusion, equity, and access for all learners with strategies and clearly defined action steps.

Monitoring, Containment, and Class Cancellations Plan

  • Develop robust monitoring and containment protocols, and class cancellation plans, in the event there are public health indicators that may require temporary closure of the building, such as evidence of community transmission in the school.
  • If public health data requires partial reopening, or if schools containment efforts require partial closure, LEAS must prioritize the return of vulnerable learner groups, with specific protocols to increase the in-school population over time until full in person instruction is achieved.


Contact tracing efforts
As Phase 2 of the state’s reopening gets into full swing, contact tracing becomes even more important. State health officials are ramping up their efforts by recruiting more volunteers and training more staff through ContaCT. Aggressive testing and tracing remain critical for containing the spread of the coronavirus.

More information about this effort is available HERE. This is a confidential software system that monitors the health of people affected by Covid-19. Participation is voluntary.


Connecticut ranked as one of the top 5 most innovative states
Connecticut was recently ranked one of the top 5 most innovative states, according to the Bloomberg index. The ranking is based on six equally weighted metrics: research and development intensity, productivity, clusters of companies in technology, STEM jobs, residents with degrees in science and engineering disciplines, and patent activity. Even through these challenging times, our state continues to lead the way!
To read  more, please click here.
Community college is free beginning this fall
Attention parents and students! Keeping our commitment to increased access to higher education, Community Colleges across the state will offer free enrollment for residents.  The entire enrollment process must be completed by July 15th which includes not only admissions but placement, financial aid and class registration. This could take 1-2 weeks to complete so it's crucial to start the applications soon.

More details and information may be found HERE.
ICYMI: DMV reopening plan
As a reminder, because there are so many affected by this, the DMV has developed a reopening plan. New drivers and drivers looking to register a new vehicle will be allowed to start making appointments at select DMV branches. In addition, road testing has also resumed. Safety precautions and screening processes have been put into place to protect both DMV workers and customers.
For more information or to set up an appointment, please go to:
Road resurfacing project on Route 7 in Sharon, Salisbury, and Canaan
The Connecticut Department of Transportation announced that a milling and resurfacing project will be performed on Route 7 in the towns of Sharon, Salisbury and Canaan from Route 128 to Lime Rock Station Rd.​
The project consists of milling and resurfacing a 4.92-mile segment of Route 7. The milling is scheduled to occur on Monday, July 6, 2020 and is anticipated to be completed on Friday, July 10, 2020. The resurfacing of this project is scheduled to occur on Tuesday, July 14, 2020 and anticipated to be completed on Friday, July 24, 2020.
Motorists can expect delays and one lane alternating traffic.  The regular work schedule for this project is 7:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. The schedule may change depending on weather conditions, and all are advised to drive safely in the vicinity.
Governor Lamont encourages residents to sign up for the state’s CTAlert notification system
Governor Lamont is encouraging Connecticut residents to sign up for CTAlert, the state’s emergency alert system, which provides text message notifications to users. To subscribe, text the keyword COVIDCT to 888-777.
Providing information to Connecticut residents
For the most up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on COVID-19, including an FAQ and other guidance and resources, residents are encouraged to visit

Individuals who have general questions that are not answered on the website can also call 2-1-1 for assistance. The hotline is available 24 hours a day and has multilingual assistance. Relay services can be accessed by calling 7-1-1. Anyone who is out-of-state or using Relay can connect to Connecticut 2-1-1 toll free by dialing 1-800-203-1234. The hotline is intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider.