Three months ago, in the early days of the pandemic, I posted a photo of my daughter Maude’s house rules for living safely with seven college friends in a rented house in Minneapolis. It contained many of the precautions we are now very used to, including: hand washing, mask wearing, and social distancing. It also included an item titled “CORONA CHECK: always welcome.” It was a social contract that said, if the behavior of Housemate A was making Housemate B feel uncomfortable or at risk, Housemate B could “check” the other one and draw attention to the behavior, and Housemate A would welcome that without defensiveness. We’re all a little tired of keeping our friends and neighbors at a distance, and of wearing masks in the summer heat, so it’s particularly helpful if we all make that deal with each other: when I slip up, and step too close, or forget to put my mask back on, you’re allowed to point that out without me getting snarky about it. It’s a pretty fair deal given the stakes.
In a historic moment that also includes a lot of difficult conversations about race, I’d like to propose we adopt that deal with a broader purpose. When we say or do something that makes another person uncomfortable, or at risk, we agree that we want to hear that, even, or especially, when it makes us uncomfortable to talk about it. It’s the “always welcome” part that’s really the most important: if we embrace the opportunity to learn from each other, we’ll get farther together, even when the conversations are difficult.
I’m looking forward to hosting a conversation about some of these issues live on Facebook on Wednesday, July 8, at 7:00 pm. Several of the student organizers of recent Black Lives Matter protests will join me in a conversation about what moved them to become activists, what it means to organize these events in our particular communities, and what kind of change they are looking for. I hope you can tune in!
|Here’s a list of today’s topics:
- Executive Order No. 7FFF (re service hours for group homes)
- Free Testing available at North Canaan Town Hall on July 15
- Secretary Merrill announces recruitment effort for poll workers in the primary and general elections
- Updated guidance on Connecticut’s travel advisory
- State launches “Connecticut Respect” PSA campaign
- And a few more words about masks…
- DMV resumes select testing and registration services
- Judicial branch plans to resume operations at eight more courthouses on July 20
Data updates on testing in Connecticut
The following is a summary of the day-to-day newly reported data on cases, deaths, and tests in Connecticut. It is important to note that these newly reported updates include data that occurred over the last several days to a week. All data in this report are preliminary, and data for previous dates will be updated as new reports are received and data errors are corrected.
|NEW REPORTING SCHEDULE: The State of Connecticut’s COVID-19 metric report is now issued five times per week, every Monday through Friday. The report that is issued each Monday contains combined data that was collected on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This schedule will remain in effect until further notice.
(includes confirmed and probable cases)
|Change Since Friday
|Patients Currently Hospitalized with COVID-19
|COVID-19 PCR Tests Reported
|New Haven County
|New London County
|Pending address validation
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. These data reports are updated weekly.
For several additional graphs and tables containing more data, including a list of cases in every municipality, visit ct.gov/coronavirus and click the link that is labeled, “COVID-19 Data Tracker.”
Governor Lamont signs Executive Order No. 7FFF, enacting the following provisions:
· Modifying minimum service hours for private non-medical institutions for adults: Modifies the number of service hours required to be provided by certain group homes and the requirement that group homes perform semi-annual times studies of their services in order to receive monthly Medicaid payments.
Free Testing available at North Canaan Town Hall on July 15
Hartford HealthCare/Charlotte Hungerford Hospital will bring their mobile testing unit to North Canaan Town Hall, 100 Pease Street, on July 15, for free COVID-19 testing between 10am and 2pm.
The tests takes less than five minutes. Patients will receive follow-up instructions, and results will be available through MyChart of by phone. Please wear a mask and bring a photo ID
You must register to participate: call 860-496-6479 by 3pm on July 10th to register, and have your insurance type and ID number ready when you call.
Secretary Merrill announces recruitment effort for poll workers in the primary and general elections
Recognizing that the August and November elections will have unique challenges related to COVID-19, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill announced a statewide effort to recruit poll workers for Connecticut’s primary and general elections.
Voters interested in working at the polls should sign up at myvote.ct.gov/volunteer.
For more information, read the press release issued today by Secretary Merrill.
Updated guidance on Connecticut’s travel advisory
As the situation around the country continues to develop, the Lamont administration has updated guidance regarding the travel advisory that was recently implemented for travelers entering Connecticut from states with high rates of COVID-19. If someone arrives to Connecticut from an impacted state, self-quarantining for 14 days remains the best option, however the updated guidance permits travelers to enter the state if they test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours prior to arriving.
To read the updated guidance, check out the travel advisory section of the state’s coronavirus website.
State launches “Connecticut Respect” PSA campaign
The State of Connecticut today launched the “Connecticut Respect” PSA campaign to reinforce practices that will help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The campaign includes spots filmed by Stew Leonard, Southern Connecticut State University Professor Jonathan Wharton, UConn Women’s Basketball Coach Geno Auriemma, and a lifeguard.
To see the videos, https://portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/News/Press-Releases/2020/07-2020/Governor-Lamont-Coronavirus-Update-July-2
|And a few more words about masks…
Because I’ve received a handful of emails recently expressing frustration with the requirement that we wear masks, I wanted to share a few thoughts and resources.
Early in the course of this pandemic, two things greatly affected the position on masks taken by many public institutions: 1) we did not have much data on how useful they would be when used by the general public, particularly when they weren’t hospital grade; and 2) we knew masks saved lives in medical settings (which is why they were universally worn there even before COVID-19 struck), but there was a shortage, and it was very important that limited supplies be retained for those medical settings.
Now that we are three months in, we have ample information that demonstrate that masks are effective in preventing the spread of the virus, and masks are now generally available.
The CDC now clearly recommends them for use by the general public:
So does the WHO.
And Johns Hopkins.
Goldman Sachs concluded that a national face mask mandate would have a significantly positive effect on GDP, and could partially substitute for renewed lockdowns. Click here to read their insight.
There will always be individuals for whom wearing a mask is not medically sound, and we should always make allowances for them, which we do in CT. We know that masks are less effective in protecting healthy individuals, and more effective in reducing the spread by an infected person. We also know that a significant percentage (probably a large majority) of infected people are asymptomatic, so they appear “healthy.”
There has been an evolution of the positions of many of the entities cited above, but that’s what happens when we pay attention to data and science; hopefully we listen, learn, and adjust so that we can save lives, and the economy.
DMV resumes select testing and registration services
The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has resumed road testing services for driver’s licenses, as well as new vehicle registrations at select DMV locations. Knowledge testing for motorcycle learner’s permits is slated to resume on July 7, 2020 on DMV’s Bridgeport and Waterbury locations.
The DMV began collaborating with driving schools on June 23, in an effort to reduce its backlog created by the COVID-19 pandemic, and was able to schedule nearly 1,000 road tests through June 30. Customers whose appointments were canceled due to the pandemic are encouraged to reschedule their appointments.
The expansion of DMV services comes on the heels of the department’s reopening on June 23. The DMV now requires appointments for all services. To schedule an appointment, utilize the following links:
· Road Tests (Non-CDL): https://www.dmvroadtest.ct.gov/dmv/do-it-online
· Learner’s Permit Knowledge Tests: https://www.dmvteen.ct.gov/dmv/do-it-online
· Motorcycle Knowledge Tests: https://portal.ct.gov/DMV/Offices/Offices/Make-an-Appointment
· License, ID and Registration Services: https://portal.ct.gov/DMV/Offices/Offices/Make-an-Appointment
For more information, read the press release issued today by the DMV.
Judicial branch plans to resume operations at eight more courthouses on July 20
The Connecticut Judicial Branch announced that operations at eight additional courthouses will resume effective Monday, July 20. They include:
· Geographical Area No. 2 courthouse at 172 Golden Hill Street in Bridgeport;
· The Community Court and Housing Sessions courthouse at 80 Washington Street in Hartford;
· The Judicial District at Meriden courthouse at 54 West Main Street in Meriden;
· The Judicial District at Norwich courthouse at 1 Courthouse Square in Norwich;
· The Judicial District at Waterbury courthouse at 300 Grand Street in Waterbury;
· The Judicial District at Hartford courthouse at 95 Washington Street in Hartford;
· The Judicial District at Tolland courthouse at 69 Brooklyn Street in Rockville; and
· The Judicial District courthouse at 90 Washington Street in Hartford.
The expansion of operations will bring the number of courthouses where operations are currently being conducted to 25.
For more information on this announcement, read the press release issued by the judicial branch.
For additional information regarding overall judicial branch operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.
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 ct.gov/coronavirus.
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.