State Increases COVID-19 Relief Funds for MunicipalitiesDecember 17, 2020
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.
For a series of interactive graphs and maps that provide additional data, including metrics related to age, gender, and race/ethnicity, as well as data broken down by every town and city in Connecticut, click here.
Data updates on vaccine distribution in Connecticut
As of today, a total of 1,982 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Connecticut. All of the doses so far in this first week of vaccinations have been administered to those in the healthcare workforce.
Vaccinations for those within Connecticut’s nursing homes will begin on Friday, December 18.
Weekly update on the impact of COVID-19 on nursing homes and assisted living facilities
The following documents contain the weekly data regarding each of the nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Connecticut that have reported 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.
Weekly update of the Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 Alert Map: 166 municipalities now in red
The Connecticut Department of Public Health today released its weekly COVID-19 Alert Map, which indicates that 166 of 169 towns and cities in Connecticut are now in the red zone alert level, the highest of the state’s four alert levels.
The only municipalities in the state that are not in the red zone this week are Barkhamsted, Canaan, and Warren.
The red zone indicates municipalities that have an average daily COVID-19 case rate over the last two weeks of greater than 15 per 100,000 population. The orange zone indicates those that have case rates between 10 to 14 cases per 100,000 population. The yellow zone indicates municipalities that have case rates between 5 and 9 per 100,000 population, and those indicated in gray have case rates lower than five per 100,000 population.
The weekly alert map is also accompanied by a chart that provides guidance on recommended actions based on the alert levels for individual residents; institutions such as schools, houses of worship, and community organizations; as well as municipal leaders and local health directors.
Lamont administration notifies municipalities on updates to distribution of COVID-19 relief funds
The Lamont administration has delivered a letter to all municipal chief elected officials in Connecticut notifying them that the state will be increasing the levels of financial aid being sent to towns and cities to supplement their response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The funding comes from the state’s Coronavirus Relief Fund, which utilizes federal funding made available through the CARES Act. These changes will reimburse municipalities for their reported and audited costs, establish a grant program for the municipalities, and assist municipalities by offsetting costs related to COVID-19 testing.
To date, the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management (OPM) has reimbursed municipalities for all reported claims through June 30, 2020, for a total of approximately $14.5 million from the Connecticut Municipal Coronavirus Relief Fund Program. Notably, the actual incurred expenses through June 30 were significantly lower than municipalities originally estimated. The program originally was structured to provide funds on a reimbursement basis after the processing of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) claims. Due to the time delays in FEMA claims processing, and to maximize support to municipalities, OPM will be immediately providing a direct $45.5 million allocation of the program’s funds to support municipalities with their costs for the period between July 1 and December 30, 2020.
“We have been and remain committed to assisting our municipalities as they confront the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Governor Lamont said. “Federal law has prevented us from being able to make up for their revenue losses, and our reimbursement program was simply moving too slowly for the cities and towns to be able to benefit from the amount we set aside earlier this year to help with the costs we know they are experiencing. The CARES Act requires the Coronavirus Relief Fund amounts are committed by December 30, and to allow municipalities the ability to benefit from the $75 million allocated this summer, changes were required. We remain hopeful there will be additional federal support to help our local governments through this difficult time.”
“The COVID-19 crisis has required state and municipal governments to be flexible and implement paradigm-changing thinking since it arrived in Connecticut,” OPM Secretary Melissa McCaw said. “This summer we set aside $75 million to reimburse the municipalities for their COVID-19 related costs, but the FEMA processing time was not going to allow us to get all of that money to the municipalities without action by the state. As a result, we are establishing a new allocation program with expanded allowable uses to get this essential money into our localities and expanding the scope of the state’s testing program to include local educators and school staff to help offset those costs that the municipalities may incur. I know how valuable this level of assistance is to maintaining operations for our cities and towns and it was incumbent upon to make the necessary changes to get these federal dollars out.”
In summary, the Connecticut Municipal Coronavirus Relief Fund Program funds of $75 million will be distributed as follows:
- Reimbursed claims through June 30, 2020: $14.5 million
- Final allocation with expanded usage: $45.5 million
- Regional testing opportunities for municipal teachers and staff: $15 million
The Municipal Coronavirus Relief Fund grants of $45,498,170 will be allotted based on the population formula below. (For a town-by-town allotment, click here.)
- 33 percent population density
- 33 percent population / Adjusted Equalized Net Grand List per capita
- 34 percent population
Testing has been critical to slow the spread of coronavirus and mitigate its threat to public health, particularly for the most at-risk populations and our educational system. Therefore $15 million of the $75 million allocation has been reserved to expand regional testing opportunities for teachers and staff to mitigate this expense for LEA’s and municipalities and provide increased support for safe operations of Connecticut’s schools.
Providing information to Connecticut residents
For the most up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on COVID-19, residents are encouraged to visit ct.gov/coronavirus. Residents can also subscribe to text message alerts from the state by texting the keyword COVIDCT to 888-777.
Individuals who have general questions that are not answered on the website can call 2-1-1 for assistance. The hotline is available 24 hours a day and has multilingual assistance. Anyone who is out-of-state or requires a toll-free number can connect to Connecticut 2-1-1 by dialing 1-800-203-1234. This 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 are strongly urged to contact their medical provider.