State Capitol Update for the Week of September 6September 9, 2021
Over the past week, I have had many conversations about conversation itself, and how hard it can be at this moment fraught with anxiety and division. Fueled in part by the pandemic’s continued presence (in light of our hopes that it would be behind us by now), I have heard a lot of stories about conflicts escalating, and even routine communication turned hostile. Earlier this week a friend told me that when she took another friend to the hospital, the nurse who cared for them became almost tearful in gratitude that they were kind to her, and grateful for her care. Our healthcare workers in particular have been dealing with a lot – the obvious stresses of working in an environment with potential exposure to a deadly pandemic, inadequate staffing levels, and anxious, fearful, and sometimes angry patients among them.
To those of you who still have those “Be Kind” lawn signs out – keep them out there! It’s a good reminder that kindness makes everything better.
This week brings the 20th anniversary of the attacks on 9/11, which I talk about below. Many towns in the region will mark that event with ceremonies, which are there.
Also, I’m getting a lot of questions about COVID vaccine boosters, flu shots, and what lies ahead as the weather cool and we move indoors, so I will be doing a video with a medical professional from the region next week – details are still being arranged, and I will communicate when I have final details.
Here’s a list of today’s topics:
- COVID Data. Click here.
- Local Events Marking the 20th Anniversary of 9/11. Click here.
- Local Vaccine Clinics. Click here.
- Update for Salisbury Sharon Transfer Station. Click here.
- Executive Order to Permit the Hiring of Temporary Nurse Aides. Click here.
- Executive Order Extending Deadline for Long Term Care Staff to Get Vaccinated. Click here.
- Fundraising Walk for Children's Fund. Click here.
For several graphs and tables containing data, including a list of cases in every municipality, visit ct.gov/coronavirus and click the link that is labeled, “Data Tracker.”
Local events marking the 20th anniversary of 9/11
This Saturday marks 20 years since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon, and Flight 93 in Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 innocent people lost their lives on the morning of September 11, 2001 and many more, including first responders, have died from health complications in the years following the attacks. September 11th remains one of the darkest and deadliest days in U.S. history.
Those of us who were old enough to remember it each have seared memories of that day. I had recently left my job as a federal prosecutor, and had many friends who would soon become part of new and growing terrorism units, so that affected my perspective of the day. I had three kids ranging from 6 months to almost 5 years old, and I recall going to my daughters’ school and standing outside, having decided with other parents that it was best to leave them there, but needing to be at their physical location nonetheless. And we lived in New York at the time, so had many friends and colleagues who lived and worked in the area around the World Trade Center, who we would spend countless hours tracking, supporting, and grieving.
Much has happened in the 20 years since which has had an equally profound effect on all of our lives. Many were inspired to serve their country and community, many were lost in ensuing wars. I hope this anniversary provides us with an opportunity to pause and reflect on this tragic event, to remember the victims and the many first responders who bravely set aside their personal safety to save lives on that horrible day 20 years ago, and to recommit ourselves to serving our country and caring for the people who live in it.
Many towns in the region are honoring the 20th anniversary of 9/11 this year, including:
- Torrington: North End Fire Station, 899 Main Street at 8:30 am
- Norfolk: Fire Department, 20 Shepard Road at 8:30 am
- Kent: Town Hall, 41 Kent Green Boulevard at 8:30 am
- North Canaan: St. Martin of Tours, 4 Main Street, a 24 hour remembrance
Also, this year’s state ceremony is at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 9, 2021 at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport. The public is invited to join Governor Lamont and Lt. Governor Bysiewicz at the State of Connecticut’s annual memorial ceremony at the Sherwood Island State Park, which served as a staging area for emergency workers that day, and is now home to a memorial for the 161 victims of the 9/11 attacks who lived in or had ties to Connecticut. Family members of those who were killed in the attacks will participate, and the names of the 161 victims with ties to Connecticut will be read aloud. You can also watch the ceremony live on CT-N.
Local Vaccine Clinics
Starting this afternoon (September 9), a number of free vaccination clinics will be held in our region in the coming days. No appointments are needed, but it is limited to Northwest Corner residents. Please bring a health insurance card and photo ID if you have them, but it is not necessary to have health insurance or ID to receive the vaccine. No one will be turned away for lack of insurance or ID. Dates and locations as follows:
- Thursday, September 9, from 3:00 – 7:00pm: Housatonic Valley Regional High School (HVRHS), 246 Warren Turnpike Road, Falls Village
- Saturday, September 11, from 10:00am – 4:00pm: North Canaan Town Hall, 100 Pease Street.
- Friday, September 17, from 3:00 – 7:00pm: HVRHS
- Friday, October 1, from 3:00 – 7:00pm: HVRHS
- Friday, October 15, from 3:00 – 7:00pm: HVRHS
- Friday, October 29, from 3:00 – 7:00pm: HVRHS
Update on Food Waste Diversion program at Salisbury Sharon Transfer Station
A pilot program, including approximately 100 residents of Salisbury and Sharon, diverting food waste from the solid waste stream and converting it to valuable compost, has been ongoing at the Salisbury Sharon Transfer Station for the last several months, and is scheduled to end on September 30.
As reported by Barbara Bettigole, the Chair of the Salisbury Sharon Transfer Station Recycling Advisory Committee, the program has been a great success: thanks to the participants adherence to the guidelines and routines of collecting food waste, they are now close to 7 tons of diverted food waste since the pilot program began. That means that food waste, (which is heavy and wet) is being composted (returning nutrients to soil) instead of incinerated (straining the system) or landfilled (releasing methane gas).
With the pilot program nearing its end on September 30th, the Transfer Station has applied for a grant from RECYCLE CT. If the grant is awarded, the program will continue and expand to all residents of Salisbury and Sharon who want to participate, and a new small pilot will be developed for a few restaurants and possibly one or two of the elementary schools. If the award is not granted, they will be looking for less expensive collecting and hauling options, so as to get closer to break-even costs, as well as other funding options.
Governor Lamont signs executive order permitting nursing homes to hire temporary nurse aides
Governor Lamont signed Executive Order No. 13E, reviving a successful temporary nurse aides program used earlier in the pandemic. The order permits nursing homes to hire temporary nurse aides, who will provide nursing-related services to residents. Temporary nurse aides will not be permitted to perform services that require a license, but will help provide services to residents who are not COVID-19 positive, assure adequate staffing at long-term care facilities, and enable permanent nursing home staff to focus care on patients who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Governor Lamont signs executive order modifying deadline for long-term care facility staff to receive vaccinations
Governor Lamont today Executive Order No. 13F, modifying the deadline for long-term care facility staff to receive their first COVID-19 vaccination from September 7, 2021 – as was initially ordered in Executive Order No. 13B – to September 27, 2021.
Fundraising walk to support Shane Morehouse Kinsella Children’s Fund
A fund raising walk to support the Shane Morehouse Kinsella Children's Fund will take place at Camp Cochipianee at 291 Beach Street in Goshen at 11 AM on Saturday, October 16th (Kids Fun Run at 10 AM). The walk is either 2 or 5 miles, and you can run if you want (no official timing however).
The Fund has assisted in paying for children's swim and ski lessons, camp and drivers’ education expenses and college needs.
You can register on line (via the Goshen Park and Rec Dept).
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.