January 6th Newsletter

January 7, 2022
We are constantly working to provide updates and important news as it develops over social media and by email. This is a recap of some of this week’s highlights.

For more information about the state's response efforts visit ct.gov/coronavirus. To receive text message notifications, sign up for CTAlert, the state’s emergency alert system. To subscribe, text "COVIDCT" to 888-777.


Relief Program Now Available for CT Essential Workers Impacted by COVID-19

I have some exciting news to share.

The Connecticut Essential Workers COVID-19 Assistance Fund is now up and running. It was authorized by the legislature in June for the purpose of easing the financial burden on essential workers who became ill and were unable to work, or died, between March 10, 2020 and July 20, 2021.

The program assists with:

·       Lost Wages – Unpaid leave and lost wages if an employee was unable to work after contracting COVID-19, or due to symptoms later diagnosed as COVID-19. 

·       Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenses – For medical services related to contracting COVID-19 that were not covered by insurance.

·       Burial Expenses – Burial/funeral expenses of $3,000 for an eligible essential worker who died from COVID-19.

Families can also apply for any combination of the three benefits on behalf of a qualified essential worker who died after contracting COVID-19. The program can distribute up to $34 million on a first-come, first-served basis through June 30, 2024, or until the fund is depleted. The application portal is now open and can be accessed by clicking on the image above.

The program stands to help thousands of first responders, hospital workers and many more who put their lives on the line to help Connecticut stay safe.
If you or someone you know is eligible and in need of assistance, please apply and share the information about the Connecticut Essential Workers COVID-19 Assistance Fund with them so they can apply, too.


School Attendance Guidelines

Balancing education and the effects of in-person learning on public health has been a daunting and ongoing task during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially as cases are on the rise as students and faculty return from their holiday break.

The State Department of Education (SDE), which is responsible for setting the rules for school attendance during this pandemic, has reiterated its position that remote learning can only be an option for schools in rare circumstances for students who:

  • Must be in isolation due to close contact with a confirmed case
  • Have live-in family members who have documented an unusual vulnerability to COVID-19
  • Have a Planning and Placement Team that revised an Individualized Education Program based on a determination that instruction in the home provides a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment
  • Attend a school district that has been affected by a legislative or gubernatorial emergency decision that requires school or district closures

These guidelines aim to keep schools open and prevent loss from remote learning so that schools meet the 180-day school year requirement. The guidelines direct any remote-learning decisions to adhere to recommendations from the SDE, Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control.

Addressing public health while providing students with a quality educational experience requires a commitment from everyone and I will keep you updated on any developments that impact our school districts.


COVID-19 Update

With cases of COVID-19 continuing to rise in Connecticut and across the country, I strongly urge you to take precautions to keep the health of you, your family, and your neighbors in mind. For more information on booster shots and where to sign up in our area, CLICK HERE.

Note: As of Thursday, January 6th, the Town of West Hartford will once again be implementing a universal mask mandate. Click the button below to read more about this announcement.

We-Ha.com: West Hartford Moves from Mask ‘Advisory’ to Indoor Mask Mandate
In addition, Avon Congregional Church will be hosting a free walk-in COVID-19 vaccine clinic on Monday, January 10 and Monday, January 31. Both clinics will take place from 2 t0 6 p.m., and no appointments or insurance are necessary. 

CLICK HERE for additional details.


Mental Health Resources for Children of Color

Please see the below announcement from the Department of Children and Families (DCF) on two community forums which will be held next week regarding support for racial trauma experienced by children of color.

"The Department of Children and Families, in partnership with Urban Trauma LLC, is developing the Urban Trauma Network Initiative (UTNI). This revolutionary program is designed specifically to provide educational and training support to providers regarding the deleterious effects of racial trauma on children and youth of color across Connecticut’s urban areas.

Two community forums will be held by Urban Trauma LLC to learn more about this exciting work on:

- January 11th at 6:00 p.m.

- January 13th at 11:00 a.m.

Please utilize this link to sign up for one of the sessions: Urban Trauma Registration."


Three Kings Day

Happy Three Kings Day to all who celebrate! 

Remembering the January 6th Insurrection

Today we remember a dark day for our republic, but we will not allow the bad acts of a few tarnish our hope and optimism for the future of our fragile yet powerful democracy.