LATEST DARIEN COVID-19 NEWS: Continual Updates: May 4 to 10

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News and links on the COVID-19 pandemic for Darien:

LATEST UPDATES: Confirmed COVID-19 cases in lower Fairfield County; Governor’s Sunday COVID-19 briefing; Reopen Connectiuct panel to hold public meeting, encourages public’s questions on school reopenings; More volunteers sought to help with COVID-19 effort in Connecticut.

See also:

LATEST DARIEN COVID-19 NEWS: Continual Updates:

April 27 to May 3 || April 20 to 26 || April 13 to 19 || April 5 to 12 || March 30 to April 5

SUNDAY State Statistics on COVID-19 Cases in Lower Fairfield County

Sunday, May 10 — As of 8:30 p.m., Saturday, 197 Darienites were identified with COVID-19, four more than the number reported on Saturday, according to information released by state authorities. (Reminders: Many people are thought to have the COVID-19 virus who aren’t identified; the state says “all figures are preliminary and subject to change.”)

Here’s the number of identified cases in nearby communities, according to the state government Web page for this day’s Coronavirus statistics:

Stamford — 2,921 cases (49 more than the 2,872 reported on Saturday)
Norwalk — 1,764 (34 more than the 1,730 reported on Saturday)
New Canaan — 147 (no change from the 147 reported on Saturday)
Greenwich — 719 (seven more than the 712 reported on Saturday)
Westport — 261 (no change from the 261 reported on Saturday)
Wilton — 180 (two more than the 178 reported on Saturday)
Weston — 62 (readjusted to two fewer cases than the 63 reported on Saturday)
Ridgefield — 189 (no change from the 189 reported on Saturday)
Fairfield — 476 (10 more than the 466 reported on Saturday)
Bridgeport — 2,430 (52 more than the 2,378 reported on Saturday)

TEN WORST HIT CONNECTICUT MUNICIPALITIES (with total cases): 1. Stamford (2,921), 2. Bridgeport (2,430), 3. New Haven (1,973), 4. Norwalk (1,764), 5. Waterbury (1,514), 6. Danbury (1,506), 7. Hartford (1,505), 8. West Haven (857), 9. Hamden (780), 10. Greenwich (719).

COVID-19 in CT by municipality Sunday, May 10, 2020

Image from the state givernment website

How Connecticut cities and towns comparw in numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Saturday evening, May 9, 2020

COVID-19 SW CT

Image from state government website

How southwest Connecticut cities and towns compare in numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases. A closeup of the map above.

SUNDAY COVID-19 Update from Gov Lamont

Sunday, May 10 — As the State of Connecticut continues taking actions in response to the global spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Gov. Ned Lamont provided the following updates as of 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 10, 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.

NOTE: The increase in the number of tests reflected in today’s report is due to a “catch up” of labs that reported additional data to the state over the last 24 hours.

Overall Summary Statewide Total Change Since Yesterday
Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Cases 33,554 +570
COVID-19-Associated Deaths 2,967 +35
Patients Currently Hospitalized with COVID-19 1,242 -59
COVID-19 Test Reported 130,192 +6,623

County-by-county breakdown:

County Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Hospitalizations Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19-Associated Deaths
Fairfield County 13,236 403 1,024
Hartford County 7,263 316 909
Litchfield County 1,153 19 107
Middlesex County 798 47 115
New Haven County 9,209 421 701
New London County 782 27 54
Tolland County 543 5 47
Windham County 270 4 7
Pending address validation 300 0 3
Total 33,554 1,242 2,967

For several additional graphs and tables containing more data, including a list of cases in every municipality, visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

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 and TDD/TTY access. It intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider.

Reopen CT Advisory Group to Hold Education Roundtable Monday: You’re Encouraged to Submit Questions About Schools Reopening

Sunday, May 10 — Gov. Ned Lamont today announced that members of the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group will hold a roundtable discussion on Monday, May 11, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the state’s education system and its ability to reopen.

Members of the public who have questions for the group regarding the impact of COVID-19 on schools can email their inquiries to reopen@ct.gov. The discussion will be broadcast live by the Connecticut Network (CT-N) and available to watch on its cable television channel and through a live stream on CT-N.com.

Those participating in the roundtable will include:

  • Moderator: Mark Ojakian, President of Connecticut State Colleges and Universities
  • Dr. Joanne Berger-Sweeney, President, Trinity College (CCIC Chair)
  • Beth Bye, Early Childhood Commissioner
  • Miguel Cardona, Education Commissioner
  • Dr. Matt Cartter, Department of Public Health State Epidemiologist
  • Jan Hochadel, President of AFT Connecticut
  • Thomas Katsouleas, President of UConn
  • Rick Levin, Former President of Yale
  • Glenn Lungarini, Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference
  • Fran Rabinowitz, Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents
  • Rob Rader, Connecticut Association of Boards of Education
  • Don Williams, Executive Director of CEA

The Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group is a panel of local health, business, workforce, and education experts who are consulting with the Lamont administration and legislative leadership on the reopening of Connecticut’s economy and education system as the nation emerges from the unprecedented public health emergency caused by COVID-19. The group is providing Governor Lamont with recommendations, which the governor is using to inform his decisions on the reopening of the state.

Thousands Sign Up as Volunteers to Help CT Respond to COVID-19; More Wanted

Sunday, May 10 — Gov. Ned Lamont today said that the State of Connecticut and its nonprofit partners are continuing to seek volunteers willing to help communities respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

The state’s volunteer recruitment effort is being expanded to bolster the ranks of volunteers needed at nonprofits that offer support to children and adults in programs for intellectual disabilities and behavioral health settings, as well as organizations that support senior citizens.

To date, more than 5,000 medical volunteers and 1,600 non-medical volunteers have come forward to assist Connecticut’s hospitals and health systems, and also provide support to nonprofits that provide essential human services. Volunteers have helped distribute food with food banks, provided support for those experiencing homelessness in shelters across the state, and delivered meals to homebound senior citizens in communities across Connecticut.

Governor Lamont said that he is grateful for everyone who has stepped up to volunteer their assistance. He also expressed his gratitude to the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD), which has made the Disaster Assistance Response Technology database available to help manage the statewide volunteer recruitment effort for this emergency.

“Connecticut residents and businesses have been incredibly generous in offering to do what they can to meet the needs of our state at this challenging time,” Governor Lamont said. “The volunteers who have come forward have been a tremendous help to our hospitals, and to critically important services at our food banks, meal delivery services, and shelters. I’m grateful to everyone who is stepping forward – and I ask that you keep pitching in, and invite others to join you so that we can meet the needs of our neighbors and communities over the coming weeks and months.”

How to volunteer:

  • Anyone interested in volunteering to help their communities in this effort can sign up by visiting ct.gov/coronavirus and clicking the “Volunteers” link. Those interested will be matched with a community provider in need based on their personal interests and abilities.
  • Volunteers must be 18 or older, and should not volunteer if at risk or compromised. Those who are immunocompromised, over 60, showing symptoms of COVID-19, or live with or care for someone in any of those categories should avoid being in public, including for volunteer efforts. Please stay safe, stay home.
  • Volunteers do not need to be health care workers. In addition to calling on physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals who may be retired, the state needs community members to help out at food banks, food deliveries to the elderly, and at shelters in a number of ways.
  • For those who do have a background in health care, the state’s medical community has specific needs at this time. Hospitals have advised the state that they have a high need for critical care nurses and respiratory therapists.
  • Every effort is being made to keep volunteers safe. The state and all of the organizations involved are working hard to make sure that everyone helping out can do so as safely as possible. If any volunteers have concerns, they are strongly urged to ask about the safety protocols of the organization they are volunteering.
  • Volunteers will be sent where they are most needed and feel most comfortable. The volunteer process is centralized so that the state and participating organizations have a clear picture of everyone who can help, and everything that is needed. That way, volunteers can be matched with an opportunity that is most in need of that person’s skillset.

Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz said, “I thank every resident of Connecticut who has come forward to meet the needs of our most vulnerable residents during this time. Volunteers are an absolutely essential part of effective response to this crisis. I know that if everyone steps up to do what they can, we will continue to have one of the greatest teams in the country combating this disease, and we will bounce back.”

Department of Public Health Commissioner Renée Coleman-Mitchell said, “Volunteers with a medical background are critical to increase the capacity of the healthcare system at this important time. I thank the medical volunteers who have come forward, and I ask for others who have not yet raised their hand to help to do so now – your skills and support continues to be needed.”

Department of Aging and Disability Services Commissioner Amy Porter said, “Many older adults across the state are counting on our support, first and foremost to address their basic needs such as access to meals and groceries. Volunteers can play a critical role here. They can also form connections with the older adults, and facilitate technology connections between the older adult and their support network. I am grateful to all those Connecticut residents willing to step up.”

Jason Jakubowski, president and CEO of Foodshare, said, “These volunteers have given absolutely essential support to food pantries across the state that rely heavily on volunteer labor.  They’ve seen many of their regular volunteers necessarily step away from service due to illness or other COVID-19 related circumstances. Our emergency food distribution system has never been more important, and volunteer labor is critical to making sure that we can meet the need of families who require our support right now.”

Jennifer Jackson, President and CEO of the Connecticut Hospital Association, said, “Connecticut’s hospitals are thankful for each of the volunteers who have reached out their hands in support of front line healthcare workers and hospitals across the state. We thank all of them for the time and talent they have devoted to responding to this crisis.”

Mike Corey, chair of Connecticut Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster said, “It has been amazing to see the number of folks from across Connecticut that have stepped up to assist their neighbors and communities during this time of need. CT VOAD wishes to thank those that have volunteered, the agencies and organizations across the state coming together to meet their community’s needs, and our friends at Team Rubicon, Foodshare and Americares, among others, for their tireless work behind the scenes.”

Gian-Carl Casa, CEO of the Connecticut Community Nonprofit Alliance, said, “Volunteers coming forward to support this effort are providing critically needed help to nonprofits serving our most vulnerable residents at this time of crisis.  We are grateful to Governor Lamont for launching this effort, and to the volunteers who are stepping up to help their communities.”

State’s Rules for First Stage of Business Reopening

Documents Describe Detailed Protocols Necessary for Certain Businesses to Operate Beginning May 20

Saturday, May 9 — Gov. Ned Lamont today announced that his administration has released documents detailing specific rules that eligible businesses falling under Phase 1 of Connecticut’s reopening plans must follow amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The first phase — which includes restaurants; offices; hair salons and barbershops; retail stores; and outdoor museums and zoos — is currently planned to take effect beginning May 20.

The governor stressed that the decision to reopen during this phase rests with each individual business owner — they are not required to open if they do not choose, however if they do they must follow the rules as prescribed.

The protocols were developed by Governor Lamont, members of his office, and the Department of Economic and Community Development, in consultation with legislators and recommendations made by the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group, which consists of several of the state’s leading medical experts and representatives of several business and industry groups.

Documents containing the rules for the first phase of reopening have been published on the state’s coronavirus website – ct.gov/coronavirus – and are available to download directly at these links:

All businesses subject to these rules will be required to self-certify prior to opening on May 20. The certification system will be online beginning next week.

Task force formed to provide support to small businesses on these regulations

In tandem with the release of this guidance, DECD Commissioner David Lehman announced that his office is launching an ad hoc task force that will provide support to small businesses on how to implement these new regulations.

Commissioner Lehman said, “We are grateful to these organizations who represent the voices of our communities and our small businesses for agreeing to work with DECD and AdvanceCT in a team effort to provide the best possible guidance and support to our small businesses.

We share the goal of helping businesses across the state to reopen as quickly as possible, while adopting these new and necessary measures to keep our communities safe.”

The Reopen Connecticut Small Business Implementation Task Force will be chaired by Lyle Wray of the Capitol Region Council of Governments. Other members will include:

  • Cindy Bombard, Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce
  • Joe Brennan, Connecticut Business and Industry Association
  • Nancy Cowser, seCTer
  • Joe Ercolano, Small Business Development Center
  • Cathy Graves, New Haven Small Business Academy
  • David Griggs, MetroHartford Alliance
  • Kim Hawkins, HEDCO
  • Larry McHugh, Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce
  • Patrick McMahon, CT Main Street
  • Julio Mendoza, Spanish American Merchant Association
  • Dan Onofrio, Bridgeport Regional Business Council
  • Fran Pastore, Women’s Business Development Council
  • Garrett Sheehan, Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce
  • Tony Sheridan, Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut
  • Lynn Ward, Waterbury Regional Chamber of Commerce

SATURDAY State Statistics on COVID-19 Cases in Lower Fairfield County

Saturday, May 9 — As of 8:30 p.m., Friday, 193 Darienites were identified with COVID-19, the same number reported on Thursday, according to information released by state authorities. (Reminders: Many people are thought to have the COVID-19 virus who aren’t identified; the state says “all figures are preliminary and subject to change.”)

Here’s the number of identified cases in nearby communities, according to the state government Web page for this day’s Coronavirus statistics: [Note: The state didn’t have a case numbers report on Sunday.]

Stamford — 2,872 cases (42 more than the 2,830 reported on Thursday)
Norwalk — 1,730 (63 more than the 1,667 reported on Thursday)
New Canaan — 147 (no change from the 147 reported on Thursday)
Greenwich — 712 (readjusted to two fewer cases than the 714 reported on Thursday)
Westport — 261 (five more than the 256 reported on Thursday)
Wilton — 178 (13 more than the 165 reported on Thursday)
Weston — 63 (one more than the 62reported on Thursday)
Ridgefield — 189 (four more than the 185 reported on Thursday)
Fairfield — 466 (18 more than the 448 reported on Thursday)
Bridgeport — 2,378 (112 more than the 2,266 reported on Thursday)

TEN WORST HIT CONNECTICUT MUNICIPALITIES (with total cases): 1. Stamford (2,872), 2. Bridgeport (2,378), 3. New Haven (1,951), 4. Norwalk (1,730), 5. Waterbury (1,496), 6. Danbury (1,491), 7. Hartford (1,446), 8. West Haven (854), 9. Hamden (766), 10. Greenwich (712).

CT COVID-19 city town Saturday, May 9, 2020

Image from state government website

Confirmed COVID-19 cases by city or town (as of 8:30 p.m., Friday, May 8) for Saturday, May 9.

SW CT COVID-19 city and town Saturday, May 9, 2020

Image from state government website

Southwest Connecticut confirmed COVID-19 cases by city and town (closeup of above map), for Saturday, May 9, 2020.

State Rep Terrie Wood’s Tips, News and Reminders for Constituents About Dealing with COVID-19 in CT

Saturday, May 9 — From state Rep. Terrie Wood’s emailed newsletter, sent out today (Editor’s note: We’ve left out information covered repeatedly already, but we think some of this needs to be more widely known and, in some cases, repeated):

ReOpen Connecticut Advisory Board

Governor Lamont has formed an advisory board — ReOpen Connecticut — to look at getting people back to work safely. The plan is to phase in specific sectors of the economy — safeguarding the health of our residents while getting folks back to work.

The Department of Economic and Community Development has a survey for both small business owners and workers to provide their insights on next steps.

  • The Small Business Reopening is a tool for business owners to help state officials understand the current status and implications of reopening
  • The CT Worker Sentiment Survey will help officials understand how employees feel about returning to the workplace.

Small Businesses Help Available

The Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) announced this week that $110 billion in funding remains for the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP.

Approximately 30,000 Connecticut businesses and non-profits have been approved for $2.5 billion in forgivable loans during this round. The PPP provides forgivable loans to small businesses and non-profits with less than 500 employees. Under the loan, 75 percent of funds must be used for payroll expenses; the rest can be used on rent, mortgage interest or utilities.

More information is available here. Connecticut has more than 350 SBA-approved banks and credit unions that can help organizations secure funding.

Self-employed residents seeking aid can now apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

The Connecticut Department of Labor today announced that it has made active the filing site so those who are self-employed can complete the necessary filing applications for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). Those seeking to apply should visit www.filectui.com and locate the red button labeled with the PUA designation.

The site will accept applications from self-employed individuals, including independent contractors and “gig” workers who have already applied through the state unemployment system and have received a determination notice in the mail.

To date, more than 38,000 self-employed individuals have completed the first step of the federally-required two-step process.

The first step, which requires individuals to file an application on the state unemployment system, generates a determination notice that is sent by applications via mail.

The notice, also known as a UC-58, notifies those eligible to file as a self-employed person that wage data is not available and disqualifies them for state benefits. Under guidelines set by the federal government, this two-step process ensures accurate accounting and integrity measures.

Because self-employed individuals already applied through the state unemployment system, the newly-built PUA site will have a record of a person’s state benefit ineligibility status.

The PUA system requires applicants to create an account with a unique password and ID. The secure site also collects the applicant’s name, birth date, and social security number, in addition to wage information.

Applicants will also be asked the date when COVID-19 impacted their employment. Federal guidelines allow this to go back to Feb. 2, 2020. If an unemployed status goes back to retroactive weeks, the system requires applicants to provide weekly earnings through the current week filing.

For more information on how to apply for benefits under the PUA system, read the press release issued today by the Connecticut Department of Labor.

6. 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 and TDD/TTY access.

It is intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider.

SATURDAY COVID-19 Briefing by Gov Lamont

Saturday, May 9 — As the State of Connecticut continues taking actions in response to the global spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Gov. Ned Lamont provided the following updates as of 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 9, 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.

Overall Summary Statewide Total Change Since Yesterday
Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Cases 32,984 +573
COVID-19-Associated Deaths 2,932 +58
Patients Currently Hospitalized with COVID-19 1,301 -35
COVID-19 Test Reported 123,569 +3,028

County-by-county breakdown:

County Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Hospitalizations Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19-Associated Deaths
Fairfield County 13,030 424 1,017
Hartford County 7,105 339 901
Litchfield County 1,142 15 105
Middlesex County 789 44 114
New Haven County 9,091 437 686
New London County 775 33 54
Tolland County 540 5 46
Windham County 266 4 6
Pending address validation 246 0 3
Total 32,984 1,301 2,932

For several additional graphs and tables containing more data, including a list of cases in every municipality, visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

Lamont encourages residents to sign up for the state’s CTAlert notification system

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 and TDD/TTY access. It intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider.

FRIDAY COVID-19 Briefing by Gov Lamont

Thursday, May 7 — As the State of Connecticut continues taking actions in response to the global spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Gov. Ned Lamont provided the following updates as of 5 p.m. on Friday, May 8, 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.

Overall Summary Statewide Total Change Since Yesterday
Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Cases 32,411 +627
COVID-19-Associated Deaths 2,874 +77
Patients Currently Hospitalized with COVID-19 1,336 -49
COVID-19 Test Reported 120,541 +4,367

County-by-county breakdown:

County Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Hospitalizations Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19-Associated Deaths
Fairfield County 12,879 439 1,006
Hartford County 6,904 348 884
Litchfield County 1,130 17 103
Middlesex County 775 41 108
New Haven County 8,887 448 669
New London County 755 36 50
Tolland County 530 5 46
Windham County 249 2 5
Pending address validation 302 0 3
Total 32,411 1,336 2,874

For several additional graphs and tables containing more data, including a list of cases in every municipality, visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

Guidance for Phase 1 of reopening plans

During his news briefing this afternoon, Governor Lamont and Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner David Lehman outlined some of the details his administration is considering for Phase 1 of Connecticut’s reopening plans on May 20. Documents containing guidance for businesses about those plans are currently being finalized and are anticipated to be released later Friday evening or on Saturday. As soon as those documents are ready, they will be published online at ct.gov/coronavirus and publicly noticed so that businesses can have an opportunity to review the details.

Additional $3 million in funding available for COVID-19 Business Response Program

The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) has committed an additional $3 million to the COVID-19 Business Response Program, which provides financial relief to minority-owned and women-owned small businesses negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The program, administered by the Hartford Economic Development Corporation (HEDCO), provides zero-interest lines of credit of up to $20,000 to small businesses with 20 or fewer employees. Since the program was announced last month, HEDCO has received 607 applications and 137 small businesses have been approved for $1.6 million in assistance.

DECD, by increasing its financial commitment from $2 million to $5 million, will more than double the number of companies receiving financial support during this difficult time. HEDCO is no longer accepting applications for the program – the additional $3 million will be directed to applications previously received.

Department of Revenue Services extends deadlines for certain administrative protests and tax appeals

The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services today announced that it is extending the deadline for filing certain protests with its appellate division by 90 days. The agency also issued guidance regarding the filing of tax appeals.

For more information, read the press release issued today by the Department of Revenue Services.

Face coverings remain available for essential small businesses with fewer than 50 employees

The State of Connecticut is continuing to distribute free face coverings to essential small businesses with fewer than 50 employees through a partnership with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association and its affiliate CONNSTEP. Eligible businesses include those defined as essential by the Department of Economic and Community Development.

Eligible essential small businesses can request up to two free face coverings per employee by filling out the form at ctcovidresponse.org.

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 and TDD/TTY access. It intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider.

THURSDAY State Statistics on COVID-19 Cases in Lower Fairfield County

Thursday, May 7 — As of 4 p.m., Thursday, 193 Darienites were identified with COVID-19, the same number reported on Tuesday, according to information released by state authorities. (Reminders: Many people are thought to have the COVID-19 virus who aren’t identified; the state says “all figures are preliminary and subject to change.”)

First Selectman Jayme Stevenson saidWednesday afternoon on Facebook that  as of Tuesday, May 5, there was one new case in town. She added:

  • 198 Total Cases*, 13 Hospitalizations, 4 Deaths, 75 Recoveries; Assisted Living Facilities: No New Cases, 5 Total Cases, 2 Deaths (included above) *local data differs from state data – data corrections made daily

Stevenson has said the state’s numbers for Darien often lag behind the numbers that the Darien Health Department gets for town residents with COVID-19.

Mike Handler, New Canaan emergency services director, said in an email newsletter Monday night that that town’s cases had hit 193, also well above the state figures.

Here’s the number of identified cases in nearby communities, according to the state government Web page for this day’s Coronavirus statistics: [Note: The state didn’t have a case numbers report on Sunday.]

Stamford — 2,830 cases (33 more than the 2,797 reported on Wednesday)
Norwalk — 1,667 (11 more than the 1,645 reported on Wednesday)
New Canaan — 147 (one more than the 146 reported on Wednesday)
Greenwich — 714 (seven more than the 707 reported on Wednesday)
Westport — 256 (one more than the 256 reported on Wednesday)
Wilton — 165 (one more than the 164 reported on Wednesday)
Weston — 62 (one more than the 61 reported on Wednesday)
Ridgefield — 185 (no change from the 185 reported on Wednesday)
Fairfield — 448 (eight more than the 440 reported on Wednesday)
Bridgeport — 2,266 (75 more than the 2,193 reported on Wednesday)

TEN WORST HIT CONNECTICUT MUNICIPALITIES (with total cases): 1. Stamford (2,830), 2. Bridgeport (2,266), 3. New Haven (1,752), 4. Norwalk (1,667), 5. Danbury (1,473), 6. Waterbury (1,464),  7. Hartford (1,338), 8. West Haven (798), 9. Hamden (736), 10. Greenwich (707).

COVID-19 by municipality Wednesday May 6 2020, reported Thursday

From state government web page

Confirmed COVID-19 cases by city and town; numbers as of Wednesday, May 6 at 8:30 p.m.

SW CT COVID-19 by municipality as of 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 6

Image from state government website

Southwest Connecticut confirmed COVID-19 cases by city and town as of 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 6, 2020

THURSDAY COVID-19 Briefing by Gov Lamont

Thursday, May 7 — As the State of Connecticut continues taking actions in response to the global spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Gov. Ned Lamont provided the following updates as of 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 7, 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.

Overall Summary Statewide Total Change Since Yesterday
Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Cases 31,784 +789
COVID-19-Associated Deaths 2,797 +79
Patients Currently Hospitalized with COVID-19 1,385 -60
COVID-19 Test Reported 116,174 +4,727

County-by-county breakdown:

County Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Hospitalizations Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19-Associated Deaths
Fairfield County 12,679 469 977
Hartford County 6,750 340 867
Litchfield County 1,114 20 104
Middlesex County 764 45 104
New Haven County 8,678 468 643
New London County 742 35 49
Tolland County 522 5 46
Windham County 250 3 5
Pending address validation 285 0 2
Total 31,784 1,385 2,797

For several additional graphs and tables containing more data, including a list of cases in every municipality, visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

Updated list of nursing homes and assisted living facilities with residents who have tested positive for COVID-19

The following documents are updated lists of every nursing home and assisted living facility in Connecticut with residents who have tested positive for COVID-19, along with corresponding data regarding the number of related fatalities among residents in each facility. The data was reported to the state by each of the nursing homes and assisted living facilities. These lists are updated on a weekly basis.

Governor Lamont signs 38th executive order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

Governor Lamont today signed another executive order – the 38th since he enacted the emergency declarations – that builds upon his efforts to encourage mitigation strategies that slow down transmission of the virus. Executive Order No. 7KK enacts the following provisions:

  1. Pharmacists are permitted to order and administer Food and Drug Administration approved tests for COVID-19: Authorizes pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 tests.

Governor Lamont outlines criteria for Phase 1 of reopening

During his daily news briefing this afternoon, Governor Lamont announced that his administration is utilizing seven criteria in its consideration for Phase 1 of Connecticut’s reopening efforts:

Self-employed residents seeking aid can now apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

The Connecticut Department of Labor today announced that it has made active the filing site so those who are self-employed can complete the necessary filing applications for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). Those seeking to apply should visit www.filectui.com and locate the red button labeled with the PUA designation. The site will accept applications from self-employed individuals, including independent contractors and “gig” workers who have already applied through the state unemployment system and have received a determination notice in the mail.

To date, more than 38,000 self-employed individuals have completed the first step of the federally-required two-step process. The first step, which requires individuals to file an application on the state unemployment system, generates a determination notice that is sent by applications via mail. The notice, also known as a UC-58, notifies those eligible to file as a self-employed person that wage data is not available and disqualifies them for state benefits. Under guidelines set by the federal government, this two-step process ensures accurate accounting and integrity measures.

Because self-employed individuals already applied through the state unemployment system, the newly-built PUA site will have a record of a person’s state benefit ineligibility status. The PUA system requires applicants to create an account with a unique password and ID. The secure site also collects the applicant’s name, birthdate, and social security number, in addition to wage information.

Applicants will also be asked the date when COVID-19 impacted their employment. Federal guidelines allow this to go back to February 2, 2020. If an unemployed status goes back to retroactive weeks, the system requires applicants to provide weekly earnings through the current week filing.

For more information on how to apply for benefits under the PUA system, read the press release issued today by the Connecticut Department of Labor.

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 and TDD/TTY access. It intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider.

WEDNESDAY State Statistics on COVID-19 Cases in Lower Fairfield County

Wednesday, May 6 — As of Tuesday, 193 Darienites were identified with COVID-19, one more than the 192 on Monday, according to information released by state authorities. (Reminders: Many people are thought to have the COVID-19 virus who aren’t identified; the state says “all figures are preliminary and subject to change.”)

First Selectman Jayme Stevenson saidWednesday afternoon on Facebook that  as of Tuesday, May 5, there was one new case in town. She added:

  • 198 Total Cases*, 13 Hospitalizations, 4 Deaths, 75 Recoveries; Assisted Living Facilities: No New Cases, 5 Total Cases, 2 Deaths (included above) *local data differs from state data – data corrections made daily

Stevenson has said the state’s numbers for Darien often lag behind the numbers that the Darien Health Department gets for town residents with COVID-19.

Mike Handler, New Canaan emergency services director, said in an email newsletter Monday night that that town’s cases had hit 193, also well above the state figures.

Here’s the number of identified cases in nearby communities, according to the state government Web page for this day’s Coronavirus statistics: [Note: The state didn’t have a case numbers report on Sunday.]

Stamford — 2,797 cases (nine more than the 2,788 reported on Tuesday)
Norwalk — 1,645 (four more than the 1,641 reported on Tuesday)
New Canaan — 146 (no change from the 146 reported on Tuesday)
Greenwich — 707 (eight more than the 699 reported on Tuesday)
Westport — 256 (one more than the 255 reported on Tuesday)
Wilton — 164 (one more than the 163 reported on Tuesday)
Weston — 61 (one more than the 60 reported on Tuesday)
Ridgefield — 185 (two more than the 183 reported on Tuesday)
Fairfield — 440 (seven more than the 433 reported reported on Tuesday)
Bridgeport — 2,193 (37 more than the 2,156 reported on Tuesday)

TEN WORST HIT CONNECTICUT MUNICIPALITIES (with total cases): 1. Stamford (2,797), 2. Bridgeport (2,193), 3. New Haven (1,752), 4. Norwalk (1,645), 5. Danbury (1,459), 6. Waterbury (1,438),  7. Hartford (1,257), 8. West Haven (798), 9. Greenwich (707), 10. Hamden (696).

WEDNESDAY COVID-19 Briefing by Gov Lamont

Wednesday, May 6 — As the State of Connecticut continues taking actions in response to the global spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Gov. Ned Lamont provided the following updates as of 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6, 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.

Overall Summary Statewide Total Change Since Yesterday
Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Cases 30,995 +374
COVID-19-Associated Deaths 2,718 +85
Patients Currently Hospitalized with COVID-19 1,445 -55
COVID-19 Test Reported 111,447 +2,804

County-by-county breakdown:

County Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Hospitalizations Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19-Associated Deaths
Fairfield County 12,455 489 952
Hartford County 6,530 361 842
Litchfield County 1,085 21 100
Middlesex County 742 42 98
New Haven County 8,419 487 629
New London County 704 36 47
Tolland County 513 6 44
Windham County 242 3 4
Pending address validation 305 0 2
Total 30,995 1,445 2,718

For several additional graphs and tables containing more data, including a list of cases in every municipality, visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

Governor Lamont signs 37th executive order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

Governor Lamont today signed another executive order – the 37th since he enacted the emergency declarations – that builds upon his efforts to encourage mitigation strategies that slow down transmission of the virus. Executive Order No. 7JJ enacts the following provisions:

  1. Applicability of Executive Order No. 7S, Section 8 – Suspension of reapplication filing requirement for the Homeowners’ Elderly/Disabled, Circuit Breaker Tax Relief Program and for the Homeowners’ Elderly/Disabled Freeze Tax Relief Program: Enables the state to continue benefits in the Homeowners’ Elderly/Disabled, Circuit Breaker Tax Relief Program and for the Homeowners’ Elderly/Disabled Freeze Tax Relief Program without the taxpayer having to recertify eligibility.
  2. Distance learning and remote testing certification for DEEP programs: Authorizes the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to conduct classes and testing remotely using online methods or any other feasible means.
  3. Tolling of land use and building permits: Extends the period of validity of approval or permits issued by a municipal land use agency or building official so they do not expire during the state of emergency.
  4. Allowance of suspension of in-person voting requirements by members of the public for critical and time-sensitive municipal decisions: Authorizes legislative bodies of municipalities the ability to adopt or amend ordinances or resolutions deemed essential; approve, enter into, or amend existing contracts or agreements deemed essential; or option, acquire, transfer, lease, dispose, or sell any real or personal property as deemed essential without complying with any requirements for in-person approval by electors or taxpayers, including annual or special town meetings requiring votes or referenda.

Governor Lamont announces federal approval of increased SNAP food assistance for children in school meals program

With in-person classes at all preK-12 public school facilities in Connecticut now canceled for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year, Governor Lamont today announced that the state today received federal approval to provide $95.5 million in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to children eligible for the free and reduced-price meals program. The new federal authorization boosts the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) program in Connecticut by $26.2 million over the original amount that was geared toward a May 20 school reopening.

Authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the P-EBT program is expected to bring food benefits to about 270,000 Connecticut children who are not able to receive meals at school. All families in the 181 school districts in Connecticut participating in the federal free or reduced-price meals program are eligible to participate. This number is comprised of 162 public, charter, and magnet schools, 11 private schools, and eight residential child care institutions.

The Department of Social Services (DSS) estimates that it will issue approximately $46.3 million to 70,000 SNAP-eligible households and $52.2 million to 80,000 non-SNAP-eligible households for school closures dating from March 17. DSS is partnering with the Connecticut State Department of Education (SDE) on the plan approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service.

DSS estimates that SNAP benefits will be deposited in EBT accounts beginning in mid-May. Benefits can be used any location that accepts SNAP/EBT cards. This includes farmers’ markets and direct market farms, where authorized to accept SNAP benefits. P-EBT participants will also have online access to eligible food purchases through delivery or curbside pickup, when implemented in the overall SNAP program (currently projected to begin by May 29).

Families do not need to apply for P-EBT benefits, as children are automatically eligible because school is not in session. The planned one-time benefit is $364.80 per child enrolled in the free and reduced-price meals program.

DSS and SDE will be collaborating to inform families about the P-EBT benefits and how they can be used. This will include postings on agency websites, news and social media announcements, and notification to community and school partners through emails and participation in statewide conference calls. SDE will send email blasts to school districts with pertinent information for families of children receiving free or reduced-priced meals. Additionally, for eligible households not currently participating in SNAP, DSS will provide a mailer with information about P-EBT and SNAP benefits to be included with their EBT card.

State eyes full resumption of bottle redemption, with limited operations May 20 and full resumption by June 3

Following extensive discussion between the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and many stakeholders, retailers in Connecticut will resume bottling redemption activities on a limited basis beginning May 20, with a full resumption of operations by June 3.

Since March 17, DEEP has allowed retailers to temporarily suspend their redemption activities, providing them with greater flexibility to more effectively maintain and manage their store environments with a focus on product supply and safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Retailers are planning to resume bottle operations on a limited basis on May 20, with a full resumption of operations by June 3. Details of the phase-in will be posted at retail locations and will likely include a daily limit on the number of containers, limited hours to facilitate cleaning, and appropriate social distancing requirements and the wearing of masks.

Beginning May 20, Connecticut retailers that fail to accept empty beverage containers for redemption under the law known as the “bottle bill” will once again be subject to enforcement actions by DEEP. Throughout this time, most independent bottle redemption centers in Connecticut have continued to redeem deposit containers, and some retail stores have chosen to do so as well. DEEP maintains a list of redemption centers in the state on its website.

It is recommended that residents chick with a redemption location to ensure it is open before heading there with a collection of containers to redeem. Also, residents are asked to make sure any containers being redeemed are free of product, rinsed, and not comingled with other materials, as redemption service providers may not accept dirty containers and contaminants.

For more information, read the press release issued today by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Small business owners and workers asked to provide input on reopening efforts

Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner David Lehman is encouraging small business owners and workers to fill out two surveys to help gather important insight on the state’s reopening efforts:

Both surveys were launched by the nonprofit organization AdvanceCT, which works in collaboration with the state to engage, retain, and recruit businesses and advance overall economic competitiveness in Connecticut.

Joint federal-state task force formed to combat COVID-19 fraud in Connecticut

Attorney General William Tong, U.S. Attorney John Durham, representatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Chief State’s Attorney Richard Colangelo today announced the formation of a joint federal-state task force combatting COVID-19-related fraud in Connecticut. The task force will investigate and prosecute a wide range of misconduct related to the pandemic, including price gouging, health care and government program fraud, consumer and small business scams, lending scams, charities fraud, and cyber fraud. Violators may be subject to civil fines and penalties, as well as state or federal criminal prosecution.

Connecticut residents may report COVID-19 related fraud to the task force by contacting the Office of the Attorney General via email at attorney.general@ct.gov or by calling 860-808-5318. The Office of the Attorney General is coordinating closely with prosecutors and investigators at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Chief State’s Attorney’s Office on criminal and civil fraud cases. In addition, residents may report COVID-19 related fraud to the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or by visiting www.justice.gov/disastercomplaintform.

For more information, read the press release issued today by the joint state-federal COVID-19 fraud task force.

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 and TDD/TTY access. It intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider.

Governor Gets Recommendations on Reopening Colleges

Wednesday, May 6 —An announcement from the Governor’s Office:

Gov. Ned Lamont today announced that he has received a detailed report containing recommendations for a phased reopening of colleges and universities in Connecticut in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report was prepared by Rick Levin, former president of Yale University, and Linda Lorimer, former vice president of global and strategic initiatives at Yale University, both of whom are the co-chairs of the education committee of the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group.

Representatives from the committee who consulted on the report include:

  • Alice Pritchard: chief of staff to the president of Connecticut State Colleges and Universities
  • Rachel Rubin: chief of staff to the president of the University of Connecticut
  • Steve Kaplan: president of the University of New Haven
  • Jen Widness: president of the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges

The recommendations include the gradual reopening of higher education campuses over the course of the summer — at the discretion of each institution — based on the type of educational programs offered and whether they provide residential services.

By the fall semester, if prevailing health conditions permit, all of the sector may reopen, although institutions will be free to decide whether they need more time for certain programs to restart.

The reopening of any higher education institution will need to be phased based on the varied nature of the activities on its campus. For example, research operations function similarly to the operations of a place of business and can be restarted relatively quickly.

Likewise, community colleges are easier to open than fully residential colleges, where the challenges are much greater given that students live together in close quarters.

“Our colleges and universities are the springboard for so many to launch their careers, and they are an economic engine of the state,” Lamont said. “And of course it can’t go without saying that Connecticut’s great research universities are working to help bring an end to the current pandemic.

“Given the heterogeneity of our colleges and universities, one size won’t fit all, which is why we need carefully tailored guidelines for differing parts of this sector. This framework to reopen our higher education institutions is a vital component of our overall plan to reopen Connecticut.”

The recommended sequencing of the reopening of colleges and universities would be as follows:

  • Research programs and administrative functions will be able to open on the same timetable as the first wave of general business operations in the state, which is currently set for May 20.
  • Next, early in the summer, workforce development programs in institutions such as community colleges may reopen. As part of their reactivation, they will welcome back those students who were unable to complete courses with lab, studio, clinical, or shop requirements for their degrees this spring.
  • By mid-July, other nonresidential educational programs might be reopened if public health conditions continue to improve, and some institutions may want to resume graduate programs. A few summer programs involving undergraduate student in residential settings might be piloted.
  • By the end of the summer in preparation for the fall semester, if prevailing health conditions make it possible, undergraduate residential institutions may reopen if they choose.

This sequencing is dependent upon several public health conditions that must be met. Some of these prerequisites include:

  • The prevalence of the disease must be low enough to allow the safe resumption of campus operations;
  • Institutions that will be housing students 24/7 must have access to enough COVID-19 tests so that entering students can be tested upon arrival, and those students testing positive must be immediately isolated; and
  • An adequate capacity for contact tracing must be provided to the higher education institutions.

In order to reopen, each higher education institution would be required to file reopening plans with the Connecticut Department of Public Health, detailing how they propose to:

  • Repopulate the campus, likely in a phased way;
  • Monitor health conditions to detect infection;
  • Contain the spread of disease when detected; and
  • Shut down the campus in the event it becomes necessary.

Approximately 190,000 students are enrolled in higher education institutions in the state, and they employ about 45,000 of residents.

Most colleges and universities in Connecticut have not shut down their teaching during the spring semester, but rather have employed online methods to continue educating students.

**DownloadRecommendations to Governor Lamont for a phased reopening of colleges and universities

Governor Promotes Organization That Helps Student Loan Borrowers

Wednesday, May 6 — Gov. Ned Lamont is promoting a service that he says will give free help to Connecticut student loan borrowers with “cutting-edge tools and a dedicated team of student loan experts to find, compare and enroll in dozens of loan assistance and forgiveness programs.”

Here’s the full text of the announcement:

Gov. Ned Lamont announced today that Summer, a social enterprise that assists student loan borrowers, is providing Connecticut residents financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis with free assistance managing their student loans.

As a certified B Corp, Summer is the leading resource for borrowers to simplify and save on their student debt — offering cutting-edge tools and a dedicated team of student loan experts to find, compare and enroll in dozens of loan assistance and forgiveness programs. Connecticut residents can now access Summer’s digital platform free of charge and receive customized loan savings recommendations by visiting meetsummer.org/covidrelief.

While the U.S. federal government has taken the important step of pausing payments on all Federal Direct loans, millions of borrowers have continued to make payments on private student loans and commercially-held FFEL and Perkins loans that were excluded from the CARES Act.

On April 21, Governor Lamont extended relief options to many Connecticut student loan borrowers with loans excluded by the CARES Act, halting late fees and offering a three-month, opt-in pause on payments, among other benefits. Today, Governor Lamont is supplementing this initiative with the smart, hands-on support provided by Summer’s digital platform and team of student loan experts, ensuring more favorable repayment outcomes for Connecticut borrowers in need of assistance.

“Many of our residents are facing unprecedented financial hardship that is pushing those with student loan debt onto a financial tightrope,” Governor Lamont said. “We are grateful for Summer and its sponsorship of much-needed assistance to our residents who are struggling with their student loans.”

Borrowers who are either unemployed or have experienced a significant salary reduction could be eligible for a $0 or very low monthly payment in a federal Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plan. With the average borrower paying approximately $300 per month on student loans, an IDR plan can result in an annual savings amount of $3,600 – three times the amount of the $1,200 stimulus checks. Similar to tax software, Summer’s digital platform can help Connecticut residents check their eligibility across IDR plans and automatically complete the application if they qualify.

“We are excited to partner with Governor Lamont and the state of Connecticut to help residents tackle their student debt so they can focus on critical needs such as food and medical supplies,” Will Sealy, CEO of Summer, said. “The flurry of federal and state announcements has left borrowers more confused than ever about how to navigate the repayment process. With our digital platform and team of student loan experts, we’re working to ensure Connecticut residents have a clear plan for managing their debt and reducing their stress. We hope other states will join Governor Lamont soon.”

About Summer
Summer is a leading student loan advisory service that specializes in enrolling borrowers into federal and state loan assistance programs to minimize their debt load. Summer’s digital platform is supplemented by a dedicated team of student loan experts that ensure each borrower receives the best possible guidance to become debt free. Summer is partnered with hundreds of employers, associations, and institutions to provide its financial wellness tools and resources to 3 million borrowers. It was founded in 2016 by Will Sealy, a former student loan policy expert at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), along with Paul Joo and Vincent Tran, in partnership with Yale University. Based in New York, Summer is a mission-driven Public Benefit Corporation and is a certified B Corporation.

Schools Superintendent Updates Parents on COVID-19 Actions in Wednesday Email

Wednesday, May 6 — Parents can make their opinions known to the state education commissioner, Darien Schools Superintendent Alan Addley said in a midday email Wednesday to parents in the school district.

The email, on various topics related to COVID-19, also said that May 15, May 22, and June 5 will be “half-day Fridays” where students will get a respite from eLearning and teachers will collaborate among themselves and staff. Addley reminded parents that this school year will end on June 11.

On several other topics related to the future of schools and COVID-19 in Darien, Addley said school and district officials are still working out their responses.

Here’s the full-text of Addley’s letter:

May 6, 2020

Dear Parents,

Good morning. I trust this finds your family well. Here are a few COVID-19 eLearning updates:

—School Closures: As you probably know, yesterday, Governor Lamont announced that schools will remain closed and students will continue with eLearning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. While the decision was expected and understandable, the announcement nonetheless reflects a sad conclusion to the school year for students and staff, especially for our distinguished members of the senior class.

—Graduation and Moving up Ceremonies: The Governor specifically recommended that schools should not come together for graduation ceremonies. All of our schools are actively working with members of their school communities to plan meaningful culminating experiences to the school year for our students. The Blue Wave spirit will rise to this challenge to ensure our seniors have a meaningful recognition of their accomplishments and a fun celebratory farewell. The Commissioner of Education will share further guidance on graduation ceremonies later this afternoon in a meeting with school superintendents. Just a reminder the last day of school for students is Thursday, June 11.

—Summer School and Extended School Year Programs: Yesterday, the Commissioner of Education indicated that summer schools could be opened with some social distancing requirements in July. Additional guidance from the Commissioner will be forthcoming later in the month. The District is considering the viability and possible options for summer school. ESY [extended school year] continues to be planned with all stakeholders. The special education department is considering eLearning options if school closure is extended through the summer months.

—Lunches: Grab-and-Go bagged lunches will continue to be available to any Darien student Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Middlesex Middle School through the remainder of the school year.

—Reopening: The District is developing reopening practices and protocols. These will continue to be refined as new information and guidelines are received. In developing these guidelines, the Commissioner of Education has enlisted the help of the six Regional Education Service Centers to gather and analyze the issues pertaining to reopening schools in the fall. The online tool ThoughtExchange, is being used to collect feedback from all constituents. You can provide feedback on the reopening of schools by accessing the following link: https://my.thoughtexchange.com/493894984

—Special Education: The special education and student services department has designed an articulation and ESY planning structure that allows for parent participation and efficacy of District personnel. Meetings have commenced and will continue over the coming weeks.

—eLearning: As eLearning continues to evolve and teachers now plan to deliver curriculum and instruction through the remainder of the school year, May 15, May 22, and June 5 have been identified as half-day Fridays for students and collaborative work afternoons for staff. We hope these afternoons will also serve to provide a respite for students and parents from the eLearning routine. You will receive additional information about these days from your principal.

—Athletics: The CIAC spring sports season is canceled. CIAC will be developing guidelines for summer athletics and reopening for sports in the fall.

The District will provide additional communication and updates as decisions are made and as information is received from the state.

Finally, this is National Teacher Appreciation Week when we recognize and honor the tremendous work of our dedicated and talented staff. In doing so, we also say a huge thank you to all of our Darien parents for your wonderful efforts to support teaching and learning in your home classrooms! Sincerely and with continued gratitude, Alan

Dr. Alan Addley, Superintendent of Schools

TUESDAY State Statistics on COVID-19 Cases in Lower Fairfield County

Tuesday, May 5 — As of Monday, 193 Darienites were identified with COVID-19, one more than the 192 on Monday, according to information released by state authorities. (Reminders: Many people are thought to have the COVID-19 virus who aren’t identified; the state says “all figures are preliminary and subject to change.”)

On Tuesday, First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said on Facebook that she was aware of no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in town, but on Monday, she Stevenson announced a figure much higher than the state was reporting. She said that as of May 3, there were “201 cases, 13 hospitalizations, 4 deaths (5 cases, 2 hospitalizations and 2 deaths are from assisted living facilities).” Stevenson has said the state’s numbers for Darien often lag behind the numbers that the Darien Health Department gets.

Mike Handler, New Canaan emergency services director, said in an email newsletter Monday night that in that town, “We have two additional positive cases which brings our total COVID-19 positive cases in New Canaan to 193. Our total loss of life remains 25.” Handler’s figure is well above the state’s official total number of positive cases is 146 (as shown in the list below).

Here’s the number of identified cases in nearby communities, according to the state government Web page for this day’s Coronavirus statistics: [Note: The state didn’t have a case numbers report on Sunday.]

Stamford — 2,788 cases (five more than the 2,783 as of Monday)
Norwalk — 1,641 (18 more than the 1,623 as of Monday)
New Canaan — 146 (no change from the 146 reported as of Monday)
Greenwich — 699 (two more than the 697 as of Monday)
Westport — 255 (no change from the 255 as of Monday)
Wilton — 163 (one more than the 162 as of Monday)
Weston — 60 (no change from the 60 reported as of Monday)
Ridgefield — 183 (one more than the 183 reported as of Monday)
Fairfield — 433 (10 more than the 423 reported as of Monday)
Bridgeport — 2,156 (29 more than the 2,127 as of Monday)

TEN WORST HIT CONNECTICUT MUNICIPALITIES (with total cases): 1. Stamford (2,788), 2. Bridgeport (2,156), 3. New Haven (1,733), 4. Norwalk (1,641), 5. Danbury (1,452), 6. Waterbury (1,426),  7. Hartford (1,217), 8. West Haven (792), 9. Greenwich (699), 10. Hamden (684).

TUESDAY COVID-19 Briefing by Gov Lamont

Tuesday, May 4 — As the State of Connecticut continues taking actions in response to the global spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Gov. Ned Lamont provided the following updates as of 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5, 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.

Overall Summary Statewide Total Change Since Yesterday
Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Cases 30,621 +648
COVID-19-Associated Deaths 2,633 +77
Patients Currently Hospitalized with COVID-19 1,500 +36
COVID-19 Test Reported 108,643 +3,313

County-by-county breakdown:

County Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Hospitalizations Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19-Associated Deaths
Fairfield County 12,360 519 935
Hartford County 6,351 369 804
Litchfield County 1,065 24 95
Middlesex County 734 42 95
New Haven County 8,337 504 610
New London County 681 34 45
Tolland County 502 7 43
Windham County 223 1 4
Pending address validation 368 0 2
Total 30,621 1,500 2,633

For several additional graphs and tables containing more data, including a list of cases in every municipality, visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

Governor Lamont signs 36th executive order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

Governor Lamont today signed another executive order – the 36th since he enacted the emergency declarations – that builds upon his efforts to encourage mitigation strategies that slow down transmission of the virus. Executive Order No. 7II enacts the following provisions:

  1. Extension of school class cancellations for remainder of school year: Extends the cancellation of in-person classes at public schools statewide for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. Schools will be required to continue providing distance learning during this period.
  2. Authorization for the Department of Social Services commissioner to temporarily waive, modify, or suspend home health regulatory requirements: Makes it easier for Medicaid members to access home health services by allowing payment for these services to be ordered by advanced practice registered nurses and physician assistants, in addition to physicians.
  3. Extension of the start date for imposition of a late fee for obtaining dog licenses from July 1, 2020 to August 1, 2020: Provides dog owners with a grace period through July 31, 2020 before a late fee is imposed for dog licenses, which are normally issued in June of each year.
  4. Authority to waive certain requirements for the issuance of vouchers under the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children: To limit the need for in-person transactions, this order waives the signature requirement on the voucher registry for the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, and permits any adult to act as a designated proxy to pick up and redeem the vouchers on behalf of an eligible participant.

Governor Lamont announces in-person classes at K-12 schools canceled for remainder of academic year

This morning, Governor Lamont announced that he is ordering in-person classes at all K-12 public school facilities in Connecticut to remain canceled for the rest of the 2019-2020 academic year and continue providing distance learning during this period. Schools will also be required to continue providing meals to children under the school lunch and breakfast programs for consumption at home, as they have been throughout this emergency.

The governor is consulting with state and local education officials regarding whether summer school programming should commence as scheduled. He anticipates having guidance on that matter toward the end of this month.

Department of Revenue Services extends application deadline for municipalities to submit locally approved Neighborhood Assistance Act proposals

In recognition of the impact of COVID-19, the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) has extended the application deadline for municipalities to submit their locally approved Neighborhood Assistance Act project proposals until July 31, 2020. The State of Connecticut awards up to five million dollars in tax credits to businesses that sponsor approved projects on behalf of a tax-exempt organization or municipal agency through the Neighborhood Assistance Act, which is administered annually by DRS.

For more information, read the press release issued today by the Department of Revenue Services.

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 and TDD/TTY access. It intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider.

Stamford, Norwalk Hospitals and Bed, ICU Capacity During the Epidemic

Monday, May 4 — New Canaan Emergency Services Director Mike Handler, in his daily newsletter on Monday night, discussed in this passage how Stamford and Norwalk hospitals have weathered the surge in COVID-19 cases:

One area where there has been significant progress is capacity at our local hospitals. We talk a lot about the capacity of our healthcare system, and I think it is important to put this into perspective.

Both Norwalk and Stamford Hospitals have done a tremendous job increasing overall bed counts by more than 40% combined.  At the same time, both hospitals reduced or eliminated non-COVID-19 hospitalizations and procedures.

With respect to intensive care unit capacity, again both hospitals worked tirelessly to increase total beds by over 300% combined. With hospitalizations declining, there is unquestionably spare capacity within our local healthcare system.

  • I want to point out that while roughly half of the combined hospital’s ICU beds are now available, the current ICU census for both hospitals combined is still more than 200% the pre-COVID-19 ICU capacity. To say that differently, the current ICU census for our two hospital is ½ the new increased capacity, but it is still 2 times the original capacity that the hospitals were built and licensed to treat.

I share this data, not to bore you with the details, but I think it is important for everyone to have the facts.

My hope is that by your knowing the true state of our healthcare system, you will be empowered to do your part in containing the spread of this virus even as we move to gradually re-open parts of our economy.

This means continuing to wash your hands frequently, wear face coverings and maintain proper social distancing.

MONDAY State Statistics on COVID-19 Cases in Lower Fairfield County

Monday, May 4 — As of 8:30 p.m., Sunday, 192 Darienites were identified with COVID-19, up from 188 on Friday, according to information released by state authorities. (Reminders: Many people are thought to have the COVID-19 virus who aren’t identified; the state says “all figures are preliminary and subject to change.”)

First Selectman Jayme Stevenson announced that as of May 3, there were “201 cases, 13 hospitalizations, 4 deaths (5 cases, 2 hospitalizations and 2 deaths are from assisted living facilities).” Stevenson has said the state’s numbers for Darien often lag behind the numbers that the Darien Health Department gets.

Mike Handler, New Canaan emergency services director, said in an email newsletter Monday night that in that town, “We have two additional positive cases which brings our total COVID-19 positive cases in New Canaan to 193. Our total loss of life remains 25.” Handler’s figure is well above the state’s official total number of positive cases is 146 (as shown in the list below).

Here’s the number of identified cases in nearby communities, according to the state government Web page for this day’s Coronavirus statistics: [Note: The state didn’t have a case numbers report on Sunday.]

Stamford — 2,783 cases (292 more than the 2,491 on Saturday)
Norwalk — 1,623 (37 more than the 1,586 on Saturday)
New Canaan — 146 (three more than the 143 on Saturday)
Greenwich — 697 (15 more than the 682 on Saturday)
Westport — 255 (eight more than the 247 on Saturday)
Wilton — 162 (two more than the 160 on Saturday)
Weston — 60 (the same as the 60 reported on Saturday)
Ridgefield — 183 (one more than the 180 reported on Saturday)
Fairfield — 423 (11 more than the 412 reported on Saturday)
Bridgeport — 2,127 (28 more than the 2,099 on Saturday)

TEN WORST HIT CONNECTICUT MUNICIPALITIES (with total cases): 1. Stamford (2,783), 2. Bridgeport (2,127), 3. New Haven (1,694), 4. Norwalk (1,623), 5. Danbury (1,433), 6. Waterbury (1,394),  7. Hartford (1,167), 8. West Haven (773), 9. Greenwich (697), 10. Hamden (669).

CT COVID-19 by municipality Monday, May 4, 2020

Image from state government website

Confirmed COVID-19 cases by city and town as of Monday, May 4, 2020

SW CT COVID-19 May 4, 2020

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in southwest Connecticut as of Monday, May 4, 2020 (a closeup of the map above)

 

MONDAY COVID-19 Briefing by Gov Lamont

Monday, May 4 — As the State of Connecticut continues taking actions in response to the global spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Gov. Ned Lamont provided the following updates as of 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 4, 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.

Overall Summary Statewide Total Change Since Yesterday
Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Cases 29,973 +661
COVID-19-Associated Deaths 2,556 +61
Patients Currently Hospitalized with COVID-19 1,464 -24
COVID-19 Test Reported 105,330 +2,837

County-by-county breakdown:

County Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Hospitalizations Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19-Associated Deaths
Fairfield County 12,245 507 910
Hartford County 6,173 362 773
Litchfield County 1,047 23 94
Middlesex County 713 41 93
New Haven County 8,110 487 595
New London County 641 33 45
Tolland County 464 6 40
Windham County 217 5 3
Pending address validation 363 0 3
Total 29,973 1,464 2,556

For several additional graphs and tables containing more data, including a list of cases in every municipality, visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

Free online job training program launches for unemployment claimants

SSI and VA recipients reminded to take action by May 5 to receive federal stimulus payments for dependents

While many people in Connecticut have already received their coronavirus stimulus payments as part of the federal assistance meant to help Americans suffering from the financial fallout of COVID-19, Governor Lamont is reminding non-filers who have dependents that they must register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by 12 noon on May 5, 2020 in order to have $500 per child added to their $1,200 coronavirus stimulus payment.

This includes residents who receive either Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits and didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019.

U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and qualifying resident aliens who have a valid Social Security number, could not be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer, and had an adjusted gross income under certain limits are eligible for the Economic Impact Payments.

While most eligible U.S. taxpayers are receiving their Economic Impact payments automatically, non-filers who have dependents need to provide information to the IRS to receive the additional funding.

For more information on the steps non-filers should take, click here for guidance from the IRS.

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 and TDD/TTY access. It intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider.

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