Governor Lamont Provides Update on Connecticut's Coronavirus Response Efforts
Latest Data as of 6:00PM on Thursday, March 19, 2020
(HARTFORD, CT) – As the State of Connecticut continues taking actions in response to the global spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Governor Ned Lamont provided the following updates as of 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 19, 2020:
Data updates on testing in Connecticut
Since yesterday’s update, an additional 63 Connecticut residents have tested positive, bringing the total number of positive cases reported in Connecticut (including presumptive positive) – from both the State Laboratory and private laboratories – to 159. This includes the first cases to be reported out of Tolland and Windham Counties. The only county in Connecticut that has not yet reported a positive case is New London County.
A county-by-county breakdown of the total positive cases statewide includes:
- Fairfield County: 102
- Hartford County: 18
- Litchfield County: 7
- Middlesex County: 3
- New Haven County: 23
- Tolland County: 4
- Windham County: 2
While the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) State Laboratory in Rocky Hill has been publicly releasing data on the number of tests conducted at its facility that have returned negative results for the virus, private laboratories have not been providing the state with similar statistics for tests conducted at each of their facilities. Acknowledging the benefits to the public of having this information, yesterday evening the Lamont administration signed an order requiring all private laboratories in the state to begin releasing this information to DPH effective immediately so that it can be publicly reported and collected with the data on negative tests results from the State Laboratory. That data is anticipated to be received soon and will be publicly shared.
To date, there have been three fatalities in Connecticut due to complications related to COVID-19. Those three cases include a man in his 80s from Ridgefield, which was announced yesterday, a man in his 80s from New Canaan, and another man in his 90s who was also from New Canaan. Both of the New Canaan men were living in private homes.
Governor Lamont signs eighth executive order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19
On Thursday afternoon, Governor Lamont signed another executive order – the eighth since he enacted the civic preparedness and public health emergency declarations – that builds upon his efforts to encourage mitigation strategies that slow down transmission of the virus.
Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7G enacts the following provisions:
- Postpones Connecticut’s presidential primary to June 2: Connecticut’s 2020 presidential primary had been scheduled for April 28. The decision to move the date was made in coordination with Secretary of the State Denise Merrill and in consultation with other states that had a primary scheduled for the same date.
- Suspends non-critical court operations and associated requirements: In close coordination and consultation with the Judicial Branch, the executive order suspends, for the duration of this public health and civil preparedness emergency, all statutory location or venue requirements; time requirements, statutes of limitation or other limitations or deadlines relating to service of process, court proceedings or court filings; and all time requirements or deadlines related to the courts’ obligations to issue notices, hold court, hear matters and/or render decisions.
- Permits certain restaurants and other eating establishments to sell alcohol with take-out food orders under certain conditions: The order permits any business with an active restaurant, café or tavern liquor permit issued by the Department of Consumer Protection to sell sealed containers of alcoholic liquor for pick up at such restaurant, café or tavern under the following conditions: (i) the sale shall accompany a pick-up order of food prepared on the premises; (ii) the type of alcoholic liquor sold for off-premise consumption shall be the same as what the permit type would have permitted for on-premise consumption prior to Executive Order 7D, and (iii) the hours of such sales that include alcoholic liquor as part of the take-out order shall be the same as those for a package store. Delivery of alcoholic liquor by licensees with these permit types is not permitted. Businesses with manufacturing permits, such as craft breweries and similar establishments, may sell alcohol for off-premise consumption according to the existing terms of their permits.
- Directs the temporary closure of barbershops, hair salons, tattoo or piercing parlors, and related businesses: Effective at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, March 20, 2020, the order directs the temporary closure to the public of all establishments rendering services by barbers, hairdressers and cosmeticians, nail technicians, electrologists, estheticians, eyelash technicians, and tattoo and piercing providers, including, but not limited to, barbershops, beauty shops, hairdressing salons, nail salons, spas, kiosks, and tattoo or piercing establishments. The commissioner of Public Health may issue any order she deems necessary to implement or modify such prohibition.
- Expands telehealth services for Connecticut residents: The order allows patients and healthcare providers, consistent with federal revisions to HIPAA, to communicate over a broad range of platforms. Those platforms can include audio-only telephone calls for patients and providers with a prior relationship. In addition, it allows patients to access out-of-state telehealth providers, allows commercial health insurers and Medicaid to cover telehealth services for all in-network providers, regardless of communication platform or the provider’s state of practice, and it allows providers to offer telehealth services from a location other than their licensed facility. Finally, the order also caps the amount providers availing themselves of this new flexibility may charge patients for telehealth services in Connecticut when providers are out-of-network or when patients are uninsured.
- Suspends in-person investigative visits regarding reports of elder abuse: The order temporarily suspends the requirement for a state official conducting an investigation of elder abuse to perform an in-person visit to the elderly person and extends the time required to report the results of the investigation.
**Download: Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7G
Connecticut now has 15 drive-through testing locations
In addition to the DPH State Laboratory, there are now 15 alternative locations throughout Connecticut that are offering drive-through testing. They include:
- Bridgeport Hospital
- Bristol Hospital
- Charlotte Hungerford Hospital (Torrington)
- Danbury Hospital
- Greenwich Hospital
- Hartford Hospital
- Johnson Memorial Hospital (Stafford Springs)
- Lawrence Memorial Hospital (New London)
- Manchester Memorial Hospital
- Mid-State Medical Center (Meriden)
- Stamford Hospital
- Saint Francis Hospital (Hartford)
- Saint Mary’s Hospital (Waterbury)
- Waterbury Hospital
- Yale-New Haven Hospital
As a reminder, no individual should arrive at any of these locations and request to be tested. Anyone experiencing symptoms should consult with their medical provider, who will then refer them for testing.
Jackson Labs partners with the state to provide testing to Connecticut residents
The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine (JAX-GM) today announced that the research institution will partner with the Connecticut Department of Public Health, UConn Health, and Hartford HealthCare to provide the State of Connecticut with significant additional COVID-19 testing capability.
JAX-GM estimates that with its current staffing and equipment, it will be able to test 100 to 150 samples per day. However, as this is an evolving situation, JAX-GM is already working to increase its staff and equipment to meet the growing needs of the state.
This additional testing capacity will both allow DPH to diagnose patients who have the virus, and will allow researchers to learn more about the virus for broader epidemiological purposes. Ultimately, this will enable the State of Connecticut to test more people, faster.
For more information on this announcement, click here.
Department of Transportation makes changes to bus operations to ensure the safety of passengers and drivers
The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) is making several adjustments to its CTtransit and CTfastrak bus operations in order to ensure the safety of passengers and drivers. Effective immediately, passengers will board from the rear door with the exception of passengers in wheelchairs and others who require the bus to kneel. Additionally, approximately 100 CTtransit buses have been equipped with transparent, impermeable barriers providing a partition between drivers and passengers. Buses are operating on normal weekday and weekend schedules. CTtransit service updates can be found at www.cttransit.com. For more information on the bus adjustments, click here.
In other CTDOT news, the CTrail Hartford Line and Shore Line East train schedules have been reduced, and the Metro-North New Haven Line continues to maintain operations. Commuters should check www.hartfordline.com, www.shorelineeast.com, and www.mta.info/mnr for service updates.
Service plazas on I-95, I-395, and the Merritt and Wilbur Cross Parkways, as well as rest areas on I-91 and I-84 remain open for highway travelers. Take-out food is being served but visitors are being directed to purchase their items and remove them from the facilities to minimize any congregation of people. Rest area and service plaza facilities are continually being cleaned and sanitized. Highway maintenance projects are continuing as planned.
“I especially want to express my gratitude to all of the transit workers in Connecticut who are maintaining critical operations in order to ensure that the people of our state can safely get to where they need to be during this difficult time, including healthcare professionals and first responders who need to get to their jobs,” Governor Lamont said. “I want each of them to know that we are grateful for every effort they are making to ensure our transportation system can continue operating and people can get to where they need to go, particularly in the event of an emergency.”
Banking Commissioner Perez reassures Connecticut residents on the safety of their deposits in financial institutions
Amid continuing volatility in the financial markets and an economy quickly slowing due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Banking Commissioner Jorge Perez is reassuring Connecticut residents that their money is safe in banks and credit unions.
“While it is natural to worry about the safety of your money in uncertain times, the money Connecticut residents have in financial institutions will continue to be insured up to $250,000,” Commissioner Perez said. “More so then ever before, customers and members can have the peace of mind knowing their deposits are secured though the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for banks and the National Credit Union Association for credit unions.”
For more information on this, click here.
Providing information to Connecticut residents
For the most up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on COVID-19, including guidance and other resources, all residents in the state 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 information line is available 24 hours a day and has multilingual assistance and TDD/TTY access for those with a hearing impairment. The hotline only 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 to seek treatment.