|As of today, Wednesday, May 20, 39,017 Connecticut residents have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, including another 587 just since yesterday. Sadly, the virus has claimed the lives of 3,529 state residents, including 57 more deaths yesterday. 887 state residents continue to be hospitalized by the virus, though that’s 27 fewer than yesterday. We have now surpassed 190,000 COVID-19 tests in the state, with 5,198 state residents being tested yesterday for COVID-19.
For a town-by-town breakdown and other COVID-19 statistics, please visit: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus
Happy National EMS week
This week we are recognizing all emergency medical services and celebrating all EMS practitioners for the important work they continue to do in our community. Whether there is an accident or illness, these trained professionals work around the clock to make sure care is quickly provided. EMS workers in Connecticut have stepped up and provided care under extremely tough circumstances following new health procedures and guidelines as the coronavirus outbreak hit our state. To all EMS workers in Connecticut, thank you!
Anyone With Health Insurance Is Eligible For No-Cost COVID-19 Testing, Treatment
Connecticut Insurance Department Commissioner Andrew N. Mais said this week that he wants to remind insured individuals that all out-of-pocket costs for testing and treatment of COVID-19 in Connecticut have been removed. Those most affected by COVID-19 can seek medical care and testing without fear of high costs. Additionally, public health insurance is available to qualified residents; anyone who is a US citizen or has qualifying immigration status, regardless of income, can receive free COVID-19 testing, covered by HUSKY Health. Residents without qualifying immigration status can also receive free COVID-19 testing if they meet income requirements and have COVID-19 symptoms.
New restrictions at State Parks and beaches ahead of Memorial Day Weekend
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) says state parks will remain open with restrictions and inland beaches will be closed. Swimming is permitted only at shoreline state parks, but all inland beaches and swimming areas in state parks will remain closed. DEEP says this will help maintain social distancing guidelines at shoreline beaches.
State park beaches will be operating under limited capacity. Visitors at shoreline parks must maintain 15 feet of space from other beach-goers (blanket-to-blanket). This distance will allow for a 6-foot radius around each person or family and a 3-foot walkway in between groups. There will be no lifeguards on duty at shoreline beaches at this time. Bathroom buildings will not be open at state parks but most locations will have portable toilets available.
State campgrounds will remain closed until at least June 11. For information on the new guidelines, click here.
State Expands Online Guide For Small Business Reopenings
The state has released an expanded online guide to helping small businesses navigate the process of reopening and comply with COVID-19 safety guidance. The Small Business Reopening Resource Guide can be accessed at ct.gov/coronavirus at the “business” link, or accessed directly at this link. The website includes information including financial resources and advisory partners at both the state and federal levels to help small businesses better manage reopening; training and support so employers can provide a safe operating environment for their employees and customers, including industry-specific training factors and which employees should be trained for what purposes; suggestions on adjusting physical layout to better maintain current operations while applying new health and safety standards; and a geographic list of suppliers of personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies and other important resources. The guide will continue to be updated and expanded in the near future.
Businesses Should Verify Insurance Coverage
The state’s insurance and economic and community development commissioners wish to remind business owners to ensure their insurance coverage reflects any changed circumstances as they work with state reopening plans. Anyone with questions or concerns should contact insurance agents, brokers or carriers to make sure their coverage remains consistent amid any potential structural changes.
Large Gatherings extended to June 20
Under Governor Lamont’s new executive order of prohibiting large gatherings, it has now been extended to June 20, 2020. As restaurants begin to prepare for Phase One of reopening Connecticut today, no more than five people should be seated together at any establishments as the state continues to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Restrictions on Indoor Fitness & Movie Theaters Extended
Restrictions have been extended on fitness centers and movie theaters during the coronavirus pandemic. In a new executive order, operations of any indoor gym, fitness center, or similar facility or studio offering in-person fitness, sporting or recreational opportunities, or the use of movie theaters are prohibited and extended through June 20.
DMV Begins Limited Services at Two Branches by Appointment
The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles has resumed limited service by appointment-only at two locations in the state. The branches in Wethersfield and Cheshire will soon be taking online appointments for driver’s license testing and permitting. The DMV is adhering to health and safety guidelines to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. A nurse will be on-hand to take your temperature. Additional branches will be added to the list of open ones taking appointments in the coming weeks.
New Executive Order Affects Summer School and Summer Camps
Governor Lamont has issued an executive order that will affect summer school, day camps and residential camps. His order prohibits day camps that weren’t already operating as of May 5 from beginning operations until June 22. He is also prohibiting summer school programs from starting before July 6 unless earlier extended, modified or terminated by the governor.
The executive order enhances health procedures for day camps, requiring them to comply with limitations on child group sizes. Gov. Lamont is also permitting the commissioner of the Department of Education to temporarily waive, modify or suspend any regulatory requirements, as he deems necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19. All operations of resident camps are prohibited.
CBA and Local Law Firms Launch Virtual Small Business Legal Clinic
The Connecticut Bar Association is sponsoring a statewide COVID-19 small business virtual legal clinic along with other area law firms. The purpose of the clinic is to help Connecticut’s entrepreneurs and small businesses with 25 or fewer employees that have suffered from the coronavirus pandemic.
The clinic will provide free, limited-scope legal guidance during a 45-minute telephone or video call with a volunteer attorney where businesses are able to ask questions related to COVID-19 assistance available under federal or state programs as well as broader legal questions. Consultations will include helping Connecticut small business owners understand legislative language in the CARES Act and Paycheck Protection program.
The COVID-19 clinic is expected to run through August 2020. Attorneys and Connecticut-based entrepreneurs or small businesses interested in participating in the clinic can click here.