A series of meetings and announcements were completed to keep the public up to date on how the state is responding to the fast changing COVID-19 pandemic.
Because of our proximity to New York State and, more specifically, Westchester County, there is a higher alert among local officials to rein in any large gatherings and possibly suspend school activities and/or classes. I contacted the State Department of Education requesting a statewide policy for closures so school personnel and parents can prepare to have their students at home, of which I can report Governor Lamont has implemented in his just announced Executive Order 7 – **Download: Executive Order No. 7.
I’m providing you with Governor Lamont’s latest update.
Also, here are some helpful tips from CT’s Department of Public Health:
- Everyone can help stop the spread of viruses in Connecticut.
- Someone is considered a contact if they have had direct, face-to-face contact with a person with COVID-19.
- People who think they have COVID-19 should call their healthcare provider. These people should not go directly to a healthcare facility without first calling a healthcare provider (unless they are experiencing a medical emergency).
- Wash your hands often throughout the day. Use warm water and soap. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand gel.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow. Viruses can spread by coughing or sneezing on other people or into your hands.
- Stay home from work or school if you are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious foods.
- Keep surfaces (especially bedside tables, surfaces in the bathroom, and toys for children) clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant.
- General questions about COVID-19? Visit ct.gov/coronavirus or call 2-1-1.
The information line is available 24 hours a day and has multilingual assistance and TDD/TTY access for those with a hearing impairment.
To keep yourself up-to-date on the impact of COVID-19 worldwide (and state by state) check out https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html
Here is a screenshot of the United states at 2:00pm, March 12, 2020:
Governor Lamont Provides Update on Connecticut’s Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Efforts
Latest Data as of 3:00PM on Wednesday, March 12, 2020
- The Connecticut DPH State Laboratory has confirmed three additional individuals have tested positive. In total, 95 individuals have been tested at the State Laboratory: 6 positive and 89 negative.
- Governor Lamont is signing an executive order that takes several actions:
–Prohibits all events in the state with over 250 people;
–Modifies the state law requiring schools to be in for 180 days;
–Clarifies visitor restrictions at all nursing and convalescent homes;
–Authorizes DMV to extend renewal deadlines to reduce crowds at DMV branches;
–Relaxes attendance rules for police academy trainees.
- The DMV is ordering a 90-day extension on all license renewals.
(HARTFORD, CT) – As the State of Connecticut continues to respond to the global spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Governor Ned Lamont provided the following updates to the residents of Connecticut as of 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 12, 2020:
Data updates from the Connecticut Department of Public Health State Laboratory
The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) State Laboratory has identified three additional presumptive positive cases of COVID-19. To date, the State Laboratory has tested a total of 95 individuals. Six of the individuals have tested positive and 89 have tested negative.
Of the three new cases, one is a resident of Stamford who is a female in her 60s and recently returned from a trip to Italy. She is currently hospitalized at Stamford Hospital. Another case involves a young woman in her 20s who lives in New York but was seen as an outpatient at Greenwich Hospital. She is recovering at home. The third positive case involves a child who lives in Stratford and is currently at home recovering. That child had been exposed to another known positive case.
Any individual who believes they might be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing should first contact a healthcare provider for screening, unless in need of emergency care. The healthcare provider will advise the patient on whether a test is recommended.
Governor Lamont issues order prohibiting events over 250 people, providing schools with a waiver for the 180-day rule, modifies restrictions in nursing homes, authorizes DMV commissioner to extend license deadlines; relaxes police academy trainee rules
This afternoon, Governor Lamont signed an executive order – the first since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak – that takes the following actions:
1. To promote social distancing in order to minimize COVID-19 exposure, the governor is ordering a prohibition on all gatherings across the state with more than 250 people. This order applies to gatherings for social and recreational activities. They include but are not limited to: community, civic, leisure, sports, parades, concerts, festivals, movie screenings, conventions, fundraisers, and similar activities.
2. As many school districts have made the decision to close schools due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Governor Lamont is ordering the state law requiring schools to be in session for at least 180 days to be modified. The governor’s emergency order will require that schools be in session for 180 days or by June 30, 2020 at the latest. This means that if a school has not been in session for a total of 180 days by June 30, the school district has the authority to make that date the last day of the school year.
3. The order modifies visitor restrictions in all nursing and convalescent homes in the state by clarifying what visitors must be allowed and providing the Commissioner of Public Health the authority to issue more detailed rules regarding visitation to protect the health of residents.
4. Authorizes the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to extend licensing renewal deadlines to reduce large crowds at DMV branches throughout the state, and relaxes restrictions on certain trucks carrying relief supplies.
5. Relaxes attendance rules for police academy trainees to account for the impacts of COVID-19.
**Download: Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7
DMV extends all license renewals by ninety days
In an effort to safeguard the general public from the COVID-19 outbreak, the DMV, acting on the recent emergency declarations signed by Governor Ned Lamont, will
- Offer a 90-day extension period to Connecticut residents with eligible expiring credentials. These credentials include drivers’ licenses, learner’s permits and identity cards that expire between March 10, 2020 and June 8, 2020.
- Postpone all scheduled road test beginning March 16 until further notice.
- Residents who must renew their registrations should use online, phone or mail-in renewal methods, as registrations are not covered by this order.
- Any customers with questions should go to ct.gov/dmv or call the DMV contact center at 800-842-8222.
DOT continues taking precautions on all public transit
The Connecticut Department of Transportation is continuing to take appropriate precautions in response to COVID-19. These actions, which began last week, are being conducted for all CTrail Hartford Line, CTrail Shore Line East, and New Haven Line (Metro-North) commuter rail services, as well as all CTtransit and local transit district bus services throughout the state. These measures include:
- Nightly sanitizing of all trains and buses including a interior wipe down of high-contact surfaces using enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols recommended by the CDC.
- Station operators have increased cleaning of stations using CDC-recommended cleaning products and methods.
At our busiest train stations, Stamford, Bridgeport and New Haven, touch points such as door handles, escalator handrails and elevator buttons are being wiped down multiple times each day.
Providing information for 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.
Warning to avoid email, text, social media, and phone scams related to COVID-19
Governor Lamont is reiterating a warning from the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency advising individuals to remain vigilant for email, text, social media, and phone scams related to COVID-19. Cyber actors may send emails or texts with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes. People are urged to exercise caution in handling any email related to COVID-19, including attachments or hyperlinks, and be wary of social media pleas, texts, or calls on the subject.
Individuals should remain vigilant and take the following precautions:
- Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments. See Using Caution with Email Attachments and Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Scams for more information.
- Use trusted sources—such as legitimate, government websites—for up-to-date, fact-based information about COVID-19.
- Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.
- Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations. Review the Federal Trade Commission’s page on Charity Scams for more information.
- Review CISA Insights on Risk Management for COVID-19 for more information.