Month: May 2020

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on Connecticut’s Coronavirus Response Efforts

Wednesday, May 1, 2020 Update

(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 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 1, 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 SummaryStatewide TotalChange Since Yesterday
Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Cases28,764+1,064
COVID-19-Associated Deaths2,339+82
Patients Currently Hospitalized with COVID-191,592-58
COVID-19 tests reported100,257+3,124

County-by-county breakdown:

CountyLaboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 CasesLaboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 HospitalizationsLaboratory-Confirmed COVID-19-Associated Deaths
Fairfield County11,612537839
Hartford County5,931413715
Litchfield County1,0142286
Middlesex County6874082
New Haven County7,900533533
New London County6033842
Tolland County446638
Windham County20032
Pending address validation37102
Total28,7641,5922,339

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

Governor Lamont signs 35th executive order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

Governor Lamont today signed another executive order – the 35th 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. 7HH enacts the following provisions:

  1. Mandatory suspension of annual town meeting or referendum to adopt budget: This clarifies that going forward, the relevant elected body or bodies in each municipality must adopt a budget for 2020-2021 without an in-person vote by residents. It also validates any budget referendum or annual town meeting that has already been conducted. This order clarifies Executive Order No. 7I, Section 13, to provide uniformity and consistency, and prioritize safety while the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in large gatherings remains high.
  2. Authorization for common-interest communities to hold meetings remotely: This allows common interest communities, such as condominium associations and homeowners associations, to conduct business remotely and hold votes entirely by ballot if their by-laws or governing documents do not already permit it.
**Download: Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7HH

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 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.

Additional SNAP benefits coming May 8 for nearly 100,000 households in Connecticut

The Department of Social Services will be providing $15.4 million in Emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) benefits to nearly half of Connecticut’s SNAP participants on Friday, May 8, 2020 – adding to the $32.7 million in emergency benefits disbursed in April.

Authorized by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020, the extra food benefits are going to nearly 100,000 households not currently receiving the maximum benefits allowed for their household size. This means that all households enrolled in SNAP will receive the maximum food benefit allowable for their household size, even if they are not usually eligible for the maximum benefit.

Specifically:

  • The Department of Social Services expects that nearly 100,000 of 212,000 SNAP-participating households statewide will receive the emergency benefits in May.
  • With this additional $15.4 million allocation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, emergency benefits are totaling over $48 million in additional SNAP assistance statewide during April and May, with commensurate spending in the food economy.
  • The average emergency benefit amount a household will see on its electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card on May 8 in $150.
  • All participating households will also receive their normal SNAP benefits on the first three days of each month they normally do, according to last name.

Emergency benefits will allow the household’s SNAP benefit to increase to the maximum allotment for a household of that size as follows:

Household sizeMaximum Benefit Amount
1$194
2$355
3$509
4$646
5$768
6$921
7$1,018
8$1,164

(Each additional person: add $146)

For example, if a household of two would normally receive $255 of SNAP benefits in May, $100 would bring this household up to the maximum benefit for its size. This household would receive a $100 emergency benefit on May 8.

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. Twitter: @GovNedLamont Facebook: Office of Governor Ned Lamont

The Mystery of the Great Blue Social Distancing Sharks

Out of the depths of the pandemic, humans are hunkering down in their homes…allowing the animal kingdom to once again rule of the earth. Straight from the sea two great blue sharks have emerged to take over Bethel.

Are they real? Or have they only appeared in delirious dreams?

They were seen roaming the streets with their Baby Shark. Was this the famous baby shark of which songs and tales are told?

Are there only the three? Or were more families of sharks seen simultaneously around town?

Strategically they turned up at one of Bethel’s famous landmarks: Caraluzzi’s. Were they provisioning for Sheltering in Place? Were they seen in the fish food or seafood aisle?

Frightened citizens surreptitiously took photos because no one would believe that Bethelites were seeing sea creatures roaming the streets.

Or maybe they were just looking for the best pizza in town?

hello Bethel was able send a communication to the great blue sharks and found out they are from the Social Distancing variety of Shark.

It turns out that the sharks are Bethel natives. Their mission is peaceful: to make their neighbors laugh.

They carry a sound system so yes, it is the Baby Shark song that you hear when they walk by.

They are not uncomfortable to be out of the water, but they are getting a little hot when the weather is worn.

The sharks are law abiding and always keep a safe social distance from onlookers. They plan on donning masks as soon as they can find some that will fit around their gills.

Now that their presence is known, brave Bethelites wave and cheer and beep their car horns when they are seen. The sharks are pleased by this reception and plan to stay. They say they will honor all of the shark attack requests that they can.

A facebook group has been formed for sightings. If you would like them to come by your street or to go by your house for a birthday, please comment there. They do not charge for special  appearances. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BethelSharkSighting/

You never know where they will surface next!

Support Local

When Genée West moved to Bethel in 1994, she enjoyed walking in town because it was so vibrant. After 9/11 and the real estate burst, she was dismayed that everything just died at once and vacant storefronts populated Greenwood Avenue.

Now it’s vibrant again and there are many exciting events, like Food Truck Friday, that make Bethel a fun destination for locals and visitors alike.

When the pandemic hit and stores and restaurants were closed, Genée knew she had to do something to help the small businesses she loves.

Still busy working remotely at her job as a project manager for Agilent, she couldn’t take on a community project that would take a lot of time.

She settled on creating a new Facebook group  Support Local – Bethel, CT that highlights local businesses so they stay in the minds of Bethelites and residents of surrounding towns. She encourages restaurants and take out customers to post photos of their meals. The mouth watering images entice viewers to order food in support of their favorite restaurants.

For those sheltering in place getting something fun and different to eat is a welcome change.

Recently, other small Bethel businesses have joined in, like Patricia’s Presents, the Toy Room, Byrd’s Books and many more. Neighboring towns have some restaurants that have also posted… like the Redding Roadhouse.

The array of local eateries is impressive… and delicious!

Genée is very proud of the impact the group has made in town. She receives no financial gain. There is no cost to join and post in the group.

Ultimately, Genée would like the group to continue even after the pandemic ends, feeling that we are all in this together. Local business will thrive if we all show our support.

All are encouraged to share pictures, shout outs, positive topics about town.