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Rep. Fishbein's Connecticut Coronavirus Update - 3/27/2020

Governor Lamont this evening announced another Executive Order – Executive Order 7O.

Executive Order 7O suspends certain Department of Public Health requirements regarding license renewals, modifies badge requirements for healthcare facilities to allow workers from other companies to assist during the crisis, allows non-traditional manufacturers to make and sell hand sanitizers, and provides waivers for the cost of registration for certain birth-to-three programs and fees.

Executive Order 7O:

1. Suspension of Requirements for License Renewal and Inspections by the Department of Public Health. Pursuant to Section 19a-13 lj(e) of the Connecticut General Statutes and my emergency powers under Sections 19a-131j and 28-9, any statute, regulation or requirement or part thereof relating to license renewals and inspections by the Department of Public Health is hereby modified to authorize the Commissioner of Public Health to waive licensing, renewal, and inspection requirements pursuant to Sections 19a-131j(b), (c) and (d), and as she otherwise deems necessary to ensure the provision of adequate healthcare during, and mitigate the effects of, this public health and civil preparedness emergency, and to issue any implementing orders she deems necessary.

2. Modification of Health Care Provider Identification Badge Requirements. Section l 9a-905 of the Connecticut General Statutes is hereby modified to allow healthcare providers to provide direct patient care at a healthcare facility or institution, with the permission of such facility or institution, with an identification badge displaying the name of a different healthcare facility or institution, provided all other information on such identification badge conforms to the requirements of such section. This section is further modified to authorize the Commissioner of Public Health to establish policies and procedures regarding the badging of COVID-19 response personnel should she or her designee deem it necessary to rapidly move staff due to the need for mass care in a circumstance of limited resources, and to issue any related orders she deems necessary.

3. Allowing Non-traditional Manufacturers to Make Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizers and Medical Devices. Section 21a-70 (b) of the Connecticut General Statutes as it pertains to the compounding of alcohol-based hand sanitizer production and the production of medical devices, including personal protective equipment used to assist in the treatment of COVID-19 is modified to permit such activities without registering as a manufacturer. The manufacturing of alcohol-based hand sanitizer shall follow Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance issued by the FDA and which is available on its website. All manufacturers of medical devices, including personal protective equipment, shall follow the requirements issued by the FDA and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which guidance is available on those agencies’ websites, comply with the requirements of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and comply with any registration requirements imposed by those agencies, including any modifications to such requirements issued by such agencies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Commissioner of Consumer Protection may issue any implementing orders or guidance that she deems necessary to effectuate the intent of this order.

4. Waiver of Birth-to-Three Family Cost Participation Fees. Section 17a-248g (e) o f the Connecticut General Statutes, and Section l 7a-248- 13 (g) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies are modified to authorize the Commissioner of Early Childhood to waive the fees required to be paid by the parents or legal guardians of children eligible for remote early intervention services, waive any resulting suspension of services due to non-payment of such fees, and issue any implementing orders she deems necessary.

Executive Order 7O can be read here: https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Office-of-the-Governor/Executive-Orders/Lamont-Executive-Orders/Executive-Order-No-7O.pdf

The governor’s full press release can be read here: https://portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/News/Press-Releases/2020/03-2020/Governor-Lamont-Coronavirus-Update-March-27

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Connecticut National Guard deploys tents expanding capacity at VA hospital in Newington, similar to the one yesterday in West Haven

The Connecticut National Guard today deployed two climate-controlled tents on the grounds of the Newington V.A. Medical Center for use in dealing with potential future patient overflow. The tents are similar to the ones the Guard erected yesterday on the grounds of the V.A. hospital in West Haven.

For photos of the tents being deployed, check out the Twitter posts from the Connecticut National Guard and Governor Lamont.

These tents are in addition to the deployment of Connecticut Department of Public Health mobile field hospitals that were set up this week on the grounds of Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford and Danbury Hospital. A third mobile field hospital is being prepared for deployment in the next several days at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown.

Office of Early Childhood announces funding for childcare services will continue throughout the crisis

The Office of Early Childhood today announced that support for child care services funded by the agency will continue throughout the COVID-19 crisis, providing a critical step to keep childcare programs financially stable through this difficult time. Funding streams include School Readiness, Child Day Care, Smart Start, and Care 4 Kids, serving children ranging in age from birth through age 12.

In addition, the agency is releasing up to $4.5 million in Public Health Emergency Response Grant Funds to incentivize and support public and private programs that re-open or remain open to provide childcare for children of health workers and first responders. These funds are available only during the period in which Governor Lamont’s “Stay Safe, Stay Home” executive order remains in effect.

Connecticut’s childcare industry is fiscally fragile. Many providers have indicated to the agency that a closure longer than two weeks would force them to permanently close their doors. The COVID-19 emergency has left providers and families uncertain about the future. This funding will keep programs intact and able to serve the state’s essential workers during this unprecedented public health emergency. The commitment further ensures that as families return to work, there will be childcare available to support the state’s workforce. It is also noteworthy that many of these programs provide two meals per day under the Child and Adult Food Program, and this too is a critical function to maintain.

The commitment of funds was carefully reviewed and approved by the Office of the Governor and the Office of Policy and Management. It will not require any additional state dollars as these allocations are already budgeted and fit within the agency’s spending plan.

The School Readiness program serves children ages 3 and 4 in 67 communities. The Child Day Care program serves infants and toddlers, 3 and 4 year olds, and school-age children up to age 13 in 47 communities. Smart Start serves children ages 3 and 4 year in 24 public school districts. Care 4 Kids is a federally-state funded child care subsidy for primarily working families serving children infancy through age 13 statewide.

For more information about the impact of COVID-19 on child care in Connecticut, read the FAQ provided by the Office of Early Childhood. The agency is also distributing a flyer to essential workers containing information on how they can obtain needed child care throughout this emergency period.

DMV allows driving schools to temporarily provide online training

Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Commissioner Sibongile Magubane – acting under the authority of a recent executive order signed by Governor Lamont – today approved a request from licensed driving schools in the state to provide online classroom training to their students during the COVID-19 crisis.

“In the face of this unprecedented health crisis and at a time when social distancing is so important, we want to help businesses regulated by DMV to continue to operate, as well as assist driving school students with continuing their education on the path to getting a driver’s license,” Commissioner Magubane said.

Driving schools were notified on Thursday of the approval. It is effective immediately and will continue until further notice.

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As of 4:00 p.m. tonight – Friday, March 27th – the state has diagnosed a total of cases of Coronavirus. Updated virus totals can be accessed here: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus

Governor Lamont also said the state death toll related to Coronavirus has risen to 27. 

Latest COVID-19 Testing Data in Connecticut

Updated 4:00 p.m. on Friday, March 27, 2020

Total patients who tested positive: 1291

Fairfield County: 752

Hartford County: 189

Litchfield County: 52

Middlesex County: 25

New Haven County: 222

New London County: 15

Tolland County: 33

Windham County: 3


Fishbein for Connecticut - Jo-Anne L. Rusczek, Treasurer - Approved by Craig Fishbein
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