Following on from Gov. Ned Lamont’s update earlier this evening, the governor issued an official denial of rumors that Connecticut’s borders are being closed.
“The Connecticut Joint Information Center, United Way 2-1-1 of Connecticut, and state and local police departments continue receiving phone calls and have seen social media posts with false claims about Connecticut’s borders being ordered to shut down, roads being closed, and a curfew being put into place,” according to the statement. “Gov. Lamont wants to assure Connecticut residents that these rumors are not true.”
As previously reported, an additional 257 Connecticut residents have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 875 over the past 24 hours, and another seven have tied, bringing the state total to 19.
A county-by-county breakdown includes:
|County||Laboratory Confirmed Cases||Hospitalized Cases||Deaths|
|New Haven County||127||28||2|
|New London County||9||2||0|
To date, more than 5,898 tests have been conducted in Connecticut among both state and private laboratories. Approximately 113 people have been hospitalized.
Lamont’s latest executive order, No. 7M, enacts the following provisions:
- Authorizing state agencies to extend statutory regulatory administrative deadlines by 90 days: The order allows flexibility in meeting statutory deadlines for filings, decisions, and notice in the many permitting and other applications and administrative hearings under the purview of state agencies, and requires agencies to post any changes on their websites.
- Suspension of mandatory statutory filing requirements for Freedom of Information Act appeals and decisions by the Freedom of Information Commission: As many state offices transition to a telework environment, including the staff at the Freedom of Information Commission, this order suspends the time requirements for filing an appeal with the commission, and the requirement that the commission must hear and decide an appeal within one year after the filing of such appeal.
- Tolling of time periods for Department of Transportation final determinations on permits: As the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) shifts a significant portion of its workforce to a teleworking situation, this order suspends the 90-day requirement for approving encroachment permits required for work in the “right of way” along Connecticut state roads and highways. This will avoid automatic approval of encroachment permits due to delays in receiving mail or responding to requests as staff transitions to a telework environment, and allow them to review all permit requests to ensure the activity will not pose a safety risk to the traveling public.
Office of Health Strategy further streamlines approval and licensure process for the state’s hospitals
On the heels of Lamont’s call for hospitals statewide to expand their bed capacity, and in anticipation of an increasing number of COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization, the Connecticut Office of Healthcare Strategy (OHS) today issued an order further streamlining the approval and licensure process for the state’s hospitals. Effective immediately, hospitals in Connecticut are required to simply complete a notification form, rather than apply for a Certificate of Need waiver.
The intent is to accelerate implementation of emergency planning to address the COVID-19 crisis, provide necessary facilities to meet urgent demand, and still provide OHS a mechanism to track changes.
To read the OHS order issued today, click here.
Since launching its special COVID-19 hotline on March 7, United Way 2-1-1 of Connecticut has taken 8,035 live-answer phone calls providing residents with general information regarding the virus, including 674 callers yesterday alone. To date, the hotline’s pre-recorded messages have been accessed 14,177 times.