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Gov. Ned Lamont said the state's lack of ventilators remains a matter of growing concern, as Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said yesterday that Connecticut could be one of the nation’s next hot spots. “Southern Connecticut is (already) one of those hot spots, and has been for some time,” the governor said.
The $2.5 billion in the state’s Budget Reserve Fund (also known as the Rainy Day Fund) puts Connecticut "in pretty good shape" through at least June 30, said Gov. Ned Lamont. “Obviously, this is the rainy day,” added Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management Melissa McCaw. “We are well-positioned to weather this storm.”
Gov. Ned Lamont announced an agreement with some 65 credit unions and banks in Connecticut to offer mortgage relief to the state’s residents and businesses who continue to face hardship caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Gov. Ned Lamont said that the state has received "another small delivery" of PPE from the federal government, including 146,000 surgical masks, as well as a promised 50 ventilators, which "we haven't seen yet."
While President Donald Trump's signing late this afternoon of the $2 trillion COVID-19 aid package should address the PPE shortage, Lamont said it would probably be three-plus weeks before that money arrives to the state.
Gov. Ned Lamont has also signed an executive order further restricting retail operations and requiring firearm transactions to be conducted by appointment only.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (R-Connecticut) described the federal CARES Act as "imperfect but imperative -- it's not a panacea, and opined that there will be a fourth and fifth, and perhaps a sixth, federal economic stimulus bill as the situation develops.
Targeted at companies with up to 100 employees, as well as nonprofits and sole practitioners, the loans will come with 18-month terms at 0% interest, and capped at $75,000.
As for personal protective equipment (PPE), the governor said that while the wait continues for federal supplies to arrive, "We're not gonna sit around and wait for the cavalry to come in." Lamont said the state is "vetting lots of different options, offers" for PPE, "some of which seem a little shady, frankly."
In addition, 51 people are hospitalized and three more have died since Saturday from complications the virus, bringing the total number of deaths in the state to eight.