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 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 15, 2020:
Data updates on testing in Connecticut
Since yesterday’s update an additional six Connecticut residents have tested positive, including one more in Fairfield County, two more in Hartford County, one more in Litchfield County, and two more in New Haven County. This brings the total number of positive cases reported in Connecticut (including presumptive positive) – from both the State Laboratory and private laboratories – to 26.
A county-by-county breakdown of the positive cases includes:
- Fairfield County: 16
- Hartford County: 3
- Litchfield County: 4
- New Haven County: 3
Governor Lamont issues executive order canceling classes at all public schools and taking other emergency actions
On Sunday afternoon, Governor Lamont signed another executive order – his fourth since enacting the civic preparedness and public health emergency declarations – that builds upon his efforts to encourage mitigation strategies throughout the state.
Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7C enacts the following provisions:
- Classes canceled at all public schools starting Tuesday: The order directs classes at public schools throughout the entire state to be canceled effective Tuesday, March 17 and lasting through at least March 31. As was announced on Friday, students who receive meals under the school lunch and breakfast program can continue receiving meals during this period and have the ability to consume them at home.
- Provides flexibility for municipal budget deadline and related issues: As many municipalities are nearing the their budget deadlines, the governor’s order provides extensions and flexibility for the hearings and other associated issues. The governor’s staff is working with municipalities and the legal community to resolve issues regarding statutory deadlines and notice requirements for land use boards, public attendance and voting at town budget meetings, and alternate methods of submitting public comments.
- Authorizes DMV commissioner to close branches to the public: The order authorizes the commissioner of Motor Vehicles to close branches to the public, conduct business remotely, and extend deadlines for hearings and related notices. It is expected that DMV will keep four branches partially-open as operations hubs to conduct business. The commissioner will determine when to implement the authority provided in the order.
- Restricts entrance into psychiatric facilities: Building on the governor’s previous order restricting visitor access to nursing homes and other similar facilities, this order allows the relevant state agencies to restrict entrance into psychiatric facilities in order to protect vulnerable residents, patients, and staff.
Governor Lamont seeks disaster relief to provide assistance for small business owners
Governor Lamont today submitted a request to the U.S. Small Business Administration, asking the federal agency to issue a declaration that will enable Connecticut’s small business owners to receive economic injury disaster loans. If approved, the emergency assistance will enable the owners to seek some financial relief as the global pandemic is causing significant distress to many businesses in the state.
DRS extends filing deadline for certain annual state business tax returns
Consistent with the emergency declarations signed by Governor Lamont, the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) is granting an automatic extension of Connecticut filing deadlines for certain annual state tax returns as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Effective immediately, the filing deadlines for certain annual tax returns due on or after March 15, 2020, and before June 1, 2020, are extended by 30 days. In addition, the payments associated with these returns are also extended to the corresponding due date in June.
The impacted returns and the associated filing dates and payment deadlines are set forth below:
- 2019 Form CT-1065/CT-1120 SI Connecticut Pass-Though Entity Tax Return – filing date extended to April 15, 2020; payment deadline extended to June 15, 2020
- 2019 Form CT-990T Connecticut Unrelated Business Income Tax Return – filing date extended to June 15, 2020; payment deadline extended to June 15, 2020
- 2019 Form CT-1120 and CT-1120CU Connecticut Corporation Business Return – filing date extended to June 15, 2020; payment deadline extended to June 15, 2020
Additional updates will be posted to the DRS website.
Permitting pharmacies to compound and sell their own hand sanitizer
In reaction to a national shortage of hand sanitizer on the market, Governor Lamont yesterday issued an executive order that – among other things – modifies certain laws in order to permit pharmacies to compound and sell their own hand sanitizer to the public. Today, the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, responding to the governor’s action, issued an implementation order that outlines the rules pharmacies need to follow during the production process in order to ensure its effectiveness and safety for the consumer.
Anyone who loses employment qualifies for health insurance through AccessHealthCT
Office of Health Strategy Executive Director Vicki Veltri is reminding all Connecticut residents that any worker in the state who receives health insurance through their employer, becomes unemployed, and loses minimum essential coverage or receives COBRA – whether it is due to the COVID-19 outbreak or otherwise – qualifies all year-long for open enrollment through AccessHealthCT, the state’s health insurance marketplace. Those interested in applying can find more information at learn.accesshealthct.com/special.
Providing information to 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.