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COVID-19 Resources and Q&A

Breaking News, Laws, and Executive Orders 

Connecticut Executive Orders issued by Governor Lamont 
  • MARCH 28, 2020: Executive Order No. 7P: Protection of Public Health and Safety During Covid-19 Pandemic and Response – Safe Housing for People Experiencing Homelessness, First Responders, and Healthcare Workers
  • MARCH 27, 2020: Executive Order No. 7O: Protection of Public Health and Safety During Covid-19 Pandemic and Response – Flexibility in DPH Licensing Renewal Requirements and Provider Assignment, Expanded Hand Sanitizer Production, Waiver of Birth-to-Three Fees
  • MARCH 26, 2020: Executive Order No. 7N: Protection of Public Health and Safety During Covid-19 Pandemic and Response- Increased Distancing, Expanded Family Assistance, and Academic Assessment Suspension
  • MARCH 25, 2020: Executive Order No. 7M: Protection of Public Health and Safety During Covid-19 Pandemic and Response – Extension of Agency Administrative Deadlines
  • MARCH 24, 2020: Executive Order No. 7L: Protection of Public Health and Safety During Covid-19 Pandemic and Response – Extension of School Cancellation, Municipal Retiree Reemployment, Open Fishing Season and Additional Public Health Measures
  • MARCH 23, 2020: Executive Order No. 7KProtection of Public Health and Safety During Covid-19 Pandemic and Response—Remote Notarization, Suspension of Non-Critical Probate and Workers’ Compensation Operations, and Various Public Health Measures 
  • MARCH 22, 2020: Executive Order No. 7JProtection of Public Health and Safety During Covid-19 Pandemic and Response—Clarifying EO No. 7H regarding Operations at Non-Essential Businesses and Providing for Rapid State Government Emergency Response 
  • MARCH 21, 2020: Executive Order No. 7I: Protection of Public Health and Safety During Covid-19 Pandemic and Response—Municipal Operations and Availability of Assistance and Healthcare 
  • MARCH 20, 2020: Executive Order No. 7H: Protection of Public Health and Safety During Covid-19 Pandemic and Response—Restrictions on Workplaces for Non-Essential Businesses, Coordinated Response Effort 
  • MARCH 19, 2020: Executive Order No. 7G: Protection of Public Health and Safety During Covid-19 Pandemic and Response—President Primary Postponement and Additional Public Health Measures 
  • MARCH 18, 2020: Executive Order No. 7FProtection of Public Health and Safety During Covid-19 Pandemic and Response—Further Suspension or Modification of Statutes 
  • MARCH 17, 2020: Executive Order No. 7EProtection of Public Health and Safety During Covid-19 Pandemic and Response—Further Suspension or Modification of Statutes 
  • MARCH 16, 2020: Executive Order No. 7DProtection of Public Health and Safety During Covid-19 Pandemic and Response—Crowd Reduction and Social Distancing 
  • MARCH 15, 2020: Executive Order No. 7C: Protection of Public Health and Safety During Covid-19 Pandemic and Response—Further Suspension or Modification of Statutes 
  • MARCH 14, 2020: Executive Order No. 7BProtection of Public Health and Safety During Covid-19 Pandemic and Response—Further Suspension or Modification of Statutes 
  • MARCH 13, 2020: Executive Order No. 7AProtection of Residents of Nursing Home Facilities, Residential Care Homes and Chronic Disease Hospitals During Covid-19 Pandemic 
  • MARCH 12, 2020: Executive Order No. 7Protection of Public Health and Safety During Covid 19 Pandemic and Response 
  • MARCH 10, 2020: Declaration of Civil Preparedness and Public Health Emergencies 
Federal Executive Orders issued by President Trump 
Federal Memorandums
Federal Bills signed into law 

General Health

What are the symptoms or Covid-19 and what should I do if I have symptoms 

Based on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the symptoms for Covid-19 include: fever, cough, shortness of breath and persistent pressure in your chest. If you have any symptoms you should call your doctor immediately and stay in your home until they advise you on further steps. The CDC also advises you to separate yourself from other people in your household and to wear a facemask if you have one. For more details please click here.  

How do I protect myself from Covid-19?  
  • Wash your hands—use soap and warm water while scrubbing your hands together for at least 20 seconds. If you don’t have soap and water use a hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol.  
  • Stay home—avoid public transportation and only leave the house if you must.  
  • Avoid touching your face 
  • Cover your mouth when you cough and/or sneeze 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick 
  • Clean and disinfect often 
  • Practice social distancing—keep 6 feet away from all people. Do not shake hands or touch others. Wear a facemask if you have one.  
  • For a full list of preventative measures, click here 
What are the latest cases of Covid-19 in Connecticut?  

There are currently over 400 cases in Connecticut. You can access the statistics for the Connecticut cases, broken down by town by clicking here. 

Individuals & Families  

Do I still have to file my taxes by April 15th? 

No, Tax Day has been moved from April 15 to July 15. This applies to families and businesses, with intertest and penalties waived. 

For how long will schools be closed? 

Schools are closed until April 20. Recent news states that schools will likely be closed until Fall. Standardized testing requirements for K-12 are eliminated.

What if I can’t afford my utilities this month? 

The Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) placed a temporary moratorium on the entities it regulates, including electric, gas, and water public service companies to refrain from terminating service to residential customers for 30 days, subject to renewal. 

Can I still go to state parks? 

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) closed all of its visitor centers and facilities associated with its State Parks that are open to the public. Gatherings at the parks and facilities are also suspended through late April. However, Governor Lamont has opened the fishing season early.

What if I am having trouble paying my mortgage? 

Homeowners impacted by COVID-19 may seek available mortgage assistance and relief options.  For information, please see Fannie Mae’s guidelines for single-family mortgages: https://www.fanniemae.com/portal/media/corporate-news/2020/covid-homeowner-assistance-options-7000.html 

How do I file for unemployment benefits? 

DOL has all of the information and guidelines needed to file for unemployment here: https://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/DOLCOVIDFAQ.PDF 

Workers directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic no longer must be actively searching for work to qualify for unemployment assistance.  Follow this like to file for unemployment: http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/UI-OnLine/index.htm 

How can I get internet access? 

Virtually every internet provider in Connecticut has signed onto the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected Pledge. This means that companies will: 

  • Not terminate service to any residential or small business customers due to an inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by COVID 19. 
  • Waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to COVID 19 disruption 
  • Open all WiFi hotspots to the general public. 

Small Businesses 

Am I an essential business? Do I need to shut down? 

Gov. Ned Lamont ordered all non-essential businesses to convert to work from home status starting at 8 p.m. Monday March 23, but the definition of what are “essential businesses” is broad and includes any business related to healthcare, manufacturing, infrastructure, construction, retail, safety and sanitation, defense and childcare. Being a non-essential business does not mean you can’t do business. The governor’s order applies to “places of business,” not the businesses themselves. Staff can be on-site to provide remote ordering, delivery or curb-side pick-up or to provide “security, maintenance or receipt of mail and packages.” Of course, if possible, working from home is the best way to keep your employees safe. For a complete list of what qualifies as an essential business under Gov. Lamont’s executive order, follow this link: https://portal.ct.gov/DECD/Content/Coronavirus-for-Businesses/Coronavirus-for-Businesses  

You may also request that your business be designated as essential through this application: https://portal.ct.gov/DECD/Content/Coronavirus-for-Businesses/Essential-Business-Designation-Form 

Do I still have to pay my taxes? 

Unfortunately, yes, but the state of Connecticut and the federal government have extended the tax filing deadline until July 15, 2020. https://portal.ct.gov/DRS/News—Press-Releases/2020/2020-Press-Releases/Effective-Immediately-DRS-Extends-Filing-Deadline-for-Certain-Annual-State-Business-Tax-Returns 

How am I supposed to pay my bills? 

Small businesses in Connecticut can apply for loans up to $2 million through the federal government’s Small Business Administration. You can find the application here: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance 

Furthermore, if you have a loan from the State of Connecticut through the Small Business Express program, repayment of that loan has been deferred for three months. 

Connecticut’s Public Utility Regulatory Authority has also issued a moratorium on utility shut-offs for the duration of this health emergency. However, the order only applies to residences, not businesseshttps://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Coronavirus/20200312-PURA-utility-shut-off.pdf?la=en 

Connecticut is now offering qualifying organizations with 100 or fewer employees access to no-interest loans. Under the Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan program, a qualifying business or nonprofit organization can apply for a loan of up to $75,000 or three months of operating expenses (whichever is lesser).

This $25 million short-term emergency loan program will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. The program will be administered by the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and expedited with the administrative and underwriting support of Connecticut Innovations

How do I apply for the Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program?

To apply for the Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program, applicants must complete an application.
The following information will also be required:

  • Project Financing Plan & Budget
  • 2019 Income Statement (or) Profit and Loss Statement 
  • Internal Financial Statements (YTD)
  • 3-month projected cash flow, demonstrating need
  • Summary of adverse economic impact resulting from COVID-19 
  • Recent credit score report  
  • Applicant Structure Documents
  • Personal Financial Statement
  • Ownership Breakdown
  • DRS Letter of Good Standing

Upon completing the application and obtaining the required documentation, organizations can submit the information online, via email to decdctrecovery@ct.gov.
Click here for more information and frequently asked questions 

What about Paid Family Medical Leave for my employees when they are calling out sick? 

The federal government is requiring all small businesses with 500 or fewer employees to provide two weeks of paid family and medical leave regardless of how long they have been an employee, if they are subject to a quarantine or isolation order related to the COVID-19 virus, has been advised by a health provider to quarantine, is experiencing symptoms similar to the virus, is caring for an individual subject to quarantine or caring for children because the schools are closed or caregiver is unavailable due to the public health crisis. 

Employees who are directed to quarantine by a health care provider are to be compensated at the higher of their regular pay, federal minimum wage or state minimum wage, but not to exceed $511 per day or $5,110 in aggregate. 

However, if the employee is absent to care for a sick family member or because their child is out of school are to be compensated at 2/3 the above-mentioned rate, not to exceed $200 per day or $2,000 in aggregate. 

The Secretary of Labor can issue an exemption for covering paid sick leave to companies with less than 50 employees if that sick leave is due to school closure if the imposition of the paid sick leave would jeopardize the viability of the business. 

For more information visit here: https://www.uschamber.com/issue-brief/summary-of-latest-congressional-action-coronavirus-response 

I’m supposed to renew my license or have my employees complete continuing education requirements, but the state is shut down. What do I do? 

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection has extended licensing and continuing education requirements for some businesses, but they have not released a comprehensive list. It is best to contact the DCP directly via email to inquire about any continuing education or licensing fees/permits. License renewal information is here: https://portal.ct.gov/DCP/License-Services-Division/License-Division/To-Renew-Online 

Continuing education information is here: https://portal.ct.gov/DCP/License-Services-Division/v3-pages/Education-Exam-and-Training-Information 

 
How do I find contact information for my State Senator and State Representative?  

CGA Legislator Finder: https://cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/cgafindleg.asp 

Municipalities and Local Government  

 
What are the changes / timelines for municipalities and towns to adopt their budgets? 

The Governor’s executive order 7I has made some significant changes that affect municipalities in several areas, including adoption of their budget, land use applications, and taxation. The changes are discussed in detail in the order, https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Office-of-the-Governor/Executive-Orders/Lamont-Executive-Orders/Executive-Order-No-7I.pdf 

Section 13 gives the Board of Selectmen — and not a town meeting or a referendum — final authority to approve spending levels and local mill rates. It also directs local leaders to make options available for the public to inspect and comment on the budget remotely. This would involve posting the budget on town websites and allowing residents to submit comments on these fiscal plans by email. More information here 

What are the voting requirements? In person, electronically,?  

Section 13 relieves towns of any in-person voting requirements (including referenda and any town meetings requiring in-person votes) for purposes of adopting 2020-2021 fiscal year municipal budgets and setting the mill rate. The budget-making authority is obligated to make reasonable efforts to reach out to the public and receive comments.  

How is a town’s budget making authority defined?  

For guidance on identifying a town’s “budget making authority,” please refer to (1) your local charter; (2) Title 7; or (3) local ordinances in communities without charters. Section 14 establishes a parallel process for the adoption of budgets by regional boards of education.  

What about taxation and assessment? 

Section 15 extends deadlines and waives penalties for municipalities’ failure to file certain information with the state within the statutory deadlines; Section 16 allows hearings of Boards of Assessment Appeals and certain abatement and exemption filings to be done electronically rather than in person.  

What are the deadlines and proceedings on Land Use Applications? 

 Section 19 provides that land use applications and proceedings may have their deadlines extended by up to 90 days in addition to any other statutory or regulatory extension provisions. Statutory or regulatory provisions requiring filings or publications of notices and other information are generally suspended to allow such filings or publications to be made on the municipality’s website rather than in the town clerk’s office or in a newspaper  

What are the deadlines for municipal budget adoptions that fall on or before May 15? 

Executive Order 7C  (https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Office-of-the-Governor/Executive-Orders/Lamont-Executive-Orders/Executive-Order-No-7C.pdf) extended all deadlines for municipal budget adoption that fall on or before May 15. The intent of that order was to give towns flexibility and allow them to meet, extend, or adjust all the preliminary deadlines that lead to a budget adoption vote or meeting. That order, and its deadline extensions, are still in effect, so towns have some flexibility in deciding whether to act or whether to wait at least some time on their budget adoption process until the situation improves.  Budget action that requires an in-person vote of residents or taxpayers is replaced by the provisions of Executive Order 7I.     

Can I reemploy retired municipal workers to meet staffing needs?

Yes, Governor Lamont has suspended restrictions on rehiring municipal retirees.

Where can I obtain answers to additional questions regarding procedures and protocol?  

For frequently asked questions, please refer to https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Coronavirus/COVID-19-FAQs.pdf?la=en 

  1. Robert Kreitler

    March 20, 2020 3:07 pm

    Lets encourage the state for six months to reduce restrictions on small businesses to help them come back. This could include lifting restrictions on minimum age, minimum wages, easing certification to work, etc. all ways to make it easier to hire employees and restart their companies

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