Gov. Ned Lamont provided his nightly update on the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic for Wednesday, March 25. The numbers jumped again in just one day: an additional 257 Connecticut residents have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 875; and seven more people died, bringing the total number of fatalities due to complications of COVID-19 to 19.
By the Numbers (March 25, 2020)
- New one-day positive cases in CT residents: 257
- Total CT cases: 875 (includes 5,898 tests conducted in state and private labs)
- Total People hospitalized: 113 (23 in Fairfield County)
- Total Fairfield County cases: 546 (up 162 in one day)
- Total CT fatalities due to complications from COVID-19: 19 (12 in Fairfield County)
The state has made available on its website additional charts and tables containing more data groups, including a town-by-town breakdown of positive cases in each municipality and a breakdown of cases among age groups.
Mobile field hospital launching at Danbury Hospital
In coordination with the CT Department of Public Health (DPH), the Governor’s Foot and Horse Guard Units Wednesday deployed a mobile field hospital on the grounds of Danbury Hospital that is anticipated to be up and running by Thursday. It is identical to the mobile field hospital that was deployed yesterday on the grounds of Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford. A third mobile field hospital is anticipated to be deployed on the grounds of Middlesex Hospital in Middletown in the coming days.
The Ottilie W. Lundgren Memorial Field Hospital, under the authority of DPH, is a state-of-the-art mobile field hospital designed to support the state’s health care system in response to significant emergencies. It is deployable in several parts as a flexible configuration 25-bed units that operate jointly or independently to provide triage and treatment anywhere in the state in the event of a mass casualty. It can also support an acute care hospital after a catastrophic structural or mechanical failure. The hospital assembles in hours and can be ready to triage and treat hundreds of patients during any public health emergency. It was named in 2006 in honor of a Connecticut woman who died from inhalational anthrax in 2001.
Connecticut Red Cross asks blood donors to make an appointment to give during this critical time
Thousands of Red Cross blood drives around the country have been canceled because of the need to reduce gatherings of large groups of people in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This has resulted in a significantly reduced amount of blood donations than the organization typically receives.
Adjusting to the situation, the Red Cross of Connecticut has set up a process for people to call ahead and make an appointment to donate blood, and proper social distancing can be practiced.
The Connecticut State Police is partnering with the Red Cross of Connecticut and will be holding a blood drive at the Police Academy in Meriden on Thursday, March 26, however it is already fully booked for appointments. A second blood drive at the Police Academy is scheduled for Wednesday, April 1, and there remains several openings for blood donors to sign up. Several other appointment-only blood drives are being organized at locations throughout Connecticut.
Those who would like to give should visit the American Red Cross Blood Donation website to make an appointment.
Gov. Lamont signs 14th executive order
Gov. Lamont today signed his 14th executive order since he declared an emergency, enacting 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 web sites.
- 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.
Lamont announces launch of CT Recovery Bridge Loan Program to help small businesses and nonprofits
During his news briefing Wednesday afternoon, Lamont announced that his administration will soon launch a zero-interest loan program to help CT small businesses and nonprofits that have been impacted by COVID-19.
The CT Recovery Bridge Loan Program will be administered by the Department of Economic and Community Development and will make $25 million available to businesses and nonprofits in the state that have fewer than 100 employees. Additional eligibility information and guidance on the application process will be published soon at ct.gov/coronavirus.
Office of Health Strategy further streamlines approval and licensure process for the state’s hospitals
On the heels of Governor 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.
2-1-1 hotline has handled more than 8,000 live-answer phone calls from Connecticut residents to date
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 on Tuesday, March 25 alone. To date, the hotline’s pre-recorded messages have been accessed 14,177 times.
Governor Lamont dispels rumors regarding state’s response to COVID-19
The Connecticut Joint Information Center, Untied 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. Governor Lamont wants to assure Connecticut residents that these rumors are not true.
The governor also wants to remind residents that there is no need to rush to the grocery store to buy items in bulk. Roads in Connecticut will continue to remain open for these necessary functions, and grocery stores will continue providing services to customers.