State COVID-19 Update May 6: Gov. Wants Input on Reopening CT from Businesses & Workers

Social distancing, masks and gloves at Village Market

Gov. Ned Lamont provided his daily updates on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic for as Wednesday, May 6. In it, he announced several new steps and initiatives, including two surveys–one for businesses and one for workers–for input on reopening the state, as well as a joint federal/state effort to combat COVID-related fraud in Connecticut.

By the Numbers (May 6)
  • Total Wilton cases:  164 (+1 )
  • Total Wilton fatalities:  33  (0)
  • New one-day positive cases in CT residents:   374
    • May 5:  648
    • May 3-4:  661*   
    • May 2:  523
  • Total CT cases:   30,995
  • COVID-19 tests reported:   111,447  (+2,804)
    • May 5:  108,643  (+3,313)
    • May 3-4:  105,330*  (+2,837)
    • May 2:  102,493 (+2,236)
  • Total People currently hospitalized:  1,445 (-55)
    • May 5:  1,500 (+36)
    • May 4:  1,464  (-24)
    • May 3:  1,488 (-63)
    • May 2:  1,551  (-41)
    • May 1:  1,592  (-58)
    • April 30:  1,650  (-41)
    • April 29:  1,691  (-41)
    • April 28:  1,732 (-26)
    • April 27:  1,758  (-8)
    • April 26:  1,766  (-44)
    • April 25:  1,810 (-67)
    • April 24:  1,877 (-70)
    • April 23:  1,947 (-25)
  • Total Fairfield County Hospitalizations:  489 (-30)
    • May 5:  519 (+12)
    • May 4:  507  (-7)
    • May 3:  514 (-11)
    • May 2:  525  (-12)
    • May 1:  537  (-28)
    • April 30:  565  (-26)
    • April 29:  591  (-29)
    • April 28:  620  (-7)
    • April 27:  627  (-8)
    • April 26:  635  (-14)
    • April 25:  649  (-45)
    • April 24:  694  (-36)
    • April 23:  730  (-19)
  • Total Fairfield County cases:  12,455 (+95)
    • May 5:  12,360  (+115)
    • May 3-4:  12,245*  (+444)
    • May 2:  11,801  (+189)
  • Total CT fatalities due to complications from COVID-19:  2,718 (+85)
    • May 5:  2,633 (+77)
    • May 4:  2,556  (+61)
    • May 3:  2,495 (+59)
    • May 2:  2,436  (+97)
  • Total Fairfield County Deaths:  952 (+17)
    • May 5:  935 (+25)
    • May 4:  910  (+24)
    • May 3:  886  (+21)
    • May 2:  865  (+26)

It is important to note that these newly reported updates include data that occurred over the last several days to a week. All data in this report are preliminary, and data for previous dates will be updated as new reports are received and data errors are corrected. Numbers with an asterisk (*) denote two-day totals over May 3-4.

Visit the state’s coronavirus webpage for several 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 and deaths among age groups.

Small business owners and workers input sought on reopening efforts

Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner David Lehman is encouraging small business owners and workers to fill out two surveys to help gather important insight on the state’s reopening efforts:

Both surveys were launched by the nonprofit organization AdvanceCT, which works in collaboration with the state to engage, retain, and recruit businesses and advance overall economic competitiveness in Connecticut.

Joint federal-state task force formed to combat COVID-19 fraud in Connecticut

CT Attorney General William Tong, U.S. Attorney John Durham, representatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Chief State’s Attorney Richard Colangelo on Wednesday announced the formation of a joint federal-state task force combatting COVID-19-related fraud in Connecticut. The task force will investigate and prosecute a wide range of misconduct related to the pandemic, including price gouging, health care and government program fraud, consumer and small business scams, lending scams, charity fraud, and cyber fraud. Violators may be subject to civil fines and penalties, as well as state or federal criminal prosecution.

Connecticut residents may report COVID-19 related fraud to the task force by contacting the Office of the Attorney General via email or by calling 860.808.5318. The Office of the Attorney General is coordinating closely with prosecutors and investigators at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Chief State’s Attorney’s Office on criminal and civil fraud cases. In addition, residents may report COVID-19 related fraud to the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866.720.5721 or online.

Gov. Lamont announces federal approval of increased SNAP food assistance for children in school meals program

With in-person classes at all PreK-12 public school facilities in Connecticut now canceled for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year, Gov. Lamont announced Wednesday that the state received federal approval to provide $95.5 million in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to children eligible for the free and reduced-price meals program. The new federal authorization boosts the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) program in Connecticut by $26.2 million over the original amount that was geared toward a May 20 school reopening.

Authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the P-EBT program is expected to bring food benefits to about 270,000 Connecticut children who are not able to receive meals at school. All families in the 181 school districts in Connecticut participating in the federal free or reduced-price meals program are eligible to participate. This number is comprised of 162 public, charter, and magnet schools, 11 private schools, and eight residential child care institutions.

The Department of Social Services (DSS) estimates that it will issue approximately $46.3 million to 70,000 SNAP-eligible households and $52.2 million to 80,000 non-SNAP-eligible households for school closures dating from March 17. DSS is partnering with the Connecticut State Department of Education (SDE) on the plan approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service.

DSS estimates that SNAP benefits will be deposited in EBT accounts beginning in mid-May.  Benefits can be used any location that accepts SNAP/EBT cards. This includes farmers’ markets and direct market farms, where authorized to accept SNAP benefits. P-EBT participants will also have online access to eligible food purchases through delivery or curbside pickup, when implemented in the overall SNAP program (currently projected to begin by May 29).

Families do not need to apply for P-EBT benefits, as children are automatically eligible because school is not in session. The planned one-time benefit is $364.80 per child enrolled in the free and reduced-price meals program.

DSS and SDE will be collaborating to inform families about the P-EBT benefits and how they can be used. This will include postings on agency websites, news and social media announcements, and notification to community and school partners through emails and participation in statewide conference calls. SDE will send email blasts to school districts with pertinent information for families of children receiving free or reduced-priced meals. Additionally, for eligible households not currently participating in SNAP, DSS will provide a mailer with information about P-EBT and SNAP benefits to be included with their EBT card.

State eyes full resumption of bottle redemption, with limited operations May 20 and full resumption by June 3

Following extensive discussion between the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and many stakeholders, retailers in Connecticut will resume bottling redemption activities on a limited basis beginning May 20, with a full resumption of operations by June 3.

Since March 17, DEEP has allowed retailers to temporarily suspend their redemption activities, providing them with greater flexibility to more effectively maintain and manage their store environments with a focus on product supply and safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Details of the phase-in will be posted at retail locations and will likely include a daily limit on the number of containers, limited hours to facilitate cleaning, and appropriate social distancing requirements and the wearing of masks.

Beginning May 20, Connecticut retailers that fail to accept empty beverage containers for redemption under the law known as the “bottle bill” will once again be subject to enforcement actions by DEEP. Throughout this time, most independent bottle redemption centers in Connecticut have continued to redeem deposit containers, and some retail stores have chosen to do so as well. DEEP maintains a list of redemption centers in the state on its website.

It is recommended that residents chick with a redemption location to ensure it is open before heading there with a collection of containers to redeem. Also, residents are asked to make sure any containers being redeemed are free of product, rinsed, and not commingled with other materials, as redemption service providers may not accept dirty containers and contaminants.