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CT COVID-19 Updates: CT Courts announce expansion of operations

Find developments on the coronavirus outbreak in Connecticut as we near phase one of the state's reopen date.

For the latest coronavirus news, click here. Refresh often for new information as it becomes available. Scroll down for updates for the week of May 31.

June 4

CT Courts announce expansion of operations

From the press release:

Effective Monday, June 29, the Judicial Branch is targeting the resumption of limited operations in four additional courthouse locations: the Judicial District courthouses in Danbury, Milford and Stamford, and at the Geographical Area No. 11 courthouse in Danielson.

This expansion will bring the number of open courthouses to 17 – the Supreme and Appellate courts, 13 Superior Court locations and two juvenile court locations. As such, one Superior Court courthouse will be open in each of the 13 Judicial Districts.

The Judicial Branch is also planning to expand its hours and days of operations. The details of the Branch’s planning include the following goals:

Starting the week of June 15, all open courthouse locations will be open each day, Monday through Friday. The hours for the public will be Monday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Starting the week of June 29, the Danbury, Milford, Stamford, and Danielson courthouses will be open to the public. Consistent with all other open courthouse locations, public hours will be Monday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Starting the week of July 6, open courthouse locations will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Most work within the open court locations will continue to focus on those most pressing matters such as criminal arraignments for defendants held on bond, domestic violence cases, restraining orders, emergency child custody matters, juvenile detention hearings, and all other emergency matters.

Lamont announces 60 day extension for mortgage release program

From the press release:

Governor Lamont and Banking Commissioner Jorge Perez announced that over 45 banks and credit unions have agreed to extend their voluntary participation in the CT Mortgage Relief Program, which provides relief to consumers facing financial hardship due to COVID-19. The program, launched on March 31, 2020 and set to expire on May 31, 2020 will now run through July 30, 2020.

“While the state continues its progress towards safely re-opening, Connecticut residents continue to be impacted by the economic fallout of the pandemic” said Governor Lamont. “By extending the Connecticut mortgage relief program through July 30, 2020 credit unions and banks have demonstrated their commitment to help their members and customers through this crisis. I am grateful for their participation in this program.”

The program, launched on March 31, 2020, extends the following original provisions through July 30, 2020:

90-day grace period for all mortgage payments: Participating financial institutions will continue to offer mortgage-payment forbearances of up to 90 days, which will allow homeowners to reduce or delay monthly mortgage payments. In addition, the institutions will continue to:

Provide a streamlined process for requesting forbearance for COVID-19-related reasons, supported with available documentation;

Confirm approval and terms of forbearance program; and

Provide the opportunity to extend forbearance agreements if faced with continued hardship resulting from COVID-19.

Relief from fees and charges: Through July 30, 2020, participating financial institutions will waive or refund mortgage-related late fees and other fees including early CD withdrawals.

No new foreclosures for 60 days (through July 30, 2020): Financial institutions will not start any foreclosure sales or evictions.

No credit score changes for accessing relief: Financial institutions will not report derogatory information (e.g., late payments) to credit reporting agencies but may report a forbearance, which typically does not alone negatively affect a credit score.

This agreement means that participating banks and credit unions will continue to not initiate any new foreclosures, foreclosure sales and evictions for another 60 days. It also extends the relief on certain fees until that date. The mortgage relief program, applies only to mortgages owned by banks and credit unions, also known as “portfolio mortgages”.

June 3

Stop & Shop announced plans to launch same day pickup and delivery at four stores.

  • 215 East Main Street, Clinton
  • 11 E High Street, East Hampton
  • 215 Glastonbury Blvd, Glastonbury
  • 211 High Street, Torrington

"In hopes of making grocery shopping easier for customers during these difficult times, customers in the area can place orders online and pick them up at the store from the comfort of their car."

June 2

DEEP Analysis of air quality shows significant drop in air pollutants in first month of pandemic

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection released a statement Tuesday: 

A preliminary analysis of air quality data gathered during the COVID-19 pandemic by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)’s Bureau of Air Management has found that monitored levels for many air pollutants dropped significantly from mid-March to mid-April 2020. The positive results are due to a combination of a dramatic reduction in air-polluting emissions from transportation and commercial and industrial facilities following stay-at-home policies implemented in Connecticut and regionally, as well as normal seasonal factors. Connecticut suffers from some of the worst air quality in the country, especially along congested transportation corridors. Poor air quality exacerbates acute and chronic respiratory problems such as asthma, and cities such as New Haven and Hartford rank in the top 20 of the 100 largest U.S. cities where it is most challenging to live with asthma.

May 31

32 additional deaths; Number of hospitalizations continues to drop

Gov. Ned Lamont's office said while 32 additional people died from COVID-19 related causes. The number of hospitalizations has continued to drop by 52 people. 

A problem in data collection impacted teh transmission of testing numbers. The discrepancy will be corrected in Monday's report.

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