Governor Ned Lamont issued an executive order Sunday that required all schools in Connecticut will be closed by the end of the business day Monday.
The governor said he was hoping to soon have free online education module for all students, and to make sure kids aren't caught on 'wrong side of the digital divide' in addition to working with internet service providers in creating hotspots and access. Some districts have distance learning, some don't and administration officials want to work to fill that gap.
At this time the governor is ordering schools closed for two weeks, and then they will re-evaluate.
Students who receive meals through the school lunch/breakfast program will be able to continue receiving meals while classes are canceled, said Lamont, similar to how summer meals operate. The state received a waiver from the federal government that will enable students to take the meals and consume them at home.
Lamont said he is working to make sure telehealth is covered by insurance.
The governor said the original 250 person limit on crowds is too high, and he feels it should be down to 150.
Officials also wanted state employees to work with their managers to find a way to telecommute.
But acknowledged that some jobs you have to be there in person. Beth Bye, head of the Office of Early Childhood, working on ways to make sure daycare is available for families that need it for working parents.
Lamont said he was working closely with U.S. Rep. Rosa Delauro to make sure paid family leave becomes available and said he doesn't want people to feel they have to go in to work, especially if they are feeling sick.
Since yesterday, six more state residents tested positive for COVID-19 bringing the total positive tests in the state to 26. As of Sunday:
Fairfield County: 16
Hartford County: 3
Litchfield County: 4
New Haven County: 3
Lamont said he has been in contact with nearby governors. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Gov. Phil Murphy in New Jersey and talking about bars and restaurants, saying the states need to do things together. If restrictions are placed on just one state, people will just go over the border.
Other items in the Executive Order:
Allows flexibility for municipal budget deadlines.
Allows the DMV commissioner to close field offices as necessary.
Extends nursing home restrictions to some psychiatric facilities.
Lamont has filed disaster application to federal Small Business Administration which, when approved, will allow businesses to apply for up to $2 million in loans.
Extends tax filing deadlines for small business entities.
Modified certain laws to permit pharmacies to compound and sell own hand sanitizer
If you lose employment Access Health CT, will be open for healthcare resources
He urged people to order take out from restaurants, "I care deeply about these restaurants. Support small businesses, order food to-go."
Regarding panic shopping, the governor said, "We're a family here in CT. What you take is what someone else might need."