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You Ask. We Answer: Reopening family court, ice rinks; Pet walking risks

Send your question to share61@fox61.com. We'll air your question and an answer to your question on-air and online.

Question:

Kristen wrote, “I am trying to find out when the State of Connecticut will be allowing people to file and begin divorce proceedings?”

Answer:

On Wednesday, The Judicial Branch said they were targeting the partial resumption of operations in three courthouses starting Monday, June 8,  Chief Court Administrator Patrick L. Carroll III.

The three courthouses are: 

  • Middlesex Judicial District Courthouse in Middletown
  • Rockville’s Geographical Area No. 19 Courthouse
  • Litchfield Judicial District Courthouse at Torrington.

Earlier, FOX61 reached out to the CT Judicial Branch and received this response from Rhonda Hebert:

Given the nature of COVID-19, we don’t know at this point when full operations will resume at family court. Our overarching goal since the pandemic began has been to protect the health and safety of the public, staff, the bar and judges. However, I can also tell you that we are continuing to look for ways to expand our ability to resolve cases remotely, and we are also considering methods to resolve child support cases remotely.

You may want to monitor our COVID-19 webpage, https://jud.ct.gov/COVID19.htm, as it is regularly updated and has a lot of information about what we’re doing remotely, etc. Also, here are some links to information about family court that may be of interest.

I would just note our new procedure to approve final agreements on the papers, including divorce judgments, which has allowed many parties to bring closure to their cases despite the pandemic. One of the links below provides more information regarding this initiative.

https://jud.ct.gov/HomePDFs/Family5720.pdf

https://jud.ct.gov/HomePDFs/parentingprogram.pdf

https://jud.ct.gov/HomePDFs/Cas

https://jud.ct.gov/HomePDFs/TRO_4320.pdf?v1eResolvePlan.pdf

https://jud.ct.gov/HomePDFs/TRO_4320.pdf?v1

https://jud.ct.gov/HomePDFs/TRO_4320.pdf?v1

Question:

Jim asked, “Can you tell me which phase ice rinks will be in? I have heard they can reopen in phase 2 and phase 3.”

Answer:

Sports clubs are allowed to reopen in Phase 2 here in Connecticut, and local ice rinks are abiding by that recommendation. For example, Newington Arena posted on its website it will be reopening June 22 in compliance with state guidelines. It says it is working with the U.S. Rink Association, U.S.A. Hockey and U.S.F.S.A. on return to the rink protocols as only small groups will be allowed. There will be strict limits on how many people can be on the ice at one time. For more information: http://www.newingtonarena.com/#557927. Veterans Memorial Ice Skating Rink in West Hartford is getting ready to reopen June 20. More information is posted at https://www.westhartfordct.gov/gov/departments/leisure/vmsr/default.asp.

Question:

William wrote, “What about walking pets? Can they pick up germs on their feet we need to worry about? My dog also sniffs everywhere when walking. Any advice for me or my dog?”

Answer:

According to the CDC, even though there is evidence that certain bacteria and fungi can be carried on an animal’s fur and hair, there’s no evidence that viruses, including COVID-19, can spread to people from the skin, fur or hair of pets. However, the CDC says it’s always a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets, including washing hands before and after interacting with them. The CDC also advises that when on walks with your dog, you practice social distancing and don’t let other people pet your dog.

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