State informs school districts that in-person graduation ceremonies can be held starting July 6 following certain guidelines
Governor Lamont today announced that after consulting with Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona and state public health officials, he has determined that school districts will be permitted to hold in-person graduation ceremonies beginning July 6, 2020, following certain guidelines, including a requirement that they be held outdoors, limited to a maximum of 150 people in attendance (including graduates), and proper social distancing protocols must be followed.
The present requirements related to drive-in ceremonies will continue to apply if schools decide not to hold in-person ceremonies. These requirements include compliance with all public health related rules, orders, the instructions in standing Connecticut State Department of Education and Department of Public Health guidance, and that where:
- Cars are parked immediately next to each other, all car windows must stay closed
- Cars are parked at least six feet from each other, car windows may be open. All individuals in the car must wear masks.
The governor intends on issuing an executive order codifying this guidance within the next couple of days. The Connecticut State Department of Education will also soon provide school districts with additional guidance related to in-person ceremonies. To ensure they are making determinations consistent with public health and safety outcomes, school districts are asked to contemplate a local approach that best suits their respective communities and coordinate all activities with municipal officials, local law enforcement, first responders, and local health officials.
State Department of Education releases rules for operating in-person summer schools programs
The Connecticut State Department of Education has released guidance to every school superintendent in the state detailing rules for operating in-person summer school programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Developed by the PK-12 subgroup of the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group with input of educators, students, parents, health officials, and the public, the rules state that in-person summer school programs can begin on July 6, 2020, provided that locations comply with certain requirements and the health and safety plans are reviewed with the district’s local director of public health and school medical advisor, if applicable.
Connecticut receives $224 Million in federal COVID-19 funding for rail and bus operations
The Connecticut Department of Transportation today announced that it has been awarded $224.3 million in federal COVID-19 funding from the Federal Transit Administration to help cover expenses (operations, maintenance, and personal protective equipment) for rail and bus operations in the state.
Under the recently passed “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” (the CARES Act), funding is provided to urban and rural public transit systems for operating expenses that occurred on or after January 20. In general, operating expenses are those costs necessary to operate, maintain, and manage a public transportation system. Examples of these expenses include driver salaries, fuel, and items having a useful life of less than one year, such as personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies.
Of the $224.3 million, $150 million will be earmarked for New Haven Line, New Canaan Line, Danbury Line, and Waterbury Line; $6 million for Shore Line East; $50 million for CTtransit, CTtransit Express, and CTfastrak services statewide; and $10.1 million for rural transit services within the state. Additionally, $8.2 million has been awarded for bus transit districts statewide with an additional $19.2 million in pending awards for the transit districts.
The state will be applying for additional funding totaling about $244 million later this year.
“This is very welcome news, and I thank Connecticut’s Congressional delegation for their support in securing this funding, and our partners at the Federal Transit Administration for their rapid review and award of these funds,” Transportation Commissioner Joe Giulietti said. “Our trains and buses continue to operate around Connecticut, and this funding will help ensure we can continue this essential service during this critical and challenging time.”
AAA reopens licensing services at eight retail stores in Connecticut
AAA today announced that they have reopened eight of its retail stores in Connecticut and are now providing Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) licensing services, however customers are required to make appointments in advance in order to provide for social distancing. Previously, these services had been available on a first come, first served basis.
Officials at the DMV stress that deadlines for all licenses that expire between March 10, 2020 and June 30, 2020 have automatically been extended by 180 days, so it is not necessary to renew these credentials until that extension has expired. However, anyone who would like to get their licensed renewed now has the option to get this done at AAA retail stores.
The AAA stores that have reopened include Avon, Cromwell, Enfield, Manchester, Old Saybrook, Southington, Waterford, and West Hartford.