Danbury's HamletHub https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury Sat, 04 Apr 2020 11:00:07 -0400 HamletHub.com SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program for Small Businesses Affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic Launches https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/politics/47364-sba-s-paycheck-protection-program-for-small-businesses-affected-by-the-coronavirus-pandemic-launches47364-sba-s-paycheck-protection-program-for-small-businesses-affected-by-the-coronavirus-pandemic-launches https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/politics/47364-sba-s-paycheck-protection-program-for-small-businesses-affected-by-the-coronavirus-pandemic-launches47364-sba-s-paycheck-protection-program-for-small-businesses-affected-by-the-coronavirus-pandemic-launches

The U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza today launched the Paycheck Protection Program, a $349 billion emergency loan program created last week with the President’s signing of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES).

The program provides forgivable loans up to $10 million to small businesses left financially distressed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The loans, which will be administered at the local level by a national network of banks and credit unions, are designed to maintain the viability of millions of small businesses struggling to meet payroll and day-to-day operating expenses.

“These loans will bring immediate economic relief and eight weeks of financial certainty to millions of small businesses and their employees,” SBA Administrator Carranza said. “We urge every struggling small business to take advantage of this unprecedented federal resource – their viability is critically important to their employees, their community, and the country.”

The loans, which are 100% backed by SBA, are being provided to small businesses without collateral requirements, personal guarantees, SBA fees, or credit elsewhere tests. Those eligible for the program include small businesses, certain non-profits, veterans’ organizations, self-employed individuals, independent contractors, and other businesses meeting size standards based on their North American Industry Classification System code.

The Paycheck Protection Program’s maximum loan amount is $10 million with a fixed 1% interest rate and maturity of two years.

The loans are available to cover up to eight weeks of average monthly payroll (based on 2019 figures) plus 25% and payments are deferred for six months (interest does accrue). The SBA will forgive the portion of loan proceeds used for payroll costs and other designated operating expenses for up to eight weeks, provided at least 75% of loan proceeds are used for payroll costs. Eligible expenses for the eight-week forgiveness include:

  • Payroll costs (excluding the prorated portion of any compensation above $100,000 per year for any person. Payroll costs include salary, commissions, tips; certain employee benefits including sick leave and health care premiums, and state and local taxes;
  • Mortgage interest (not prepayment or principal payments) and rent payments on mortgages and leases in existence after February 15, 2020;
  • Utilities such as electricity, gas, water, transportation, phone and internet access for services that began before February 15, 2020; and
  • Additional wages paid to tipped employees.

Visit www.SBA.gov/Coronavirus for additional resources about protecting your business, employees and customers.

kerry@ducey.org (US SBA) Politics Fri, 03 Apr 2020 12:54:54 -0400
Connecticut COVID-19 Update: 4,914 Cases https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47363-connecticut-covid-19-update-4-914-cases47363-connecticut-covid-19-update-4-914-cases https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47363-connecticut-covid-19-update-4-914-cases47363-connecticut-covid-19-update-4-914-cases

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton took this photo of O'Neill Center at WCSU westside campus that is being transformed into a hospital for COVID-19 overflow. 

According to the State of Connecticut's latest data, the state has 4,914 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19. This is an increase of 1,090 cases since yesterday. The increase in cases reported today is related to catch up of data entry and implementation of a new method for reporting cases to the Department of Public Health. This increase does not reflect a change in the trajectory of the outbreak. There have been 909 patients have been hospitalized due to the virus and 135 residents have died.

Fairfield County continues to have the majority of cases in the state with 2,716 COVID-19 cases and 75 deaths.

Among 216 nursing homes in CT, 48 (22%) have had at least one confirmed case of COVID-19. A total of 221 nursing home residents with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 have been identified of whom 80 (36%) were hospitalized and 23 (10%) have died.

Read the complete report HERE.

kerry@ducey.org (HH) Neighbors Fri, 03 Apr 2020 12:35:19 -0400
Lamont Urges Volunteers From the General Public to Participate in Connecticut’s COVID-19 Response Efforts https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/politics/47362-lamont-urges-volunteers-from-the-general-public-to-participate-in-connecticut-s-covid-19-response-efforts47362-lamont-urges-volunteers-from-the-general-public-to-participate-in-connecticut-s-covid-19-response-efforts https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/politics/47362-lamont-urges-volunteers-from-the-general-public-to-participate-in-connecticut-s-covid-19-response-efforts47362-lamont-urges-volunteers-from-the-general-public-to-participate-in-connecticut-s-covid-19-response-efforts

Volunteers of All Backgrounds Can Register at ct.gov/coronavirus

Governor Ned Lamont and a large number of state officials and nonprofit providers are urging Connecticut residents to consider taking on a volunteer role in their communities to help respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

While the state already began a campaign seeking out volunteers who have health care experience, today the state is launching a campaign seeking volunteers from the general public who are needed for other services at many different types of providers, such as food banks, deliveries to the elderly, shelters, and more.

The governor stressed that the COVID-19 outbreak is having a wide-ranging impact, and that means a large amount of skill sets are required to ensure that every community in Connecticut has the resources they need to combat this pandemic.

“During times like this, it is critical that we come together as a community – as a family – and support our neighbors in this response effort,” Governor Lamont said. “Connecticut residents and businesses have been incredibly generous in offering to do what they can to meet the needs of our state at this challenging time. Our frontline providers at food banks, meal delivery services, and shelters need extra help right now, and that is why we are asking for more volunteers to step forward. I am grateful to everyone who has already pitched in to support Connecticut families. The way we’ll get through this public health emergency is by working together.”

Volunteers from the general public will be matched with a community provider in need. Here are the basics:

  • Volunteers must be 18 or older, and should not volunteer if at risk or compromised. Those who are immunocompromised, over 60, showing symptoms of COVID-19, or live with or care for someone in any of those categories should avoid being in public, including for volunteer efforts. Please stay safe, stay home.
  • Volunteers do not need to be health care workers. In addition to calling on physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals who may be retired, the state needs community members to help out at food banks, food deliveries to the elderly, and at shelters in a number of ways.
  • For those who do have a background in health care, the state’s medical community has specific needs at this time. Hospitals have advised the state that they have a high need for critical care nurses and repository therapists.
  • Every effort is being made to keep volunteers safe. The state and all of the organizations involved are working hard to make sure that everyone helping out can do so as safely as possible. If any volunteers have concerns, they are strongly urged to ask about the safety protocols of the organization they are volunteering.
  • Volunteers will be sent where they are most needed and feel most comfortable. The volunteer process is centralized so that the state and participating organizations have a clear picture of everyone who can help, and everything that is needed. That way, volunteers can be matched with an opportunity that is most in need of that person’s skillset.

The Lamont administration and the State of Connecticut are grateful to the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD), which has made the Disaster Assistance Response Technology database available to help manage the statewide volunteer effort for this emergency, as well as the Connecticut VOAD chapter for their support.

kerry@ducey.org (Gov. Ned Lamont) Politics Fri, 03 Apr 2020 10:15:26 -0400
OrthoConnecticut Offers Virtual Medical Visits https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/life/47360-orthoconnecticut-offers-virtual-medical-visits47360-orthoconnecticut-offers-virtual-medical-visits https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/life/47360-orthoconnecticut-offers-virtual-medical-visits47360-orthoconnecticut-offers-virtual-medical-visits

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, OrthoConnecticut is now offering telemedicine - virtual visits that enable you to see an orthopedic surgeon from the privacy and safety of your own home or office.

Did you know that many orthopedic issues, including some urgent issues, can be diagnosed using telemedicine appointments? You can get the specialized orthopedic care you need during this period of physical distancing and staying close to home. Telemedicine is simple to use, and the secure video conferencing technology can be used with any device.

Telemedicine Benefits

•          Get a diagnosis on new musculoskeletal issues

•          Follow up on an existing issue

•          Get post-surgical advice from your own physician

•          Practice physical distancing without reducing your quality of care

•          Review diagnostic tests such as x-rays and MRIs during a telemedicine visit

•          Simple and easy scheduling

•          Insurance processing for telemedicine and in-office visits are the same

How it Works

To schedule your telemedicine appointment with a specialist, call the number for the office location of your choice. All Telemedicine appointments must be booked by phone:

Danbury                203-797-1500

Norwalk                 203-845-2200

New Milford           860-355-8000

Pain Center           203-792-7246 

Our staff will help schedule your virtual appointment. A consent form and step-by-step directions will then be sent to you, explaining exactly how to perform a virtual visit with our physicians.  

OrthoConnecticut will continue to provide quality care while keeping our patients and staff safe by limiting unnecessary risk and exposure.  The practice appreciates the community’s patience while we navigate this unprecedented environment.


OrthoConnecticut is the region’s premier, multi-specialty orthopedic practice, helping patients regain mobility, lead active lives, and attain optimal well-being. The practice’s urgent care service, OrthoCare Express, is open 7 days a week for emergencies and is available in Danbury, Darien, New Milford, Norwalk and Westport. To make a telemedicine appointment with any of the practice’s specialists, or to learn more visit http://www.myorthoct.com/ or call 1.833.ORTHOCT (1.833.678.4628).

kerry@ducey.org (Page Bowler) Life Fri, 03 Apr 2020 05:10:03 -0400
Danbury Mayor Mark COVID19 Update: Nearly 300 Cases, Need for Shelter Staff, Masks https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47359-danbury-mayor-mark-covid19-update-nearly-300-cases-need-for-shelter-staff-masks47359-danbury-mayor-mark-covid19-update-nearly-300-cases-need-for-shelter-staff-masks https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47359-danbury-mayor-mark-covid19-update-nearly-300-cases-need-for-shelter-staff-masks47359-danbury-mayor-mark-covid19-update-nearly-300-cases-need-for-shelter-staff-masks

In this afternoon's Live at Five COVID-19 update, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton reported that the City now has close to 300 confirmed positive cases of coronavirus. Boughton explained that for each positive case, the Health Department does "contact tracing" which includes interviewing the person to find out who they may have had contact with.

Memorial Day Parade

* Boughton announced today that the City's Memorial Day Parade has been canceled this year.

Shelter Staff Person

* The City is hiring for Danbury's Emergency Shelter. They are currently looking for Shelter Staff. The salary is $18.00 per hour.

The shelter staff person is the representative of the City of Danbury in the operation of the City’s homeless shelter. There are three (3) shifts available for staffing. Keep the clients interest in mind while protecting the interests of the City by protecting the facility within the established policies and procedures.

If you are interested, call City Hall (203)731-9086 or visit their website here.


*Mayor Mark advises anyone who goes out into the community to wear a mask. "Not an N-95 mask, we need to save those for the health care workers". "A surgical mask, even a bandana is beneficial," he says.

kerry@ducey.org (HH) Neighbors Thu, 02 Apr 2020 13:44:50 -0400
COVID-19 Connecticut Update: 3,824 laboratory-confirmed cases https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47358-covid-19-connecticut-update-3-824-laboratory-confirmed-cases47358-covid-19-connecticut-update-3-824-laboratory-confirmed-cases https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47358-covid-19-connecticut-update-3-824-laboratory-confirmed-cases47358-covid-19-connecticut-update-3-824-laboratory-confirmed-cases

As of April 2, 2020, a total of 3824 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported among Connecticut residents. Eight hundred and twenty-seven patients are currently hospitalized. One hundred and twelve residents have died.

Fairfield County currently has 2132 COVID-19 cases. Sixty-five residents have passed away as a result of the virus.

Total Change Since Yesterday

Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Cases 3824 (+267)

Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19-Associated Deaths 112 (+27)

Patients Currently Hospitalized with COVID-19 827 (+6)

Patients tested for COVID-19 18300 (+1700)

View cases by county and town as well as updated data here.

kerry@ducey.org (CT.Gov) Neighbors Thu, 02 Apr 2020 12:06:18 -0400
Why Community Matters in Danbury: Find Out How Monika Nowak is Finding Joy and Connectivity https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47357-why-community-matters-in-danbury-find-out-how-monika-nowak-is-finding-joy-and-connectivity47357-why-community-matters-in-danbury-find-out-how-monika-nowak-is-finding-joy-and-connectivity https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47357-why-community-matters-in-danbury-find-out-how-monika-nowak-is-finding-joy-and-connectivity47357-why-community-matters-in-danbury-find-out-how-monika-nowak-is-finding-joy-and-connectivity

Why Community Matters

Local creativity is overflowing in communities as moms, dads, small business owners, nonprofit leaders and volunteers are finding new ways to communicate in this new world of social isolation. Their coping strategies and ingenuity is beyond inspiring! 

We are proud to introduce you to these innovators in “Why CommunityMatters”, a series made possible by LIFEWTR.

Meet Monika Nowak, Danbury resident, personal trainer, nutrition coach and owner of Power Nutrition CT.

With the new norm of practicing social distancing, how are you finding creative ways to connect with family and friends?

Since I am Polish and have friends and family members all over Europe, including some of the most affected countries such as Italy and Germany, video calls have been my daily go-to. I do my rounds of calls using various apps: I call my mom in Poland on Messenger, my dad in Germany on Skype, my brother and his family on FaceTime, and my best friend in Italy on What's up. Today for the first time, I'm going to attempt using FaceTime or Zoom for a video group call with friends that are in various US states. 

Can you tell us if you or any of your colleagues are doing creative things at home to find joy and inspiration?

I have been walking a lot with my dog these days, enjoying the outdoors. I have also been exclusively cooking at home so I've been experimenting with different recipes that include pantry staples such as beans, canned foods, and frozen vegetables. I also started to paint so I fill my time watching instructional videos and trying to do it on my own.  

Do you know of any local businesses or nonprofits innovating to serve communities during this difficult time? How?

I love how all local gyms are offering workout videos and live sessions open to the public free of charge. I have personally stepped up my social media presence to guide the public in this difficult time and offer free tips, articles and videos on how to stay healthy and what to focus on during this stressful time. I also admire what the restaurants are doing, offering deliveries and curbside pick up. 

Learn more about Monika and her company Power Nutrition CT online here.

Community matters - now more than ever. We are thankful to LIFEWTR for helping us to connect and stay strong.

The views and opinions expressed above are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of HamletHub or LIFEWTR. 


kerry@ducey.org (HH) Neighbors Thu, 02 Apr 2020 11:49:48 -0400
Lamont's 20th Executive Order Includes Safe Stores Beginning Tomorrow https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/politics/47356-lamont-s-20th-executive-order-includes-safe-stores-beginning-tomorrow47356-lamont-s-20th-executive-order-includes-safe-stores-beginning-tomorrow https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/politics/47356-lamont-s-20th-executive-order-includes-safe-stores-beginning-tomorrow47356-lamont-s-20th-executive-order-includes-safe-stores-beginning-tomorrow

Governor Lamont signs 20th executive order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

Governor Lamont today signed another executive order – the 20th since he enacted the emergency declarations – that builds upon his efforts to encourage mitigation strategies that slow down transmission of the virus.

Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7S enacts the following provisions:

  • Safe stores mandatory statewide rules: Effective upon the opening of each retail establishment for the first time on April 3, 2020, every retail establishment in the state will be required to take additional protective measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 between and among customers, employees, and other persons such as delivery drivers and maintenance people. The order requires the commissioner of the Economic and Community Development to issue mandatory statewide rules prescribing such additional protective measures. Such rules will be mandatory throughout the state and supersede and preempt any current or contemplated municipal order.
  • Immediately following Governor Lamont’s signing of this executive order, the Department of Economic and Community Development published the Safe Stores Rules on its website, outlining guidance for retail establishments. All stores must follow these rules beginning April 3.
  • 60-day grace period for premium payments, policy cancellations, and non-renewals of insurance policies: Beginning on April 1, 2020 for a period of 60 days, no insurer in Connecticut – including life, health, auto property, casualty, and other types – may lapse or terminate a covered insurance policy because a policyholder does not pay a premium or interest during this time. This grace period is not automatic. To be eligible, affected policyholders must provide additional information acceptable to their insurance carriers.
  • Extension of 30-day period of credit for liquor permittees: Modifies state law to permit the maximum period of credit for liquor permittees from certain creditors, including wholesalers and manufacturers, to be 90 days after the date of delivery for all permittees prohibited from engaging in on-premise sales per Executive Order No. 7D.
  • Daily payment of certain taxes changed to weekly: Modifies the tax payment requirements for Sportech, the licensee authorized to operate off-track betting in Connecticut, from daily to weekly so that its employees aren’t required to appear in person daily.
  • Flexibility to amend Medicaid waivers and state plan: In order to allow continued access to critical services for Medicaid beneficiaries, the order waives public notice and legislative hearing requirements for the duration of the declared public health and civil preparedness emergencies to allow the Department of Social Services to seek expedited approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to submit Medicaid waivers; amend existing Medicaid waivers; submit Medicaid State Plan Amendments that would have required a waiver but for the Affordable Care Act; and obtain relief from various other federal requirements on an emergency basis.
  • Relief from certain municipal tax deadlines and collection efforts: Requires municipalities to enact one or both of two options for providing temporary tax forbearance of property tax collection and reduced interest on delinquent tax payments to property owners under certain conditions, including that landlords agree extend commensurate forbearance to commercial, residential, or institutional tenants for the duration of the deferment.
  • Allow suspension of in-person voting requirements for critical and time sensitive municipal fiscal deadlines: Allows suspension of certain in-person votes of residents or taxpayers on certain fiscal decisions, in addition to the provisions in Executive Order No. 7I, for fiscal decisions needed to prevent property damage, protect public health and safety, or prevent significant financial loss, provided they comply with all open meeting requirements of Executive Order No. 7B.
  • Suspension of reapplication filing requirement for the homeowners’ elderly/disabled circuit breaker tax relief program and for the homeowners’ elderly/disabled freeze tax relief program: Allows recipients of this benefit to receive the benefit for the coming year without recertifying their eligibility.
  • Substitution of full inspection requirements pertaining to October 1, 2020 grand list revaluations: Allows 34 municipalities to continue with their scheduled 2020 revaluations, which are started up to a year in advance.The statute allows for Data Mailer Questionnaire to be mailed to the property owner when access is unobtainable; this eliminates having to request access, and allows for the revaluation to be completed via questionnaire.
  • Extension of deadline to file income and expense statement to August 15: Allows taxpayers additional time to complete their income and expense statements.
  • Suspension of non-judicial tax sales: Suspends foreclosures through non-judicial tax sales until 30 days after the end of the COVID-19 emergency.

Governor Lamont announces medical surge plan in collaboration with Connecticut’s long-term care facilities

Governor Lamont today announced that his administration is collaborating with Connecticut’s long-term care facilities on a medical surge plan that will involve moving some residents and the creation of dedicated spaces for residents who are COVID-19 positive.

As the number of individuals who are diagnosed with COVID-19 rises, the health care system will be stretched to extremes. Compounding this challenge is the fact that the elderly population will be at greater risk when diagnosed as being positive for COVID-19.

Nursing homes are an essential component of the medical surge plan. It includes the following options:

  1. Separation of COVID-19 positive residents: Anyone diagnosed as COVID-19 positive in a hospital and later admitted to a nursing home will be monitored and assessed for 14 days in an area that only has other COVID-19 positive residents. Anyone admitted who is negative for COVID-19 will be housed with other residents who are negative, as a mitigation measure.
  2. Dedication of space: Existing nursing homes will dedicate specific units that will group together residents who have been diagnosed as being COVID-19 positive, where applicable.
  3. Conversion of existing nursing homes: Residents of some long-term care facilities who either test negative for COVID-19 or display no symptoms will be able to voluntarily transfer to facilities where there are no COVID-19 positive residents. At the same time, some facilities will be converted to only house individuals who are COVID-19 positive and dedicate their new admissions to individuals who have been diagnosed positive. This concept also includes a facility who has a dedicated entrance to a unit within the structure that can physically isolate all care and services from normal operations. For existing nursing home conversions, individuals who are not positive for COVID-19 and/or asymptomatic will all be voluntarily transferred to the receiving destination prior to that facility accepting any individuals who are COVID-19 positive.
  4. Development of new alternate care sites: New spaces are identified that are currently vacant and in several cases have been vacated through recent nursing home closures. These sites would be licensed as chronic and convalescent nursing homes and the request would be made to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) for an 1135 waiver for rapid certification. These alternate care sites, too, would be dedicated to the care of individuals positive for COVID-19. Alternate care sites developed will be inspected and approved by the Department of Public Health (DPH). DPH can also provide support regarding access to and moving of equipment, staffing and logistics.

The Department of Social Services and the Office of Policy and Management have determined a specific payment rate for options 3 and 4. Options 3 and 4 would also require providers to submit a written proposal to DPH prior to approval that will need to address staffing patterns, equipment needs and detail system supports that will be provided such as environmental and food services, among others.

Options 3 and 4 will create additional bed space for 1,175 people. The following nursing homes have been identified as potential sites:

Option 3 (conversion of existing facilities)

  • Evergreen Health Care (Stafford Springs, 180 Beds)
  • Sharon Health Care (Sharon, 88 Beds)
  • Touchpoints of Farmington (Farmington, 120 Beds)
  • Touchpoints of Bloomfield (Bloomfield, 30 Beds)
  • Greenwich Woods (Greenwich, 217)
  • Total beds in option 3: 635

Option 4 (new alternate sites)

  • Old Greenwich Civic Center (Greenwich, 90 Beds)
  • Silver Hill Hospitals (New Caanan, 90 Beds)
  • Westfield (Meriden, 120 Beds)
  • Green Springs (East Hartford, 120 Beds)
  • Vacant Nursing Home in Region 5 (120 Beds)
  • Total beds in option 4: 540

The following is the list of nursing homes in Connecticut with residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 as of April 1, 2020 at 11:00 a.m.:


Nursing Home


Bloomfield Healthcare Center


Caleb Hitchcock Health Center


Touchpoints at Bloomfield


Jewish Living Center


Cherry Brook Health Care Center


Glen Hill Center

East Haven

Whispering Pines Rehabilitation and Nursing Center


Greenwich Woods Rehabilitation


Nathaniel Witherell


Guilford House


Golden Hill Rehab Pavilion


Glendale Center

New Haven

Grimes Center

New London

Harbor Village Health and Rehabilitation


Bel-Air Manor


Portland Care and Rehabilitation

Rocky Hill

Apple Rehab Rocky Hill


Shady Knoll Health Center


Sharon Health Care Center


Apple Rehab Shelton Lakes


Bishop Wicke Health and Rehabilitation


Gardner Heights Health Care Center

Stafford Springs

Evergreen Health Care Center


St. Camillus Center


Suffield House


RegalCare at Torrington


Wolcott Hall


Maefair Health Care Center


Abbott Terrace Health Center


RegalCare at Waterbury


Waterbury Gardens Nursing and Rehabilitation


Bayview Health Care


Wilton Meadows


Kimberly Hall North


Windsor Health and Rehabilitation


The Willows

Connecticut National Guard deploys additional medical capacity at Middlesex Hospital, SCSU, and WCSU

The Connecticut National Guard today continued efforts to deploy additional medical capacity at several sites throughout the state:

  • A Connecticut Department of Public Health mobile field hospital was set up at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown. This is the third of these units to be deployed at hospitals across the state. Last week, the Guard deployed two other of these units at Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford and Danbury Hospital.
  • The Guard today also deployed a 250-bed medical station provided by FEMA at the Moore Field House on the campus of Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven.
  • In addition, the Guard today began preparations to set-up 300 beds of additional medical capacity from the Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security at the O’Neill Center on the campus of Western Connecticut State University in Danbury. Those beds will be assembled on Thursday.

Governor Lamont announces creation of 4-CT charitable organization to unite donors with Connecticut programs responding to COVID-19

Recognizing the considerable demand on resources the COVID-19 public health emergency is having on nearly every aspect of life across the state, a group of Connecticut-based philanthropists today announced that they have established a charitable organization to raise new support for the state’s nonprofit organizations that are serving those impacted by the pandemic.

The Connecticut COVID-19 Charity Connection – also known as 4-CT – is an independent, 501(c)3 organization with the mission of bolstering the resources available to support the state’s frontline providers who are serving all areas impacted by the crisis. 4-CT will provide financial support to ensure their services can meet increased demand and have a positive impact. In announcing its launch, the charity has already raised $10 million from generous donors and is seeking to significantly increase these efforts in the coming weeks and months to further support to the state’s nonprofit community.

Governor Ned Lamont, recognizing the urgency of addressing the impact of the crisis on communities across the state, said the creation of this charity is an example of Connecticut ingenuity and generosity, and applauded the efforts of those who sought to bring it to fruition.

“I’m grateful to our community foundations, United Way of Connecticut, and the individual donors who support the work of nonprofits that provide critical services across our state every day – and during this crisis,” Governor Lamont said. “4-CT will expand the ranks of these philanthropic partners supporting the nonprofits on the frontlines.”

For more information, read the press release issued today by Governor Lamont.

State Parks to reduce visitor capacity during COVID-19 pandemic

Pursuant to Executive Order No. 7R, which Governor Lamont signed Tuesday, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) today announced that it will be enforcing stricter measures to support safe, solitary enjoyment of outdoor spaces at all state parks in an effort to maintain social distancing. This include plans to limit parking capacity at certain parks to manage visitor levels.

While state parks remain open for solitary recreation, the agency is closely monitoring park visitorship and is closing parking lots when lots become full and lowering parking thresholds where necessary. In some locations, additional visitors have been observed parking outside of park entrances that have been closed for capacity and walking in, which undermines DEEP’s ability to maintain manageable visitor levels. The executive order Governor Lamont signed gives DEEP the authority to impose penalties on individuals who enter parks after they have reached capacity.

Those considering visiting State Parks are encouraged to take these steps:

  • Check the Connecticut State Park’s Twitter account at @CTStateParks, where real-time information on park closures is announced;
  • Stay home if you’re not feeling well; and
  • Rather than traveling to the more popular spots, discover a new place that is less traveled. Check out DEEP’s website for a list of every State Park and use the hashtag #CTTrailsLessTraveled on social media.

For more information, read the press release issued today by DEEP.

Connecticut State Colleges and University system donates PPE to facilities across the state

Higher education institutions from within the Connecticut State Colleges and University (CSCU) system have been making donations of PPE from their facilities to local hospitals to assist with emergency response.

“There are so many ways each of us can help out in some way, and I applaud these higher education institutions for utilizing their resources and giving them to our local hospitals, which are in need of this equipment at this time,” Governor Lamont said.

PPE donations from each CSCU institution to date includes:

  • Central Connecticut State University: Total Gloves Combined, 26,000; Total Masks Combined, 430
  • Eastern Connecticut State University: Total Masks Combined, 1,200
  • Western Connecticut State University: Total Gloves Combined, 400; Total Masks Combined, 1,550; Total Gowns Combined, 174
  • Charter Oak State College: Total Gloves Combined, 1,800; Total Masks Combined, 21
  • Tunxis Community College: Total Gloves Combined, 15,600; Total Masks Combined, 838; Total Eye Protection Combined, 48; Total gowns, 60
  • Middlesex Community College: Total Gloves Combined, 25,300; Total Masks Combined, 560
  • Norwalk Community College: Total Gloves Combined, 15,000; Total Masks Combined, 919; Total Gowns Combined, 130; Total Alcohol Prep Pads Combined, 1,800; Total Ventilators Combined (on loan), 3
  • Three Rivers Community College: Total Gloves Combined, 5,700; Total Masks Combined, 2,000 Total Gowns Combined, 189
  • Northwestern Connecticut Community College: Total Gloves Combined, 15,100; Total Masks Combined, 1,890; Total Gowns Combined, 211
  • Manchester Community College: Total Ventilators Combined, 6
  • Housatonic Community College: Total Gloves Combined, 300; Total Masks Combined, 200; Total Gowns Combined, 120
  • Naugatuck Valley Community College: Total Gloves Combined, 28,400; Total Masks Combined, 200; Total Gowns Combined, 510
  • Quinebaug Valley Community College: Total Gloves Combined, 23,100; Total Masks Combined, 525; Total Gowns Combined, 85
  • Capital Community College: Total Gloves Combined, 27,700; Total Masks Combined, 1,012; Total Gowns Combined, 406
  • CSCU System Totals: Gloves: 184,400; Masks: 11,345; Gowns: 1,885; Ventilators: 9

Providing information to Connecticut residents

For the most up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on COVID-19, including an FAQ and other guidance and resources, residents are encouraged to visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

Individuals who have general questions that are not answered on the website can also call 2-1-1 for assistance. The hotline is available 24 hours a day and has multilingual assistance and TDD/TTY access. It intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider.

kerry@ducey.org (Gov. Ned Lamont) Politics Thu, 02 Apr 2020 09:14:12 -0400
Fairfield County Bank Commits $100,000 to Help Feed the Community https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/charities/47354-fairfield-county-bank-commits-100-000-to-help-feed-the-community47354-fairfield-county-bank-commits-100-000-to-help-feed-the-community https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/charities/47354-fairfield-county-bank-commits-100-000-to-help-feed-the-community47354-fairfield-county-bank-commits-100-000-to-help-feed-the-community

In response to the COVID-19 national health crisis, Fairfield County Bank announced today its new program, Feeding Fairfield County, and a $100,000 commitment to help feed the community.

“As a result of the outbreak, many of our community members are struggling to feed their families.  As we tirelessly work to help our impacted business and consumer clients overcome their financial challenges, it is also important for us to take a leadership position to help community members with the urgent need of putting food on the table,” says Dan Berta, President of Fairfield County Bank.

Feeding Fairfield County, Fairfield County Bank’s COVID-19 food security response program, is a multi-faceted program designed to improve access to food for community members suddenly impacted by the national health crisis.  The program includes direct contributions to local food banks as well as purchasing gift cards from local restaurants that will be donated to help feed at-risk communities and our heroic healthcare workers and first responders.

“We want to contribute not only money but also create a program to bring together our local businesses, clients, and the overall community to further feed people in need.  We encourage everyone who can to join us in supporting the community through this program,” adds David Schneider, Fairfield County Bank CEO.

Dan Berta goes on to say, “The Bank’s restaurant clients are some of our most notable community leaders.  This is an opportunity for us to also help them during this crisis by purchasing gift cards that we then donate to people in need and using them to bring food to our front-line healthcare workers and first responders.”

Additionally, Fairfield County Bank will be directing some of its on-going community-focused efforts towards food-related causes, including the Bank’s Charity of the Month program, the Bank’s Coins for a Cause program, employee gift matching program, and volunteer efforts.

In the coming days, Fairfield County Bank will be providing details on how community members can join the effort.  For more information, please follow Fairfield County Bank on Facebook and check for routine updates on our dedicated Feeding Fairfield County webpage.  Charities or businesses interested in participating in the Feeding Fairfield County program can email Stephen Wooters at Stephen.Wooters@FairfieldCountyBank.com.

Stephen Wooters, Executive Vice President, further emphasizes, “We are a community bank, and we are here for our community.  It’s not just a tagline when we say ‘We Are Fairfield County.’”

Founded in 1871, Fairfield County Bank is a $1.5 billion community bank with locations throughout Fairfield County. In 2019 alone, Fairfield County Bank donated over $1 million to 415 local non-profit organizations with over 5,000 hours of volunteerism from their employees – a true testament to strengthening our communities. Visit www.fairfieldcountybank.com to find out more about the Bank. #WeAreFairfieldCounty              

kerry@ducey.org (Ryan Arconti) Charities Wed, 01 Apr 2020 14:42:13 -0400
Danbury Resident Shirley A. Antonio, 83, has Died https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47353-danbury-resident-shirley-a-antonio-83-has-died47353-danbury-resident-shirley-a-antonio-83-has-died https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47353-danbury-resident-shirley-a-antonio-83-has-died47353-danbury-resident-shirley-a-antonio-83-has-died

Shirley A. Antonio

Shirley A. Antonio, 83, of Danbury, wife of Henrique "Poncho" Antonio, died on Tuesday evening, March 31, 2020 at Maplewood of Danbury.
Mrs. Antonio was born in Danbury, October 10, 1936, the daughter of the late Michael and Anna (Govorra) Peters.  A lifelong Danbury resident, Mrs. Antonio attended Danbury schools and graduated from Danbury High School with the Class of 1953.  She was first employed with the Davis & Geck Corporation of Danbury and later with the Danbury Board of Education.
She was a secretary at Great Plain Elementary school, a position she held for thirty-one years prior to retirement.  Mrs. Antonio was a communicant and member of St. Gregory the Great Church of Danbury.  In addition to her husband of sixty-one years, Mrs. Antonio is survived by a daughter, Jean Antonio of Danbury; four grandchildren, Courtney and Amanda and Alyssa and Jake and several nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, Mrs. Antonio was predeceased by a daughter Jo-Ann Sousa and by a brother, Donald Hanrahan. Funeral services and burial will be private. 
A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Gregory the Great Church, Danbury when gatherings will be permitted due to the emergency health crisis.  Jowdy-Kane Funeral Home, 9-11 Granville Ave., Danbury is in charge of arrangements.
kerry@ducey.org (Jowdy Kane Funeral Home) Neighbors Wed, 01 Apr 2020 14:37:43 -0400
Connecticut COVID-19 Update: 3,557 Cases, First Pediatric Death https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47352-connecticut-covid-19-update-3-557-cases-first-pediatic-death-in-connecticut47352-connecticut-covid-19-update-3-557-cases-first-pediatic-death-in-connecticut https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47352-connecticut-covid-19-update-3-557-cases-first-pediatic-death-in-connecticut47352-connecticut-covid-19-update-3-557-cases-first-pediatic-death-in-connecticut

As of April 1, 2020, a total of 3557 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported among Connecticut residents. Seven hundred and sixty-six patients are currently hospitalized. Eighty-five residents have died. 

Fairfield County currently has the most cases in Connecticut with 1986 positive COVID-19 cases. There have been 49 deaths in Fairfield County.

Earlier today, Governor Ned Lamont reported the first pediatric fatality in Connecticut linked to COVID-19. "A 6-week old newborn from the Hartford area was brought unresponsive to a hospital last week and could not be revived," he said.

View cases by Town and County here.

National COVID-19 statistics and information about preventing spread of COVID-19 are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A weekly report on seasonal influenza activity can be found on the DPH website.

The map you see here shows the number of patients currently hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 by county based on data collected by the Connecticut Hospital Association. The distribution is by location of hospital, not patient residence. The labels indicate the number of patients currently hospitalized with the change since yesterday in parentheses.

Additional details can be found here.


kerry@ducey.org (State of CT) Neighbors Wed, 01 Apr 2020 13:54:57 -0400
Community is not Canceled: WCSU M.F.A. Thesis Virtual Exhibition https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47351-community-is-not-canceled-wcsu-m-f-a-thesis-virtual-exhibition47351-community-is-not-canceled-wcsu-m-f-a-thesis-virtual-exhibition https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47351-community-is-not-canceled-wcsu-m-f-a-thesis-virtual-exhibition47351-community-is-not-canceled-wcsu-m-f-a-thesis-virtual-exhibition

Community is not Canceled 

Neighbors helping neighbors, community members reaching out to our local senior citizens, residents supporting our heroic first responders -the inspiring stories and acts of kindness brought forth by our current crisis are extraordinary. What's more, small businesses, local nonprofits, and civic organizations are innovating to stay connected and serve the community. 

Community is not Canceled, a series made possible by LIFEWTR will showcase Connecticut's awesome response to this unprecedented situation. We are in this together. Stay strong. 

Six WCSU Grad Students Offer Virtual Tour of Thesis Exhibit

Six Western Connecticut State University graduate student candidates for the Master of Fine Arts degree in 2020 are presenting their works in the M.F.A. Thesis Virtual Exhibition currently featured on the webpage of the Gallery at the Visual and Performing Arts Center at WCSU in Danbury.

The virtual exhibit offers the public an opportunity to experience the diverse works in painting, illustration, sculpture, digital art and mixed media created by this year’s M.F.A. candidates at WCSU. Closure of the Gallery and all other WCSU facilities to the public through May during the COVID-19 pandemic has made viewing in person at the Gallery impossible, but the virtual tour provides a creative response that opens the exhibition to all through online access from home. 

The exhibition features works by six graduate students who are candidates this spring to receive the M.F.A. degree at WCSU. Participating artists include Stephanie Dee, of Bethel; Brian Antonio McCarley, of Danbury; Wing Na Wong, of Danbury; Hannah Hurricane Sanchez, of Southbury; Amanda Paige Megill, of Northford; and Jen Olvera, of Phoenix, Arizona.

Learn more here.


Community is not Canceled! We are thankful to LIFEWTR for helping us to connect and stay strong.

The views and opinions expressed above are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of HamletHub or LIFEWTR. 



kerry@ducey.org (HH) Neighbors Wed, 01 Apr 2020 12:52:35 -0400
Danbury Airport lot will house two refrigerated trailers as overflow for hospital morgue https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/life/47350-danbury-airport-lot-will-house-two-refrigerated-trailers-as-overflow-for-hospital-morgue47350-danbury-airport-lot-will-house-two-refrigerated-trailers-as-overflow-for-hospital-morgue https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/life/47350-danbury-airport-lot-will-house-two-refrigerated-trailers-as-overflow-for-hospital-morgue47350-danbury-airport-lot-will-house-two-refrigerated-trailers-as-overflow-for-hospital-morgue

After locals inquired about activity outside of Danbury Airport, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton reported that the City of Danbury, in collaboration with Danbury Hospital, is using a lot on the airport to house two refrigerated trailers to serve as an overflow for the Danbury Hospital morgue. "Right now there are no deceased individuals at the airport," he said.

According to Boughton, the overflow demand is due to a slower than normal processing of all deceased in the City. "Because of the pandemic, there are new requirements for funeral homes to follow to protect their staff. So it takes longer for planning and conducting of memorials and funerals - regardless of the cause of death," he said.

Will the overflow morgue ever house people who have died of COVID-19? Boughton says, "Possibly. But right now the Hospital morgue just needs extra space."

kerry@ducey.org (HH) Life Wed, 01 Apr 2020 10:52:03 -0400
Connecticut COVID Update: 3,128 Confirmed Cases, 69 Deaths https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47349-connecticut-covid-update-3-128-confirmed-cases-69-deaths47349-connecticut-covid-update-3-128-confirmed-cases-69-deaths https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47349-connecticut-covid-update-3-128-confirmed-cases-69-deaths47349-connecticut-covid-update-3-128-confirmed-cases-69-deaths

As of March 31, 2020, a total of 3128 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported among Connecticut residents. Six hundred and eight patients are currently hospitalized. Sixty-nine residents have died. In addition to the deaths related to COVID-19 that have been reported to the Department of Public Health (DPH), this update contains information on the number of deaths that have been reported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME).

Today, the OCME provided information on 14 additional COVID-19 related deaths that occurred during March 17-29. There were 16 COVID-19 related deaths on March 30, and 3 on March 31. Moving forward, deaths reported to either the OCME or DPH will be included in the daily COVID-19 update.

Fairfield County currently has the most cases in the state with 1870 COVID-19 confirmed positives 1870. View the data per county and town here.


Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Cases 3128 (+557)

COVID-19 Associated Deaths 69 (+33)

Patients Currently Hospitalized with COVID-19 608 (+91)

Patients tested for COVID-19 15600 (+1000)

The Dr. Katherine A. Kelley State Public Health Laboratory has tested a total of 2008 patients for COVID19; 359 (18%) patients tested positive. The graph (image #2) shows the number of patients tested by date specimens were received. Hospital and commercial laboratories also are offering testing for COVID19 in Connecticut; in total, more than 15600 tests have been reported to date.

kerry@ducey.org (State of CT) Neighbors Tue, 31 Mar 2020 13:34:13 -0400
RVNAhealth Offers Advance Care Planning Support to Community Members https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47355-rvnahealth-offers-advance-care-planning-support-to-community-members47355-rvnahealth-offers-advance-care-planning-support-to-community-members https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47355-rvnahealth-offers-advance-care-planning-support-to-community-members47355-rvnahealth-offers-advance-care-planning-support-to-community-members

One of the many important services that the RVNAhealth ComfortWELL team delivers year-round is help and facilitation with Advance Care Planning – the process of guiding individuals to make plans about their future health care choices. An Advance Care Plan provides direction to healthcare professionals when a person is not in a position to make and/or communicate their own healthcare choices, and it enables family and friends to follow a loved one's wishes without the burden of trying to figure out what they are.

“Advance Care Planning is a true gift to oneself and to one’s family,” says Keri Linardi, RN, BSN, PHN, CHPCA, Chief Clinical Officer at RVNAhealth. “It allows clarity in health care decision making prior to crises in health, and it gives families or decision-makers one last opportunity to honor their loved ones wishes. A final gift to close the circle.”

“And, while we promote Advance Care Planning at all times,” Linardi continues, ”now – when you have time at home and when COVID-19 is so active in our communities – is a very good time to take care of this. Our team is here to help.”

RVNAhealth is now offering Advance Care Planning support to all community members – free of charge. The help will be conducted via tele-health methods (phone, FaceTime, WhatsApp and other video-conferencing methods as needed) and will include the facilitation of discussion on such topics as wishes for care, COVID-19-specific conditions; benefits vs. burdens of particular decisions and more. The consultations will be conducted by key members of the RVNAhealth ComfortWELL team including Kaye Hale, MD, Hospice Associate Medical Director; Cindy Merritt, LCSW, Hospice Social Worker; Jessica Lewis, LCSW, Hospice Social Worker or Niamh Van Mienes, APRN.

“RVNAhealth is caring for a wide range of patients right now and our experiences are telling us clearly what is working and what needs attention. Our two ongoing recommendations for all patients and community members remain: practice all the recommended health measures including staying at home, social distancing, hand-washing; and take the time to prepare an advance care plan,” says Linardi.

To learn more, or make an appointment to meet with the RVNAhealth Advance Care Planning team, call 203-894-5014 or write to AdvanceCarePlanning@rvnahealth.org.

The photo shows Cindy Merritt, LCSW, in a conversation with an RVNAhealth patient family member

About RVNAhealth

RVNAhealth is a private, nonprofit organization that provides exceptional home and community health care services, supports public health and safety, and has promoted the highest quality of life for over 100 years. During this century, our name, services, and reach have evolved to meet the care and wellness needs of all those we serve, yet our focus on excellent care, quality and safety, and our guiding philosophy have remained steadfast – the individuals and patients we care for come first.

kerry@ducey.org (Nancy Rowe) Neighbors Tue, 31 Mar 2020 11:50:49 -0400