Newmilford's HamletHub Mon, 01 Jun 2020 04:30:32 -0400 13 Additional Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing Sites at CVS Pharmacy Locations in Connecticut

CVS Health is Now Operating 25 Test Sites at the Company’s Pharmacies Across Connecticut

Governor Ned Lamont is applauding an announcement made today by CVS Health that the company is opening 13 new COVID-19 test sites at select CVS Pharmacy drive-thru locations in Connecticut. These test sites, which are set to open on Friday, May 22, 2020, come in addition to the 12 locations the company previously opened in the state on May 15.

“CVS Health has been a significant partner in Connecticut’s efforts to increase COVID-19 testing, and I appreciate their willingness to work with our administration on expanding these locations so that we can make testing more accessible and convenient for our residents, particularly within the hardest hit communities,” Governor Lamont said.

These new sites will utilize self-swab tests and will be available to individuals meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria, in addition to age guidelines. Patients must register in advance at to schedule an appointment. Upon arriving for their appointment, patients must stay in their cars and will be directed to the pharmacy drive-thru window, where they will be provided with a test kit and given instructions. A CVS Pharmacy team member will observe the self-swab process to ensure it is done properly. Tests will be sent to an independent, third-party lab for processing and the results will be available in approximately three days.

The 13 new CVS Health test sites in Connecticut that will open on Friday, May 22, include:

·       CVS Pharmacy, 81 North Street, Bristol, CT

·       CVS Pharmacy, 292 Spielman Highway, Burlington, CT

·       CVS Pharmacy, 47 Lake Avenue Extension, Danbury, CT

·       CVS Pharmacy, 16 Main Street, East Hartford, CT

·       CVS Pharmacy, 15 Chesterfield Road, East Lyme, CT

·       CVS Pharmacy, 1770 Kings Highway, Fairfield, CT

·       CVS Pharmacy, 1657 Route 12, Gales Ferry, CT

·       CVS Pharmacy, 690 Wethersfield Avenue, Hartford, CT

·       CVS Pharmacy, 57 Providence Pike, Putnam, CT

·       CVS Pharmacy, 229 Hope Street, Stamford, CT

·       CVS Pharmacy, 1938 West Main Street, Stamford, CT

·       CVS Pharmacy, 2005 Norwich-New London Turnpike, Uncasville, CT

·       CVS Pharmacy, 355 Campbell Avenue, West Haven, CT

The 12 previously announced CVS Health test sites that opened on May 15 include:

·       CVS Pharmacy, 7 Durant Avenue, Bethel, CT

·       CVS Pharmacy, 905 South Main Street, Cheshire, CT

·       CVS Pharmacy, 3514 Main Street, Coventry, CT

·       CVS Pharmacy, 54 East High Street, East Hampton, CT

·       CVS Pharmacy, 875 Enfield Street, Enfield, CT

·       CVS Pharmacy, 2639 Main Street, Glastonbury, CT

·       CVS Pharmacy, 1057 Boston Post Road, Guilford, CT

·       CVS Pharmacy, 479 Blue Hills Avenue, Hartford, CT

·       CVS Pharmacy, 150 Washington Street, Hartford, CT

·       CVS Pharmacy, 323 Cromwell Avenue, Rocky Hill, CT

·       CVS Pharmacy, 525 Buckland Street, South Windsor, CT

·       CVS Pharmacy, 1 Hawley Lane, Stratford, CT

For additional information from CVS Health, visit

]]> (Gov. Ned Lamont) Public safety Thu, 21 May 2020 09:40:10 -0400
UConn Announces University will be SAT/ACT Test Optional

UConn announced this week that they will pilot a test-optional undergraduate admissions process for the next three application periods for the purpose of studying whether the policies influence student success rates and increase accessibility to talented students who may face barriers to admission associated with the tests.

"UConn has always believed in the value of a holistic application review process, officials say, and that no single piece of an application – including the SAT or ACT standardized tests – should determine whether a student has the potential to succeed at the university," UConn wrote in UConn Today.

UConn says they will start the test-optional applications process starting with students applying to enter as undergraduates in fall 2021, and will continue through the following two admissions cycles. "During that time, students may submit SAT and/or ACT results if they choose, but no admissions decision would be impacted and no student would be disadvantaged if a standardized test score is not provided," they explain.

UConn will join more than 70 institutions nationwide who have announced they will pilot or adopt test-optional policies.

Read the article in its entirety here.

]]> (HH) Places Thu, 21 May 2020 08:21:32 -0400
Lamont Signs Executive Order Allowing All Eligible Connecticut Residents to Vote Absentee in August 11 Primary Elections


Governor Ned Lamont today announced that because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, he has signed an executive order allowing all registered voters in Connecticut to vote absentee in the August 11, 2020 primary elections.

Current state law authorizes the use of an absentee ballot for six reasons, including a voter’s active service in the Armed Forces; absence from town during all of the hours of voting; own illness; religious beliefs; duties as an election official; and physical disability. Governor Lamont said that as the highly contagious virus continues to spread and nearly 3,500 people in the state who have contracted the disease have died within the last two months, it is critical that state government make reasonable adjustments that reflect the current state of emergency while ensuring that the democratic process continues safely and securely.

“Nobody should need to make a decision between their health and their right to vote,” Governor Lamont said. “Our state has taken every responsible step to this point to ensure that our residents are safe, and the next step we must take is to mitigate the risk of the spread of COVID-19 when Connecticut residents cast their ballots. We must guarantee access to the ballot, and this is a way to do that during these extraordinary circumstances. I do not take this decision lightly, and it is with the public health and welfare of residents in mind.”

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill has announced that she intends to mail every registered voter in the state an application they will need to fill out and return in order to obtain an absentee ballot. That application, which will be sent via U.S. Postal Service, will include a postage paid return envelope. After processing the applications at the local level, all voters who requested an absentee ballot will receive the ballots in the mail, which will also include a postage paid return envelope. Each town will also have a secure dropbox in a prominent location to allow voters to deliver their absentee ballots in person without close personal contact.

Connecticut’s 2020 presidential primary was initially scheduled to be held on April 28, but to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19, Governor Lamont signed executive orders rescheduling it, first to June 2 and then to August 11, the same date that the state was already scheduled to hold primaries for other federal, state, and local offices. Moving the presidential primary to this date enables the primary for president to appear on the same ballot as those for other offices, and eliminates the need for the state to hold two separate primary elections.

]]> (Gov. Ned Lamont) Politics Wed, 20 May 2020 15:14:23 -0400
Connecticut DEEP Announces the Opening of State Parks and Beaches

State Parks Remain Open with Restrictions; Shoreline Swimming Areas Open; Inland Swimming Areas Closed, Capacity Limits and Social Distancing Guidelines Remain in Place

They also encourage visitors to select locations closest to your home. State parks and beaches near New Milford include:

Park City Location
Lovers Leap State Park New Milford New Milford
Mount Bushnell State Park Washington Washington

While some of the information is guidance that DEEP has shared previously, the plan contains a good amount of new information, such as DEEP’s current plan for the swimming areas it oversees, and provides a “one stop shop” for the latest information on outdoor recreation offerings administered by DEEP.

As the state begins a phased re-opening of its economy, the vast majority of state parks remain open, as they’ve been throughout the pandemic. The restrictions that they’ve operated under, such as daily capacity limits, social distancing guidelines for visitors, and use of face coverings, also remain in place.

The operational plan can be found here.

Swimming and Beaches:

Last week, Gov. Ned Lamont, along with the governors of New York, New Jersey, and Delaware, announced that they would open beaches in their respective states effective Friday, May 22. Gov. Lamont also announced that in Connecticut, state parks that feature beaches along the Connecticut shoreline will be open May 22, though with capacity limitations, and visitors are advised to follow social distancing guidelines.

At this time, DEEP is permitting swimming only at shoreline State Parks (not inland State Park swim areas). Guidance from the state Department of Public Health indicates that recreational swimming is not a known form of transmission of COVID-19, in saltwater or freshwater. At this time, DEEP is making decisions about permitting swimming at State Parks based on considerations of potential crowding and the ability to maintain social distancing onshore, at beach locations.

It is DEEP’s assessment at this time that shoreline parks that feature beaches, operating under limited capacity, can safely accommodate visitors on beaches, provided they follow recommended social distancing guidelines. Visitors to shoreline parks must maintain 15’ of space from other beachgoers (blanket-to-blanket).  This distance will allow for a 6’ radius around each person or family and a 3’ walkway in between groups.

Based on the very limited size of our beach and swim areas at inland state parks, and current social distancing guidance, DEEP will close beaches at inland State Parks, and prohibit swimming at inland State Parks. Again, this operational decision is based on the potential for on-shore crowding, not a concern of risk of transmission in freshwater.  Park staff will monitor beach closure and educate the public to ensure compliance with the closures. DEEP will continue to review this policy in alignment with public health recommendations and will consider the reopening of designated swim areas on a case-by-case basis. 

If you choose to visit a shoreline state park that features a beach, visitors are encouraged to select locations closest to home, and consider visiting early in the morning before crowds gather. At least 6 feet of social distancing must be maintained between persons, and groups over five remain prohibited. Visitors should recreate with members of their immediate household and not meet up with others. Visitors should bring face coverings and use them whenever they are in proximity to others. Face coverings should not be worn in the water. Visitors should not expect that restroom buildings will be open, but most locations will have portable toilets available.  

DEEP will reduce parking capacity and close beaches for the day if social distancing cannot be maintained, and will make adjustments to operations and consider longer-term closures if the situation warrants. Updates on closures are posted on the state parks Twitter feed,@CTStateParks.

Lifeguards will not be on shoreline beaches in Connecticut state parks early in the season.  These beaches are currently posted as "No Lifeguards on Duty."  It is expected that shoreline beaches will begin lifeguarding when adequate staffing, training, and safety practices meeting DEEP standards are in place. Lifeguards will be provided training to reduce the risk of virus transmission in the course of their duties, including providing CPR. Guidance for lifeguards is available from the American Red Cross. Lifeguards will not be posted at inland beaches while swimming is prohibited at those beaches.

Staff in DEEP’s Water Monitoring and Assessment Program will be monitoring water quality at the shoreline parks open for swimming. The water quality at the beaches will be tested for the presence of infectious diseases using standard bacteria indicator species. Residents will be able to find swimming area closure information at DEEP’s state parks Twitter feed, @CTStateParks, and will soon also be able to find that information on the DEEP website at, or on DEEP’s toll free Water Quality Information Phone Line at 1-866-287-2757.

Connecticut municipalities continue to make decisions regarding the beaches and swimming areas they oversee. DEEP has been in consultation with municipalities during the pandemic, and will continue to be. DEEP’soperational planis available for municipalities to adapt to their needs if they wish to do so.

Limited swimming capacity at state parks, combined with restrictions made by municipalities around the swimming areas they oversee, mean that residents will have to plan beach and swimming excursions well in advance, and be ready with a back-up plan if their first choice is closed.

State Campgrounds, Cabins, and Youth Sites:

As was recently announced, state Campgrounds, Cabins, Youth sites, Backcountry and River Camping sites are closed until at least June 11.  Additional campground reservations for the 2020 season have been postponed for the time being to prevent the need to reimburse the public for future reservations if campgrounds remain closed.

Other options to open campgrounds are being considered that minimize staff and public risk.  The decision will be based on current public health guidance, cleaning protocols and the availability of adequate staff and appropriate personal protective equipment.  

As we move forward into the summer season, DEEP will continue to monitor and assess public use and recreational activities that occur at state parks and other DEEP managed outdoor recreation areas. Evaluation of that information may result in changes to the operational plan. While law enforcement personnel are authorized to enforce social distancing and group size guidance, DEEP seeks to educate first and ask people to follow the rules, in hopes that visitors will take personal responsibility and make sure that they comply. 

To view the operational plan, go here:

]]> (CT DEEP) Places Wed, 20 May 2020 09:14:03 -0400
Lamont Releases Dental Guidance Agreed Upon by Working Group of Dentists, Hygienists, and Assistants

Governor Ned Lamont today released the guidance document that was developed through a collaborative working group organized by his administration and provides best practices for dentist offices that are considering expanding their operations beyond emergency care in the coming days.

During the pandemic, dentist offices have been considered an essential business by the Lamont administration and were never ordered to close, however following a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dental offices were strongly advised to temporarily limit their practices to urgent and emergency dental care. As several other sectors of the economy begin preparations to reopen on May 20, some dental practices in the state indicated their intention to resume elective services on that date, and dental hygienists and assistants contacted the Lamont administration asking for more guidance.

To help address those concerns, Governor Lamont directed leadership at the Connecticut Department of Public Health to convene a working group of dental professionals representing dental hygienists, dental assistants, and dentists. The group recently met through video conferencing over a five-day period, and reached a consensus on the final guidance document.

“Having representatives from each of these groups collaboratively develop these protocols was an important step forward so that all of their concerns could be heard and addressed,” Governor Lamont said. “The success of this effort is owed to each member’s extensive and continuous hard work, commitment to professionalism, advocacy for their constituencies, and common goal of protecting the health and safety of the dental workforce and patients. Our group of professionals at the Department of Public Health have been incredibly thorough and thoughtful during this pandemic, and this is yet another example of their incredible hard work on behalf of the residents of our state.”

Representatives on the working group included:

  • Christian D. Andresen, MPH, CPH: Section Chief, Practitioner Licensing and Investigations, Connecticut Department of Public Health
  • Anne Marie DeLessio-Matta, DMD: Pediatric Dental Associates of Southbury; President-Elect, Connecticut State Dental Association
  • Sheila Fontanella, DA: Practicing Dental Assistant
  • Peter S. Katz, DMD: Chairman, Connecticut State Dental Commission
  • Tam Le, DMD: President, Connecticut State Dental Association
  • Jennifer Mancini, RDH: Practicing Licensed Dental Hygienist
  • Marion C. Manski, RDH, MS: Director, Fones School of Dental Hygiene; Associate Professor, College of Health Sciences, University of Bridgeport Health Sciences Center
  • Marie R. Paulis, RDH, MSDH: Assistant Professor and Dental Hygiene Program Director, School of Health Sciences, University of New Haven
  • Melissa Sipos, RDH: Practicing Licensed Dental Hygienist
  • Thomas St. Louis, MSPH: Occupational Health Program Supervisor, Connecticut Department of Public Health

**DownloadBest Practices for Dental Offices Considering Expanding Operations Beyond Emergency Care to Include Non-Urgent and Elective Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic

]]> (Gov. Ned Lamont) Life Mon, 18 May 2020 10:20:39 -0400
Lamont says salons and Barbershops will not open on May 20

Governor Lamont and Governor Raimondo to Align Hair Salon and Barber Shop Reopenings in Early June

As their administrations continue developing strategies for the safe reopening of sectors of the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Ned Lamont of Connecticut and Governor Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island today announced their intention to align the reopening of hair salons and barbershops in their respective states in early June.

Hair salons and barbershops were initially included in Phase 1 of Connecticut’s reopen plan, which begins May 20, however Governor Lamont said that after having extensive discussions with owners and employees of these businesses he feels that it is in everyone’s best interests to provide for some additional preparation time and also align the state with its regional partners.

Governor Lamont said, “We’ve been hearing a lot of feedback from many owners and employees, and at this time I think the best approach is that we hit pause on the reopening of hair salons and barbershops, take a step back, and allow some more time as preparations continue to be made.”

Governor Raimondo said, “I know how hard this crisis has been on close-contact businesses like hair salons and barbershops, and we’re working around the clock to get you back to work quickly and safely. We look forward to continuing to coordinate with our regional partners are we work toward reopening these businesses in early June.”

]]> (Gov. Ned Lamont) Life Mon, 18 May 2020 10:09:42 -0400
Connecticut’s Shoreline State Park Beaches Will Be Open Memorial Day Weekend

Governor Ned Lamont today announced that Connecticut state parks that feature beaches along the state’s shoreline will be open Friday, May 22, though with capacity limitations. Visitors are advised to follow social distancing guidelines.

Earlier today, Governor Lamont, along with the governors of New York, New Jersey, and Delaware, announced a multi-state agreement to open beaches in their respective states effective May 22. Connecticut’s shoreline state park beaches were never closed, and have remained open with capacity restrictions, which will remain in place.

“Our beaches are some of our most beautiful and treasured assets,” Governor Lamont said. “We want to make sure they are enjoyed up and down the east coast in the safest possible way, especially as the summer season begins. Working together as states to make sure they can be enjoyed responsibly makes sense.”

Residents are encouraged to select locations closest to home, and consider visiting early in the morning before crowds gather. At least six feet of social distancing must be maintained, and groups over five are prohibited. Residents should recreate with members of their immediate household and not meet up with others. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) will reduce parking capacity and close beaches for the day if social distancing cannot be maintained, and will make adjustments to operations and consider longer-term closures the situation warrants. Updates on closures are posted on the Connecticut State Parks’ Twitter account, @CTStateParks.

“I want to thank our DEEP staff for their work to maintain access to these special places for the public,” DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “I am asking the public to plan ahead and practice social distancing so that we can continue to keep these places open going forward.”

Connecticut municipalities continue to make decisions regarding the local beaches and swimming areas they oversee. DEEP will publish a detailed operations plan early next week that municipalities may adapt to their needs, which will be published online at Recommendations to promote safe enjoyment of beaches include:

  • No public gatherings or groups of over five
  • Face coverings worn when in proximity to others
  • Set parking capacity limits at each beach based on observations of levels needed to maintain social distancing
  • Daily closures when social distancing cannot be maintained
  • Use of social media and other communications to inform the public when capacity is restricted so they can plan to go elsewhere
  • Spacing of 15 feet or more between beach blankets

Currently, the Connecticut Department of Public Health and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise that there is no current evidence of COVID-19 transmission through recreational freshwater or saltwater swimming.


]]> (Gov. Lamont) Places Fri, 15 May 2020 12:11:24 -0400
Women's Center Eyes June 1 to Open, Continues to Conduct Free Counseling Sessions, Legal Advocacy Services

The Women's Center is currently strategizing and making plans for resuming our work on-site at headquarters. As of today, June 1st looks to be the date of our return, but we will of course be following the guidelines and recommendations put forward by our state and local officials. Planning includes the assessment of our physical locations as well as the mechanics of our daily operations, to ensure that we protect the health and safety of our team as well as clients and community members. More details will be forthcoming as our return date nears.

In the meantime, the Center staff and volunteers continue to conduct free and confidential individual counseling sessions for adults and youth by phone and video; remote court and legal advocacy services are free, confidential and provided in any language; free education classes and training programs for schools and organizations in groups of 10 or more are available remotely; free virtual discussion and support groups continue meeting on a weekly basis, and our domestic violence and sexual assault crisis hotlines are still answered live 24/7.

Please check our website and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube for updates and information on our services and programs.

]]> (WCofGD) Neighbors Fri, 15 May 2020 10:44:00 -0400
Distribution of Infrared Thermometers to Eligible Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Places of Worship

Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the State of Connecticut will be distributing 50,000 infrared thermometers it has secured for small businesses, nonprofits, and places of worship to support safe reopening activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Small businesses, nonprofits, and places of worship that would like to request equipment from the state’s supply of infrared thermometers should fill out a form online to indicate their request. The state has partnered with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association and its affiliate CONNSTEP to distribute the thermometers. They will be delivered to the municipalities in which the organizations are located, and then the municipalities will contact the recipient entities to inform them of a time and location they can pick up their requested equipment.

“We’ve secured these infrared thermometers for our businesses, nonprofits, and places of worship because having adequate screening measures is an important step in keeping people safe,” Governor Lamont said.

Entities that would like to request a thermometer can fill out the forms located at in the “Access to Personal Protective Equipment” section, or through the links provided below:

  • Small businesses: Any small business in the state that has between 2 and 100 employees are eligible to receive one thermometer per physical address. Eligible businesses seeking to request thermometers should click here.
  • Nonprofits: Nonprofits located within Connecticut are eligible to receive one thermometer per physical address. To request thermometers for nonprofits, click here. Social services and direct care nonprofits may request a thermometer through the process outlined in this memo.
  • Places of worship: Places of worship are eligible to receive one thermometer per physical address. To request thermometers for places of worship, click here.

This distribution will continue while supplies last.

]]> (Office of the Governor. ) Life Fri, 15 May 2020 08:48:18 -0400
Danbury Hospital Workers Touched By CT Air National Guard Flyby

To salute Connecticut's health care workers for the service they are providing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Connecticut Air National Guard conducted Operation American Resolve earlier today, Thursday, May 14. the Operation included a flyover of the Guard's C-130H aircraft over hospitals and other health care facilities throughout the state including Danbury Hospital.

"There are so many front line workers in Connecticut providing care, and this is the Connecticut Air Guard's way of saluting them and saying thank you. They are true heroes, and the amount of good they are providing for our state is immeasurable." Gov. Ned Lamont said in a press release

The Flyover took place at 11:28 am. but the excitement built before that. At 11:20 there were roughly 4  dozen spectators, including hospital staff, on the parking garage roof top and in the plaza at the main entrance.  Dozens more stood out in front of their homes or work places on the streets surrounding the hospital. Although some of the staff appeared a bit weary, their eyes lit up as the huge C-130H aircraft approached. A slight rumble from the engines was heard moments before the craft passed over head and although it appeared lumbering across the sky it was gone just as quickly making a sharp bank south to continue south towards its next destination, Greenwich Hospital.

As the staff and spectators applauded the Flyover, passing motorists honked their horns in salute as well and several of the hospital staff got teary-eyed at the salute. 

The huge aircraft took off from Torrington at 11:08 am and continued west over Waterbury before flying over Danbury and heading south towards Greenwich. It then continued up the Coast, turned north at New Haven where it looped around the Hartford area and proceed southeast to fly by the New London/Groton area hospitals before heading back north east to Putnam and finally home to Enfield at 1PM.


]]> (Peter Carey) Neighbors Thu, 14 May 2020 12:42:33 -0400
Connecticut Air National Guard Salutes Healthcare Workers with Flyover Tomorrow

To salute Connecticut's health care workers for the service they are providing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Connecticut Air National Guard will conduct Operation American Resolve on Thursday, May 14. This includes the flyover of the Guard's C-130H aircraft over hospitals and other health care facilities throughout the state.

There are so many front line workers in Connecticut providing care, and this is our way of saluting them and saying thank you. They are true heroes, and the amount of good they are providing for our state is immeasurable.

I've posted the schedule at the bottom of this email. And please remember for your safety, maintain social distancing. Watch from the safety of your homes, and avoid large gatherings.

All times listed below are estimates and subject to change. Expect C-130H aircraft overhead within plus or minus five minutes of these times:

  • Torrington 11:08 a.m.
  • Sharon 11:13 a.m.
  • Waterbury 11:21 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.
  • Danbury 11:27 a.m.
  • Greenwich 11:34 a.m.
  • Stamford 11:36 a.m.
  • Norwalk 11:37 a.m.
  • New Canaan 11:39 a.m.
  • Bridgeport 11:43 a.m. and 12:09 p.m.
  • New Haven 11:48 a.m.
  • Derby 11:50 a.m.
  • Wallingford 11:55 a.m.
  • Meriden 11:57 a.m.
  • Hartford 12:08 p.m.
  • Farmington 12:18 p.m.
  • New Britain 12:19 p.m.
  • Bristol 12:20 p.m.
  • Manchester 12:23 p.m.
  • Vernon 12:24 p.m.
  • Middletown 12:25 p.m.
  • New London 12:32 p.m.
  • Norwich 12:36 p.m.
  • Windham 12:40 p.m.
  • Putnam 12:45 p.m.
  • Stafford Springs 12:51 p.m.
  • Enfield 12:56 p.m.
]]> (Ned Lamong) Events Wed, 13 May 2020 10:32:58 -0400
CT BBB Warns About Puppy Scam During Covid-19


CROMWELL, Conn.—Some families obeying stay-at-home orders have turned to the internet to look for a pet, thinking they would have plenty of time to help the pet adjust to its new surroundings. Many have come across scammers who advertise on websites for animals that don't exist and are never shipped. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has given scammers reasons to ask for money or explain why they can’t see the pet in person before heartbroken, would-be pet owners figure out they have been conned.
Puppy scams like these were the subject of a 2017 in-depth investigative study by Better Business Bureau (BBB), and they are prolific during the holidays. New data from BBB Scam Tracker shows that these scams have spiked since COVID-19 took hold in the U.S., with more reports about fraudulent pet websites in April than in the first three months of the year combined.
BBB Serving Connecticut has also seen a rise in pet scams in Connecticut. According to BBB ScamTracker one victim in Waterbury lost $1,200 in May 2020 when they were trying to purchase an American Bully puppy. They were told they could not see the puppy prior to purchase and it could only be shipped to them. The scammer then requested payment via Zelle and after payment the animal never shipped to the buyer. 
"Even during this pandemic scammers are adapting their methods to continue taking advantage of people," said Luke Frey, Associate Director of Communications for BBB Serving Connecticut. "The weather is getting warmer and many families are now at home with their children with ample time to take care of a new pet. Unfortunately, with social distancing and new restrictions put into place, an odd payment request or denial to visit the pet before purchase may not set off immediate red flags. 
BBB’s earlier Study found that for these types of frauds to be successful it’s usually dependent on bogus, often sophisticated advertisements to hook unsuspecting consumers. Experts believed, at that time, that at least 80% of the sponsored advertising links that appear in an Internet search for pets may be fraudulent.
Actual numbers of pet fraud may be much higher than reported, because many victims either choose not to file complaints or do not know where to turn for help.
Many victims who contacted BBB’s Scam Tracker reported they wanted to adopt a puppy in order to ease their isolation and brighten their lives during the pandemic.
Victims were often told that they needed to send money for special climate-controlled crates, insurance and a (non-existent) COVID-19 vaccine. There also were several instances where the consumer wanted to see or pick-up the animal but was told that wasn't possible due to COVID-19 restrictions. 
Tips for avoiding puppy scams:
  • Don’t buy a pet without seeing it in person. If that isn't possible, conduct an internet search of the picture of the pet you are considering. If the same picture appears on multiple websites, its likely is a fraud. You also can search for text from ads or testimonials, to see if the seller copied it from another website.
  • Don’t send money by Western Union, MoneyGram, and a cash app like Zelle or a gift card. These payment methods offer no recourse and no way to get your money back if you are the victim of a fraud. Fraudsters may claim to accept credit cards, but may steal your credit card information to use it in other scams or inform you that payment didn’t go through and request the payment via wire service or gift cards.
  • Research prices for the breed you are interested in adopting. If a purebred dog is advertised for free or at a deeply discounted price, and then other payment is required for services like vaccination or shipping, it could be a fraudulent offer.
  • Consider reaching out to a local animal shelter. Especially during this time of quarantine, many shelters are looking for fosters to help relieve the animal's stress and reduce overcrowding at their facilities. Humane Society of the United States refers consumers to local shelters. 






]]> (CT BBB) Public safety Wed, 13 May 2020 09:23:58 -0400
Letter: CT Guidelines Miss the Mark, Do Not Allow for the Safe Reopening of Offices

Letter to the Editor

Guidelines Released by the Reopen Connecticut Taskforce Miss the Mark, Do Not Allow for the Safe Reopening of Offices

On May 9, 2020, a council of Connecticut business leaders, in concert with the Lamont Administration, released rules and guidance for the “safe” reopening of workplaces across the state. The processes, principles, and protocols issued by this taskforce reflect a failure to address some of the most basic needs that the state’s business community (including both employers and employees) desperately requires.

The guidelines state that “employees are encouraged to continue to work from home where possible.” While I am sure this statement was intended to highlight how even the most detailed and complete safety measures would still result in a substantial amount of risk present in any and all office environments, there is no excuse for the incompleteness of the issued guidelines.

Allow me to highlight some examples of where the program outline failed.

Reopen Connecticut failed to issue regulations or standards to be followed by building managers and landlords, which should have focused on the safe setup of common bathrooms, elevators, building access points, and even stairwells.

While the regulations issued state that all office spaces are required to be thoroughly cleaned prior to reopening (and on an ongoing basis), there are no clear guidelines as to ownership of this responsibility. What falls to the employer/tenant, and what will be the responsibility of building management? Given the fact that office spaces are most often cleaned by service providers secured directly by the landlord, standards for their cleaning needed to be defined, and were not.

Employers are responsible for providing office workers with Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), and Reopen Connecticut guidelines have made it clear that if PPE is not provided to employees, offices cannot open. However, the State has not provided a way for businesses to acquire the needed PPE, which will significantly hinder most from reopening their doors given how difficult it continues to be to acquire masks, gloves and, most importantly, sanitizing products.

Once offices reopen, there is also the inevitability that an employee or a member of their household will test positive for COVID-19. None of the guidance issued outlines steps a business must follow when this occurs. The cascade of challenges and issues that will shadow such an incident were very much overlooked by our leaders in Hartford, and protocols for meeting “re-certification” standards to reopen after such a diagnosis was also notably absent.

Even more troubling, there are also no specific requirements that mandate building management to notify tenants when an individual who has been in the building tests positive for COVID-19.

Businesses bringing employees back to the office will be required to post clear signage reinforcing all safety related protocols and policies, yet the State did not provide samples of these postings or indicate where they can be downloaded. It can be anticipated that the content of these notices may be incomplete and thus ineffective without the proper guidance from the taskforce.

It is understandable that Connecticut employers want to reopen their offices and welcome employees back as quickly as possible. However, in order to do so safely, they must be provided with a much more complete, robust, and clearly outlined set of standards and guidelines.

Those employed in the State of Connecticut are also eager to return to their workplace, but demand that they have confidence the office they return to is safe and that the State and their employer have done everything possible to ensure their health and wellbeing.

Reopen Connecticut fails miserably to address the needs of both Connecticut employers and workers. As a thirty-year resident of the state and business owner since 2001, I am incredibly disappointed in the taskforce’s efforts and output on this front. We all deserve better.

- David Lewis, Norwalk, Connecticut

David Lewis is CEO of OperationsInc (, the state’s largest HR Consulting Practice. The 90-employee consulting group is based in Norwalk.

]]> (David Lewis - Operations Inc) Politics Wed, 13 May 2020 07:12:06 -0400
Connecticut students plead for ‘real’ graduations

More than 500 petitions from across the country have been started by students and parents, whose dreams of walking the stage, or watching their child wearing a cap and gown at a commencement ceremony, have been dashed by the coronavirus crisis.

In Connecticut, two petitions have been started by local students and parents calling on their schools to host in-person graduations later in the year.

Schools throughout the nation have been forced to rethink the tradition, which would bring hundreds or even thousands of people close together, in a time when social distancing and shelter-in-place orders have been issued to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

The alternative of holding virtual commencements via video conferencing software, like Zoom, has been met by strong pushback, with a movement of more than 550,000 signers demanding an opportunity to have the event in-person at a later stage, when restrictions on gatherings have been lifted.

"The biggest trend on right now is being led by hundreds of students, urging high school and colleges to reschedule or postpone graduations canceled by COVID-19," said Michael Jones, Managing Director of Campaigns. "There are petitions from almost every state, signed by thousands of students who don't want their senior years to disappear without some kind of recognition."

]]> (Amanda Mustafic) Neighbors Tue, 12 May 2020 07:54:04 -0400
Connecticut COVID-19 Update: Governor Signs Executive Order Modifying Petitioning Process for August Primary

As the State of Connecticut continues taking actions in response to the global spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Governor Ned Lamont provided the following updates as of 6:00 p.m. on Monday, May 11, 2020:

Data updates on testing in Connecticut

The following is a summary of the day-to-day newly reported data on cases, deaths, and tests in Connecticut. It is important to note that these newly reported updates include data that occurred over the last several days to a week. All data in this report are preliminary, and data for previous dates will be updated as new reports are received and data errors are corrected.

Overall Summary

Statewide Total

Change Since Yesterday

Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Cases



COVID-19-Associated Deaths



Patients Currently Hospitalized with COVID-19



COVID-19 Test Reported



County-by-county breakdown:


Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Cases

Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Hospitalizations

Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19-Associated Deaths

Fairfield County




Hartford County




Litchfield County




Middlesex County




New Haven County




New London County




Tolland County




Windham County




Pending address validation








For several additional graphs and tables containing more data, including a list of cases in every municipality, visit

Governor Lamont signs 39th executive order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

Governor Lamont today signed another executive order – the 39th since he enacted the emergency declarations – that builds upon his efforts to encourage mitigation strategies that slow down the transmission of the virus. Executive Order No. 7LL enacts the following provisions:

  • Modifications to the petitioning process for the August primary: Makes modifications to the existing statutory petitioning process for minor parties, unaffiliated petitioning candidates, and major party candidates who fail to receive fifteen percent at a major party district convention and wish to run in the August primary as follows:
  • Reduces by 30 percent the number of signatures required;
  • Extends the deadline for submission of petitions by two days; and
  • Permits an individual to sign and mail or email to a candidate a petition containing only that individual’s signature, provided the individual makes all the required representations and attestations under penalty of false statement.

Connecticut Department of Public Health distributes its first allotment of remdesivir to acute care hospitals across the state

Over the weekend, the Connecticut Department of Public Health distributed the state’s first allotment of remdesivir to acute care hospitals. The medication, produced by Gilead Sciences Inc.’s, has shown promise in helping patients infected with COVID-19. It was recently authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for patients who have severe symptoms of COVID-19.

So far, the state has received 30 cases of 40 doses each, for a total of 1,200 doses. The Lamont administration is coordinating with Connecticut’s Congressional delegation and the Connecticut Hospital Association to secure more doses for the state. Gilead has committed to supply approximately 607,000 vials of remdesivir over the next six weeks in the United States. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is allocating those supplies to the states.

Governor Lamont encourages residents to sign up for the state’s CTAlert notification system

Governor Lamont is encouraging Connecticut residents to sign up for CTAlert, the state’s emergency alert system, which provides text message notifications to users. To subscribe, text the keyword COVIDCT to 888-777.

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

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.

]]> (State of CT) Politics Mon, 11 May 2020 14:38:01 -0400