More than 300 Hartford residents have tested positive for the coronavirus and 14 have died, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin confirmed Friday.
SOCIAL DISTANCING FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Social distancing remains a priority in the city as it continues to see a ramp up of cases. The mayor urged everyone to practice social distancing while celebrating the holidays over the weekend, and pointed out that some churches will be offering drive-up Easter services.
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TAX RELIEF OPTIONS
Bronin has proposed a tax deferment to the city council that could extend the deadline by 90 for property taxpayers who have been financially impacted during the pandemic. The program would allow eligible taxpayers, businesses, nonprofits and residents to defer payment of real property, personal property, or motor vehicles taxes levied between March 10, 2020 and July 1, 2020.
The city council will take it up Monday at their virtual meeting.
The mayor also signed an executive order regarding an elderly tax relief program, which extends the deadline for those who never applied, and are automatically re-enrolling those who have previously applied. That program - provides $500 in tax relief to seniors who own their homes.
Bronin noted that while they're making moves to help taxpayers, even when the pandemic is over they expect to see some taxpayers who will not be able to pay what's owed. While it's too soon to create specific plans for that scenario, the city intends to work with the feds, state, and banks to try to support those taxpayers and business owners when it becomes possible for them to reopen.
HOSPITAL BEDS AT CONNECTICUT CONVENTION CENTER
The mayor also noted that the National Guard will be setting up 646 beds at the Connecticut Convention Center for Hartford Healthcare on Saturday. It will be the largest recovery center in the state.
SCHOOL CLOSURES EXTENDED
Bronin said the school district has been preparing for the possibility that schools will not be able to reopen through the end of the academic year. The district continues to distribute meals and support students where they can.
“During this time of remote learning and virtual classrooms family engagement is maybe more important than ever," Bronin said.