Gov. Lamont Issues Executive Order to Close All Schools After Monday

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Governor Ned Lamont announced he is issuing an executive order to close all schools in the state after Monday.

Lamont said the schools will be closed through at least March 31.

The governor said he is following in the lead of other states like New Jersey and Rhode Island.

Lamont said he wants to prevent the extension of germs as much as possible.

“Stay out of groups. Stay out of crowds," Lamont said. “If you are over 60, stay close to home.”

There will be a free online education module available to all students to ensure nobody gets left behind, according to Lamont.

He estimated over 90 percent of schools are closed as of Sunday.

The governor said it is a top priority to provide hotspots and wireless internet to places that need it to support online learning.

Students who receive meals through the school lunch/breakfast program will be able to continue receiving meals while classes are canceled, according to Lamont.

The governor said he intends to extend daycare on a priority basis to people who need it. He said this will apply to parents who have to go into work such as nurses and healthcare providers to ensure their children are in a healthy and safe environment.

All state employees are asked to work with their manager or commissioner so they don't have to come into work and can work from home, Lamont said.

The executive order will provide flexibility for municipal budget deadlines and related issues.

A decision to order restaurants and bars closed will be made early this week, Lamont said.

Tax filing deadlines will be extended for small business entities.

The governor said people can apply for AccessHealthCT insurance if they lose employment.

The executive order also authorizes the Department of Motor Vehicles commissioner to close branches to the public and restrict entrance into psychiatric facilities.

Mayors for New Haven, West Hartford and Bridgeport have issued a state of emergency over coronavirus concerns.

City of Hartford offices will close on Monday and Tuesday as city workers prepare to work remotely, the city announced Sunday.

Lamont said he will update his executive order Monday to follow the new CDC recommendation that states that gatherings of 50 people are more should be cancelled for the next 8 weeks.

Twenty six people in Connecticut have now tested positive or are presumptive positive for COVID-19, according to the most recent testing data released by the state on Sunday.

The complete breakdown of coronavirus cases across the state is as follows:

  • 16 are in Fairfield County
  • 3 are in Hartford County
  • 4 are in Litchfield County
  • 3 are in New Haven County

At a press conference on Sunday afternoon, CEO of UConn Health and CEO of UConn John Dempsey Hospital Dr. Andy Agwunobi said they expect to see cases spike in the coming days.

"We expect a significant spike in cases over the next three days to couple of weeks and one of the reasons is that outpatient testing is going to become much more available in the next few days," Dr. Agwunobi said.

Coronavirus Symptoms

The key symptoms of the coronavirus, according to the CDC are:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Symptoms can appear in infected persons two to 14 days after exposure.

Coronavirus Prevention Steps

Steps for prevention from the CDC include:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
    • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
    • Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, such as to the grocery store
    • Coverings should not be placed on children under 2, anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
    • The face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected
    • Do NOT use a facemask meant for a health care worker
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Steps to Self-Monitor for Coronavirus

Steps to self-monitor from the CDC include:

  1. Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
  2. Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
  3. Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
  4. Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).

If you do get sick with a fever, cough or have trouble breathing, call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room and communicate with your doctor about your recent travel.

  • If you develop symptoms, stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.

The CDC has a special website set up with details about the coronavirus, including how it spreads and treatment.

Anyone with questions relating to coronavirus can call 2-1-1 or text "CTCOVID" to 898211. The 2-1-1 hotline is available 24 hours a day.

You can also visit the state's coronavirus information website here. Residents are encouraged to check the website for answers to questions before calling the hotline.

Learn More About Coronavirus - COVID-19

Learn more here from the state about Coronavirus.

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