THE NUMBER OF CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASES IN THE STATE CONTINUES TO RISE QUICKLY. TODAY’S NUMBERS ANNOUNCED BY THE GOVERNOR TOTAL 3,567 CASES, UP 429 SINCE YESTERDAY, WITH 85 DEATHS REPORTED INCLUDING THE STATE’S FIRST INFANT – A 6 WEEK OLD BABY IN HARTFORD.  766 PEOPLE HOSPITALIZED AND OVER 16,600 TESTS HAVE BEEN PERFORMED. THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF CASES CONTINUES TO BE IN FAIRFIELD COUNTY WITH 1986 CASES, FOLLOWED BY 611 IN NEW HAVEN COUNTY AND 469 IN HARTFORD COUNTY. THERE ARE 131 CONFIRMED CASES IN LITCHFIELD COUNTY AND 1 FATALITY.  DURING THE GOVERNOR’S BRIEFING WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON, THERE WERE TWO MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENTS: FIRST, THE LATEST EXECUTIVE ORDER WILL LIMIT GROCERY STORES TO ALLOW NO MORE THAN 50% CAPACITY AT TIME AND NO MORE THAN 1 FAMILY MEMBER IN AT A TIME, AS WELL AS ENCOURAGING PAYMENT VIA CREDIT CARD INSTEAD OF CASH.  ALSO, HEALTH AND PROPERTY INSURANCE COMPANIES HAVE AGREED TO A 60 DAY GRACE PERIOD ON PAYMENT OF PREMIUMS. NO INSURANCE WOULD BE LOST DURING THAT TIME AND POLICIES WOULD CONTINUE INTACT.

 

HARTFORD, CONN. (AP) — CONNECTICUT CHILDREN’S MEDICAL CENTER HAS FURLOUGHED 400 WORKERS DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK. OFFICIALS WITH THE HARTFORD-BASED HEALTH CARE SYSTEM SAY THE OUTBREAK HAS CAUSED ELECTIVE AND OTHER SURGERIES TO BE DELAYED AND A DECLINE IN THE NUMBER OF PATIENTS. THE HARTFORD COURANT REPORTS THE FURLOUGHS ARE FOR 60 DAYS AND AFFECT ABOUT 14% OF THE HEALTH SYSTEM’S WORKFORCE. IN OTHER DEVELOPMENTS, THERE WILL BE STRICTER RULES AT CONNECTICUT’S STATE PARKS TO HELP BETTER MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING. ALSO, TWO CONNECTICUT NATIONAL GUARDSMEN HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19, AND JUDICIAL OFFICIALS HAVE CLOSED THE STAMFORD COURTHOUSE.

 

GOVERNOR NED LAMONT SAYS HIS ADMINISTRATION HAS REACHED AN AGREEMENT WITH OVER 50 BANKS TO OFFER MORTGAGE RELIEF TO RESIDENTS & BUSINESSES WHO CONTINUE TO FACE HARDSHIP CAUSED BY THE GLOBAL COVID-19 PANDEMIC. UNDER THE AGREEMENT, RELIEF OFFERED FOR THOSE WHOSE EMPLOYMENT HAS BEEN ENDED OR INTERRUPTED BY DIRECT EFFECT OF COVID-19 INCLUDE: A 90-DAY GRACE PERIOD FOR ALL MORTGAGE PAYMENTS, RELIEF FROM FEES AND CHARGES FOR 90 DAYS, NO NEW FORECLOSURES FOR 60 DAYS, BANKS WON’T START ANY FORECLOSURE SALES OR EVICTIONS, AND THERE’LL BE NO CREDIT SCORE CHANGES FOR ACCESSING RELIEF.

 

FORMER WASHINGTON 1ST SELECTMAN MARK LYON HAS DIED AT AGE 64. THE REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN REPORTS THE TOWN’S NIGHTLY FIRE TRUCK BELL-RINGING DURING THIS CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC TOOK ON SPECIAL MEANING TUESDAY WITH THE NEWS THAT LYON HAD PASSED, BECOMING A TRIBUTE TO ITS FORMER FIRE CHIEF AND FIRST SELECTMAN. LYON, WHO PASSED TUESDAY AFTERNOON, VOLUNTEERED AT THE WASHINGTON FIRE DEPARTMENT FOR 40 YEARS, SERVING AS CHIEF FOR TWO TERMS AND LEADING THE TOWN AS 1ST SELECTMAN FOR 12-YEARS.

 

LAW ENFORCEMENT CAN CLOSE STATE PARKS IN THE NAME OF SOCIAL DISTANCING IF THEY GET TOO CROWDED. GOVERNOR NED LAMONT TOLD ENVIRONMENTAL OFFICERS TUESDAY HIS LATEST EXECUTIVE ORDER GIVES THEM THE POWER, BUT IT WOULD ONLY HAPPEN IF PEOPLE COULDN’T EASILY STAND THE RECOMMENDED 6-FEET AWAY FROM EACH OTHER. QUOTING LAMONT: “WE WANT PEOPLE TO ENJOY FRESH AIR AND RECREATION, BUT IT MUST BE DONE SAFELY!” PARKS OFFICERS WILL USE JUDGEMENT TO ENSURE TRAILS DON’T BECOME TOO CROWDED. CHECK THE D-E-E-P’S WEBSITE ‘CT.GOV’ TO SEE IF ANY STATE PARKS HAVE CLOSED. THE BEST TIME TO GO IS EARLY WEEKDAY MORNINGS.

 

WINSTED’S POLICE UNION PLANS TO APPEAL CHIEF WILLIAM FITZGERALD’S DECISION NOT TO REMOVE TWO OFFICERS FROM FULL DUTY AFTER THEY PULLED OVER AND ARRESTED A MAN SATURDAY MORNING WHO TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19. UNION PRESIDENT MICHAEL ROY TELLS THE REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN THE OFFICERS HAD DIRECT CONTACT WITH SOMEONE WHO TESTED POSITIVE. CHIEF FITZGERALD SAYS THE OFFICERS WERE TESTED. NEITHER SHOWED SYMPTOMS AFTER A FOLLOW-UP WITH DOCTORS, WERE CLEARED TO RETURN TO DUTY AND STILL HAVE NO COVID-19 SYMPTOMS, BUT THE UNION PRESIDENT SAYS THE OFFICERS HANDLED THE INFECTED MAN’S LICENSE AND ENTERED HIS CAR AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN QUARANTINED FOR 14-DAYS.