Workers’ Compensation a Point of Contention for Essential Workers Facing Lengthy Recoveries from COVID-19

For years Denise Rodgers has driven the Yale-New Haven Health shuttle. She transports doctors, nurses and other health professionals from parking lots across south-central Connecticut to the York Street and St. Raphael hospitals. On March 17, before anyone was wearing a mask on her bus, as the health system was just identifying the first evidence of the pandemic in Connecticut, Rodgers and her husband fell sick. Both spent several weeks in Yale’s intensive care unit and after 48 days on a ventilator, after Rodgers had already been discharged, her husband died. According to Sal Luciano, President of the Connecticut AFL-CIO

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Lamont Designates $2.5 Million to Rent Assistance for Undocumented Immigrants

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Nearly three months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Ned Lamont designated $2.5 million to help families and individuals ineligible for federal CARES funding to help pay rent. The funding was approved by the legislature in 2019 in a line item for homelessness and rental assistance. “Housing is the single largest expense for most families in Connecticut,” said Seila Mosquera-Bruno, the Connecticut Housing Commissioner. “By providing rental support for families who are most in need and least able to access other forms of assistance, we can help them to stretch tight family budgets to afford other expenses including food, transportation to

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Doctors Urge the Public to Seek Help for Cancer Screenings as Sharp Decline in Care Means Thousands of Untreated Cases

In March and April just 97 cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed throughout Hartford Healthcare compared with 233 cases in 2019. The stark decline holds true for digestive cancers with a 42 percent decline in diagnoses and breast cancer with a 30 percent decline in diagnoses compared to the same period in 2019. “If you don’t diagnose, you can’t treat,” said Dr. Peter Yu, physician in chief at Hartford Healthcare’s Cancer Institute. “We are going to diagnose these cases, but they will be much harder to treat when we do.” The concern is that a two to three month delay

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Eversource Reports Just Half the Usual Service Shutoffs for May — Moratorium to End on July 1

In May, just 68 businesses in the 149 towns across Connecticut that Eversource services disconnected their electric compared to 118 in 2019. Although it may seem counterintuitive, as many businesses are struggling to stay afloat throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Eversource has suspended all involuntary customer disconnections due to missed payments since mid-March. “We’ve waived all late payment charges and began offering a special, flexible payment plan for any past due bills,” said Frank Poirot Jr., a spokesperson for Eversource. “We’ve also set up a special resource page on our website as well as an 800 number for business customers to

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Draft Guidelines for Summer Schools Across Connecticut Prioritize Local Flexibility

On July 6, school districts across Connecticut will be allowed to begin in-person summer school, according to draft guidelines released by the Connecticut Department of Education. But in contrast to nearly every other school closure decision made during the COVID-19 pandemic, the state will allow local and regional school districts the final say on whether to reopen for summer instruction. “July 6 is the first day we could be in-person. We’ve been discussing it since it was released last week and trying to determine what is feasible and what we can do by that date,” said Jan Perruccio, the superintendent

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Unemployment by the Numbers

In a typical week unemployment claims statewide for Connecticut sit at about 2,000. In the second week of March that number tripled. In the third week, new claims reached an all-time high of 78,304. But these claims also reflect complex economies and the disparate impacts of efforts to the slow the spread of COVID-19 as they are felt across categories of age, gender, education, industry and location. Those in the beginning of their career, between 20 and 29, have been hit the hardest by layoffs and furloughs across the state. Typically, an equal proportion of claims are filed by those

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As 378 of 400 Test Positive For COVID-19, Workplace Safety Fails Corrections Workers Across Connecticut

Each week Corrections Officer Brian Withington at York Correctional Institution is given one surgical mask. He is expected to wear the disposal mask through back-to-back 16-hour shifts in a facility with hundreds of positive COVID-19 cases. “We are expected to wear a surgical mask for 80 hours a week and they’re not even effective at protecting us,” Withington said. “Out of all the state agencies, the Department of Corrections is the one that has the most issues, the most cases, and yet we don’t have enough PPE.” As of May 26, 792 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 across the

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Inland Wetlands Approves Permit for Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Turf Field

OLD LYME — The Inland Wetlands Commission approved an administrative permit for the proposed Lyme-Old Lyme Schools multi-purpose turf field on Tuesday evening in a 4-0 vote. The field would have a smaller footprint than the current grass field and, according to Megan Raymond, a professional wetland scientist for Milone & McBroom, will have no negative impacts on the existing wetlands bordering the Duck River. “There is a great deal of substructure to the field that encourages infiltration and minimizes runoff,” Raymond said. The proposed plan would add native wetland plants to the surrounding area and not require any fertilizers

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Five Things to Know About the DMV as Connecticut Opens for Business

With the phased reopening of Connecticut’s economy and government functions underway, many individuals across the state are wondering when the Department of Motor Vehicles will open its doors for tests, licenses and registrations. For now, the answer to most of those continues to be “not yet.” The department is expecting a substantial backlog of services required and tests that will need to be performed when they finally do reopen their doors. How that backlog will be cleared up, and whether that will require additional hours or staff, has not yet been decided. Here are five things to know about what

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Meet Ron Turner, New Facilities Director for Lyme-Old Lyme Schools

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Ron Turner joined the staff at Lyme-Old Lyme Schools as the new facilities director at the end of February, just before the schools closed for COVID-19. “The first couple weeks I was off to a great start, meeting the staff and students, and then the sky kind of fell with COVID hitting,” Turner said. “I’m really hoping to meet everyone in the fall, I can’t underscore that enough. Since the shutdown, I think that’s what so many of us are struck by the most. Buildings don’t become a school until staff, students and members of the community are here. I

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