Towns Ask Arriving Summer Residents to Voluntarily Self-Quarantine for Two Weeks

Some local governments in southeastern Connecticut are asking their seasonal residents who returned early this year to self-quarantine for 14 days if they’re coming from areas that have had high numbers of COVID19 cases — especially New York City.  This follows a Tuesday recommendation from President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force that anyone leaving the New York City area — which has become the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States — self-isolate for 14 days. “We don’t want to overreact and spread fear when we see a New York license plate,” said East Lyme First Selectman Mark

More

Food For Those in Need Seven Days a Week Across Southeast Connecticut

For those in need during the Coronavirus pandemic there are still services available and open. You can obtain groceries and prepared food in southeastern Connecticut from Clinton to Stonington every day of the week. Where: The Chester Food Pantry at Chester Town HallWhen: 9am to 12pm, Monday, Wednesday and ThursdayWhat: Pre-bagged GroceriesWho: Chester Residents How: Call ahead: 860-526-0013 x213 Where: The Deep River Food Pantry at 56 High Street, Deep RiverWhen: 9am to 12pm on Tuesday, 1pm to 4pm on ThursdayWhat: Pre-bagged GroceriesWho: Deep River ResidentsHow: Call ahead: 860-526-6033 Where: The East Haddam Food Bank at 488 Town Street in

More

U.S. Small Business Administration Offers Loans to Small Businesses for Coronavirus Relief

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering economic injury disaster loans in affected states to provide working capital to small businesses for Coronavirus-related economic disruptions.  The loans are available to “small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and most private nonprofit organizations,” in declared-disaster areas, which includes all of New England, according to a phone conference presentation by the Small Business Administration on Tuesday.  The presentation was part of a Coronavirus special topic conference call series sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce in partnership with the Connecticut District Export Council.  “The number one message to small businesses is

More

Medical Care in Connecticut Adapts to the Coronavirus

A week ago, I was about to leave for my cardiology appointment when I received a call. It was the receptionist, and the appointment was canceled. “Do you know if I can reschedule?” I asked her. She wasn’t sure. After a couple unexplained fainting episodes, a possible arrhythmia and a month of appointments it was weird to be left with no conclusion. The constant refrain had been, it’s probably nothing, but it could be serious, so we just want to cover all our bases. Now that caution was thrown out the window as concerns about COVID-19 came rushing in. Yesterday,

More

Food Pantries Seek Donations and Volunteers as Social Services adapt to Coronavirus

As the coronavirus spreads and the state sets stricter guidelines for social distancing, food pantries and other nonprofits around southeastern Connecticut have to find new ways of serving their populations while also meeting a sudden rise in needs. Many of the area’s senior centers, nonprofit childcare centers, and other face-to-face services have been suspended amid the outbreak, but nonprofit leaders say too many people depend too critically on nutritional aid like Meals on Wheels or the Gemma E. Moran United Way / Labor Food Bank to stop those services. “We have managed our Food Bank budget for a lot of

More

Balancing Virus Response With Economic And General Health Consequences

/

The coronavirus is not the only threat we face. As I wrote in The Hill on last Thursday and The Wall Street Journal editorialized last Friday, we may face a far greater threat from a collapsed economy, which would devastate everyone’s financial and medical condition. This should be of special concern in Connecticut which entered the current crisis already economically anemic and financially shaky. While this may not be popular to say, we should rethink shutdown policies in Connecticut. Actually, it may not be unpopular. A new Pew Research Center poll shows that 70 percent of Americans see the virus

More

A Surfeit of Caution

/

There is an esprit de corps that has developed surrounding our collective attempts to “flatten the curve” of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Social media is awash with posts suggesting ways to connect, ways to nourish each other, ways to survive the isolation. There has been an outpouring of support for those on the frontlines — the medical professionals who at their own peril face this crisis directly. The call for “social distancing” has been heard from the highest offices to the lowliest tweet.  We are so focused on how to live well and help one another within this new framework that I

More

Widespread Unemployment, Business Failures, Expected in Wake of Coronavirus Closures

Yoga studios, gyms, restaurants and hair salons have been mandated to close — with other “nonessential” businesses closing on Monday — employees are financially-strapped and owners wondering how long their businesses can survive without customers. In the wake of closures that began Monday, CT Examiner took the pulse of a number of business owners and employees in the region, asking about the viability of their businesses and industries in face of many unknowns. Fragile restaurant margins “How many customers are going to call and say, ‘I’ll have the $39 osso bucco, give me six of those,” said Jordi Viladas, a

More

With Newfound Flexibility and Instructions to Proceed “Immediately,” Connecticut Schools Grapple With Transition to Online Education

/

With the requirement for 180 days of school instruction waived, and an application pending to suspend mandated student assessments, school districts across Connecticut are grappling with what it means for 77,000 students with an individualized education plan, and how they will follow instructions from the state to “immediately proceed” with online education. “We are focusing all of our energy and efforts on supporting students and their families during this national emergency, including students with disabilities,” said Miguel Cardona, commissioner of education for the state of Connecticut. “Keeping students’ health and safety at the forefront, [Connecticut State Department of Education] is

More

Calling Impact Worse than 2008-9, Lamont Outlines Aid and Possible Further Steps

Gov. Ned Lamont outlined measures that his administration is taking to soften the economic impact of the Coronavirus outbreak in a Thursday afternoon conference call with business leaders. These steps include loans, an expansion of unemployment benefits and delayed payment deadlines. “I came out of running a small business,” said Lamont. “I went through the 2008-2009 freefall, and this is worse.” Lamont said the challenge facing businesses is a sudden drop in revenue without a drop in fixed costs like payroll, rent, debt, health insurance, and utilities. “I’m doing everything I can to reduce those fixed costs and make it

More

States Adapt Governance and Public Access to Telecommuting in Wake of Coronavirus

Facing an outbreak of Coronavirus, Gov. Ned Lamont suspended parts of state statute to give local government and public agencies the ability to hold meetings entirely by teleconference in an effort to limit spread of the virus. Transparency advocates caution that public access depends on state and local officials using that technology properly, but experts say that requirements still in place uphold the spirit of the state’s open meeting laws. “In theory, it’s a great idea. We want to avoid people gathering in large groups now as much as possible,” explained Mike Savino, president of the Connecticut Council on Freedom

More

Lamont Offers Aid to Churches, Religious Leaders Cope with Closings over Easter, Passover and Ramadan

From churches to mosques to synagogues, nearly all places of worship in Connecticut have been closed due to the Coronavirus outbreak. “This is sort of an uncharted territory for all of us,” said David Elliott, the associate director of communication and public relations for the Archdiocese of Hartford. “I can’t point to another time in the Archdiocese of Hartford where the churches have all ever been closed.” The same is true for across the country and much of the world, including in Rome, where all masses and vigils have been canceled. In Connecticut, most protestant churches, mosques, and Jewish synagogues,

More

Lamont: 10,000 Filed for Unemployment in State on Monday Amid Coronavirus Fears

HARTFORD — In a 30-minute press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Governor Ned Lamont urged healthy citizens to donate blood, daycares to stay open, and people over 60 to stay home, in the face of the Coronavirus outbreak, while also acknowledging that this crisis has led to pain for the business community and a massive spike in unemployment claims.  “We usually have about 40,000 people over the last average couple years on unemployment compensation,” Lamont said in a televised conference outside his Hartford residence. “That’s been in pretty good times. Usually when a recession comes in a place like CT, maybe

More

Canceled Blood Drives Due to Coronavirus Concerns Spark Blood Shortages — Public Urged to Donate

In the past few weeks, as cancellations and shutdowns due to the Coronavirus have become widespread, nearly 2,700 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled across the United States, 46 that were to be held in Connecticut — that’s about 1,299 fewer blood donations than would otherwise have been donated in the Connecticut alone.  “A lot of people are no longer donating blood,” said Gov. Ned Lamont at a Tuesday afternoon press conference in Hartford. “We need your blood donations now. You don’t have to worry. You’re totally separated in terms of distance and separation. No worry in terms of

More

About That Distance Learning… Local School Officials Debate Legal and Technical Obstacles for Connecticut Schools

/

LYME/OLD LYME — With schools in the state closed for a minimum of two weeks in a state-mandated effort to slow the spread of Coronavirus, school officials are looking into the option of establishing distance learning curricula, a first for public schools in the state. “The state has rapidly changed their position on distance learning,” said Lyme-Old Lyme Superintendent Ian Neviaser, in a video-streamed special board of education meeting on Monday night. “On Friday they were discouraging it, but now they are looking at ways to make it available to every school and every district.” In fact, although the special

More

New London Adjusts to Coronavirus, Debates Help for Vulnerable Populations

/

NEW LONDON — Several boxes of blue disposable latex gloves and a bottle of hand sanitizer were placed prominently on a table that sat midway between the City Council and a few members of the public who attended the council meeting Monday night in the Congregate Room at the Senior Center. That afternoon, Mayor Mike Passero had issued an executive order that outlined public meeting protocols for city departments, agencies, boards and commissions during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We want all boards and commissions to continue functioning. That’s the heart of our city, that’s our community but we’re all to provide

More

East Lyme Declares State of Emergency, Closes Town Hall to Public, in Face of Viral Pandemic

/

EAST LYME — All town buildings are closed to the public until further notice effective Monday night, after the Board of Selectmen unanimously voted to uphold First Selectman Mark Nickerson’s declaration of a local state of emergency in response to the global coronavirus pandemic. Nickerson told the selectmen at a Monday night emergency meeting that this declaration was about “being flexible and being prepared to change on the fly as appropriate.” Nickerson used his power to declare the emergency at 1 p.m. and the selectmen voted to uphold it at their 7 p.m. meeting. Town staff will continue to work,

More

Old Lyme Declares State of Emergency Likely to Restrict Town Hall Access by Wednesday

/

OLD LYME — The Board of Selectmen on Monday authorized First Selectman Timothy Griswold to declare a local state of emergency and said they plan soon to restrict most public access to Town Hall in response to the global coronavirus pandemic. “The idea is to restrict as much as possible public interaction because that’s how this thing spreads,” Griswold said at the meeting. “We want to keep the doors open for business, so to speak, but not just have the public coming in the way they have.” Old Lyme Director of Emergency Management David Roberge will meet with Griswold tomorrow

More

As Town Halls Close, Residents Asked to Call Ahead Across Southeast Connecticut

/

Many of southeastern Connecticut’s local governments are restricting public access to town halls and asking residents to call or email rather than show up in person in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus. As of Monday, Waterford, Stonington, and Lyme have closed their town halls to the public, although staff continues to work and will offer services if contacted by phone or email. Libraries and public works facilities in those towns have also closed. Transfer stations in Waterford and Stonington will remain open but staff may be limited in how much they’re able to help the public,

More

Letter: Needleman Reaches Out on Coronavirus

/

By now, we are all aware of the health and quality of life implications of COVID-19.  The virus has become a significant threat to our families and to our communities. We also know that widespread testing will not be available in the immediate future and there is no definite treatment at this time. Those circumstances leave us with only one common sense choice: adapt to a new “normal.”  The reality is that our best near-term solution will come from you and me, not from the federal or state government.  The most sensible and highest impact option is for each of

More

Hospice Providers Question Restrictions of “Social Distancing” During End-of-Life Care

Since Monday, March 9, visitors to nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and hospice care facilities have faced restrictions put in place to slow the spread of coronavirus to the most vulnerable populations. For individuals within these facilities and their families, these new restrictions have added to the hardships endured at the end of life.  “The way to stop a virus is to separate everybody,” said Dr. Balu Natarajan, the chief medical officer for Seasons Hospice. “But, hospice patients need to be able to be with their loved ones and they need to be with them. Social isolation is one thing, but

More

New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Announce Cooperation on Restaurant and other Closures — No Agreements Yet with Massachusetts or Rhode Island

According to the Office of the Governor, the states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have agreed that as of 8 p.m. Monday night “restaurants and bars that serve food will temporarily be required to move to take-out and delivery services only. Bars that do not serve food will be required to temporarily close,” in the tri-state region. Governor Ned Lamont, in conjunction with the governors of New York and New Jersey, have decided to close all movie theaters, gyms, fitness centers and public workout facilities and studios. “We must do everything we can as a community to slow

More

Effective Response, Cross-border Lag, in Case of Coronavirus in Stonington Daycare – Niantic Children’s Museum Closes After Positive Test

With the first confirmed case of the Coronavirus in southeastern Connecticut linked to a Rhode Island child in a daycare facility in Stonington, Stephen Mansfield, executive director of Ledge Light Health District, said that while initial communication across state borders overnight had caused a short lag in awareness, proactive steps by the family and daycare provider nevertheless followed best practices recommended by the State Department of Health in Connecticut. Families and individuals possibly exposed to the virus in Stonington have been asked to “self-quarantine” for 14 days. Rather than focusing on a particular case, Mansfield cautioned that the public “should

More

As Southeast Connecticut Adopts “Social Distancing,” Local Businesses, Social Services, Step Up to Help Residents and Elderly

/

As efforts to prevent the spread of Coronavirus get underway across southeast Connecticut, all Meals on Wheels programs are continuing for now, said Stephanie Gould, the director at the Lyme-Old Lyme Senior Center. Many pharmacies, such as CVS, are offering medication delivery for free to anyone who is concerned about going out in public. “And if their pharmacy won’t do it, we can help,” said Cathy Wilson, the director of the East Lyme Senior Center. “Our Meals on Wheels drivers are excellent and could pick up medications.” It isn’t just senior centers and pharmacies that are pitching in to help

More

Limited Testing for Coronavirus, Canceled Tournaments in Connecticut

Due to limited availability of COVID-19 test kits, the state has restricted testing for the virus to hospitalized patients only. According to the Department of Public Health, other individuals who suspect they have Coronavirus will be able to be tested at Quest Diagnostic Labs when more kits are released later this week. The Department of Public Health was unable to say how many test kits are currently available in the state. In an effort to stop the spread of Coronavirus, the Governor in conjunction with DPH warned local health departments, towns and school districts against holding gatherings of more than

More

Vaccine for Lyme Disease Shows Promise Treating Mice in Redding Backyards

/

The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station is one step closer to a reducing the risk of contracting Lyme disease, by targeting the bacteria in its most common carrier, the white-footed mouse. “Ticks can take the pathogen from the mice, if we are able to neutralize the pathogen in mice then it can’t be given to the ticks and then us,” said Scott Williams, an agricultural scientist at the experiment station and co-author of the study. For the study, scientists took a previously successful oral vaccine and used it to treat food for mice in the backyards of homeowners in Redding, Connecticut.

More

Plans to Add 15 Mosquito Testing Sites for EEE Uncertain With Connecticut Budget Crunch

/

After four diagnosed cases — and three deaths — of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in southeastern Connecticut in 2019, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station is requesting an additional $150,000 from the state to add 15 new mosquito testing locations. “We would like to add 15 additional sites in the east where we didn’t have a presence this year because we hadn’t seen EEE there before,” said Theodore Andreadis, the director of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. “We are hoping that the funding will be put directly in the budget because otherwise we need to go to legislators to advocate for it.

More

State Sen. Heather Somers to Sponsor Bills Targeted at Drug Costs, Insurance, Mental Health and more…

///

MYSTIC — When CT Examiner caught up with State Senator Heather Somers (R-18th) on Monday morning, she arrived with a long list of bills she’s getting ready to submit, and in some cases resubmit, during the upcoming legislative session. With measured optimism, Somers said it takes persistence to get a bill made into law. “I call it continuous bill commitment,” she said of several bills that have made progress each year. Drug rebates, health insurance Somers’ first bill is aimed at reducing drug costs for consumers by taking aim at drug rebates — negotiated for insurance companies by pharmacy benefit

More

Food Allergies Challenge Restaurant Industry in Connecticut

/

For State Representative Robin Comey (D-Branford), food allergies have become a fact of everyday life. “My son has food allergies. He has had them since he was about 16 months old. It’s what I’ve been advocating for, for years, and one reason I ran for office,” Comey said. From the time her son was diagnosed, Comey explained, eating out became increasingly difficult and stressful. Restaurant chains, like Starbucks or Panera Bread, typically note when eight of the most common allergens appear on menus, and have standard practices to keep likely allergens separate and prevent cross-contamination. Smaller, local, one-of-a-kind places, are

More

School-based Health Centers Expand into Elementary Schools, Open Center For Navy Children

/

Last week, the 94th school-based health center funded by the Department of Public Health, and the 15th in New London County, opened in Mary Morrison Elementary School in Groton. “When the folks from Family & Child Agency approached us about the possibility of having another center we were thrilled to put it mildly,” said Michael Graner, superintendent of schools in Groton. This is not Groton’s first school-based health center. There is one at the high school, one at each middle school, and at Title 1 elementary schools serving disadvantaged students. All are operated by Family & Child Agency and funded

More
1 4 5 6 7