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Lamont Declares State of Emergency

Connecticut has two residents diagnosed with the virus, plus two New Yorkers who work in hospitals in Bridgeport, Danbury and Norwalk.

Lamont said one patient who has tested positive for the coronavirus lives in Bethlehem and has children in the school system there. With that in mind, all Region 14 schools will close indefinitely, he said.

He said she is a female in her 60s who is a healthcare worker at Bridgeport Hospital who recently returned from a trip to Nevada, where it is believed she contracted COVID-19. She is being treated at Bridgeport Hospital.

The first positive Connecticut case — a Wilton resident in his 40s who is being treated at Danbury Hospital — was announced Sunday.

According to a story on the GOODMorningWilton site, the man is on a ventilator at Danbury Hospital because he contracted pneumonia. According to the story, which is based on social media posts from the man’s wife, he has an underlying medical condition — sleep apnea — which makes him susceptible to pneumonia.

The man’s wife and young twins are quarantined at home and do not have symptoms of the virus, the story said.

Connecticut currently has two COVID-19 testing kits, each of which can test between 500 and 600 people.

Lamont said the state has been testing 20-25 people a day in the state lab but hopes to increase that number to about 60. Testing has also been conducted at private labs.

The governor decided to declare the emergency after consulting with state agency heads and municipal officials about their ability to protect public health and mitigate the social and economic dislocation related to an international pandemic.

One immediate impact of the declarations is that they may allow some consumers and businesses whose travel has been impacted by the outbreak to benefit from travel insurance and other related coverage, the governor’s office said.

The Connecticut Insurance Department is in the process of notifying insurance companies that the governor has signed the declarations and will be monitoring their compliance with the terms of their policies. As coverage will depend on the terms of each policy, consumers are encouraged to read them carefully.

A second impact is that they trigger Connecticut General Statutes Section 42-230, the state law prohibiting profiteering during emergencies.

Violations are considered an unfair or deceptive practice and violators may be subject to fines or other action from the Department of Consumer Protection and the Office of the Attorney General.

The declarations also make clear that the chief executive officers of municipalities have emergency powers under Connecticut General Statutes Section 28-8a to take such actions as they deem necessary to mitigate disasters and emergencies.

While the declarations permit the governor to take certain actions related to the closure of schools and large gatherings, at this time those decisions are still being delegated to local municipal and public health officials .

Lamont said they are on the ground closest to the circumstances in each respective community and are empowered to make the best judgments regarding specific events.

—Mark Pazniokas, CTMirror.org contributed to this story.

Connecticut has two residents diagnosed with the virus, plus two New Yorkers who work in hospitals in Bridgeport, Danbury and Norwalk.

Lamont said one patient who has tested positive for the coronavirus lives in Bethlehem and has children in the school system there. With that in mind, all Region 14 schools will close indefinitely, he said.

He said she is a female in her 60s who is a healthcare worker at Bridgeport Hospital who recently returned from a trip to Nevada, where it is believed she contracted COVID-19. She is being treated at Bridgeport Hospital.

The first positive Connecticut case — a Wilton resident in his 40s who is being treated at Danbury Hospital — was announced Sunday.

According to a story on the GOODMorningWilton site, the man is on a ventilator at Danbury Hospital because he contracted pneumonia. According to the story, which is based on social media posts from the man’s wife, he has an underlying medical condition — sleep apnea — which makes him susceptible to pneumonia.

The man’s wife and young twins are quarantined at home and do not have symptoms of the virus, the story said.

Connecticut currently has two COVID-19 testing kits, each of which can test between 500 and 600 people.

Lamont said the state has been testing 20-25 people a day in the state lab but hopes to increase that number to about 60. Testing has also been conducted at private labs.

The governor decided to declare the emergency after consulting with state agency heads and municipal officials about their ability to protect public health and mitigate the social and economic dislocation related to an international pandemic.

One immediate impact of the declarations is that they may allow some consumers and businesses whose travel has been impacted by the outbreak to benefit from travel insurance and other related coverage, the governor’s office said.

The Connecticut Insurance Department is in the process of notifying insurance companies that the governor has signed the declarations and will be monitoring their compliance with the terms of their policies. As coverage will depend on the terms of each policy, consumers are encouraged to read them carefully.

A second impact is that they trigger Connecticut General Statutes Section 42-230, the state law prohibiting profiteering during emergencies.

Violations are considered an unfair or deceptive practice and violators may be subject to fines or other action from the Department of Consumer Protection and the Office of the Attorney General.

The declarations also make clear that the chief executive officers of municipalities have emergency powers under Connecticut General Statutes Section 28-8a to take such actions as they deem necessary to mitigate disasters and emergencies.

While the declarations permit the governor to take certain actions related to the closure of schools and large gatherings, at this time those decisions are still being delegated to local municipal and public health officials .

Lamont said they are on the ground closest to the circumstances in each respective community and are empowered to make the best judgments regarding specific events.

—Mark Pazniokas, CTMirror.org contributed to this story.

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