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Lamont Declares COVID-19 Civil Preparedness, Public Health Emergencies In Connecticut

Gov. Ned Lamont holding a municipal emergency management and public health update call on COVID-19 with city and town leaders, local health directors, emergency managers, and state legislators.
Gov. Ned Lamont holding a municipal emergency management and public health update call on COVID-19 with city and town leaders, local health directors, emergency managers, and state legislators. Photo Credit: Governor's Office

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont has signed declarations of civil preparedness and public health emergencies as coronavirus continues to spread rapidly in the region.

Lamont made the declarations to allow the state to take specific action regarding the spread of COVID-19, which has infected at least two Connecticut residents to date, though the virus is spreading quickly.

Two others who work at hospitals in Fairfield County tested positive, though they live in Westchester, where the outbreak is among the largest and swiftest-moving in the country. Other tests for coronavirus in Connecticut are pending.

The second Connecticut resident that tested positive is a woman in her 60s who is a healthcare worker at Bridgeport Hospital and a resident of Bethlehem. She recently returned from a trip to Nevada, where it is believed she contracted COVID-19. She is being treated at Bridgeport Hospital.

The declarations also trigger price gouging laws, and make clear that municipal leaders have emergency powers to mitigate disasters and emergencies.

According to Lamont, the Connecticut Insurance Department is notifying travel insurance companies about the emergency declarations and will be monitoring their compliance with the terms of their policies.

Globally, as of Tuesday, March 10, there have been 116,458 cases of coronavirus reported, including more than 4,000 deaths. In the United States, there have been 729 positive COVID-19 cases that resulted in 27 deaths.

“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 as they are on the ground closest to the circumstances in each respective community,” officials said. “They are empowered to make the best judgments regarding specific events.”

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