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Governor's Message March 19, 2020

Friday, March 20, 2020  
Posted by: Frank Bailey
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STATE OF CONNECTICUT
BY HIS EXCELLENCY
NED LAMONT
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 7G
,,
PROTECTION OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
AND RESPONSE - PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY POSTPONEMENT AND
ADDITIONAL PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURES
WHEREAS, on March 10, 2020, I issued declarations of public health and civil preparedness
emergencies, proclaiming a state of emergency throughout the State of Connecticut as a result of
the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States and confirmed spread in
Connecticut; and
WHEREAS, my Executive Order No. 7, dated March 12, 2020, among other things, prohibited
gatherings of 250 people or more for social and recreational activities, including but not limited
to, community, civic, leisure, and sporting events; parades; concerts; festivals; movie screenings;
plays or performances; conventions; and similar activities, and suspended various statutes and
regulations to protect public health and safety; and
WHEREAS, my Executive Order No. 7A, dated March 13, 2020, authorized the Commissioner
of Public Health to restrict entrance into nursing homes and similar facilities to protect people who
are most vulnerable to COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, my Executive Order No. 7B, dated March 14, 2020, among other things, modified
in-person open meetings requirements, waived certain rules to mitigate the critical shortage of
hand sanitizer and personal protective equipment (PPE), maintain and increase the availability of
childcare, and provide for increased healthcare resources and facilities; and
WHEREAS, my Executive Order No. 7C, dated March 15, 2020, among other things, cancelled
classes in public schools for at least two weeks, provided for closure and remote conduct of
business at Department of Motor Vehicle branches, extended deadlines for municipal budget
preparations, and suspended or modified laws and regulations governing health care data and
visitation at certain health care and congregate care settings; and
WHEREAS, my Executive Order No. 7D, dated March 16, 2020, restricted social and recreational
gatherings of all types to fewer than 50 people, closed bars and restaurants to all service except
food and non-alcoholic beverage takeout and delivery, closed gyms, fitness centers and movie
theaters, and prohibited on-site operations at off-track betting facilities; and
WHEREAS, my Executive Order No. 7E, dated March 17, 2020, among other things, waived the
requirement for an 180-day school year, suspended fingerprinting availability to that for critical
requirements, extended the duration of various licenses and permits under the authority of the
Commissioner of Emergency Services and public protection, and suspended certain requirements
for recoupment of overpayment and hearings conducted by the Department of Social Services; and
WHEREAS, my Executive Order No. 7F, dated March 18, 2020, ordered the closure of Large
Shopping Malls, the closure of places of public amusement except public parks and open recreation
areas, expanded Medicaid telehealth coverage, waived in-person service, hearing, and screening
requirements for certain Probate Court proceedings in vulnerable group care settings, and clarified
my order cancelling school classes; and
WHEREAS, COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that spreads easily from person to person and
may result in serious illness or death; and
WHEREAS, the World Health Organization has declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic;
and
WHEREAS, the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 appears to be higher for
individuals who are 60 years of age or older and for those who have chronic health conditions; and
WHEREAS, to reduce spread of COVID-19, the United States Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention and the Connecticut Department of Public Health recommend implementation of
community mitigation strategies to increase containment of the virus and to slow transmission of
the virus, including cancellation of gatherings of fifty people or more and social distancing in
smaller gatherings; and
WHEREAS, healthcare providers providing services to patients and those with Medical coverage,
need flexibiHty in testing, diagnosis and treatment while supporting adequate social distancing
measures, and to provide healthcare services during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic
through the increased utilization of the delivery of health care or other health services through
ce1tain modes of telehealth service; and
WHEREAS, subsection (a )(11) of Section 19a-906 of the Connecticut General Statutes provides,
in part, that ''telehealth'' does not include, in part, the use of audio-only telephone as a mode of
delivering health care or health services via information and communication technologies to
facilitate the diagnosis, consultation and treatment, education, care management and selfmanagement
of a patient's physical and mental health; and
WHEREAS, subsection (a)(12) of Section 19a-906 of the Connecticut General Statutes provides,
in part, that a "telehealth provider" means health care providers specifically licensed pursuant to
the Connecticut General Statutes governing those health care professions; and
WHEREAS, subsection (f) of Section l 9a-906 provides, in part; that the provision of telehealth
services and health records maintained and disclosed as pait of a telehealth interaction shall comply
with the provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 P.L. 104-
191, as amended from tin1e to time~ and
WHEREAS, an in-person visit to investigate a report that an elderly person allegedly is being, or
has been, abused, neglected exploited or abandoned, or is in need of protective services, is likely
to increase the risk of transmission of COVlD-19; and
WHEREAS, if COVID-10 is transmitted to an elderly person, there is a high risk of serious illness
or mortality; and
WHEREAS, the Department of Social Services ("DSS") can fulfill its statutory obligation to
investigate such reports without making an in-person visit of the elderly person by using alternative
means of communication; and
WHEREAS, DSS staff may be reduced as a result of illness or the need to self-isolate due to
COVID-19, and may need additional time to disclose the results of its investigation of such reports;
and
WHEREAS, attendance at public proceedings is likely to increase the risk of transmission of
COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, in consultation with the Chief Cou1t Administrator on behalf of the Chief Justice of
the Supreme Court and the Judicial Branch, I have determined that there exists a compelling state
interest that courts conduct only essential business in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19;
and
WHEREAS, there is a compelling interest in reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19
among voters, poll workers, and residents, which risk would be heightened in the settings ofindoor
polling places and potential lines for voting, especially in polling places such as senior centers,
schools, community centers, and other public facilities;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, NED LAMONT, Governor of the State of Connecticut, by virtue of the
authority vested in me by the Constitution and the Jaws of the State of Connecticut, do hereby
ORDER AND DIRECT:
1. Postponement of Presidential Primary to June 2. Under my sole authority
pursuant to the declaration of public health and civil preparedness emergency,
and to protect the health and safety of voters, poll workers, and the most
vulnerable members of our population, I hereby modify Section 9-464 of the
Com1ecticut General Statutes to provide that on June 2, 2020 each patty shall
conduct a primary in each town if the names of two or more candidates for
President of the United States are to be placed on such party's ballot in
accordance with the provisions of chapter 154 of the General Statutes.
2. Suspension of Non-Critical Court Operations and Associated
Requirements. Notwithstanding any provision of the Connecticut General
Statutes or of any regulation, local rule or other provision of law, I hereby
suspend, for the duration of this public health and civil preparedness
emergency, unless earlier modified or terminated· by me, alls tatutory (l)
location or venue requirements; (2) time requirements, statutes of limitation or
other limitations or deadlines relating to se1vice of process, court proceedings
or cou11 filings; and (3) all time requirements or deadlines related to the
Supreme, Appellate and Superior courts or their judicial officials to issue
notices, hold court, hear matters and/or render decisions including, but not
limited to, the following:
a. All time limitations in Chapters 959, 959a, 960 and 961 of the General
Statutes including, but not limited to, C.G.S. § 54-lg concerning the
time of arraignments
b. and C.G.S. § 54-82m concerning the right to a speedy trial;
c. All time limitations for rendering judgments in civil actions provided in
C.G.S. § 51-1836;
d. All time limitations concerning civil process, service and return
provided in Chapter 896 of the General Statutes;
e. All statutes of limitations provided in Chapter 926 of the General
Statutes;
f. All time limitations concerning the automatic review of tenns of
probation provided in C.G.S. § 53a-29(g);
g. All time constraints for the filing of administrative appeals provided in
C.G.S. § 4-183;
h. All time limitations concerning hearings and rulings pe11aining to
primary and election disputes provided in Chapter 149 of the General
Statutes;
1. All time limitations in Title 46b of the General Statutes including, but
not limited to, family, juvenile and child suppo11 matters;
J. All venue and filing requirements including, but not limited to, C.G.S.
§§ 51-345, 51-348, 51-352 and 51-353, provided in Chapter 890 of the
General Statutes;
k. The times and places for the sitting of the Superior Court provided in
C.G.S. § 51-181;
l. The notice of sessions provided in C.G.S. § 51-182;
3. Further Clarification of Limits on Restaurants, Bars and Private Clubs.
Effective at 12:00 p.m. on March 20, 2020, Executive Order 7D, which, among
other things, restricted sales of alcoholic beverages by ce11ain licensees, is
modified as follows: Any business with an active restaurant, cafe or tavern
liquor permit issued by the Department of Consumer Protection shall be
pennitted to sell sealed containers of alcoholic liquor for pick up at such
restaurant, cafe or tavern under the following conditions: (i) the sale shall
accompany a pick-up order of food prepared on the premises; (ii) the type of
alcoholic liquor sold for off-premise consumption shall be the same as what the
pe1mit type would have permitted for on-premise consumption prior to
Executive Order 7D, and (iii) the hours of such sales that include alcoholic
liquor as part of the take-out order shall be the same as those for a package store.
Delive1y of alcoholic liquor by licensees with these permit types is not
permitted, In addition:
a. Any business whose liquor permit allows for the manufacture of
alcoholic liquor, in addition to sales for on-premise and off-premise
consumption, shall be permitted to sell sealed bottles of alcoholic liquor
for off-premise consumption in a manner consistent with their
manufacturer permit. Delivery of alcoholic liquor by these permit types
is not permitted.
b. The Commissioner of Consumer Protection may issue any
implementing orders and guidance that she deems necessa1y to
implement this order.
4. Restriction on Operation of Barbershops, Hair Salons, Tattoo or Piercing
Parlors and Related Public Businesses. Throughout the State, effective at
8:00 p.m. on March 20, 2020, the rendering of services by barbers, hairdressers
and cosmeticians, nail technicians, electrologists, estheticians, eyelash
technicians, and tattoo and piercing providers is prohibited in all public settings
including, but not limited to, barbershops, beauty shops, hairdressing salons,
nail salons, spas, kiosks, and tattoo or piercing establishments. The
Commissioner of Public Health may issue any order she deems necessary to
implement or modify such prohibition without further order from me.
5. Flexibility for Medicaid Enrolled Providers ancl In-Network Providers for
Commercial Fully Insured Health Insurance to Perform Telehealth
Through Additional Methods. The provisions of Section l9a-906 of the
Connecticut General Statutes and any associated regulations, rules and policies
regarding the delive1y of telehealth are modified or suspended as follows:
a. Subsection (a)(l l)'s definition of "telehealth" is modified such that for
telehealth providers that are Medicaid enrolled providers providing
covered telehealth services to established patients who are Medicaid
recipients, or telehealth providers that are in-network providers for
commercial fully insured health insurance providing covered telehealth
services to patients with whom there is an existing provider-patient
relationship, these providers may engage in telehealth through the use
of audio-only telephone;
b. Subsection (a)(12)'s requirements for the licensure, certification or
registration of telehealth providers shall be suspended for such
telehealth providers that are Medicaid enrolled providers or in-network
providers for commercial fully insured health insurance providing
telehealth services to patients, in accordance with any related orders
issued by the Commissioner of Public Health pursuant to her established
authority as a result of this declared public health and civil preparedness
emergency and in accordance with Sections l 9a-13 la, l 9a-13 lj and 28-
9.
c. Subsection (f)'s requirements that the provision of telehealth services
and health records maintained and disclosed as part of a telehealth
interaction shall comply with the provisions of the Health Insurance
Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 P .L. 104-191, as amended
from time to time (HIP AA), is modified to permit telehealth providers
that are Medicaid enrolled providers or in-network providers for
commercial fully insured health insurance providing telehealth services
to patients to utilize additional information and communication
technologies consistent and in accordance with any direction,
modification or revision of requirements for HIP AA compliance as
related to telehealth remote communications as directed by the United
States Depaitment of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil
Rights during the COVID-19 pandemic.
d. Notwithstanding paragraphs a through c herein, a provider who elects
to provide telehealth services for a patient who is not a Medicaid
beneficiary or covered by a fully-insured commercial plan, may engage
in "telehealth" services as defined in such paragraphs for such patient,
provided that any provider engaging in telehealth services under this
section must, prior to engaging in such services, determine whether a
patient is covered by a health plan other than Medicaid or a fully-insured
commercial plan, and whether such plan provides coverage for such
telehealth services. A provider who receives payment under such health
plan shall not bill a patient for any additional charges beyond the
reimbursement received under such health plan. A provider who
detem1ines that payment is not available under another such health plan
or who determines a patient is uninsured, shalt accept as reimbursement
for that service as payment in full, the amount that Medicare reimburses
for such service, provided that if the provider determines that the patient
is uninsured or otherwise unable to pay for such services, the provider
shall offer financial assistance, if such provider is otherwise required to
provide financial assistance under state or federal law.
e. Any related regulatory requirement that such telehealth services be
provided from a provider's licensed facility is hereby waived.
6. Temporary Suspension of In-Person Investigative Visits Regarding
Reports of Elder Abuse. Section l 7b-452 is modified to provide the
Commissioner of Social Services with authority to waive the required in-person
visit to an elderly person in connection with investigation of a report of
suspected abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment, or a need for protective
services, and, if possible and appropriate, use alternative means to conduct such
in-person visit.
7. Extension of Time for Disclosure ofluvestigation Results. Section 17b-452
of the C01mecticut General Statutes is modified to provide the Commissioner
of Social Services with authority to extend by up to ninety (90) days the
requirement that the Commissioner of Social Services, not later than fo1ty-five
(45) days after completing an investigation, disclose, in general terms, the result
of the investigation to the person or persons who reported the suspected abuse,
neglect, exploitation or abandonment or a need for protective services.
Unless otherwise specified herein, this order shall take effect immediately and shall remain
in effect for the duration of the public health and civil preparedness emergency, unless
earlier modified by me.
Dated at Hartford, Connecticut, this 19th day of March, 2020.
~His Excell~nclt,.C~mmand
~u//~/LDenise
W. Menill
Secretary of the State
Ned Lamont
Governor