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Needleman: Update on COVID-19 relating to schools & students, new Job Training program

By Norm Needleman, State Senator.

$1.8 Million to Support Economic Development
of Higganum’s Village Center

I’m thrilled to announce that Haddam will receive a $1.8 million grant to clean up blighted properties in the town through the Department of Economic and Community Development’s Brownfield Remediation Program. The grant will lead to the remediation of two former mill buildings.

The location of the buildings, right near Higganum’s Village Center, is key to support the growing revitalization of the area. Once abated, the mill buildings can be used as shops, galleries, offices or restaurants, all of which will benefit our community.

CareerConneCT To Help Workers
Impacted By COVID-19 Find New Jobs

Governor Ned Lamont’s administration this week launched CareerConneCT, a program designed to help workers whose employment was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Workers will now be able to access short-term training programs where they can earn industry-recognized credentials and find success in high-quality and in-demand careers. The program is supported through $70 million in funding allocated from federal American Rescue Plan Act funding.

In the next four years, training providers will be eligible to apply for grants supporting programs providing industry-recognized credentials and job placement services across sectors including manufacturing, information technology, healthcare, infrastructure and clean energy, among other in-demand industries. CareerConneCT is expected to support training for roughly 8,000 participants. Grants will be issued twice yearly every February and August.

The first application round is now open and applications will be accepted through February 20, 2022; visit https://www.portal.ct.gov/careerconnect to learn more.

Updated COVID Guidance for PreK-12 –
Quarantining, Testing, and More

The Connecticut Department of Public Health has updated its guidelines for quarantine, isolation, testing and contact tracing policies and procedures in PreK-12 Schools following updates to quarantine and isolation guidance made last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Based on the updated guidance, DPH says school districts may make changes in operating rules regarding quarantine, isolation, testing and return to in-school activities. The guidance states:

  • If a member of the school community (student or staff) experiences any COVID-19 symptoms after full vaccination, they should isolate at home and test for the virus. If the test is negative, they should end isolation when fever-free for at least 24 hours and other symptoms abate. If the test is positive, they should isolate for at least 5 days, ending isolation when fever-free for at least 24 hours and other symptoms are significantly improved. After isolation ends, they should wear a mask at all times around anyone through the tenth day after symptoms appeared.
  • If a member of the school community is a close contact with someone carrying COVID-19 but experiences no symptoms and is fully vaccinated, they should continue with in-person learning and test for COVID-19 five days after exposure. They should consider quarantining for five days from non-school activities and should wear a mask at all times for ten days.
  • If a partially vaccinated or unvaccinated individual shows COVID-19 symptoms, and is notified of a close contact, they should isolate at home for at least five days since their exposure, test for COVID-19, return to activities when fever-free for at least 24 hours and as other symptoms improve, and wear a mask when around others through day 10. If they do not have a close contact, they should isolate and test; if the test is negative, they should return to activities when fever-free and other symptoms improve, while if the test is positive, they should isolate for at least five days, return to activities on at least the sixth day of isolation, after symptoms lift and when fever-free for at least 24 hours, and wear a mask when around others through day 10.
  • If the partially vaccinated or unvaccinated individual does not show symptoms but is exposed, they should quarantine at home for five days, test for COVID-19 on the fifth day and wear a mask when around others for 10 days.

670,000 COVID Rapid Tests Distributed to
Schools Statewide

The State of Connecticut has distributed an allocation of 670,000 COVID-19 rapid tests to public and private K-12 schools and early childcare providers statewide, the first of several distributions planned as the state negotiates for more supply. Of the 670,000 tests, 620,000 were given to public and private K-12 schools, with the remaining 50,000 given to early childcare providers. The tests are planned for use if a student or staff member exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 requiring screening, if a child or staff member is directly exposed to someone with COVID-19, and in the event a class or program experiences multiple cases of COVID-19, to test all students in that classroom if accessing tests remains challenging. Students and staff who have had COVID-19 within the last 90 days will not need to test again, state leaders said.

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