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State Sen. Needleman: COVID-19 Update, Support for Nonprofit Arts Organizations

By Norm Needleman, State Senator.

New England Governors Call for Modernizing New England Electricity

The governors of five New England states – Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, Maine Governor Janet Mills, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo and Vermont Governor Phil Scott are calling for reforms in electricity markets they share in efforts to achieve stated goals for clean, affordable and reliable electricity. The five governors are calling for reform of regional electricity market design, transmission planning process and governance of the independent system operator for the New England power system. An upcoming New England States Committee on Electricity document will outline specific areas for reform, which will spur further discussion.

COVID-19 Update

New Color-Coded, Weekly COVID-19 Alert Maps

The Connecticut Department of Public Health has launched a new weekly, color-coded COVID-19 alert map for every city and town in the state, identifying the average daily case rate per 100,000 population over the last two weeks. The new weekly alert maps are also accompanied by recommended actions for individuals, schools, houses of worship, community organizations, and local health directors. The map will be updated every week and is available on the state’s coronavirus website in the Data Tracker. It is color coded according to the following criteria:

  • Red: municipalities that have a two week average daily COVID-19 case rate higher than 15 per 100,000 population
  • Orange: municipalities with case rates between 10-14 per 100,000 population
  • Yellow: municipalities with case rates between 5-9 per 100,000 population
  • Gray: municipalities with case rates lower than 5 per 100,000 population


New COVID-19 Recovery Program to Help Survivors

Physicians in Connecticut and across the country have been seeing patients who survived COVID-19 complaining of a wide range of physical and mental symptoms. Ten percent of people who recover from COVID-19 will experience prolonged physical and emotional effects of the virus. To address – these symptoms which could include: heart palpitations, dizziness, depression, brain fog, and breathing trouble – Hartford HealthCare has created the region’s first COVID Recovery Center. The Recovery Center will focus on the health and healing of those who have suffered from COVID-19. The treatment offered is physical and mental. Some patients could also be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder that could be related to the trauma of being hospitalized or the stress of being hospitalized and isolated from friends and family. The program involves first calling Hartford Healthcare at (860) 827-3200. Healthcare professionals will assess each patient and determine the best plan and location of treatment. To learn more, click here.

State to Provide Up to $9 Million in Arts Grants

The state will provide as much as $9 million in grants to support certain nonprofit arts organizations in Connecticut to bolster and benefit recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Utilizing federal CARES Act funding from the state’s Coronavirus Relief Fund, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development’s Office of the Arts will administer the COVID Relief Fund for the Arts. It has the goal of supporting arts nonprofits for whom the grants will help with organizational survival or rehiring and/or arts nonprofits that had to slow operations due to the pandemic and have had limited ability to reopen or pivot service delivery. Qualifying organizations will receive base grants of $5,000 with ones raising funds between March 10 and November 1 offered a supplemental match of 50 percent of contributed income from that period. The maximum award for any organization is $750,000. Performing arts centers, performing groups and schools of the arts are eligible for the grants with some eligibility requirements in place; applications will be accepted between October 23 and November 3. More information on eligibility and applications can be found here.

Hartford Foundation Seeking COVID-19 Nonprofit Grant Applicants

The Hartford Foundation is seeking applicants for its COVID-19 Response Fund Grants. More than $1.5 million is available for nonprofit organizations seeking to keep nonprofit staff and clients safe during the reopening phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. These awards are intended to support costs associated with resuming or reopening services safely over a six-month period, including personal protective equipment, cleaning, COVID-related infrastructure shifts, technology to support virtual learning and/or remote staff and staff health screenings, among other possibilities. They are also required to be aligned with state and federal public health guidelines for safe operations. Nonprofits can visit this link for more information and application details.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Is October 24

October 24 marks National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, a national effort from the Drug Enforcement Administration to ensure unnecessary, unneeded or unwanted prescription drugs are safely disposed of and remain out of the reach of those who might misuse them. This event correlates with state and local law enforcement to hold collection events, after which collected drugs are destroyed. Expired, unused or unwanted controlled substances in homes are a source of supply for pharmaceutical drug abuse and represent a public health risk. Every year, this event leads to the collection of tons of prescription drug waste in numerous towns and cities nationwide. Local events in our district and nearby will be held Saturday, October 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They include:

  • Deep River: Tri-Town Youth Services will host a collection site at 56 High Street
  • East Hampton: The Police Department will host a collection site at 1 Community Road
  • Essex: The Resident Trooper’s Office will host a collection site in the Town Hall parking lot, 29 West Avenue
  • Haddam: The Resident State Trooper’s Office will host a collection site at 23 Killingworth Road
  • Westbrook: The Resident Trooper’s Office will host a collection site at the Teresa Mulvey Municipal Building, 866 Boston Post Road
  • The Killingworth Resident State Trooper’s Office will hold an event at the Killingworth Family Pharmacy, 183 CT-81 #3 in Killingworth

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