Governor Lamont COVID-19 and Vaccine Update- 5/20/2021

 In Covid-19

Governor Lamont held a press conference on May 20, 2021, on the state’s response efforts to COVID-19.

The Governor was joined by Chief of Staff Paul Mounds, Chief Operating Officer Josh Geballe, and Kim Hawkins from HEDCO.

COVID-19 Metrics: The positivity rate is at 0.93 percent, and less than 1 percent for the first time in eight months. Hospitalizations continue to trend downwards and there have been 8,208 COVID-related fatalities.

Vaccine Update:  A total of 3,670,711 doses have been administered, with 1,731,879 individuals fully vaccinated.

  • 92% of those over 65 have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • 85% of those over 65 have been fully vaccinated.
  • 73% of those 18 and older have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • 57% of those 18 and older have been fully vaccinated.
  • 60% of Connecticut’s population have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • 49% of Connecticut’s population have been fully vaccinated.
  • 20% of those aged 12 – 16 have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Sports Betting: In response to a question regarding Sportech questioning the constitutionality of the gambling agreement. Governor Lamont said that the state has a long-standing compact with the tribes, and they are first in line for sports betting and iGaming. The Gambling bill allows for the CT lottery to enter negotiations with other entities when it comes to sports betting, and the Administration hopes Sportech takes advantage of that opportunity.

Back to Work CT Program:  The program will offer a $1000 dollar incentive to long-term unemployed individuals to seek job opportunities. The program is being administered by the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services. In the coming days, the department will create a form on its website for individuals to apply. The first applications will be accepted eight weeks from the start date of the program. Workers will be eligible to receive only one incentive payment. The program will be supported by Connecticut’s Coronavirus Relief Fund, which utilizes federal funding obtained through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES ACT).

To be eligible, workers must:

  1. Have filed an unemployment claim with the State of Connecticut for the week immediately prior to May 30, 2021;
  2. Obtain and maintain a full-time job for a period of eight consecutive weeks prior to December 31, 2021; and
  3. Not receive unemployment compensation during the required eight-week period of employment.

Connecticut’s Financial Strength:  Connecticut will see a $470 million dollar budget surplus for Fiscal Year 2021, the state’s rainy day fund sits at $3 billion dollars, and Connecticut will be receiving $6 billion dollars in additional federal funding.

Economic Growth and Opportunity: The Administration will be investing a billion dollars over three years with a focus on equity and opportunity. Investments will be made to expand child care, provide home visiting for families, summer enrichment programs, and debt-free community college. In addition to, expanding access to affordable healthcare, expanding affordable housing, investing in workforce development, the criminal justice system, and environmental justice.

Consumption Tax: The Governor has articulated he does not think tax increases are necessary, and that the consumption tax is an income tax with a different name.

Schools: Masks will be required indoors for the remainder of the school year, but students can go mask-less outside.

Affordable Housing: The Administration views affordable housing to be a priority, and the Governor is interested in transit-oriented development and affordable housing in downtown areas. The Legislature and the Executive branch are working together to make a 3 – 5 year commitment to affordable housing, however, no details are currently available.

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