Lamont Declares Public Health & Civil Preparedness Emergencies

On Tuesday as of 3:00pm, Governor Ned Lamont announced a State of Emergency in Connecticut in response to the COVID-19.

Specifically, he declared both a public health emergency and an civil preparedness emergency.

The public health emergency includes power over quarantines.

A civil preparedness emergency gives Lamont broad powers over state institutions, including the possibility of restricting travel and closing public schools, town buildings.

The emergency declarations come as an attempt to contain the spread of the virus.

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

Nearby, Governor Andrew Cuomo initiated a one-mile “containment zone” in the area of New Rochelle, NY, in an attempt to stop a growing cluster of coronavirus cases.  Large facilities and schools in the containment zone will be closed for two weeks beginning March 12. Smaller stores and businesses will be allowed remain open.

Lamont’s emergency declarations provide the governor with the authority to take specific, swift actions determined necessary to protect the safety and health of residents in the state, including the temporary suspension of certain state laws and regulations.

An immediate impact of the declarations is that they may allow consumers and businesses whose travel has been impacted by the outbreak to benefit from travel insurance.

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.

The Connecticut Insurance Department is in the process of notifying insurance companies that the governor has signed the declarations and will be monitoring their compliance with the terms of their policies.

As coverage will depend on the terms of each policy, consumers are encouraged to read them carefully.

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

A second impact is that they trigger Connecticut General Statutes Section 42-230, the state law prohibiting profiteering during emergencies. Click for details on price gouging.

Violations are considered an unfair or deceptive practice and violators may be subject to fines or other action from the Department of Consumer Protection and the Office of the Attorney General.

Governor Lamont is reiterating a warning from the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency advising individuals to remain vigilant for email, text, social media, and phone scams related to COVID-19. Cyber actors may send emails or texts with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes. People are urged to exercise caution in handling any email related to COVID-19, including attachments or hyperlinks, and be wary of social media pleas, texts, or calls on the subject.