Lamont Requests Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for COVID-19

On Thursday, Governor Ned Lamont announced he had submitted to Federal Emergency Management Agency a request for a presidential “Major Disaster Declaration” for the impact of COVID-19 on the State of Connecticut.

The public assistance request is for all eight counties in Connecticut: Fairfield, Hartford, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London, Tolland, and Windham.

In his letter to President Trump, via FEMA’s regioal administrator W Russ Webster, Lamont wrote that as of March 25, 2020, the total number of residents that have tested positive in the State is 875, and that cases have been confirmed in all eight Connecticut counties.

Also he noted 19 residents have died as a result of COVID-19; 113 are currently hospitalized, and a total of 5898 tests have been conducted in both state and private laboratories.

“The number of confirmed cases continues to rise exponentially daily, both because of increased testing and also as the spread of contagion increases. Over the last two days, we have had 400 new cases.

As a neighboring state to New York, with thousands of residents who work in or travel to New York daily, Connecticut is within the epicenter of infection. The virus knows no state boundaries, as demonstrated by the hundreds of positive cases in Fairfield County.

Letter dated March 26, 2020 from Governor Ned Lamont to President Trump via FEMA regional administrator W. Russ Webster

The public assistance would include all four supplemental assistance programs under the Individual Assistance Program, including Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Crisis Counseling program, Disaster Case Management, and Disaster Legal Services. Additionally, the request is for Individuals and Households Program Other Needs Categories of Child Care Assistance and Funeral Assistance.

“This global pandemic is continuing to have a major impact on the lives of every person and entity in our state and around our country,” Lamont said in a release Thursday, adding, “If approved, this disaster declaration request will provide greatly needed assistance to our residents, as well as our local and state governments, so that we can try to bring some relief during this difficult and ongoing challenge.”