On March 15, 2020, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed Executive Order No. 7C (the “Order”) to encourage mitigation strategies to combat the pandemic of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The next day, March 16, 2020, Governor Lamont signed Executive Order No. 7D (the “Second Order”) which added further restrictions to the Order in an effort to limit Connecticut residents’ exposure to Coronavirus.

The Order specifically mandates the following:

  1. All public schools in the state of Connecticut are to be canceled effective Tuesday, March 17 and lasting through at least March 31. Private and other non-public schools are encouraged to follow suit. However, students who receive meals under the school lunch and breakfast program can continue to receive meals during this time period and have the ability to consume them at home. The Order also waives the state law that requires schools to be in session for at least 180 days.
  2. Municipalities will receive extension of time of 30 days to adopt municipal budgets.
  3. Access to nursing homes and psychiatric facilities will be restricted to protect vulnerable residents, patients and staff.

The Second Order includes the following actions:

  1. Prohibits the gathering of 50 people or more for social and recreational activities including religious, community, civic, leisure, sporting event, parades, concerts, festivals, movie screening, plays or conventions, to protect the public.
  2. Effective at 8:00 p.m. on March 16, restaurants, dining establishments and bars may only provide take-out and delivery services, and the sales of alcohol at these establishments is prohibited.
  3. Off-track betting facilities must cease on-site operation at 8:00 p.m. on March 16.
  4. All movie theaters, gyms and fitness studios must close, effective 8:00 p.m. on March 16.

All the restrictions mandated in the Second Order are enacted through April 30, unless otherwise amended.

To aid small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak, Governor Lamont announced that small business will be eligible for disaster relief loans of up to $2 million from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The small business disaster relief loans are part of Governor Lamont’s goal to provide a broad array of relief measures for the businesses of Connecticut while they navigate the economic impact that will result from the Coronavirus pandemic.

Employers’ Bottom Line: As the spread of Coronavirus continues, employers should monitor executive orders and other actions taken by Governor Lamont’s administration. Employers are likely to see Governor Lamont take additional steps taken to protect the residents of Connecticut and they must be ready to respond appropriately.