As the world continues to battle the COVID-19 epidemic, Connecticut Governor Lamont recently signed two additional Executive Orders, 7E and 7F, which implement measures in Connecticut to further combat the fast-spreading virus. Earlier this week, Governor Lamont signed Executive Orders 7C and 7D, which, as reported in our prior alert, required that all public schools, bars, restaurants, dining establishments, gyms, fitness studios, off-site betting and theaters close. They also limited gatherings to no more than 50 people.

Developed in concert with Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey and Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, Governor Lamont’s newest Executive Orders, signed on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 and Wednesday March 18, 2020, order the closing of several additional venues. In relevant part, Executive Orders 7E and 7F require:

  1. The 180-day school year requirement is waived so long as local and regional boards of education provide opportunities for continuity of education to all students to the greatest extent possible consistent with both federal and state law.
  2. Municipal and state police departments may limit or eliminate fingerprinting availability for background checks to limit the transmission of Coronavirus.
  3. The expiration dates for certain permits, licenses and other credentials administered by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection that expire on or after March 1, 2020 are extended by 90 days.
  4. To the extent permitted by federal law, the Commissioner of Social Services is authorized to temporarily suspend recoupment of non-fraudulent overpayments for public assistance programs for the duration of the pandemic crisis.
  5. The Commissioner of Social Services may authorize the suspension of the requirement that any aggrieved persons requesting that the Department of Social Services conduct a fair hearing appear in person.
  6. Effective at 8 p.m. on March 19, 2020, the indoor common area of the Brass Mill Center, Connecticut Post Mall, Crystal Mall, Danbury Fair Mall, Stamford Town Center, The Shoppes at Buckland Hills, the SoNo Collection, Westfarms Mall and the Westfield Malls in Meriden and Trumbull must close to the public. Establishments with their own external entrances and exits may remain open so long as patrons must use the external entrances and exits. Restaurants located in these malls with their own external entrances/exits may only serve food and non-alcoholic beverages for consumption outside the restaurant consistent with Governor Lamont’s prior Executive Order. This closure is effective through April 30, 2020 unless otherwise modified by Governor Lamont.
  7. Also effective at 8:00 p.m. on March 19, 2020, “Places of Public Amusement” such as amusement rides, carnivals, water parks, aquariums, zoos, arcades, fairs, funplexes, theme parks, bowling alleys and other children’s and family amusement attractions must close to the public until April 30, 2020, unless otherwise directed by Governor Lamont. Public parks and open recreations areas are not affected by this order.
  8. Medicaid telehealth coverage will be extended to audio-only telehealth services.
  9. Residents of nursing homes and other facilities where visitor access has been limited to protect public health do not have to be serviced in-person. The residents may also waive any requirement of for in-person meeting, screening or hearing.

Employers’ Bottom Line: Further Executive Orders by Governor Lamont affecting businesses are expected over the coming days and weeks. Employers should be ready to implement them in order to protect public health and curb the transmission of COVID-19. This is the time to assess business continuity. Employers whose employees cannot work from home and who are forced to close or reduce operations as a result of COVID-19 should evaluate all options, including unemployment for employees. Employers should also be cognizant of the newly enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act, a federal law mandating paid sick leave and paid Family and Medical Leave under certain circumstances, discussed here. Of course, FordHarrison attorneys are always available to assist you in implementing these changes and ensuring compliance with these Orders.

If you have any questions regarding the issues addressed in this Alert, please contact the authors, Johanna Zelman, [email protected], Sami Asaad, [email protected], Michael Harrington, [email protected], Elizabeth Smith, [email protected], and Jenna Goldman, [email protected], all attorneys in FordHarrison’s Hartford office.

FordHarrison is closely monitoring the spread of Coronavirus and has implemented continuity plans, including the ability to work remotely in a technologically secure environment when necessary, to ensure continuity of our operations and uninterrupted service to our clients. We are following all CDC guidelines and state and local laws as applicable. We are committed to ensuring the health and welfare of our clients, employees, and communities while continuing to provide our clients with the highest quality service. Please see our dedicated Coronavirus Taskforce page for the latest FH Legal Alerts and webinars on Coronavirus, as well as links to governmental and industry-specific resources for employers to obtain additional information and guidance. For more information or to be connected with a Coronavirus Taskforce attorney, please contact [email protected].

As the world continues to battle the COVID-19 epidemic, Connecticut Governor Lamont recently signed two additional Executive Orders, 7E and 7F, which implement measures in Connecticut to further combat the fast-spreading virus. Earlier this week, Governor Lamont signed Executive Orders 7C and 7D, which, as reported in our prior alert, required that all public schools, bars, restaurants, dining establishments, gyms, fitness studios, off-site betting and theaters close. They also limited gatherings to no more than 50 people.

Developed in concert with Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey and Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, Governor Lamont’s newest Executive Orders, signed on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 and Wednesday March 18, 2020, order the closing of several additional venues. In relevant part, Executive Orders 7E and 7F require:

  1. The 180-day school year requirement is waived so long as local and regional boards of education provide opportunities for continuity of education to all students to the greatest extent possible consistent with both federal and state law.
  2. Municipal and state police departments may limit or eliminate fingerprinting availability for background checks to limit the transmission of Coronavirus.
  3. The expiration dates for certain permits, licenses and other credentials administered by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection that expire on or after March 1, 2020 are extended by 90 days.
  4. To the extent permitted by federal law, the Commissioner of Social Services is authorized to temporarily suspend recoupment of non-fraudulent overpayments for public assistance programs for the duration of the pandemic crisis.
  5. The Commissioner of Social Services may authorize the suspension of the requirement that any aggrieved persons requesting that the Department of Social Services conduct a fair hearing appear in person.
  6. Effective at 8 p.m. on March 19, 2020, the indoor common area of the Brass Mill Center, Connecticut Post Mall, Crystal Mall, Danbury Fair Mall, Stamford Town Center, The Shoppes at Buckland Hills, the SoNo Collection, Westfarms Mall and the Westfield Malls in Meriden and Trumbull must close to the public. Establishments with their own external entrances and exits may remain open so long as patrons must use the external entrances and exits. Restaurants located in these malls with their own external entrances/exits may only serve food and non-alcoholic beverages for consumption outside the restaurant consistent with Governor Lamont’s prior Executive Order. This closure is effective through April 30, 2020 unless otherwise modified by Governor Lamont.
  7. Also effective at 8:00 p.m. on March 19, 2020, “Places of Public Amusement” such as amusement rides, carnivals, water parks, aquariums, zoos, arcades, fairs, funplexes, theme parks, bowling alleys and other children’s and family amusement attractions must close to the public until April 30, 2020, unless otherwise directed by Governor Lamont. Public parks and open recreations areas are not affected by this order.
  8. Medicaid telehealth coverage will be extended to audio-only telehealth services.
  9. Residents of nursing homes and other facilities where visitor access has been limited to protect public health do not have to be serviced in-person. The residents may also waive any requirement of for in-person meeting, screening or hearing.

Employers’ Bottom Line: Further Executive Orders by Governor Lamont affecting businesses are expected over the coming days and weeks. Employers should be ready to implement them in order to protect public health and curb the transmission of COVID-19. This is the time to assess business continuity. Employers whose employees cannot work from home and who are forced to close or reduce operations as a result of COVID-19 should evaluate all options, including unemployment for employees. Employers should also be cognizant of the newly enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act, a federal law mandating paid sick leave and paid Family and Medical Leave under certain circumstances, discussed here. Of course, FordHarrison attorneys are always available to assist you in implementing these changes and ensuring compliance with these Orders.