HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Connecticut's governor wants a presidential major disaster declaration for the state as a results of the coronavirus outbreak.
Gov. Ned Lamont sent a letter on Thursday to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in which he highlighted what he considered a need for one.
The same day, he said the number of coronavirus cases reached 1,012 and the number of deaths was 21.
While the overall numbers were up on Thursday, the daily numbers are down. This is because the testing numbers are down, and this trend of less testing could continue going forward.
The state says testing will decline because of a lack of medical equipment for the workers who administer the tests.
This cry for help has been made for more than a week.
Even as universities and businesses have donated, even though people have been making homemade masks, it seems like it’s just not enough. The N95 masks are in short supply and this is the consequence.
Now, to qualify for a test, Lamont said the priority will be for healthcare workers, especially those on the frontlines. Then, for those whose symptoms require hospitalization.
Since, for the majority of people, the symptoms will resemble the flu, the new guidance is to ride it out at home and the state is getting more aggressive when it comes to social distancing.
“Before, we said 50 but use your common sense. I’m going to be stricter than that – no more than 5 people at a social gathering or less than that,” Lamont said. “This is really important because young people are much less likely to have a severe condition but you can pass it on to people at home or older folks.”
With less testing soon, the reality of what’s going on in our state won’t be reflected in the daily statistics.
Dr. Summer McGee, the Dean of Health Sciences at the University of New Haven, says that’s going to be dangerous.
“We simply don’t have the information to make intelligent, informed decisions without the testing,” McGee said.
For weeks, there has been reports on the need for medical equipment and doctors say they knew this day would come.
“Like watching a train wreck in slow motion, we were anticipating these problems were going to happen, but simply didn’t have a way to prevent it,” McGee said.
Regarding the major disaster declaration, Lamont said “This global pandemic is continuing to have a major impact on the lives of every person and entity in our state and around our county,” Lamont said. “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.”
Read his letter here:
Lamont requested public assistance for all eight of the state’s counties.
It included all four supplemental assistance programs under the Individual Assistance Program, including Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Crisis Counseling program, Disaster Case Management, and Disaster Legal Services.
Also, he requested childcare and funeral assistance.
If the assistance is approved, Connecticut residents may have access to additional resources to support childcare, crisis counseling ,and other needs identified as a result of the pandemic.
In addition on Thursday, Lamont said he plans to stop the $0.10 tax on plastic bags at stores for the time being.