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WSHU

Coronavirus FAQ And Information

Updated February 23, 2021

Connecticut requires visitors from 46 states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico and Guam to quarantine for 10 days upon arriving in the state. States exempt from the requirement are New York, Rhode Island, and New Jersey. This list is accurate as of February 22, 2021.

Travellers returning from ANY country must also quarantine.

However, Connecticut will accept proof of a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of arrival, or after arrival in the state in lieu of the quarantine.

In New York, as of November 2, 2020, travelers from all non-contiguous states must quarantine for 14 days, or have a negative test within three days of arriving in the state, quarantine for 3 days, and then test negative on the fourth day. Exempt from the quarantine are travelers from contiguous states: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

Residents from Connecticut and New York who are travelling to other states need to be aware of their quarantine guidelines.

Please let WSHU know what questions or comments you have via this survey.

As of February 22, 2021, Connecticut is in Phase 2.1 of reopening.  This means restaurants will have to operate at 50% capacity with 6 foot social distancing and close by 10:00 pm each night, with last service at 9:30 pm. 24 hour diners can open for in house breakfast at 5:00 am. Entertainment and recreation venues also must close by 10:00 pm.

Bars are now closed.

Indoor religious gatherings in Connecticut are now capped at 50% capacity, limited to 100 people with masks and social distancing enforced.

Gatherings at commerical social venues are capped at 50 people, whether they are held inside or outside.

Private social gatherings are now capped at 10 people, both inside and outside.

Effective November 23, 2020 all team sports with the exception of professional and college are suspended until January 19, 2021.

On September 14, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont issued an Executive Order to give municipalities the ability to issue fines to people who do not wear a mask in a public space or who gather in large groups. Those who do not wear a mask can be fined $100. Those who organize an event that doesn't adhere to size restrictions will be fined $500. And those who attend such events could be fined $250.

166 of Connecticut's 169 towns are now at Red Alert.

In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the "COVID-19 Winter Plan" on November 30, 2020. The state will now focus on Coronavirus hospitalizations and hospital capacities in addtion to positive test results.

In addition to the Yellow, Orange, and Red levels for microclusters, the state will now have an "Emergency Stop" level in order to preserve positve hospital capacity in an area. This will put the area back into "New York on Pause" guidelines.

Bars, restaurants, gyms, and any business that operates with a State Liquour Authority License must close at 10:00 pm.

Indoor and outdoor gatherings at private residences will be limited to 10 people.

Ski Resorts in New York can open with indoor capacity limited to 50% under strict guidelines as of November 6, 2020.

Click the hyperlinks for a specific breakdown of the latest rules and regulations for New York andConnecticut.

Read more of our local coverage of cases here.

 

How do I protect myself against the coronavirus?

Public Health officials ask even people who feel healthy to practice “social distancing” to avoid exposure by people who may not appear to have symptoms. That means keeping a distance of six feet from others when outside. The CDC says prevention is the best course of action. "While there is currently no vaccine to prevent this virus, these simple steps can help stop the spread of this and other respiratory viruses:

Health officials say when in public and a six foot distance is unavoidable, people should wear a face mask.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Stay home when you are sick.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.”

How can I get tested?

In Connecticut, drive-up  and walk-up tests are available at some acute care hospitals, urgent care centers, community health centers, and pharmacy based testing sites. Many primary care physicians are also equiped to give tests on site.

In New York State, effective July 1st, testing is free to all eligible New Yorkers as ordered by a health care provider or by calling the NYS COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065. Any test site run by the state is free of charge. Check with your insurer for any other testing locations run either by local munipalities or by private companies.

Who should I call if I am worried I have COVID-19?

According to the Centers for Disease Control stay home and separate yourself from others. Call your doctor if you suspect you or someone in your household has COVID-19 symptoms and have your household self-quarantine for 14 days. 

If your doctor thinks you need emergency care, call 9-1-1 or your emergency clinic to warn them and let them prepare for your arrival with proper equipment to prevent potential exposure. Do not go to a walk-in clinic or your doctor's office without warning them.

New Yorkers looking for information can call the state's COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-364-3065 to get questions answered about travel safety and referrals to health care facilities.  There is also a hotline to report price gouging on home cleaning and sanitation supplies: 1-800-697-1220

In Connecticut you can call 2-1-1 hotline for general information about coronavirus. You can also text "CTCOVID" to 898211. Connecticut Children’s hospital has a 24/7 pediatric Coronavirus hotline. Call 1-833-226-2362

Where can I turn if I am feeling overwhelmed, lonely, or depressed?

Public health officials remind folks that practicing social distancing does not mean going into social isolation. Try scheduling regular phone calls or video chats with friends, family or coworkers. You can also create text chats or Facebook groups with neighbors to check in on those most vulnerable and stay connected. Think of ways to support your community remotely: virtually donate cash or goods to food banks, virtually tip service workers (like your barber or nail tech) who may be laid off, or purchase online from local shops or delivery restaurants. 

Connecticut residents in crisis can reach out to the crisis text line and text “LISTEN” to 741-741 to speak to a trained clinician at National Alliance on Mental Illness.

New Yorkers in need of mental health help can text “GOT5” to 741-741. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also announced in March that residents can call 1-844-863-9314 to speak with mental health professionals, over 6,000 of whom volunteered for the effort.

What help is available if I’ve lost my job or my business is struggling during the coronavirus crisis?

Connecticut Department of Labor is lifting restrictions on who can apply for unemployment benefits to make things easier to respond quickly. Check out the department’s FAQ to see how you may qualify for assistance and apply here.Small businesses and non profits in the state can also apply for up to $2 million in federal loans for distaster assistance here. Businesses and non profits with fewer than 100 employees may also apply for interest free loans from the state.

New York Department of Labor is taking unemployment benefit applications here and asks for patience as many workers bombarded the system on March 16 and caused the website to stall. 

Should I worry about travel?

Public health officials in Connecticut have cautioned against travel outside of the state. The CDC asks people to avoid cruises worldwide and issues this advice  about travel within the country, and issues this warning about traveling to high-risk countries that include most of Europe. Many countries have barred the entry of US citizens due to potential Coronavirus exposure, or require a 14-day quarantine when arriving. Check with your school or employer about policies for non-essential travel and work-from-home protocols. 

What is coronavirus, or COVID-19?

Coronaviruses are types of viruses that often cause common colds among children, but some strains have evolved into more serious illnesses like SARS and MERS. The “novel coronavirus” that you have been hearing about is a strain called SARS-CoV-2 that causes the respiratory disease, COVID-19. Currently about 80% of cases are mild and range from symptoms like the common cold to pneumonia that does not require hospitalization. About 15-20% of people, especially those with pre-existing conditions or age 60 and up, are more vulnerable to severe respiratory infections that require oxygen or life support respirators. 

How does COVID-19 spread?

The disease spreads from infected people through cough and sneeze droplets that carry the virus. Some studies have shown that people without symptoms may still spread the virus. Their droplets can land on surfaces that we touch, where the virus can live for hours or days if it the surface is not cleaned with a disinfectant. If the virus gets on your hands, it can enter your body via contact with the eyes, nose and mouth. Humans have zero immunity to COVID-19.

At the national level, there are discrepancies with numbers of reported cases, as private labratory results may be slow to get reported to public health offices. Check CDC updates here, Johns Hopkins University updates here and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control here

Questions for WSHU? Please share!

You can also email us your questions or share your experience with Coronavirus and our newsroom will get in touch.

SOURCES
CONNECTICUT STATE: 
https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/Public-Health-Preparedness/Main-Page/2019-Novel-Coronavirus

NEW YORK STATE:
NYDPH Coronavirus hotline: 1-888-364-3065
https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/

NASSAU COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT: 
https://www.nassaucountyny.gov/1652/Health-Department

SUFFOLK COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT: 
https://www.suffolkcountyny.gov/health

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION:
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: 
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/

JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY CORONAVIRUS RESOURCE CENTER:
https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/

EUROPEAN CENTER FOR DISEASE PREVENTION AND CONTROL:
https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/novel-coronavirus-china

NPR:
https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/02/28/809580453/just-for-kids-a-comic-exploring-the-new-coronavirus

https://www.npr.org/2020/03/04/811609241/coronavirus-fears-have-led-to-a-golden-age-of-hand-washing-psas