COVID-19: Six more CT victims, hope for hand sanitizer

This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (orange)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (green) cultured in the lab. (Courtesy of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases {NIAID}.)

NORWALK, Conn. — The latest on COVID-19:

  • Six more COVID-19 cases in Connecticut
  • What about hand sanitizer?
  • Lamont provides flexibility for municipal budget deadlines
  • All Connecticut schools closing now
  • DMV closing, entrance into psychiatric facilities restricted


Another Fairfield County positive

An additional six Connecticut residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including one more in Fairfield County, two more in Hartford County, one more in Litchfield County, and two more in New Haven County, a press release from the Governor’s Office said Sunday.  This brings the total number of positive cases reported in Connecticut (including presumptive positive) – from both the State Laboratory and private laboratories – to 26.

No information was available as to what Fairfield County town the newest patient lives in.

A county-by-county breakdown of the positive cases includes:

  • Fairfield County: 16
  • Hartford County: 3
  • Litchfield County: 4
  • New Haven County: 3



Lamont authorizes pharmacies to make hand sanitizer

There’s no hand sanitizer to be found in the stores and on Saturday a NancyOnNorwalk reader suggested that the City should be supplying it.

“Soap and water is very effective and frequent washing for at least 20 seconds is recommended. If it is necessary to be out and about, most stores and restaurants have hand sanitizers readily available,” Mayor Harry Rilling said Saturday in an email. “The city has a limited supply of hand sanitizers but I will check on our ability to procure additional supplies.”

Gov. Ned Lamont signed an executive order Saturday; among its provisions is permission for pharmacies to compound and sell their own hand sanitizer.

“In reaction to a national shortage of hand sanitizer on the market, Governor Lamont yesterday issued an executive order that – among other things – modifies certain laws in order to permit pharmacies to compound and sell their own hand sanitizer to the public,” Sunday’s press release said. “Today, the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, responding to the governor’s action, issued an implementation order that outlines the rules pharmacies need to follow during the production process in order to ensure its effectiveness and safety for the consumer.”

You could make hand sanitizer at home, but “experts” say you’re better off using soap and water, according to CNET.

Wash your hands. The CDC and WHO both agree that’s the best thing you can do right now to protect yourself from getting sick, either from coronavirus or anything else,” the CNET article states. “Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, many times per day — after you use the restroom, before and after you eat, before and after you prepare food and in many other scenarios.”



Relaxing budget deadlines

Lamont has signed another executive order Sunday. Among its provisions is flexibility for municipal budget deadline and related issues.

“As many municipalities are nearing … their budget deadlines, the governor’s order provides extensions and flexibility for the hearings and other associated issues,” the press release said. “The governor’s staff is working with municipalities and the legal community to resolve issues regarding statutory deadlines and notice requirements for land use boards, public attendance and voting at town budget meetings, and alternate methods of submitting public comments.”

Mayor Harry Rilling announced last week that City Hall was scaling back on its activities, and many meetings will be done by teleconference.

Lamont’s order “means we will be able to move back our charter required deadlines for finalizing the budget and for holding public hearings. We will explore our current situation to determine which deadlines need to be extended and which public hearings need to be rescheduled,” Rilling wrote Monday.



No public school anywhere in Connecticut, as of Tuesday

Lamont’s Sunday executive order, his fourth since enacting the civic preparedness and public health emergency declarations, also cancels school classes statewide.

“The order directs classes at public schools throughout the entire state to be canceled effective Tuesday, March 17 and lasting through at least March 31. As was announced on Friday, students who receive meals under the school lunch and breakfast program can continue receiving meals during this period and have the ability to consume them at home,” the press release said.

Norwalk Public Schools has already closed. Local children are experiencing their first day of remote learning, now.



The Governor’s executive order also:

 “Authorizes DMV commissioner to close branches to the public: The order authorizes the commissioner of Motor Vehicles to close branches to the public, conduct business remotely, and extend deadlines for hearings and related notices. It is expected that DMV will keep four branches partially-open as operations hubs to conduct business. The commissioner will determine when to implement the authority provided in the order.

Restricts entrance into psychiatric facilities: Building on the governor’s previous order restricting visitor access to nursing homes and other similar facilities, this order allows the relevant state agencies to restrict entrance into psychiatric facilities in order to protect vulnerable residents, patients, and staff.”


Article amended at 1:55 p.m. to include more information.


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