Letter from Harry: An Update on the Coronavirus: Information from the Governor's Office
Updated: Aug 15
Dear friends and neighbors, Please find appended an email I received from the governor's office sent to all state employees regarding the coronavirus. Considering there is a lot of concern, I thought I would share it with you. While there is still a lot of uncertainty, it is good to know that our local, state and federal governments are working hard to contain it. If you have any questions regarding this email or would like more information about how our government is preparing for the virus, please contact me at (860) 240-8700 or (203) 571-9325, or email me directly at Harry.Arora@cga.ct.gov. Sincerely, State Representative Harry Arora 151st General Assembly District Greenwich Update on coronavirus for all state employees from the Office of the Governor To our State of Connecticut employees, As state employees, you know that all Connecticut residents depend on us to deliver vital state services night and day, every day of the year—through winter storms, natural disasters, and, yes, disease outbreaks. Luckily, we have seasoned professionals across our agencies including health experts and providers who have risen to the challenge to prepare for and respond to diseases like Ebola, H1N1 influenza, and the Zika virus. I’m confident in their ability to do so again to prepare for the coronavirus. First, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Connecticut. Right now, the risk to Connecticut residents remains low. It’s understandable that many people are worried. Public health experts don’t have all the answers yet, but they are learning more about COVID-19 every day. Although there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Connecticut, we are urging residents to take all necessary precautions and follow guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC, as well as the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), have compiled helpful information on how to keep homes and workplaces safe from illnesses, travel tips on how to prevent infection, and what to do in the event of an outbreak in your community. This guidance is available on DPH’s website at ct.gov/coronavirus, and on our associated social media channels. In addition, if you’re not already receiving regular news updates from my office, you can subscribe to our mailing list by visiting my office’s website. Please make sure to follow those resources for the latest information. Our state agency leaders want you to know that we have been in constant communication regarding preparedness for when the first cases are confirmed in our state. These cross-agency discussions started in December 2019. There are regular communications taking place between state agencies, coordination with health institutions and local health departments, in addition to discussions with our neighboring states regarding their experiences with COVID-19. On Friday, the Connecticut Department of Public Health Laboratory was cleared to start testing for COVID-19, and the first tests were conducted over the weekend. This federal clearance provides our state with the ability to move quickly on testing, accelerating our response in the event of a positive case. Over the weekend, there were two tests of Connecticut residents, and each tested negative for contracting COVID-19. Despite those two negative tests, I am urging you and all of our residents to remain vigilant and prepared for what the future may hold. That means taking these steps to ensure you and your family are prepared:
Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Avoid shaking hands as a greeting. A simple head nod achieves the same goal.
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.
Action now will help protect you, your family, your neighbors, and your coworkers. This is a rapidly-evolving situation, and that leads to a great deal of misinformation being disseminated about COVID-19 and its spread. There is no link between race or ethnicity and the spread of coronavirus. Viruses do not discriminate. It’s especially important that our students and children receive this message to prevent bullying and harassment in our schools. Facts and science, proven public health measures, and commonsense precautions in our personal lives are the best measures we can take to protect both the people we serve at work and our friends and families at home. Thanks to dedicated state employees like you, I know our state is as prepared as we can be for this moment. Thank you, Ned Lamont Governor