Dear Chester friends,

As of today, there have been 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Chester. Two of those individuals have died in the last 48 hours. There are currently 45 confirmed cases within our local health district. Please continue to protect yourselves by following the guidelines of washing hands, staying home when possible, social distancing, wearing masks in public locations, etc. Health officials anticipate that we have not yet reached the peak period so it's important that the guidelines are taken seriously.


The photo above is of a small portion of the wall in my dining room. Words are important to me and I start each day with these reminders and other simple words of inspiration. I hope that my sharing them with you can bring a small slice of whatever encouragement, reminder or hope that you might need today.


Be well,


Lauren



Connecticut’s world-class museums, historic sites, aquariums, entertainment venues and other tourism destinations across the state are temporarily closed in order to  mitigate the spread of COVID-19 , but that doesn’t mean you can’t visit—virtually.

Here is a list of popular attractions across Connecticut that have created special online experiences or projects to entertain, teach and engage you and your family while you stay safe at home. Watch live animals, take virtual tours, participate in learning activities, try virtual yoga classes and more!

 






Resources for CT Residents
 




These are excruciating times for small business owners. Here is a roundup of resources and loans available to you:  Guide for Small Business Owners


  • Business ResourcesInformation on tax filing extension, SBA loans, Cares Act, paycheck protection, unemployment assistance, etc.

Great information about resources for small business help available from the Women’s Business Development Council. They did a great webinar yesterday which can be watched on their Facebook page or on their website at Women's Business Development Council . There are lists of lenders, information about the Paycheck Protection Plan and step by step instructions on how to navigate the stimulus package.

Earlier this week, Economic Innovation Group, or EIG, recorded a webinar on the Paycheck Protection Program, offering forgivable loans to small businesses hit hard by COVID-19. You can  listen to a recording here  and access a  program overview and frequently asked questions here .

Unemployment insurance is more critical than ever. Please expect delays in the processing of your claims. Over the last two weeks, the Connecticut Department of Labor received as many claims as they did in the entire calendar year of 2019.  How to Apply for Unemployment Insurance

Access Health CT   is extending the deadline for enrollment to April 17th. The only way to sign up for the extended special enrollment period is by calling 1-855-365-2428. For enrollments between April 3 - April 17, coverage will be effective on May 1.

Governor Lamont has negotiated with banks and credit unions in Connecticut to give you a break on paying your mortgage. Governor Lamont will soon announce a similar relief plan for renters:  Mortgage Relief During COVID-19 Crisis

For enhanced safety information for veterans, click here:  Information for CT Veterans

Congratulations to all of you who are doing such a great job homeschooling your children. With little prospect of reopening schools anytime soon, the Connecticut Department of Education is here to help:  Information about Education/Children&Families

Understandably, anxiety and depression are on the rise. If you are under extreme duress, please know that you are not alone. Click here for resources:  Mental Health and COVID-19

The "Stay Safe, Stay Home" directive does not mean you have to suffer domestic abuse. During this COVID-19 crisis, advocates are available 24/7 at the following link:  Help for Those At Risk for Domestic Violence

Support local farmers and your immune system at the same time. And remember- if you are a farm owner who wants to be added to the list, click the link:  Information for CT Farmers' Markets

While we are busy caring for our neighbors and ourselves during this crisis, it might be easy to forget caring for our four-legged friends. Here are tips from the Humane Society:  How to Care for Your Pets during COVID-19 Crisis


Governor Lamont, in consultation with State Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona, today announced that he soon plans to sign an executive order extending the date for which classes at all public schools statewide remain canceled until at least May 20.


The Chester Town Hall, although closed to the public, remains open Monday - Thursday, 9-12 and 1-4 and Friday from 9-12 for the time being. We are not working on Tuesday evenings at this time. Please call 860-526-0013 for an appointment.