In response to the ongoing developments regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, Governor Lamont issued Executive Order Nos. (7A) and (7B) over the weekend.
Executive Order No. (7A) - Banning All Visitors:
In summary, Executive Order No. (7A) revises the nursing home visitation provisions set forth in Executive Order No. (7) issued on March 12th. All of the other provisions of Executive Order No. (7) remain in effect. Effective immediately, all Connecticut nursing home facilities, residential care homes or chronic disease hospitals (collectively, the “Facilities”) shall impose a complete ban on all visitors to such Facilities for a period of thirty (30) days. Despite the complete ban, the Facilities may still provide reasonable access to the following individuals, provided certain criteria are satisfied (the “Visitors”):
- First responders, including Emergency Medical Services, law enforcement, firefighting and Emergency Management personnel;
- Family members, domestic partners or other persons designated by a patient only when the Facility's Medical Director, a licensed physician or advanced practice registered nurse has determined such patient to be at the end stage of life with death being imminent;
- Any person authorized by law to oversee or investigate the provision of care and services; and
- Service providers who are required to do maintenance or repair necessary without delay for the Facility's continued operation.
In all instances where Visitors are permitted entry to a Facility as enumerated above, such Visitors shall only be permitted into the Facility after Facility personnel have performed a risk screening of each such Visitor for COVID-19, and with the use of appropriate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) in accordance with CDC guidance documents, if necessary.
The risk screening to be performed shall include, but not be limited to, recent travel history, contact with a person presumed or confirmed positive for COVID-19, fever of 100 degrees or greater, sneezing, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath and recent travel by airplane. The Facility shall ban entrance to any Visitor who confirms the existence of any of the utilized screening conditions or who the Facility determines meets one of such criteria.
Finally, any Facility resident desirous and capable of leaving the Facility may do so at any time provided he or she is screened for exposure to COVID-19 upon his or her return as provided above.
See the following link for the entire order. https://portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/News/Press-Releases/2020/03-2020/Governor-Lamont-Signs-Executive-Order-Authorizing-Visitation-Restrictions-on-Nursing-Home-Residents
Executive Order No. (7B) - Changes to Various Health Care Laws to Protect the Public: Executive Order No. (7B) provides for the following changes:
- Waiver of CON requirements to ensure adequate healthcare resources and facilities: The order allows the Executive Director of the Office of Healthcare Strategy to waive the provision of any CON-related statute, regulation or policy to ensure that the increased demand for healthcare resources and facilities can be met during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Suspension of in-person open meeting requirements: The order modifies statutes regarding state and local government meetings that are required to permit members of the public to attend in-person and authorizes those meetings to be held remotely by conference call or videoconference, provided that the public is provided remote access to view or listen to the meetings and access materials for the meetings.
- Waiver of manufacturer registration requirement for hand sanitizer: To increase the availability of hand sanitizer, the order suspends certain statutes regarding manufacturer registration requirements and authorizes the Commissioner of Consumer Protection to allow pharmacists to compound and sell finished hand sanitizer products over the counter to customers. The Commissioner will be required to issue an implementing order prescribing the rules for the composition of the sanitizer.
- Suspension of garbing requirements for non-hazardous compounding of sterile pharmaceuticals: In response to the global shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), the order allows the Commissioner of Consumer Protection to waive the requirement for pharmacists to use certain PPE when working with non-hazardous, sterile compounds.
- Refunds for certain liquor license application fees permissible: The order authorizes the Commissioner of Consumer Protection to cancel and refund the application fee for liquor permits to anyone who paid for such a permit but no longer needs it because the event for which the permit was required has been canceled due to the public health emergency.
- DSS Temporary Family Assistance: The order authorizes the Commissioner of Social Services to waive requirements that applicants for Temporary Family Assistance attend an in-person interview and planning session before receiving benefits.
- Provisions to ensure adequate childcare resources: To increase access to childcare for families in need throughout the pandemic, the order authorizes the Commissioner of Early Childhood to allow the operation of youth camps, and waive certain requirements for childcare facilities. As many school readiness programs are suspending operations due to the pandemic, the order also allows the Commissioner of Early Childhood to allow school readiness programs to operate for fewer than 50 weeks.
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