Important COVID-19 Updates

We’re now 17 months into the global COVID-19 pandemic, and I wanted to send a couple of important updates and reminders as COVID cases are on the rise in Connecticut and across the country and as some COVID-19 relief provisions will expire in the coming weeks.

Mask mandates have been re-enacted for indoor establishments such as retail stores, restaurants, grocery stores, theaters and gyms in Connecticut and across the country. I encourage you to check with your local town for updated mask policies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently recommended that fully vaccinated Americans in areas with “substantial or high transmission” of COVID-19 should return to wearing face masks indoors, citing new data on the highly contagious Delta variant as the reason. 

The CDC also issued a new eviction moratorium to temporarily halt evictions in counties where COVID-19 is spreading rapidly until October 3. Visit the CDC website to learn more and download the eviction protection declaration form. The Department of Education separately announced that federal student loan payments will remain on hold through January 31, 2022. 

Upcoming expiring COVID-19 relief provisions include: 

  • Federal Emergency Unemployment Insurance – expires September 6
  • Increase in Medicaid Allotments for Territories – expires September 30
  • COBRA Expansion for Workers – expires September 30
  • Payroll Credit for Paid Family and Sick Leave – expires September 30
  • Enhanced SNAP Benefits – expires September 30

Consider getting tested for COVID-19, regardless of your vaccination status, if you think you’ve been exposed or if you have symptoms. Some fully vaccinated people and children can still spread the Delta variant. 

Vaccinations are still vitally important for slowing the spread of COVID and saving lives. If you or a loved one have not been vaccinated yet, you can still schedule your vaccine appointment in Connecticut here, walk into your local pharmacy or visit your town’s website for local vaccine clinics.

The Food and Drug Administration also gave full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, saying:

“The public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product,” said acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock. “Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the U.S.”

Vaccine misinformation is still spreading rampantly online, and that misinformation is killing Americans. If you see misleading or false COVID vaccine or public health information, please report it. Your action here is critical in this fight. 

About half of the country is still unvaccinated. Reasons for not getting vaccinated vary, but getting vaccinated is the number one way we can end this pandemic. We’ve overcome pandemics like polio, influenza and chickenpox because an overwhelming majority of the population was vaccinated against these diseases. Defeating COVID-19 will be no different.

Thank you for doing your part by talking to your friends, family members and loved ones about getting vaccinated. I’ll continue to send updates and as new data and information are shared. We’re still in this. Together.

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