Gov. Ned Lamont signed a declaration earlier this week extending the pandemic public health emergency and civil preparedness emergency through to nearly the end of the year. They will now remain in place until December 28th.

Extending these states of emergency allows state agencies to maintain access to certain federal funds. These include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and access to non-congregate housing.

Access to federal SNAP funding has provided a minimum of $95 in additional benefits to qualifying Connecticut families each month during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, non-congregate housing, which provides access to some type of private accommodations to unhoused people (such as hotels, motels, and dormitories) was accessed by more than 1,100 Connecticut residents between the months of March and May this year, according to the governor’s office.

Connecticut has received nearly $750 million in emergency SNAP benefits and nearly $8 million in reimbursements for non-congregate housing since the start of the pandemic and is expected to receive an additional $20 million in housing reimbursements.

“We cannot ignore the reality that the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted low-income families and communities, many of whom continue to depend on public assistance programs administered by the state,” Governor Lamont said in a statement. “The continuation of this declaration ensures that Connecticut residents who need additional support during this time will still have access to those resources.”

In his announcement, the governor stated that he did not intend to issue any executive orders under the declaration, seeing it merely as a means of maintaining access to federal support.

COVID-19 cases have trended downward over the last few weeks since a slight spike in April, according to data compiled by the state. The latest report listed 3,653 active cases with 235 hospitalizations over the last seven days.

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An Emmy and AP award-winning journalist, Tricia has spent more than a decade working in digital and broadcast media. She has covered everything from government corruption to science and space to entertainment...

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