Tag Archives: Gov. Ned Lamont

Lamont Vaccine Plan Adds Age Groups, Educators — But Removes Pre-Existing Conditions

Governor Lamont announced today that he is expanding eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine, based almost entirely on age.

Here are the age groups, and the date on which they can schedule an appointment:

  • Ages 55 to 64: March 1
  • Ages 45 to 54: March 22
  • Ages 35 to 44: April 12
  • Ages 16 to 34: May 3.

In addition, preK to grade 12 teachers and staff, and professional childcare providers, can receive the vaccine in March, at clinics set up especially for them.

Lamont said that this was the least complex and confusing scenario for vaccination, and one that would not exacerbate inequities in distribution. He said he is working with the state Department of Public Health to ensure that vaccines will go to people in the highest-risk communities.

Healthcare providers and medical first responders were included in the first group of recipients, followed by those 75 and over, and then 65 and over.

Not included in the rollout: people who underlying medical conditions, and those considered “essential workers” in other states, like transportation, grocery and agricultural workers.

Lamont’s decision drew a quick response from one “06880” reader. He says:

As a 33-year-old living with type 1 diabetes, I feel left out to dry after multiple reassurances from the governor about vaccination efforts for people with pre- existing conditions.

My timeline is in May, with the largest and youngest bracket. People need to ask why people with pre-existing conditions (who are at the most risk) are being delayed for arbitrary age brackets. Did the governor and his team just assume that most of these conditions will be “mostly” covered in the elderly age brackets?

People living with these conditions have put their lives on hold. Some of us were just told our lives don’t matter because of age.

For more information on Connecticut’s COVID vaccination plan — including how to schedule an appointment — click here.


“Essential Businesses”: Defined

Tonight at 8, Governor Lamont’s emergency proclamation takes effect. It closes all but “essential” businesses in the Connecticut.

What does that mean? The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce relayed this important information.

For purposes of Executive Order 7H, “essential business,” means:

  1. Essential workers in the 16 Critical Infrastructure Sectors, as defined by the federal Department of Homeland Security unless otherwise addressed in a prior or future executive order pertaining to the existing declared public health and civil preparedness emergency.
  2. Healthcare and related operations including:

* biotechnology therapies

* consumer health products and services

* doctor and dentist offices

* elder care, including adult day care

* health care plans and health care data

* home health care workers or aides

* hospitals

* manufacturing, distributing, warehousing, and supplying of pharmaceuticals, including research and development

* medical marijuana dispensaries and producers

* medical supplies and equipment providers, including devices, diagnostics, services, and any other healthcare related supplies or services

* medical wholesale and distribution

* nursing homes, or residential health care facilities or congregate care facilities

* pharmacies

* physical therapy and chiropractic offices

* research and laboratory services, including testing and treatment of COVID-19

* veterinary and animal health services

* walk-in-care health facilities

The ever-smiling, always-helpful Russ Levine at Colonial pharmacy is of course essential.

  1. Infrastructure including:

* airports/airlines

* commercial trucking

* dam maintenance and support

* education-related functions at the primary, secondary, or higher education level to provide support for students, including distribution of meals or faculty conducting e-learning

* hotels and other places of accommodation

* water and wastewater operations, systems, and businesses

* telecommunications and data centers

* transportation infrastructure including bus, rail, for-hire vehicles and vehicle rentals, and garages

* utilities including power generation, fuel supply, and transmission

  1. All manufacturing and corresponding supply chains, including aerospace, agriculture, and related support businesses
  1. Retail including:

* appliances, electronics, computers, and telecom equipment

* big-box stores or wholesale clubs, provided they also sell groceries, consumer health products, or operate a pharmacy

* convenience stores

* gas stations

* grocery stores including all food and beverage retailers

* guns and ammunition

* hardware, paint, and building material stores, including home appliance sales/repair

* liquor/package stores and manufacturer permittees

* pharmacies

* pet and pet supply stores

Westport Hardware is another essential business.

  1. Food and agriculture, including:

* farms and farmer’s markets

* food manufacturing, processing, storage, and distribution facilities

* nurseries, garden centers, and agriculture supply stores

* restaurants/bars (provided compliance with all applicable executive orders is maintained)

  1. Services including:

* accounting and payroll services

* animal shelters or animal care or management, including boarding, grooming, pet walking and pet sitting

* auto supply, repair, towing, and service, including roadside assistance

* bicycle repair and service

* building cleaning and maintenance

* child care services

* critical operations support for financial institutions

* financial advisors

* financial institutions, including banks, credit unions, and check cashing services

* funeral homes, crematoriums, and cemeteries

* insurance companies

* laundromats/dry cleaning

* legal and accounting services

* mail and shipping services

* marinas and marine repair and service

* news and media

* real estate transactions and related services, including residential leasing and renting

* religious services (subject to Executive Order 7D limiting gatherings to 50 people)

* storage for Essential Businesses

* trash and recycling collection, hauling, and processing

* warehouse/distribution, shipping, and fulfillment

Trash collecting is absolutely essential.

  1. Providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations including:

* food banks

* homeless shelters and congregate care facilities

* human services providers whose function includes the direct care of patients in state-licensed or funded voluntary programs; the care, protection, custody and oversight of individuals both in the community and in state-licensed residential facilities; those operating community shelters and other critical human services agencies providing direct care or support social service agencies

  1. Construction including:

* all skilled trades such as electricians, HVAC, and plumbers

* general construction, both commercial and residential

* other related construction firms and professionals for essential infrastructure or for emergency repair and safety purposes

* planning, engineering, design, bridge inspection, and other construction support activities

  1. Services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of all residences and other buildings (including services necessary to secure and maintain non-essential workplaces):

* building cleaners or janitors

* building code enforcement

* disinfection

* doormen

* emergency management and response

* fire prevention and response

* general maintenance whether employed by the entity directly or a vendor

* home-related services, including real estate transactions, closings, appraisals, and moving services

* landscaping services

* law enforcement

* outdoor maintenance, including pool service

* pest control services

* security and maintenance, including steps reasonably necessary to secure and maintain non-essential businesses

* state marshals

Staples’ popular head custodian Horace Lewis leads a great — and essential — staff.

  1. Vendors that provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care, and services needed to ensure the continuing operation of government agencies and provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public including: 

* billboard leasing and maintenance

* child care services

* essential government services

* government owned or leased buildings

* information technology and information security

* logistics

* technology support

  1. Defense 

* defense and national security-related business and operations supporting the U.S. Government or a contractor to the US government


If the function of your business is not listed above, but you believe that it is essential or it is an entity providing essential services or functions, you may request designation as an Essential Business.

Requests by businesses to be designated an essential function as described above, should ONLY be made if they are NOT covered by the guidance.

Restrictions on requesting designation as an Essential Business:

  • Any business that only has a single occupant/employee (e.g. attendant) is deemed exempt and need not submit a request to be designated as an Essential Business.

If you have further questions not answered above, please submit them to decd.covid19@ct.gov.

From Blight House To Bright Spot: Green Honors For Hillspoint Home

For years, only one thing marred the view from Old Mill Road and Elvira Mae’s, down Hillspoint Road. There — sandwiched between handsome beach homes and the beach itself — sat a blight house.

Unkempt and untended, it looked out of place. And dangerous.

When Robin Tauck bought the property, and an adjacent lot, she wanted to maintain the traditional beach community vibe. But she’s also an ardent environmentalist.

Her vision for the blight house was to maintain the same footprint for minimal impact, while creating a model for future homes.

Working with architect Michael Greenberg and TecKnow, the Bedford Square-based company that combines automation technology with green energy products, she built an innovative “guest cottage.” (Her own, similarly designed home, is next door.)

The new Hillspoint Road home.

227 Hillspoint Road uses sustainable building practices and innovative technology. Solar and battery storage is optimized, so the house is run almost entirely off the grid.

It meets many of the standards for a Green Building Award: rehabilitation, energy efficiency, innovation, conservation, sustainability, and modeling for the future.

So the other day — around the same time the United Nations hosted its Climate Action Summit — Governor Ned Lamont and Congressman Jim Himes were in town. So was Albert Gore III, from Tesla (one of the companies TecKnow works with), environmental leaders from groups like Sustainable Westport and Save the Sound, and all 3 selectmen.

Robin Tauck and Governor Ned Lamont, on the steps of 227 Hillspoint Road.

They presented Tauck, Greenberg and TecKnow with a Green Building Award. It recognizes this project, for its contribution to sustainability.

The honor signifies one more step on Westport’s path to being a net zero community, by 2050.

And it also shows that a small, blighted house need not be replaced by a bigger, more energy-sapping one.

Especially at such a well-known, beloved and lovely spot by the shore.

Phil Levieff of TecKnow, Albert Gore III of Tesla, and Robin Tauck. (Photos/JC Martin)