Hayes Statement Regarding First COVID-19 Case Involving Worker In Connecticut

March 9, 2020
Press Release

WATERBURY - Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-5) issued the following statement regarding the first confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in CT, involving an employee working at Danbury Hospital and Norwalk Hospital:

“As the Connecticut Department of Public Health Commissioner has said in recent weeks, COVID-19 hitting Connecticut was not a matter of if, but when. Tonight, we have seen the broad reach of this virus within Connecticut’s borders – impacting a frontline health care worker. This development highlights the imperative for increased preparedness in our state,” said Congresswoman Hayes.  “I urge the Centers for Disease Control to heed the calls of the Governor, DPH Commissioner, and the entire Connecticut Congressional delegation by providing the testing kits necessary to combat the rapid spread of this disease. Congress took a first step in providing urgently needed financial assistance this week to help Connecticut respond to this crisis. I will continue to fight for robust federal assistance and resources to help state and local efforts to fight this deadly disease. I urge my constituents to remain alert and continue to follow CDC and DPH guidelines to protect themselves and their families from the spread of this serious virus. I will continue to monitor the situation and keep all effected in my prayers.”

Hayes joined the Connecticut Congressional Delegation today in sending a letter to Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to express concern about the lack of COVID-19 diagnostic testing kits provided to Connecticut.

This week, Congress and the President approved a bipartisan $8.3 billion emergency supplemental appropriations package, providing billions in funds that can be used to improve testing capabilities at the state level, support diagnostic test development, and help Community Health Centers on the front lines of the public health crisis. The emergency supplemental provides the following to combat the coronavirus epidemic:

It includes:

  • More than $3 billion for research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics;
  • $2.2 billion in public health funding for prevention, preparedness, and response, $950 million of which is to support state & local health agencies;
  • Nearly $1 billion for procurement of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, to support healthcare preparedness and Community Health Centers, and to improve medical surge capacity; 
  •  $61 million to facilitate the development and review of medical countermeasures, devices, therapies, and vaccines, and to help mitigate potential supply chain interruptions;
  • $1.25 billion to address the coronavirus abroad to help keep Americans safe here at home;
  • Allows for an estimated $7 billion in low-interest loans to affected small businesses, to help cushion the economic blow of this public health emergency and;
  • Provides $300 million so the government can purchase vaccines at a fair and reasonable price.

Last week, Congresswoman Hayes joined 34 of her Freshman colleagues in calling on House and Senate leadership to request comprehensive supplemental funding to address COVID-19.

Congresswoman Hayes also joined crucial legislation with Congresswoman DeLauro that would guarantee all workers receive an additional 14 paid sick days in the event of a declared Public Health Emergency.

 

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Rep. Jahana Hayes has been a public school teacher in Connecticut for more than 15 years and was recognized in 2016 as the National Teacher of the Year.

Currently serving her first term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Hayes sits on the Committees on Education & Labor and Agriculture and proudly represents Connecticut’s 5th District.

 

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