During these uncertain times, The WorkPlace is committed to serving jobseekers and the business community. Although our offices have suspended in-person services, we are innovating our approach and making resources available by phone, email and teleconferencing to businesses and jobseekers wishing to connect for services.
The WorkPlace created a COVID-19 Resource Toolkit to assist our community in navigating the unprecedented challenges resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. This toolkit identifies resources and supports available for individuals and businesses impacted by COVID-19.
We are here to help and encourage you to contact us.
State of Connecticut
Information regarding the number of cases in Connecticut, the location of those that have tested positive, and other preventive tips for stopping the spread of the virus, visit their website at https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus
Frequently Asked Questions on the State of Connecticut’s actions related to COVID-19 https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Coronavirus/COVID-19-FAQs.pdf?la=en
A flyer of the symptoms of COVID-19 can be found on their website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/COVID19-symptoms.pdf.
More details can be found at PURA COVID-19 Press Releases
Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC)
The CDC has lots of resources about the symptoms, prevention techniques, and how to protect yourself against COVID-19. For more information, visit their website at http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/.
The CDC has released recommendations on environmental cleaning and disinfection for COVID-19. For more information, visit their website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html.
Tax Filing Deadline
The Federal Administration announced on March 20, 2020 that the federal tax filing deadline has been pushed from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020. For more information, visit https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/payment-deadline-extended-to-july-15-2020.
Filing for Unemployment Benefits
The Connecticut Department of Labor encourages anyone that has been laid off from their place of employment due to facility closings or reductions in force from COVID-19 should file for unemployment benefits. Independent contractors and self-employed workers are also encouraged to apply.
It is important to file as soon as you become unemployed to avoid being denied benefits. Do not delay filing your claim for unemployment benefits even if your employer has not issued you any paperwork. To file your claim, please go to www.filectui.com.
For faster processing of your claim, please have your employer’s registration number and a return to work date readily available when you file your claim online. Additional instructions for faster claims processing can be found at: http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/UI-online/unemployedduetocoronavirus.pdf.
For step-by-step instructions on filing visit: Guide for Filing CT Unemployment Claims.
In-depth answers to frequently asked questions are available at the CTDOL website. Click on this link to access the FAQs: http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/DOLCOVIDFAQ.PDF.
You may also submit your general question firstname.lastname@example.org. A response can be expected in 3 to 5 business days, depending on volume.
Additional UI Guidance
The Southwest American Job Centers are currently closed to in-person visits, but you may call any of the numbers listed below for general information concerning your unemployment benefits. Unemployment claims cannot be processed or expedited by calling this telephone service.
Unemployment questions phone lines:
860- 263-6975 203-718-8042 203-455-2653 860-496-3500
203-574-6971 203-953-3251 203-730-0451
Spanish speaking staff: 203-755-5117 203-953-3229
Job Seeker Resources
The American Job Center Network provides services to unemployed and underemployed individuals seeking jobs and job search assistance at no cost. Job seekers are afforded convenient access to the employment, education, training and information services they need at a single location.
To schedule a no cost virtual employment support session, please visit http://careerresources.org/virtual-sessions/.
For more information on job training and education programs to assist your return to the workforce, visit https://www.workplace.org/programs/.
Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) has suspended any shutoffs for both residential and non-residential customers until at least May 1. This applies to the following gas, electric, and water companies regulated by PURA. Not all utilities in Connecticut are regulated by PURA, so please check with your utility directly if it is not on this list:
- Gas: Connecticut Natural Gas Corporation, the Southern Connecticut Gas Company, and Eversource
- Electric: Connecticut Light & Power Company (Eversource) and the United Illuminating Company
- Water: Aquarion Water Company of Connecticut, the Avon Water Company, the Connecticut Water Company, the Hazardville Water Company, Heritage Village Water Company, the Jewett City Water Company, the Torrington Water Company, Valley Water Systems Inc., Old Newgate Ridge Water Company Inc., and Preston Plains Water Company
More details can be found at https://portal.ct.gov/PURA/Press-Releases/2020/Expand-Scope-ofInvestigation-from-COVID-19
To help with the influx of new remote workers, AT&T is offering unlimited home internet to current broadband customers, suspending all data caps for 60 days to support telework. AT&T COVID-19 Info
Verizon will waive late fees and overage charges for 60 days from March 16 to May 13 for customers who inform the company that they are unable to pay as a result of economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Service will not be terminated for those impacted by COVID-19. Verizon Fios COVID-19 Info
Spectrum is offering free broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days in a home with K-12 and/or college students that don’t have an existing Spectrum service level up to 100 Mbps. Installation fees will be waived for new student households and the company said those interested should call 1-844-488-8395. Spectrum COVID-19 Info
Optimum is offering free internet access for 60 days to new customers with K-12 and college students in the household. Optimum COVID-19 Info
Comcast is offering free internet for two (2) months to low-income families. This is in addition to all Xfinity hot-spots being free to the public during this time. Comcast COVID-19 Info
Cox Cable is expanding its COVID-19 relief offerings for residential customers including a new internet offer for lower-income customers. Cox Covid-19 Info
Verizon is waiving late fees, providing free international calling, and has also waived their upgrade fees. Verizon Wireless COVID-19 Info
Sprint is providing unlimited data, free mobile hot spots, and free international calls to customers. Sprint COVID-19 Info
T-Mobile is providing unlimited data, hot spot services, and free international calls to customers during this time. T-Mobile COVID-19 Info
K-12 School System Meal Programs
For information on meal programs available in your school district, select your town from the list below.
|Blessed Sacrament Food Pantry
275 Union Avenue, Bridgeport, CT
Haitian American Catholic Center
Jewish Family Services
Neighbor to Neighbor
New Covenant Center
Norwalk Salvation Army
Open Door Shelter
Person to Person (Darien)
|Person to Person (Norwalk)
76 S Main St, Norwalk, CT
New Canaan Food Pantry
Stamford Salvation Army
The Thomas Merton Center
Wilson Memorial Church
Wilton Interfaith Pantry
Zion Lutheran Church
Updates on the Connecticut Food Bank Mobile Pantry are available at: http://www.ctfoodbank.org/get-help/connecticut-food-banks-mobile-pantry-schedule/.
- IHOP: Now through April 19, use code IHOP20 at checkout to get 20% off your first online order.
- McDonald’s: Select locations are giving free meals to kids. Call your local chain for more information.
- Moe’s Southwest Grill: Now through April 12, get free delivery on orders over $10.
- Olive Garden: Get two meals for the price of one — $12.99 — with their “Buy One, Take One” promotion. Free, no-contact delivery is available on orders with a $40 minimum.
- Panda Express: Now until April 17, feed the whole family with a $20 Family Meal when you order online or through the Panda Express app.
- Quizno’s: Now through April 7, get a free kid’s meal with a $12 purchase.
- Subway: Get a free Footlong when you order two Footlongs for takeout. Use code SUBWAYNOW for free Uber Eats, DoorDash, Postmates, Grubhub, and Seamless delivery.
- TGI Friday’s: Use code FREEKIDS to get a free kid’s entrée with online orders of $20 or more.
- 99 Restaurant and Pub: Now through April 26, use code HERE4YOU online for 20% off to-go orders.
Foreclosure Sale and Evictions
As of March 18, 2020 and to help borrowers who are at risk of losing their homes, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has told Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to put a hold on foreclosures and foreclosure-related evictions for at least 60 days due to the coronavirus national emergency. This hold applies to homeowners with single-family mortgages backed by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. A similar hold on foreclosures and foreclosure-related evictions is in place for FHA-insured loans. Because of this, the Connecticut courts have extended the dates of all foreclosure sales and the running of law days (the date when you must leave your house) to early June.
On March 18, 2020 the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) suspended all foreclosures and evictions for 60 days. The press release can be viewed at: HUD Coronavirus Response Press Release
Governor Lamont reached an agreement with over 50 banks and credit unions on March 31, 2020 to provide mortgage payment to the state’s residents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These are the relief policies offered by these financial institutions:
- 90-day grace period for all mortgage payments: Participating institutions are offering mortgage payment forebearances of up to 90 days. Homeowners can use this to reduce or delay their monthly mortgage payments.
- Relief from fees and charges for 90 days: These institutions are also waiving or refunding mortgage-related late and other fees, including early CD withdrawals.
- No new foreclosures for 60 days: Financial institutions will not start any foreclosure sales or evictions.
- No credit score changes for accessing relief: Late or missed payments will not be shared with credit reporting agencies.
Small Business Administration Disaster Loans
The Small Business Administration has announced Disaster Recovery Loans available for small businesses affected by COVID-19. For more information, visit their website at https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources
State Tax Deadlines
The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services has extended the filing deadlines for certain annual tax returns due on or after March 15, 2020, and before June 1, 2020, by at least 30 days. In addition, the payments associated with these returns are also extended to the corresponding due date in June.
The impacted returns and the associated filing dates and payment deadlines are set forth below:
- 2019 Form CT-1065/CT-1120 SI Connecticut Pass-Though Entity Tax Return: Filing date extended to April 15, 2020; payment deadline extended to June 15, 2020
- 2019 Form CT-990T Connecticut Unrelated Business Income Tax Return: Filing date extended to June 15, 2020; payment deadline extended to June 15, 2020
- 2019 Form CT-1120 and CT-1120CU Connecticut Corporation Business Return: Filing date extended to June 15, 2020; payment deadline extended to June 15, 2020
The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) is extending by 90 days payments due on loans extended through Small Business Express and is offering accommodations on other programs. Please contact DECD for further information at https://portal.ct.gov/DECD.
- Bridgeport Regional Business Council: https://brbc.org/index.php/engage-resources-landingpage/covid-19-business-resources
- Fairfield County Community Foundation: https://fccfoundation.org/covid19-nonprofit-resources/
- Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce: Covid-19 Resources
- Groundwork Bridgeport: https://groundworkbridgeport.knack.com/resource-listings
- The CDC has released interim guidance for businesses to respond to COVID-19. For more information, please visit their website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html.
- In response to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce developed a small business guide and checklist. To access the tool please click: Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist.
HEALTHCARE & MENTAL HEALTH
Testing for COVID-19
If you are displaying symptoms consistent with those of COVID-19, and are unable to get into contact with your primary care physician, please reach out to one of the following hotlines:
- Hartford Healthcare Hotline: 860-972-8100
- Yale New Haven Health: 833-484-1200
- Bristol Hospital Coronavirus Info Line: 860-261-6855
- Stamford Health: 203-276-4111
Drive-thru testing sites are present on hospital grounds throughout the state. A doctor’s order is required. Testing locations are listed at: CT COVID-19 Testing Locations.
There is no cost to be tested for COVID-19. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act guarantees all Americans can receive free coronavirus testing. This includes those with private insurance, government insurance (Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, CHIP, VA, FEHBP, and TRICARE), and even those with no insurance. Connecticut residents on Medicaid can also receive free treatment for COVID-19.
Health Insurance Coverage
- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has developed a fact sheet for questions related to Medicare Coverage during the COVID-19 outbreak. The flyer can be found at https://www.cms.gov/files/document/03052020-medicare-covid-19-fact-sheet.pdf.
- Guidance on accessing healthcare during for covered and non-covered individuals in Connecticut can be found at https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Coronavirus/COVID-19-FAQs.pdf?la=en.
Mental Health Resources
- The CDC’s main resource page for mental health resources for the COVID-19 outbreak can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html.
- The Hub, the state designated Regional Behavioral Health Action Organization serving Southwestern Connecticut, offers numerous mental health resources including coping mechanisms, online support groups, and hotlines. Visit https://www.thehubct.org/single-post/2020/03/16/Coping-with-Corona-Mental-health-supports-in-a-pandemic.
- Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7 support via text message. Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor.
- To assist in helping parents and guardians care for an explain the COVID-19 outbreak to children, the CDC has developed resources that can be used during this time. For more information, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/childrenindisasters/helping-children-cope.html.
- For those that need assistance coping with a disaster or traumatic event, the CDC has developed online resources for use. For more information, visit https://emergency.cdc.gov/coping/index.asp.
- The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has developed a page devoted to managing stress associated with the COVID-19 Virus Outbreak. To find out more information, please visit https://www.ptsd.va.gov/covid/COVID_managing_stress.asp.
- For managers, providers, and community leaders, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has also developed a page devoted to managing stress associated with the COVID-19 virus outbreak. To find out more information, please visit https://www.ptsd.va.gov/covid/COVID_providers_comm_leaders.asp.
- For healthcare workers that continue to provide services and see patients during this time, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has developed a page devoting to managing stress associated with the COVID-19 virus outbreak. To find out more information, please visit https://www.ptsd.va.gov/covid/COVID_healthcare_workers.asp.
The CDC has developed tips for emergency responders to ensure their health and wellness is being taken care of during this time. To see the tips and information, visit https://emergency.cdc.gov/coping/responders.asp.
FITNESS & EXERCISE
Here are some free ways to stay active at home and maintain health and wellness routines during COVID-19.
- STRONG by Zumba YouTube: STRONG by Zumba combines bodyweight, cardio, muscle conditioning and plyometric training synced to music. Several at-home workout options are available on YouTube with no equipment needed.
- Planet Fitness live stream: Planet Fitness, one of the country’s largest chain gyms, is offering free online classes starting March 16. The daily workout, which will be 20 minutes and will not require any equipment, will be available on YouTube and Facebook.
- CorePower Yoga: The yoga studio is offering free access to a selection of their online classes while they are closed to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Starting on Thursday, March 19, they will also be hosting live online classes that will be available to members.
- Rumble: Once a day, Rumble is offering cardio and bodyweight workouts (no equipment necessary) via Instagram Live.
- Edge Fitness Clubs: Edge Fitness will stream live classes seven days a week for members and non-members. Visit their site to access these classes: https://www.theedgefitnessclubs.com/classes/live-classes.
- Planet Fitness: Planet Fitness is offering free at-home workouts for everyone. They will be streamed on Facebook daily at 7 p.m. Visit https://www.planetfitness.com/united-we-move.
- LES MILLS: Les Mills is offering free classes on their streaming platform until the coronavirus outbreak is over. The site has 95 video classes for Body Combat, Body Pump, Barre, cardio training, mindfulness and more.
- Stretch and Grow of the Rockies “Brain Breaks”: Stretch and Grow of the Rockies is a kids health and wellness enrichment company that teaches children age-appropriate fitness and yoga routines. The company is offering daily “Brain Breaks” on YouTube that include a 10-minute video of yoga poses, breathing techniques, and exercises.
- Cosmic Kids YouTube: Cosmic Kids offers yoga lessons working on balance and strength on YouTube.
- Fitness Blender: Fitness Blender offers hundreds of free workout videos ranging in difficulty, length, and body focus.
- Down Dog: Down Dog maintains five fitness and yoga apps that offer yoga practices or at-home workouts: Down Dog, Yoga for Beginners, HIIT, Barre and 7 Minute Workout. Students and K-12 teachers have free access until July 1.
- YMCA 360: Your Virtual YMCA: YMCA 360 is an “on-demand” healthy living network. The YouTube channel offers several 15-minute workout routines.