A message from CDC: There is no reason at this time to think that any animals, including pets, in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States. Download the fact sheets:
Around the state, organizations have found a way to continue UConn Extension’s Parent Leadership Training, part of our People Empowering People (UConn PEP) program. With technology, determination and creativity PEP facilitators are keeping their parent leaders connected and informed during this difficult time by offering the UConn PEP program via Zoom.
“We are living some challenging times where the stress level at home can be elevated. Our routines have changed and we are now the actual teachers to our children and so much more. Meeting with my PEP 2020 friends through Zoom last week was like taking a breath of fresh air. Not only was that alleviating to the soul but receiving the dinner delivered was touching to the hearts of my children and myself. I’m so grateful that I’m part of this group not only because of the challenging times we are living but also because of the great friends I’ve made. Thank you so much PEP 2020.” – Nancy
“In a time where we are all being asked to self quarantine, it was truly great to see everyone’s faces while we talked about our trying times. To be able to offer support or an ear to listen about what we are feeling; the Zoom meeting was able to give us a bit of normalcy. Having dinner delivered was as close as we could get to hanging with our group.” – Allison
“Zoom communication is great at this time, especially for me that I’m only home with my daughter. My husband is working in Massachusetts. He is staying there because he doesn’t want to risk our health. It’s very scary, however being able to communicate with PEP is a relief and I know I’m not alone in this. Also food delivery is amazing, it’s such a great gesture when you know someone is thinking about you at this cruel time. I’m so grateful for PEP especially for Kim and Jeanine! God bless everyone and may we pass this as soon as possible. Thank you 🙏🏻” – Besa
“So thankful for our PEP leadership…. Jeanine didn’t miss a beat and quickly coordinated virtual classes/meetings via the Zoom app and even provided us with dinner delivery, such a kind and greatly appreciated gesture during these tumultuous and uneasy times.“ – Carolina
– Robin Drago-Provencher, UConn PEP
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Guidance for Horseback Riding Schools and Stables / Boarding Stables
Source: Connecticut Department of Agriculture
HARTFORD, CT – In addition to implementing the Stay Home, Stay Safe protocols effective on March 23, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. through April 22, 2020; Governor Lamont’s Executive Order 7H required the Department of Economic and Community Development to provide a guidance document to determine essential businesses.
The Essential Businesses or Nonprofits designated in the guidance are not subject to the in-person restriction set forth in Executive Order 7H. Item 7 Services Including contained: “Animal shelters or animal care or management, including boarding, grooming, pet walking and pet sitting” as an essential business.
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (DoAg), working in concert with the Connecticut Farm Bureau and the Connecticut Horse Council, recognizes that this is a challenging time for all – both equine boarding facilities and horse owners alike. It is our intent to ensure the health and welfare of animals is met, while mitigating the risk to the people engaged in those tasks. It is prudent for all of us to use common sense as we navigate the COVID-19 crisis. Every equine facility is unique with various capacities, services, and capabilities in providing the care essential to the wellbeing and health of the horses entrusted in their care.
Stables providing full-board services that meet all of the horses’ needs may set their own policies about restricting access by owners seeking to visit or ride horses. The Department supports limitations imposed by stable owners. Specific concerns regarding care should be addressed between the horse owner and stable owner/manager.
All stables should set up a schedule of access times to ensure that there are no more than five (5) people at the barn at one time. It is imperative that the principles of social distancing, proper disinfecting, and sanitary practices are maintained. Stables are free to enact additional measures and controls as needed to ensure the safety of all.
This guidance document cannot cover every single scenario. The following information is meant to clarify what equine activities may continue and which should be discontinued at this time.
Essential Equine Care
- Providing food, water, proper handling, health care (veterinary and farrier services), and proper housing
- Turnout and exercise necessary to an individual horse
Not Essential Equine Care
- Riding lessons/programs/camps
- Club/organization meetings
- Visits to an equine facility by anyone other than an essential equine caregiver
- Maintain the recommended social distancing protocols that include six (6) feet of separation between individuals
- Limit gatherings to fewer than five (5) people
- Ensure proper hand washing
- Limit access to and disinfect common areas regularly
- Avoid sharing equipment and supplies between people
- Non-porous materials (leather bridles/saddles/halters, nylon halters/lead ropes, gate latches, door handles, spray nozzle) harbor the virus longer than porous materials (cotton lead ropes, saddle pads)
- Clean communal leather tack daily with tack cleaner
- Disinfect gate latches, spray nozzles, cross tie snaps, pitchforks, wheelbarrows, and other frequently used items regularly or after contact with personnel
- Stall door latches, hose ends, light switches and feed scoops should be cleaned and disinfected frequently
- Sporting events are prohibited
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CT DoAg) mission is to foster a healthy economic, environmental and social climate for agriculture by developing, promoting, and regulating agricultural businesses; protecting agricultural and aquacultural resources; enforcing laws pertaining to domestic animals; and promoting an understanding among the state’s citizens of the diversity of Connecticut agriculture, its cultural heritage, and its contribution to the state’s economy. For more information, visit www.CTGrown.gov.
Equine Business Guidelines
CT Horse Neighbors Facebook page, horse neighbors helping neighbors
CT Horse Council – can help you get the help you need
Other links for help from CT Statewide Animal Response Team
United Horse Coalition Resources for Horse Owners
March 26, 2020 Update
The following information has been compiled for the general public and for those who come under essential businesses in Connecticut.
- FDA has recently stated that food supply is safe among COVID-19 and there are no current disruptions in the supply chain. Consumers should be confident in the safety of their food. To read more about coronavirus impacting the food industry please visit FDA leaders_food supply is safe.
- If you have questions such as
- How do I maintain social distancing in my food production/processing facility and food retail establishment where employees typically work within close distances?
- A worker in my food production/processing facility/farm has tested positive for COVID-19. What do I need to do to continue operations while protecting my other employees?
or other concerns regarding Food safety and COVID-19, please visit FDA Latest FAQs
- As a consumer if you have questions such as
- Should I mist produce with a very diluted bleach solution (a teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water) and let it air dry before I eat it to avoid contracting COVID-1?
- Does cooking foods kill the virus that causes COVID-19? (Short answer- YES)
Please visit Consumer_FAQs
Since, it is believed that cooking can kill viruses, it is recommended that the high-risk population (especially under current circumstances) such as immunocompromised hosts and seniors, avoid the consumption of RAW produce.
Other food safety resources:
- For questions that food industry in other states (NY and neighboring) may have such as
- How long can COVID-19 remain viable on different surfaces?
- Can animals raised for food and animal products be source of infection with COVID-19?
Please visit FAQs_FoodIndustry
- Food safety_COVID-19_Checklist
- SOP_Actions_to_be taken when worker tests positive for COVID-19
- Attached document for list of frequently touched surfaces and how to clean them
- Under the Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan program,a qualifying business or nonprofit organization can apply for a loan of up to $75,000 or three months of operating expenses (whichever is lesser). All of the information can be found at CT_Recovery Bridge Loan Program
- The American Farmland Trust’s Farmer Relief Fundwill award farmers with cash grants of up to $1000 each to help them weather the current storm of market disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis. Initially eligible applicants include any small and mid-sized direct-market producers. For complete information go to the ATF website at Farmer Relief Fund.
As always, if you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me. At UConn extension, we will try to answer your queries as soon as possible and keep you updated as we know more.
Educator: Indu Upadhyaya, DVM, MVSc, PhD,
Assistant Extension Educator, Food Safety
Initially eligible applicants include any small and mid-sized direct-market producers.
The application will be simple and easy to complete. For complete information go to the AFT website.
(HARTFORD, CT) – On March 20, 2020, The Governor issued Executive Order 7H, directing all businesses and nonprofit entities in the State of Connecticut to utilize, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work from home procedures that they can safely employ. That order also directed that, no later than March 23, 2020 at 8 p.m., each non-essential business or nonprofit entity (and therefore not including or applicable to any state or local government agencies, quasi-public agencies, political subdivisions or other entities that do not constitute businesses or nonprofits) shall reduce the in-person workforce at each business location by 100% from pre-state of emergency declaration employment levels. Executive Order 7H authorized the Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development (“DECD”) to provide legally binding guidance about which businesses are essential.
Pursuant to that directive, Connecticut Department of Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt is sharing the business exemption guidance issued by DECD, clarifying which food and agriculture businesses and related services are deemed essential.
“Maintaining operations of food and agriculture are essential to keeping our residents fed and healthy during this time,” Commissioner Hurlburt said. “We recognize that this is an unprecedented time and appreciate the efforts of our small businesses and their employees. Our staff is working diligently to ensure public and animal health needs are met. We continue to strongly recommend that businesses, consumers and the public adhere to social distancing measures and best health practices to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”
Per the executive order and guidance document, businesses and organizations that provide food for disadvantaged populations, veterinary services, food processing, agriculture, livestock, feed mills, and warehousing should all continue to operate, but with every precaution to maintain social distancing. Below is a complete list of Department of Agriculture’s regulated communities deemed essential businesses.
For purposes of Executive Order 7H, “essential business,” means:
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 450 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford, CT 06103 Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Employer
pertaining to the existing declared public health and civil preparedness emergency.
Essential Food and agriculture businesses, including:
- farms and farmer’s markets
- food banks
- 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)
- all manufacturing and corresponding supply chains, including agriculture
- animal shelters or animal care or management, including boarding, grooming, pet walking and pet sitting
Essential businesses for continuity of commerce:
- commercial trucking
- utilities including power generation, fuel supply, and transmission
- grocery stores including all food and beverage retailers
- hardware, paint, and building material stores, including home appliance sales/repair
- liquor/package stores and manufacturer permittees
- pet and pet supply stores
- warehouse/distribution, shipping, and fulfillment
Businesses essential to agriculture business:
- research and laboratory services, including testing and treatment of COVID-19
- veterinary and animal health services
- accounting and payroll services
- critical operations support for financial institutions
- financial advisors
- financial institutions, including banks, credit unions, and check cashing services
- all skilled trades such as electricians, HVAC, and plumbers
- general construction, both commercial and residential
- pest control services
About the CT DoAg The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CT DoAg) is foster a healthy economic, environmental and social climate for agriculture by developing, promoting and regulating agricultural businesses; protecting agricultural and aquacultural resources; enforcing laws pertaining to domestic animals; and promoting an understanding among the state’s citizens of the diversity of Connecticut agriculture, its cultural heritage and its contribution to the state’s economy. For more information, visit www.CTGrown.gov.
In this challenging time, we need to take care of each other and especially ourselves. Self-care is important to our physical and mental health. We all deserve self-care, especially now. Please consider these resources.
The first is a video on managing stress during a pandemic. It was worth the 17 minutes to hear tips on how to care for ourselves and our children. Maybe you are guiding co-workers or elderly parents. We hope this helps:
Related Reading Resources:
How to Cope with Stress https://store.samhsa.gov/system/files/sma14-4894.pdf
Talking to Your Children https://store.samhsa.gov/system/files/pep20-01-01-006_508_0.pdf
Cómo lidiar con el estrés https://store.samhsa.gov/system/files/sma14-4885spanish.pdf
Cómo hablar con los niños https://store.samhsa.gov/system/files/sma14-4886spanish.pdf
Other Mental Health Resources:
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has a list of five things you should know about stress and you can find that valuable information here:https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/stress/index.shtml.
Additionally, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the Crisis Text Line have trained counselors who are ready to listen. If you would like to talk to someone related to COVID-19, call the National Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-8255, or text the word SHARE to 741741. Website links can be found here: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org | https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Please take care of yourselves and remember that we are here to help.
The Connecticut Sea Grant staff
COVID AND SEAFOOD SAFETY – By the National Fisheries Institute, includes responses to specific questions, as well as four simple talking points.
REGULATORY INFO FOR DIRECT SALES
Get the information you need to make direct sales in your community.
NEED HELP GETTING WORD OUT VIA SOCIAL MEDIA?
Are you trying to make sales in your community during COVID-19, email Tessa.Getchis@uconn.edu.
March 17, 2020
Per the Connecticut DA/BA, shellfish sampling will continue along the coast so that harvest areas may remain open. Email David Carey or call (203) 874-0696 with any questions.
Content curated by Tessa Getchis, UConn Extension & CT Sea Grant
For additional resources visit our COVID-19 page.
The novel coronavirus is causing disruption not only to our industry, but globally. An industry entrenched in tradition is having to find new ways to close deals without a handshake. I am working on personally reaching out to you, our members, to stay current on how you are handling things during this unique time in your business. I invite you to contact me at any time at (860) 459-1960.
I encourage you all to look at this uncertain time as an opportunity for growth. Here are a few suggestions on how you can stay ahead of the curve:
- Remain Calm. Your attitude resonates through your employees and your customers. If you stay collective, we can stay productive.
- Stay Outdoors. Find a way to offer outdoor cash registers to help customers feel more comfortable shopping with you.
- Disable Signatures. To limit touch points talk to your credit card processing company to see if you can disable the need for signatures.
- Sell Jobs Online. Utilize online meeting features, like Gotomeeting, to sell landscape jobs, still allowing customers to see your design without having to email them a copy of it.
- Delivery & To Go. Implement a curb side pickup or delivery option. Take payment online or over the phone to limit the need for contact.
- Virtual Shopping. Post a video or photos of what you currently have in your store and allow for purchase to be made over the phone or online.
- Facetime Shopping. Give clients the ability to still work one on one with a sales person by offering shopping through video chat. Android users can use Skype or Duo.
- Upsell Edibles. As the grocery supply chain is stressed help increase food security by allowing people to grow their own food.
- Stay Healthy. I am sure you have already adapted the best practices outlined by the CDC. Below are resources that are especially valuable at this time:
- OSHA: Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
- CDC: Steps to Prevent Illness
- CDC: Resources for Businesses and Employers
- Response to the Coronavirus from The Harvest Group
- Communicate. Be sure to stay in communication with your customers by sending out an email similar to this, sharing what your business is doing to keep them and your employees healthy.
- Be Accommodating. Even if you are not worried about the coronavirus, your customers might be. Go above and beyond for your customers during this unique time.
- Shop Local. Be sure to support other local businesses around you to help ease any burdens.
CNLA’s lobbyist Linda Kowalski is working full-time for us to ensure that the case is made to state officials for keeping nursery and landscape businesses open in the event the state requires a wider closure of businesses beyond those which have already been announced. This would be to keep the supply chain open. In addition, she is getting information to us in real-time about issues such as the availability of SBA loans and the latest procedures for applying for unemployment compensation. Linda and I are in communication with state officials; we both have talked with Commissioner Hurlburt to update him on our members’ situation. You can read Linda’s latest legislative report here.
AmericanHort has also shared that, effective March 18th, the U.S. Consulate in Mexico will cease all visa processing. AmericanHort knows many businesses are awaiting the arrival of workers via seasonal worker visa programs and they are in touch with government partners and business coalitions working to ensure these programs are not unnecessarily disrupted. They are also monitoring relief legislation taking shape in Congress and weighing in on points of concern for our industry, especially with respect to business “safety net” programs administered by agencies like the Small Business Administration and the Department of Agriculture.
The health of our families, employees, customers, vendors and partners remains paramount. While COVID-19 is not likely to be lethal for most of the population, we must recognize the danger that it poses for vulnerable individuals and the part we all play in protecting those around us. We urge every nursery and landscape business to implement logical, common-sense practices to reduce transmission, thereby keeping more people safe and making the public health response the most effective it can be.
We value what you contribute to our green industry and greatly appreciate your support. We are all in this together.
Article by Dustyn Nelson, President, Connecticut Nursery and Landscape Association
For additional resources visit our COVID-19 page.