St. Rose School is currently closed due to directives from Governor Lamont and the Diocese of Bridgeport.  Students and teachers have transitioned to distance learning and are in frequent contact.  The Administration is keeping a close watch on the situation.

Details can be found in the attached documents.  We will continue to post and email important updates.  Our prayers are with those who are ill; we ask God's protection over all people and His special guidance of the medical professionals who are working diligently to get this situation under control.

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Letter from Newtown Superintendent Dr. Rodrigue: May 5, 2020

Dear Parents and Staff,

Governor Lamont has officially closed all Connecticut schools for the remainder of the year. As our Alternative Learning Plan is well in place and continues to evolve, the staff and leadership team is committed to working with students and providing support as needed.

We will be sending further details out to you that relate to the handling of end-of-year district events (such as graduation), as well as other future district plans that extend into the summer(e.g., summer school). These are important to us but require additional planning under these unique circumstances.

Thank you and continue to stay well.

Dr. Lorrie Rodrigue, Superintendent

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A Note from Nurse Bonnie: Allergies or COVID-19?

A note from the nurse


Is this Seasonal Allergies or the Covid-19 virus?


Forecasters are predicting a brutal Spring allergy season. This is occurring at the same time that the Covid-19 cases are rising across Connecticut. For seasonal allergy sufferers the onset of watery eyes, sneezing, and scratchy throats can now bring anxiety. Are these my allergies? Or the onset of the Covid-19 virus? If you have seasonal allergies and usually take daily medications, it is advisable to start if you have not
already. It can be confusing to know what you are experiencing. 

Allergies vs. Covid-19
Symptoms Allergies COVID-19

Fever

Absent

Characteristic High

(100.4º-104º F) with sudden onset

Cough Little or no cough Common, hacking cough
Headache Occasionally

Prominent

General Aches and pains Slight Usual: often quite severe
Fatigue and Weakness Mild Extreme
Prostration (extreme exhaustion) Never Early and prominent
Runny, stuffy nose Common Sometimes
Watery, red and itchy eyes Common Not usual
Sneezing Usual Sometimes
Short of Breath Less common Prominent
Scratchy sore throat Common Sometimes
Chest discomfort Sometimes Common: can be severe
Nausea/diarrhea Less common Sometimes
New onset of confusion Never Sometimes

*This list is not all-inclusive

For now, your best defense against the virus is to support your immune system with sleep, exercise, and good nutrition and, most importantly, to wash your hands and practice social distancing so you don’t get infected in the first place.
It is important to note that this is not intended to provide medical advice. Please consult your medical provider if you have concerns.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus
https://www.aaaai.org/
https://acaai.org/

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Letter from Superintendent Dr. Cheeseman: March 26, 2020

PDF Version

March 26, 2020

Dear Parents,

As we come to the end of week two of our distance learning, I continue to be amazed by all the creative and effective instruction that is happening throughout our diocesan school system. I am sure that you share my immense gratitude for our teachers who are working so hard to ensure your child continues to receive a quality Catholic education even though we cannot be in the traditional classroom. I am hopeful that this will be an opportunity for us to continue to strengthen the teacher-family partnership as we strive to provide an excellent educational experience for the approximately 7,500 students served by our schools.

Today, I write to inform you that we, in keeping with Governor Lamont’s directive to public schools, have moved our tentative return to school date from April 1st to April 20th. Additionally, we have decided to extend the Easter break. Hopefully, this will give everyone some down time to fully enjoy a prayerful Holy Week and a joyous Easter without the burden of assignments and due dates. Easter break will begin on Monday April 6th and will end with a return to school (whether virtually or in person) on April 20th. We are in the process of assembling a list of family activities for Holy Week and Easter along with some virtual field trips that families can enjoy together. These will be added next week to our Catholic schools resource page, https://www.dioceseofbridgeportcatholicschools.com/coronavirus-updates/. As a reminder, you can also find information regarding the virtual help desk for teachers and parents on that page.

Finally, to the parents of seniors, I want to assure you that regardless of the return to school date, we will do our best to hold a graduation ceremony that celebrates the accomplishments of your senior student. At this time, I cannot say if it will be on the date originally planned, but we will try our best to preserve some of the traditions your family has looked forward to.

As we move forward in these coming weeks, please accept my great gratitude for your continued patience and flexibility and let us keep praying for all those whose families are affected by this pandemic. May God bless you and may Our Lady continue to shower Her blessings on our Catholic school community.

Sincerely,

Dr. Steven F. Cheeseman

Superintendent of Schools

Diocese of Bridgeport

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Letter from Bishop Caggiano Suspending Mass: March 16, 2020

Web Version

BRIDGEPORT—Effective this evening at 8 pm, Bishop Frank J. Caggiano has mandated that all weekday and Sunday public Masses celebrated in the presence of the lay faithful are temporarily suspended in the Diocese of Bridgeport.

The temporary suspension will remain in effect until Friday, April 3. You will receive a confirmation or revision of that date on Monday, March 30.

Beginning this Sunday, Sunday Mass celebrated by Bishop Caggiano or Monsignor Thomas Powers, Vicar General,  will be available on our Diocesan Website (www.bridgeportdiocese.org) or on diocesan social media channels (www.bridgeportdiocese.org/dobsocial/home).

The bishop’s decision was made in response to the March 15, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation that, for the next 8 weeks, any in-person gatherings of 50 people or more throughout the United States be cancelled or postponed. Governor Lamont today followed that directive and has limited crowds to less than 50 in the State of Connecticut.

“With those standards now in place, out of concern for the common good of ending the spread of the Coronavirus and for the wellbeing of the clergy (many of whom are older and at greater risk) and the lay faithful of the Diocese of Bridgeport, I would like to inform you of some important new directives that will be binding throughout the diocese,” the bishop said today in a letter to all priests and diocesan officials.

“Please know that I do not make this decision easily. However, this is an extraordinary—and, in some ways, unprecedented—time in the life of the Church, the country and the world, and it requires extraordinary action to ensure the safety of those whom we serve. I appreciate greatly the cooperation of our pastors in communicating this decision to parishioners in a clear and pastoral manner. May we continue to place our trust in Jesus, the Divine Physician, through the loving hands of Our Blessed Mother, the bishop said.

Churches may remain open for private prayer at the discretion of the Pastor. Some parishes will also begin live streaming of Masses, and the diocese will publish that information on its website. The diocese will continue to provide updates and the latest news on its website: www.bridgeportdiocese.com and on Facebook and other social media.

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Letter from Mr. Gjoka: March 16, 2020

Web Version

March 15, 2020

Dear St. Rose School Families and Faculty,

I hope this finds you doing well and at ease with the distance learning plans that are in place for your child(ren). The teachers and I met at length Friday afternoon and this afternoon to be sure that the most effective formats are in place to maximize learning and communication during this unprecedented time. As in all things, we value our partnership with you in the education of your precious children. Therefore we welcome your feedback and suggestions as we carefully monitor this approach and make adjustments as needed.

Teachers will be available week days to answer student questions and/or to assist students who need help with a lesson. In order to ensure that every student's learning needs are being met I have asked teachers to prioritize incoming emails/phone calls so that students receive their first responses and then they will be happy to address parent questions/concerns. We truly appreciate your patience.

St. Rose School will be officially closed until March 31st at which point the timing will be re-assessed. This is a directive from Governor Lamont. This means that starting tomorrow nobody, including Faculty, will be allowed into the school building. We believe that social distancing and containment is critical in quelling the reach of this virus and will continue to do everything we can to reach a positive outcome.

In the meantime, I enjoy the photos you are sending of your happy children making the most of their home work spaces. Please continue to submit them. Although we may not be in the same building we are all on this learning adventure together so let's stay connected!

On the good news front I spoke with Monsignor Bob. He is back home continuing his recuperation and was delighted to receive all the cards and goodies from our faculty and students. He assures us all of his prayers and sends his love. In order to be safe he cannot have visitors at this time but he'd be delighted for your ongoing prayers.

I will sign off for now and promise to keep in touch with updates.

Thank You and God Bless,

 

 

 

Mr. Bardhyl Gjoka

Principal

 
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Letter from Mr. Gjoka: March 15, 2020

Web Version

March 15, 2020

Dear St. Rose School Families and Faculty,

We hope you are having a restful weekend, safe at home with your loved ones. As difficult as this situation is for everyone, there are silver linings. It is a time to step back and re-focus on what is truly important and on top of that list is family.

As promised, school will be open tomorrow, March 16th, 10 a.m. - noon for parents only to retrieve any necessary items from your child's desk or locker. If you plan to come, please send the teacher an email and do so within these 2 designated hours. If you have any questionable symptoms we ask that you send someone in your place. Thank you.

If your child needs a device such as an Ipad or Chromebook please contact me directly, principal@srles.com. If you have any questions about lessons please email teachers. We are asking that students stay on task and complete assignments daily however there is no set time frame for submission. We realize that there are a variety of schedules involved in every household and as such understand that it is difficult to set one submission time for all. If your child needs more than a day to complete an assignment please speak with their teacher. Thank you.

There is no doubt that we will all miss the dynamic of the bustling halls and vibrant classrooms. Remember that we are all only an email, phone call or Face Time away. Attached is a message I have recorded for the students. We will be sure to send more of these during the days ahead. And, please continue to send photos and updates from your home work stations. We are all in this together!

Click here for a message from Mr. G.

Sunday email from Dr. Rodrigue

Attached are some helpful insights and tips from the Association of Psychologists.

In keeping with the current precautions, the 8th Grade Rib Rally Fundraiser is on hold. It is our hope to reschedule it at a later date. If you placed an order please know that we will honor it either on the new date, or if it is cancelled completely we will be sure to get you a refund. Thank you for supporting our 8th graders.

I will sign off now with prayers and wishes for your family's health and peace of mind during this uncertain time. We have a solid plan in place and I am confident that working together we will come through this victoriously. As St. Augustine said, let us "pray as if everything depended on God and work as if everything depended on us."

 

Thank You and God Bless,

 

 

 

Mr. Bardhyl Gjoka

Principal

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Letter from Mr. Gjoka: March 12, 2020, 1:41 pm

Web Version

March 12, 2020

Dear St. Rose School Families and Faculty,

We have been informed by Superintendent Dr. Cheeseman that beginning tomorrow, Friday, March 13th, all Diocesan schools, including St. Rose School, will be closed until March 30th. This includes the cancellation of all sports and other school related events. Click here for Dr. Cheeseman's letter.

As you know, the Faculty has been planning diligently for this possibility. This afternoon before dismissal Homeroom teachers will be meeting with students to explain the distance learning process. Your children will come home with the materials they need. Please note 2 important details:

1) If your child needs a device such as a Chromebook or Ipad please contact Mr. G directly, principal@slres.com

2) If you need to pick up materials from your child's locker or desk, school will be open on Monday, March 16th, 10:00 a.m. - 12 noon. Please notify your child's teacher of the materials you need and alert them that you will be coming in to get them on Monday.

This time period will be for parents only so please come during these two hours. And, as is prudent, we ask that if you are experiencing questionable symptoms you ask someone else to pick up the materials for you. Thank you.

While these are unusual circumstances, I feel very confident in our faculty and students' ability to carry out distance learning. They are well prepared. Teachers will be accessible to

the students and you in this transition period. They will be answering emails each weekday. I kindly ask that you consolidate your questions and respect their response time frames as their days will be busy. Thank you.

During the duration of our time off, if anyone in your family is diagnosed with the Coronavirus please alert me directly, principal@srles.com.

We will continue to update you as we hear news pertaining to our school. We have dedicated a page on our website to this topic and vow to keep you informed about all imminent news via these emails.

Important Information About the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)Important https://www.stroseschool.com/important-information-about-novel-coronavirus 2019 Novel

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

This is uncharted territory so we are grateful for your understanding, support and cooperation as we implement a plan that maximizes the safety of, and ensures continued learning for, our precious students. Together we will come through this stronger, wiser and more faithful.

Let us continue to pray for healing of those who are sick, protection for everyone and guidance for the medical professionals who are working diligently to get this under control. May God bless us all with peace and comfort as we work through this together.

Thank You and God Bless,

 

 

 

Mr. Bardhyl Gjoka

Principal

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Letter from Superintendent Dr. Cheeseman: March 12, 2020

March 12, 2020


Dear Parents,


As indicated in previous communications, our schools have been preparing for the possibility of a prolonged closure of schools to prevent the continued spread of COVID-19. While we have, at this time, no information that anyone in our schools has tested positive for the virus, the possibility that they will come in contact with someone with the virus increases daily.

As such, All diocesan/diocesan sponsored Catholic elementary and high schools will close for students effective tomorrow, March 13th and will tentatively reopen on March 30th. Schools will begin implementing their distance learning instructional plan on Monday, March 16th.

Please note the following:

  • Teachers and staff will report based on the directives of their school administration
  • All school activities and trips are cancelled until further notice
  • Parents will receive information directly from the school as to how instruction will be provided
  • While we tentatively plan to reopen on March 30th, we will continue to monitor the situation with local and state health officials in order to reassess and determine our next steps
  • Saint Catherine Academy and the Adult Day Program at Saint Catherine Center will remain open. Any change to that status will be communicated to families directly from Saint Catherine Center. Questions regarding their status should be directed to Helen Burland at 203-540-5381 or info@stcatherineacademy.org

Let us continue to pray for all those whose lives have been touched by this or any other illness as we ask God’s blessing on our school community.

Sincerely,

Dr. Steven F. Cheeseman
Superintendent of Schools

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Letter from Mr. Gjoka: March 12, 2020, 9:30 am

Web Version

March 12, 2020

Dear St. Rose School Families and Faculty,

The Newtown Public Schools will close tomorrow, March 13th, to conduct a professional development day with teachers/staff to continue preparations for possible closure. As I mentioned in an earlier email this week, our decisions are based on the actions of Newtown because we follow this school schedule and busing. As a result, St. Rose School will be closed tomorrow so that our teachers/faculty can also prepare for this possibility. We will take this opportunity to give the school a deep disinfectant/cleaning as well.

At 2:10 this afternoon all students will meet with their homeroom teachers who will explain the plans for online learning. At this point, some of your children have already brought materials home and this afternoon they will be bringing additional books/supplies home in the event that schools will be closed. This has not yet been determined but it is important that everyone is prepared.

You will receive specific directions from your children's teachers if we move to an online learning format. In this scenario it will be important that every student keeps a log of how much time they spend on each subject and that a parent signs this log daily. This is unchartered territory for us so we appreciate your patience and cooperation as we put an optimal plan in place that ensures both safety and continued learning under unusual circumstances. We are all in this together and teachers will be available to assist in the transition to online learning if the need arises.

In the event that Newtown schools have to close for a period of time the district will apply for a waiver from the State of Connecticut to support distance learning that may be counted as regular school days. We will keep you informed about whether this is granted. Depending on the length of the closure and the outcome of a State waiver, Newtown may be required to add days to the calendar year through June 30 th  as is the normal process when emergency closings are necessary. Click here to read the letter from Dr. Rodrigue.

Please be assured that at this time, to our most recent knowledge, there are no cases of the Coronavirus in our school. Thank you for adhering to the directions of vigorous hand washing, keeping students and adults away from school if there are questionable symptoms and limiting crowd exposure. These are all critical measures during this uncertain time.

As we all know, new information is coming out rapidly and we are following it closely. We have dedicated a page on our website to this topic and vow to keep you informed about all imminent news via these emails.

Important Information About the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Important https://www.stroseschool.com/important-information-about-novel-coronavirus 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you have any health concerns please contact your physicians or refer to the CDC guidelines.

Let us continue to pray for healing of those who are sick, protection for everyone and guidance for the medical professionals who are working diligently to get this under control. May God bless us all with peace and comfort as we work through this together.

Thank You and God Bless,

 

 

 

Mr. Bardhy Gjoka

Principal

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Letter from Mr. Gjoka: March 10, 2020

Letter from Mr. Gjoka - Web Version

March 10, 2020

Dear St. Rose School Families and Faculty,

These are busy times for our schools and communities. We have sprung ahead into longer days and new learning adventures for all students in Preschool through 8th grade. And while this is happening we continue to monitor the Corona Virus to ensure that we keep all who are in our care healthy which is always our top priority.

We are working closely with the Superintendent of Diocesan Schools ( click here for a message from Dr. Cheeseman ) and our teachers are fully prepared to continue the curriculum remotely should that need arise. At this time there is not talk of closing school but you should be aware that the decision will be based on what Newtown Public Schools determine since we follow that schedule and utilize those buses. At this point we will conduct daily business as usual keeping these two important things in mind:

1) if any teacher, student or parent/volunteer is experiencing flu-like symptoms please do not come to school but rather check in with your doctor;

2) all field trips and activities in which 100 or more people are involved will be cancelled or postponed until further notice to limit potential germ exposure.

As you know, we have postponed the 8th grade trip to Washington D.C. for this reason and we will also have to postpone the Basketball/Cheer Banquet to adhere to these guidelines. Unfortunately the Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair at Quinnipiac University was cancelled as well but our student contenders have submitted their boards virtually for review. We will keep you posted about the next steps in these and other cases.

We are taking every measure to keep the school clean and sanitized. Please continue to reinforce vigorous hand washing (warm, soapy water on hands and wrists for at least 20 seconds) with your children. Hand sanitizer can also be used but warm, soapy water is the best defense. And if possible avoid large crowds.

This is uncharted territory but the CDC and heads of states are taking it very seriously and I am confident that we will get through this period in good standing.

If you have any concerns please contact your physicians or refer to the CDC guidelines. Your children's teachers will be contacting you with classroom specific information as it becomes relevant.

Let us all pray for healing of those who are sick, protection for everyone and guidance for the medical professionals who are working diligently to get this under control.

Thank You and God Bless,

 

 

 

Mr. Bardhy Gjoka

Principal

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Letter from Superintendent Dr. Cheeseman: March 10, 2020

March 10, 2020 Letter from Dr. Cheeseman - PDF Version

Dear Parents,

While we continue to review information from the CDC, the Connecticut State Department of Public Health and the health departments of the local townships in which our schools are located, we understand that you may have questions about the virus and its potential impact on your child’s health and education. In an effort to provide information, we have established a special page on our diocesan schools website to house information and bulletins that may be helpful to you. This page can be found at https://www.dioceseofbridgeportcatholicschools.com/coronavirus-updates/

Each of our school principals is working to ensure a safe and healthy environment and have been asked to increase cleaning and disinfecting protocols. They are also promoting healthy hygiene practices, encouraging hand washing, monitoring absenteeism, and communicating routinely with local officials and the Diocese. Also, while international travel is being suspended, canceled or postponed, all local field trips are being reviewed for risk and decisions are being made on a case by case basis.

As far as school closures, we will make decisions on a school by school basis in collaboration with, and based on the recommendations of, local and state health officials. In the meantime, we have provided principals with several options for teaching/learning plans to minimize disruption of the educational process. Given the complexities of a school system of more than 7000 students in over 20 schools that run from Bridgeport to Greenwich to Danbury, we have asked school leaders to choose a plan, whether it be high tech, low tech, or some combination, that best suits the needs of their community and to prepare for possible implementation.

Let us continue ask God’s blessings on all those made ill by the coronavirus, those caring for them and those working to end its spread. May Our Lady watch over them and our entire school community.

Sincerely,

Steven F. Cheeseman

Superintendent of Schools

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Letter from Superintendent Dr. Cheeseman: March 2, 2020 (Updated March 3)

March 2, 2020 Letter from Dr. Cheeseman - PDF Version 

March 2, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We all have seen the rising concern surrounding the current outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). While the risk for transmission of COVID-19 at this time remains low, the Diocese of Bridgeport is taking the COVID-19 issue very seriously. I am writing to assure you that our schools are working in close collaboration with their local school health officials to take appropriate steps to reduce the risks to our community.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working hard to learn as much as possible about this new strand of the coronavirus so that we can better understand how it spreads and its associated illness. There are a small number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and none in the State of Connecticut to date. We will continue to keep up with the information that is being provided by the CDC as well as state and local health departments.

In the meantime, the Office of the Superintendent has been making policy changes regarding travel outside of the United States. A policy modification went into effect on January 29, 2020 which stated anyone returning from mainland China from this point forward will not be permitted to return to their school for 14 days after re-entry.

Furthermore, effective March 2, 2020 for students and school personnel returning from international travel, the following policy change takes effect for Catholic schools in the Diocese of Bridgeport:

All students and personnel returning from international travel to a country identified by the CDC as a Level 3 Health Risk are required to get written medical clearance from their physician before returning to school. The written letter of clearance should indicate that no symptoms of infection by the Coronavirus are present and that they (or their parent) have been informed of possible symptoms that could present themselves.

The list of countries can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019- ncov/travelers/index.html and currently includes China, South Korea, Italy and Iran.

In addition, out of an abundance of caution, all previously planned and approved schoolsponsored trips outside of the United States are to be reviewed and reauthorized by the Office of the Superintendent and may be subject to cancellation. No additional schoolsponsored trips outside of the United States should be planned until further notice.

In the event that a case of the Coronavirus is identified in Connecticut, we may take additional steps.

As always, we encourage all our school families of students, staff and faculty to continue to practice good hygiene and healthy practices such as:

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or sleeve  Wash your hands regularly
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Get your flu shot – it’s never too late
  • Stay home if you’re feeling sick. If you’ve had a fever, stay home until you are fever free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication.

We understand that keeping your child home when he/she is ill may be an inconvenience, however it not only prevents the spread of illness in the school community but allows your child an opportunity to rest and recover.

We will continue to provide updates as we learn new information. Please contact your school nurse with any questions or concerns. You may also visit the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html

May God bless those whose lives have been touched by illness and those who work every day to find treatments and cures.

And may Our Lady shower our community with the blessings of Her protection.

Sincerely,

Steven F. Cheeseman

Superintendent of Schools

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Governor Lamont: Connecticut Launches Coronavirus Infoline for General Questions From the Public

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03/07/2020

Governor Lamont: Connecticut Launches Coronavirus Infoline for General Questions From the Public

Connecticut Residents Can Call 2-1-1 or text CTCOVID to 898211

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the State of Connecticut is partnering with United Way of Connecticut to launch an information hotline for questions from the public regarding issues related to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). People who have questions can call 2-1-1 or text “CTCOVID” to 898211.

Answers to many of the questions people may have can already be found by visiting the state’s coronavirus information website at ct.gov/coronavirus. People are encouraged to review that website for answers to their questions first before calling the hotline.

This information hotline is only intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider to seek treatment.

“We understand people have specific questions but we want to stress that this call center is only intended for general information. Anyone looking for specific medical advice regarding symptoms they may be experiencing is strongly urged to seek medical treatment,” Governor Lamont said.

The 2-1-1 hotline is available 24 hours a day. Multilingual assistance and TDD/TTY access for those with a hearing impairment is also available.

 

Twitter: @GovNedLamont
Facebook: Office of Governor Ned Lamont
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Diocese of Bridgeport Catholic Schools Coronavirus Information Website

https://www.dioceseofbridgeportcatholicschools.com/coronavirus-updates/

This page includes FAQs, travel information, letters from Dr. Cheeseman, and links to additional site from the CT Dept. of Health, CDC, and US Dept. of Education, and more.

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