Connecticut: COVID-19 Updates

Executive Order Closing Non-Essential Businesses

Update: Governor Lamont issued Executive Order 7PP permitting phased re-openings. Self storage may continue to operate subject to the following rules and restrictions:

Per Executive Order No. 7BB, any person in a public place, including essential businesses, in Connecticut who is unable to or does not maintain a safe social distance of approximately six feet from every other person must cover their mouth and nose with a mask or cloth face-covering. Employers must issue face coverings to employees, provide them with materials and a CDC tutorial on how to make their own mask, or “compensate employees for the reasonable and necessary costs employees expend on such materials to make their own masks or cloth face covering.” Essential businesses must also implement several workplace rules that can be viewed here.

Acting Governor Susan Bysiewicz has since amended Executive Order No. 7BB with Executive Order No. 7NNN. Any person in a public place in Connecticut, whether indoors or outdoors, who does not maintain a safe social distance of approximately six feet from every other person shall cover their mouth and nose with a mask or cloth face-covering.

News broke that Governor Lamont signed Executive Order 7H that will take effect March 23rd at 8:00 PM ordering non-essential employees to stay home. Executive Order 7X extended the deadline of previous orders in effect until May 20, 2020.

The Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) issued a list detailing which businesses are considered “essential.” The first point states:

“Essential workers in the 16 Critical Infrastructure Sectors, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security otherwise addressed in a prior or future executive order pertaining to the existing declared public health and civil preparedness emergency.”

Within the 16 sectors, self storage is directly listed as an example of real estate under the Commercial Facilities Sector.

Furthermore, “storage for Essential Businesses” is listed under point seven of the DECD’s list, and “any business that only has a single occupant/employee is deemed exempt” can be found at the bottom of the page. Many self storage facilities may also qualify under these.

At this point, self storage businesses are allowed to remain open, but are not mandated to. So if you feel that it is best for you and your employees to close your office, work from home (if able), or limit your hours, please do. Additionally, essential businesses must implement several workplace rules. Please see our earlier post, Your Facilities and COVID-19, for ideas and reminders to help run your business.

Links Regarding the Executive Order

Evictions During the COVID-19 Emergency

The State of Connecticut Superior Court ordered an immediate stay of the service of all issued executions on evictions and ejectments through August 1, 2020. While this does not affect self storage lien sales, it may affect the ability to evict a tenant based on reasons other than non-payment.

Price Gouging

During a time like this, it is also important that you are aware of your state’s specific guidelines with respect to price gouging. This may effect street rates, promotions, and occupied rates. Below is a summary of Connecticut’s price gouging law:

It is unlawful to increase the price of any item which such person, firm, or corporation sells or offers for sale at retail at any location in an area which is the subject of any disaster emergency declaration issued by the Governor pursuant to any transportation emergency declaration, until the period of emergency or disaster is declared by the Governor or the President to be at an end.

Links Regarding Price Gouging

Connecticut State Resources

You can find guidelines to help run your facility whether your office closes or remains open on NeSSA’s earlier post, Your Facilities and COVID-19. Members can find additional resources including websites, webinars, articles, and notice/letter templates on our new COVID-19 Resources page (must be logged in to view).