Gov. Ned Lamont activated the state's severe cold weather protocols to help protect vulnerable populations from freezing temperatures during the snowstorm, which was followed by gale force winds that are making it feel much colder.
The protocols include starting up a system for state agencies and municipalities to work with the United Way's 2-1-1 information service and shelters statewide.
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The system allows people to call 2-1-1 if they need help, and allows officials to monitor shelter capacity and arrange transportation to shelters.
Lamont said the protocols will stay in place until noon Friday. Wind chills are expected to be in the single digits Thursday night.
The state also issued a travel advisory for all other vehicles during this time and is urging motorists to stay off the roads due to snow and the potential for ice.
"Travel (is) very difficult," Lamont said. "We are strongly urging motorists to stay home during the storm unless absolutely critical."
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Lamont also ordered all executive branch state office buildings closed to the public on Thursday.
"After consulting with the state's emergency management team, we have decided to direct all Level 2 state employees who have been physically reporting to work during this pandemic to stay home out of an abundance of caution as road conditions are expected to severely deteriorate Thursday due to the winter storm," Lamont said. "I strongly encourage private sector employees consider enacting similar policies for their employees, as road conditions will be rough during the day."
Many COVID-19 testing locations across Connecticut are also closed because of the storm.
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