Senator Somers Serving, Supporting 18th District Communities Through COVID-19

This article was published on: 04/22/20 9:35 PM by Mike Minarsky

GROTON — State Senator Heather Somers of Groton has been working across party lines to combat the COVID-19 crisis and serving 18th district communities to support senior centers, health care facilities and workers, small businesses, families and others through these challenging times.

“Through these challenging times I have been inspired by the resilience, ingenuity and compassion of our eastern Connecticut communities,” Somers said. “Our shared sense of purpose and commitment to helping those in need is why I strap on a mask and go out every day, delivering masks, supplies and support to senior centers, health care facilities, small businesses and families.”

“It is why I’m working tirelessly and across party lines as a member of the state task force to combat this crisis, keep the public informed, help individuals and small businesses navigate options, safeguard our communities and deliver much needed relief,” Somers continued. “And I know and deeply appreciate the sacrifice of our health care workers every time my husband Mark comes home from treating the sick at Lawrence and Memorial and puts his scrubs in the laundry.”

“By staying united, working together and each doing our part, we will get through these tough times and emerge from this stronger on the other side,” Somers said. “I want people in our communities to know that I am here to help in any way I can as we all work through these challenging times.”

Senator Somers has kept the public informed, advocated for solutions to protect the safety and health of eastern Connecticut communities, helped individuals and small businesses navigate government programs and worked tirelessly to support health care workers, first responders, non-profits, senior centers and health care facilities.

Somers has helped secure and personally deliver masks and other supplies to Academy Point at Mystic, the Griswold Senior Center, Mystic Healthcare and Rehabilitation and for local surgeons operating at ambulatory centers. On March 12, Somers held a live-streamed virtual town hall with medical experts to brief the public about the virus, safety measures and to answer questions. On April 20, Somers volunteered at the New London Community Meal Center, serving meals to those impacted by the crisis.

Somers has been in contact and coordinated efforts with local police, fire chiefs and state and federal officials. She has been critical of the Department of Labor for taking too long to process unemployment claims. She has also spoken with numerous small businesses in the district, as well as large employers including Electric Boat and the Mystic Aquarium about their needs and challenges.

As ranking member of the Public Health Committee, Somers led the successful charge to suspend the tax on plastic bags in grocery stores in response to concerns about the safety of reusable bags from grocery workers. And Somers has worked with policymakers and the private sector to support relief for families and small businesses, including advocating for solutions to expand coverage for telehealth solutions and do more to protect nursing home populations.

Somers is committed to continuing to work tirelessly to protect the health and safety of eastern Connecticut communities, secure relief for families and small businesses and support those on the front lines of this crisis. She encourages anyone who is looking for information or assistance to call, email or contact her legislative office.

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