Thousands of Connecticut residents file for unemployment amid job shutdowns

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More than 100,000 workers have been furloughed in Connecticut due to restaurants, bars and gyms shutting downs.

Peter Prizio just opened Metro Kitchen and Bar in Fairfield two weeks ago. With dining rooms closed, Prizio has had to send more than 25 workers home between his two restaurants.

"We are offering some of the staff an opportunity to work – answer the phone, answering the iPad for Uber Eats, so on and so forth, and helping out in the kitchen," said Prizio. "But other than that, we really don't have much to offer."

On Monday, 10,000 people filed for unemployment in the state. On a normal day, there are between 500 and 800 requests.

Behind the scenes, state lawmakers are trying to cobble together an emergency assistance package.

"We're talking about incentive programs to be able to help them with small business loans, Small Business Express – being able to provide some aspects of tax relief," said state Sen. Tony Hwang.

Lawmakers say the state cannot deal with this crisis without help from Washington.

Furloughed workers qualify for up to six months of unemployment, but the most they can make is $642 a week.

The state says anyone who thinks they qualify for unemployment should apply. They are reassigning people to process claims.

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