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A group of friends hang out at Hammonasset Beach State Park Friday to kick off the Memorial Day weekend.
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

Connecticut State Parks filled with visitors under sunny skies Sunday after rain showers and clouds began the long Memorial Day weekend the day before. Restaurants across Connecticut welcomed diners outdoors during the first weekend since the state eased some COVID-19 restrictions.

COVID-19 Update: Connecticut DOT Gives A Boost To Outdoor Dining

May 23, 2020
Daniel Morrison / Flickr/Creative Commons

With rain and chilly temperatures, it wasn’t a good day for al fresco dining. But Gov. Ned Lamont announced Saturday the issuance of the first-of-its kind state permit: Mystic Pizza was granted permission to use a state highway right-of-way for outdoor dining.

Arasmus Photo / Creative Commons

Less than a month ago, a family member in Olga Gutierrez’s home in Bridgeport tested positive for COVID-19. But because she and her family are undocumented immigrants, Gutierrez said their options are limited.

“We were terrified,” she said. “We think we that we might have the virus, too. We have not been able to go to the doctor because we are uninsured and we do not have money to cover this.” 

Pixabay

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance and a day to acknowledge those who serve our country. This hour, what is it like to serve in the military during the coronavirus? How are those deployed, and their families navigating the pandemic?

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Federal workplace safety inspectors are investigating the death or hospitalization of at least three Connecticut elder care workers due to complications from COVID-19. 

The investigations come as union officials say at least six unionized nursing home employees have died from coronavirus. 

Lamont Says It’s Time For The COVID Weary To Take A Breath. And Maybe A Hike

May 21, 2020
Gov. Ned Lamont briefing reporters at Gay City State Park with DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes.
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

The tone and substance of Gov. Ned Lamont’s daily COVID-19 briefing changed Thursday as he looked back on the sweeping restrictions he’s imposed since March and ahead to a Memorial Day weekend when saltwater beaches reopen for swimming.

Tribal Casinos To Defy Lamont And Open June 1

May 20, 2020
Leroy Garcia, owner of Modern Shave barber shop in Waterbury, gives Robert Fields his first haircut in eight weeks in defiance of the governor’s executive orders at the State Capitol on Wednesday. Fields is a lobbyist for the Connecticut Barbers Associati
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

Connecticut’s two sovereign tribal nations said Wednesday they will open Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun on June 1 over the strenuous objections of Gov. Ned Lamont as he tries to manage a gradual reopening of commerce.

Gov. Ned Lamont.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Connecticut’s continuing decline in the number of daily hospitalizations, as well as an uptick in testing capabilities, has both state officials and federal health experts confident that Wednesday’s reopening will be successful.

Food Safety Nets Are Straining Under Economic Meltdown

May 18, 2020
Weeks into the pandemic, people wait outside of the 164 Wilson Food Pantry for their numbers to be called to receive food. The pantry is part of the Wilson Memorial Church of God in Christ, Stamford.
Melanie Stengel / Connecticut Health I-Team

Beyond the gleaming office towers overlooking I-95 in Stamford and the pleasure boats that frequent the city’s marinas, thousands of city residents are struggling with hunger, a situation worsened by the pandemic.   

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

As the state’s businesses start to reopen this week, barbershops and hair salons will not be among them.

Both were initially slated for a May 20 reopening, but on Monday, Gov. Ned Lamont pushed that date back to June 1. 

Heather Hazzam / Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut will reopen some businesses on May 20, as coronavirus-related hospitalizations continue to decrease.

This may be good news for business owners and unemployed workers, and for those looking for a glimmer of light at the end of a long tunnel.

It may be scary for people with greater risk for having severe illness from COVID-19 and front-line workers with greater exposure.

The bottom line is that we still don't fully understand this virus. And, not all of the 40 states set to reopen are prepared to scale up the testing, tracing, and isolating necessary to prevent a spike in the curve.

staying at home
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Even before the stay-at-home orders were officially issued in late March, Sarah Keitt had begun a two-week period of quarantine in her Fairfield home, isolated from her husband and two children. 

“It was lonely, it was painful to have basically no contact other than yelling up and down the stairs to people,” she said. 

Osborn Correctional Institute
CTMirror.org

The Department of Correction placed Osborn Correctional Institution on lockdown Friday after 105 asymptomatic inmates tested positive for COVID-19.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Coronavirus-related hospitalizations continue to drop, Gov. Ned Lamont said Friday, but the economic fallout of a surge in unemployment claims continues to tear through the workforce as Connecticut is poised to reopen some parts of its dormant economy next week. 

Governor Ned Lamont
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Coronavirus-related hospitalizations continue to decline as Connecticut works its way toward reopening portions of its economy on May 20. But on Thursday, a group of Democratic state senators said that date was too soon and urged Gov. Ned Lamont to delay his plans to ease business restrictions. 

Limited Inspection Reports Show COVID-19 Lapses In Nursing Homes

May 14, 2020
Health care workers
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

Inspections at several Connecticut nursing homes found lapses in infection control and prevention and poor practices for the prolonged use of protective gear necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a half-dozen reports released Wednesday.

New Connecticut Cases Of COVID-19-Related Child Inflammatory Disease

May 13, 2020
COVID-19 testing
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

Connecticut officials are reporting a growing number of cases of a rare but potentially deadly COVID-19-related disease that causes severe inflammations in young children.

Connecticut’s Stockpile Of Coronavirus Protective Equipment Grows

May 12, 2020
Gov. Ned Lamont cheers and pumps his fist as a gesture of appreciation for members of the Connecticut National Guard after a press conference to announce the arrival of a large shipment of personal protective equipment, or PPEs, from China.
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

Connecticut’s chronic shortage of personal protective equipment for front-line pandemic workers was considerably eased Tuesday by the arrival of the largest single shipment of PPE the state has received so far, providing what Gov. Ned Lamont described as a “60-day supply” of equipment such as surgical masks, gowns and thermometers.

Lamont Removes Connecticut's Public Health Commissioner

May 12, 2020
Renée Coleman-Mitchell
Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

Gov. Ned Lamont has fired Renée Coleman-Mitchell as commissioner of the state Department of Public Health, a reflection of concerns that first arose last year during a school vaccination controversy and came to a head during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Draft Choice sports bar New London
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

It’s been about 2½ weeks since the federal government made a second wave of Paycheck Protection Program funding available to small businesses that promise to keep their employees on the payroll. But there is growing concern that the program is failing to serve minority-owned businesses. To learn more about the issue in this state, Connecticut Public Radio’s John Henry Smith spoke with state Sen. Douglas McCrory on All Things Considered.

COVID-19 Deaths Hit 3,000, Connecticut Prepares To Reopen, And Gun Rights Group Files Suit

May 11, 2020

As Connecticut continues to focus on reopening its economy, this state’s coronavirus death toll reached a grim milestone Monday. State officials reported that 3,008 people here have now succumbed to this deadly disease.

Under heat for its initial distribution of the only drug approved to fight coronavirus, federal officials have finally sent 30 cases of remdesivir to Connecticut.

A sign outside of Hartford Hospital
Dave Wurtzel / Connecticut Public

Connecticut hospitals, stung by the widespread cancellation of elective procedures, a steep drop in emergency room visits and the need for additional staffing and protective gear to navigate the COVID-19 crisis, stand to lose $1.5 billion this fiscal year.

The coronavirus has in recent days edged closer to President Trump. At least two White House aides who've been in proximity to the president and the vice president have tested positive for COVID-19.

foodshare
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

As Connecticut’s death toll continues to climb and the number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations continues to decline, Gov. Ned Lamont is calling for volunteers -- to help children and adults with intellectual disabilities and help get groceries and meals to senior citizens.

CT Struggling To Detail Coronavirus’ Impact On Assisted Living Centers

May 9, 2020

Gov. Ned Lamont’s efforts to track the coronavirus’ impact on the thousands of seniors in assisted living centers continues to have significant gaps after two weeks.

Coronavirus Hospitalizations Continue To Drop As State’s Death Toll Tops 2,900

May 9, 2020
St. Vincent’s Medical Center’s first COVID-19 patient, Rodney Davis, 21, of Bridgeport, hugs nurse Jen Marrocco as he is released Thursday after recovering from the virus.
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

Hospitalizations from the coronavirus continued to decline in the state, Gov. Ned Lamont reported Saturday, but another 58 residents died from infection.

coronavirus testing
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

After weeks of long lines at COVID-19 testing clinics, state and local officials said Connecticut is now facing a different problem: too many coronavirus tests and not enough people taking them. 

Self-Employed Residents Affected By Pandemic Could Receive Jobless Benefits In About A Week

May 7, 2020
COVID-19 rapid testing center
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

The state Labor Department launched the final phase Thursday of a new federal program to provide cash benefits to self-employed workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Marta Hart, medical assistant and x-ray technician, administering a COVID-19 test outside of the facility at the Urgent Care Center of Connecticut on March 25, 2020 in Bloomfield, Connecticut.
Joe Amon/Connecticut Public/NENC

There are not a lot of good numbers surrounding the pandemic. Another 3.2 million Americans lost their jobs last week. The number of deaths and cases continue to rise in Connecticut, although the number of hospitalizations dropped again after ticking up on Tuesday.

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