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Dave Wurtzel / Connecticut Public

Once a week outside a Newington nursing home, Peggy Johnson stands masked, 6 feet apart from her 94-year-old mom, imagining what it would be like to hug again. 

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

A young man with his girlfriend stood in the shade under an awning at the side of an RV truck parked near Barnard Park in Hartford on a recent Tuesday morning. Holding a bag in one hand and reaching through an opening in a screened door with the other, he dropped empty, used syringes into a medical waste bucket.

“Eighty-eight, eighty-nine, ninety,” he counted, each needle making a thunk as it disappeared into bright red plastic. 

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

The former commissioner of the state Department of Public Health is firing back over her May termination ahead of an impending report this month on Connecticut’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two months after Gov. Ned Lamont announced her dismissal, Renée Coleman-Mitchell said in a written statement released late Monday night by the law office of Eric R. Brown that she was going to “set the record straight in my own words.” 

Power Outages Stoke Concern Over Possible Uptick In COVID Cases

Aug 9, 2020
Visitors gather to charge their electronic devices at the Westfarms shopping mall in West Hartford. Power outages after Tropical Storm Isaias have caused residents to visit public places where they can charge their devices, despite concern about COVID-19.
Yehyun Kim / CTMirror.org

As hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents adjusted to life without power last week, Gov. Ned Lamont praised the state’s COVID-19 statistics, pointing to days without recorded deaths and a low positivity rate among test results.

Jernej Furman / Creative Commons

As of this weekend, the number of people in the U.S. infected with SARS-CoV-2 topped five million, just sixteen days after passing the four million mark on July 23. This weekend's motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota portends that those numbers will continue to rise. 

Three potential vaccines against the virus have entered phase III clinical trials, in which safety and effectiveness is tested on thousands of healthy people. 

This stage can take months or years depending on how quickly researchers can detect a difference between the two groups, but some doctors believe that we'll have a vaccine sooner than later. Are we expecting too much from a vaccine? And, what about the expanding group of people afraid to trust any vaccine developed at "warp speed"? 

Is it time for another lockdown to get things under control until a vaccine is ready?

Courtesy Huma Farid

Since the killing of George Floyd, some Americans have been examining their role in perpetuating racism and are committing to no longer being silent and inactive.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies before a House Select Subcommittee hearing on the Coronavirus, Friday, July 31, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Erin Scott / Pool via AP

Dr. Anthony Fauci says Connecticut is in a good place when it comes to the pandemic. 

Carl Zimmer - New York Times columnist and author of 13 books about science, including She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity.
Chion Wolf / WNPR

Inside our genomes, we carry information about our recent ancestors as well as ancient human history. This hour, we talk with science writer Carl Zimmer about his book, She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity. We ask him what our DNA can—and can’t—tell us about where we’re from and who we are.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

It’s been more than four months since Breonna Taylor was shot and killed in her home by Louisville Metro Police as they executed a no-knock search warrant. She was a 26-year-old Black woman who worked as an emergency medical technician and aspired to become a nurse.

And while rallies, protests and much of the media attention has been fixed on the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Connecticut activists continue to bring attention to violence committed against Black women and girls through policing and from systemic racism. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

It’s hard to believe that it has been nearly five months since Connecticut had it’s first coronavirus diagnosis in the state.

This hour, Connecticut Department of Public Health Acting Commissioner Deidre Gifford joins us to discuss where we are now.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

As several states across the U.S. continue to announce new daily death records from COVID-19, Connecticut officials this week said some nursing homes in the state are free to stop testing residents and staff for coronavirus. 

Seven Residents Under 19 Test Positive for Covid-19 In Darien
Kin Mun Lee / Creative Commons

Officials in Darien are warning about a rise in COVID-19 cases among children and teens.  

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Early in the pandemic, Dr. Kathryn Nagel was working in a medical ICU in New Haven when a patient in his 30s was admitted with diabetic ketoacidosis, a deadly condition that occurs when there’s not enough insulin in the body.

The man had diabetes and needed insulin medication to manage it properly, but he had been rationing the supply he had left. 

Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jonathan Berlier / U.S. Navy photo

Governor Lamont promised free coronavirus testing for all Connecticut residents who want one. This hour, who’s footing the bill for coronavirus testing and how much does it really cost? Connecticut Public Reporter Patrick Skahill joins us to talk about his reporting on this.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Antonio Lopez drives his Mexican Food Truck every morning from Holyoke to Hartford, where he has been selling food for three years on the corner of Putnam and Park streets. But customer traffic has been scarce, and he says a second wave of the coronavirus could put him out of business.

National Human Genome Research Institute / Flickr Creative Commons

Right now the world population is 7.8 billion, and growing fast. We have doubled our population over just the past 50 years!

Even though the population is growing, fertility rates, overall, are dropping. So, more people are here, but we’re having fewer babies. There’s a lot of reasons for that, and one of them is infertility. The CDC estimates that nearly one out of eight couples struggles to conceive, but because of assisted reproductive technology, we’re upping the population numbers in the United States. The CDC reports that almost 2 percent of all U.S. births annually - or about 4 million babies - are here as a result of things like in-vitro-fertilization (IVF), surrogacy, and egg donation.

A sign for coronavirus testing outside of a CVS drive-through in Hartford, Conn. COVID-19 testing is being offered at CVS drive-throughs across the state, but the company says high demand has lead to backlogging in testing results.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Gov. Ned Lamont was joined by a national health expert Thursday to say that plans are moving ahead for Connecticut schools to open in September as COVID-19 cases surge elsewhere -- but there’s a real possibility that students could return to distance learning after the first months of the year. 

Ascalon Studios

We have spent the last few months bringing you coverage on COVID-19. This hour, we’re going to talk to someone who was diagnosed with coronavirus, and recovered. For those that survive the virus, the recovery process is not easy. Many have long-lasting side effects from having the virus, including permanent damage to the heart and lungs. And later, we learn those who have survived the virus can donate blood and help others defeat the virus with convalescent plasma. We will also hear how physicians are using plasma transfusion to treat the seriously ill.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Johan Lee Thompson has been a registered nurse for three years at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, a member of Trinity Health of New England.

She was working in the radiology department but was prepared for the possibility of getting redeployed to another area of the hospital because of the pandemic.

“I was ready because I knew COVID was just starting off, and if anything, we thought that our job would be more secure because of it,” she said. “But it was the complete opposite.” 

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Workers at a psychiatric facility in eastern Connecticut have filed a federal workplace safety complaint alleging administrators at Natchaug Hospital are “putting the lives of patients and staff at risk” by failing to adequately distribute personal protective equipment to nurses and failing to properly isolate a patient suspected of having COVID-19. 

A Busy COVID Day: States Sue Trump, And Spiking Infections Cause Testing Delays

Jul 13, 2020
Gov. Ned Lamont with AG William Tong, right, supporting Connecticut’s legal challenge to the Trump administration’s limit on foreign student visas.
Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

The Trump administration’s abrupt decision to bar foreign students from the U.S. if their courses are taught online as a COVID-19 precaution this fall was called “senseless and cruel” in a lawsuit filed Monday by a coalition of states that includes Connecticut.

Dave Wurtzel / Connecticut Public

As coronavirus cases continue to surge nationally, more questions have been raised about Gov. Ned Lamont’s decision to modify testing requirements at nursing homes. And now, three legal aid organizations have signed on to a letter expressing concern on behalf of nursing home residents, arguing Lamont’s decision could lead to more nursing home infections and deaths. 

A Dangerous Mix: High Ozone Levels And Obesity

Jul 9, 2020
Melanie Carol Stengel

For the 29 percent of Connecticut adults who live with obesity, summer brings a difficult form of air pollution. Ground-level ozone is the colorless, odorless gas formed when auto exhaust reacts with sunlight at temperatures above 80 degrees. Ozone can be dangerous for people who have higher body mass indexes.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis six weeks ago became a catalyst for the current, massive nationwide movement calling for an end to systemic racism.

It’s also led communities to take a deeper look within, specifically racism as the root cause of poorer health care and health outcomes among Black residents. 

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London is the latest Connecticut health care facility to draw the attention of federal workplace safety inspectors during the coronavirus pandemic. Officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration opened an investigation one week after a certified nursing assistant who worked at the hospital died from complications related to COVID-19.

Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

At Bradley International Airport on a recent Wednesday, Lizzie McClellan had just gotten off a flight from Georgia, where she was visiting her grandmother for the last two weeks.

Georgia happens to be on a list of states that are becoming hot spots for new COVID-19 cases. McClellan said because she frequently went to places that were open there, she plans to quarantine at home in Connecticut and get tested. 

Federal health officials are hoping to stretch the supplies used to test for the coronavirus by combining samples from a number of people and running a single test. Chinese health officials used that strategy to rapidly test large populations in Wuhan and Beijing.

The technique, called pooled testing, won't resolve the testing bottlenecks in the United States. But it could help.

Alan Levine / Creative Commons

When Minnesota passed a law this spring to make insulin more affordable for its residents, advocates in other states like Connecticut saw it as a victory.

Yale: Medicaid Expansion Tied To Early Breast Cancer Detection

Jul 5, 2020
FILE PHOTO: In this photo taken on Thursday, May. 6, 2010, Detection lead mammographer, Toborcia Bedgood, left, prepares a screen-film mammography test for low income patient Alicia Maldonado, at The Elizabeth Center for Cancer Detection in Los Angeles.
Damian Dovarganes / AP Photo

In states where Medicaid was expanded under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), women are more likely to receive breast cancer diagnoses at an early stage, compared with women in other states, new research shows.

Jesse Costa / WBUR

Like the country at large, New England states are taking a patchwork approach to reopening during the pandemic. Rhode Island just entered phase three on Tuesday, while most of the other states are still in phase two — meaning we can now go inside a restaurant to eat, more stores can open, and in many states, people can go to the gym. But don’t be fooled, experts say: Reopening does not mean the pandemic is over.

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