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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.

Lamont: Full Reopening Of Connecticut Bars In Mid-July Must 'Take A Pause'

Jul 2, 2020
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

Gov. Ned Lamont shut the door Thursday on a full-scale reopening of Connecticut bars in mid-July, though he said a formal announcement won’t come until next week.

Dr. Joseph Tagliarini is operating his dental office at nearly full staff and hopes that a new generation COVID test will be developed that will give results on the spot at work or at home.
Steve Hamm / Connecticut Health I-Team

After the COVID-19 crisis came to Connecticut, the New Haven office of Comprehensive Dental Health shut down completely for two weeks. Later, Dr. Joseph Tagliarini began opening the office a few days a week with a skeleton crew to handle emergencies. Now the office is operating at nearly full staffing—with six full-time and six part-time employees.

Lamont: Connecticut Faces Two Contagions, COVID And Racism

Jul 1, 2020
Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

The mayor went first. The governor, lieutenant governor and the others waited their turn to condemn racism, America’s new ritual in the days and weeks since George Floyd breathed his last in the custody of police in Minneapolis.

June 25, 2020: These travelers coming to Connecticut from South Carolina are being asked to voluntarily enter a two week quarantine upon entering the state.
Tyler Russell / Connecticut Public

Connecticut added eight states Tuesday to its travel advisory that calls for visitors from now 16 states to quarantine for two weeks. Meanwhile, as Connecticut reported just over 150 new COVID-19 cases, the nation’s top infectious disease doctor warned that the U.S. could experience 100,000 new cases a day.

Bus Company First Student Gets $7M For Not Driving Kids

Jun 30, 2020
Sam Gurwitt / New Haven Independent

New Haven will pay its school bus contractor $1.5 million less than normal for time the buses were idle during the pandemic — but more than they should, according to some Board of Education members.

State Releases Plan To Return Students To School

Jun 29, 2020
Governor Ned Lamont Bradley International Airport
Tyler Russell / Connecticut Public

The state released requirements and guidance Monday for local districts to open schools this fall as COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state fell under 100 for the first time in months. 

Signs at Bradley International Airport remind travelers to wear masks at all times and maintain proper social distancing on June 25.
Tyler Russell / Connecticut Public

The number of patients in Connecticut hospitals with COVID-19 increased Friday -- the first uptick in hospitalizations in the state in a month, as concerns grew across the country about rising coronavirus infections. 

Décolleté Dekoltee / Pixabay

Imagine you’ve got breasts. It shouldn’t be too hard to imagine, because most every human being has’ em! And that means that most of us are candidates for breast cancer.

This hour, we hear very intimate conversations with two women who go through the process of getting a double mastectomy - the removal of all the breast tissue. One decides to get reconstruction, and one does not.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Wearing a mask and speaking through a megaphone, Jesse Martin prompted a crowd that had gathered outside the state Department of Public Health building in Hartford late Thursday afternoon.

“What do we want?” he asked.

“Hazard pay!” the crowd yelled back.

“When do we want it?”

“Now!” 

Connecticut Orders Schools To Reopen In Fall, Teachers Are Concerned

Jun 25, 2020
School buses
Yehyun Kim / CTMirror.org

Connecticut schools will reopen for a five-day school week in the fall – as long as the coronavirus behaves, Gov. Ned Lamont announced Thursday.

Governor Ned Lamont
Tyler Russell / Connecticut Public

The school year may have just ended, but plans are taking shape for the return of students inside schools this fall. Gov. Ned Lamont announced the plans Thursday, noting that several COVID-19 trends are holding steady in Connecticut while the virus continues to spread in other parts of the country.

Jesse Costa / WBUR

Protests over police violence and racism continue across the country. And some state and local government leaders in New England are starting to announce changes. Boston’s Mayor Marty Walsh declared racism a public health crisis, joining several other cities and towns in the region.

DMV Reopens With COVID-Inspired Changes

Jun 23, 2020
Welcome to the DMV: Cynthia Brown greeted customers by taking their temperature and quizzing them about COVID-19 symptoms.
Yehyun Kim / CTMirror.org

The new COVID-ready Department of Motor Vehicles opened for license and registration renewals Tuesday, and the long-awaited first look at how public schools will operate in the fall will come Thursday.

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