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Health

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Hospitalizations due to the COVID-19 pandemic experienced the largest one day drop to date, Gov. Ned Lamont said Friday. Meanwhile, state colleges and universities said they’re planning to have students back on campus this fall.

This is the ninth and final episode of US in the Time of Coronavirus.

We’ve surpassed 100,000 deaths in our country, and more than 3,826 deaths here in Connecticut as of Friday, May 20th. These numbers aren’t just numbers. They’re mothers, daughters, sisters, fathers, brothers and sons; Grandmas and grandpas, and best friends.

Max Pixel

While swimming is a popular pastime for many Americans, a history of discrimination at pools nationwide in the 20th century has led to startling racial disparities in swimming abilities. A 2017 USA Swimming Foundation report found more than 6 in 10 African American children have low to no swimming skills.

And that has deadly consequences: Black and Latino children are statistically much more likely to drown than their white peers.

This hour, we hear from a historian about how we got to this point.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

The push to get more people screened for the novel coronavirus continued Thursday, as state and federal officials converged outside a community center in Hartford to promote a new mobile COVID-19 testing unit.

Connecticut has significantly expanded its testing capacity in recent weeks, but the state has struggled to increase the number of residents tested in communities hardest hit by COVID-19.

A Mayor And U.S. Senator Sit For A Public COVID-19 Test

May 28, 2020
New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker gets tested with a nasal swab for COVID-19 by nurse John Grimes on the New Haven Green. At right, are Gov. Ned Lamont and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal. The walk-up testing  was conducted by Murphy Medical Associates.
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal sat under a pop-up canopy on the New Haven Green, tilted his head back and submitted to a nasal swab for a COVID-19 test. The moment was a photo op for a media-savvy senator and a public-service pitch for a state promoting testing as it slowly loosens restrictions on commerce.

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has reached a somber milestone: As of Wednesday afternoon, the highly infectious viral disease has taken more than 100,000 lives nationwide.

Lamont Challenged After Seventh Inmate Dies From Coronavirus

May 27, 2020
Barbara Fair, of West Haven, asks Gov. Ned Lamont to explain the lack of testing in the state’s prisons after an seventh inmate reportedly died of COVID-19.
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

A prison-rights advocate confronted Gov. Ned Lamont at an outdoor news conference Wednesday, accusing the governor of indifference to the health of prison inmates during the COVID-19 pandemic, not long after the Department of Correction announced that a seventh inmate has died from the disease.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

What began as some gastric issues last year has now progressed into painful gallstones and chronic problems for Hannah Gebhard, who lives in Naugatuck.

“It was really just a ramping up of the symptoms until I one day landed myself in the emergency room at 2 a.m. because I was in so much pain,” she said. 

A screenshot of one of Painter's video chats.
Connecticut Health I-Team

Families with loved ones in nursing homes–unable to visit while getting frustratingly sparse information about them–have found a champion in Mairead Painter.

As Connecticut and other states begin to reopen during the pandemic, data is more important than ever. Today, we talk about the role of statistics in shaping our understanding of the COVID-19.

We hear from one of the researchers behind the How We Feel App, a volunteer system of symptom tracking. They plan to turn the symptoms users record into useful information about emerging hotspots.

And later, we talk with statistician Talithia Williams about how all of us are using statistical thinking in our everyday lives.

Nik Anderson / Creative Commons

The U.S. is on track to reach 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 this week. Yet, most states began reopening last week using data that may be undercounting how many people are currently infected. 

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.

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