News | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

News

Five inmates in the Cybulski building at the Willard-Cybulski Correctional Institution in Enfield have tested positive for COVID-19. The entire facility is now on lockdown.
file photo / Connecticut Public

This story was updated at 1:32 p.m. with a comment from the Lamont administration. 

The ACLU of Connecticut has filed a lawsuit to force Gov. Ned Lamont and Department of Correction Commissioner Rollin Cook to reduce the number of people incarcerated in Connecticut prisons and jails.

clinical staff medical workers
Joe Amon/Connecticut Public/NENC

Health care workers in New England are facing incredible challenges on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic, from long hours and dangerous conditions to shifting public policies.

soldier in mask
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Is this starting to feel normal yet? It remains remarkable how many things have changed and are continuing to change. One example is the thinking around masks. 

Hank Bolden, Atomic Vet
Ryan Caron King/Connecticut Public

Hank Bolden is an 83-year-old undergraduate at the Hartt School of Music in Connecticut. He is also an atomic vet — one of thousands of soldiers exposed to secret nuclear weapons tests during the Cold War.

Bolden is one of only a few African-Americans still here to tell the story.

land conservation
Courtesy: Mass Audubon

New England governors are urging people to stay home as much as possible to avoid the spread of COVID-19, while keeping open state trails, forests and some beaches so there are places to exercise. Among the caveats to playing outside, social distancing is a must — and it’s not always happening.

drive thru coronavirus testing
JOE AMON / CONNECTICUT PUBLIC/NENC

The shortage of coronavirus tests remains a problem nationwide. And while a positive test result means it’s almost certain that a person is infected, many doctors are expressing concern about sick patients who test negative. We depend on your support. 

CT Governor Ned Lamont
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

This post has been updated.

The state fielded 40,000 more unemployment claims over the last 18 days than it did for all of last year. 

It’s a staggering number, one that comes as the state government awaits its share of a $2 trillion federal relief package that could take until the end of April to arrive. And it’s just one more measure of the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic in the state.

Invincibelle Spirit Hydrangea
Courtesy of Steve Aitken

Many gardeners are pruning trees and shrubs this time of year. One shrub that often confounds people is the hydrangea. The reason for the confusion is different species of hydrangeas are pruned at different times. So, let's do a quick hydrangea pruning 101.

Gov. Ned Lamont
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Over the last two weeks, 10 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits. Last week’s report of 3.3 million new claims was astronomically high. This week’s numbers doubled that.

Lamont Names Potential Sites For Nursing Home Residents With Coronavirus

Apr 2, 2020

Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration unveiled a plan late Wednesday for separating nursing home residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 from those who are negative. The proposal involves moving sick residents to specially designated facilities or to different units than the healthy ones.

Cuatro Puntos

As many people around the world hunker down in isolation, performing artists find themselves in uncharted territory. With no upcoming performances to practice for, how are they managing their time? Does creativity take over when boredom sets in?

One Hartford-based music director finds social distancing antithetical to his organization’s main purpose.

Ryan Caron King/Connecticut Public

Spring is here, and with it the growing season for Connecticut farms. As a part of the essential supply chain, they’re subject to far fewer restrictions than many other businesses, but life on the farm during coronavirus is still complicated and uncertain.

prison
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

As advocates continue to warn that overcrowded prisons and detention centers nationwide aren’t prepared to handle an outbreak of COVID-19, among the people affected by such conditions are those detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. 

national guard
Ryan Caron King/Connecticut Public

This post has been updated.

Two state universities are transforming athletic centers into mobile field hospitals in anticipation of a COVID-19 patient surge. The move comes as the state enters what’s expected to be its worst month of illness, death and hospitalization ushered in by a worldwide pandemic -- a surge marked by the state’s first reported infant death from the coronavirus.

Caution tape lines a playground in Weatogue, CT, a village in Simsbury.
Julianne Varacchi / Connecticut Public

March felt like a long, crazy month. April is expected to be worse. 

President Donald Trump told Americans on Tuesday “to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead." Meanwhile, Gov. Ned Lamont warned that “April will be a horrible month.”

Senate GOP Leader Len Fasano Not Seeking Re-Election

Apr 1, 2020
Senate GOP leader Len Fasano outlines the Republican alternative to tolls.
Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven, is not seeking re-election, opening a fight to succeed him in a suburban New Haven district and as leader of the GOP minority in the Connecticut Senate.

Mystic Seaport Museum

Mystic Seaport Museum will lay off a large portion of its staff April 1 in an effort to weather the impact of COVID-19.

The maritime museum closed its doors and suspended all classes, programs and events on March 13. At that time, they had hoped to reopen March 30. But as coronavirus cases in Connecticut rise, it’s unclear exactly when the museum will be able to welcome visitors again.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Connecticut grocers said Tuesday they’ll limit the number of customers allowed inside their grocery stores. The new guidelines will cap crowds at no more than 50% of a store’s local fire code capacity and will be enforced by store staff.

national guard
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

As Connecticut’s death toll nearly doubled Tuesday and the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases rose by 557 in 24 hours, Gov. Ned Lamont delivered a bleak message to the state’s residents about a lack of critical supplies needed to fight the pandemic.

A mobile field hospital being erected by the Governor's Foot and Horse Guard on the grounds of Saint Francis Hospital on March 24, 2020 in Hartford, Connecticut.
Joe Amon/Connecticut Public/NENC

The death toll from COVID-19 in the United States has surpassed the number of people killed on 9/11. The two events can’t be directly compared, but there have been striking similarities: the fear of what’s to come, racism, and a stepped up law enforcement presence.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Connecticut hospitals are receiving more patients ill with COVID-19 as the new coronavirus continues to spread rapidly.

Public health experts predict that hospitalization rates will get worse in the coming weeks, putting a burden on health care professionals who are also trying to protect themselves and other patients from becoming infected. 

As COVID-19 Cases Soar, State, Feds and Hospitals Look For Patient Overflow Sites

Mar 30, 2020
HARTFORD, CT - March 24, A mobile field hospital being erected by the Governor’s Foot and Horse Guard on the grounds of Saint Francis Hospital on March 24, 2020 in Hartford, Connecticut.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Updated 7:30 p.m. 

The spread of coronavirus continued to accelerate in Connecticut Monday with an additional 578 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in just 24 hours, another 113 people hospitalized and the death toll now listed  at 36.

Bridgeport, Fifth State Distillery, sanitizer, coronavirus
Joe Amon/Connecticut Public/NENC

One of the very first things to fly off the shelves as people began to worry about the coronavirus was hand sanitizer. As the weeks go by, stories of stockpiling and price gouging have emerged -- but so have stories of innovation and ingenuity. 

Noah Salzman / Creative Commons

Besides the occasional outdoor run or a trip to get groceries, Team USA goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher is hunkering down like the rest of us. Unlike the rest of us, the coronavirus pandemic means she’s forgoing a trip to the Olympics this summer.

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

As the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 continues to climb, officials expect the peak will hit Connecticut in less than two weeks.

Video: Hartford Public Schools Distribute Food And Laptops For Distance Learning

Mar 29, 2020

Families of school students waited in line for hours at Hartford's Alfred E. Burr Elementary School Friday, March 27 only to be told there were no more laptops.  According to Superintendent Leslie Torres Rodriguez, educators are striving to meet the needs of families in their district, but they only have an estimated 10,000 devices for 19,000 students. City schools start distance learning on Monday, March 30th through e-learning and tech-free learning. 

 

 

Nancy Eve Cohen / New England Public Radio

Connecticut, Massachusetts and other states have designated the retail sale of alcoholic beverages as "essential business” during the coronavirus pandemic, meaning packages stores are allowed to stay open. 

It may be a bit of a head scratcher: You can't go to the gym, but you can buy a bottle of vodka. But the decision is considered a public health measure.

Yale Promises 300 Beds For First Responders - After Mayor's Public Shaming

Mar 29, 2020
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Yale University President Peter Salovey announced Saturday that the university will make available 300 beds to house “first responders and hospital personnel,” one day after Mayor Justin Elicker publicly lambasted the university for turning down his request to help house local firefighters and police officers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

March 24, Governor Ned Lamont salutes the Governor's Foot Guard and Horse Guard before a tour of a mobile field hospital they erected on the grounds of Saint Francis Hospital on March 24, 2020 in Hartford, Connecticut.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

This story has been updated.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved Connecticut’s request for a major disaster declaration, unlocking crucial federal funding as officials respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Ned Lamont announced Sunday.

BLOOMFIELD, CT - March 25, 2020 -- COVID-19 Marta Hart, medical assistant and x-ray technician, packaging a COVID-19 test at the Urgent Care Center of Connecticut.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

This post has been updated.

After suggesting earlier in the day that much of the Northeast’s tri-state region could soon be subject to an “enforceable” quarantine, President Donald Trump abruptly reversed course Saturday night.

Pages