Connecticut Braces For The Coronavirus Surge | Connecticut Public Radio
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Connecticut Braces For The Coronavirus Surge

Mar 24, 2020

It may not feel like it, but it’s still early in the spread of this pandemic.

“This week it’s going to get bad,” U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams told the TODAY show on Monday. In Connecticut, state epidemiologist Matthew Cartter said the number of COVID-19 cases is expected to double every three to five days.

But, if you heard the White House’s coronavirus task force briefing last night, there were mixed messages about how far along we were into this process. Vice President Mike Pence said we’re more than halfway into the 15 day period to slow the spread.

It remains to be seen what happens when we reach the 15th day. If Dr. Cartter is correct, then by that point, the number of cases in Connecticut will have doubled at least once.

But even if the White House starts relaxing restrictions at that point, Gov. Ned Lamont’s executive orders will keep the state shut down for nearly a month, at a minimum. Which is to say there’s a lot left to unfold.

Here’s the latest on coronavirus in Connecticut:

Topline

  • At least 10 people have died from COVID-19.
  • Public schools are ordered to remain closed until at least April 20.
  • A Connecticut Department of Correction staff member has tested positive. According to the Connecticut Mirror, there are some calls to send home people who are incarcerated for less serious offenses, as several other states have done.

By The Numbers

All numbers are as of March 23 at 7 p.m.

  • 10 deaths from COVID-19
  • 415 confirmed cases
    • Fairfield County: 270
    • Hartford County: 61
    • New Haven County: 41
    • Tolland County: 16
    • Litchfield County: 13
    • Middlesex County: 8
    • New London County: 4
    • Windham County: 2
  • More than 4,500 people tested

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The Latest

  • The earliest that public schools will be able to reopen is now Monday, April 20. Virginia has already said schools will be closed for the rest of the school year, but Lamont is not ready to go that far yet.
  • The Department of Correction faces increasing calls to release some inmates from prison. One staff member has tested positive and some are concerned about the rest of the population because there’s no social distancing in prison. Diane Hart’s fiance has been incarcerated since July. “Something needs to be done about this,” Hart told the Connecticut Mirror. “Basically, you’re just leaving them there to die.” 
  • While Connecticut hospitals brace for a surge in COVID-19 cases, some are already rationing personal protective equipment. John Brady, the executive vice president of AFT Connecticut, said some providers are using masks according to “crisis-level” guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control -- which include wearing them for more than one visit.

Other Reads On The Coronavirus

‘The Front Fell Off’

President Trump said something last night that reminded me of one of my favorite comedy sketches. “I don't think you'll have another event like this. This is very unique,” Trump said.

Shortly after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, this video circulated and some were presenting it as a real interview. It’s from the satirical Australian comedy duo Clarke and Dawe.

It’s a dark time, but comedy remains vital and viral. If you’ve found any old favorites, share them with me at tives@ctpublic.org and I’ll try to share some here and on Twitter.

Stay safe. Stay sane.