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Coronavirus

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Elogia More finished her final shift at the Aetna building in Hartford at 1:30 a.m. on March 19.  The next day, the cleaning company she spent the last four years working for sent a layoff notice.

A box of absentee ballots waits to be counted at the New Haven Hall of Records Tuesday night. Ballots postmarked by Tuesday and received by Thursday will be counted. But ballots put in the mail Tuesday may or may not arrive in time.
Ali Oshinskie / Connecticut Public Radio

Absentee ballots in the mail for this week’s primary elections have to be postmarked by Tuesday and delivered by Thursday to be counted. But some ballots postmarked on Tuesday may not have made it through the U.S. mail in time to reach municipal clerks’ offices by Thursday. The responsibility for timely ballots lies somewhere between the voter and the postal service.

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. 

Quinn Dombrowski / flickr creative commons

"It is the rare person who doesn't own a pair of sweatpants." I am, it turns out, that rare person. Sweatpants are just too warm, is my take. But I do own a number of pairs of cotton pajama pants. They're my sweatpants proxy.

Back before the pandemic became the central preoccupation of our existence, back when we made our radio show in, ya know, a radio studio, I would always get a little dressed up on my show days. I'd wear a jacket. Or a tie. Or a jacket and a tie.

Now that we're all working from home all the time, I spend the great majority of my work hours in pajama pants and stocking feet and a bathrobe. But when it comes time for one of my shows -- like this one, for instance -- I change out of my PJ pants into jeans or chinos. That's what "a little dressed up" means these days: putting real pants on. (Or even "hard pants," as they're now known.)

Henry Boulton, capacity monitor at a poll at Conard High School in West Hartford, gives an instruction to Elizabeth Davis who voted for the first time on Tuesday,
YEHYUN KIM / CTMirror.org

The top-line races were easy. Soon after the polls closed Tuesday night, the Associated Press declared Republican Donald J. Trump and Democrat Joe Biden winners of the year’s final presidential nomination contest, the twice-delayed Connecticut primary.

It's a familiar moment. The kids want their cereal and the coffee's brewing, but you're out of milk. No problem, you think — the corner store is just a couple of minutes away. But if you have COVID-19 or have been exposed to the coronavirus, you're supposed to stay put. Even that quick errand could make you the reason someone else gets infected.

President Vladimir Putin announced Tuesday that Russia has become the first country to approve a vaccine to prevent coronavirus infection, saying one of his daughters has already received a dose of the new prophylaxis even though it is still under development.

The announcement of the new vaccine, dubbed Sputnik-V, has been met with initial skepticism, as it has yet to complete Phase III trials in which large numbers of people are given doses to determine whether it is safe and effective in a general population.

SGT. ASHLEY N. SOKOLOV / U.S. Air Force

The pandemic has caused major disruptions for workers' careers, but the latest numbers show women have been hit particularly hard.

Women, and especially women of color, are bearing some of the largest economic impacts of the pandemic, from facing higher rates of unemployment to holding the majority of frontline essential jobs.

Connecticut Issues First Fines For Violating COVID Travel Advisory

Aug 10, 2020
Governor Ned Lamont
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

Connecticut issued its first fines Monday for violations of the state’s requirements for travelers from COVID-19 hot spot states, making an example of two residents returning from Florida and Louisiana.

“We wanted to send a message loud and clear,” Gov. Ned Lamont said. “I hate to do it, but we’re going to be serious and show people we are serious about this, and to date it’s made a difference.”

Updated at 4:51 p.m. ET Tuesday

New Zealand went 101 days without any community transmission of the coronavirus, and life in the country largely returned to normal – an experience far different from the havoc that the virus is causing elsewhere in the world.

As drug firms race to position themselves as key players in the coronavirus fight, the industry faces a renewed wave of civil lawsuits stemming from its role in the nation's deadly opioid epidemic.

Thousands of cases that ground to a halt because of the COVID-19 pandemic are moving forward again as local, state and federal courts reopen around the United States.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Many Connecticut residents are used to spending a lot of time commuting, whether driving on a highway, riding on a train to the city or taking the bus across town. But the number of drivers and ridership across all modes of transportation have dropped dramatically with stay-at-home orders and the closing of non-essential businesses.

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.

Democrats on Sunday slammed President Trump's executive actions aimed at providing economic relief during the coronavirus pandemic, saying the measures are both ineffective and unconstitutional.

Trump signed three memoranda and one executive order at his Bedminster, N.J., golf resort on Saturday amid stalled negotiations with Congress over a new COVID-19 relief package.

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?

Humans have never been particularly good at eradicating entire viruses, and COVID-19 might not be any different.

It's a busy time for the tomato-producing farms in eastern Tennessee. Farms have staffed up with hundreds of workers, most of whom are Latino. Some live locally. Others are migrant workers who travel from farm to farm, chasing the summer growing seasons. Still others come from Mexico or Central America on temporary agricultural visas to work at certain farms.

But, this year, the season is taking place under a cloud of coronavirus worries that, for these agricultural workers, hit close to home.

Courtesy: Stamford Town Center

In the middle of Stamford sits Stamford Town Center, once a massive mall that drew in shoppers regionally. Now it’s a mall with a lot of empty storefronts. As of January, 86% of the mall storefronts were occupied. The portion of the mall owned by Taubman is up for sale. Macy’s, which is the flagship store, has a lease ending soon. 

Updated at 7:32 p.m. ET

The head of the U.S. Postal Service promised Friday to make the organization more efficient and more financially stable, but his remarks may do little to quell fears that the post office's cost-cutting measures will hurt service during the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are at the beginning of a transformative process," Louis DeJoy said in his first public remarks since becoming postmaster general. "Our goal is to change and improve the Postal Service to better serve the American public, and I am excited about the opportunities ahead."

India is now the third country to record more than 2 million coronavirus cases. The country is enduring a terrible surge in new cases — 62,538 were reported on Friday alone. Only the U.S. and Brazil are reporting more.

India passed 1 million confirmed cases just three weeks ago.

The United States needs as many as 100,000 contact tracers to fight the pandemic, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told Congress in June. We need billions of dollars to fund them, public health leaders pleaded in April.

For the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic, correctional officer Kareen "Troy" Troitino says things were "pretty relaxed" at FCI Miami. There were no cases of COVID-19 at the low-security federal prison, which currently houses some 1,000 inmates.

That all changed, he says, early last month. "And then on the week of the Fourth of July, we had one case, and then it just spread in one week. I mean, tremendously. It's like wildfire. And you don't even see the fire because you don't know who has it until it's too late."

A ballot drop box outside of Woodbridge Town Hall.
Ali Oshinskie / Connecticut Public Radio

There’s a primary next week. And though absentee balloting has been the talk, the question now is whether the power outages caused by Tropical Storm Isaias will affect in-person voting.

The State Department has lifted its Level 4 global travel advisory, the highest warning against U.S. citizens traveling internationally, citing changing conditions in the coronavirus pandemic.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

How does a national teacher of the year - turned Congresswoman - view school reopening plans in Connecticut? This hour, we talk with Congresswoman Jahana Hayes, who represents Connecticut’s Fifth District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The freshman lawmaker is nearing the end of her first term in Congress.

Hayes is a member of the House Education and Labor Committee--we ask her to weigh in what measures need to be in place for students and teachers to return to school safely.

As schools across the country grapple with bringing kids back into the classroom, parents — and teachers — are worried about safety. We asked pediatricians, infectious disease specialists and education experts for help evaluating school district plans.

What we learned: There's no such thing as zero risk, but certain practices can lower the risk of an outbreak at school and keep kids, teachers and families safer.

This Candidate Is ON The Ballot. Now, She Just Needs One To Vote

Aug 5, 2020
Kelan Lyons / CT Mirror

Sen. Marilyn Moore, D-Bridgeport, won her first Democratic primary by 82 votes in 2014 and her second two years later by 1,143. On Tuesday, she was fretting over the fact that at least 1,100 Democrats who applied for an absentee ballot in her district have yet to receive one.

Moore is one of them.

James Yu (Flickr Creative Commons)

As next week’s primary elections approach, officials are warning voters with absentee ballots to get them in the mail on Thursday.

Under Connecticut law, ballots received by mail after 8 p.m. on Aug. 11 cannot be counted.


Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public

The University of Connecticut has canceled its football team’s 2020 season because of the risk of COVID-19.

DavidsonScott15 / Creative Commons

Hartford Police have identified a man who was killed in a shooting as city resident Kennedy Burgess, 28. He was shot during the second of two incidents in the city Monday night. Mayor Luke Bronin said Tuesday that he thinks the coronavirus crisis is playing a role in the uptick in violence in Hartford.

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