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Coronavirus

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State public health officials say 164 of Connecticut's 169 towns are now at the highest alert level for COVID-19. That's a slight decrease over last week's total of 166 towns.

As of Thursday, public health officials report 1,069 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19.

In the last 10 months, New England’s rich arts scene has been hit hard.

As Poverty Rises, New London Begins New Food Distribution Service

16 hours ago

A new food distribution service has been unveiled in the city of New London, Connecticut.

CT Budget Leaders Want To Use Massive Savings To Expand COVID-19 Relief

16 hours ago
en. Cathy Osten of Sprague and Rep. Toni Walker of New Haven, Democratic leaders of the Appropriations Committee.
Keith M. Phaneuf / CTMirror.org

While the rosy revenue projections have drawn a lot of attention recently, another factor — savings — is pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into Connecticut’s coffers.

President Biden has called reopening schools a "national emergency" and said he wants to see most K-12 schools in the United States open during his first 100 days in office, which would be between now and April.

Updated at 10:06 a.m. ET

"I am honored to announce that the United States will remain a member of the World Health Organization," Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday, informing the WHO's executive board that President Biden has reversed former President Donald Trump's move to leave the U.N.'s health agency.

The U.S. will also fulfill its financial obligations to the WHO, Fauci, chief medical adviser to the president, said, as well as cease a drawdown of U.S. staff who work with the organization.

Back in April, COVID-19 hit the city of Manaus, Brazil, extremely hard. In fact, the outbreak there was arguably the worst in the world. One study, published in the journal Science, estimated that so many people were infected that the city could have reached herd immunity — that the outbreak there slowed down because up to 76% of the population had protection against the virus.

Updated at 3:36 p.m. ET

President Biden signed a series of orders and directives on his second day in office to take charge of stopping the spread of the coronavirussteps that he and his advisers say will start to boost testing, vaccinations, supplies and treatments.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont says the state will take a "tiered" approach to distributing COVID-19 vaccines to people in Phase 1B in the coming weeks. 

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Lamont says people between the age of 65 and 74 will likely be able to schedule an appointment to get the shot in early February. 

"Right now it looks like we’re going to be able to open the lens and allow people 65 and above probably in a couple of weeks," Lamont said. "We’ll give you a clearer indication on that in the next 10 days."

New Haven School Buses Roll Past Protesters

Jan 19, 2021
Protest scene as some in-person schooling resumed in New Haven.
Leigh Busby / @busbyleigh Instagram

School buses headed out of the First Student company campus before dawn Tuesday morning to cries of “What disinfectant do you use?” and “We are here for you.”

Janet Yellen, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee to lead the Treasury Department, made the case for aggressive economic relief, urging lawmakers to "act big" to fight the financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

At her confirmation hearing Tuesday before the Senate Finance Committee, Yellen pressed lawmakers to pass the $1.9 trillion spending package that the incoming administration has proposed to keep families and businesses afloat as well as to accelerate vaccinations against COVID-19.

The Legacy Of COVID-19

Jan 19, 2021
Alyssa L. Miller / Creative Commons

Yale University's Dr. Nicholas Christakis explores what it means to live in a time of pandemic. He looks at historical epidemics and current medical and social research to help us understand the potential long-term impact COVID-19 will have on people and culture. 

Greek mythology holds that the arrows of plague Apollo shot down upon the Greeks led to great death and suffering. The plague that has brought death and pain over this past year was not brought by an angry god, but an infinitesimal virus that has wreaked global havoc and exposed the best and worst of human behavior. 

We spend an informative and insightful hour with Nicholas Christakis. 

Updated at 5:03 p.m. ET

The College Board announced on Tuesday that it will discontinue the optional essay component of the SAT and that it will no longer offer subject tests in U.S. history, languages and math, among other topics. The organization, which administers the college entrance exam in addition to several other tests, including Advanced Placement exams, will instead focus efforts on a new digital version of the SAT.

A Hartford HealthCare worker prepares a COVID-19 vaccine
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Bridgeport has lost its top health official as the state battles COVID-19’s second wave. This hour, we talk with Connecticut Post reporter Brian Lockhart about the vacancy in the health department of the state’s largest city.

And later, some Connecticut residents over the age of 75 will receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine this week. Does Connecticut have the right tools in place to reach seniors?

We talk with Department of Public Health Acting Commissioner Deidre Gifford, and we hear from AARP Connecticut.

Filmmaker Ken Burns has spent his career documenting American history, and he always considered three major crises in the nation's past: the Civil War, the Depression and World War II.

Then came the unprecedented "perfect storm" of 2020 — and Burns thinks we may be living through America's fourth great crisis, and perhaps the worst one yet.

Updated 5:06 p.m. ET

On Friday afternoon, President-Elect Joe Biden shared a detailed plan to tackle the COVID-19 vaccination rollout, promising to fight the pandemic with "the full strength of the federal government."

In a speech in Delaware, Biden laid out his five-part plan for how to speed up the vaccination campaign: Open up vaccine eligibility to more people; create more vaccination sites; increase vaccine supply; hire a vaccination workforce; and launch a large-scale public education campaign.

The coronavirus pandemic appears to have shortened the average life expectancy in the United States, according to new research, and the impact is most dire for racial and ethnic minorities.

The deaths caused by COVID-19 have reduced overall life expectancy by 1.13 years, according to the analysis by researchers at the University of Southern California and Princeton University.

That would be the largest single-year decline in life expectancy in the past 40 years and cut U.S. life expectancy to 77.48 years — the lowest it's been since 2003, the researchers say.

Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

Restaurants and bars are reeling from persistent spikes of coronavirus cases and related restrictions in their communities, driving retail spending in December down for the third month in a row.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

In early March, Vic Gara came down with severe muscle aches, headaches and a rising blood pressure, indicators of COVID-19 that weren’t well understood early on in the pandemic.

“Taking a shower, just the water hurt my body,” he said. “I couldn’t sleep. I slowly became hypoxic. I just couldn’t breathe.” 

Eventually, he was admitted to Hartford Hospital, where he was quarantined immediately and separated from his wife, Laura. 

Updated at 8:37 p.m.

President-elect Joe Biden outlined his plans for economic relief from the coronavirus crisis on Thursday, citing the need for a more robust vaccination plan as well as for additional direct payments to American families to help recover the U.S. economy. His plan, called the American Rescue Plan, is expected to cost $1.9 trillion.

Updated at 9:35 a.m. ET

A team of 13 World Health Organization scientists have now arrived in Wuhan, China, where they will investigate the origins of the coronavirus that has caused a global pandemic. Nearly 2 million people have died due to COVID-19, with more than 92 million infections, according to Johns Hopkins University.

For Some Transgender People, Pandemic Paves Path To Transition

Jan 13, 2021
Kyle Jones said she feels more at home in her body since beginning her transition in early 2020.
Cloe Poisson

Kyle Avery Jones had recently come out as transgender to her parents and friends when her final semester at the University of Connecticut began in January 2020. She wore androgynous clothes to school, sought out gender-neutral bathrooms, and limited her socializing to queer-friendly weekend gatherings off-campus.

Volunteer Marti Simmons
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Foodshare has been distributing food at Rentschler Field in East Hartford since the pandemic began. This site, which has served more than 227,000 households, reopened on Jan. 12, 2021, after Foodshare initially announced it would shut it down for the winter. With assistance from members of the Connecticut Air National Guard, Foodshare workers and volunteers distributed donated food on Tuesday to a line of cars estimated at 1,200. Some of those in the drive-thru line waited over an hour to collect food for friends and neighbors who couldn’t make the trip.

Updated Friday Jan. 15, 7:35 p.m.

A highly contagious version of the coronavirus is rapidly spreading across the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports Friday.

A Hartford HealthCare worker administers a COVID-19 vaccine
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

 


As Connecticut prepares to transition into Phase 1B of the vaccine rollout, there’s growing concern about reaching diverse communities who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 illness and death. To address the problem, Dr. Jorge Moreno, an internist and assistant professor at the Yale School of Medicine, posted a video about his experience with the vaccine. 

In a series of changes to initial guidelines, Trump administration officials announced Tuesday that states should vaccinate all residents 65 years and older sooner rather than later.

Federal health officials are also encouraging states to expand the next phase of vaccine distribution to all adults who have preexisting conditions that put them at an increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness.

Updated 2:20 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is making several big changes to its COVID-19 vaccine distribution strategy, officials announced Tuesday, in a bid to jump-start the rollout and get more Americans vaccinated quickly.

The first change is to call on states to expand immediately the pool of people eligible to receive vaccines to those 65 and older, and those with underlying health conditions that make them more susceptible to COVID-19.

JOE RAEDLE / Getty Images

The pandemic-induced recession has left Connecticut legislators with one of their tightest credit card limits in recent history — less than one-seventh their 2020 level.

But it remains to be seen whether they’ll accept that or challenge both Gov. Ned Lamont and Wall Street to borrow more to assist colleges, businesses, municipalities and social services.

Only a vaccine will save America from the COVID -19 pandemic. At least that's the opinion of nearly all public health officials.

Obviously, vaccine manufacturers are critical to any vaccine campaign. But there's another group that plays a less obvious but still crucial role in making sure vaccines do what they're intended: mathematicians.

Even if the Biden administration releases all available doses of the two authorized COVID-19 vaccines, for a while at least, supplies will remain limited. How best to use that limited supply is a question mathematicians can help answer.

In September, after six months of exhausting work battling the pandemic, nurses at Mission Hospital in Asheville, N.C., voted to unionize. The vote passed with 70%, a high margin of victory in a historically anti-union state, according to academic experts who study labor movements.

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