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Coronavirus

Gerry Lauzon / Creative Commons

The pandemic has laid bare how racism in housing, education, employment, and access to health care, disproportionately hurts Black Americans more than White Americans and leads to police brutality against people the police are supposed to protect.

Disparities In Hispanic And Black Death Rates Much Worse Than Previously Reported

May 31, 2020
A hearse leads a funeral procession for Hazel Bailey to her burial service at Mountain View Cemetery in Bloomfield. Bailey, an African-American, died of COVID-19 on April 19 at age 73.
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

After reporting for weeks that Connecticut Hispanics are only half as likely to die from COVID-19 as non-Hispanic whites, state officials now say that Hispanics here are substantially more likely to die from the disease.

State officials were also reporting that the state’s black population was only 26% more likely than whites to die from a coronavirus infection when in fact their likelihood of death is 2.5 times as high.  The death rate for Hispanics is now calculated at 67% higher than non-Hispanic whites.

Why the change? And why were they getting it wrong?

People Throughout Connecticut Protest The Death Of George Floyd

May 30, 2020
Joe Amon/Connecticut Public/NENC

Protesters in Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, New London, and other parts of Connecticut joined a nationwide call for action Saturday following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. The protests come as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold -- one day after the Gov. Ned Lamont signed an executive order that further relaxes state restrictions related to the virus.

coronavirus, Weaver, High Schools
Joe Amon/Connecticut Public/NENC

We’ve heard a lot about the distance learning going on at K-12 schools during this coronavirus pandemic shutdown. But there’s a good number of kids who are not distance learning for a variety of reasons and badly need schools to reopen. 

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.

Selbe Lynn / Creative Commons

Monday is the day that Connecticut’s two casinos will reopen after weeks of shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Ned Lamont has been open about his feeling that it’s too early to resume gaming at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. 

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.

Wonderval / pixabay.com

Last week marked the beginning of a phased reopening of Connecticut. Several businesses are permitted to reopen under Phase 1 of Connecticut’s reopening, including restaurants that are able to open for outdoor dining. This hour, we hear how restaurants have fared through the shutdown, and what reopening looks like. 

Absentee Ballot
Airman 1st Class Zoe Thacker / U.S. Air Force

Gov. Ned Lamont recently signed an executive order that will allow people who are concerned about contracting the coronavirus to use an absentee ballot for the August presidential primary elections. That has some members of the state Republican party upset. 

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.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Shortly after the pandemic shifted our weekday work scenario from one of shared space and bursts of spontaneous conversation, to one hour-long weekly Zoom meeting, Colin shared his urge to sit down with a few old friends to talk about life in the shadow of a pandemic. 

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. 

Lamont Pleased With State’s Memorial Day Behavior, But Worried About Casinos

May 26, 2020

Gov. Ned Lamont gave Connecticut residents “pretty good” marks Tuesday for social distancing and careful pandemic behavior over the Memorial Day weekend but remains very concerned about plans to reopen the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos early next week.

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.

Quick Quarantined Play Festival / Facebook

While certain public places are finding ways to reopen safely, theaters still have a long way to go. Socially distancing the audience is doable but probably not cost-effective. And what about the actors? Keeping 6 feet apart onstage could make for a bizarre evening of theater.

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.

Courtesy: Yale School of Public Health

On the same day the state partially reopened, Gov. Ned Lamont disbanded the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group, the task force that had been charged with coming up with a plan to guide the state into a safe, methodical reopening. One of the co-chairs of that group was Dr. Albert Ko of the Yale School of Public Health.

Courtesy: Beardsley Zoo

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport plans to reopen on June 1 after closing to visitors back in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. Connecticut Public Radio’s Morning Edition host, Diane Orson, spoke with zoo director Gregg Dancho.

Positive COVID-19 Trends Continue As Connecticut Heads Into Holiday Weekend

May 22, 2020
Cloe Poisson / CT Mirror

As the state headed into the Memorial Day weekend Friday, the number of people hospitalized in Connecticut for COVID-19 continued to decline — a “very positive” sign as this state’s economy starts to reopen, medical experts said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is clarifying its guidance to prevent the coronavirus from spreading, hoping to clear up confusion over whether a person can contract the disease by touching surfaces that have the virus on them. The agency said "usability improvements," including a headline change on its webpage about preventing viral infection, seemed to trigger news stories saying its guidelines have changed.

"Our transmission language has not changed," CDC spokesman Benjamin Haynes told NPR.

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.” 

Illustrative amendment by Chion Wolf
John William Waterhouse (1902) / Wikipedia

May 20th was the long-awaited date in Connecticut when the first phase of reopening began after the Coronavirus caused life as we know it to be put on hold. Offices and malls were allowerd to open with precautions; restaurants, museums and zoos could open outdoor areas as well.

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. 

Budapest Operetta Theatre / Bartók Plusz Opera Festival

What we’ve all been through in this pandemic has sparked renewed interest in the work of 19th-century physician Ignaz Semmelweis. He is considered to be the first person to find a correlation between hand-washing and disease prevention.

Semmelweis’ discovery was the subject of a recent Google “doodle.” It’s also the basis of a 2018 chamber opera, which is currently streaming online.

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