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Coronavirus

social distancing
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Just a couple of weeks ago, Mary Gotlibowski was still going from hospital to hospital, working as an emergency room recovery coach and meeting with patients who had survived a drug overdose or those who had come in seeking help for addiction.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continued to spread throughout Connecticut and hospitals began to admit infected patients, Gotlibowski and other coaches had to leave their posts in the emergency departments. 

Dr. Patrick Broderick
Courtesy: Nuvance Health

The coronavirus has hit many hospital emergency rooms like a storm. Connecticut Public Radio’s Diane Orson spoke with Dr. Patrick Broderick, chair of emergency medicine at Danbury Hospital -- part of Nuvance Health in Fairfield County.

Updated at 7:07 p.m. ET

President Trump vowed to sign the latest coronavirus relief legislation nearing the finish line in Washington on Tuesday after it was passed by the Senate.

Members of Congress have reached an agreement on about $484 billion more in relief funding to help small businesses and others hurt by the mitigation measures aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.

The House could vote as soon as Wednesday.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Gov. Ned Lamont announced a partnership with Quest Diagnostics on Tuesday that he said will boost the state’s capacity to test for COVID-19. The announcement comes as officials said 35 people have died from complications related to coronavirus at Kimberly Hall North, a nursing home in Windsor. 

yale new haven; nurse; sara newman;
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

As the number of critically ill coronavirus patients began to rise in New Haven, several floors of Smilow Cancer Hospital were converted into intensive care wards. Sara Newman has been a nurse for 39 years and is the nurse manager overseeing the vast majority of Yale New Haven Hospital’s sickest COVID-19 patients. 

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The huge traffic jam at Rentschler Field Monday morning had nothing to do with football. The organization Foodshare held the first session of a week-long daily drive-through foodbank. The event saw Gov. Ned Lamont and Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz among the volunteers passing out food. 

package store sign
Alastair Battson / Creative Commons

Consider the plight of the alcoholic during this coronavirus shutdown. Liquor is still widely available at stores and even now via delivery. At the same time, social distancing means in-person recovery meetings are out of the question. Connecticut Public Radio's John Henry Smith spoke with Michael Askew, director of recovery advocacy for the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery. 

Updated at 7:42 p.m. ET

President Trump said Monday that adequate coronavirus testing existed but was being underutilized by governors, following a chorus of complaints by state leaders and health care experts regarding the country's insufficient testing capacity.

national guard
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Gov. Ned Lamont painted a picture Monday of a state with an eventually reopened economy undergirded by rapid testing and data collection. 

But how officials will use that data to inform public health actions in the coming months is an open question. 

Fear Grips Health Workers Caring For The Elderly

Apr 20, 2020
BLOOMFIELD, CT - March 25, COVID-19 Testing supplies at the Urgent Care Center of Connecticut on March 25, 2020 in Bloomfield, Connecticut.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

For the past month or so, Leikish Nails has engaged in an elaborate ritual the minute she gets home from her shift at Touchpoints at Manchester, a skilled nursing facility that has seen four deaths and more than two dozen illnesses caused by COVID-19.

Brewery Legitimus
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The state recently tossed a lifeline out to more than 100 craft brewers as part of an effort to keep people in their homes. Gov. Ned Lamont signed an executive order on April 2 allowing liquor permittees to deliver alcohol to state residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Last month, the Connecticut Department of Labor received more than 300,000 unemployment claims. Last week, Governor Ned Lamont announced the formation of a multi-state council to get people back to work and restore the economy.

This hour, we’re speaking with Governor Lamont to understand just what this means. What will easing COVID-19 restrictions look like?

Later, we will hear from the Connecticut Department of Labor Deputy Commissioner Daryle Dudzinski on how those claims are being processed. 

We want to hear from you. What questions do you have for Governor Lamont, and Commissioner Daryle Dudzinski?

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Refugees Ibrahim Aldabaan and Adeebah Alnemar and their five children escaped Syria’s bloody civil war to restart their life in Connecticut in 2016. The family moved to West Hartford, where Alnemar got a job working as a cook for a Catholic church, and Aldabaan found work delivering packages for Amazon. But now, the refugee family is facing a new hardship: both parents have contracted COVID-19.

PPE delivery
Tyler Russell / Connecticut Public

Members of Connecticut’s Chinese American community made a donation of personal protective equipment for the state’s health care workers Friday.

Local volunteers led by the Chinese Association for Science and Technology sourced 5,000 respirator masks and 15,000 surgical masks, as well as 4,000 gowns. 

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

The state reported an additional 41 coronavirus-related deaths Sunday, but it also reported that hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have decreased for the second day in a row.

The new figures bring the state’s total coronavirus-associated death count to 1,127. Still, Gov. Ned. Lamont said Sunday that the slight downward tick of hospitalized patients -- 37 fewer patients from the day before -- is a positive sign.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

One can't help but wonder if the President understands that getting through this pandemic will not be a quick sprint. 

On Thursday, the Trump Administration announced guidelines for states to begin reopening the economy, with a goal to begin by May 1. On Friday, the President personally encouraged protesters in Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia, to "liberate" their states from onerous social-distancing guidelines imposed by their Democratic governors.  On Saturday, protesters from other states joined the fray. 

coronavirus testing
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

As COVID-19 infections and deaths at Connecticut nursing homes and across the nation continue to rise, workers at facilities here are growing increasingly fearful that they may be endangering their families by bringing the disease home with them.

Union officials said Saturday that, in addition to the two nursing home staffers now known to have died of coronavirus, they are aware of at least two family members of nursing home employees who have also died of COVID-19.

The Sharon Health Care Center
Courtesy: Athena Health Care Systems

New state data shows that COVID-19 is present in more than half of the state’s nursing homes and long-term care facilities, some of which are experiencing higher rates of infection and death than others.

Despite early prevention protocols of hand washing, hygiene, symptom screenings, and visitor restrictions, 375 residents have died after contracting the virus – nearly 40% of all state deaths from the disease outbreak. 

Updated 8:22 p.m. ET

President Trump on Friday said states are well equipped to adequately test for COVID-19, a position that has been contradicted by state leaders and health care experts.

The Trump administration this week released a plan to begin reopening the U.S. economy, even as experts warn that the country has a long way to go before it can responsibly ease restrictions.

National guard coronavirus testing
Ryan Caron King/Connecticut Public

The number of people in Connecticut who have died from coronavirus topped 1,000 Friday.  

“It’s a milestone tragic day,” Gov. Ned Lamont said Friday. The state’s death toll as of Friday was 1,036.

National Theatre

Last weekend, Saturday Night Live aired a prerecorded special, "Saturday Night Live at Home." Tom Hanks hosted from his kitchen. Michael Che and Colin Jost did Weekend Update from their living rooms and by Zoom or something similar. Chris Martin covered a Bob Dylan song in front of handwritten "ENTRANCE TO TRAIN" signs.

All of the late night shows are operating in some similar way right now. Jimmy Kimmel hosts from his living room and has people like Jason Bateman on by Skype or whatever. John Oliver sits at his desk in front of a mysterious white wall. Samantha Bee hosts from the woods.

Ryan Caron King/Connecticut Public

Connecticut is likely to hit another grim milestone in the coronavirus pandemic. As of last night, 971 people in Connecticut who tested positive for COVID-19 had died. That was a jump of more than 100 deaths from the day before.

Rob Ruggiero
TheaterWorks Hartford

Social distancing has forced performing arts organizations to find creative ways to stay relevant. TheaterWorks in Hartford has responded by stepping up its online presence as a way to stay connected with patrons and supporters.

Aah-Yeah / Flickr Creative Commons

Grief is everywhere. Whether a loved one has died, you lost your job, your wedding is cancelled... It’s all grief. There are things people say that are meant to help, but can really hurt, so Megan Devine, author of It’s OK That You’re Not OK, has some ideas about how we can all be better grievers.

Pixabay

Many elderly residents depend on skilled nursing care. But as the number of cases of COVID-19 grow across the state, families are increasingly worried about their loved ones in facilities. Older adults are most vulnerable to the coronavirus, and in Connecticut, nearly 4 in 10 deaths from COVID-19 are people in nursing homes.

This hour, we take a look at the COVID-19 pandemic in Connecticut’s nursing homes. We talk about the state’s latest plans to try to mitigate the spread of the disease, and hear about the impact of the pandemic on residents and staff.

Despite cranky computers, conflicting schedules, shaky Internet connections and stubborn software glitches, Danielle Kovach got her whole class together a few Fridays ago for a video chat.

Kovach teaches special education in Hopatcong, N.J., and this Friday class session was a celebration: They'd made it through the first few weeks of distance learning.

Updated at 7:21 p.m. ET

The White House unveiled guidelines on Thursday it said the nation can use to plot a course out of the coronavirus disaster and toward something like normal.

Trump also spoke via teleconference with the governors of the 50 states earlier Thursday to outline his plan for the way they'll proceed with re-opening and normalization.

Pandemic Exposes Stark Health Disparities Generations In The Making

Apr 16, 2020
drive-through COVID-19 testing
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Soon after Minerva Cuapio, a 48-year-old Mexican immigrant who lives in New Haven, was laid off from her job at a dry cleaner in March, she developed a headache, an itchy throat and a dry cough.

Then came the shortness of breath that really worried her daughter, Izarelli Mendieta, 29, of New Haven.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

The road to reopening Connecticut’s economy will likely require a phased-in approach that will consider hospitalization numbers, widespread COVID-19 testing and detailed tracking of infections in different regions, Gov. Ned Lamont said Thursday. 

An official at the U.S. Department of Justice is warning of an increase in domestic violence due to the wave of recent gun-buying spurred by the coronavirus pandemic, echoing concerns advocates have raised for weeks.

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