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Coronavirus

Ammon Bundy is holding court in a chilly warehouse by the railroad tracks in rural Emmett, Idaho. Yes, that Ammon Bundy.

Updated at 9:00 p.m. 

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said Wednesday his office is launching an independent investigation into the COVID-19 outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home.

national guard
Ryan Caron King/Connecticut Public

This post has been updated.

Two state universities are transforming athletic centers into mobile field hospitals in anticipation of a COVID-19 patient surge. The move comes as the state enters what’s expected to be its worst month of illness, death and hospitalization ushered in by a worldwide pandemic -- a surge marked by the state’s first reported infant death from the coronavirus.

Caution tape lines a playground in Weatogue, CT, a village in Simsbury.
Julianne Varacchi / Connecticut Public

March felt like a long, crazy month. April is expected to be worse. 

President Donald Trump told Americans on Tuesday “to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead." Meanwhile, Gov. Ned Lamont warned that “April will be a horrible month.”

Mystic Seaport Museum

Mystic Seaport Museum will lay off a large portion of its staff April 1 in an effort to weather the impact of COVID-19.

The maritime museum closed its doors and suspended all classes, programs and events on March 13. At that time, they had hoped to reopen March 30. But as coronavirus cases in Connecticut rise, it’s unclear exactly when the museum will be able to welcome visitors again.

As many as 11 residents of the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home have died in recent days — potentially all from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

That’s led to an abrupt change of leadership at the residential, nursing and outpatient facility for veterans run by the state of Massachusetts. 

Updated at 7:40 p.m. ET

America must brace for 100,000 or more people to die in the coming months in the coronavirus pandemic, the White House's response team warned Tuesday.

"As sobering a number as that is, we should be prepared for it," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top immunologist helping to steer White House policy on the disaster. "No one is denying the fact that we are going through a very, very difficult time right now."

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Connecticut grocers said Tuesday they’ll limit the number of customers allowed inside their grocery stores. The new guidelines will cap crowds at no more than 50% of a store’s local fire code capacity and will be enforced by store staff.

national guard
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

As Connecticut’s death toll nearly doubled Tuesday and the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases rose by 557 in 24 hours, Gov. Ned Lamont delivered a bleak message to the state’s residents about a lack of critical supplies needed to fight the pandemic.

A mobile field hospital being erected by the Governor's Foot and Horse Guard on the grounds of Saint Francis Hospital on March 24, 2020 in Hartford, Connecticut.
Joe Amon/Connecticut Public/NENC

The death toll from COVID-19 in the United States has surpassed the number of people killed on 9/11. The two events can’t be directly compared, but there have been striking similarities: the fear of what’s to come, racism, and a stepped up law enforcement presence.

Three major health insurance providers have now pledged to shield patients from high medical bills if they need treatment for COVID-19. Insurers Cigna and Humana announced Monday that they would waive consumer costs associated with COVID-19 treatment.

As New York City's hospitals begin to buckle under the weight of the coronavirus crisis, two public spaces that are popular recreation spots in better times are being turned into field hospitals.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Connecticut hospitals are receiving more patients ill with COVID-19 as the new coronavirus continues to spread rapidly.

Public health experts predict that hospitalization rates will get worse in the coming weeks, putting a burden on health care professionals who are also trying to protect themselves and other patients from becoming infected. 

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

President Trump warned Americans on Monday to prepare for more disruption and death as he and other authorities extended mitigation procedures for several more weeks amid the widening coronavirus disaster.

Trump acknowledged on Sunday that his goal for a return to normalcy by Easter won't happen, and he extended the federal guidelines for social distancing and mitigation to April 30. He said on Monday that the pandemic will take longer than he hoped to abate.

As COVID-19 Cases Soar, State, Feds and Hospitals Look For Patient Overflow Sites

Mar 30, 2020
HARTFORD, CT - March 24, A mobile field hospital being erected by the Governor’s Foot and Horse Guard on the grounds of Saint Francis Hospital on March 24, 2020 in Hartford, Connecticut.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Updated 7:30 p.m. 

The spread of coronavirus continued to accelerate in Connecticut Monday with an additional 578 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in just 24 hours, another 113 people hospitalized and the death toll now listed  at 36.

Cathy Baird / Creative Commons

William Wetmore Story sculpted The Angel of Grief for his wife's grave after her death in 1894. He wrote that it was the only way he could express his feelings of utter abandonment. It was his last work before his own death one year later.

We may not readily identify grief in the gamut of emotions we're feeling during this pandemic. We haven't lost the kind of love expressed through William Story's sculpture, but loss is very much at the center of our new reality. We are collectively grieving the loss of a world that has changed forever.

Bridgeport, Fifth State Distillery, sanitizer, coronavirus
Joe Amon/Connecticut Public/NENC

One of the very first things to fly off the shelves as people began to worry about the coronavirus was hand sanitizer. As the weeks go by, stories of stockpiling and price gouging have emerged -- but so have stories of innovation and ingenuity. 

Noah Salzman / Creative Commons

Besides the occasional outdoor run or a trip to get groceries, Team USA goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher is hunkering down like the rest of us. Unlike the rest of us, the coronavirus pandemic means she’s forgoing a trip to the Olympics this summer.

Marta Hart, medical assistant and x-ray technician, administering a COVID-19 test outside of the facility at the Urgent Care Center of Connecticut on March 25, 2020 in Bloomfield, Connecticut.
Joe Amon/Connecticut Public/NENC

As the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 continues to climb, officials expect the peak will hit Connecticut in less than two weeks.

Video: Hartford Public Schools Distribute Food And Laptops For Distance Learning

Mar 29, 2020

Families of school students waited in line for hours at Hartford's Alfred E. Burr Elementary School Friday, March 27 only to be told there were no more laptops.  According to Superintendent Leslie Torres Rodriguez, educators are striving to meet the needs of families in their district, but they only have an estimated 10,000 devices for 19,000 students. City schools start distance learning on Monday, March 30th through e-learning and tech-free learning. 

 

 

Nancy Eve Cohen / New England Public Radio

Connecticut, Massachusetts and other states have designated the retail sale of alcoholic beverages as "essential business” during the coronavirus pandemic, meaning packages stores are allowed to stay open. 

It may be a bit of a head scratcher: You can't go to the gym, but you can buy a bottle of vodka. But the decision is considered a public health measure.

Yale Promises 300 Beds For First Responders - After Mayor's Public Shaming

Mar 29, 2020
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Yale University President Peter Salovey announced Saturday that the university will make available 300 beds to house “first responders and hospital personnel,” one day after Mayor Justin Elicker publicly lambasted the university for turning down his request to help house local firefighters and police officers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

March 24, Governor Ned Lamont salutes the Governor's Foot Guard and Horse Guard before a tour of a mobile field hospital they erected on the grounds of Saint Francis Hospital on March 24, 2020 in Hartford, Connecticut.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

This story has been updated.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved Connecticut’s request for a major disaster declaration, unlocking crucial federal funding as officials respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Ned Lamont announced Sunday.

BLOOMFIELD, CT - March 25, 2020 -- COVID-19 Marta Hart, medical assistant and x-ray technician, packaging a COVID-19 test at the Urgent Care Center of Connecticut.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

This post has been updated.

After suggesting earlier in the day that much of the Northeast’s tri-state region could soon be subject to an “enforceable” quarantine, President Donald Trump abruptly reversed course Saturday night.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

As the number of COVID-19 cases in Connecticut continues to grow, the state has been collecting lots of data, but there’s a potential blind spot: nursing homes.

File: Cybulski Correctional Institution in Enfield.
Connecticut Public Radio

As confirmed coronavirus cases within the state surpassed 1,000, prison reform advocates continued to call on the Lamont administration to do more to address the health and safety of people within the prison system.

BLOOMFIELD, CT - March 25, COVID-19 Marta Hart, medical assistant and x-ray technician, administering a COVID-19 test outside of the facility at the Urgent Care Center of Connecticut on March 25, 2020 in Bloomfield, Connecticut.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Coronavirus deaths and infections continued to rise in Connecticut Friday as officials reported that 39 percent of the state’s 6,800 hospital beds are currently available to treat people seriously ill from the disease.

Gov. Ned Lamont said 1,291 people have now tested positive for COVID-19 in this state, with 271 new infections, 27 deaths, and 173 people in the hospital.

“That’s the beginning of the surge, the beginning of folks going into the ICUs needing hospitalization,” Lamont said during his Friday afternoon briefing.

Demand Overwhelms Emergency Business Relief Program — In Two Days

Mar 27, 2020
NEW HAVEN, CT - March 23, 2020: A man walks by Christopher Martins Restaurant & Pub in New Haven about one week after Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont ordered that all restaurants close to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Gov. Ned Lamont doubled Connecticut’s emergency business relief program Friday — then immediately suspended applications — after demand quadrupled resources in the first two days.

There's plenty in the coronavirus relief package passed by Congress to help low-income Americans, including billions of dollars in housing assistance, foreclosure and eviction relief, expanded unemployment benefits, and one-time cash payments.

But advocates for the poor say it's only a first step and that those at the lower end of the economic scale will need much more help in the months ahead.

music never sleeps
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Because of the coronavirus, New York City is now home to an abundance of underemployed, world-class musicians. Many of them will be participating in a 24-hour, live streaming music marathon beginning this evening.

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