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Coronavirus

Connecticut Doesn't Track How Many Nursing Home Workers Have Coronavirus

Mar 26, 2020

As coronavirus cases flourish in some state nursing homes and assisted living centers, operators of those facilities have stepped up precautions, sent workers home and isolated residents who may have been exposed.

Pandemic Book Club

Mar 26, 2020
Books HD

In the midst of the pandemic, it’s easy to keep the TV on all day. But it’s also the perfect time to take a step back and start a new book -- or even read an old favorite.

This hour, we discuss what we’re reading while we’re stuck at home and how to make reading a daily habit.

The Senate late Wednesday unanimously approved a historic $2 trillion stimulus bill aimed at helping individuals and businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic’s powerful blow to  the economy.

The bill would pour billions of dollars into states like Connecticut, give direct cash payments to most Americans and boost unemployment benefits to those who lose their jobs or are furloughed.

Updated at 10:51 a.m. ET

A record 3.28 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week as the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the country. The Labor Department's report for the week ended March 21 was one of the first official indicators of how many people have suddenly been forced out of work nationally.

In the prior report, for the week ended March 14, initial claims totaled 282,000.

Updated at 11:47 p.m. ET

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved a $2 trillion relief package Wednesday night designed to alleviate some of the worst effects of the swift economic downturn currently underway as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ahead of the 96-0 vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told lawmakers, "Our nation obviously is going through a kind of crisis that is totally unprecedented in living memory."

 Yale University
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Universities across the state that have shifted their semesters completely online due to the coronavirus pandemic are working to figure out whether they’ll provide refunds to students who’ve paid for expenses like on-campus housing and meal plans. 

Ned Lamont
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

As federal lawmakers worked on finalizing a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, Connecticut officials on Wednesday detailed their own economic recovery plans for small businesses to tackle the “unprecedented” pace of jobless claims in the state.

Governors of several states have closed gun shops and dealers as part of their orders shuttering “non-essential” businesses to the public in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, drawing the ire and legal firepower of gun rights groups. Adding to the confusion, businesses selling firearms are exempted from these orders in states like Connecticut, Ohio and Illinois.

Pharmacy
Ryan Caron King/Connecticut Public

Doctors and nurses are finding themselves on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. But other health care workers are also putting themselves on front lines every day: pharmacists. 

The Legacy Theatre in Branford, Connecticut, isn’t technically open yet. But Artistic Director Keely Baisden Knudsen says they’ve done more than 70 performances without a building.

JOE AMON/CONNECTICUT PUBLIC/NENC

As many anticipated, the coronavirus situation in Connecticut is expanding. More people are getting tested, more people are confirmed to have COVID-19, more deaths are being reported, more executive orders are being issued, and more help is being requested by hospitals.

Machu Picchu
Katie de Chabert / Provided

This story has been updated. 

After nearly three weeks in Peru, which earlier this month closed its borders, canceled most flights, and ordered mandatory quarantine, Katie de Chabert and her family members have finally returned home.

De Chabert, who is a school teacher from Madison, her mother and her niece had been stuck in Cuzco for the last two weeks during the country's coronavirus lockdown.  

Updated at 2:20 a.m. ET

The Trump administration and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced early Wednesday that the White House and Senate had reached a deal for an unprecedented $2 trillion spending package aimed at propping up individuals, businesses and the nation's health care system amid the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic.

White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland made the announcement at about 1 a.m. ET.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we are done. We have a deal," Ueland said.

Brian Crawford / Creative Commons

Restaurants around the country have closed their doors to in-dining service to help slow the spread of Coronavirus and prevent unnecessary deaths. That's good news.

But it's also bad news for an industry that employs 160,000 people in Connecticut alone, many laid off and waiting for their unemployment application to be processed by our overwhelmed state system.  

Trump Wants Normalcy. Lamont, Cuomo Warn The Worst Is Yet To Come.

Mar 24, 2020
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

On a day when Gov. Ned Lamont watched a mobile field hospital go up on the grounds of a Hartford medical center in anticipation of a surge of COVID-19 cases, President Donald J. Trump told America it soon may be time to go back to work.

Arts organizations are at a virtual standstill as much of the world hunkers down to avoid spreading the coronavirus. It’s predicted that many organizations will not survive the crisis. Even long-established institutions are feeling the pinch.

DMV
Alyssa Hurlburt / CTMirror.org

The Department of Motor Vehicles commissioner directed nearly 400 staffers to return to work Tuesday morning at the main office in Wethersfield despite multiple employees being diagnosed with COVID-19 — the first starting eight days ago.

Connecticut Virus Deaths Rising, And Lamont Expects Schools To Remain Closed Until Fall

Mar 24, 2020
Joe Amon/Connecticut Public/NENC

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in Connecticut jumped by more than 200 cases overnight, while officials Tuesday confirmed a new hotspot at a Ridgefield senior living center and announced the virus has infiltrated the state’s main psychiatric hospital.

Updated at 7:35 p.m. ET

In his Tuesday afternoon briefing with the coronavirus task force, President Trump couched earlier comments about the need to reopen the U.S. economy within weeks, emphasizing that the decision would ultimately be data driven and made in consultation with public health experts.

The president said he still wants Americans working again by Easter Sunday, something he first said during a virtual town hall with Fox News earlier in the day. But he was much more circumspect over whether that would be possible from a medical standpoint.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

It may not feel like it, but it’s still early in the spread of this pandemic.

“This week it’s going to get bad,” U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams told the TODAY show on Monday. In Connecticut, state epidemiologist Matthew Cartter said the number of COVID-19 cases is expected to double every three to five days.

Personal protective equipment
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public Radio

Personal protective equipment -- or PPE -- for health care workers combatting COVID-19 is in short supply.

Despite a run on this type of gear, doctors and nurses have to move forward with treatment.

Carolyn Paine
Facebook

As many people around the world hunker down in isolation, performing artists find themselves in uncharted territory. With no upcoming performances to practice for, how are they managing their time? Does creativity take over when boredom sets in?

Connecticut Public Radio

It is impossible to practice social distancing in a prison. Accordingly, authorities in New JerseyOhioTexasNew York and at least 12 other states have sent home people incarcerated for less serious offenses so they would not be exposed to an inevitable outbreak.

South Park Inn
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public Radio

As state and local governments grapple with how to keep people safe, the threat of coronavirus looms larger for people in vulnerable situations.

Perhaps none more so than people who are experiencing homelessness, who -- by definition -- cannot “stay safe; stay home,” as Gov. Ned Lamont’s new slogan has it.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut’s schools will remain closed until at least Monday, April 20, as the state works to contain rising counts of cases and deaths from COVID-19. Meanwhile, Gov. Ned Lamont’s order that “nonessential” businesses statewide close for in-person work took effect at 8 p.m. Monday.

CT transit bus
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

As the Department of Transportation continues to make adjustments to CTtransit service and policies, some bus operators feel as though they’re still at risk of carrying or contracting the coronavirus.

Updated at 8:03 p.m. ET

On Monday evening, President Trump stressed what he called the need to reopen America for business even as he said the government also would continue tackling the spiraling coronavirus pandemic.

The White House's team will make an assessment after next week as to how effective social distancing and other mitigation measures have been in stifling the spread of the virus, said Vice President Pence.

Giuseppe Milo / Wikimedia Commons

The Trump administration is pursuing policies they say are necessary to fight the spread of coronavirus -- even though Congress and the courts rejected these policies prior to the pandemic.

Last week, the president gave his administration the power to shut the southwestern border, implement a rule allowing federal workers to withhold their union dues, and deliver food boxes to rural areas after Congress complained about poor food quality. Most recently, he asked Congress to let judges indefinitely hold people without trial during an emergency.

How do we give President Trump the power to mobilize the resources of the federal government against coronavirus and protect against his abuse of that power?

drive-through COVID-19 testing
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

We're beginning another week of the coronavirus in Connecticut. It was just 17 days ago that the first case was confirmed. Since then, testing has ramped up with many facilities offering drive-through facilities. That means more positive tests and, as the virus spreads, sadly, more deaths.

How are employers responding to coronavirus? 

This hour, Where We Live, we talk about how coronavirus is impacting our local businesses, and their employees.

What happens if a company has to temporarily shut down due to coronavirus? What if you, or someone else you work with gets sick?

We also hear how local farmers and local cultural institutions are staying afloat during the pandemic. 

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