coronavirus | Connecticut Public Radio



Dr. Raymond Foley
Courtesy: UConn Health Center

Doctors caring for critically ill COVID-19 patients have had to find new ways to treat a fierce and mysterious virus, and at the same time comfort patients who are isolated without loved ones near them.

Connecticut Public Radio’s Diane Orson spoke with Dr. Raymond Foley, medical director of the intensive care unit at UConn John Dempsey Hospital in Farmington.

hartford healthcare
Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

Hartford HealthCare has launched a mobile coronavirus testing program in partnership with the city of Hartford that will make it easier to bring testing to people who need it.

Coronavirus Hospitalizations Continue To Decline In Connecticut

Apr 29, 2020
NEW LONDON, CT - April 15, 2020: The Garde Arts Center signs were lit on a quiet evening in downtown New London, but their doors were shut due to coronavirus mandates by the state in March.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

The latest Connecticut statistics on the COVID-19 pandemic showed a continued decline Wednesday in the number of people hospitalized with the virus, but the number of fatalities in the state rose by 79 — bringing the death toll to 2,168.

Children And Parents Feel The Strain Of Confinement

Apr 29, 2020
Laura Bower-Phipps and her daughter, Betty, read the comics page. During this time of social distancing, Betty misses her friends and school.
Contributed photo.

Weeks into staying home from preschool, Betty, 4, threw herself on the floor and had a screaming meltdown. She had had a Zoom meeting with her class earlier that day, and every little thing was setting her off.

Rentschler Field
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Connecticut may have reached the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state. That's according to a new model created by Hartford HealthCare and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Merima Sestovic
Courtesy: Stamford Health

Stamford has been hit hard by COVID-19. The latest data show more than 2,300 confirmed cases, the most of any city or town in the state of Connecticut. 

Connecticut Public Radio’s Diane Orson reached out to Merima Sestovic, a nurse at Stamford Health, to hear how she and other front-line medical workers have been managing during the pandemic.

COVID-19 testing
Kathy Willens / AP Photo

On an average day before the pandemic, the emergency department at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford would be busy with people coming in for heart attacks, strokes, trauma, injuries, common illnesses like the flu and bronchitis, and other less acute problems.

But Dr. Steven Wolf, chairman of emergency medicine at Saint Francis, said it’s been weeks since the emergency room has had that level of activity outside of COVID-19 cases. 

May 20th. It’s the day that Governor Lamont’s closure orders run out. Will schools and nonessential businesses begin to open back up? That all depends on positive trends on COVID-19 hospitalizations, and access to testing.

As Connecticut Hits COVID-19 Peak, Focus Shifts To Tracing And Testing

Apr 28, 2020
coronavirus testing
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

An aggressive program of COVID-19 testing and contact tracing will be the key to Connecticut safely easing the restrictions on commerce that have left 439,000 residents jobless, a level of unemployment that hasn’t been seen since the 1930s, Gov. Ned Lamont said Tuesday.

coronavirus testing
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

The state has changed the way it reports testing for COVID-19, the result of which meant a one-day jump of about 11,000 tests reported to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Federal Correctional Institution
U.S. Bureau Of Prisons

Attorneys from a Stamford law firm, Quinnipiac University School of Law and Yale Law School filed a class-action federal lawsuit Monday night to force authorities to take emergency measures to protect the more than 1,000 men and women incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury.

small business coronavirus
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Paycheck Protection Program 2.0 opened for business this week in Connecticut and around the country. After the initial $349 billion ran in just two weeks, the federal government has now made an additional $310 billion available to small businesses who agree to keep, and pay, their employees. 

Hartford city hall lion statue
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

We’re learning more about how restrictions in Connecticut may slowly be lifted in the coming weeks and months. It’s far from a return to the old normal, but it is a preview of what the new normal may look like.

Dr. Faiqa Cheema
Courtesy: Hartford HealthCare

After weeks in lockdown or under shelter-in-place orders, some states across the U.S. are beginning to loosen restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus. Connecticut Public Radio’s Diane Orson reached out to Dr. Faiqa Cheema, an infectious disease specialist at Hartford HealthCare, for her thoughts on what’s next for Connecticut.

Clorox bleach
Vox Efx / Wikimedia Commons

Pharmacists and nurses manning the Connecticut Poison Control Center’s phone lines this past weekend were busy with calls after President Donald Trump’s suggestion last week that scientists look at how disinfectants like bleach could be ingested or injected into humans as a treatment for the coronavirus.

Trader Joe's
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

The state now has money to help some Connecticut residents with child care costs -- workers who continue to be public-facing in the age of COVID-19.

The state Office of Early Childhood is using federal dollars to set up CTCARES for Frontline Workers, a program benefiting employees considered to be front-line workers amid the pandemic.

Even As Cases Fall, Expect Social Distancing To Remain

Apr 27, 2020
Gov. Ned Lamont
Cloe Poisson /

Even as Connecticut studies how to begin easing COVID-19 restrictions, residents should expect some form of social distancing to remain a necessary public-health measure at least through the fall, the governor and the chief clinical officer of Hartford HealthCare warned in separate briefings Monday.

Updated at 6:45 p.m. ET

The White House released a blueprint for states on coronavirus testing on Monday at a daily news conference it spiked and then revived.

The document presents "key strategic considerations" for states, including their roles, the roles of the federal government and local governments, the private sector and monitoring systems, officials said.

COVID-19 rapid testing center Connecticut
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

In 40 days, Connecticut has gone from one confirmed coronavirus-related death to nearly 2,000. If that number is reached today, the death toll will have doubled in just 10 days.

White House / Wikimedia Commons

People in several states came together last weekend to protest against stay-at-home orders. Their actions followed President Trump tweets of support to "liberate" their states and start reopening the economy. Dr. David Grew makes the case that resuming "normal" business activity in the absence of testing and credible messaging will do more economic harm than good. 

Also this hour: What would President Selina Meyer do in a pandemic? How about Logan Roy? We talk to Frank Rich, the Executive Producer of HBO's VEEP and Succession. Could even they do a better job?  

Lastly, we talk trash with an essential worker. 

A Town-By-Town Look At COVID-19 Infection And Death Rates

Apr 26, 2020
Gateway Community College campus
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Connecticut declined for the fourth straight day Sunday, while the number of deaths and new confirmed cases continued to rise.

Hartford City Hall
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

As Connecticut reported an additional 98 coronavirus-related deaths Saturday afternoon, the administration of Gov. Ned Lamont said it looks to increase testing capacity across the state as hundreds of residents continue to test positive each day. 

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

A state judge issued a ruling late Friday night dismissing the ACLU of Connecticut’s lawsuit to remove incarcerated people from correctional facilities to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Berlin Mosque
Tyler Russell / Connecticut Public

Praying together in a mosque could put Muslims at risk of catching COVID-19, so mosques are closed to the public.

That makes for a very different celebration of the holy month of Ramadan in 2020. It means that special evening prayers must be done at home.

Union Says Economic And Racial Inequities Plague Connecticut's Nursing Homes

Apr 24, 2020
Photo Courtesy SEIU 1199

The federal and state response to COVID-19 in nursing homes is riddled with economic — and racial — inequities that are taking a greater toll in deaths and illnesses than government officials have disclosed, Connecticut’s largest health care workers’s union charged Friday.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Thousands lined up to collect food donations at Rentschler Field in East Hartford last week. Foodshare started the drive-through food bank on Monday and decided to extend the program for two more weeks due to an “overwhelming response” from the community. 

Updated at 6:05 p.m. ET

At a short briefing Friday afternoon at the White House, President Trump touted the federal government's "aggressive strategy," saying "we are getting through this challenge together as one American family."

Trump earlier on Friday signed the latest economic relief package, as a handful of Republican-led states prepared to re-open their states' economies — with or without the president's blessing.

COVID-19 Hospitalizations See Largest One-Day Drop Since State Began Tracking

Apr 24, 2020
Prescribed Alternative Testing Hub
Cloe Poisson /

Coronavirus hospitalizations in Connecticut saw their biggest one-day decrease Friday since the state began tracking — a fact Gov. Ned Lamont seized as a hopeful sign despite the continued daily increases in deaths resulting from COVID-19.

Miller Memorial Central Library
Ryan Caron King/Connecticut Public

National Library Week was forced to go digital this year. The American Library Association changed the original theme from “Find Your Place At The Library” to “Find The Library At Your Place” to bring attention to how libraries are still open online during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dallas / Flickr Creative Commons