Coronavirus | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

Coronavirus

For up-to-date information, visit Connecticut Public's Coronavirus Resources page.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered mass immunization against COVID-19 as Russia races to reverse a surge in coronavirus cases and be the first in the world to distribute its vaccine widely.

Putin issued the order in a videoconference with officials, just hours after health authorities in Britain approved Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine.

Nikita Chinchwade moved from India to the U.S. last fall to get a master's degree.

"It had been a dream of mine for a very long time because of the quality of education here," she says.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

With the second wave of coronavirus infections seemingly roaring across Connecticut, state teachers unions have been calling for students to go to a distance-learning-only model for the time being. But the state -- led by Gov. Ned Lamont -- remains adamant about keeping kids at least partially in the classroom.

As COVID Hospitalizations Rise In CT, Concerns Grow About Staffing, Capacity

Dec 1, 2020
Pamelia Bogle, an anesthesia technician at Hartford Hospital, holds a reassuring heart sign at a celebration for National Nurses Week at Hartford Hospital.
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

With state leaders estimating that Connecticut’s winter COVID-19 surge won’t hit its peak until January, concerns about staffing and capacity at hospitals across the state are intensifying.

At Foodshare's drive-thru food bank at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, volunteer Tiina Hyvonen stacks 5-pound bags of potatoes. Most passengers driving through kept their windows up and volunteers loaded food directly into trunks.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

November and December are typically the busiest months of the year for Foodshare, which helps those struggling with food insecurity. This year, that need is only intensified by the pandemic.

Nathaniel Rivard 20, of Naugatuck leans back as COVID collection specialist Jon Schwartz administers a swab test during Griffin Health's COVID-19 drive-thru testing site at Tunxis community college on November 12, 2020 in Farmington, Connecticut.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

More than eight months after the first coronavirus-related death was reported in Connecticut, the state death toll surpassed 5,000 over the weekend.

Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET

Just hours after a bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers revealed a $908 billion legislative framework to try to break a months-long impasse on a new round of pandemic-related relief measures, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters he's talking to administration officials about a separate coronavirus bill that President Trump will sign.

Health care workers are expected to be first in line to be offered a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available.

It makes sense: Getting a safe, effective vaccine would help keep them and their patients healthy. Seeing doctors, nurses and medical aides getting COVID-19 vaccines would also set an example for the community.

The coronavirus was present in the U.S. weeks earlier than scientists and public health officials previously thought, and before cases in China were publicly identified, according to a new government study published Monday.

The virus and the illness that it causes, COVID-19, were first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, but it wasn't until about Jan. 20 that the first confirmed COVID-19 case, from a traveler returning from China, was found in the U.S.

Franchise Opportunities / Flickr

Open enrollment periods for two of the nation’s largest health insurance programs and marketplaces are running concurrently, but time is ticking.

Connecticut state officials and health insurance experts are urging people to pick health plans now before it’s too late to secure coverage for 2021, which will see a continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic and its long-term impacts. 

Asnuntuck Community College

Completion rates for low-income Black and Latinx students enrolled in Connecticut’s two-year public colleges were already low before COVID-19 hit, and the pandemic has exacerbated the challenges they face.

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is helping out some of those students through grants it has awarded to five community colleges.

Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror

As COVID-19 drags on and advocates continue to pressure state officials to release people from prisons and jails, the Board of Pardons and Paroles has a tool that, in the words of the U.S. Supreme Court, gives them “unfettered discretion” to commute a person’s sentence and shorten the length of time spent behind bars.

Bradley Gordon / Creative Commons

We are still living in two different realities. President Trump lost the election but still can't concede or admit it, and a high percentage of Republicans say they doubt the results -  even though courts have found no evidence to support their claims of fraud. 

Meanwhile, President-Elect Joe Biden is moving forward with his transition - including talking with foreign leaders, choosing Cabinet members, and planning his first 100 days in office. Can Biden unite us?

Just 10 days after closing New York City's schools because of rising coronavirus cases, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday that the nation's largest school district will begin a phased reopening next week.

On Dec. 7, buildings will reopen for elementary school students and on Dec. 10, District 75, which serves students with disabilities, will reopen.

The biotech company Moderna released new data Monday morning that strengthens the case for its COVID-19 vaccine. It concludes the vaccine is 94% effective — and strongly protects against serious illness. Based on these latest findings, the company plans to submit an application for emergency use authorization to the Food and Drug Administration today.

John Abbott / Facebook

A new project by Yale’s Oral History of American Music chronicles how the pandemic and months of self-isolation have affected prominent musicians. Alone Together: Musicians in the Time of Covid is a collection of thoughtful and surprising interviews with performers, conductors and composers from the world of jazz and classical music.

Updated at 3:27 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily barred New York from enforcing strict attendance limits on places of worship in areas designated coronavirus hot spots, in a decision released just before midnight on Wednesday.

Shoppers at the 2019 holiday market. The Women's Business Development Council decided to support local businesses and protect shoppers by taking the event virtual this year.
Contributed photo

Last year’s holiday market in downtown Stamford was a big success. The Women’s Business Development Council, which sponsors the market, planned to invite more of the women-owned businesses it supports year-round for 2020, but rising COVID-19 numbers make that impossible.

New claims for unemployment benefits jumped last week for the second week in a row, signaling ongoing weakness in the job market as coronavirus infections continue to soar.

The Labor Department reported 778,000 people applied for state benefits in the week ending Saturday, an increase of 30,000 from the previous week.

Multiple coronavirus vaccines appear to be on the horizon, but the U.S. economy is on shaky footing, and before those vaccines are expected to become widely available, millions of Americans could first fall off an economic cliff.

Just a few months into the coronavirus pandemic, Holly Smith had already made up her mind. She was not going to reopen her restaurant to diners until there was a vaccine. She just didn't think it was safe. When she shared the decision with her staff, they asked: Would the vaccine be mandatory?

Yes, she said. It would be.

ALAN LEVINE / Creative Commons

When the coronavirus became widespread in Connecticut earlier this year, Tom Dykas was already on a seasonal layoff from his job.

By April, that layoff became permanent as businesses downsized and shed positions due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. That left Dykas, who has Type 1 diabetes, searching for employment. 

Federal health officials are likely to shorten their recommendation for how long people should quarantine to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus from the current 14 days to as few as seven.

Rhoda Baer/National Cancer Institute / Creative Commons

While we’re all focused so much these days on the novel coronavirus, the flu hasn’t gone away. It’s still very much a threat. In a recent discussion, Dr. Albert Ko of the Yale School of Public Health explained why none of us should fear the flu shot, and he emphasized that controlling the flu also will help control COVID-19.

Hear the interview below:

Connecticut is on track to lose a record number of lives to drug overdose this year. The most deadly year prior was 2019, with 1,200 overdose deaths. Numbers updated earlier this week show 1,032 overdose deaths so far in 2020.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Financing, supply chain logistics, and tracking who’s got the shot are just a few of the challenges facing health administrators in the coming months as the first round of COVID-19 vaccines makes its way to Connecticut.

With coronavirus spreading more rapidly in Connecticut, the state Department of Public Health is planning to expand operations of its COVID-19 recovery facilities. The state currently has more than 3oo beds at four locations. It hopes to have as many as 4oo beds if a location in Eastern Connecticut is added. The facilities are nursing homes set up as isolation facilities for people who are still in the contagious stage of the illness, and who need nursing home care.

As coronavirus cases continue to surge both in the U.S. and around the world, there's promising news on the vaccine front.

It was Memorial Day when then-candidate Joe Biden made his first public appearance since the coronavirus shut down in-person campaigning. Before he went out to place a wreath at a veterans memorial in Delaware, Biden and his team decided he would wear a mask. It wasn't a difficult decision, an aide said when asked about the choice.

Thanksgiving Plate

Thanksgiving is this Thursday. What is your Thanksgiving going to look like? 

This hour, we focus on gratitude. Despite this chaotic, hard year, we want to know what you’re thankful for this year. Coming up, we talk about how we can all practice being a little bit more grateful, even during a pandemic.

Pages