coronavirus | Connecticut Public Radio



Ryan Caron King/Connecticut Public

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now advises all people to wear a cloth face covering in public spaces to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, though in Connecticut, masks are not mandatory. With shortages of medical-grade masks on the front lines of the pandemic, such masks aren’t generally available to the public. Still, that hasn’t stopped people from getting creative with DIY versions. A walk around New Haven bears that out, as you’ll see many residents with a new look, doing their part to fight the coronavirus.    

Cloe Poisson / CT Mirror

An incarcerated person died from COVID-19 on Monday, the first Connecticut inmate to succumb to the virus as the numbers of positive cases behind bars continued to spike.

Updated at 9:00 p.m. ET

President Trump and the leading immunologist on the White House coronavirus task force attempted to present a united front Monday, following speculation of a shake-up within the federal pandemic response effort.

Dr. Anthony Fauci — one of the more recognizable faces on the task force — and Trump pushed back on the notion that Fauci was on the outs with the president.

COVID-19 Risks Could Speed Transitions To At-Home Dialysis

Apr 13, 2020
DaVita Intregrated Care Photo

The COVID-19 pandemic will likely result in a “huge paradigm shift” toward in-home dialysis treatments in the future, experts predict.

Lamont, Northeast Governors Promise To Cautiously Ease COVID-19 Restrictions

Apr 13, 2020
Hospital staff thank local fire, police, and EMS.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

The Democratic governors of a half dozen northeastern states outlined a regional approach Monday to devising a plan for the careful easing of COVID-19 restrictions, warning  that changes will come slowly and be guided by public health experts, not politicians or business interests.

NIH Clinical Center

Health experts have released multiple plans that all call for some version of the same thing. We need to conduct widespread testing, trace contacts of the infected, and quarantine those contacts BEFORE we can ease social distancing measures. 

Hospital staff thank local fire, police departments, and EMS as they pay tribute to the health care providers at Saint Mary's Hospital who are on the front lines taking care of patients with COVID-19 on April 10, 2020 in Waterbury, Connecticut.
Joe Amon/Connecticut Public/NENC

Last week, cars lined up outside Saint Francis Hospital early in the morning for drive-thru coronavirus testing. Today, heavy winds forced many of these sites to close because they’re operating in tents. 

CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM / Wikimedia Commons

COVID-19 has dominated our lives, but how much do you actually know about the virus that causes this disease?

This hour, we talk with NY Times columnist and writer, Carl Zimmer about the science behind the coronavirus. We learn about how viruses work and how they’re different from other disease-causing germs like bacteria.

Transportation And Climate Initiative Moves Ahead Amid Pandemic Uncertainty

Apr 13, 2020
pumping gas
Amanda Lovelace / U.S. Air Force

The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states working on a regional compact to reduce vehicle emissions are still hoping to produce a final memorandum of understanding before summer, despite the pandemic shutdown. 

Meanwhile, plunging gas prices and the economic fallout from the coronavirus have put the partnership’s political odds and projected impact in flux.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Alisha Scott recently had a telemedicine appointment with her doctor, who prescribed a refill of a medication called hydroxychloroquine.

She’s been taking the antimalarial medication for years to manage lupus, an autoimmune disease. 

Easter Brings No Respite From Coronavirus; 60 New Deaths In Connecticut

Apr 12, 2020
Hospital staff
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public Radio

The coronavirus pandemic colored everything about Easter on Sunday. Many Connecticut Christians took their worship services online, as COVID-19 continued its deadly course through the state. There were 60 new deaths recorded by state officials, bringing Connecticut’s cumulative loss of life to 554.

Jim McIntosh / Creative Commons

For Catholics marking Holy Week – the final days of lent leading up to the Easter celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ – worship is much different than last year.

national guard
Connecticut National Guard / Twitter

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont signed an executive order on Saturday establishing COVID-19 recovery centers in some nursing homes, a move that creates places for patients who’ve been discharged from the hospital to continue to recover. 

Twenty-one residents have died from COVID-19 at the Leavitt Family Jewish Home and the Sosin Center for Rehabilitation senior living facility in Longmeadow, part of the JGS Lifecare health care system, the facility announced in a letter late Friday night.

Another 93 residents and 43 staff members tested positive for the virus, with over half of the 180 residents and 84 staff tested.

As Hospitalizations Slow, Lamont Faces Questions On Restrictions

Apr 10, 2020
Health care workers tribute parade
Cloe Poisson /

Gov. Ned Lamont’s order extending the closure of schools, restaurants and many businesses until May 20 is generating the first significant political blowback to his handling of the COVID-19 crisis since declaring a public-health emergency a month ago.

Updated at 4:36 p.m. ET

President Trump plans to appoint a council to advise him on how best to reopen America after much of the nation went dormant to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

Trump said Friday that he plans to announce on Tuesday whom he has named to make recommendations about some kind of path to normalcy.

"I'm going to surround myself with the greatest minds," he said in another marathon news conference at the White House. "We're going to make a decision, and hopefully, it's going to be the right decision."

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

From small business to big employers — from family farms to fishermen — New England’s economy is taking a hit from the coronavirus. 

Join us for an America Amplified special from the New England News Collaborative. We'll bring together voices from across the region, and we want to hear yours.

Clinical staff members coronavirus drive-through test
Joe Amon/Connecticut Public/NENC

Nearly four hours before drive-thru coronavirus testing was scheduled to open at Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford on Thursday, 40 cars were already lined up at 5:25 a.m.

Joey Zanotti / Flickr Creative Commons

It’s Holy Week for many Americans, a heightened time of prayer and meditation and looking inward. But it doesn’t matter what your religion is, or if you don’t feel compelled to engage with religion at all. It seems like every one of us has been looking inward in the past month or so.

This hour, Rev. Dr. Shelley Best on how she, as a faith leader, is making sense of all this. What does this pain and death mean - if anything at all? How is she reconnecting with her communities, and how is she finding comfort for herself?

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

A local health official believes the peak of coronavirus infections in Connecticut will happen later this month into early May -- later than the doctor’s network initially predicted.

Urban Hope Refuge Church
Tyler Russell/Connecticut Public

For Christians around the world in self-isolation, the celebration of Easter will be a stark reminder of the impact coronavirus has on their lives.

A pastor in Hartford's North End will bring his congregation together for Easter while still practicing social distancing -- it’s called an Easter drive-in service.

Updated at 7:30 p.m.

President Trump said more oil producers are "getting close to a deal" to try to put a floor under prices as demand for energy plummets amid the global pandemic.

Trump said at his daily coronavirus briefing on Thursday that he'd just finished a conference call with the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Russia and that he hoped they'd agree on a cut or another solution that would stabilize the cost per barrel.

Lamont To Keep Schools Closed Until May 20, Maybe Longer

Apr 9, 2020
coronavirus testing
Chloe Poisson / CT Mirror

While the latest statistics from around Connecticut offer “slight glimmers of hope” that the coronavirus pandemic may be easing, Gov. Ned Lamont warned Thursday that schools and most small businesses must remain closed for at least another month to prevent any resurgence of the deadly virus.

New State Plan For Nursing Home Tests, Isolation Facilities Could Have Big Impact On COVID-19 Spread

Apr 9, 2020
nursing home
Connecticut Health I-Team

The state’s plan to make a rapid new COVID-19 test available to nursing homes and to provide four sites to isolate nursing home residents sick with the virus is a “game changer” that will save lives, a top health care official said Thursday.

Julianne Varacchi / Connecticut Public

Two years ago, The New York Times profiled a man who decided to unplug from the news. Erik Hagerman knew that Donald Trump was elected president, but not much else -- not the Mueller investigation, not the deadly white supremecist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. He had strict guidelines for friends, family and acquaintances. “The Blockade” as he called it, was extreme. 

Look For The Helpers

Apr 9, 2020
Sgt. Joe Parrish / U.S. Army Photo

Mister Rogers said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

This hour, we’re going to do just that. We’re talking to volunteers, and those working to make our lives a little brighter during this difficult time.

family zoom
Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

For many Jewish families, staying safe and staying home because of the coronavirus meant that this year's Passover dinner took place using technology.

Updated at 7:38 p.m. ET

President Trump and congressional Democrats appeared to have a ways to go on Wednesday before they could agree on details for more relief spending for the coronavirus disaster.

CHESHIRE, CT - April 06, The John R Manson Youth Institute on April 06, 2020 in Cheshire, Connecticut. Inmates & DOC employees continue to test positive for COVID-19 at jails & prisons throughout the state.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

In an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the state’s prisons and jails, the Department of Correction will house all infected inmates at four facilities: Manson Youth Institution or Northern, York or Garner Correctional Institutions.