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coronavirus

Coronavirus

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases linked to a wedding reception earlier this month in Maine continues to rise.

At least 53 people have been infected with the virus, officials with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported over the weekend, according to the Portland Press Herald.

The paper notes that state health investigators have traced both "secondary and tertiary transmission of the virus."

Leslie Cutitta said yes, twice, when clinicians from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston called asking whether she wanted them to take — and then continue — extreme measures to keep her husband, Frank Cutitta, alive.

The first conversation, in late March, was about whether to let Frank go or to try some experimental drugs and treatments. The second call was just a few days later. Hospital visits were banned, so Leslie Cutitta couldn't be with her husband or discuss his wishes with the medical team in person. So she used stories to try to describe Frank's zest for life.

A health care worker prepares to administer a nasal swab for a COVID-19 drive-by testing site
JOE AMON / CONNECTICUT PUBLIC/NENC

Connecticut public health officials have issued an alert to Danbury residents after what the state called a “significant spike” in new coronavirus cases.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

As state officials continue to investigate a COVID-19 outbreak at a nursing home in Norwich that killed one resident this month and hospitalized several more, one outstanding question is whether workers tested for COVID-19 were properly notified of their results.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public

A viral video of UConn students at a recent campus dorm party brought a swift rebuke from the university. But both the party itself and the school’s official response are raising more questions about whether students should be back at school.

Airman 1st Class Daniel Hambor / U.S. Air Force

Businesses have reopened and most schools have come up with plans to see students again, but it’s increasingly clear life won’t truly get back to “normal” until we have a vaccine.

But when will that be? This hour, we get the latest from New York Times science writer Carl Zimmer on the race to develop a COVID vaccine. We hear the status of ongoing vaccine trials and learn more about the research process that ensures a vaccine will be safe and effective.

Louis DeJoy, depending on whom you talk to, is either a Republican political operative beholden to President Trump, or a savvy businessman who's the right person to fix what's broken at the U.S. Postal Service. When senators question him this week, they will want to know which narrative is closer to the truth — and whether he is suited to head the service at this time.

On This Night, Connecticut Democrats Say Trump Is A Uniter

Aug 21, 2020
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

An unconventional political convention in the most unconventional of times closed Thursday night with the Connecticut delegation gathered on the infield dirt of a minor league ballpark, cheering the image of Joe Biden looming on a jumbo video screen.

Pre-pandemic, about half of U.S. families reported having trouble finding care for a young child.

Students around the state must wear a mask on school buses this fall and some districts will employ a monitor on the bus for the first two weeks.
woodleywonderworks / Flickr

Parents across Connecticut are concerned about their children being exposed to the coronavirus in the classroom this fall, but the threat may start before they even get there. The level of safety precautions on school buses will vary from district to district, but most can expect to see mask wearing and thinly populated buses.


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State officials are investigating an outbreak of COVID-19 cases at Three Rivers Nursing Home in Norwich, where one resident has died and several have been hospitalized.

The Department of Public Health has so far identified 13 residents and two staff members infected with the virus -- it’s the largest outbreak at a single nursing facility in about a month, according to state data. 

Ali Oshinskie / Connecticut Public Radio

A Connecticut postal union official says sorting equipment dismantled under orders from new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy as part of his controversial cuts in service has not returned to operation despite DeJoy’s suspension of the cuts Tuesday.

Joan Levy, director of the Connecticut State Postal Workers Union, said two machines in Wallingford that could process 35,000 pieces of mail an hour were taken apart and left in pieces. 

Across America, buildings are opening back up — offices, schools, theaters, stores, restaurants — even as evidence mounts that the coronavirus can circulate through the air in a closed indoor space.

That means a lot of business owners and facility managers are calling up people like Dennis Knight, the founder of Whole Buildings Systems in Charleston, S.C., asking what they can do to make sure their building doesn't spread the virus.

Jessica Hill / AP Photo

The return to college campuses this year is fraught with angst like never before because of the pandemic. Already UConn has had to eject students from university housing because of an illicit, dorm-room party. Several students returning to campus have tested positive as part of the check-in process, and have been quarantined. The university also announced Wednesday that two faculty members have COVID-19.

State officials and federal agencies warn there's a new phone scam circulating: Callers posing as COVID-19 contact tracers are trying to pry credit card or bank account information from unsuspecting victims.

The grifters apparently are taking advantage of a genuine public health intervention that is crucial to stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus: contact tracing.

Brenda Leon / Connecticut Public Radio

Chants, speeches and a public art installation took over the state Capitol building Wednesday as educators, parents and students called on the state to delay in-person instruction for the coming school year.

The graph of Spain's daily coronavirus case count is taking on an emphatic U-shape, with 3,715 new infections in the past 24 hours – joining Germany and France on Wednesday in reporting the most cases since lockdowns helped Europe quash an initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic months ago.

France reported 3,776 cases in the past 24 hours, its health ministry reported.

theater closed sign
Corey Doctorow / Creative Commons

Hartford-area arts organizations impacted by COVID-19 can apply to participate in a new program aimed at building audience and capacity post-pandemic. The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving’s Catalyst for the Arts will feature six weekly group sessions, as well as private coaching sessions facilitated by HFPG and the consulting firms Fathom, CO:LAB and the Free Center.

At the height of summer, temperatures climb to nearly 100 degrees most days in Pharr, a small city in South Texas. Nonetheless, nurse practitioner Oralia Martinez and her staff have set up a temporary exam room outside her small clinic.

This is their way of preserving masks and other personal protective equipment as they treat COVID-19 patients in the Rio Grande Valley, where infections are spiking. While Martinez and her colleagues sweat in full gear outside, the staffers and other patients inside the clinic aren't exposed and don't need as much PPE.

Joshua Moses (7) holds his backpack in front of Bellizzi Middle School.
Brenda Leon / Connecticut Public

Marlin Johnson is getting her 7-year-old son Joshua ready to go back to school -- a mix of remote and in-person learning to start. Part of that preparation takes the pandemic into account, like reminding him to remember to keep his mask on and to maintain a healthy distance. 

A sign for coronavirus testing outside of a CVS drive-through in Hartford, Conn.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Pubic

Scientists at the Yale School of Public Health say they have developed a quick, affordable COVID-19 saliva test, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted it emergency-use authorization. It’s called SalivaDirect, and one of its project leaders is Anne Wyllie, an associate research scientist at the Yale School of Public Health. Wyllie spoke on All Things Considered about why this testing method is better than the swab method, the crucial role the NBA played in its development, and the price she and her team had to pay to make this dream a reality.

Pandemic Worsens 'Already Fragile' Situation for Homeless Youth, Young Adults

Aug 18, 2020
Residents of Malta House in Norwalk gather and play with their children.
Malta House Handout Photo

Johanna Vasquez, 19, and her 4-month-old baby ended up at Malta House in Norwalk as a result of an abusive relationship. Vasquez’s boyfriend hit her, she said, because he was home without a job and “was stressed.”

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal gathered a coalition of postal workers and health care advocates outside a post office in downtown Hartford Tuesday to warn that disruptions to the U.S. Postal Service could threaten the November election. 

Report Offers Clues To What Went Wrong In Lethal COVID Outbreak In Nursing Homes

Aug 18, 2020
Some of the nursing staff at Parkway Pavilion Health and Rehabilitation Center in Enfield in the early stages of the outbreak.
CTMirror.org

COVID-19 hit nursing homes in the Northeast states particularly hard, but those living in Connecticut long-term care facilities died more frequently than in any other state – a result of missteps by the state and a nursing home industry hamstrung by limited knowledge of the pathogen’s nature, how it spreads and to whom it posed the greatest risks.

How Bars Are Fueling COVID-19 Outbreaks

Aug 18, 2020

From the early days of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak, states have wrestled with the best course of action for the nation's imperiled bars and nightclubs. Many of these businesses find their economic prospects tied to a virus that preys on their industry's lifeblood — social gatherings in tight quarters.

face mask
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

As office buildings and schools reopen, some adults 65 and older are forced to return to a work environment that carries a higher risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Gary Phelan, who practices employment law in Westport as part of Mitchell & Sheahan, P.C., said he’s seeing older teachers having to make tough choices: lose their jobs or return to a potentially risky classroom environment.   

The University of Connecticut says it has placed thirteen students in a two week quarantine on campus. Two residents and three commuter students had tested positive for COVID-19 during welcome weekend. UConn said less than one percent of students visiting campus have the virus.

Bonnie-Brown / Creative Commons

When Jennifer Perez Caraballo decided to keep her 4-year-old child at home for the school year, she had a lot to think about, with two parents at home working full time, her own preexisting health conditions, and back-to-school plans from Hartford public schools that seemed unclear. 

After keeping the coronavirus under control for roughly five months, South Korea finds itself on the verge of another major outbreak as COVID-19 cases jump to their highest level since March and the capital region retightens social distancing guidelines.

Health Care And Education Suffer When There's No Internet Access

Aug 16, 2020
Melanie Stengel / C-HIT

With no Wi-Fi or reliable internet access during the COVID-19 pandemic, Susana Encarnacion of New London had some trouble during doctors’ appointments for her 9-year-old son, Jeremiah, who has asthma and attention deficit disorder.

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