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Coronavirus

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Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET

Pfizer's experimental COVID-19 vaccine appears to be working. The vaccine was found to be more than 90% effective, according to clinical results released by the company Monday.

That news comes from an interim analysis of a study involving 43,538 volunteers, 42% of whom had "diverse backgrounds."

Students get off a bus on the first day of school in Connecticut. The first few days will be about setting expectations for mask wearing and social distancing according to superindendents.
Ali Oshinskie / Connecticut Public Radio

The academic year is well on it’s way. How are students and teachers in Connecticut adapting to their second semester of online learning? 

This hour, Connecticut Department of Education Commissioner Miguel A. Cardona joins us to answer our questions and yours on the state of Connecticut’s schools. 

Back in July, President Trump's administration began the formal process of withdrawing the U.S. – and its critical funding – from the World Health Organization. Trump had accused the U.N. agency of conspiring with China to downplay the infectiousness of the novel coronavirus early on. The withdrawal was to be complete in July 2021.

As a candidate, Biden vowed to reverse the decision on his first day in office. Global health experts are counting on President-elect Joe Biden to restore and reimagine the U.S. relationship with the world's leading public health agency.

Updated at 6:49 a.m. ET

As coronavirus cases surge around the country, President-elect Joe Biden says voters have given him a mandate to take action.

"Daily cases are skyrocketing," Biden said in remarks Friday evening in Wilmington, Del., as the nation waited for the election to be called. "I want everyone — everyone — to know on Day 1, we're going to put our plan to control this virus into action."

Democratic elected officials in Connecticut were among those quick to issue congratulations as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were finally declared president- and vice president-elect by The Associated Press Saturday.

Each week, we answer frequently asked questions about life during the coronavirus crisis. If you have a question you'd like us to consider for a future post, email us at goatsandsoda@npr.org with the subject line: "Weekly Coronavirus Questions."

Donna Sullivan visits with her long-time partner, Walter Zbikowski, through a window at Parkway Pavilion Health and Rehabilitation Center in Enfield.
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

In September, Sen. Cathy Osten watched as a nursing home in Norwich, in the heart of her district, emptied its 53 remaining residents after the state ordered the building evacuated.

Twenty-seven people had contracted COVID-19 at the Three Rivers Healthcare Center and four died in one of the biggest nursing home outbreaks over the summer, even as the rate of new cases in most facilities statewide had slowed. Osten fielded calls from worried families as the remaining residents were transferred to other nursing homes.

New coronavirus cases in the U.S. reached staggering highs this week, the second week in a row of record-breaking growth. Hospitalizations rose quickly, too, approaching levels that will soon eclipse the spring and summer peaks.

On Wednesday, the country recorded more than 100,000 cases in a single day, a threshold Dr. Anthony Fauci warned lawmakers the U.S. could reach if the virus was not driven down before winter.

Health care workers will almost certainly get the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. when one is approved, according to Dr. José Romero, head of the committee that develops evidence-based immunization guidelines for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Democrats Pick Ritter As Speaker, Gear For COVID Session

Nov 5, 2020
Mark Pazniokas / CT Mirror

The 16 Democrats who won their first terms as state representatives two days ago joined 82 incumbents in their first official post-election act Thursday: Endorsing Matt Ritter of Hartford as the next House speaker and Jason Rojas of East Hartford as their majority leader.

With COVID Cases On The Rise, Lamont Limits Private Gatherings To 10 People

Nov 5, 2020
Gov. Ned Lamont outside the Executive Residence.
Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

With increased rates of positive COVID-19 tests in Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont on Thursday announced a new restriction on private social gatherings, including holiday celebrations in people’s homes, saying no more than 10 people may congregate at a time.

Denmark is killing its large mink population after discovering a coronavirus mutation that can spread to humans, the nation's government said Wednesday.

The country, which is the world's largest supplier of mink fur, will cull as many as 17 million animals in an effort to stop the spread.

Whether it's strange rashes on the toes or blood clots in the brain, the widespread ravages of COVID-19 have increasingly led researchers to focus on how the novel coronavirus sabotages the body's blood vessels.

The U.S. has reached another grim coronavirus milestone, surpassing 100,000 new confirmed cases in a single day for the first time since the pandemic reached the country more than nine months ago.

The record 102,831 cases reported on Thursday by Johns Hopkins University tops the more than 99,321 cases set just days ago, on Oct. 30. The university reported 1,097 additional COVID-19 deaths for the same day.

COVID Put This CT Voter In The Hospital. Still, He Voted.

Nov 4, 2020
Absentee ballot drop boxes were located in towns and cities across the state prior to the election, but Bob Martin couldn’t access one because he was in the hospital with COVID.
Yehyun Kim / CTMirror.org

Guinevere Lawson tentatively walked into Meriden’s John Barry Elementary School to vote Tuesday afternoon, politely inquiring if she was in the right place. Her 19th birthday was Monday, and Lawson was about to vote for the first time.

On the other side of I-691, just a two-minute drive away, Bob Martin, 75, lay in a bed at MidState Medical Center, tethered to an oxygen bottle and making phone calls. He called the governor. He called 2-1-1, three times. Martin was desperate to vote, perhaps for the last time.

Connecticut Health I-Team

Susan Proctor, 76, lives in subsidized senior housing in Wilton. Although she’s called it home for 10 years, she has found it very confining. 

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Election Day is finally here. Connecticut Public Radio will bring you election coverage all day, and all night as Americans wait for results.

Coming up, Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill joins us to answer our questions and yours about voting at the polls today, including where to submit your absentee ballot.

Courtesy of Access Health CT

The first week in November marks a busy time as COVID-19 cases climb in Connecticut and the nation faces a contentious presidential election.  

But health advocates want people to remember that it’s also the first week of open enrollment in health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act. 

Lamont Orders Some Businesses To Return To Phase 2 COVID Restrictions

Nov 2, 2020
Cloe Poisson / CT Mirror

Pointing to a growing number of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, Gov. Ned Lamont on Monday tightened up restrictions for some Connecticut businesses less than a month after he loosened those rules to allow increased capacity at restaurants and performance venues.

Updated on Nov. 3 at 7:55 a.m. ET

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a bid by Texas Republicans to block Election Day drive-through voting in Harris County.

In a terse order, the three-judge panel wrote: "It is ordered that appellants' motion for injunctive relief to issue a preliminary injunction banning drive-thru voting on Election Day, November 3, 2020, is denied." No explanation was given.

Is Food Bank System Contributing To Health Disparities?

Nov 2, 2020
Volunteer Marsha Royster adds canned beef to bags at the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen.
Melanie Stengel

The nation’s food bank system, created to provide emergency food assistance, fills a chronic need. Still, it may be perpetuating obesity among those facing hunger, concludes a new report by the University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday said there was "no alternative" to a new England-wide lockdown amid a spike in coronavirus cases that he warned could be "twice as bad" as anything seen in the spring.

On Sunday and Monday, families across Mexico, the U.S. and elsewhere are observing Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday that celebrates the lives and honors the memory of those who've passed on.

And each year, the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago has a special exhibition for the holiday.

But the coronavirus pandemic has made the usual programming impossible. This year, the museum is going virtual, with a Day of the Dead exhibition that pays tribute to the people in Mexico, the U.S. and around the world who have died of COVID-19.

England will enter a second coronavirus lockdown beginning on Thursday that is scheduled to run until early December, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Saturday.

All pubs and restaurants will close along with nonessential retail shops, and different households will be banned from mixing indoors. In addition, outbound international travel will be prohibited, except for work, while schools and universities will remain open.

The U.S. is edging ever closer to 100,000 new daily cases of the coronavirus. According to data released Saturday by Johns Hopkins University, the country added 99,321 cases and 1,030 deaths to its tally on Friday.

Illustration by Chion Wolf, candy corn photo by Skeeze on Pixabay

This hour, visit a West Hartford history professor’s eye-opening Halloween display about Black Lives Matter and Covid-19, and hear what passersby think of it.

It has been more than eight months since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. NPR wants to know how it has affected your employment situation, your ability to pay your rent or mortgage, your other household finances, your business, if you have one, and your ability to juggle work and child care.

Millions of people have had to seek unemployment benefits, business loans and other help to deal with the economic turmoil. Some employers have permanently closed their doors. And many schools are doing distance learning.

As we head into winter, we want to know: How are you coping?

Cruise lines may begin sailing again from U.S. ports under rules released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The federal agency is allowing a "No Sail" order to expire at midnight Saturday.

PURA Orders Utilities To Maintain Payment Plans To Delinquent Consumers

Oct 30, 2020
An Eversource energy car stops at a road that’s blocked due to fallen trees on Aug. 7, 2020, a few days after Tropical Storm Isaias.
Yehyun Kim / CTMirror.org

State regulators ordered utilities Friday to continue offering payment plans to all consumers, regardless of hardship, through early February.

But the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority declined to extend the blanket moratorium on all shut-offs that Eversource Energy had sought.

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