covid-19 | Connecticut Public Radio
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covid-19

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

A greater portion of COVID-19 tests have come back negative in Connecticut compared with other states, which the Governor’s team says is a good sign.

But who should be getting tested as the state rolls out its phase two reopening on Wednesday?

This hour, we talk with Governor Lamont’s Chief Operating Officer Josh Geballe about this latest phase of reopening Connecticut's economy. And we hear from Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin about the state's latest testing guidance for city residents. We ask: should asymptomatic people get a COVID-19 test?

Later in the hour, we also hear a story from Connecticut Public reporter Frankie Graziano, about grieving the loss of a loved one during a pandemic.

Blame Luck Or Safety Protocols, But Some Nursing Homes Remain COVID-19 Free

Jun 16, 2020
Jay Katz
Melanie Stengel / Connecticut Health I-Team

The coronavirus has decimated many of the nation’s nursing homes, where elderly, chronically ill residents account for 64% of Connecticut’s death toll of 4,201 and rising. They are roughly 100 times more likely to die of the virus than other people in the state.

self-isolation connecticut
Tyler Russell / Connecticut Public

COVID-19 has brought death much closer to everyday life for many in Connecticut and around the world. But it’s also had a big impact on how we memorialize and mourn the dead.

Do You Speak Corona?

Jun 11, 2020
EpicTop10 / Creative Commons

It took two years for the word AIDS to get from coinage to dictionary. It took COVID-19 thirty-four days. The pandemic has inspired a thousand new or repurposed words, slang, nicknames, and neologisms.

It has changed the way we speak.  

COVID-19 testing
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Every Thursday, a researcher from Yale University picks up a cooler from the East Shore Water Pollution Abatement Facility in New Haven.

In that cooler is a week’s worth of samples from the sewer system that experts call “sludge,” or the solid waste that is left over after treating wastewater. It can contain a mixture of chemicals, metals and remnants of human waste that is flushed down the toilet. 

Gilad Raphaelli / Flickr Creative Commons

This hour, we’re starting at the end: Death.

Knowledge of our mortality affects almost everything about us. And lately, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, death is on our phones, in the headlines, and in the air.

Dennis Carr / Flickr

The beginning of the month means the rent is due. But what if you lost your job during the COVID-19 pandemic?

This hour, we talk to a housing advocate about what protections exist for Connecticut residents who can’t afford housing costs right now. And we learn about the lasting consequences for residents who are at risk for eviction if the state and federal governments don’t provide additional protections.

Gerry Lauzon / Creative Commons

The pandemic has laid bare how racism in housing, education, employment, and access to health care, disproportionately hurts Black Americans more than White Americans and leads to police brutality against people the police are supposed to protect.

Pixabay

May 20th marked the first phase of Re-open Connecticut. What conditions will need to be met before Phase 2 starts on June 20th? This hour, Governor Ned Lamont calls in to talk about what Phase 2 will look like. 

Tony Fischer / Flickr

As the world waits for an end to Covid-19, billions of people find themselves betwixt and between two realities: The pre-pandemic reality we knew, and the post-pandemic reality that is yet to come. As author and Professor of Theology Shelly Rambo wrote in the wake of hurricane Katrina, "Life as it once was cannot be retrieved,... life ahead cannot be envisioned."

Wonderval / pixabay.com

Last week marked the beginning of a phased reopening of Connecticut. Several businesses are permitted to reopen under Phase 1 of Connecticut’s reopening, including restaurants that are able to open for outdoor dining. This hour, we hear how restaurants have fared through the shutdown, and what reopening looks like. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

What began as some gastric issues last year has now progressed into painful gallstones and chronic problems for Hannah Gebhard, who lives in Naugatuck.

“It was really just a ramping up of the symptoms until I one day landed myself in the emergency room at 2 a.m. because I was in so much pain,” she said. 

As Connecticut and other states begin to reopen during the pandemic, data is more important than ever. Today, we talk about the role of statistics in shaping our understanding of the COVID-19.

We hear from one of the researchers behind the How We Feel App, a volunteer system of symptom tracking. They plan to turn the symptoms users record into useful information about emerging hotspots.

And later, we talk with statistician Talithia Williams about how all of us are using statistical thinking in our everyday lives.

Arasmus Photo / Creative Commons

Less than a month ago, a family member in Olga Gutierrez’s home in Bridgeport tested positive for COVID-19. But because she and her family are undocumented immigrants, Gutierrez said their options are limited.

“We were terrified,” she said. “We think we that we might have the virus, too. We have not been able to go to the doctor because we are uninsured and we do not have money to cover this.” 

Illustrative amendment by Chion Wolf
John William Waterhouse (1902) / Wikipedia

May 20th was the long-awaited date in Connecticut when the first phase of reopening began after the Coronavirus caused life as we know it to be put on hold. Offices and malls were allowerd to open with precautions; restaurants, museums and zoos could open outdoor areas as well.

Steve Senne / AP Photo

Discrimination against Asian Americans has increased during the pandemic. An Ipsos Poll in April found 6 out of 10 Asian Americans said they observed COVID-19-related bias against Asians.

From rude comments to even violent assaults, anti-Asian racism is impacting many Asian Americans’ sense of safety, on top of the regular stresses of life during the pandemic.

Today, Where We Live, we talk about the impact of xenophobia during COVID-19.

Have you experienced anti-Asian comments or actions during the pandemic? Has that impacted your sense of security in your community?

The Country Diner
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public

Restaurants returned to serving dining customers Wednesday as part of phase one of Connecticut’s COVID-19 reopening plan.

In Enfield, “reopening day” marked the return of The Country Diner, a spot that’s been closed for the past two months.

Gov. Ned Lamont.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Connecticut’s continuing decline in the number of daily hospitalizations, as well as an uptick in testing capabilities, has both state officials and federal health experts confident that Wednesday’s reopening will be successful.

staying at home
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Even before the stay-at-home orders were officially issued in late March, Sarah Keitt had begun a two-week period of quarantine in her Fairfield home, isolated from her husband and two children. 

“It was lonely, it was painful to have basically no contact other than yelling up and down the stairs to people,” she said. 

A few weeks ago on this show, you heard how Gaylord Health is using the song “Don’t Stop Believin’” every time they celebrate the release of a Covid-19 patient. This hour, you'll meet one of them. After being hospitalized for 7 weeks, 42 year-old West Haven resident Anthony Spina came home last week.

Cottonbro / Pexels.com

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Unions and community activists in Connecticut renewed calls for the governor to establish a fund to help undocumented workers who are suffering during the coronavirus pandemic.

A car caravan paraded up I-91 from New Haven to Hartford, where protesters joined ranks with others from around the state in front of the Capitol building to hold an International Workers Day rally. Many stayed in their cars to follow social distancing guidelines -- and some joined virtually via Zoom.

Shady Oaks Assisted Living
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Given that Connecticut’s long-term care facilities house those most vulnerable to infectious diseases, the coronavirus has had a devastating impact. According to the CT Mirror, 57.6% of all COVID-19 deaths in Connecticut have happened in the state’s nursing homes, forcing facilities to take drastic measures to try to keep the disease out.

Dr. Saud Anwar, demonstrating a successful simulation to ventilate 7 patients with one ventilator using the quad splitter
Courtesy of Saud Anwar

As Connecticut approaches its peak in hospitalizations and COVID-19 cases, health systems continue to prepare so they can keep patients alive.

Connecticut State Senator and intensive care doctor, Saud Anwar worries ventilator capacities may soon become overstretched. So he reached out to friends in the design and manufacturing communities to create a novel solution. This hour, we hear more from Dr. Anwar as we talk about innovation during this public health crisis.  

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Last month, the Connecticut Department of Labor received more than 300,000 unemployment claims. Last week, Governor Ned Lamont announced the formation of a multi-state council to get people back to work and restore the economy.

This hour, we’re speaking with Governor Lamont to understand just what this means. What will easing COVID-19 restrictions look like?

Later, we will hear from the Connecticut Department of Labor Deputy Commissioner Daryle Dudzinski on how those claims are being processed. 

We want to hear from you. What questions do you have for Governor Lamont, and Commissioner Daryle Dudzinski?

Now more than ever, it’s important to stay connected to the ones we love. Especially those that are feeling isolated during this trying time. 

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.    

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