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Department of Public Health

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Wearing a mask and speaking through a megaphone, Jesse Martin prompted a crowd that had gathered outside the state Department of Public Health building in Hartford late Thursday afternoon.

“What do we want?” he asked.

“Hazard pay!” the crowd yelled back.

“When do we want it?”

“Now!” 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

With the second phase of Gov. Ned Lamont’s plan to reopen state businesses set for Wednesday, the governor’s office announced Saturday afternoon that the number of patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19 continued to decline. The governor’s office said 233 patients are hospitalized in Connecticut with COVID-19 -- 11 fewer than Friday. 

Vape Marketing Linked To COVID-19 Draws Critics

Jun 2, 2020
Vernon Police Officer Joshua Wells holds an e-cigarette that contained THC “juice,” the active ingredient in marijuana.
Kate Farrish / Connecticut Health I-Team

Vape manufacturers have long been accused of marketing to teens with flavors like mango and cotton candy. Now vaping opponents say vape manufacturers are exploiting the coronavirus with face mask and hand sanitizer giveaways and #COVID-19 discounts.

A Mayor And U.S. Senator Sit For A Public COVID-19 Test

May 28, 2020
New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker gets tested with a nasal swab for COVID-19 by nurse John Grimes on the New Haven Green. At right, are Gov. Ned Lamont and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal. The walk-up testing  was conducted by Murphy Medical Associates.
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal sat under a pop-up canopy on the New Haven Green, tilted his head back and submitted to a nasal swab for a COVID-19 test. The moment was a photo op for a media-savvy senator and a public-service pitch for a state promoting testing as it slowly loosens restrictions on commerce.

A screenshot of one of Painter's video chats.
Connecticut Health I-Team

Families with loved ones in nursing homes–unable to visit while getting frustratingly sparse information about them–have found a champion in Mairead Painter.

Lamont Removes Connecticut's Public Health Commissioner

May 12, 2020
Renée Coleman-Mitchell
Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

Gov. Ned Lamont has fired Renée Coleman-Mitchell as commissioner of the state Department of Public Health, a reflection of concerns that first arose last year during a school vaccination controversy and came to a head during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

Union Says Economic And Racial Inequities Plague Connecticut's Nursing Homes

Apr 24, 2020
Photo Courtesy SEIU 1199

The federal and state response to COVID-19 in nursing homes is riddled with economic — and racial — inequities that are taking a greater toll in deaths and illnesses than government officials have disclosed, Connecticut’s largest health care workers’s union charged Friday.

Yujin =) / Flickr

From ancient mixtures of boiled goat fats and ashes to modern artisanal soaps with calendula and coffee grinds, humans have been inventing clever ways of cleaning themselves since the very beginning.

This quest for cleanliness has wound its way through religion, sexuality, culture, and more. It has been the source of everything from comedies to conflicts to consumer crazes. This hour we talk to experts and historians about the history of hygiene.

Gov. Lamont Closes Schools, Joining 22 Other States

Mar 15, 2020
Governor Ned Lamont
Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public

Gov. Ned Lamont on Sunday ordered all public schools closed through the end of March in his latest attempt to slow the spread of the potentially fatal coronavirus.

Gov. Ned Lamont declared civil preparedness and public health emergencies as Connecticut braces for the spread of the coronavirus.
Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

Gov. Ned Lamont has declared civil preparedness and public health emergencies as Connecticut braces for the spread of the coronavirus.

The Office Of Gov. Ned Lamont

A community physician who works at Bridgeport Hospital is the second hospital employee in Connecticut to be infected with coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19 illness.

Hospital officials told reporters Saturday afternoon that the man is a New York resident and lives in Westchester County. The state was notified of the positive case by the New York State Department of Health. 

Connecticut Prepares for Coronavirus

Mar 6, 2020
U.S. Army Photo / Department of Defense

What do you need to know to prepare for a coronavirus outbreak in our state? 

This hour, medical doctors join us to answer your questions. We learn how Connecticut residents can protect themselves and their families against coronavirus, and what researchers are doing to identify a vaccine.

We also discuss how employers should prepare. Is your workplace talking about coronavirus and what to do if there’s a potential outbreak?

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

us surgeon general
Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

As the number of COVID-19 cases rises in the United States amid a global outbreak of a novel coronavirus, both federal and state health officials urge communities to prepare for the spread of disease.

U.S. Surgeon General Vice Adm. Jerome M. Adams met with state leaders and health officials Monday at the Connecticut Department of Public Health Laboratory in Rocky Hill. 

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Hundreds of people packed into the Legislative Office Building in Hartford Wednesday ahead of a public hearing on a bill that would change the state’s childhood vaccinations laws.

Connecticut children can attend public school by either complying with required vaccinations or by obtaining an exemption from vaccination based on religious or medical reasons. A proposed bill would eliminate the religious exemption. 

Cases Of Lead-Poisoned Children Drop 17% In Connecticut

Feb 15, 2020

A total of 1,665 Connecticut children under age 6 had lead poisoning in 2017, a drop of almost 17% from the year before and the largest one-year decrease in five years, according to a just-released report from the state Department of Public Health (DPH).

flu shot
AP Photo/David Goldman, File

A child has died from the flu, state officials announced Thursday, making it the first pediatric fatality in the state this season.

The child was from New Haven County and was between 1 and 4 years old, according to Department of Public Health officials.

Petr David Josek / AP Photo

Two people in Connecticut are being monitored for signs of the novel coronavirus, an infectious disease that has spread in China and is now appearing as isolated cases in other countries, including the United States.

A student at Wesleyan University and another person in New Haven County are under observation, according to Gov. Ned Lamont’s office. Health officials said the Wesleyan student tested negative for the disease, but both people have tested positive for the flu. 

Daniel Paquet / Creative Commons

Two Connecticut residents infected with the influenza virus have died, the state’s first flu-related deaths of the 2019-20 season, according to state public health officials. 

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Patricia Banach just wanted her annual flu shot.

As the weather got colder, she and her husband, both in their 70s, knew that the chances of falling ill were higher, so they set out to a local pharmacy near their home in Somers to get vaccinated.

But it didn’t turn out to be that simple.

Seth Wenig / Associated Press

A child in Fairfield County has contracted measles, public health officials announced Friday.

This is the fourth reported case of measles in Connecticut this year, and the first in a school-aged child, Department of Public Health officials said. This case is not connected to three previous cases in adults reported between January and April.

SETH WENIG / Associated Press

New state data show that vaccination rates among some of the youngest schoolchildren in Connecticut fall below federally recommended levels.

The Department of Public Health Monday released school-by-school immunization data from the 2018/2019 year, which showed there were 134 schools where less than 95% percent of kindergartners got vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella.

Pan American Health Organization / Creative Commons

The state is expected to release new school-by-school vaccination and exemption data Monday after a Hartford Superior Court judge denied a Bristol couple’s attempt to temporarily block the release.

Attorney Cara Pavalock-D’Amato argued in court on behalf of her clients Brian and Kristen Festa that the release of a second report detailing percentages of religious and medical vaccine exemptions at each Connecticut school would continue to cause “irreparable harm” to the Festas, who have a son with a religious exemption.

Vaping306 / Creative Commons

A Connecticut resident has died from lung illness related to vaping, state officials announced Thursday. It’s the first fatality of its kind in the state and among a growing number of people who are dying in a nationwide outbreak of cases.

The patient was between 30 and 39 years old and died last week while being hospitalized for multiple medical conditions, according to the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

Chris Fifield-Smith / Creative Commons

A third Connecticut resident has died from EEE, and another person has been diagnosed with the illness, state officials announced Tuesday.

Dr. Matthew Cartter, state epidemiologist of the Department of Public Health, said in a statement that a person from East Haddam between 60 and 69 years old died during the third week of September from the mosquito-borne illness.

Max Pixel

A number of laws from the last legislative session went into effect Tuesday, including a tobacco ban for consumers under the age of 21.

RYAN CARON KING / Connecticut Public Radio

A Superior Court judge has dismissed a parents’ lawsuit against the Connecticut Department of Public Health over the release of school-level vaccination data.

Brian and Kristen Festa, of Bristol, challenged DPH’s decision to release school-by-school vaccination data in May. The report also included the percentage of kids with religious and medical exemptions at each school.

Stephen Ausmus / U.S. Department of Agriculture

A second person in Connecticut has died from Eastern equine encephalitis, a virus passed on from mosquitos, said state officials Tuesday.

According to the state Department of Public Health, the victim was an adult resident of Old Lyme who became ill during the second week of September and later tested positive for the rare mosquito-borne illness.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

One person has now died in Connecticut of the mosquito-borne illness Eastern equine encephalitis, and another case has been confirmed. Health officials say with EEE ‘likely to persist in the area,' Connecticut residents should focus on prevention.

The virus can cause brain damage in survivors, and there is currently no cure.

Vaping360 / Creative Commons


The number of people becoming ill with lung injuries possibly linked to vaping continues to climb as states like Connecticut report more hospitalizations.

Two more cases of serious lung illness have been reported in the state, bringing the total to 13 people. That’s according to the Department of Public Health. That news follows an increase in cases nationwide.

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