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Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Weeks of state investigations, monitoring and intervention at Three Rivers Nursing Home in Norwich following a COVID-19 outbreak has culminated in the imminent relocation of all residents.

In a rare and unprecedented move, the Department of Public Health's acting commissioner Deidre Gifford signed an emergency order Wednesday requiring the facility to discharge its 53 residents to other long-term care facilities. 

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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. 

yourgenome / Creative Commons

With the last decade of the twentieth century came the first clinical trials for a biotechnology known as gene therapy. Since then, how far has gene therapy come? And how far has it left to go?

This hour, we consider these and other questions, and we also hear from you. Were you or was someone close to you diagnosed with a genetic disease? What thoughts or questions do you have about gene therapy and its ongoing advancement?

Ryan von Linden / New York Department of Environmental Conservation

Do you see bats where you live? These flying creatures play important roles in ecosystems around the world, from pest control to pollination.

But bats in Connecticut are in big trouble. This hour: bats in our state have been devastated by White-Nose Syndrome. We learn more about this deadly disease and talk about why we should be concerned that populations in Connecticut have been so hard hit.

Bats in China have made news because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We hear why scientists have looked to these flying creatures to understand the origins of a number of deadly diseases.

And we talk with bat researchers about why--amid fears of a pandemic--bats need our support, not our fear, more than ever.

Alan Levine / Creative Commons

When Minnesota passed a law this spring to make insulin more affordable for its residents, advocates in other states like Connecticut saw it as a victory.

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. 

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. 

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.” 

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. 

Merlin Tuttle / Merlin Tuttle's Bat Conservation

Bats get a bad rap. People are afraid of animals that tap into our deepest fears and revulsions. Bats aren't cuddly, they fly at night, have big eyes that can’t see, and conjure creepy images of vampires who steal the  blood of the unsuspecting as they sleep. 

COVID-19 testing
Kathy Willens / AP Photo

On an average day before the pandemic, the emergency department at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford would be busy with people coming in for heart attacks, strokes, trauma, injuries, common illnesses like the flu and bronchitis, and other less acute problems.

But Dr. Steven Wolf, chairman of emergency medicine at Saint Francis, said it’s been weeks since the emergency room has had that level of activity outside of COVID-19 cases. 

Clorox bleach
Vox Efx / Wikimedia Commons

Pharmacists and nurses manning the Connecticut Poison Control Center’s phone lines this past weekend were busy with calls after President Donald Trump’s suggestion last week that scientists look at how disinfectants like bleach could be ingested or injected into humans as a treatment for the coronavirus.

Wikimedia Commons

In March, President Trump blamed our global pandemic on China. When that didn't work, he blamed the World Health Organization (WHO) for not responding quickly enough to the virus. When that didn't work, he blamed governors for not getting their own supplies. Now, he says immigrants will take away American jobs.

The Bible defines a scapegoat as one of two kid goats. One goat was sacrificed and the living “scapegoat” was supposed to absorb the sins of the community and carry them into the wilderness. Is that what's happening here? Are the president's scapegoats supposed to carry away the sins of Mr. Trump?

The Sharon Health Care Center
Courtesy: Athena Health Care Systems

New state data shows that COVID-19 is present in more than half of the state’s nursing homes and long-term care facilities, some of which are experiencing higher rates of infection and death than others.

Despite early prevention protocols of hand washing, hygiene, symptom screenings, and visitor restrictions, 375 residents have died after contracting the virus – nearly 40% of all state deaths from the disease outbreak. 

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.

prescriptions
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. 

medical equipment
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

A tremendous amount of research already tells us that not everyone has the same access to health services and high quality of care, or in other words, health equity. It’s well documented that black, Hispanic, and other minority residents often suffer worse health outcomes than their white counterparts.

Cathy Baird / Creative Commons

William Wetmore Story sculpted The Angel of Grief for his wife's grave after her death in 1894. He wrote that it was the only way he could express his feelings of utter abandonment. It was his last work before his own death one year later.

We may not readily identify grief in the gamut of emotions we're feeling during this pandemic. We haven't lost the kind of love expressed through William Story's sculpture, but loss is very much at the center of our new reality. We are collectively grieving the loss of a world that has changed forever.

Machu Picchu
Katie de Chabert / Provided

This story has been updated. 

After nearly three weeks in Peru, which earlier this month closed its borders, canceled most flights, and ordered mandatory quarantine, Katie de Chabert and her family members have finally returned home.

De Chabert, who is a school teacher from Madison, her mother and her niece had been stuck in Cuzco for the last two weeks during the country's coronavirus lockdown.  

Arts organizations are at a virtual standstill as much of the world hunkers down to avoid spreading the coronavirus. It’s predicted that many organizations will not survive the crisis. Even long-established institutions are feeling the pinch.

Personal protective equipment
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public Radio

Personal protective equipment -- or PPE -- for health care workers combatting COVID-19 is in short supply.

Despite a run on this type of gear, doctors and nurses have to move forward with treatment.

Joe Amon/Connecticut Public/NENC

It was 7 a.m. and cold on a recent Wednesday in Hartford. Despite the early hour, workers from Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center were outside in a nearby parking lot, unloading medical equipment and workstation carts from a mobile unit.

The carts were rolled into a heated white tent, and boxes of hospital gloves, paperwork files and test kits were set up on a nearby table. More doctors, nurses and hospital workers started to arrive, and by 8 a.m., cars were forming a line at the hospital’s drive-through coronavirus testing site.

Jonathan McNicol / Connecticut Public Radio

The NBA, the NHL, and Major League Soccer have all suspended their seasons. Major League Baseball canceled spring training and postponed opening day until at least mid-May. The NCAA canceled March Madness (which would've started in earnest today) and, in fact, all of its winter and spring sports championships. Tennis's French Open is postponed until September, and soccer's Euro 2020 is postponed until 2021.

There have been cancellations and postponements in archery, badminton, canoe-kayak, cricket, curling, handball, judo, rowing, rugby, sailing, shooting, skating, snooker, sumo, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, water polo, weightlifting… The list goes on.

Put a bit more simply: Sports is canceled.

Chelsea Daniels, a licensed practical nurse at Fresh River Healthcare in East Windsor and member of health care union SEIU 1199, says she's concerned about how nursing homes will prevention coronavirus infection. Thurs., March 12, 2020.
Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Adalis Martinez isn’t eating out as much these days. She also doesn’t spend too much time in stores. And she’s washing her hands — a lot.

“When I go to the store and come out, I’m washing my hands even in my car, so that I don’t touch anything,” she said. “It’s very concerning.” 

 The Yale campus is quiet on March 11, 2020, as the school is on spring break. The university plans to shift classes online after the break ends to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

As college campuses across the country grapple with potential outbreaks of the coronavirus, Yale University has told students to not come back after spring break -- but that decision was made after spring break started, leaving many students in limbo.

David Butler II / CPTV Sports

The fallout from the spread of the coronavirus has hit high school sports in the state. The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference has notified schools that it has canceled the state championships for all winter sports. 

ned lamont
Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

Officials said Monday the state is working with hospitals, school districts and employers to try to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The news conference came just hours before Connecticut reported its second presumptive positive test for the virus in a state resident.

The second case involves a patient from the Bridgeport area.

Coronavirus Crisis Fuels DeLauro’s Effort For Paid Sick Leave

Mar 9, 2020
Harriet Jones / WNPR

The coronavirus crisis has bolstered U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro’s effort to secure paid sick leave for all Americans, including low-wage workers who can’t afford to stay home when they are sick.

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
NIAID-RML

A Wilton man has become Connecticut’s first presumptive positive coronavirus case, state officials announced Sunday afternoon.

Gov. Ned Lamont said in a news release that the patient is between 40 and 50 years old and is being treated at Danbury Hospital. Officials said this person likely became infected with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 illness during a recent trip to California. 

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