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Fairfield Region

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

While most of Connecticut has seen a low rate of positive COVID-19 cases, the city of Danbury has become a concerning exception.

This hour, we talk to the city’s Mayor, Mark Boughton, to hear more about this local outbreak.

And later, contact tracing is a critical public health tool for containing the spread of COVID-19. But who are the people actually running Connecticut’s tracing efforts?

We hear from one of the state’s regional health directors.

And we check in across the Atlantic with a reporter in Germany, a place many point to as a model for public health response to the pandemic.

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.

Darnell Crosland Calls for Independent Investigation in Barrier Case
Ali Warshavsky / WNPR

Two Connecticut attorneys are demanding that local law enforcement do better in handling mental health issues while responding to calls. This comes against the backdrop of a Black man’s death in police custody last year, even though the man’s family claims the department knew about his health issues. 

Jonathan McNicol / Connecticut Public Radio

Laura Nyro's most famous compositions -- "Stoned Soul Picnic," "Stoney End," "When I Die," "Wedding Bell Blues," "Eli's Coming" -- are jewels of mainstream music, and her covers of songs like "Jimmy Mack" and "Gonna Take a Miracle" are legendary.

But she was uncomfortable under the spotlight and withdrew from it to become the Belle of Danbury.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Attorney General Bill Barr faced pointed questions on a range of issues at a House Judiciary Committee hearing this week. Connecticut Public Radio’s Morning Edition host Diane Orson reached out to Jim Himes, the state’s 4th District congressman, for his reaction. Himes, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, questioned Robert Mueller last year on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.  

Stamford youth finish up a workout with police
Ali Warshavsky / WNPR

Stamford Police Chief Tim Shaw was sworn in during the height of the pandemic. And now that the state is reopening -- and embarking on a serious debate about the role of police -- it’s time to unify the community, he said.

Ali Warshavsky / Connecticut Public Radio

A lone table and two chairs were kept empty at the Valbella restaurant in Greenwich Monday to honor a famous regular: longtime TV host Regis Philbin, who died over the weekend at the age of 88.

Kin Mun Lee / Creative Commons

Officials in Darien are warning about a rise in COVID-19 cases among children and teens.  

Tomwsulcer / Wikimedia Commons

As Connecticut continues to project that it will be able to open K-12 schools this fall, individual districts are already grappling with what that might mean in reality. Plans to hold in-person summer school in Norwalk were dealt a blow last week when a staff member came down with Covid-19 after classes began. Experiences like that have many people asking, is this a window into what we can expect when schools open in the fall? 

Tony Hisgett / flickr creative commons

Sand is the most abundant material on Earth. And, other than water and air, sand is the natural resource we consume more than any other -- more, even, than oil.

The pyramids are made of sand. Our roads and driveways and sidewalks are made of sand. Concrete buildings and their concrete foundations are made of sand. From computer chips to computer screens, window panes to lightbulbs, breast implants to the Hubble telescope, sand is basically the essential building block of civilization.

Humans are estimated to consume almost 50 billion tons of sand and gravel every year.

Oh, and, by the way: We're running out of it.

Ali Warshavsky / Connecticut Public Radio

Real estate agents say the fight over homes on the market in Fairfield County is heating up as millennials who lived in New York City want out due to COVID-19.

spring cleanup
Ali Warshavsky / Connecticut Public Radio

Amid what amounts to a new civil rights movement, Black-owned businesses in Fairfield County say they are feeling the support of the community in ways they never have. And that boost comes in the wake of the devastating pandemic shutdowns that hit minority businesses harder than most. 

Ali Warshavsky / Connecticut Public Radio

With the announcement that gyms can reopen next week in Connecticut, some owners are preparing their spaces to allow more distance between members. Meanwhile, others say they don’t have the space to accommodate enough customers to make money.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public

The federal government has sided with a group of Connecticut athletes who have sued the state’s governing body of high school sports over the inclusion of transgender athletes in girls events.

Hairstylist Georgeanne DaCosta
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Some nonessential businesses in Connecticut will reopen in about a week after being closed down for two months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Ned Lamont issued an executive order that shuttered them on March 16 to encourage social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak. But a recent announcement that businesses like hair salons and barbershops would be included in the first reopening wave has workers worried about the spread of coronavirus in their workplace.

COVID-19 testing
Tyler Russell / Connecticut Public

Drive-through coronavirus testing centers in Hartford have been active for nearly two months, but many North End residents don’t have cars or rely on public transportation to get around. And other barriers, like a lack of health insurance or a doctor’s referral prevented others from getting tested for the disease.

Magic Piano / Wikimedia Commons

We can observe how economic inequality in America plays out during this pandemic by watching who gets help and who gets ignored.

Two America's live side by side, often in the same community. Nowhere is it on display more than in Greenwich, Conn., where hedge fund managers in gilded mansions live across town from minimum wage workers in local service jobs.

The inequality on display today is the byproduct of decades of policy choices that benefit the wealthy.

Also this hour: We help you make sense of the sometimes conflicting news about COVID-19 with the host of the podcast This Week In Virology.

grocery store supermarket
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public Radio

Grocery store workers want help from the state to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in their workplaces.

They’re asking the governor to label them ‘front line workers’, a move that would help them blunt the impact of the coronavirus.

family zoom
Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

For many Jewish families, staying safe and staying home because of the coronavirus meant that this year's Passover dinner took place using technology.

Newtown Bee local newspaper
Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

The publisher of the long-running Newtown Bee has announced the suspension of the weekly print newspaper, making it the latest casualty of the economic uncertainty surrounding coronavirus.

The Newtown Bee won’t be printed and distributed until further notice, which breaks a tradition that stretches back to 1877. 

COVID-19 Still Hitting Hardest In Fairfield, New Haven Counties

Apr 4, 2020
Connecticut National Guard
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Another 124 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized and 33 died overnight and early Saturday in Connecticut, a state bracing for a surge of novel coronavirus cases expected to peak by month’s end in Fairfield County. The death toll associated with the virus is now 165, and current hospitalizations reached 1,033.

Jonathan McNicol / Connecticut Public Radio

Laura Nyro's most famous compositions -- "Stoned Soul Picnic," "Stoney End," "When I Die," "Wedding Bell Blues," "Eli's Coming" -- are jewels of mainstream music, and her covers of songs like "Jimmy Mack" and "Gonna Take a Miracle" are legendary.

But she was uncomfortable under the spotlight and withdrew from it to become the Belle of Danbury.

Connecticut State Police officers lead Fotis Dulos, center, from the State Police barracks to a waiting car Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in Bridgeport, Conn., after he was arrested at his home in Farmington. He faces charges he murdered his estranged wife Jenni
Chris Ehrmann / Associated Press

Fotis Dulos, the estranged husband of Jennifer Farber Dulos, who has been missing for months, has been charged with her murder.

The New Canaan woman went missing after dropping her children at school in May of 2019. Her body has never been found.

JJ Bers / Flickr

A New York lawmaker is fighting Connecticut’s plan to toll a stretch of an Empire State highway that briefly cuts through southwest Connecticut.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

It’s been seven years since a shooter killed 20 children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. On Friday, a community drive was held in New Britain -- turning the time marking the tragedy into a day of giving.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The grief and sadness of Dec. 14, 2012, has been expressed through countless poems, songs and other works of art, including the choral work “Solace,” a simple, solemn remembrance of the victims of Newtown, written by one of America’s leading poets and set to music by a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The trucking industry is pushing back against a Democratic proposal to toll only trucks in Connecticut. 

Sikorsky Aircraft

Fighting wildfires is a constant struggle in Southern California, but a Connecticut manufacturer has a way to help.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill randomly drew names of voting precincts from a lottery machine on Wednesday, revealing the polling places that will be subject to an audit for the 2019 municipal election.

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. 

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