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Connecticut Cities Gearing Up For COVID-19 Surge As State Awaits Medical Supplies

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HARTFORD, CT - March 24, A mobile field hospital being erected by the Governor’s Foot and Horse Guard on the grounds of Saint Francis Hospital on March 24, 2020 in Hartford, Connecticut.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

This story will be updated.

Connecticut cities are ramping up preparations and precautions as the state’s expected surge in COVID-19 cases continued Monday, with Bridgeport planning to use a sports arena for overflow cases and Stamford setting up a new testing site.

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.  

File: Cybulski Correctional Institution in Enfield.
Connecticut Public Radio

As confirmed coronavirus cases within the state surpassed 1,000, prison reform advocates continued to call on the Lamont administration to do more to address the health and safety of people within the prison system.

There's plenty in the coronavirus relief package passed by Congress to help low-income Americans, including billions of dollars in housing assistance, foreclosure and eviction relief, expanded unemployment benefits, and one-time cash payments.

But advocates for the poor say it's only a first step and that those at the lower end of the economic scale will need much more help in the months ahead.

expecting parents
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

One Hartford woman looks at the COVID-19 pandemic as the “icing on the cake” for her challenging pregnancy.

Lauren Perrault, 33, is used to husband Gabe Peterson, 35, being by her side at the doctor’s office. 

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

As COVID-19 spreads further across the state, more people who suspect they have the virus are seeking testing. Tests remain in high demand as the state struggles to get residents results in less than a week.

Connecticut Doesn't Track How Many Nursing Home Workers Have Coronavirus

Mar 26, 2020

As coronavirus cases flourish in some state nursing homes and assisted living centers, operators of those facilities have stepped up precautions, sent workers home and isolated residents who may have been exposed.

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.  

Brian Crawford / Creative Commons

Restaurants around the country have closed their doors to in-dining service to help slow the spread of Coronavirus and prevent unnecessary deaths. That's good news.

But it's also bad news for an industry that employs 160,000 people in Connecticut alone, many laid off and waiting for their unemployment application to be processed by our overwhelmed state system.  

Trump Wants Normalcy. Lamont, Cuomo Warn The Worst Is Yet To Come.

Mar 24, 2020
March 24, Governor Ned Lamont salutes the Governor's Foot Guard and Horse Guard before a tour of a mobile field hospital they erected on the grounds of Saint Francis Hospital on March 24, 2020 in Hartford, Connecticut.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

On a day when Gov. Ned Lamont watched a mobile field hospital go up on the grounds of a Hartford medical center in anticipation of a surge of COVID-19 cases, President Donald J. Trump told America it soon may be time to go back to work.

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.

Giuseppe Milo / Wikimedia Commons

The Trump administration is pursuing policies they say are necessary to fight the spread of coronavirus -- even though Congress and the courts rejected these policies prior to the pandemic.

Last week, the president gave his administration the power to shut the southwestern border, implement a rule allowing federal workers to withhold their union dues, and deliver food boxes to rural areas after Congress complained about poor food quality. Most recently, he asked Congress to let judges indefinitely hold people without trial during an emergency.

How do we give President Trump the power to mobilize the resources of the federal government against coronavirus and protect against his abuse of that power?

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The essential duties of a hospital chaplain happen on-site where patients are treated, so it’s hard to work from home at a time when employers are encouraging social distancing to combat the spread of coronavirus.

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.

school closing coronavirus
Joe Amon/Connecticut Public/NENC

COVID-19 school closures mean uncertainty for students who usually rely on the lunch period for a guaranteed meal.

NIAID / Wikimedia Commons

Governor Lamont has declared a public health emergency and thousands of residents, including school children, are staying home.

This hour, we discuss the latest in hospital protocols and talk about who can, and cannot, get tested for coronavirus. We hear how colleges, universities, and local school districts are responding to the crisis.

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.” 

Connecticut Has Run Only 90 COVID-19 Tests. That's A Problem

Mar 12, 2020
Jacqueline Rabe Thomas / CT Mirror

Connecticut is geographically caught between two hotspots of the coronavirus pandemic but has systematically turned away people for testing over the last, crucial few weeks because — until recently — it was only running 20 tests a day.

The state’s limited testing could hamper its ability to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the general population, experts say.

NIAID-RML

The spread of coronavirus in the United States is evolving rapidly. Here in Connecticut, the situation is changing on a daily — if not hourly — basis.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Hartford HealthCare has set up a COVID-19 command center in Newington for workers to answer questions from Connecticut residents who want to know more about the disease.

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.

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.

NIH Clinical Center / Creative Commons

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. 

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. 

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public Radio

State officials in Hartford Friday said they want to expand coronavirus testing “dramatically” in the next couple days and weeks.  

Gov. Ned Lamont said this will cover more people who need to be tested or treated quickly. 

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.

PxHere

A study centered on veterans with “other-than-honorable” discharges reveals that they are routinely denied health care benefits – even if they’re potentially eligible.

Many military veterans need help with medical issues after their service career ends. For that treatment, they can go to a medical center operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs, or VA. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Despite long odds in a session that lasts only three months, lawmakers on Thursday rolled out the newest version of their “public option” bill, saying they were not discouraged by the limited timeframe and lack of support from key Republicans and the governor.

The latest iteration of the proposal to expand government-subsidized health insurance would allow businesses with 50 or fewer employees, nonprofits of any size and labor unions to join the state-operated Connecticut Partnership plan, which already is available to municipalities.

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. 

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