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Dr. Joseph Tagliarini is operating his dental office at nearly full staff and hopes that a new generation COVID test will be developed that will give results on the spot at work or at home.
Steve Hamm / Connecticut Health I-Team

After the COVID-19 crisis came to Connecticut, the New Haven office of Comprehensive Dental Health shut down completely for two weeks. Later, Dr. Joseph Tagliarini began opening the office a few days a week with a skeleton crew to handle emergencies. Now the office is operating at nearly full staffing—with six full-time and six part-time employees.

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!” 

Ascalon Studios

We have spent the last few months bringing you coverage on COVID-19. This hour, we’re going to talk to someone who was diagnosed with coronavirus, and recovered. For those that survive the virus, the recovery process is not easy. Many have long-lasting side effects from having the virus, including permanent damage to the heart and lungs.

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. 

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

With just a handful of days to go until the state begins to formally, reopen, testing for coronavirus continues to be a major focal point -- and, on Saturday, the state saw a testing surge. 

Limited Inspection Reports Show COVID-19 Lapses In Nursing Homes

May 14, 2020
Health care workers
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

Inspections at several Connecticut nursing homes found lapses in infection control and prevention and poor practices for the prolonged use of protective gear necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a half-dozen reports released Wednesday.

‘Cautious Enthusiasm’ For Plasma Treatment In COVID-19 Cases

May 12, 2020
Amy Harel’s donated plasma.
Contributed Photo

Stamford Hospital is treating most of its critically ill coronavirus patients with blood plasma from people who have recovered, after stunning turnarounds in several patients who were gravely ill.

Connecticut’s Stockpile Of Coronavirus Protective Equipment Grows

May 12, 2020
Gov. Ned Lamont cheers and pumps his fist as a gesture of appreciation for members of the Connecticut National Guard after a press conference to announce the arrival of a large shipment of personal protective equipment, or PPEs, from China.
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

Connecticut’s chronic shortage of personal protective equipment for front-line pandemic workers was considerably eased Tuesday by the arrival of the largest single shipment of PPE the state has received so far, providing what Gov. Ned Lamont described as a “60-day supply” of equipment such as surgical masks, gowns and thermometers.

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.

Under heat for its initial distribution of the only drug approved to fight coronavirus, federal officials have finally sent 30 cases of remdesivir to Connecticut.

A sign outside of Hartford Hospital
Dave Wurtzel / Connecticut Public

Connecticut hospitals, stung by the widespread cancellation of elective procedures, a steep drop in emergency room visits and the need for additional staffing and protective gear to navigate the COVID-19 crisis, stand to lose $1.5 billion this fiscal year.

CT Struggling To Detail Coronavirus’ Impact On Assisted Living Centers

May 9, 2020

Gov. Ned Lamont’s efforts to track the coronavirus’ impact on the thousands of seniors in assisted living centers continues to have significant gaps after two weeks.

Coronavirus Hospitalizations Continue To Drop As State’s Death Toll Tops 2,900

May 9, 2020
St. Vincent’s Medical Center’s first COVID-19 patient, Rodney Davis, 21, of Bridgeport, hugs nurse Jen Marrocco as he is released Thursday after recovering from the virus.
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

Hospitalizations from the coronavirus continued to decline in the state, Gov. Ned Lamont reported Saturday, but another 58 residents died from infection.

A Surge In COVID-19 Testing Needed Before Connecticut Can Reopen Safely

May 6, 2020
A  woman waits to enter the testing walk-up site at Chapel and Day streets, run by Dr. Steven Murphy of Greenwich.
Melanie Stengel / Connecticut Health I-Team

Leslie Radcliffe looks ahead to the planned reopening of Connecticut’s economy beginning on May 20 with a mix of hope and anxiety. Hope, because people in her working-class Hill neighborhood in New Haven will be able to return to work, but anxiety because she’s worried that the “reopening” won’t go smoothly.

COVID-19 Reopening Relies On A Safety Net Still Being Woven

May 6, 2020
A health care worker prepares to take a sample in New Haven at the state’s first rapid COVID-19 testing center. The site, run by CVS Health, provides results within 30 minutes using a test made by Abbott Laboratories.
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

Connecticut’s nascent plan to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 by aggressively tracking new cases relies in large measure on local health districts that long have been underfunded – and a testing capacity that does not yet exist. 

hartford healthcare
Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

Hartford HealthCare has launched a mobile coronavirus testing program in partnership with the city of Hartford that will make it easier to bring testing to people who need it.

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. 

Pixabay

Deaths related to alcohol have been rising over the past two decades, especially among women.  Today, we look at the impact of alcohol on public health.

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.

National Museum of Health and Medicine / Creative Commons

This show originally aired on July 25, 2018.

Two years ago, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, alongside government leaders, ran an intricate simulation of a rapidly spreading pandemic. Their goal was to talk about the difficult ethical questions that arise in the event of a public health crisis. These are the same questions we find ourselves confronting today.

 

Trader Joe's
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

The state now has money to help some Connecticut residents with child care costs -- workers who continue to be public-facing in the age of COVID-19.

The state Office of Early Childhood is using federal dollars to set up CTCARES for Frontline Workers, a program benefiting employees considered to be front-line workers amid the pandemic.

Even As Cases Fall, Expect Social Distancing To Remain

Apr 27, 2020
Gov. Ned Lamont
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

Even as Connecticut studies how to begin easing COVID-19 restrictions, residents should expect some form of social distancing to remain a necessary public-health measure at least through the fall, the governor and the chief clinical officer of Hartford HealthCare warned in separate briefings Monday.

White House / Wikimedia Commons

People in several states came together last weekend to protest against stay-at-home orders. Their actions followed President Trump tweets of support to "liberate" their states and start reopening the economy. Dr. David Grew makes the case that resuming "normal" business activity in the absence of testing and credible messaging will do more economic harm than good. 

Also this hour: What would President Selina Meyer do in a pandemic? How about Logan Roy? We talk to Frank Rich, the Executive Producer of HBO's VEEP and Succession. Could even they do a better job?  

Lastly, we talk trash with an essential worker. 

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