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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. 

Tyler Russell / Connecticut Public

This story has been updated.

Rev. Elvin Clayton has been the pastor at Walter’s Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Bridgeport for the past six years.

And in the COVID-19 era, Sunday mornings look a little different -- Clayton speaks at the pulpit from behind glass partitions, keeps services to an hour and broadcasts it all live on Facebook. 

“We’ve had great success thus far with it,” he said. 

jwblinn/iStock / Thinkstock

After reviewing requests by Connecticut insurers to increase health insurance premiums, and considering public testimony, the state Insurance Department has approved next year’s rates at significantly lower levels than requested. 

Efforts To Reduce COVID-19’s Spread Could Impact Health Outcomes For New Mothers And Infants

Sep 14, 2020
Felicia Tombascio and her daughter, Anastasia Marie Cordero.
handout photo / Connecticut Health I-Team

Felicia Tambascio’s first pregnancy was going fairly smoothly. But on July 20, at week 38, the 20-year-old Brookfield resident woke with horrible upper abdominal cramps, a searing headache, and vomiting. Her boyfriend took her to the hospital, but Tambascio was left to wait in a hallway alone. Per COVID-19 restrictions, no visitors were allowed unless the patient was admitted to labor and delivery. 

Alabama Extension / Flickr/Creative Commons

Connecticut residents are struggling to afford health care costs and the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the burden -- that’s according to results from a new statewide survey released Tuesday.

“The job loss and the resulting lack of wages that we’re seeing because of COVID-19 increases the likelihood that people are going to struggle to afford needed care,” said Amanda Hunt, co-deputy director of the Healthcare Value Hub at Altarum. 

The Placebo Effect

Aug 31, 2020
Christian Schnettelker / Creative Commons

Placebo treatments have been making people feel better since long before Franz Mesmer was run out of 18th-century Vienna for "mesmerizing" a young pianist into regaining her eyesight after doctors had given up on a medical cure. 

Doctors often dismiss the placebo effect as inferior to conventional medical treatments - even when studies show that placebos can reduce the pain of arthritic knees as well as in some surgical procedures like arthroscopy

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.

Facebook

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. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

The pandemic is raising questions about what’s best for children as they head into a new school year, as many schools continue to finalize plans for this fall and parents make individual decisions for their families.

Megan Goslin, a clinical psychologist and research scientist at Yale’s Child Study Center, said it’s a difficult time for everyone. 

Report Offers Clues To What Went Wrong In Lethal COVID Outbreak In Nursing Homes

Aug 18, 2020
Some of the nursing staff at Parkway Pavilion Health and Rehabilitation Center in Enfield in the early stages of the outbreak.
CTMirror.org

COVID-19 hit nursing homes in the Northeast states particularly hard, but those living in Connecticut long-term care facilities died more frequently than in any other state – a result of missteps by the state and a nursing home industry hamstrung by limited knowledge of the pathogen’s nature, how it spreads and to whom it posed the greatest risks.

Jeremy L. Grisham /

At least two Connecticut studies and a federal report show that the percentage of health care workers and residents in the overall population who have been previously infected with COVID-19 remains small, despite ongoing cases and hospitalizations.

And the numbers don’t come close to achieving herd immunity, when disease transmission is minimal because most people in a community are protected after vaccination or previous infection. 

As Veteran Suicide Grows, National Guard Highest In Active Military

Aug 13, 2020
Donna Chapman gives her son, Sergeant William Davidson a kiss. Davidson struggled with mental health disorders after his deployment in Afghanistan and killed himself in 2017.
Contributed Family Photo

Sergeant William Davidson had been struggling with mental health problems since his deployment to Afghanistan. When he didn’t attend at least one of his Connecticut National Guard drill weekends, the Guard declared him AWOL (absent without leave) and discharged him with a “bad paper” separation. Four months after his discharge, Davidson, 24, fatally shot himself.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

A young man with his girlfriend stood in the shade under an awning at the side of an RV truck parked near Barnard Park in Hartford on a recent Tuesday morning. Holding a bag in one hand and reaching through an opening in a screened door with the other, he dropped empty, used syringes into a medical waste bucket.

“Eighty-eight, eighty-nine, ninety,” he counted, each needle making a thunk as it disappeared into bright red plastic. 

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

The former commissioner of the state Department of Public Health is firing back over her May termination ahead of an impending report this month on Connecticut’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two months after Gov. Ned Lamont announced her dismissal, Renée Coleman-Mitchell said in a written statement released late Monday night by the law office of Eric R. Brown that she was going to “set the record straight in my own words.” 

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

It’s been more than four months since Breonna Taylor was shot and killed in her home by Louisville Metro Police as they executed a no-knock search warrant. She was a 26-year-old Black woman who worked as an emergency medical technician and aspired to become a nurse.

And while rallies, protests and much of the media attention has been fixed on the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Connecticut activists continue to bring attention to violence committed against Black women and girls through policing and from systemic racism. 

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Early in the pandemic, Dr. Kathryn Nagel was working in a medical ICU in New Haven when a patient in his 30s was admitted with diabetic ketoacidosis, a deadly condition that occurs when there’s not enough insulin in the body.

The man had diabetes and needed insulin medication to manage it properly, but he had been rationing the supply he had left. 

David Wurtzel / Connecticut Public

State officials continue to assess the vulnerability of long-term care facilities to the coronavirus in advance of a potential second wave of infection.

National Human Genome Research Institute / Flickr Creative Commons

Right now the world population is 7.8 billion, and growing fast. We have doubled our population over just the past 50 years!

Even though the population is growing, fertility rates, overall, are dropping. So, more people are here, but we’re having fewer babies. There’s a lot of reasons for that, and one of them is infertility. The CDC estimates that nearly one out of eight couples struggles to conceive, but because of assisted reproductive technology, we’re upping the population numbers in the United States. The CDC reports that almost 2 percent of all U.S. births annually - or about 4 million babies - are here as a result of things like in-vitro-fertilization (IVF), surrogacy, and egg donation.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Johan Lee Thompson has been a registered nurse for three years at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, a member of Trinity Health of New England.

She was working in the radiology department but was prepared for the possibility of getting redeployed to another area of the hospital because of the pandemic.

“I was ready because I knew COVID was just starting off, and if anything, we thought that our job would be more secure because of it,” she said. “But it was the complete opposite.” 

Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

The number of people being infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus is rising in 48 states. We're testing more, but the rate of positive tests, hospitalizations, and in some states, deaths, is also rising.

A Dangerous Mix: High Ozone Levels And Obesity

Jul 9, 2020
Melanie Carol Stengel

For the 29 percent of Connecticut adults who live with obesity, summer brings a difficult form of air pollution. Ground-level ozone is the colorless, odorless gas formed when auto exhaust reacts with sunlight at temperatures above 80 degrees. Ozone can be dangerous for people who have higher body mass indexes.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis six weeks ago became a catalyst for the current, massive nationwide movement calling for an end to systemic racism.

It’s also led communities to take a deeper look within, specifically racism as the root cause of poorer health care and health outcomes among Black residents. 

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.

Yale: Medicaid Expansion Tied To Early Breast Cancer Detection

Jul 5, 2020
FILE PHOTO: In this photo taken on Thursday, May. 6, 2010, Detection lead mammographer, Toborcia Bedgood, left, prepares a screen-film mammography test for low income patient Alicia Maldonado, at The Elizabeth Center for Cancer Detection in Los Angeles.
Damian Dovarganes / AP Photo

In states where Medicaid was expanded under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), women are more likely to receive breast cancer diagnoses at an early stage, compared with women in other states, new research shows.

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.

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