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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. 

Hartford City Hall
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

As Connecticut reported an additional 98 coronavirus-related deaths Saturday afternoon, the administration of Gov. Ned Lamont said it looks to increase testing capacity across the state as hundreds of residents continue to test positive each day. 

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

A state judge issued a ruling late Friday night dismissing the ACLU of Connecticut’s lawsuit to remove incarcerated people from correctional facilities to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Matt Rourke / Associated Press

 

Black Americans are disproportionately contracting and dying from COVID-19. It’s no different in Connecticut, where about 12% of the state’s population is black, but the rates of infections and deaths are higher when compared to white residents, according to data that includes a patient's race or ethnicity.

Fear Grips Health Workers Caring For The Elderly

Apr 20, 2020
BLOOMFIELD, CT - March 25, COVID-19 Testing supplies at the Urgent Care Center of Connecticut on March 25, 2020 in Bloomfield, Connecticut.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

For the past month or so, Leikish Nails has engaged in an elaborate ritual the minute she gets home from her shift at Touchpoints at Manchester, a skilled nursing facility that has seen four deaths and more than two dozen illnesses caused by COVID-19.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

The state reported an additional 41 coronavirus-related deaths Sunday, but it also reported that hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have decreased for the second day in a row.

The new figures bring the state’s total coronavirus-associated death count to 1,127. Still, Gov. Ned. Lamont said Sunday that the slight downward tick of hospitalized patients -- 37 fewer patients from the day before -- is a positive sign.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

One can't help but wonder if the President understands that getting through this pandemic will not be a quick sprint. 

On Thursday, the Trump Administration announced guidelines for states to begin reopening the economy, with a goal to begin by May 1. On Friday, the President personally encouraged protesters in Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia, to "liberate" their states from onerous social-distancing guidelines imposed by their Democratic governors.  On Saturday, protesters from other states joined the fray. 

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. 

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Many elderly residents depend on skilled nursing care. But as the number of cases of COVID-19 grow across the state, families are increasingly worried about their loved ones in facilities. Older adults are most vulnerable to the coronavirus, and in Connecticut, nearly 4 in 10 deaths from COVID-19 are people in nursing homes.

This hour, we take a look at the COVID-19 pandemic in Connecticut’s nursing homes. We talk about the state’s latest plans to try to mitigate the spread of the disease, and hear about the impact of the pandemic on residents and staff.

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. 

national guard
Connecticut National Guard / Twitter

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont signed an executive order on Saturday establishing COVID-19 recovery centers in some nursing homes, a move that creates places for patients who’ve been discharged from the hospital to continue to recover. 

Twenty-one residents have died from COVID-19 at the Leavitt Family Jewish Home and the Sosin Center for Rehabilitation senior living facility in Longmeadow, part of the JGS Lifecare health care system, the facility announced in a letter late Friday night.

Another 93 residents and 43 staff members tested positive for the virus, with over half of the 180 residents and 84 staff tested.

coronavirus
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

A local health official believes the peak of coronavirus infections in Connecticut will happen later this month into early May -- later than the doctor’s network initially predicted.

Connecticut's Big City Mayors Call For Help For Renters During Pandemic

Apr 8, 2020
for rent sign
KentWeakley/iStock / Thinkstock

Connecticut’s official coronavirus death toll rose by another 58 people Wednesday, bringing the state’s total since the start of the pandemic to 335, the state announced Wednesday. The number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 increased by 110 to a current total of 1,418.

gloves
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

A national shortage of personal protective equipment has left states and individual providers scrambling to find new supplies as COVID-19 continues to spread.

Meanwhile, Connecticut health care workers are coming into direct contact with infected patients, and not just at the hospitals. Nurses and home health aides said rationing and reusing respirator masks, gloves, gowns and other equipment has been distressing. 

As Americans flock to gun stores in the face of coronavirus fears, many gun dealers report an influx of new customers, taking home a deadly weapon for the first time. In response, long-time gun owners from across the country are stepping up to help these newcomers get some safety training in the age of social distancing.

Quantifying the number of first-time buyers is impossible, but anecdotally, gun store owners say there are many.

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.

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.

clinical staff medical workers
Joe Amon/Connecticut Public/NENC

Health care workers in New England are facing incredible challenges on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic, from long hours and dangerous conditions to shifting public policies.

drive thru coronavirus testing
JOE AMON / CONNECTICUT PUBLIC/NENC

The shortage of coronavirus tests remains a problem nationwide. And while a positive test result means it’s almost certain that a person is infected, many doctors are expressing concern about sick patients who test negative. We depend on your support. 

Updated at 9:00 p.m. 

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said Wednesday his office is launching an independent investigation into the COVID-19 outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home.

As many as 11 residents of the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home have died in recent days — potentially all from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

That’s led to an abrupt change of leadership at the residential, nursing and outpatient facility for veterans run by the state of Massachusetts. 

national guard
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

As Connecticut’s death toll nearly doubled Tuesday and the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases rose by 557 in 24 hours, Gov. Ned Lamont delivered a bleak message to the state’s residents about a lack of critical supplies needed to fight the pandemic.

Vanderbilt University / Flickr

For those who put their trust in science, it's hard to understand why anyone wouldn't. But in recent decades, the voices of skeptics have grown louder by the day. From average citizens to media personalities to high-ranking government officials, it seems even the most irrefutable scientific findings are being challenged.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Connecticut hospitals are receiving more patients ill with COVID-19 as the new coronavirus continues to spread rapidly.

Public health experts predict that hospitalization rates will get worse in the coming weeks, putting a burden on health care professionals who are also trying to protect themselves and other patients from becoming infected. 

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