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Connecticut’s sixth coronavirus case is in Westport, hospitals see to expand testing, financial effects spread
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Connecticut’s sixth coronavirus case is in Westport, hospitals see to expand testing, financial effects spread


Hartford mayor Luke Bronin was prepared to announce the city’s first confirmed coronavirus case Friday night, bringing Connecticut’s total option of certain tests to 12.

Bronin’s announcement was state for several hours after state officials announced six novel cases, as hospitals labored to expand testing, businesses braced for losses and residents scrambled to prepare for the anticipated worsening of the COVID-19 disaster.

The novel cases announced Friday came on the heels of three announced Thursday. Of Connecticut’s 12 confirmed cases, three now involve residents of Bethlehem, the place state epidemiologist Matthew Cartter said there appears to be transmission within a family. Eight of the totally different nine cases involve residents of Fairfield County.

Some of the novel cases involves a Greenwich resident in his 20s who was diagnosed in Utah, officials said. That descriptions matches that of Utah Jazz All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell, who tested certain earlier this week.

Griffin Health in Derby announced Friday night that one in all its doctors had tested certain for the virus, but it absolutely is now not clear whether he is one in all the previously announced cases or an additional one.

Unusual CT cases of COVID-19:

– Woman in 30s from Bethlehem
– Man in 60s from Bethlehem
– Woman in 40s from Westport
– Man in 50s from Darien
– Man in 40s from Greenwich
– Man in 20s from Greenwich (at verbalize in Utah)

— Alex Putterman (@AlexPutterman) March 13, 2020

As of Friday afternoon, state and private labs had carried out 136 total tests, with 125 coming back negative.

A Rhode Island miniature one who has tested certain had attended a daycare in Mystic, Cartter said. The daycare has now closed, and anyone who had contact with the infected miniature one has been asked to stay residence for 14 days.

After predicting Thursday that 10 to 20% of Connecticut residents may very neatly be infected with COVID-19 “in the following month or two,” Cartter spoke Friday about the uncertainty surrounding the disease. He said flu pandemics are the lone reference point.

“There’s by no means been a coronavirus pandemic sooner than, so we don’t know for distinct,” he said. “[During] influenza pandemics usually the majority of cases happen in a 6-8 week length, and there are three waves.”

Cartter said after this present wave, the coronavirus may return in the fall and even next spring.

Gov. Ned Lamont declared a state of emergency Tuesday and later issued an govt explain banning gatherings of more than 250 folks.

On Friday evening, he amended his standing govt explain to prohibit any visitation at Connecticut nursing properties and lengthy-time frame care facilities for the following 30 days, successfully immediately.

The greatest exceptions include emergency personnel, personnel authorized by law to oversee care, facility maintenance workers.

Family contributors, home partners and others may simplest be accepted to talk over with when health professionals determine a patient is at the “finish stage of life with death being imminent,” according to the explain.

In totally different developments Friday:

  • Faculty districts across the state continued to announce closures.
  • State officials have suspended eviction and foreclosures hearings and utility shut-offs.
  • Bristol Hospital and Waterbury Hospital unveiled out of doors facilities for drive-up testing, joining Greenwich Hospital. Yale-Unusual Haven Hospital began testing in its laboratory.
  • HUSKY, the state’s Medicaid program, will begin to camouflage telemedicine providers, officials said.
  • Unusual Haven Mayor Justin Elicker ordered establishments in his city including restaurants, bars, movie theaters and nightclubs to decrease their maximum occupancies by half, beginning Sunday.
  • The Department of Labor encouraged these out of labor due to the coronavirus outbreak to apply for unemployment advantages and waived the requirement that they actively see work.
  • State officials granted extensions on payments of financial model loans for 90 days.
  • President Donald Trump declared a national emergency.
  • The Archdiocese of Hartford suspended Catholics’ obligation to attend Sunday Mass and encouraged these that continue to race to take additional precautions.

Govt and health officials scrutinize expanded testing as critical in efforts to get in front of the spread of the virus.

Bristol hospital hurried Friday to get its out of doors facility ready as part of the state’s push to total more tests.

A nurse stands in the doorway of a mobile screening facility in a parking lot outside Bristol Hospital where a drive-up COVID-19 testing facility has been established. Patients can enter only if their doctor has ordered the test.

A nurse stands in the doorway of a mobile screening facility in a parking lot exterior Bristol Hospital the place a drive-up COVID-19 testing facility has been established. Patients can enter simplest if their doctor has ordered the take a look at.(Mark Mirko / Hartford Courant)

This may have a series of temporary shed-adore buildings in the parking lot the place patients with take a look at orders from a physician can drive up to register. Security and a Bristol police officer will check their IDs, and all patients must bring an insurance card as neatly as a lab explain from a physician. Nurses will habits the tests while the patient sits in a chair near the car — all without the potentially infected person ever going into the main hospital.

Bristol Hospital is one in all three hospitals at verbalize operating this sort of drive-up testing, along with Greenwich Hospital and Waterbury Hospital.

“Testing this week is way more available than it was last week,” Cartter said. “We count on that to continue.”

At Yale-Unusual Haven Hospital, Dr. Marie Landry and her virology team began testing samples from suspected COVID-19 patients Friday afternoon.

By the center of next week, Yale doctors said they count on to be able to total about 200 tests per day. Yale-Unusual Haven is one several hospitals whose onsite labs can present relief to the state Department of Public Health’s small lab.

Hartford Hospital will begin testing when chemical reagents and totally different tools arrive.

At Greenwich Hospital’s out of doors sample assortment station, 130 patients had mouth and nostril swabs taken over the last four days, said officials from Yale-Unusual Haven Health community, which includes Greenwich Hospital.

CEO Marna Borgstrom said another out of doors sample assortment station will probably be opened soon in Unusual Haven.

Dr. Rick Martinello, director of infection prevention, said Yale-Hew Haven is treating 12 patients in isolated, negative air strain rooms and the anticipation is the number will grow rapidly as the coronavirus spreads.

Landry, director of the hospital’s clinical virology lab, said she and her team had to navigate stiff FDA regulations on testing to reach a point that the hospital’s lab was achieving valid take a look at results. She said DPH scientists helped the team take a look at the implications.

Martinello said simplest folks with symptoms ought to be tested.

In all the nation, simplest about 11,000 folks have been tested.

Connecticut at verbalize has two testing kits, allowing for about 1,200 total tests.

With many workers working at residence, faculties closed and some folks in quarantine, regulators have granted a moratorium on utility shut-offs lasting at least thru September and Lamont’s declaration of a COVID-19 emergency.

Attorney General William Tong asked for the explain from the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, and PURA immediately granted it.

The Metropolitan District Commission, which serves a dozen Hartford area cities and towns, and the South Central Regional Water Authority serving the Unusual Haven area, followed swimsuit and have suspended shut-offs. PURA would now not regulate the MDC or Regional Water, but does oversee quite a few private water companies.

Tong said that with residence becoming the base of many folks’s lives for the following several months at least, and folks with suspected cases of the coronavirus managing their symptoms at residence, any interruption of electricity, natural gas and water would turn into an way more critical threat to public safety and health than normal.

Additionally, the Judicial Branch has suspended all eviction and foreclosures hearings for 2 weeks, a spokesperson said.

Connecticut’s Department of Labor on Friday encouraged all residents who lose their job due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak to file for unemployment advantages.

“We are processing claims as fast as imaginable and appreciate your patience during this now not easy time,” the Department of Labor internet pages says, adding that eligibility will probably be determined on a case-by-cases basis.

As events have been canceled and buildings closed in latest days, hourly workers have turn into concerned about misplaced income.

Resort operators, for example, have begun to decrease employee hours and furlough workers as business travel comes to a stop amid worries about the spread of the coronavirus.

“Occupancy has dropped significantly,” Ginny Kozlowski, govt director of the Connecticut Lodging Association, said. “There are miniature or no near-time frame bookings.”

Kozlowski said some operators are loyal reducing hours, while others are turning to furloughs in the hopes that the slowdown will probably be short-lived.

The lodging association, Kozlowski said, is reaching out to assisted living communities, nursing properties and hospitals to scrutinize if resort workers can come by temporary work.

“We want to abet as many folks as imaginable working,” Kozlowski said.

The Waterford Resort Community, which operates the 393-room Hilton Hartford and the 409-room Marriott Downtown Hartford in Hartford, said it is closely monitoring bookings.

“It is a fluid situation and we are at verbalize assessing staffing levels and will want to adjust based on business demand,” Lisa Beers, a Waterford spokeswoman, said, in an email.

The MetroHartford Alliance, the space’s chamber of commerce, is gearing up to assist area businesses navigate channels for relief even as they fear about how a slowdown in sales may affect the businesses.

David Griggs, the alliance’s president and chief govt, said immediate concerns, especially for companies that operate on a “cash basis” are whether they are going to be able to make payroll or be able to pay their suppliers if their customers are now not there.

“Some companies are perhaps able to live on longer than others and that has nothing to enact with the quality of the establishment but it absolutely is the nature of the business,” Griggs said. “So, our situation is that we identify the alternatives for assistance early sooner than we have lengthy-time frame business closure.”

The situation, he said, clearly extends to the employees.

“You throw this into the center of what may be a challenging residence financial situation, this may very neatly be disastrous for folks,” Griggs said.

Connecticut’s presidential primaries are now not except April 28, but the state’s top election officials are already planning for imaginable disruptions caused by the virus.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill will ask Lamont to train his emergency powers to eliminate restrictive language in state law and allow more folks to obtain an absentee ballot.

The explain would change the reason voters may see an absentee ballot from “his or her illness” to merely “illness.”

In Merrill’s opinion, such a change would allow the present public health emergency to qualify as an “illness” justification to seek information from an absentee ballot, and anyone who wanted to avoid the polling places on April 28 may seek information from one.

Meanwhile, state Republican Party Chairman J.R. Romano said the virus offers a reason for officials to cancel the Republican primary. He’s asking candidates Invoice Weld and Rocky De La Fuenta to withdraw from the race, noting their longshot campaigns have mathematically no chance of beating President Trump and the continuation of the Republican primary poses a useless possibility to public health.

At a press conference Friday morning at Charter Oak Health Center in Hartford, Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy criticized Trump’s response to COVID-19, hours sooner than the president declared a national emergency.

Blumenthal said that he has been “appalled and astonished” by the federal authorities’s delay in confronting COVID-19 and the lack of a particular nationwide strategy for testing.

“There is calm a extreme shortage of tests all around the nation,” he said.

He added that the United States has “insufficient surge capacity,” including inadequate offers of ventilators and ICU beds, which are necessary to handle a “potential exponential explosion of cases that will happen unless we flatten the curve.”

The Centers for Disease Regulate and Prevention want to present more stringent guidelines on social distancing for local governments and private industry, Murphy warned.

“The lack of particular guidance or recommendations is correct stunning,” he said.

The Home was expected to vote Friday on a bipartisan coronavirus aid package which would supply paid ill leave, unemployment compensation, nutrition assistance, tax credits and totally different measures to give a boost to Americans thru the financial disaster and public health emergency.

But even supposing the Home passes the legislation, the Senate would probably now not vote on it except next week because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell despatched senators residence for the weekend.

“We shouldn’t be right here legal now,” Murphy said, arguing that legislation ought to be passed in Congress immediately. “For many families right here in Hartford and all across this state, ought to you pass over one paycheck, you are on the brink of financial ruin. We can’t wait except next week to pass legislation to present paid ill leave or increased unemployment advantages.”

Courant staff writers Daniela Altimari, Eliza Fawcett, Stephen Singer and Don Stacom contributed to this document.

Alex Putterman can be reached at [email protected]

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