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CT COVID-19 Updates: 5th patient in DMHAS dies due to COVID-19

Find developments on the coronavirus outbreak in Connecticut as we near phase one of the state's reopen date.
Credit: FOX61

HARTFORD, Conn. — For the latest coronavirus news, click here. Refresh often for new information as it becomes available. Scroll down for updates for the week of May 25.

May 27

5th patient in DMHAS dies due to COVID-19

The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services announced on Wednesday that fifth patient has died due COVID-19. 

The person was patient at Valley Hospital before they were transferred to a local area hospital. They died shortly after being transferred. 

Commissioner Miriam Delphin-Rittmon said, “We continue to see the tragic impact coronavirus is having within our system. The family is in our thoughts as they grieve the death of their loved one. I offer our sympathy and support to them.” 

For more on DMHAS's COVID-19 response, click here

Date set for three courthouses to reopen

The Connecticut Judicial Branch is targeting the partial resumption of operations in three courthouses starting Monday, June 8,  Chief Court Administrator Patrick L. Carroll III said Wednesday.

The three courthouses are: the Middlesex Judicial District Courthouse in Middletown, Rockville’s Geographical Area No. 19 Courthouse, and the Litchfield Judicial District Courthouse at Torrington.

New England Air Museum to open outdoor exhibits

The New England Air Museum will be reopening its five-acre outdoor grounds four days per week through June.

Every Thursday - Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m visitors will have an opportunity to see ten aircraft outside, peek inside exhibit hangars through open hangar doors, and even get a behind-the-scenes look into the museum's storage hangar, a space that is rarely open to the public. Feedback on this experience from Memorial Day visitors was overwhelmingly positive.

This outdoor museum experience will be at a discounted admission of $7.50 for adults and seniors and $2.50 for children 4-14. Veterans are free courtesy of KeyBank. The museum's hours of operation will be from Thursday - Sunday from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. each day.

To ensure the health and safety of the museum's visitors, staff, and volunteers, the New England Air Museum will follow all COVID-19 rules issued by the Governor Ned Lamont and the Reopen Connecticut panel, and no more than 200 people will be allowed onsite at any time.

May 26

Mayor Bronin to give COVID-19 update, announce social media challenge

Mayor Luke Bronin will provide updates on coronavirus in Hartford Tuesday afternoon at at 3:15 p.m.

At the press conference, Mayor Bronin will also announce the social media challenge, #CountHartford.

Bronin's office says the challenge is an opportunity for Hartford residents to compete for a $1,000 grand prize by creating short videos on social media that promote key census messages. 

Gov. Cuomo coronavirus update

Gov. Andrew Cuomo holds briefing on the status of New York's response to COVID-19. 

Watch Live: Gov. Cuomo holds briefing on the status of New York's response to COVID-19.

Posted by FOX61 on Tuesday, May 26, 2020

May 23

Gov. Lamont announced Saturday that the Connecticut DOT has approved the first permit for a Mystic restaurant to expand its outdoor dining.

According to a release, Mystic Pizza will use a state highway right-of-way to add outdoor dining as they make efforts to comply with the state's requirements of phase 1 reopening.

The West Main Street restaurant is the first business to be issued a permit of this kind from the state.

With its approval, tables will be added in the front of the restaurant building, near the doorways and on the sidewalk

The governor signed an executive order last week initiating the creation of an expedited process to allow restaurants, retailers, and other small businesses to use sidewalks or other areas that are in the state’s right-of-way. 

“We want to do our best to partner with businesses to make any adjustments we can to help commercial operations resume while also maintaining the necessary health standards that will keep customers and employees protected,” Governor Lamont said. “This is going to require some creative modifications that we’ve never had to do before, but working together we can find solutions to many of these obstacles.”

CT DOT Commissioner Joe Giulietti said the goal of reopening Connecticut safely and strategically is shared.

“With Governor Lamont’s leadership, the Connecticut Department of Transportation is ready, willing and able to partner with local businesses, municipalities, and the Federal Highway Administration to safely move our economy forward, while we continue to keep our sidewalks and roadways safe across Connecticut.”

RELATED: Here are the Connecticut businesses that are reopening

RELATED: Reopening Connecticut | Here is what you need to know about May 20

May 22

Connecticut's COVID-19 hospitalizations down to under 800 patients

As the state heads into Memorial Day Weekend, COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to trend downward. As of May 22, there are currently 740 people hospitalized due to the virus. This down 76 people from Thursday. 

There are now 39,640 people confirmed to have COVID-19 in the state. Connecticut's total deaths related to COVID-19 is up 55 people from yesterday, bringing the total to 3,637. Fairfield, New Haven, and Hartford County have the most amount of COVID-19 cases, deaths, and hospitalizations. 

According to the state's numbers, Middlesex County has 992 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 135 deaths. Litchfield County has 1,298 people with the virus and has 121 deaths. New London County has 910 confirmed cases and 72 deaths. Tolland County has 796 cases and 55 deaths. Windham County has the fewest confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 348 and 14 deaths. 

For more information on Connecticut's COVID-19 numbers, click here

The Governor's office also released COVID-19 in assisted living facilities and nursing homes. 

COVID-19 among Connecticut assisted living residents 

COVID-19 among Connecticut nursing home residents

President Trump declares houses of worship essential

President Trump says churches and other houses of worship should be considered essential and allowed to open during the coronavirus pandemic.

During an abrupt White House press briefing Friday afternoon, he announced that governors should let places of worship to open "right now," because the country needs more prayer. 

The president then left without taking questions from reporters, right before saying he would "override" governors who did not allow church to open.

A spokesman for Gov. Lamont made the following statement following Trump's announcement about churches:

May 21

COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases continue to trend downward

The Governor's office released the latest COVID-19 numbers on Thursday showing the continued downward trend hospitalizations and cases in the state. There are now currently 816 people who have been hospitalized with the virus. 

Connecticut's total COVID-19 related deaths reached 3,582, which is up 53 people from Wednesday. 

Fairfield County has the most laboratory-confirmed cases in the state with 14,751. It also has the most deaths with 1,180 people succumbing due to the virus. 

Hartford County has the second most deaths in the state with 1,133 people. A total of 9,299 people have been confirmed to have the virus.

New Haven County has the most hospitalizations in the state with 301 people. 

For more information on COVID-19 numbers click here

CT DOL provides updates on unemployment insurance programs

The state's Department of Labor Commissioner Kurt Westby and Deputy Commissioner Danté Bartolomeo provided updates on state and federal unemployment insurance programs.

Those programs include Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), the 13-week federal extension of benefits.

Connecticut's unemployment rate is at of 7.9 percent, according to a most recent BLS survey.

However, DOL officials said Thursday they believe those numbers are 'way low' and inaccurate due to a delay in responses, collecting data in person.

Westby reported the department believes CT has more likely reached 17.5% unemployment rate.

The state is seeing job losses of epic proportions. officials said.

According to the commissioner, 119,000 jobs were lost during the entire 2008-2010 recession and it took 10 years to replace 99,000 of those jobs.

In April alone, that state doubled that number.

The DOL has received a total of 544,000 unemployment benefits applications to date. 507,000 have been processed, officials said,

State servers were down Tuesday and into Wednesday, which prevented a lot of phone access internally, working computers and transfers for banking.

FOX61's Taylor DiChello was on the conference call and live tweeted details.

For more information, see below.

Gov. Lamont briefing: COVID-19 infection rate under 5% after reopening

During Governor Ned Lamont’s briefing Thursday morning on Connecticut’s coronavirus response efforts, he said the state's current infection rate remains below five percent as we head into the second day of phase one reopening. Hospitalizations continue to trend downward in the state, as 71 less people are being treated. A total of 816 people are hospitalized. "Today was the best day we've had in two months," Lamont said. Click here for more information.

May 20

Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods to reopen June 1

In a joint statement from the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and Mohegan Tribes, it was announced Wednesday that Connecticut's large casinos will be included in Phase One of the state's reopening.

The resort casinos will begin reopening Monday, June 1st with safety guidelines in place.

Norwich Public Utilities advises stagnant water at closed businesses may be unsafe

Norwich Public Utilities (NPU) is reminding all commercial customers who were closed for that past several weeks that water inside their building’s plumbing may have become stagnant during this time. This water can become unsafe to drink or otherwise use for domestic or commercial purposes.

It is critically important that the stagnant water and any associated buildup in the plumbing and storage tanks for businesses be thoroughly flushed and replaced with fresh water and the plumbing exposed to the fully disinfected water for a suitable period of time. 

Olde Mistick Village to host drive in movie nights

Olde Mistick Village and Mystic Luxury Cinemas announced they will be hosting a drive-in movie experience for the 3-day Memorial Day weekend starting Friday. In addition to the drive-in experience, several Olde Mistick Village restaurants will be offering curbside dinner service for guests to enjoy prior to showtime. A portion of the proceeds from all three nights will be donated to the Mystic Aquarium to help support their 10,000 marine animals.

Tickets go on sale at noon on Wednesday, May 20th for the special screenings of Disney Pixar’s Onward on Friday, May 22nd, Universal Studio’s Jaws on Saturday, May 23rd, and Mystic Pizza on Sunday, May 24th. A second drive-in movie weekend is planned for June 26th and 27th. Guests will be allowed into the parking lot starting at 7 p.m. with all shows starting at 8:40 p.m. Tickets are $40 per car and concessions are $20 for popcorn and two beverages or $30 for popcorn, four candies and four beverages. Tickets must be purchased online at https://www.mysticluxurycinemas.com/ or on Fandango. Concessions are also available for purchase online.

Mayor Bronin to distribute PPE to SEIU members in Hartford

Mayor Luke Bronin will visit the main headquarters of New England Health Care Employees Union, District 1199 at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.

At the event alongside SEIU leadership, the Mayor will distribute personal protective equipment to members at the Huyshope Avenue building.

Terrrville cancels fair for 2020

Due to the current and ongoing concerns related to the COVID-19 outbreak, and uncertainties with Governor Ned Lamont’s reopening timeline, the Board of Directors has voted to cancel the 2020 Terryville Lions Country Fair.

"The Terryville Lions Club does not take this decision lightly, and considers the safety and well-being of our guests, vendors, volunteers and Lions Club members to be the top priority. Opening the Fair requires an incredible amount of time and money each year. The current conditions also present many logistical challenges, and all things considered, we believe this is the best decision for this year."

"We appreciate everyone’s support of our Fair over the years and look forward to the return of the Terryville Lions Country Fair in 2021."

State begins partial reopening

Connecticut will slowly begin to reopen today with "phase one", and certain businesses will be allowed to welcome people back.  However, there are strict guidelines that will need to be in place to protect not only the employees but the customers as well.

Here is what will be allowed to reopen in phase one.

Middletown Pride 2020 canceled

In a release, organizers of the 2020 Middletown Pride has announced that the event has been canceled.

The City of Middletown’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee and the Middletown Pride Planning Committee will be celebrating Pride Month this June through virtual means. For more information, please visit www.middletownpride.org, and follow Middletown Pride on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.  

DEEP releases plan on beaches, state parks, and campgrounds 

With Memorial Day weekend coming up, many see it as the traditional launch of the summer season. 

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has released an operational plan that outlines for DEEP staff and visitors current guidelines around the operation and use of Connecticut state park grounds, trails, beaches, boat launches, and other areas during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some new information includes DEEP’s current plan for the swimming areas it oversees and provides a “one-stop-shop” for the latest information on outdoor recreation offerings administered by DEEP.

As the state begins a phased re-opening of its economy, the vast majority of state parks remain open, as they’ve been throughout the pandemic. The restrictions that they’ve operated under, such as daily capacity limits, social distancing guidelines for visitors, and use of face coverings, also remain in place.

Read more about their plans here.

May 19

Geno's Grille in Storrs to close

Geno Auriemma's restaurant in Storrs Center will be closing. Officials posted the following on their site:  

After many great years of being a part of the University of Connecticut / Storrs community, we are sad to announce that we have made the difficult decision to close Geno’s Grille.

We have truly enjoyed our time here and having the opportunity to serve our loyal customers, and we extend our thanks and best wishes to our patrons, staff and the UConn community for all of its support over the years.

Beardsley Zoo to reopen on June 1

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo announced Tuesday that its official re-opening date will be on Monday, June 1. A number of new safety measures are being put in place in the next ten days, including staff training, new cleaning protocols, social distancing guidelines for guests, and signage.

Guests are asked to adhere to the following new requirements:

  • Masks must be worn by all guests, except for those ages two and under.
  •  Social distancing must be observed, with six-foot distancing between family groups.
  • Tickets must be purchased online in a contactless system: links will be provided on the website and social media before opening.
  • There will be two sessions allowing for 50% capacity in each. The first is from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The Zoo will close from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. for cleaning. A second session is from 1:00-4:00 p.m.
  • A one-way loop around the Zoo is identified by signs to keep cross traffic at a minimum.
  • Ticket prices are reduced: $15 for adults; $10 for children and seniors age 62 and over. Children under three are free.
  • All buildings will be closed with the exception of restrooms.
  • Restrooms will be monitored and cleaned throughout the day.
  • An online app will allow food orders for pick-up through a side window. Limited menu items. Guests may bring their own food.
  • No stroller or wheelchair rentals are available. Guests are asked to bring their own.
  • The Gift Shop will have an outdoor kiosk for purchases with an online app.

U.S., state flags in Connecticut to return to full-staff at sunset Tuesday

Gov. Lamont's office announced Tuesday that the governor has directed all U.S. and state flags in CT to return to full-staff at sunset on Tuesday, May 19.

According to officials, flags have been flying at half-staff in recognition and mourning of all those who have lost their lives and been affected by COVID-19.

The decision comes on the eve of the state's Phase One reopening.

Mystic Aquarium to reopen to public on May 22

Mystic Aquarium has announced they will be reopening on to the general public officially on May 22.

Access to the Aquarium will be limited to outdoor spaces at 50% occupancy.

“This is partial opening is a small step that we hope will benefit the region’s economy and send a positive message to all that Connecticut is strong and recovering,” said Dr. Stephen M. Coan, President and CEO of Mystic Aquarium.

Implemented safety protocols will include mandatory temperature screenings for staff and guests alike, online timed-tickets for admission and one-way pathways with clear social distance markers. Guests will be required to wear face protection. Staff and volunteers will be outfitted with Personal Protection Equipment. Additional disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and hand-washing stations will be placed throughout the facility. Barriers and other safety related infrastructure changes will be implemented as well.

May 18

New Executive order allows mixed drinks permitted for takeout delivery 

Governor Lamont signed a new executive order Monday. One of those provisions in the order passed clarifies the limits on takeout delivery for restaurants, bars, and private clubs. 

The business need to meet certain conditions like the sale of such alcoholic beverages be allowed by the permit type and is consistent with local or municipal open container ordinances. 

To read the full executive order, click here

New England Air Museum to open outdoor grounds for Memorial Day Weekend 

For Memorial Day Weekend, the New England Air Museum is planning to open its outdoor grounds to visitors. One can see ten aircraft that are outside, looking inside exhibit hangars and a behind the look scenes in the museum's storage hangar. 

The experience will be free to visitors starting Saturday, May 23 through May 25. Donations of $5 are suggested per person. The museum will be open from 10 am to 3 pm all three days and will follow Connecticut's COVID-19 rules issued by the Governor's office. 

"We are excited about this opportunity to welcome visitors back to our museum," says Debbie Reed, the museum's Executive Director. "We needed to find the right balance between keeping our visitors, staff, and volunteers safe at while also providing a great experience. I believe the planning we have done will accomplish this," Reed says.

 For more information on the New England Air Museum, click here

Vernon cancels Memorial Day Parade 

The town of Vernon canceled its Memorial Day Parade through the Vernon Police Department Facebook page. The police department did ask that residents display a flag and/or ring a bell on Memorial Day at 11 AM to remember all of the fallen heroes. 

Branford Jazz Festival canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic  

The Branford Parks and Recreation Department/Branford Jazz Series Committee announced on Monday the yearly Jazz Festival will be canceled for 2020. 

"This decision was painful and not easy for all involved. We are deeply saddened, but the health and safety of the community, artists, concert-goers and volunteers has been in the forefront with the utmost importance in this decision," said the committee in a written statement.

Festival officials were hopeful and excited to bring the festival for 2021. For more information on the festival, click here

Drivers to see cheapest Memorial Day gas prices in nearly two decades

AAA said Monday that prices at the pump will be the cheapest since 2003.

"At the start of the Memorial Day work week, the national gas price average is $1.87, almost a dollar less than one year ago on this same date.

The last time the national gas price average leading into the holiday was under $2/gallon was 17 years ago in 2003. That year motorists paid, on average, $1.50 to fill-up. Gas prices this year won’t be as cheap as 2003, but today’s national average is a dollar cheaper than one year ago."

Westport to reopen tennis courts next week

Longshore Club Park and Staples High School tennis courts on May 27. Play will be limited to singles play and will only be allowed on courts 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 at Longshore and courts 2, 4, and 6 at Staples. Additional restrictions will be in place and will be posted on the tennis page of the Parks and Recreation Department website westportrecreation.com. Use of the Longshore tennis courts will require advanced reservations with payment by credit card only, no walk-ups will be permitted,

The opening of the Longshore Pool complex is delayed until further notice, as is the staffing of lifeguards at Compo Beach and Burying Hill Beach, as the Town awaits further guidance from the State.

Hartford Symphony cancels Talcott Mountain Music Festival for 2020

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra has canceled the 2020 Talcott Mountain Music Festival, which was to be the Festival’s 25th anniversary season.

This is the first time in the organization’s history that the entire festival has been cancelled. “We know how disappointing this cancellation is to our Talcott audiences, the Simsbury summer business community, and beyond. This summer’s festival, our planned 25th anniversary, was particularly meaningful and celebratory, featuring a stellar lineup of concerts and guest artists," said Steve Collins, Hartford Symphony Orchestra Executive Director.

“While this loss stings, rest assured we will reschedule the 25th celebration season in summer 2021, regulations permitting, and in grand style,” he continued. “Looking forward, our hope is that we are able to provide outdoor community concerts featuring HSO chamber ensembles later this summer.”

Updates on HSO programming can be found on hartfordsymphony.org.

Middlesex Health to resume elective surgeries

Middlesex Health will resume performing elective surgeries

"Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Middlesex, like many other health systems, had halted all purely elective surgeries in late March, but continued to perform urgent or emergency surgeries as needed. The decision to resume elective surgeries was made because Middlesex believes it is now safe to do so. Middlesex Health has implemented additional safety procedures, and its processes and policies are in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Connecticut Department of Public Health and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services."

"All Middlesex Health surgery patients will be tested for COVID-19 three to four days prior to their procedure and asked to self-quarantine from the day of the swabbing until their surgery date. Testing for COVID-19 will be done at a trailer outside of the Emergency Department on Crescent Street. The hospital will call patients to schedule an appointment for their COVID-19 test."

"If a patient tests positive for COVID-19, their health care provider will contact them directly to determine next steps. Urgent or emergency surgeries can still take place, but extra precautions will be taken to protect patients and staff. Purely elective surgeries may be postponed for two weeks, or until it is safe for the surgery to be performed."

May 17

Lamont: 69 deaths; Hospitalization continue decline

Gov. Ned Lamont's office said Sunday that 69 more people have died from COVID-19 related causes and the number of people under hospitalization continue to decline. 

Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Cases            37,419    +716

COVID-19-Associated Deaths                             3,408    +69

Patients Currently Hospitalized with COVID-19      937    -57

COVID-19 Test Reported                                 170,607    +5,852

For several additional graphs and tables containing more data, including a list of cases in every municipality, visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

Cuomo takes test during press conference

NY Governor Cuomo received a coronavirus test during his press conference on Sunday

May 16

CT partners with UnitedHealth Group, United Way 211, DoorDash to pilot free meal delivery service for higher risk populations

Gov. Lamont's office announced Saturday that Connecticut is partnering with UnitedHealth Group, United Way 211, and DoorDash to pilot a free meal delivery service for higher risk populations.

The service will begin in the Greater Hartford area.

According to a release, individuals, many of whom are homebound seniors located in Hartford, Bloomfield, Wethersfield, and surrounding areas, were identified by the Connecticut Department of Social Services, the Connecticut Association of Resident Service Coordinators, and municipal social services. 

The pilot is anticipated to run through June 5.

Coronavirus hospitalizations drop below 1,000 

Gov. Lamont's office provided updates Saturday on Connecticut's response to coronavirus as of 2 p.m.

According to a release, hospitalizations continue to trend downward in the state and are now under 1,000 people. 

A total of 994 residents being treated in CT hospitals currently.

Gov. Ned Lamont said earlier this week that his administration will carefully move ahead with next week's planned reopening, as hospitalizations continued to decline. 

May 15

Connecticut COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to trend downward

The Governor's office released Fridays COVID-19 numbers for Connecticut. Hospitalizations continue to trend downward, bringing the current hospitalization number to 1,033 people. 

As of May 15, 3,285 people have died due to COVID-19. There are 36,085 people who have been confirmed to have the virus. 

Fairfield County has the most amount of cases of COVID-19 with 14,009 people. 1,109 people have died due to the virus. 

For more information, click here.  

L+M Hospital to resume deferred surgeries 

Lawrence + Memorial Hospital announced on Friday, it will begin to schedule the more than 500 surgeries that were deferred over the past two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

L+M hospital staff said many people are have been pushing off elective surgeries out of fear. The hospital staff wants to ensure patients that they are meticulous in infection prevention precautions. 

"The staff is meticulous in carrying out infection prevention precautions," said a spokesperson in a press release. "Plus, all surgical patients are being housed on a dedicated floor separate from COVID-19 patients. At both L+M and Westerly hospitals, we have increased staffing at our specimen tents to accommodate patients coming for surgery. " 

State to distribute 50,000 infrared thermometers

The State of Connecticut will be distributing 50,000 infrared thermometers to small businesses, non-profits, and places of worship.

According to Governor Ned Lamont's office, these thermometers will support safe reopening activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn how you can apply here.

Gov. Cuomo: CT, NY, NJ, DE beaches to open Memorial Day weekend

Gov. Cuomo announced during his daily press briefing that the states of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Delaware have come to an agreement on beach openings. 

He said the state beaches will open Friday of Memorial Day weekend with strict precautions.

Beaches will be at 50% capacity & masks will be required when social distance not possible. Staff will enforce.

Gov. Lamont made the following statement on the reopening of beaches:

"Our beaches are some of our most beautiful and treasured assets. We want to make sure they are enjoyed up and down the East Coast in the safest possible way, especially as the Summer Season begins. Working together as states to make sure they can be enjoyed responsibly makes sense."

Hartford HealthCare update

Hartford HealthCare reports that hospitalizations are down across the state. 

They also announced they will be partnering with the state to test inmates for COVID-19. 

On the topic of the inflammatory illness striking some children, Hartford HealthCare says it acts like Kawasaki Disease, but that disease usually only affects young children, whereas the potentially COVID-19 related illness also affects older children. 

They say the good news is that the illness is treatable. The chances of developing the illness is 1 in 1,000. At this time, Hartford HealthCare says there are no patients with the illness in its system. 

Hartford HealthCare also touched on mental health and the suicide rate which they say has been ticking upward recently. 

Peter Pan resumes service

Peter Pan Bus Lines has announced they will resume their services on June 5th.

Click here for more details.

Their locations in CT include:

  • Bridgeport
  • Canaan
  • Danbury
  • Farmington
  • Hartford
  • Mansfield
  • New Britain
  • New Haven
  • Southbury
  • Stamford
  • Storrs UConn
  • Torrington
  • Waterbury
  • Winsted

May 14

Old Lyme beaches to reopen on May 23 at reduced capacity

Starting on May 23, Oly Lyme will reopen its public beaches at reduced capacity. First Selectmen Timothy Griswold made the announcement on Thursday after consulting with Town staff and the Presidents of Miami Beach Association and White Sand Beach Association. The beaches will be open from 9 am to 6 pm. 

“I know people are eager to have the beaches open and we are planning to do this on Memorial Day weekend.  We will be implementing social distancing protocols by limiting the number of people on the beaches.  We ask that beach goers adhere to the common sense guidelines that we have established.  In the event the public disregards these guidelines at a particular beach, we shall have no choice but to consider close that beach in the name of public safety.  We look forward to a smooth opening and we hope the sun will shine on Old Lyme.” 

For more information, click here

Governor's office releases COVID-19 number of deaths for assisted living facilities and nursing homes

Governor Ned Lamont's office released its weekly COVID-19 statistics for people who have been impacted by the virus while living in an assisted living facility or nursing home. 

There have been 207 confirmed deaths and 69 probable deaths within assisted living facilities due to COVID-19. Ridgefield Crossings has the most deaths for an assisted living facility in the state with 18 people.

For more information on the number of deaths due to COVID-19 in assisted living facilities, click here.  

There have been 1,487 confirmed deaths in nursing homes due to COVID-19 and 440 probable deaths due to COVID-19. To put that number in perspective, Connecticut has 3,219 deaths in total due to the virus. 

For more information on the numbers of deaths in nursing homes due to COVID-19, click here

Hartford adds five coronavirus testing sites 

Mayor Luke Bronin of Hartford announced on Thursday, that Hartford will be adding five COVID-19 testing sites. This brings the capital city's total to eight overall. 

Some of those testing sites are Federally Qualified Health Centers which are located at InterCommunity at 16 Coventry Street, Wheeler Family Health & Wellness Center at 43-49 Woodland Street, and Community Health Services at 500 Albany Avenue, Hartford. 

“With eight testing locations throughout our community, we’ve seen a dramatic expansion of access to testing,” said Mayor Luke Bronin. “We’re continuing to expand access, but right now the most important thing is to make sure everyone knows that you don’t need symptoms, you don’t need a prescription, you don’t need insurance, and you don’t need a car.  Getting tested isn’t just about you, it’s about your loved ones and everyone else, and it’s going to be even more important as we move toward the long, slow process of reopening and recovery.” 

For more information about the testing sites, click here

Windsor Food Bank to begin to re-accept donations 

The COVID-19 pandemic caused the LP Community Center to close, which in turn, suspended food donations to the Windsor Food Bank. 

Starting on May 21, the food bank will begin to accept food donations again. The donations can be given on Tuesday mornings from 9 -11 AM and Thursday afternoon from 1-3 pm. 

Please contact the Social Services office in advance at 860-285-1839 to schedule the time of your donation, if you have any questions or would like to know our most needed items at the current time.

Joe Biden held virtual roundtable with Governor Lamont and other Governors on May 14 

Presidential hopeful Joe Bide hosted a virtual roundtable with three Governors including Connecticut's Governor, Ned Lamont. 

Biden and Lamont were be joined by New Jersey Governor Phill Murphy and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. 

CT Post Mall outlines details for reopening:

CT Post Mall is set to reopen next Wednesday with a plan on keeping shoppers and workers safe. 

From May 20 - June 20, the Mall will operate:

Mondays to Saturdays: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Sundays: Noon-6 p.m.

Consistent with the “Reopen Connecticut” guidelines, all mall employees will be trained on proper COVID-19-related sanitation and prevention practices. 

The property is also implementing one-way entries and exits to direct traffic flow and promote social distancing of at least six feet. 

Employees will be required to wear face coverings and regularly wash or disinfect their hands. Shoppers will be reminded via new signage to wear face coverings, continue social distancing, and practice safe hygiene.

In addition to initially limiting capacity to 50%, the center has temporarily canceled events that would be expected to draw crowds. The mall will continue to engage customers with virtual events; smaller events during which social distancing can be practiced will be phased in. 

Additional health safeguards will include:

  • Janitorial staff disinfecting all high-touch common areas at regular intervals throughout the day. This will include restrooms, door handles, trash bins, elevator buttons/escalator handrails, tables and chairs, strollers and wheelchairs.
  • Temporary closure of some high-contact amenities, including drinking fountains.

Elective surgeries start to resume at UConn Health

Some elective low-risk surgical procedures have begun to resume at the UConn Health Surgery Center.

“It’s a big day,” shared Caryl Ryan, MSN, RN, chief nursing officer at UConn Health. “The reopening of our Surgery Center for elective surgical procedures is the startup phase of our clinical services and operating rooms.”

On Wednesday, two out of five operating rooms at the Surgery Center located on UConn Health’s Lower Campus were reopened. Staff cared for 8 surgical outpatients having elective procedures for pain injections and orthopedic shoulder and wrist surgeries with the majority of patients needing only a local anesthetic. The past few months the Surgery Center has only been used for necessary urgent surgeries.

Additional rooms at the Surgery Center are planned to be operational starting on Monday, May 18.

Durham Fair canceled

The President of the Durham Agricultural Fair Association announced that the Durham Fair is canceled for 2020. 

The cancelation comes out of COVID-19 concerns. 

They say the usual large attendance for the fair has played a critical role in the decision. 

CVS Health opens more testing sites in the state

Self-swab tests will be available to individuals meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria, in addition to age guidelines. 

Patients must register in advance at CVS.com beginning Friday, May 15 to schedule an appointment. 

Patients will be required to stay in their cars and directed to the pharmacy drive-thru window where they will be provided with a test kit and given instructions; a CVS Pharmacy team member will observe the self swab process to ensure it is done properly. 

Tests will be sent to an independent, third-party lab for processing and the results will be available in approximately three days.

Testing will not take place inside any retail locations, and CVS Pharmacy, HealthHUB, and MinuteClinic will continue to serve customers and patients.

The new testing sites in Connecticut include:

  • CVS Pharmacy, 2639 Main Street, Glastonbury, CT 06033
  • CVS Pharmacy, 875 Enfield Street, Enfield, CT 06082
  • CVS Pharmacy, 525 Buckland Street, South Windsor, CT 06074
  • CVS Pharmacy, 7 Durant Avenue, Bethel, CT 06801
  • CVS Pharmacy, 905 South Main Street, Cheshire, CT 06410
  • CVS Pharmacy, 1057 Boston Post Road, Guilford, CT 06437
  • CVS Pharmacy, 479 Blue Hills Avenue, Hartford, CT 06112
  • CVS Pharmacy, 3514 Main Street, Coventry, CT 06238
  • CVS Pharmacy, 323 Cromwell Avenue, Rocky Hill, CT 06067
  • CVS Pharmacy, 1 Hawley Lane, Stratford, CT 06497
  • CVS Pharmacy, 54 East High Street, East Hampton, CT 06424
  • CVS Pharmacy, 150 Washington Street, Hartford, CT 06106

Learn more at CVS's COVID-19 resource center.

May 13 

Berlin Fair canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic

Another fair has been canceled to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Berlin Fair President, Gary Schmidt, announced on Wednesday that the 2020 Berlin Fair has been canceled. 

The Board of Directors for the fair voted to cancel the fair that would be on September 18-20. 

"This action was taken with consideration of the health and safety of the Lions members, non-profit church booths, vendors, performers, and all our dedicated Fair patrons," said Schmidt in a written statement. 

Schmidt is hopeful that the fair will return by 2021. 

4H camps suspended for this summer

Hartford County 4-H Camp will suspend all camping activities for the 2020 summer season. The last time Hartford County 4-H Camp closed was due to World War II.

"The deciding factors to suspend the 2020 camp season was based on the Covid-19 restrictions put in place by the state’s Office of Early Childhood (OEC) on April 23, 2020.  The guidelines included social distancing, reduced group sizes, having to wear masks, and other hygienic protocols which are not conducive to our camp environment and programming, as the facility has operated as a weeklong sleepaway camp for ages 9-14 for 90 years," said officials in a press release. 

Westfarms Mall plans to reopen May 20th

The mall has outlined several steps to make sure shoppers stay safe and healthy:


  • Monday - Saturday 11 am - 7 pm 
  • Sunday 11 am - 6 pm

Retailer and restaurant hours may vary, please call for individual hours

  • Cleaning and disinfecting the center throughout the day, and after-hours, with a focus on high-touch, high-traffic surfaces
  • Using a stronger disinfectant when available
  • Encouraging the use of masks where it is not already mandated by local, state or federal laws Using signage and decals to help customers with social distancing
  • Offering hand sanitizer at designated stations Turning off drinking fountains
  • Removing furniture and/or resetting seating areas in our common areas to allow for greater social distancing
  • Allowing mall walkers access to do what they love an hour before the center opens to the public (10 a.m.) We will continue to comply with all local, state and federal laws and mandates to ensure a safe environment.

RELATED: Reopening Connecticut | Fill out the form, let us know if your business is reopening May 20

Gov. Cuomo New York update:

102 children infected with inflammatory illness possibly connected to COVID-19:

  • 40% tested positive for antibodies
  • 60% tested positive for the virus
  • 19% resulted in incubation

Ages under one to 21-year-olds. Majority between 5 years old and 14 years old. 

Three children have died. 

May 12

Annual Ridgefield Carnival and fireworks canceled 

The Ridgefield Fire Department made the announcement through their Facebook page, that the annual carnival and fireworks will be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The carnival has been a staple in the town since 1997. 

Officials are hopeful the carnival will run next year. 

Mohegan Sun to remain closed through Tuesday, May 26

Mohegan Sun announced on their website Tuesday that they will remain closed to the public until Tuesday, May 26. 

Foxwoods has not made an announcement, but they have canceled reservations through May 24. 

St. Francis mobile hospital to come down

St. Francis Hospital announced that a mobile field hospital intended to help with a surge of COVID-19 patients is coming down today. 

The announcement comes as hospitalizations for the virus continue to decline in the state.

Saint Francis was one of two in the state to receive a mobile field hospital from the state as the number of cases of COVID-19 ramped up.

Governor Lamont announces largest single shipment of PPE 

Governor Ned Lamont announced Tuesday that Connecticut has received its single largest shipment of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the fight to combat COVID-19. 

The equipment, which came from suppliers in China, has been delivered over the last couple of days to the state’s commodities warehouse. It includes:

·       6 million surgical masks;

·       500,000 protective masks;

·       100,000 surgical gowns; and

·       100,000 temporal thermometers.

RELATED: Gov. Lamont: State receives single largest shipment of PPE

May 11

Governor Lamont to visit State's PPE Warehouse on May 12 

The Governor's office said on Monday it will be visiting Connecticut's PPE warehouse. 

Over the weekend, the state received a significant shipment of PPE which is being prepared for distribution to frontline workers. 

Lamont will make the visit Tuesday, May 12 at 10:30 am. 

Guests to be welcomed back to Westfield Shopping Centers in Meriden, Trumbull

Westfield Shopping Center announced on Monday, it will begin to welcome back customers starting on May 20. 

The centers located in Meriden and Trumbull, will have modified hours: 11 am to 7 pm on Monday through Saturday and 12 pm to 6pm on Sunday. 

Safety protocols will be set in place following CDC guidelines, such as wearing face masks and social distancing. 

“Westfield is excited to open our doors again to the Connecticut community as we begin our initial recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Patrick Madden, Vice President of Shopping Center Management. “We are working closely with local officials and other relevant community groups to ensure a healthy, clean and safe environment for our customers, tenants and employees; and are committed to providing the best experience possible as business begins to operate at the centers.”  

UConn holds virtual graduation

UConn Health’s Class of 2020 will virtually experience the school's 49th Commencement receiving a total of 244 degrees online starting at 1 p.m.

The 236 graduates hail from the UConn School of Medicine, UConn School of Dental Medicine, and the UConn Graduate School programs.

The virtual commencement ceremony will still have the medical and dental schools' nearly 50-year tradition of commencement exercises including the keynote address, student speeches, and the reading of each graduate’s name and degree.

New York to begin phased reopening May 15th

Numbers continue to decline in the state and now Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the state can begin a phased reopening on Friday. 

They will be starting with businesses that pose a lower risk and are more essential. Gov. Cuomo cited curbside, in-store pick up for retailers to open. They will also open certain businesses like landscaping and gardening and low-risk recreational activities like tennis and drive-in movie theaters. 

Local officials will make sure testing and tracing systems will be in place. Gov. Cuomo says statewide there will be people monitoring infection rates.

Hartford HealthCare update

Hartford HealthCare has announced they are still treating 273 patients with COVID-19. They have done about 215 plasma transfusions into sick patients. 

They also confirmed they do not have any cases of the illness affecting children in New York City believed to be related to COVID-19.

They also have begun getting shipments of Remdesivir, the drug currently being used to help treat those with more severe COVID-19 complications.

Hartford HealthCare also says they will begin scheduling surgeries that were diverted due to the outbreak.

Mansfield Drive-In Theatre & Marketplace to start playing movies on May 20th.

Posted to their Facebook page, the Mansfield Drive-In Theatre & Marketplace announced they have permission to begin playing movies on May 20th.

They say they will do so with social distancing guidelines.

DATTCO Inc. joins rolling rally

On May 13th, New Britain based DATTCO, Inc. will join hundreds of motorcoach companies from around the country for a rolling rally around the U.S. Capitol and National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Motorcoach operators are wanting to tell Members of Congress and the Trump Administration that the industry needs federal assistance. 

RELATED: DATTCO, Inc. joins others from motorcoach industry for "Rolling Rally" in Washington D.C.

May 10

Gov. Lamont provides update on Connecticut's COVID-19 response efforts

Governor Lamont provided the following updates as of 2 p.m. Sunday.

The governor's office said there were 570 new laboratory confirmed cases and the death toll has risen to 2,967, up 35 from Saturday.

Hospitalizations in Connecticut remain down as 59 less people are being treated for a statewide total of 1,242 hospitalized.

The state first saw a drop in hospitalizations on April 18.

Rates have been consistently dropped since April 23, except for a one-day increase, which was reported on May 5.

The state has now performed 130,192 tests.

Members of an advisory group on easing Connecticut’s coronavirus shutdowns are weighing what to do about schools. 

Gov. Ned Lamont announced Sunday that the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group will hold a meeting Monday on the state education system and its ability to reopen. 

The Democratic governor also says the state is seeking volunteers to help organizations that work with older adults and people with intellectual disabilities. 

As of Sunday, Connecticut had reported over 2,900 deaths from the COVID-19 virus, with over 1,200 people currently hospitalized statewide.

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