x
Breaking News
More (0) »

FOX 61 | Connecticut breaking news, weather, traffic, sports and social media

CT COVID-19 Updates: State releases new numbers on COVID-19 cases, deaths

Find developments on the coronavirus outbreak in Connecticut as we work together to separate facts from fear.
Credit: FOX61

Key Facts: 

  • New Haven is planning on sending health inspectors out to city grocery stores to insure the stores are following the Governor's guidelines about capacity and social distancing. 
  • Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin to announce new modifications to city servicePost University offers dorms to medical professionals, first-responders
  • Trinity Health Of New England offers Fever Upper Respiratory Infection Clinics (FURI) for patients 
  • Gov. Lamont issues new Executive Order with liability protections for healthcare professionals and financial protections for uninsured and out of network coverage. 
  • Map released by the state to track numbers town by town

April 5

State releases new numbers on COVID-19 cases, deaths

Governor Ned Lamont's office announced that an additional 399 Connecticut residents have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 5,675. To date, more than 23,270 tests have been conducted in Connecticut among both state and private laboratories. Approximately 1,142 patients have been hospitalized. The total statewide total number of COVID-19 associated fatalities is 189.

The governor also signed an executive order that enacts the following: 

  • Protection from civil liability for actions or omissions in support of the state’s COVID-19 response: Protects health care professionals and health care facilities, including nursing homes and field hospitals, from lawsuits for acts or omissions undertaken in good faith in support of the state’s COVID-19 response. State statutes already provide similar protections for other first responders, including police, firefighters, and EMS.
  • Financial protections for the uninsured and people covered by insurance who receive out-of-network health care services during the public health emergency: Protects those who are uninsured and those who are insured and are treated by an out-of-network emergency services health care provider from surprise bills and other significant costs. This will ensure that individuals receiving care are not being financially burdened.

Ethan Allen lays off 70% of workforce

Furniture retailer Ethan Allen said it will furlough of approximately 70% of its global workforce. 

Officials said Farooq Kathwari, Ethan Allen’s Chairman, President and CEO will forego his salary through June 30 and has instituted a salary reduction of up to 40% for all senior management and up to 20% for other salaried employees through June 30, 2020. The Company’s Board of Directors will reduce their cash compensation by 50% through June 30, 2020.

As noted earlier, the Company will pay its affected associates through April 2, 2020. In addition, impacted

Employees will continue to receive enrolled benefits for up to 2 months.

New Haven to inspect grocery stores for compliance on social distancing

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said Sunday that the city will send out health inspectors to grocery stores to insure they are complying with the Governor's orders on capacity and social distancing. 

Elicker said the inspectors would shut stores down if they were not following the guidelines. 

The Mayor said as of Sunday, there were 241 cases of COVID-19 and nine fatalities. The cases ranges in age from one-year-old to 93-years-old. The latest fatalities ranged in age from 43 to 93. All the cases had either underlying conditions or were elderly, according to officials. 

April 4

Governor Lamont has provided updates Saturday as Connecticut continues taking actions in response to the global spread of coronavirus.

Since Friday, there have been an additional 362 positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's total to 5,276, according to Lamont.

165 fatalities have resulted from the disease in Connecticut.

As of 4 p.m. Saturday, 22,029 patients have been tested in Connecticut and 1,033 patients have been hospitalized.

Gov. Lamont also announced FEMA has approved the state's request to include domestic violence survivors in non-congregate housing guidelines.  

“Ensuring safe housing for survivors of domestic violence in locations that are less congested than what many of the locations that typically offer these services usually provide is critical at this time, and I thank FEMA for approving our request to cover these services,” Governor Lamont said.

Additionally, Connecticut’s schools have served more than one million meals under emergency programs, according to Lamont. 

A total of 128 school districts are serving meals at 407 locations.

Click here for the most up-to-date information from state officials on COVID-19, including an FAQ and other guidance and resources, residents are encouraged to visit.

 Individuals who have general questions that are not answered on the website can also call 2-1-1 for assistance. The hotline is available 24 hours a day and has multilingual assistance and TDD/TTY access. It intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider.

April 3

DMHAS releases updated numbers of COVID-19 at inpatient facilities 

The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Friday. 

“We are deeply saddened to hear of the loss of a person receiving services from our system and our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to the individual’s family, loved ones and the staff who have provided services,” said DMHAS Commissioner Miriam Delphin-Rittmon. “These are challenging times for us all, but we are committed to serving and supporting the behavioral health community.” 

DMHAS said that 12 patients and 8 employees have tested positive for COVID-19. 

For more information, click here

Connecticut courthouse to be closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays

The Connecticut Judicial Department announced all courthouses that remain open will have even more reduced hours. 

Starting on April 14, all courthouses will be closed Tuesdays and Thursdays until further notice. 

For more information, click here

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin to announce new modifications to city services 

Mayor Luke Bronin held a press conference Friday, where he updated residents on the City of Hartford’s preparations for the continued spread of coronavirus.

According to Bronin, there are 120 COVID-19 infections in the capital city. That is a 50-percent increase in the last two days.

The Mayor also announce new modifications to city services, including scaling back on interactions between city employees and residents.

Hartford's tax office is closed and walk-in business at city-hall has been suspended.

All in-person services at the clerk's office will also be suspended with the exception of two days worth of scheduled appointments.

The following actions can be taken remotely through end of April:

  • Pay taxes online,
  • Clerks request online,
  •  Payments or requests go into office drop boxes.

Mayor Bronin also announced that while the city is stepping up enforcement on social distancing, residential property inspections will also be scaled back.

“With a few exceptions, we’ve seen pretty good compliance with restrictions on gatherings and social distancing guidelines, but this public health crisis demands that every single person in our community continue to listen to the medical experts and work together by staying apart,” said Mayor Luke Bronin.  “Governor Lamont has put strong restrictions into place based on the best scientific evidence in order to save lives, and as a city we will continue to support and enforce those restrictions.  Violating the State’s prohibition on social and recreational gatherings of more than five people is against the law, and it will get more people sick, faster.  We are expecting good weather over the next few days, and our Police Department will not hesitate to break up gatherings of people.  Our Health Department will also be doing additional outreach to bodegas, grocery stores, and big box stores to emphasize the legal restrictions in terms of capacity and the latest social distancing guidance from medical experts.”


Post University offers dorms to medical professionals, first-responders 

Post University announced Friday it is preparing some of its undergraduate dormitory space to be used by medical personnel and first responders working to fight COVID-19 at Waterbury Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital.

Post will provide approximately 400 beds to local physicians, nurses, firefighters and police.

According to officials, the university also will offer coffee, a continental breakfast and facilitate the daily cleaning and replenishing of toiletries to the dorm’s new temporary residents free of charge. 

Post says the beds will be ready as early as this weekend.

 “We are eager to help our community with this need,” said John L. Hopkins, CEO & president of Post University.  “We have been working to make this possible so we can be of service to those people doing extraordinary work on behalf of our community.” 

 Hopkins expressed that additional facilities will be made available as the city and hospitals determine the need.

For more information on how Post University is responding to the threat of COVID-19, click here.

Trinity Health Of New England offers Fever Upper Respiratory Infection Clinics (FURI) for patients 

Trinity Health Of New England announced Friday that FURI Clinics will be available to keep people who are experiencing symptoms of an upper respiratory tract illness out of the Emergency Department and Physician Offices.

Officials say FURI clinics are part of a broad, emergency health response to the coronavirus. This will help to limit the spread of disease among vulnerable populations, such as the elderly.

FURI Clinics serve patients that need to be evaluated in an outpatient setting for symptoms like fever, cough, runny nose or shortness of breath. These clinics can assess and treat potentially large numbers of people with appropriate levels of infection control. They’re also staffed by colleagues dedicated to this one task, so expertise is concentrated in one location.

Appointments are required at Trinity Health Of New England's FURI clinics, as patients cannot be seen on a walk in basis. Patients with symptoms like fever, cough, runny nose, or shortness of breath need to call their Primary Care Provider or FURI clinic first for initial triage by a clinician.

Minimally ill patients may be advised to stay at home with enhanced self-monitoring based on clinical judgement.

Available FURI locations:

Hartford, CT: 11 South Road; Suite 200; Farmington, CT 06032
Phone: 860-284-9544
Hours of operation: 8:30 AM to 5 PM, M - F
COVID-19 Testing at FURI Clinic: No. Patients will be referred to alternative testing site if indicated
Radiology (CXR): Yes, Near Clinic

Waterbury, CT: 1154 Highland Avenue, Cheshire, CT
Phone: 203-709-4825
Hours of operation: 8 AM to 7 PM, M –F; 9AM - 5PM Saturday, 9AM - 2PM Sunday
COVID-19 Testing at FURI Clinic: No. Patients will be referred to alternative testing site if indicated
Radiology (CXR): Yes

Massachusetts: 395 Southampton Rd, Westfield, MA 01085
Phone: (413) 533-2900
Hours of operation: 8:30AM - 5PM, M-F
COVID-19 Testing at FURI Clinic: No
Radiology (CXR): Yes, near clinic

April 2

New Haven Mayor Just Elicker joined FOX61's Tim Lammers Thursday morning to discuss the Elm City's COVID-19 response efforts and its call for more volunteers.

Bloomfield has first COVID-19 death 

The Police Department sent out a statement saying the person died on Thursday. They were between 50-60 years of age. 

“Unfortunately, Bloomfield has lost a resident previously diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus. On behalf of the entire community of Bloomfield, I would like to express our deepest condolences to the family of the deceased, said Mayor Debeatham-Brown. “As I said last week, this emergency is unprecedented, frustrating, and challenging to us all – however, as a community, we are strong, we are together, and we must continue moving forward with the best approach possible to keep safe. I implore our residents to observe the directions from the health district and the Governor, stay home and stay safe, and reach out for help when you need it. Working together, we will bring our community through this and take care of each other as we go.”

6.6 million seek US jobless aid as layoffs mount 

More than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, far exceeding a record high set just last week, a sign that layoffs are accelerating in the midst of the coronavirus. 

The job cuts are mounting against the backdrop of economies in the United States and abroad that have almost certainly sunk into a severe recession as businesses close across the world. Last week's figure is much higher than the previous record of 3.3 million reported for the previous week. The surging layoffs have led many economists to envision as many as 20 million lost jobs by the end of April.  

Patriots plane to carry one million masks from China to US 

The New England Patriots' team plane will reportedly be carrying masks from China to the US.

RELATED: New England Patriots team plane flying 1.2 million N95 masks from China to help ease coronavirus shortages

In a tweet, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker thanked Robert Kraft and "several dedicated partners" for their teamwork. He said the state is set to receive more than one million N95 masks for front-line workers.

April 1

Governor Ned Lamont issues new Executive Order with #SafeStoreRules, limiting occupancy and enforcing other safety measures

Among the restrictions:  

  • Occupancy capped at 50% of store capacity. At the entrance, staff will maintain a count of the number of customers entering and exiting stores.
  • Clearly mark 6’ spacing in lines on floor at checkout lines and other high-traffic areas and, as much as practicable, provide ways to encourage 6’ spacing in lines outside the store.
  • Post conspicuous signage and floor markings to direct customers and limit bottlenecks and/or encourage spacing and flow in high-density areas.

The Governor is also strongly urging that only one member of a family go into the store to shop and to pay with a credit or debit card instead of cash whenever possible. To read the full "Safe Store Rules", click here.

Connecticut Lottery employee tests positive for COVID-19; operations temporarily moved to backup facility

Starting on April 2, the CT Lottery will begin to have temporary operations out of its backup facility. Its office in Rocky Hil will be closed for deep cleaning after one of their employees tested positive for COVID-19. The lottery said the test results came April 1 and the employee had been self-isolating at home. 

According to the Connecticut Lottery, there will be new procedures implemented during the COVID-19 crisis.

The procedures are listed below: 

  • Prizes up to $599 may be claimed in person at CT Lottery retailers, or by mail. For mail-in instructions, visit www.CTLottery.org/ClaimPrize.
  • Prizes up to $5,000 may be claimed in-person at High-Tier Claim centers, or by mail.
  • Prizes $5,000 - $49,999 MUST be claimed by mail.
  • Prizes $50,000 and above MUST be made in-person at the CT Lottery’s backup site, by appointment ONLY. To make an appointment, claimants should call (860) 713-2679.

5 inmates at Willard-Cybulski Correctional test positive

Officials said five Department of Correction offenders have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.  All the inmates are in the Cybulski building of the Willard-Cybulski Correctional Institution in Enfield, CT. 

Officials said, “All five individuals have been isolated from the rest of the population, and are receiving medical care from the Agency’s Healthcare staff. The individual’s names are being withheld due to HIPAA regulations.”

“To further limit the spread of the virus, and for the protection of the offender population, the Department of Correction has placed the entire Willard-Cybulski facility on lockdown status effective immediately.  While on lockdown, offenders will have the opportunity for daily showers and to place phone calls.”

“The newly confirmed positive tests brings the total number of offenders agency wide who have the COVID-19 virus to seven, representing approximately .06% of the incarcerated population.”

Three deaths in Greenwich

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner informed Greenwich officials Wednesday that three Greenwich residents have succumbed to the COVID-19 virus: an 87-year-old man, a 96-year-old man and a 101-year-old woman. A total of seven  patients have died at Greenwich Hospital, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office. Not all of those patients were Greenwich residents.

UConn announces death of patient due to COVID-19

UConn Health reports the first death of a patient related to COVID-19. The individual was a 70 year old male who had been receiving treatment at UConn Health.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the loved ones of this individual,” said Dr. Andrew Agwunobi, CEO of UConn Health and EVP for Health Affairs. “Even though we know from the experience of hospitals elsewhere in Connecticut and across the country that some patients can lose their lives from this illness it is heartbreaking to announce this first death.”

“I also want to express great appreciation to the health care workers for their diligence and compassion in caring for this patient and for adhering to the necessary precautions to limit any possible exposure,” says Agwunobi.

“The pain this family must be feeling right now puts into perspective the sacrifices we are all making to keep one another safe and healthy. We encourage everyone to do their part by practicing safe health practices including social distancing.”

Cinemark closes movie theaters

Cinemark theaters announced that it's closing movie theaters in in Manchester, Enfield, Milford and North Haven.

The company said the are laying off 296 employees permanently.

Connecticut Children's Medical Center announces furloughs

Connecticut Children's Medical Center announced temporary partial furloughs that will impact 400 staffers.

According to CCMC officials, the partial furlough means instead of an employee working 40 hours/ week, they would now work 32 hours.

"Similar to many businesses and organizations across the state responding to the COVID-19 crisis, Connecticut Children’s is experiencing the financial pressure that comes with taking vital measures to keep our community safe, including limiting elective procedures and non-urgent appointments," the hospital said in an official statement.

Officials continued with the following statement:

We are incredibly proud of our team’s work to welcome, care for, and protect all children who walk through our doors. The resulting drop in our volume has forced us to take a hard look at our resources to ensure that we can continue offering the highest level of care to patients and families during this unprecedented and critical time. As stewards of an organization that plays such an integral role in the wellbeing of our community, we are aligning our resources with the demand for our services. In addition to temporary partial furloughs, we have also announced some restructuring changes that resulted in the elimination of a small number of administrative positions, none of which impact direct patient care roles. While we took great care and consideration with these measures, any decision that affects our valued colleagues like this is never easy. We are committed to supporting each other through this time and are establishing an employee assistance fund to help our team members in need. Our organization is confident in our resilience and remains focused on supporting patients, families and pediatricians in our community as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Coronavirus cases grow 

The U.S. has 189,633 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 4,081 deaths from the disease as of 3:15 a.m. ET Wednesday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 7,100 people have recovered.

March 31

School staff will continue to get pay throughout COVID-19 crisis

Governor Lamont signed a new executive order Tuesday saying that all school staff like teachers, cafeteria staff, clerical & custodial workers, bus drivers, and others will be paid during this crisis. 

Lamont made the announcement on Twitter saying in part, " We need (teachers) back when schools re-open. They're there for our kids, we need to support them!" 

Newington to close parks

“The Newington Parks and Recreation Department announces, effective immediately as of 2 p.m. March 31, 2020 and until further notice, all residents are asked to completely stay off all park and school facilities. Park and school facilities include: all sport fields, outdoor fitness equipment, skate park, playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball courts, pickle ball courts, Bocce courts, horseshoe courts, and volleyball courts. We are asking all residents to cooperate to the fullest extent in an effort to flatten the curve and keep all Newington residents as safe as possible. All opportunities for passive recreation, including walking trails, while exercising proper social distancing, remain open to the public. The Newington Parks and Recreation Department will continue the park ranger program 7 days per week, with 2 Park Rangers patrolling the town in north and south districts, working to inform and enforce these new rules and regulations.We thank you in advance and appreciate your cooperation in these very serious times.”

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care waiving member costs related to COVID-19 treatment

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care said Tuesday it is waiving member cost-sharing related to treatment for COVID-19. The waiver applies to medical costs associated with COVID-19 treatment at in-network facilities and out-of-network emergencies.

The new policy applies to all Harvard Pilgrim commercially insured, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement members. Employers have the option to opt-out for self-insured plans. The policy is effective through June 1, 2020 and Harvard Pilgrim will reassess as circumstances warrant. If a member received COVID-19 treatment prior to this new policy going into effect, the claim will be covered and reprocessed.

Coronavirus cases grow 

Gov. Lamont announced Monday an additional 578 Connecticut residents tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total to 2,571. 517 people have been hospitalized and there have been 36 fatalities. More than 14,600 tests have been conducted statewide.

The governor said he is waiting for a response from insurance companies regarding deferment of health insurance premiums.

In the United States, there are 164,274 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University. 3,164 people have died and 5,847 have recovered.

Worldwide, 785,709 people are confirmed to have contracted COVID-19, with 37,810 deaths and 165,837 people recovered.

COVID-19 impact on sports

The NCAA voted Monday to give spring-sport athletes regardless of their year in school a way to get back the season they lost, but it did not guarantee financial aid to the current crop of seniors if they return to play next year.

Winter sports, such as basketball and hockey, were not included in the decision because many athletes in those sports had completed all or most of their regular seasons, the council decided.

March 30

Meriden announces first death from COVID-19 in city 

The city confirmed Monday a person in their 40's died on March 30. It is not known how they contracted the illness. 

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the loved ones during this time of loss,” said Mayor Kevin M. Scarpati. “As COVID-19 continues to spread in Meriden, we must all do what we can to keep each other safe. My heart is with the family, friends, and neighbors who are grieving. This loss is deeply felt by our entire community. Now more than ever, each of us must do our part to prevent the spread of this virus in Meriden.”

Filing and Payment Deadlines for Sales Tax and Room Occupancy Tax extended by Connecticut DRS

The DRS announced Monday it is providing immediate tax relief to Connecticut small businesses at the direction of Governor Ned Lamont.

“The state needs to be taking all steps possible to provide relief to our small businesses,” said Governor Lamont. “This is a prudent step during this public health emergency, and I want to thank legislative leaders for their support with this effort as we work together to support our job creators during this unprecedented public health crisis.” 

Heres info provided the DRS released in a statement. 

What small business taxpayers qualify for this relief? 

  • Taxpayers that have $150,000 or less in annual Sales Tax liability qualify for an automatic extension of time to file and pay. Similarly, taxpayers that have $150,000 or less in annual Room Occupancy Tax also qualify for this relief. A taxpayer that collects both Sales Tax and Room Occupancy Tax must evaluate each tax separately to determine eligibility for relief.

How does a taxpayer determine if it is a qualified small business?

  • Taxpayers are required to utilize a calendar year look back period of January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019. Any taxpayer that reported $150,000 or less in tax during that period qualifies for the relief.  

What returns are covered by this extension?

  • For monthly Sales Tax and Room Occupancy Tax filers: returns and payments due March 31, 2020, and April 30, 2020, are extended to May 31, 2020.
  • For quarterly Sales Tax and Room Occupancy Tax filers: returns and payments due April 30, 2020, are extended to May, 31, 2020.

For more information, click here

Hartford Schools go online

Mayor Luke Bronin said Hartford is speaking with the University of Hartford on dormitory housing for first responders. 

The Medical reserve corps has been activated to bring in medical professionals. In addition, the city has made efforts with the homeless community and moved around 75 people from homeless shelters to hotels. All shelters now have an isolation space and city officials are looking to move more people from shelters to hotels.

Bronin said, "The way we work together is by staying apart."

Bronin said nine members of the Hartford Police department have tested positive for COVID-19. That includes four who tested positive last week. 

Two quarantine centers have been set up and one person who was at a shelter and tested positive for coronavirus has been moved to one of them.

The warming center, which was scheduled to close on March 31, will remain open indefinitely and city officials will run it as a 24-hour-a-day shelter to minimize the number of people going in and out.

The overflow shelter for families will remain open past March 31. 

The Superintendent of Hartford Public Schools said, "We're officially launching our digital learning plan. 12 days ago we had no plan. Today  there are 4068 Google classrooms and 43% of students have access to google classrooms.

HPS is prepared to continue digital learning through end of June if necessary.

Connecticut Ferry operations suspended

Service on the two Connecticut River ferries -- between Glastonbury and Rocky Hill, and Chester and Hadlyme -- has been suspended indefinitely during the Coronavirus COVID-19 crisis. The service typically operates from April 1 to November 30 each year.

Mystic Seaport to layoff nearly 200 

Mystic Seaport and Museum, one of the state's main tourist attractions notified the state on Friday that it plans on laying off 199 workers. 

Quinnipiac University donates medical supplies and food to help in the fight against COVID-19

Quinnipiac University is donating personal protective equipment, much-needed medical supplies, and food to support health care professionals in Connecticut on the frontline fighting the coronavirus and to help restock local food banks.

In addition, the university is working with the Town of Hamden to make 50 university-owned apartments available to first responders in need of living space as they self-isolate away from home.

Macy's to furlough store employees

Macy's will be furloughing it's retail store employees. The company announced on their website, "Across Macy’s, Bloomingdales, and Bluemercury brands, we will be moving to the absolute minimum workforce needed to maintain basic operations. This means the majority of our colleagues will go on furlough beginning this week. There will be fewer furloughs in our digital business, supporting distribution centers and call centers so we can continue to serve our customers online. At least through May, furloughed colleagues who are enrolled in health benefits will continue to receive coverage with the company covering 100% of the premium. We expect to bring colleagues back on a staggered basis as business resumes."

Six Flags New England will open in mid-May

Six Flags New England will open in mid-May, or as soon as possible thereafter. Officials said in an email, "We will continue to closely monitor this evolving situation, and follow the most current guidance from federal, state, and local officials."

For guests with prepaid tickets, the valid dates have been extended to the end of the 2020 season. For current 2020 Season Pass Holders, passes will be extended for the number of operating days the park is temporarily closed. Six Flags New England Members will receive one additional month for each month that the park is closed, plus a free Membership level upgrade for the rest of the 2020 Season (and/or other bonus benefits, as applicable). For more information, please go to https://sixflags.com/newengland/coronavirus.

March 29

Nearly 2,000 cases confirmed in state

According to Gov. Lamont's office, an additional 469 Connecticut residents have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 1,993. To date, more than 11,900 tests have been conducted in Connecticut among both state and private laboratories. Approximately 404 people have been hospitalized. There has been another fatality due to complications of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total number of fatalities to 34 (21 in Fairfield County, in New Haven County, 4 in Tolland County, 2 in Hartford County, and 1 in Middlesex County).

"It should be noted that the increase in hospitalizations reflected in today's report reflects a change to provide the most up-to-date information from the Connecticut Hospital Association. The distribution by county is based on where hospitals are located, not where patients reside."

Norwalk to close parks, beaches, reduce occupancy rates

Norwalk Mayor Harry Riling announced that as of Monday evening, he will order parks and beaches in the city to be closed and reduce occupancy of commercial buildings by 50%. Also only one person per family will be allowed to shop at a time. 

“I’ve asked nicely and implored the public to practice physical distancing and to treat this public health crisis seriously. Unfortunately, many in our community are taking this too lightly. In the last 24 hours, we’ve had a 60 percent increase in cases and we now have over 200 positive cases. Extreme measures are necessary,” Mayor Rilling said. “These are drastic measures, but it is the only way we can slow this pandemic. Our health care system is going to be overloaded and that means more people getting sick and more people dying – not just from coronavirus, but from heart attacks, strokes, and other serious medical issues that require attention.”

Bridgeport to use Webster Bank Arena for hospital overflow

Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim announced Sunday that he approved the Emergency Plan with the State of Connecticut Department of Emergency Management to stage Webster Bank Arena as the site for hospital overflow. The activation of this plan will provide hospitals in Connecticut with an Alternate Care Site for patients if there is a surge, or patient overflow due to Coronavirus.

The Alternate Care Site at the Arena will be equipped with 128 beds and various medical equipment to care for ambulatory or mild symptomatic patients. The City of Bridgeport Emergency Management reports that we can expect to see the arrival of equipment to the Arena by this Tuesday, March 31, 2020.

New Haven has 71 cases, plans to close playgrounds

Mayor Justin Elicker announced that there are now 71 case in the city. 

Elicker said the city would move to close playgrounds at parks and city schools to discourage crowds. He said the parks would remain open. 

There are several people in the fire and police departments that area awaiting test results.

ProHealth Express Care Walk-in Centers closed

All ProHealth Express Care Walk-in Centers centers are temporarily closed. "This allows our clinicians and staff to provide care at other ProHealth Physicians locations.

"If you need care, call us at 1-888-344-0007. If you have a life-threatening emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest ER.

Ellington Announces First Confirmed Positive Case of COVID-19 

The first confirmed positive case of COVID-19 in an Ellington resident was reported to the North Central District Health Department Sunday. 

The individual is between 50-59 years of age. This person has not been hospitalized and has not been in a long-term care facility.

North Branford confirms first case

Sunday, the Connecticut Department of Public Health has confirmed the first positive case of COVID-19 for a North Branford resident. The individual is female and between the age of 60 and 70 years old.

Governor Ned Lamont says Major Disaster Declaration has been approved.

In a press release, Governor Lamont said that this approval is for public assistance, meaning that impacted state agencies and municipalities in all eight counties will be reimbursed for 75 percent of the costs associated with their response and emergency protective measures.

The governor’s other request for disaster assistance, including individual assistance that could provide Connecticut residents with a number of critical benefits, such as expanded unemployment assistance, food benefits, and child care assistance, remains under review by the White House.

In an official statement, Governor Lamont said, “I am grateful that the federal government is recognizing the severity of this pandemic in Connecticut and the impact it is having on the health and safety of the people of our state. It is an important step in providing critical aid in our communities.”