Updates from the fight against COVID-19 here in Connecticut
- Mystic Aquarium to resume rescue and rehabilitation
- Stonington Public Schools switches to full-distance learning
- Wolcott Schools to go full remote learning until Thanksgiving
New Haven Museum closes as COVID-19 cases rise
From The New Haven Museum:
"The New Haven Museum (NHM) has made the difficult decision to close its doors again to the public, given the alarming spike in coronavirus cases in our region. NHM staff will continue working behind the scenes to collect, preserve and present Elm City history to the public, so please stay connected via phone, email, social media, and at www.newhavenmuseum.org. We look forward to welcoming you back in early 2021."
Governor Ned Lamont will hold a news briefing Monday at 4 p.m. to provide updates on the State of Connecticut’s coronavirus response efforts.
His briefing comes after Connecticut surpassed 100,000 cases of COVID-19 just before the weekend.
On Friday, Lamont reported the following statistics:
- 31,493 tests completed and 2,088 came back positive for rate of 6.63%.
- 848 people hospitalized
- 23 new reported COVID-19 related deaths, death toll to 4,828 people
Connecticut surpasses 100, 000 cases of COVID-19
On Friday, Governor Ned Lamont office's released the latest COVID-19 statistics showing Connecticut has reached a grim milestone. There have now been more than 100,000 cases of COVID-19 reported since the start of the pandemic.
Connecticut administered 31,493 tests Thursday, and 2,088 came back positive. The positivity rate reached about 6.63 percent. The state saw a slight increase in hospitalizations with only eight since Wednesday. There are now 848 people being treated in the hospital for the virus. There were 23 new reported COVID-19 related deaths, bringing Connecticut's death toll to 4,828 people.
Masks now required in fitness centers and gyms
Governor Ned Lamont signed a new executive order which allows the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) to enact rules for all sports activities.
Some of the new rules the DECD is implementing are maks must be worn in all gyms and fitness centers. No exceptions. All team scrimmages, competitions, camps, pick-up games, and other informal athletic activities are prohibited. Also, fitness classes have been reduced to 25 percent capacity.
Read more about the new rules by clicking here.
Governor Ned Lamont provides COVID-19 update
Governor Ned Lamont spoke around 4 p.m. this afternoon providing an update on the state's response to COVID-19.
Connecticut administered 36,330 tests and 2,353 came back positive, yielding a positivity rate of 6.48 percent. There was an increase of 24 COVID-19 hospitalizations reported Thursday. There are now 840 people in the hospital being treated for the virus. There were 21 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths.
Almost all of the towns in Connecticut have been issued a COVID-19 red alert status. Lamont said that is about 96 percent of people living in Connecticut live in a red alert status. Again Lamont recommended people stay home for holidays if possible. A survey from AAA shows that about 90 percent of people will not be traveling for the holidays.
Hartford HealthCare officials say large increase in COVID-19 patients expected across Connecticut in mid to late December
Hartford HealthCare announced Thursday that their healthcare system has seen a steady incline in patients, currently managing 219.
81 patients from home care centers are also being managed and officials say those are the setting hardest hit.
Hospitalizations are expected to go up in mid to late December, where healthcare professionals predict a big increase across Connecticut.
The state could hit 1,500-1,600 patients by early January, depends on trends and models, officials said citing the IHME model Thursday.
HHC says they are currently not worried about supplies, feel fully stocked and are at a good capacity for patient intake as well. However, the question now is what happens is if they have not enough staff?
The system could potentially end up needing reinforcements, so they are looking internally be prepared so they will be ready.
Officials also reported that since the beginning of the pandemic, they’ve given about 500,000 COVID-19 tests -- a quarter of which were done in the last week.
Now, HHC is working with other agencies to focus on how to meet the demand for testing as the pandemic continues.
A partnership with Bradley Airport has allotted more testing space.
The CT National Guard is also supporting the healthcare system. Specifically, 20 guard personnel will start to deploy in key areas of Windham and Fairfield counties.
Additionally, beginning Monday, November 23, anyone who arrives at Hartford HealthCare for a medical procedure has to have a Covid test. They will be given priority during 8-10am, so pre register if you need it at a specific time.
Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing in Vernon Sunday, November 22
Town of Vernon officials announced Thursday that a free state-sponsored drive-thru COVID-19 testing will be offered Sunday, November 22, from 1-4 p.m.
Sema4 Laboratories is conducting the testing at Rockville High School, which is located at 70 Loveland Hill Road.
Testing is open to all, especially those who have reason to believe they were in contact with or exposed to a person with the virus, officials said.
There are other COVID-19 testing opportunities in and around Vernon. For additional information, click here.
Mystic Aquarium to resume rescue and rehabilitation
Mystic Aquarium resumed operation of its Animal Rescue Program Thursday by safely welcoming back several program volunteers. With authority granted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Mystic Aquarium will resume its rescue and rehabilitation of sick, injured and stranded marine animals along 1,000 miles of coastline throughout Connecticut, Rhode Island and Fishers Island, New York.
Stonington Public Schools switches to full-distance learning
Superintendent of Stonington Public Schools Dr. Van Riley said schools will be switching to full-time distance learning as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.
Stonington High School and Stonington Middle School will begin the change starting today until at least December 4th.
Both elementary schools will remain on their hybrid schedule through November 25th and will switch to full distance learning beginning November 30th and also extending through at least December 4th.
Wolcott Schools to go full remote learning until Thanksgiving
After receiving 15 positive cases of COVID-19 in the last 15 days, Wolcott Schools will be moving to remote learning. In a Facebook post to Wolcott families and staff, the Superintendent said the decision does not make him happy, but safety has been and is his first consideration.
Hospitalizations continue to rise, reaching over 800 patients
Governor Ned Lamont's Officer released the latest COVID-19 numbers Wednesday, showing another increase in deaths, positivity rate, and hospitalizations.
The state saw an increase of 39 patients since Monday, bringing the current COVID-19 hospitalizations to 816 patients. New haven County has the most hospitalizations with 304 people, followed by Fairfield County with 243 people.
Connecticut administered 34,135 tests and 2,042 came back positive, yielding a positivity rate of about 5.98 percent. There were 13 more COVID-19 related deaths reported Wednesday. Hartford County has the most COVID-19 related confirmed deaths with 1,214 people. Connecticut's COVID-19 related death toll has now reached 4,784 people.
Quinnipiac Univ. goes from red to orange alert
Based on the continued decline in new COVID-19 cases and in the positivity rate, Quinnipiac University is shifting back down to an orange campus alert level, effective 5 p.m. Wednesday. Monday’s sample testing of 1,021 students identified five new cases (all off campus) – a 0.5% positivity rate. "This rapid case decline from the peak of two weeks ago affirms the effectiveness of adhering to consistent preventive measures such as face masks, social distancing, campus-wide quarantine and broad-based testing." said university spokesperson John Morgan.
Rocky Hill Town Hall closed due to COVID-19
Officials said Wednesday that starting Thursday, November 19 at 4:30 p.m., Rocky Hill Town Hall and the town's Human Services Office will be closed to the general public.
According to a release, town staff can be contacted during the normal 8:30 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. business hours to assist with transactions.
WestConn Athletics cancels winter sports seasons
In developing plans for the spring semester, which is slated to begin on January 26, 2021 and in acknowledgement of the continued prevalence of the virus at the regional and national levels, WestConn has made the difficult decision that the men's and women's basketball and men's and women's swimming and diving athletic teams will not participate in intercollegiate competition for the 2020-21 season.
"Our winter student athletes are being asked to make additional sacrifices for the health and safety of themselves and the community that surrounds them." said Director of Athletics and Recreation Lori R. Mazza. "This difficult decision was not made in haste because we know it will cause such disappointment for our athletes, but I also know the resilience of each and every one of our student athletes and look forward to the day when WestConn athletics is back in its truest form".
Winter sport student-athletes will have the opportunity to participate in training and development activities upon return to campus in late January, including in-person practices and instruction, strength and conditioning training, student-athlete development programming, and leadership activities.
Current COVID hospitalizations continue to rise in CT
Governor Lamont's office released the latest COVID-19 statistics Tuesday, showing another increase in hospitalizations and COVID-19 related deaths.
As of Tuesday, there are 777 patients being treated for the virus, the highest number of patients in months. There were 12 new reported COVID-19 related deaths, bringing the state death toll to 4,771 people.
Connecticut administered 32,946 tests and 1,702 came back positive which is a 5.16 percent positivity rate.
Milford Schools to move to remote learning until Jan 18
The Superintendent of Schools sent out a letter Tuesday, that Milford Schools will be moving to full remote learning starting on November 30 to January 18. The decision was based on staffing, quarantining rules, the rise of COVID-19 cases, and travel over the holidays.
More information for students will come from their respective school principals.
Vermont added to CT Travel Advisory list
One state has been added and none were removed from the CT Travel Advisory List Tuesday.
Vermont's addition makes the list now composed of 47 states and territories. Anyone traveling from these states in CT will have to quarantine for 14-days.
Governor Lamont announced a change in criteria for a state to be added to the list. States with a positive case rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or higher than a 10 percent test positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average qualify for the list. Any counties which have been issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice from the CDC must also quarantine.
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Manchester High School goes full remote through Thanksgiving
Manchester High School will move to a full remote model through Wednesday, November 25, 2020. In the full remote model, students will follow the same schedule as the hybrid model except students are online with teachers at the times they would have been at Manchester High School. The hybrid model will begin again after the Thanksgiving break on Monday, November 30, 2020.
Brookfield High School shifts to remote learning for 2 weeks.
In a letter to parents, Superintendent Dr. John W. Barile said due to 12 staff members needing to quarantine after possible COVID-19 exposure, classes will shift online from today to at least December 4th, returning to their hybrid model on December 7.
Gaffney Elementary School in New Britain to go remote November 17 and 18
Due to two remember of the Gaffney Elementary School testing positive for COVID-19. The people who have tested positive for the virus were last at the School on November 4 and 6. They have been told to stay home and are in isolation for 14-days.
Those who came in contact with the two members were also asked to self-isolate for the next two weeks.
Students at Gaffney will be remote learning starting on November 17 to 18 and resume in-person learning on Thursday, November 19.
Waterbury Public Schools to move to virtual learning starting Tuesday
The Superintendent of Waterbury Public Schools announced on Monday, that based on the rising COVID-19 cases all students will be moving to virtual learning starting Tuesday, November 17.
Dr. Verna Ruffin said the administration hoped to keep students in a hybrid model for the next week and a half but could not due to COVID-19.
Governor Ned Lamont sent a letter Monday to President Donald J. Trump requesting that he extend the federal authorization for the Connecticut National Guard to provide support to the State of Connecticut through June 30, 2021, for its ongoing response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. In addition, he is requesting a 100 percent federal cost-share on behalf of the state.
Previously, the state was authorized to use the National Guard with a 100 percent federal cost share from April 2 through September 30. The National Guard is currently providing the state with support under an authorization that began October 1 and is set to end December 31, however, the federal cost-share for this period has been reduced to 75 percent. It is estimated that Connecticut’s 25 percent cost-share during the current authorization will cost the state approximately $2.5 million, adding to the fiscal burden caused by the pandemic.
Cheshire High School dismissing early Monday
According to a notice sent home to Cheshire families, school officials were notified that a member of the food service team was having symptoms associated with COVID-19.
"Unfortunately, the working conditions in the kitchen are such that our other food service staff are potential close contacts," officials wrote.
CHS will close at 11:15 a.m. out of an abundance of caution and will be operating on a remote learning schedule Tuesday and Wednesday (as previously scheduled).
The school plans to return Thursday pending the outcome of the employee's PCR test.
Portland High School goes remote following positive cases
Portland Public Schools reported to parents Sunday evening that the high school will be operating remotely due to positive cases. According to a voice message, two cases were identified and 73 Portland high school students and six members of the faculty and staff have been considered close contacts and have been directed to quarantine for 14 days.
UConn lists 28 new cases
UConn announced Sunday that there were 14 new on-campus positives and 14 new off-campus positives. Seven of the 28 were already in medical quarantine.
Twenty-three of the 28 were identified through 740 surveillance tests, part of the larger initiative currently under way to test all on-campus students before they leave campus Friday for Thanksgiving break.
- New positive cases among Storrs on-campus (residential) students: 14
- New positive cases among Storrs off-campus students: 14
- New positive cases among employees/affiliates: 0
- Students in isolation on campus with positive and/or symptomatic cases: 58
- Confirmed positive Storrs residential student cases this semester (cumulative): 303
- Positive and/or symptomatic students who have recovered and left isolation after treatment from Student Health and Wellness: 381
- Current positive test rate among UConn Storrs residential students: 1.16 percent
The dashboard also contains a link to daily and historical student testing data.
6 Bridgeport schools on remote learning until further notice
The following schools are on remote learning as of Monday, Nov. 16
- Fairchild Wheeler IT
Gov. Lamont quarantines after staff member tests positive
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont is self-quarantining after his chief spokesperson for COVID-19. His administration announced late Friday that the unidentified staff member has the first known case of the coronavirus in the Democratic governor’s office.
Chief spokesperson Max Reiss identified himself of Twitter as the person who had tested positive shortly thereafter. Reiss isn’t exhibiting symptoms and is in isolation at home. In addition to Lamont, chief of staff Paul Mounds and chief operating officer Josh Geballe will self-quarantine. Contact tracing has begun. The release said Lamont and senior staff are tested twice a week and there are no known additional positive cases.