Coronavirus in Connecticut: Live updates, hour-by-hour
As more and more Connecticut residents test positive for COVID-19, stay informed with all the latest information below.
Beyond local and statewide updates, this story will be updated with major regional, national and global information about coronavirus.
12:54 p.m. - The National Guard is expected to play a growing role in fighting the coronavirus in Connecticut, after the White House has announced that the federal government would pick up 100 percent of the cost. “It makes it a lot easier for the governor to reach into the National Guard and ask us for things,” said David Pytlik, public affairs officer for the Connecticut National Guard. “We’re starting to see a lot more missions.”
The Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services today released aggregate data of the reported number of laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 identified within its state-operated inpatient facilities.
DMHAS has taken steps to protect clients and staff from COVID-19 throughout the DMHAS system.
Adjusting outpatient services while promoting social distancing including telephone check-ins and closing wellness centers and social clubs; restricting visitors from DMHAS facilities; conducting health screenings of all individuals who enter DMHAS facilities, including staff and clients; approving over 1,000 employees for telework to promote social distancing and minimize exposure to clients and staff at DMHAS facilities; and, directing staff who are symptomatic or have been in close contact with individuals suspected of or having COVID-19 to stay home and self-quarantine to prevent infecting clients and other staff.
For more information, visit the DMHAS COVID-19 Response webpage at https://portal.ct.gov/DMHAS-COVID-19.
12:16 p.m. - American Medical Response ambulances and emergency personnel crews from Bridgeport and New Haven have headed to New York as part of a contract with the Federal Emergency Management Administration to respond to the public health emergency created by COVID-19. There will be no impact to the services provided to local communities, said Tawnya Silloway, spokeswoman for Global Medical Response, the parent company of AMR.
11:56 a.m. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his brother, Chris Cuomo, has tested positive for the coronavirus. He said the CNN journalist is quaranteed in the basement of his home. He made the announcement during his daily press briefing on the coronavirus pandemic. You can watch it here.
His brother told him “even the dogs won’t come downstairs,” Gov. Cuomo said.
CNN said he is feeling well, and will continue to anchor his 9 p.m. program "Cuomo Prime Time" from his home.
11:42 a.m. - Bridgeport police officers, who have been complaining for more than a week about the lack of protective equipment against COVID-19, were handed packets of temporary supplies on Monday. The small packets, handed out by Assistant Police chief Rebecca Garcia to police supervisors, contain a paper mask, a pair of gloves, a bar of soap, an antiseptic wipe and tissues.
11:25 a.m. - Connecticut will break up the state’s nursing home population and send those who are sick to facilities designated only for residents who have been infected with the coronavirus.“This is not something any of us ever thought would happen in our longterm care community, but these are unprecedented times,” reads a letter sent to families of nursing home patients by the state health department. “We must take immediate action to prevent and delay the further spread of COVID-19 to keep all residents and staff safe.” Read more here.
10:46 a.m. - While pets don’t understand pandemics, they do understand stress in their human family. They do this by being able to smell that their family (or individual person) is stressed. Our pets can smell perspiration and they can sense anxiety. Emotional support dogs are known for being able to do this.
Here are some tips to help ease your pets’ stress levels:
10:32 a.m. - For all the news about the coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease the virus causes, there are still many questions on readers’ minds. On Monday, Dr. David Katz, founding director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, answers the latest reader submissions here.
10:15 a.m. - Voluntary social distancing isn’t working very well among young people who might spread the coronavirus to vulnerable populations, Gov. Ned Lamont announced Tuesday morning, and he’s thinking about narrowing the list of so-called essential businesses as the state anticipates the infection peaking over the next couple of weeks. “Certainly I think that April is going to be a horrible month,” Lamont said. Read more here.
9:52 a.m. - Supermarket chains statewide will implement more rules to separate shoppers based on tougher restrictions ordered Sunday in Norwalk to battle the coronavirus. “We’re trying to do the best we can to make sure people are safe,” said Wayne Pesce, who runs the West Hartford-based Connecticut Food Association, an industry group that promotes retail grocers and their suppliers. Read more here.
9:33 a.m. - As large numbers of people turn to video-teleconferencing platforms to stay connected in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, reports of VTC hijacking (also called “Zoom-bombing”) are emerging nationwide. The FBI has received multiple reports of conferences being disrupted by pornographic and/or hate images and threatening language.
The FBI suggests the following steps can be taken to mitigate teleconference hijacking threats:
Do not make meetings or classrooms public. In Zoom, there are two options to make a meeting private: require a meeting password or use the waiting room feature and control the admittance of guests. Do not share a link to a teleconference or classroom on an unrestricted publicly available social media post. Provide the link directly to specific people. Manage screensharing options. In Zoom, change screensharing to “Host Only.”
To read more, click here.
8:55 a.m. - The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today announced that distribution of economic stimulus payments will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. However, some seniors and others who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the stimulus payment
Click here to read a Q&A on how the payments will be distributed.
8:37 a.m. - From Easton Park & Recreation:
EASTON PLAYGROUNDS, TENNIS COURTS AND HKMS BASKETBALL COURT ARE CLOSED. Easton parks (including dog park) are currently open for passive recreation from sunrise to sunset, please be sure to adhere to social distancing rules and keep groups to minimal amounts of people.
EASTON SPORTS FIELDS ARE CLOSED. Easton fields are typically closed through mid-April every year so fields can be prepped and prepared for play. Our department will be evaluating the situation at the end of March depending on social distancing rules going forward.
7:56 a.m. - In Wilton where there are 44 confirmed coronavirus cases. there are concerns of overcrowded grocery stores on Saturday as residents, concerned about talk of a quarantine, rushed to stock up. “In turn, the stores weren’t very busy on Sunday and someone, who arrived at the start of senior hours Monday at one of the Wilton grocery stores, reported he was the only one shopping at the time. Two things: Even when there was a quarantine in New Rochelle, trucks were able to deliver to stores.
“Be strategic about when you shop. If the parking lot is half-full or more, go back later or the next morning. Go alone and while there, behave as if you have the virus and as if those around you do as well.”
7:36 a.m. - For every one person who catches coronavirus in Connecticut, the virus will spread to three more. To be more specific, the reproduction number (or “R naught” as epidemiologists say) in Connecticut is 2.91, according to a tool developed by Ted Cohen of the Yale School of Medicine.
“If we can drive that number below one it means we're driving the epidemic toward extinction,” Cohen said. Click here to read more.
7:11 a.m. - Hamden Mayor Curt Balzano Leng has announced a new public engagement initiative, coined “Weekly Wednesdays,” which will be a virtual town hall-style meeting where he will provide community updates by way of live video conference. Leng will be available to answer questions during these live meetings, however the primary focus will be the dissemination of information to residents.
“Now more than ever we need reliable and accurate information - and we need it regularly,” Leng said. “I plan to speak live with our residents every week in an effort to ensure this information is received. Please, inform your friends and family that these weekly updates will be occurring, and encourage them to tune in for the most update to date information on not only what’s happening in Hamden, but most importantly right now - what Hamden is doing to combat COVID-19 and what YOU can do to help.”
6:38 a.m. - From the Weston Emergency Operation Center: To date 26 residents have tested positive with the coronavirus. The breakdown includes ages 15-19 (7) positive, ages 20-23 (5) positive, ages 30-39 (0) cases, ages 40-49 (2) positive, ages 50-59 (8) positive, ages 60-69 (3) and ages 70-79 (1) positive.
“This information is provided to you to show that we are all at risk regardless of our ages. Please continue to do your best to practice social distancing so we can flatten the curve and get past this dreadful virus.”
6:12 a.m. - The number of Greenwich residents who have been diagnosed with the coronavirus has reached triple digits as a group of anonymous residents made a sizable donation of masks to Greenwich Hospital. There were 113 Greenwich cases as of Monday, up from 77 on Friday. Greenwich Hospital was treating 90 patients with the virus as of Monday, but they were not all town residents because the hospital takes in patients from the wider region.
5:45 a.m. - Faced with the ominous possibility that Connecticut hospitals soon won’t be able to handle a continued surge of coronavirus patients, the governor and healthcare executives revealed a broad plan Monday to use colleges, casinos, arenas and other venues to help treat the state’s sick.
The developments came on a day when another 578 people tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, bringing the total to 2,571, a 29-percent jump from Sunday as the infection spreads more into New Haven County, Lamont said. The Department of Public Health reported two more deaths statewide, bringing the total to 36. To read more, click here.
9:30 p.m. - Stamford Mayor David Martin announced a dedicated COVID-19 hotline for residents to call for information on local testing sites.
Residents can call 1-833-508-8378 for more information.
9 p.m. - The next time you go grocery shopping, don’t be surprised to find a barrier between you and the cashier when you check out.
A growing number of grocery chains have installed clear, plastic shields at their checkout counters in response the spread of the coronavirus. The practice began several weeks ago at some of the major grocery chains that serve Connecticut: Big Y, Stop & Shop and ShopRite.
A spokeswoman with Stop & Shop said the chain has put in place a variety of measures to try to protect both shoppers and employees alike from contracting the coronavirus while grocery shopping.
The use of the clear, plastic shields isn’t limited to large grocery chains. Caraluzzi’s Supermarket, a family-owned chain with stores in Bethel, Newtown and Wilton, also has the shields in place at the cash registers.
8:40 p.m - Homeless individuals are staying at the Super 8 Motel following an order from the state to get them out of shelters where they could be in close quarters.
About 70 to 75 people were moved to the motel on Lake Avenue Extension on Saturday, when the order was issued. They had been staying at the Danbury War Memorial since last Tuesday after other shelters closed due to the coronavirus. The state is covering the cost.
“To the extent that we can house people, we do,” Mayor Mark Boughton said.
8 p.m. - The number of new coronavirus cases in Fairfield has risen to 35, including one death, according to First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick.
This is up from 18 confirmed cases on Friday.
The announcement comes two days after the town announced its first death from the coronavirus, an 85-year-old man with underlying health conditions.
7:30 p.m. - Monroe will offer residents free resources over the phone in the wake of six confirmed coronavirus cases in town.
First Selectman Ken Kellogg pointed residents to links on the town’s website for things to do at home, reminders to take a stress-break and how to access support services.
“Remember that we must remain connected while doing our part to keep our neighbors safe. We’re all in this together,” said Kellogg.
Residents who are “stressed, anxious, isolated or having difficulty concentrating” are urged to contact town social worker Jessica Champagne. Champagne can provide resources by phone through the town’s free telehealth service.
To schedule an appointment with Champagne, call 203-913-6955 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
6:35 p.m. - Norwalk still has the most coronavirus cases of any other municipality in the state as of Monday evening.
According to data released from the state, Norwalk has 271 cases, second only to Danbury with 218 cases. There were 45 new cases in Norwalk between Sunday and Monday.
Westport, which previously led the state in the highest number of cases following an outbreak at a large house party, now has 115 cases with only one new case since Monday.
6:15 p.m. - Officials in Branford confirmed the first fatality from COVID-19 there Monday. The victim was a woman between the ages of 80 and 90, First Selectman James Cosgrove said in a press release.
“We are deeply saddened to announce that a Branford resident has died as a result of her contracting COVID-19. This terrible virus has taken a life in our community, and that loss of life gives each of us pause and fills us with sorrow. Our prayers go out to the family” Cosgrove said.
The release noted the first death came just seven days after the town reported its first case of the coronavirus.
6:15 p.m. - President Donald Trump claimed in a press conference Monday evening that FEMA will be sending 50 ventilators to Connecticut to help deal with shortages caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
Trump also said that 400 ventilators would be sent to Michigan, 300 to New Jersey and 150 to Louisiana.
Trump lists off ventilators stats:— Herb Scribner (@HerbScribner) March 30, 2020
400 to Michigan.
300 to NJ
150 to Louisiana
50 to Connecticut.
5:45 p.m. - Stamford Hospital is asking for donations of personal protective equipment , or PPE, amid the spread of coronavirus in the city.
“The situation is fluid and we are concerned,” spokesperson Andie Jodko said. “We have what we need to keep staff and patients safe right now, but we are doing everything we can to acquire additional PPE thru donations and creative sources.”
The number of patients at Stamford Hospital who have tested positive for COVID-19 is almost five times higher than it was a week ago.
As of Friday, the hospital had found 19 people with the respiratory illness, according to spokesperson Andie Jodko. On March 19, that number was four.
5:15 p.m. - Senior citizens won’t have to go to the grocery stores in Bridgeport, thanks to a new delivery system.
City officials announced a new partnership with the Southwest CT Agency on Aging to help deliver groceries to seniors. The new system hopes to keep elderly people at home and safe as the coronavirus continues to spread around the state
If you or someone you know is in need please, try calling 1-800-994-9422 for more information on deliveries.
We teamed up with SWCAA - Southwest CT Agency on Aging to deliver groceries to seniors.— Bridgeport EOC (@BRIDGEPORTEOC) March 30, 2020
If you or someone you know is in need please call 1-800-994-9422 .#bridgeport #InThisTogether #Nutrition #seniors #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/HPlsBGNVuQ
4:45 p.m. - Gov. Ned Lamont announced Monday that an additional 578 Connecticut residents tested positive for COVID-19 since yesterday, bringing the total to 2,571.
Lamont also said on Monday that 517 people have been hospitalized for the virus. To date, there have been 36 fatalities, according to Lamont.
More than 14,600 tests have been conducted statewide.
UPDATE: Since yesterday, an additional 578 Connecticut residents tested positive for #COVID19, bringing the total to 2,571.— Governor Ned Lamont (@GovNedLamont) March 30, 2020
517 people have been hospitalized and there have been 36 fatalities.
More than 14,600 tests have been conducted statewide.
4:15 p.m. - The stricter shopping rules imposed this weekend on Norwalk stores during the pandemic may be implemented statewide.
With coronavirus cases surging in Norwalk, Mayor Harry Rilling on Sunday issued a handful of emergency orders aimed at forcing social-distancing. Those included reducing the maximum occupancy of Norwalk businesses to 50 percent of the fire marshal’s allowed limit, and requiring family’s to send only one member to a store at a time.
Wayne Pesce, who runs the West Hartford-based Connecticut Food Association, an industry group that promotes retail grocers and their suppliers, said he would be talking to about a dozen of the large chains Monday afternoon about recommending Gov. Ned Lamont issue a similar executive order.