CT death toll up by 33 as coronavirus spreads
The state confirmed 33 additional COVID-19-related deaths Saturday, the largest single-day increase since the crisis began, according to state testing data.
The number of Connecticut who have died after testing positive rose to 165, the state said.
One by one, more and more municipalities — even small, rural ones — are feeling the tragic effects as the disease spreads.
North Branford, an agricultural community just north of New Haven, confirmed its first COVID-19 fatality Saturday after the disease killed a woman in her thirties. The small coastal town of Madison announced its second.
The number of laboratory-confirmed cases rose by 362 between Friday and Saturday, Gov. Ned Lamont announced in a release, bringing the total to 5,276.
Only 14 of the state’s 169 cities and towns have so far avoided confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the data, which indicates that Putnam was the latest town to confirm its first case.
Connecticut also recorded 124 more coronavirus-related hospitalizations, up to 1033.
And as Lamont announced Friday, hospitalizations are projected to last well into the summer.
The Connecticut National Guard continues its work setting up overflow sites for healthcare facilities.
Officers began repurposing a Stamford Hospital building Saturday morning, and the agency anticipates on sites in Farmington and New Britain in the near future, said Capt. David Pytlik, a spokesman.
They represent just some of the people working across agencies and departments at the federal, state and local levels to prepare for the impacts of the pandemic.
New Haven signed an official agreement with University of New Haven to house first responders, roughly 150 to 160 individuals, Mayor Justin Elicker said Saturday.
Attorney General William Barr made the federal prison in Danbury the latest correctional institution ordered to release inmates, in an effort to ease the spread of the disease among prisoners, according to a Reuters report published Friday night.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons had confirmed 28 cases of COVID-19 as of Saturday, with 21 inmates and seven employees impacted.
The American Civil Liberties Union has urged Connecticut officials to take similar measures at state-run prisons.
And prisoners don’t represent the only vulnerable population advocates are worried about.
State officials learned that the Federal Emergency Management Agency approved Connecticut’s request to make domestic violence survivors eligible for non-congregate housing, Lamont announced Saturday.
That means the state and its municipalities can be reimbursed for 75% of the costs associated with putting survivors in non-congregate housing, according to the governor, who said homeless individuals, healthcare workers and first responders had previously been approved for the measure.
“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.
Officials continue to make efforts to support children threatened by food insecurity because of school cancellations.
School districts have now served over a million meals through emergency programs instituted after Lamont closed schools almost three weeks ago, according to the governor’s Saturday release.
But there’s a long road ahead, as Lamont indicated Friday: if trends continue, the state could need 3,000 more ventilators than it has in stock.
Four separate surges in coronavirus cases have been predicted, each for a different region of the state, according to Lamont, who said COVID-19 hospitalizations could linger into July.
firstname.lastname@example.org; Ken Dixon contributed to this report.