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Federal Funding Will Help Schools Cope with New Reality


By Thomas Nocera, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — Hartford will receive about $11 million in funding to help cope with the coronavirus pandemic that forced school closures.

On Thursday, a week after cancelling all kindergarten to 12th grade in-person classes for the remainder of the school year, Gov. Ned Lamont announced that the state would be receiving $111 million in educational aid from the federal government.

The aid comes as part of the congressional coronavirus relief package and will be used to help schools reshape themselves to meet educational needs in a world defined by social distancing measures and facility closures.

“This global pandemic is causing unprecedented consequences that we have never experienced in our lifetimes,” the governor said, “and our school systems have been forced to respond in creative ways.” 

The funds will be distributed to individual school districts in proportion to the amount of Title 1 funding they’ve received in the past. Title 1 is a federal program that gives aid to schools based on how many low-income families with children live in their districts.

Across the country, educational institutions have had to make a sudden pivot to distance learning as the pandemic set in.

In Connecticut, individual districts have been given a great deal of latitude by the state to develop new curriculums that meet their students’ needs. According to a Board of Education spokesperson for Hartford, the transition to distance learning wasn’t always a smooth one.

“[This] is a new way of learning for many of our students, and teachers have reached out to students and families via email, phone, and Google Classroom to help them adjust,” she said. “Not being able to provide direct face-to-face instruction and student engagement in the classroom is a significant challenge.”

One glaring problem the funding will help address is an uneven access to technology. Without face-to-face interactions, computers and the internet are new educational necessities – but many families lack access to either or both. 

The money will help bolster an already existing effort by the Board of Education to mail out laptops and printed curriculums to students.As well as providing for those immediate needs, aid will also go towards cushioning budgets, fine-tuning curriculums for students with disabilities, and developing strategies for the days ahead.

Donald Williams, executive director for the Connecticut Education Association, a non-profit organization that represents teachers, students, and their families across the state believes officials are beginning to look towards the more distant future when making decisions now.

“My sense is that they needed to pivot from thinking about coming back for the last two, three weeks of school,” he said, “to planning for summer school or possible reopening in the fall. Everyone understands there are a lot of moving parts involved in bringing students and staff back into school before there is a vaccine.”

What actually happens going forward will depend on a number of important measurements. Future rates of infection, testing and contact tracing capabilities, and transportation options for students and staff will all be weighed in the coming weeks and months by health and education officials.

Though Lamont initially hoped that students might be able to attend at least some in-person classes at the end of the year, the changing reality on the ground made a return to traditional teaching an impossibility he announced last week.

“I was holding out hope, particularly for high school seniors, that we’d at least be able to complete the final few weeks,” Lamont said in a press conference last week. “But given the current circumstances – and to protect everyone’s safety – it has become clear that it’s just not possible.”

Many issues – like childcare options for parents that will be returning to work as state reopens – remain unsolved however. A spokesperson for the Board of Education says a task force composed of community based organizations and education officials will be key in addressing this issue and others in the evolving educational landscape that lies ahead.

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Gov. Ned Lamont: Some Businesses to Reopen


By Thomas Nocera, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — Three months after the global pandemic of the coronavirus, Gov. Ned Lamont on Monday scheduled several type of businesses to reopen.

According to Lamont’s office, barbershops, beauty salons and several kinds of retail stories will be opened in phase one of the plan, but they will follow specific rules as described to stave off the spread of COVID-19.

The first phase – which includes restaurants; offices; hair salons and barbershops; retail stores; and outdoor museums and zoos – is currently planned to take effect beginning May 20.

The governor stressed that the decision to reopen during this phase rests with each individual business owner – they are not required to open if they do not choose.

The protocols were developed by Lamont, members of his office, and the Department of Economic and Community Development, in consultation with legislators and recommendations made by the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group, which consists of several of the state’s leading medical experts and representatives of several business and industry groups.

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CABC, Inc Hires Andrea Mesquita As New Program Director


By Fran Wilson, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — West End Resident Andrea Mesquita was recently promoted to the position of Program Director for the Connecticut Alliance for Better Communities, Inc.—effective July 20, 2020.

In her new executive role, Mesquita will coordinate effective community conversations in the Greater Hartford communities and CABC Inc.’s Summer Journalism Workshop programs that began in 2004. Her role in the community-based organization will encompass marketing and other crucial administrative duties to help provide residents with basic needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

West End Resident Andrea Mesquita is the new Program Director at CABC, Inc.

“CABC, Inc. is happy to promote Andrea Mesquita to this crucial role in our organization,” said CABC, Inc. Board Chairman David Williams. “She has deep knowledge of the city and state; and that is an asset to our organization.”

Mesquita was recently a program director at the Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Hartford, where her role included organizing a popular community feature in the Asylum Hill neighborhood: “Dinner and a Movie.” She has also worked in various roles at Trinity College and the Hartford Public Library.

Mesquita, a longtime Hartford resident, graduated from Capital Community College with honors and two scholarships to attend Smith College in Northhampton, MA and Trinity College in Hartford.  Her route to become an English professor at Smith College was derailed by political operatives, who worked on the 2004 presidential campaign, however. More importantly, Mesquita was previously a generous volunteer for The Hartford Guardian.

The longtime writer, wife and mother of three was known to insiders in Hollywood as Vanessa on The Cosby Show, the popular NBC sitcom that aired between 1984 and 1992.

The youngest of six children by her middle-class mother and father, Mesquita wanted to be empowered by a college degree after she moved to Hartford in 1989.

“My mother always encouraged me to put the books before the boys,” Mesquita said in a 2000 Hartford Courant article that featured the former president of Capital Community College Alumni Association.

Mesquita brings with her a wealth of experiences to CABC, Inc., which publishes The Hartford Guardian, the first nonprofit, hyperlocal news publication in Connecticut.

“I look forward to employing my wealth of experience as a community organizer, executive and volunteer for almost 20 years in Hartford, so I can diligently work for the greater good,” Mesquita said.

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Most Americans Want to Reopen–Not


By Dr. Juan Andrade, Jr.

Anyone who says that most Americans want to lift restrictions and reopen the economy is simply not following the data; much like the President is ignoring scientific and medical data on COVID-19. If you think the states should reopen and everybody you know agrees, well, think about this. An overwhelming majority of Americans disagree with you and with everybody you know.

This is where we are today. We have approximately 1,250,000 COVID-19 cases today and roughly 75,000 have died. Three months ago, we had 15 cases and one death. Still want to reopen?

A very recent Washington Post/University of Maryland poll found that 67 percent of Americans said they would feel uncomfortable shopping at a retail clothing store, and 78 percent would be uncomfortable at a sit-down restaurant. These were just two of eight places a big majority of Americans said restrictions should not be lifted. The other six were gun stores (70 percent), nail salons (74 percent), barbershops and hair salons (69 percent), gyms (78 percent), golf courses (59 percent), and movie theaters (82 percent). Grocery stores, whether well stocked or not, have remained open throughout the pandemic.

Governors in 30 states have begun to reopen at some level, possibly ignoring the fact that the U.S. has already surpassed 1.2 million cases, more than Spain, Italy, France, England, and Germany combined. The following are three highly reliable models of what Americans could expect, which hopefully will make those states reconsider.

In an article in USA Today, Jorge Ortiz reported that the U.S. has had an increase of at least 20,000 COVID-19 cases each day since mid-March. According to the New York Times, a CDC (Center for Disease Control) model projects the number could rise to 200,000 cases with 3,000 deaths per day.

The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projected 134, 475 deaths in the U.S. by Aug. 4.

A new model from Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania projected that 117,000 Americans would be dead by June 30 and if states fully reopened, the number of Americans dead would hit 466,000 by the same date.

The obvious is that many more people will die. The question is how many and whether you will be one of them. I hope not.

Dr. Juan Andrade, Jr. is president of United States Hispanic Leadership Institute, Inc.

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CT Officials Plan For Surge Hospitalizations


By Thomas Nocera, Staff Writer

To date, Hartford county has confirmed more than 9,000 cases of COVID-19 hospitalizations. The state collectively has reported 29, 973 confirmed cases and 2,556 deaths.

Source: https://news.google.com/covid19/map?hl=en-US&mid=/m

Those numbers are only expected to grow over the next month, with a peak in cases and deaths projected for late April and early May, according to Gov. Ned Lamont.

While those numbers indicate that infection and deaths have increased steadily, a continued drop in daily hospitalizations provided an encouraging sign that lockdown measures had been effective. Mayor Luke Bronin was cautiously optimistic in highlighting this at a tele-town hall meeting on Thursday, making sure to stress that the city was still not clear of danger.

“It’s something that should be encouraging to some extent,” he said of the drop in hospitalizations. “But if you think back to a month ago, the number of people getting this and being hospitalized [now] would have been really scary to us. We’re going to have to continue to do everything we can to make sure that that trend continues down rather than reverse.”

While Bronin stressed caution, Gov. Ned Lamont held a press conference the same day to outline his phased reopening strategy for Connecticut. The four-stage plan of cascading re-openings and lifting of lockdown measures follows on the heels of similar efforts in states across the country in recent days.

The plan, designed to be slow and methodical, will rely on a constant and close analysis of infection rates county by county. According to Lamont, it will begin on May 20 if the state has recorded a 14-day drop in hospitalizations by that time.

Source: DATA HAVEN

Those first unease steps forward will include the reopening of ‘personal service’ businesses, like hair and nail salons, outdoor museums and zoos, and outdoor recreational areas.

However, the momentum of reopening will be informed from start to finish by a long list of considerations. This includes the amount personal protective equipment available at any given time, the status of high-risk populations, and – perhaps most importantly – widespread access to testing.

Throughout the press conference, the governor was keen to highlight the necessity of high-volume testing in ensuring consumer safety and confidence.

“This is not something for me to take lightly,” the governor said. “This is not something for the business community to take lightly. It is absolutely vital.”

Looking to the successes and failures of governments across the world, Lamont stressed that testing is key to preventing a resurgence of cases. As infection numbers are likely to re-increase as more people emerge from their homes, testing gives officials the ability to identify and isolate potential hotspots before they flare up.

“Testing is on track,” he said of the state’s efforts. “We’re expanding that, and that’s a real priority for me and a real priority for our team.”

Additional testing facilities have opened across towns and counties statewide. In Hartford, a number of mobile test facilities, meant to fill gaps in the city’s current capabilities, have begun operating. Vans managed by Hartford HealthCare in coordination with the government have been ferrying doctors and testing equipment to neighborhoods that have little or no access to existing medical infrastructure.

As Connecticut cautiously moves forward in its plans to reopen, it does so in conjunction with a coalition of states including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Delaware.

Officials believe that by coordinating reopening phases, they can avoid flare ups and cross-border infections surges across the Northeast.

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Hartford HealthCare and City to Erect Mobile Test Sites


HARTFORD — Hartford will be the first site for HealthCare mobile coronavirus testing soon to reach the city’s most vulnerable and underserved populations, according to hospital officials on Thursday.

The mobile testing will focus on nursing homes first because they have been the site of numerous outbreaks. The next hot spots will be hotels housing hundreds of people relocated from homeless shelters, Mayor Luke Bronin said.

On Thursday, the city announced another program that will make coronavirus testing more accessible to the wider community: free rides for those who have an appointment at Hartford Hospital or Saint Francis Medical Center.

More than 30 percent of households in Hartford don’t have access to a car, according to the Census Bureau.

Hartford residents can now call 860-757-9311 and the city will arrange a ride to the site, Bronin said in a press conference on Thursday.

Both hospitals are also accepting people on foot. However, health officials said, driving through is safest, as it limits potential exposure to other people.

City officials urged city residents to practice social distancing and to wear masks.

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Hartford Police Seize Bags of Heroine


Hartford are still investigating a recent drug best that includes a discovery of more than 1,200 bags of heroin.

Last Friday, Police seized 1,397 bags of heroin after a recovering a stolen car from Massachusetts. Before the bust, police chased the suspects on foot. 

The suspects include two 18 year-olds, who were arrested.

Also, officers seized 14 grams of crack cocaine and $4,740. 

Hartford Police Drug Raid

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News Analysis: COVID Data Presents Blind-Spots


By Thomas Nocera, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — Across the country, combating the spread of coronavirus has increasingly relied on data zeroing on each zip code in urban, rural and suburban towns. With such tight focus, local and state governments have been more effective at tracking trends, pivoting to new needs, and allocating resources where most needed.

Here in Connecticut, however, information that detailed is simply not available. Currently coronavirus numbers that make their way to local authorities from the state are not refined any further than the county and town level.

This lack may leave the most vulnerable and hard hit communities without the proper resources and, according to James Trostle, Professor of Anthropology at Trinity College and author of ‘Epidemiology and Culture,’ can hinder overall response efforts.

“This kind of information is called geo-located data,” Trostle says. “It provides an important way to look at the spatial distribution of both risks and infections. In fact, ‘place’ is one of the three core organizing principles in epidemiology, along with person and time.”

Thomas Nocera

Trostle, whose expertise is in medical anthropology and public health, believes that sharing of highly specified data can be one of the keys to successfully combating pandemics. Currently, the Connecticut Department of Public Health acts as a central corral point for COVID-19 data it receives from hospitals and other health facilitates. From there, numbers are input into a frequently updated database for relevant authorities on the ground to use as they develop strategies. But the lack of more detail may create a blind-spot of sorts for local health officials.

In Hartford, for example, Vasishth Srivastava, Mayor Bronin’s chief-of-staff, confirmed that the database does not allow them to see detailed demographic or geographic information, though they’ve been attempting to work out a plan to receive such data. In cities and states outside of Connecticut, however, access to that information has allowed officials to fine-tune responses.

In New York, like in Connecticut, analysis of geo-located data revealed that poor and minority neighborhoods had far higher rates of infection. That initiated a quick and forceful response which included the opening of new clinics and testing facilities in these areas. The worrying revelation that vulnerable communities were bearing the brunt of the virus’s effects is by no means isolated.

Illinois and North Carolina have also dug deeper into their data and identified higher rates of infection linked to ethnicity and income in particular areas or neighborhoods. By scaling down the data, authorities in these states hope to have a better chance at staying a step ahead of the ever-changing patterns of infection. Not doing so though can seriously hinder responses.

“Ignoring, or failing to collect, place-based data like zip code or census tract or latitude/longitude,” Trostle claims, “makes it difficult – if not impossible – to see how important location might be in the growth or distribution of any particular epidemic infection.”

Strategies that meticulously map out infections are nothing new when it comes to combating diseases. In one well known effort, the father of modern epidemiology – John Snow – painstakingly traced the source of a cholera outbreak in London in 1854. According to Trostle, Snow did this by walking “door-to-door and counting cholera cases house-by-house.”

Snow’s efforts were groundbreaking at the time. Today though, the precedent for tracing cases as locally as possible is a well-proven method in the fight against pandemics.

By responding to small scale hotspots, authorities better their chances of avoiding larger pools of infection in the future. As of now, cities across Connecticut will have to wait for that level of information as no plans currently exist to refine data and provide deeper location information, according to a spokesperson in an email from the state’s Department of Public Health. 

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As New COVID-19 Deaths Grow, Lamont Considers Executive Order On Masks


By Patrick Skahill, CTPublic Radio

HARTFORD — Gov. Ned Lamont said Wednesday that he is considering an executive order spelling out when and where Connecticut residents should wear face masks in response to the ongoing pandemic.

Despite a few flickers of hope that Connecticut was rounding the bend on COVID-19 cases, Lamont said Wednesday that virus infections continue to grow, with nearly 200 newly reported deaths.

“If you can keep your social distance, you don’t have to wear a mask,” Lamont said. “If you’re walking down the block and you’re by yourself, that’s fine. If you get to a crowded group, wear a mask. If you go into a store … wear a mask.”

Lamont said the masks don’t need to be medical quality face coverings. A cloth bandanna or handkerchief will suffice.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidance recommending people wear face coverings in certain situations to protect others from contracting COVID-19. Evidence shows asymptomatic people may be able to spread the virus to others, the CDC said.

“This is the way that we can get this virus — stop it dead in its tracks — and help this state get moving again,” Lamont said.

As of Wednesday, nearly 2,000 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 in Connecticut. The state reported an additional 197 deaths, which Lamont said was attributable to a numerical backlog in reporting — not a one day death spike.

Still, hospitalizations are growing. In New Haven County, the number of people hospitalized from COVID-19 surpassed 600 on Wednesday.

As he works to contain the virus in New Haven, Mayor Justin Elicker signed an emergency order Wednesday that will require the use of face coverings in essential retail businesses, including grocery stores, big-box stores or wholesale clubs, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and package stores.

Elicker’s order also specifies that business owners may refuse customers not wearing facemasks. The order will go into effect on Friday morning.

“Wearing a mask is an important way to protect your neighbors, family members, and others from contracting COVID-19,” said Elicker, in a statement. “We are fast approaching 800 positive cases in the Elm City … Please stay home as much as you can and stay safe.”

Millions In federal aid slated for Connecticut airports 

While Bradley International Airport remains open and domestic flights are operating, the Connecticut Airport Authority, which runs Bradley, said many of its airline partners have reduced schedules or dropped their flights completely. To help mitigate similar stoppages nationwide, the government released a multi-billion dollar relief program aimed at shoring up operations at U.S. airports impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Aer Lingus, Air Canada and Spirit Airlines have temporarily stopped all operations from Bradley,” said the CAA’s Ryan Tenny in an email Wednesday. “Our other airline partners continue to adjust operations on a daily basis…we are currently experiencing over a 95% decrease in passenger traffic.”

Roughly $28.5 million of the federal aid package will go to Bradley, according to a joint statement from Connecticut’s congressional delegation. The money can be used for airport capital expenditures, operating expenses such as payroll and utilities, and debt payments.

“The impacts to our operations will likely persist for months to come,” said Kevin Dillion, executive director of the CAA in a statement. “This assistance is an essential piece of the solution.”

In addition to Bradley, Tweed-New Haven will receive roughly $1.1 million, and Igor Sikorsky Memorial Airport, which is owned by the city of Bridgeport, will get about $150,000.

UConn Health using patient blood to fight COVID-19

As doctors continue to seek new ways to fight the novel coronavirus, UConn Health announced Wednesday that several employees who have recovered from COVID-19 are now in the process of donating their blood to help critically ill patients. The trial will test if the antibodies in that blood could potentially attack the virus and help patients who are sick with COVID-19 more rapidly recover.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved four healthcare systems for the study,including the Mayo Clinic and Trinity Health Of New England, which runs St. Francis Hospital in Hartford. UConn Health said Wednesday it’s joined the effort using a protocol developed by the Mayo Clinic.

“The use of convalescent plasma is not at all new to medicine, and can be traced back to the 20th century,” said Mauricio Montezuma, site principal investigator for UConn Health, in a statement. “Data on convalescent plasma in COVID-19 is limited; however, two small reports from China are promising.”

Before any donor blood would be transfused to coronavirus patients, it will be tested for several things, including virus-resistant antibodies, UConn Health said.

If the blood is suitable, the plasma will be donated.

Donors must have tested positive for coronavirus, be asymptomatic for 14 days, and have a subsequent negative test for the disease.

‘No cost’ life insurance offered to frontline healthcare workers

Medical professionals in Connecticut and Massachusetts who are risking their lives to providecare to patients infected with the novel coronavirus could soon be eligible for free life insurance, state officials said Wednesday morning.

COVID-19 Resources Page - Bullet Points

The no-cost, three-year term life insurance policy would be for medical workers employed at a licensed hospital, an urgent care center, or with an emergency medical services provider. The workers must have exposure to COVID-19 patients.

The life insurance policy, which is offered through Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, would provide up to $25,000 in no-cost benefits if the worker is between the ages of 18 and 50. Workers between the ages of 51 to 60 will receive a no-cost $10,000 death benefit. Lab technicians, custodial staff, maintenance crews, cafeteria workers and security personnel will also be considered for coverage, according to state officials.

More details and information on enrollment availability is on the MassMutual HealthBridge webpage.

Support requested for domestic violence and sexual assault victims

A bipartisan group of 39 U.S. senators, including Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), is calling for more federal funding to be made available to support programs for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

The $2 trillion coronavirus relief package already approved by Congress includes about $47 million for some domestic violence services, but no funding was allocated for sexual assault and domestic violence support programs operated by U.S. Department of Justice.

Local police and representatives of support services around the U.S. are reporting increased numbers of calls for help from victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The senators seeking more funding for such programs warn that “abusers are using COVID-19 to isolate their victims, withhold financial services and refuse medical aid.”

Murphy and Blumenthal, along with their colleagues, are asking that any additional relief legislation related to the pandemic include money for sexual assault service providers, law enforcement, transitional housing and other support services.

Connecticut seeking full federal disaster funding for pandemic costs

Gov. Ned Lamont and the state’s congressional delegation are asking that the federal government reimburse Connecticut for 100% of the state’s emergency spending relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. President Donald J. Trump has issued a federal disaster declaration for Connecticut as requested by Lamont, but that would only provide the state 75% federal reimbursement for state costs.

“The size and scope of this public health emergency is unprecedented,” Lamont said. “If approved, this request would bring much needed additional financial assistance to the state and our municipalities.”

In his request, Lamont said the state has already spent about $500 million on pandemic-related programs and services, money that wasn’t in the state budget. The governor said current projections are that Connecticut state government spending on COVID-19 issues “will at least triple to $1.5 billion.”

Relief requested for local farmers

As states across America adopt social distancing mandates aimed at combating the spread of COVID-19, the economic wiring of many local farms has unraveled.

Traditional buyers like nearby restaurants or schools have closed, and many farmers markets have shut down.

In response, the federal CARES Act sets aside $9.5 billion, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture will use to provide support to farmers across the nation.

Last week, senators Blumenthal and Murphy wrote to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, advocating that a portion of that money go to local food producers.

Additionally, the senators said they want the USDA to issue direct payments to qualified local farmers that are equal to 25% of annual revenue, up to a maximum of $25,000.

“For those local food producers who can provide information regarding actual COVID revenue loss and added costs, additional disaster assistance should be made available,” the senators wrote.

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Hartford Hits Grim Reality With COVID-19, First Infant Death


By Thomas Nocera, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — Hartford has likely set a grim and new global record as it struggles to contain its own Coronavirus outbreak –  the youngest victim to die from the illness passed away in the city in April.

It is reportedly the first around the world.

Just shy of seven-weeks old, the infant girl was reported to be in an unresponsive state when rushed to St. Francis Hospital, according to officials. Though doctors and nurses tried desperately to resuscitate her, Chief State Medical Examiner James Gill confirmed the child’s death on Thursday in an email.

“The infant did test positive for the COVID-19 virus and an autopsy was done at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner,” Gill wrote.

While medical officials say they can’t confirm the final cause of death until a necessary battery of tests is performed, the news has already rippled throughout the state. With the death of someone so young from the illness a rarity, Gov. Ned Lamont addressed the “tragic milestone” in a press conference.

“Probably the youngest person, ever, to die of COVID,” he recently informed viewers, “has died here in Connecticut.”

Urging people to continue practicing social distancing, Lamont joined an increasingly loud chorus of elected officials asking for the public’s help – including Mayor Luke Bronin. In a press conference Friday, Bronin announced a troubling new statistic: the 120 now-confirmed COVID cases in Hartford marks a 50 percent increase from just two days ago. In response, he said, his administration would be enforcing new, stricter measures.

“We are stepping up enforcement efforts to require social distancing,” he said. Specifically, inspectors will be “assessing compliance with social distancing requirements” at many stores still open throughout the city.

As the virus slowly burns its way through communities across the country, Hartford’s steady increase in cases has been thoroughly tracked and documented. While cases are spread widely throughout, pinpointed statistics on everything from the number of cases and deaths, to changes in the rate of infection, have been essential in informing the government’s response. Those statistics aren’t compiled in Hartford however. Instead they make their way through a web of hospitals and state officials before hitting the Mayor’s desk. Hartford’s Director of Health, Liany Arroyo, explained how that network functions in a statement:

“We receive information about cases and fatalities from the State Department of Public Health, which receives data from hospitals and laboratories. The numbers we get are directly from the State, which compiles information and inputs it into a statewide database which our local Health Department accesses multiple times a day.”

Analysis of that database has led city officials to embrace more stringent rules, concluding that the outbreak will get worse before it gets better. While Bronin hopes his new measures will eventually help decrease the number of cases, he struck a somber tone about the near future.

“We’re going to be in this for a while,” he said Friday. “We’re going to be seeing increases for a while.”

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