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Mayor Luke Bronin: Hartford in “Red Alert” Level with COVID-19


Anthony Zepperi, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin held a news conference on Friday afternoon to give an update on the COVID-19 pandemic a day after state officials said Hartford is one of 11 cities and towns in a “red alert” level due to cases of coronavirus.

On Thursday, the state launched the color-coded COVID-19 alert system for every city and town in the state, showing the average daily case rate per 100,000 population for the last two weeks.

Bronin said the alert should serve as a reminder to residents that the threat from the coronavirus remains real.

“To the extent that this alert highlights the need for continued vigilance, we welcome it,” Bronin said. “This is not a time to let down your guard.”

These Red Alert cities and towns also have the option to revert from Phase 3 of reopening back to Phase 2.

Bronin said he will continue to look at the option to scale back to Phase 2 of reopening from Phase 3 but at this time does not have any plans to take advantage of that option. The mayor said the city does not have a specific metric it will look at when considering a rollback.

The red level alert is for municipalities that have a two week average daily COVID-19 case rate higher than 15 per 100,000 population, orange level alert is for municipalities with case rates between 10 and 14 per 100,000 population, yellow alert level is for case rates between 5 and 9 per 100,000 population and municipalities with case rates lower than five per 100,000 population will be colored in gray.

The mayor said the city has not seen a significant increase in hospitalizations from COVID-19. He said the cases per 100,000 population partly has to do with the amount of testing being done.

“We are currently testing more residents than any other city in the state as far as we can tell,” Bronin said.

Residents of cities deemed to be at “red alert” level are asked to limit trips outside the home and avoid gathering with non-family members.

Communities are encouraged to cancel public events and limit community gathering points and to postpone all indoor activities and outdoor activities where wearing a mask or social distancing cannot be maintained, according to the state Department of Public Health.

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Hartford HealthCare to Do COVID-19 Tests in Hartford


HARTFORD — Hartford HealthCare is relocating and expanding their testing site to the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.

That’s because officials are planning for an uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases. And the garage will be used to accommodate 4,000 people a day, officials said. This new site will open Nov. 9 seven days a week.

The move by Hartford HealthCare will double the number of patients tested for COVID-19.

“Testing is absolutely crucial and it’s centers like this, as we now advance really to our first winter, where this testing capability becomes absolutely critical,” said Jeffrey Flaks, President, Hartford HealthCare.

“The more quickly we know who has the virus, the more we can support them,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.

Those choosing to get tested will get thier results in about 24 hours.

Since March, Hartford HealthCare performed 382,000 tests, officials said. Consequently, some Hartford residents are concerned about the flood of patients entering the small city.

Hartford Health spokesperson Tina Varone said that residents should not be concerned about the spread of the virus due to the move to increase capacity for tests at the Convention Center. The test site will be drive through only. No one will be required to exit cars and walk around.

Hartford HealthCare has 930 mobile testing sites.

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Veteran Affairs Will Hold ‘Stand Down 2020’ Event to Support Veterans


ROCKY HILL — The Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs will hold its annual Veterans Stand Down this month.

Stand Down has been a signature outreach event to support Veterans for nearly three decades. And this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have adapted with an event that combines online benefits presentations and for the first time, regional resource access sites. 

Stand Down 2020 will be a two day event.  Day one on Thursday, Sept. 24 will begin with a kickoff ceremony at 9:00 a.m.

at the Rocky Hill Campus broadcast via social media.  Following the ceremony will be a day of virtual informational sessions, including information on a variety of federal and state agencies and community service providers on topics, including housing and homeless services, state labor/employment and vocational resources, veteran caregiver support, legal assistance, education resources and more.

On day two, Friday, Sept. 25, there will be four locations throughout Connecticut, Bridgeport, Danbury, Norwich and Rocky Hill.  These locations will be staffed by representatives of the regional Vet Centers, CT Bar Association and the DVA to provide benefits information, pro-bono legal services and free COVID-19 testing and flu shots by medical professionals. 

During this day, COVID mitigation protocols will be strictly enforced and only a certain number of individuals will be allowed to enter at certain scheduled times, so registration is necessary.

Attached is the Stand Down 2020 poster and schedule of events which I hope you will circulate broadly.

For additional information and to register for Stand Down 2020 please visit: https://portal.ct.gov/DVA/Pages/Veterans-Stand-Down.

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Saint Francis Hospital Cuts Staff



HARTFORD — Many hospital workers in Connecticut will lose thier jobs.

St. Francis Hospital in Hartford and three other hospitals in the state will slash its workforce, furlough some workers and reduce hours for others.

That’s because hospital revenues have tanked during the pandemic.


In a statement, Trinity Health said most of the layoffs are administrative, “non-clinical” positions and some are workers that had been previously furloughed.


“Though there are positive signs that patients are returning for services, the organization expects the recovery to be gradual, and there are many unknowns, with the possible resurgence of the virus and the country’s economic recovery,” the statement said.


Trinity Health, which administrates St Francis and other hospitals including Mout Saini, said the cuts will be in the first quarter of its fiscal year on July 1.

Trinity Health also has said it planned to reduce the compensation of its executives; freeze all capital expenditures except those necessary to fight the pandemic and significantly reduce “discretionary” spending.

Posted in Bloomfield, East Hartford, Hartford, Neighborhood, West HartfordComments (0)

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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East Hartford Summer Camp Invites Applications


EAST HARTFORD — East Hartford Parks and Recreation is now accepting applications for six different summer camps.

The summer camps are open to children and teens from three-years-old to 15-years-old. The camp will be held at different sites throughout the town  and will begin the week of June 24 and run for seven weeks, except for Camp Munchkin, which is for three and four year olds.

All summer campers will participate in a variety of activities including theme weeks, arts and crafts, sports, nature activities and more. Some campers will visit pools, where they will receive free swimming instructions. There will also be off-site field trips at places such as Jump Off, CT Science Center, Dinosaur State Park, bowling, batting cages and movies.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided for all campers through the Summer Meals program.

Camp brochures are available at the Parks and Recreation office at 50 Chapman Place or online.

Registration is available on a weekly basis for all camps. Pre-registration is required for all camps at the Parks and Recreation office.

For more information, call Parks and Recreation at 860-291-7160 or visit www.easthartfordct.gov.

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Lunafest Film Festival Comes to Goodwin College


EAST HARTFORD — Lunafest, a short film festival that supports women, will be at Goodwin College on March 16.

The traveling festival features films by women with women leads and range from animation to fictional drama that cover issues such as women’s health, body image, relationships, cultural diversity and breaking barriers.

The event will begin at 2 p.m. at Goodwin at One Riverside Dr. in East Hartford.

Hailed as one of the most beautifully supported short film festival, the event is a way to empower women, organizers said.

The festival is hosted by Soroptimist International Central Connecticut Clubs and will benefit the organization’s Live Your Dream Awards.

Tickets are $15 and are available at lunafest.org.

Featured films are as follows:

  • “Today, Tomorrow and Yesterday,” an animated story of a woman finding her old diaries, by Jackie Files.
  • “Drummer Girl,” the story of a woman with a passion for music, by Sophie Hexter.
  • “Flip the Record,” a coming-of-age story about a Filipino-American girl, by Marie Jamora.
  • “War Paint,” the story of a woman facing racism and sexism, by Katrelle N. Kindred.
  • “Ur Dead to Me,” a story about a delivery woman learning about life, by Yonoko Li.
  • “The Final Show,” a story of a woman contemplating death, by Dana Nachman.
  • “Are We Good Parents?” a story about a girl who comes out to her family, by Bola Ogun.
  • “My Immigrant Story,” a documentary about director Yuriko Gamo Romer’s family.

Posted in A & E, Business, East Hartford, Hartford, TravelComments (0)

‘Coffee with a Cop’ Aims to Build Community


EAST HARTFORD — The East Hartford Police Department would like to build relationships – one coffee cup at a time.

The department is inviting everyone to sit with a cop and sip coffee in an effort “to bring police officers and the community members they serve together to discuss concerns and learn more about each other.”

The event,  “Coffee With A Cop,” will be  Sept.  8  from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at Dunkin’ Donuts, 303 Ellington Rd. in East Hartford.

Since 2016, the East Hartford Police Department has hosted a regular “Coffee with a Cop.” Organizers said there won’t be an agenda or speeches. Instead, residents will be able to spend some time with local police officers in a casual atmosphere and discuss their neighborhood, ask questions, share concerns, or stop by just to chat.

“The ‘Coffee with a Cop’ program gives us an opportunity to relax and chat with residents in a non-emergency setting,” said Police Chief Scott Sansom.  “It allows access and opportunity for distraction-free conversations. If you have a few moments, stop by for a cup of coffee and a friendly chat with an officer.”

The “Coffee With A Cop” initiative is recognized on a national level for building community trust.  In a short period of time, it allows citizens and police officers to get to know each other and discover mutual goals for the communities they live in and serve.

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East Hartford Police to Hire New Officers


EAST HARTFORD — The East Hartford Police Department is hiring.

The Department is accepting applications for the position of entry-level police officer.

East Hartford is a demographically diverse community with a population of about 50,000 in an urban/suburban environment. The East Hartford Police Department is one of the largest municipal police departments east of the Connecticut River with 122 sworn officers, specialized units and great promotional opportunities and career advancement.

To qualify you must be a U.S. citizen, at least 21 years old, have a high school diploma or its equivalent, and be a non-smoker.  Experience or education in some phase of law enforcement or criminal justice will be very helpful.  Motivation, enthusiasm, and commitment to the community are mandatory.

East Hartford is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.  Applications from women and members of minority groups are encouraged.

If you have any further questions regarding the job, please email them to Skyeremateng@easthartfordct.gov. For more information, requirements and application process please click Police App.

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East Hartford Police to Participate in Torch Run


EAST HARTFORD — This June, the East Hartford Police will join other police departments around the state to “carry the torch” for a noble cause.

More than 20 East Hartford police officers will escort the Connecticut Special Olympics Torch through East Hartford on June 7 as part of the 2018 Law Enforcement Torch Run.

This multi-day event raises money and awareness about special olympics in Connecticut. The East Hartford Police Department has run this event since its inception in 1986.

Chief Scott Sansom said: “It is an honor to participate, to help ‘carry the torch’ for such a noble cause. The courage and dedication displayed by Special Olympics athletes is an inspiration for all.”

The East Hartford leg of the Torch Run will begin  at 12 p.m.  on June 7, when the South Windsor PD passes the torch at the South Windsor / East Hartford Town Line on Ellington Road.

The EHPD will carry the torch down Ellington Road and Main Street, passing Town Hall, to the Glastonbury Town Line, where they will hand it off to the Glastonbury Police Department.

For more information, and an approximate schedule, please consult the Special Olympics of Connecticut Website at: http://www.soct.org/ways-give/lawenforcement-torch-run

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