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COVID in Connecticut: Live updates and the latest information

Connecticut Post logo Connecticut Post 12/9/2020 By Staff Reports
a group of people in a room: A file photo showing Day Street Community Health Center staff at a drive-through and walk-up COVID-19 testing location at Veteran's Park in Norwalk, Conn., taken on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020. © Provided by Connecticut Post

A file photo showing Day Street Community Health Center staff at a drive-through and walk-up COVID-19 testing location at Veteran's Park in Norwalk, Conn., taken on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020.

With the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Connecticut, stay informed on all the latest information below.

Beyond local and statewide updates, this story will also include major regional, national and global information about the coronavirus.

Dec. 9

a person talking on a cell phone: Megan Adams, of Branford, administers Covid-19 swab tests during the opening day of Griffin Hospital's drive through testing site at Unity Park in Trumbull, Conn. on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. Free testing will be available each Tuesday at the site from 9:30 am to 3 pm. © Provided by Connecticut Post

Megan Adams, of Branford, administers Covid-19 swab tests during the opening day of Griffin Hospital's drive through testing site at Unity Park in Trumbull, Conn. on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. Free testing will be available each Tuesday at the site from 9:30 am to 3 pm.

9:30 a.m. - Bridgeport Hospital will host a virtual town hall offering COVID-19 tips for older adults from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Get the latest information about COVID-19 and answers to questions about vaccines, medical emergencies and everyday health. Questions can be sent in advance via email to ynhhpublicrelations@ynhh.org. Participants can also post questions through Zoom.

a group of people standing in a room: Griffin Hospital employees administer free Covid-19 tests during the opening day of a drive through testing site at Unity Park in Trumbull, Conn. on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. Free testing will be available each Tuesday at the site from 9:30 am to 3 pm. © Provided by Connecticut Post

Griffin Hospital employees administer free Covid-19 tests during the opening day of a drive through testing site at Unity Park in Trumbull, Conn. on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. Free testing will be available each Tuesday at the site from 9:30 am to 3 pm.

The event can also be viewed live on Bridgeport Hospital’s Facebook page.

6:30 a.m. - Free COVID-19 testing will take place at Saybrook Point (145 College Street) from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday

a car parked on the side of a road: Cars line up for free Covid-19 testing at Griffin Hospital's new drive through testing site at Unity Park in Trumbull, Conn. on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. Testing will be available each Tuesday at the site from 9:30 am to 3 pm. © Provided by Connecticut Post

Cars line up for free Covid-19 testing at Griffin Hospital's new drive through testing site at Unity Park in Trumbull, Conn. on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. Testing will be available each Tuesday at the site from 9:30 am to 3 pm.

The drive thru testing is a collaboration between the Community Health Center, the Connecticut River Area Health District, Old Saybrook Police and Old Saybrook Office of Emergency Management. #OldSaybrookCT #CT

Dec. 8

a person wearing a hat talking on a cell phone: Shayne Seccombe, of Seymour, checks in visitors to Griffin Hospital's new drive through Covid-19 testing site at Unity Park in Trumbull, Conn. on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. Free testing will be available each Tuesday at the site from 9:30 am to 3 pm. © Provided by Connecticut Post

Shayne Seccombe, of Seymour, checks in visitors to Griffin Hospital's new drive through Covid-19 testing site at Unity Park in Trumbull, Conn. on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. Free testing will be available each Tuesday at the site from 9:30 am to 3 pm.

5:30 p.m. - Mohegan Sun plans to open a COVID-19 testing site in its Thames garage with Yale New Haven Health, Charisse Huff, a spokesperson for tribal casino said in a press release.

The testing site is open to the public and Mohegan Sun employees by appointment only. Testing is available for both symptomatic and asymptomatic people, as well as those with or without health insurance.

“The drive-through site was selected to provide more community testing in the Uncasville region, but also to allow Mohegan Sun team and Tribal members access to fast, safe COVID-19 testing,” the release said.

a person wearing a hat: Michaela Garcia, of Shelton, administers Covid-19 swab tests during the opening day of Griffin Hospital's drive through testing site at Unity Park in Trumbull, Conn. on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. Free testing will be available each Tuesday at the site from 9:30 am to 3 pm. © Provided by Connecticut Post

Michaela Garcia, of Shelton, administers Covid-19 swab tests during the opening day of Griffin Hospital's drive through testing site at Unity Park in Trumbull, Conn. on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. Free testing will be available each Tuesday at the site from 9:30 am to 3 pm.

Both Mohegan Sun on the Mohegan Tribal Nation and Foxwoods on the Mashantucket Pequot Nation agreed to close in March but later reopened with additional COVID-19 measures.

Patients can sign up for an appointment through the Yale New Haven Health website.

4:50 p.m. - Connecticut restaurant workers plan to demonstrate in front of Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont’s residence Monday. The demonstration, which was planned on Facebook, comes in response to the governor inviting a Yale doctor onto his Monday press conference who signed a letter calling for indoor dining and gyms to be closed.

“By scaring the public with these stories, she could be closing the doors for even more businesses. I’m infuriated. If the state wants to shut the restaurants down it has to help us by providing a relief package,” the description for the Facebook event said.

4 p.m. - Connecticut health officials recorded 2,414 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, while the positivity rate rose to more than 8.6 percent.

a bicycle parked on the side of a building: A bicyclist passes in front of American Flags displayed on the windows of Stamford Uniform in Stamford, Connecticut on April 29, 2020. Owner Paul McDonald has seen a dramatic decrease in business as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. © Provided by Connecticut Post

A bicyclist passes in front of American Flags displayed on the windows of Stamford Uniform in Stamford, Connecticut on April 29, 2020. Owner Paul McDonald has seen a dramatic decrease in business as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Forty more patients were hospitalized for the illness, bringing the statewide total to 1,223, according to the daily report. Eighteen new deaths were also reported, bringing the total to 5,242.

a person sitting in a parking lot: The staff of Brick House Bar and Grill set up their extended outdoor dining area on May 30, 2020 in Stamford, Connecticut. Stamford Downtown Special Services transformed a few downtown streets, like Bedford Street, into Streateries, allowing area restaurants to extend their outdoor dining into parking spaces on the street for area residents to enjoy local dining as the state begins to reopen following a two month closure in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. © Provided by Connecticut Post

The staff of Brick House Bar and Grill set up their extended outdoor dining area on May 30, 2020 in Stamford, Connecticut. Stamford Downtown Special Services transformed a few downtown streets, like Bedford Street, into Streateries, allowing area restaurants to extend their outdoor dining into parking spaces on the street for area residents to enjoy local dining as the state begins to reopen following a two month closure in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

6:20 a.m. - The first COVID-19 vaccines are being rolled out in the United Kingdom Tuesday. The first shot went to a woman who turns 91 next week, according to the Associated Press.

Dec. 7

a group of people on a sidewalk: Owner Alain Bars of Chez Vous Bistro on Bedford Street sets up his extended outdoor dining area on May 30, 2020 in Stamford, Connecticut. Stamford Downtown Special Services transformed a few downtown streets, like Bedford Street, into Streateries, allowing area restaurants to extend their outdoor dining into parking spaces on the street for area residents to enjoy local dining as the state begins to reopen following a two month closure in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. © Provided by Connecticut Post

Owner Alain Bars of Chez Vous Bistro on Bedford Street sets up his extended outdoor dining area on May 30, 2020 in Stamford, Connecticut. Stamford Downtown Special Services transformed a few downtown streets, like Bedford Street, into Streateries, allowing area restaurants to extend their outdoor dining into parking spaces on the street for area residents to enjoy local dining as the state begins to reopen following a two month closure in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

4:06 p.m. - Connecticut health officials reported 8,129 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend.

The new cases in Monday’s reported were found among 123,021 tests for a daily positivity rate of 6.61 percent.

Hospitalizations rose again after sinking in recent days, with 33 more patients hospitalized for the illness bringing the statewide total to 1,183.

Another 78 deaths were reported, bringing the state’s total to 5,224.

“We’ve now passed 3.5 million tests,” Gov. Ned Lamont said during his press conference, noting the figure is just below one test for every state resident.

a person standing in front of a building: Norden Place Wednesday, November 25, 2020, in Norwalk, Conn. Norden Place could be redeveloped as a modernized Norwalk Logistics Center distribution warehouse for the post-COVID economy, if developers can overcome neighborhood objections over putting the facility back into working order that once housed some 2,000 Northrop Grumman workers at a radar research lab. © Provided by Connecticut Post

Norden Place Wednesday, November 25, 2020, in Norwalk, Conn. Norden Place could be redeveloped as a modernized Norwalk Logistics Center distribution warehouse for the post-COVID economy, if developers can overcome neighborhood objections over putting the facility back into working order that once housed some 2,000 Northrop Grumman workers at a radar research lab.

1:20 p.m. - Social gatherings were linked to COVID-19 cases popping up across all the schools in the Avon Public School district, forcing officials to move to temporary remote learning, according to the superintendent. Click here to read the full story.

a sign on the side of the road: Norden Place Wednesday, November 25, 2020, in Norwalk, Conn. Norden Place could be redeveloped as a modernized Norwalk Logistics Center distribution warehouse for the post-COVID economy, if developers can overcome neighborhood objections over putting the facility back into working order that once housed some 2,000 Northrop Grumman workers at a radar research lab. © Provided by Connecticut Post

Norden Place Wednesday, November 25, 2020, in Norwalk, Conn. Norden Place could be redeveloped as a modernized Norwalk Logistics Center distribution warehouse for the post-COVID economy, if developers can overcome neighborhood objections over putting the facility back into working order that once housed some 2,000 Northrop Grumman workers at a radar research lab.

Dec. 6

6:00 p.m. - Rob Blanchard, Gov. Ned Lamont’s deputy communications director, has tested positive for coronavirus. Click here to read the full story.

a sign on the side of the road: Norden Place Wednesday, November 25, 2020, in Norwalk, Conn. Norden Place could be redeveloped as a modernized Norwalk Logistics Center distribution warehouse for the post-COVID economy, if developers can overcome neighborhood objections over putting the facility back into working order that once housed some 2,000 Northrop Grumman workers at a radar research lab. © Provided by Connecticut Post

Norden Place Wednesday, November 25, 2020, in Norwalk, Conn. Norden Place could be redeveloped as a modernized Norwalk Logistics Center distribution warehouse for the post-COVID economy, if developers can overcome neighborhood objections over putting the facility back into working order that once housed some 2,000 Northrop Grumman workers at a radar research lab.

4:30 p.m. - In a tweet Sunday, President Donald Trump said Rudy Giuliani, his personal attorney, had tested positive for the coronavirus. Click here to read the full story here.

Dec. 5

a person standing in front of a building: Norden Place Wednesday, November 25, 2020, in Norwalk, Conn. Norden Place could be redeveloped as a modernized Norwalk Logistics Center distribution warehouse for the post-COVID economy, if developers can overcome neighborhood objections over putting the facility back into working order that once housed some 2,000 Northrop Grumman workers at a radar research lab. © Provided by Connecticut Post

Norden Place Wednesday, November 25, 2020, in Norwalk, Conn. Norden Place could be redeveloped as a modernized Norwalk Logistics Center distribution warehouse for the post-COVID economy, if developers can overcome neighborhood objections over putting the facility back into working order that once housed some 2,000 Northrop Grumman workers at a radar research lab.

8:30 a.m. - Community Health Center’s COVID-19 testing at Rentschler Field in East Hartford is closed today because of poor weather conditions.

7:35 a.m. - A message from Naugatuck Mayor Peter Hess: “We realized that many people are experiencing COVID fatigue. The virus is draining. It’s exhausting, especially for our frontline heroes. It does nothing to brighten our days. As a result of COVID fatigue, our numbers have been rising.

“At last report on November 20, our case rate was 18 per day. In the last two weeks, our case rate has risen to 19. So, we’re holding our own, but we all need to do better. Is there any good news? We believe that the arrival of the vaccine is the beginning of the end of the pandemic. At Unified command, we are finalizing our vaccine dissemination plan, and we’re just waiting for final input from the state.”

a man standing in front of a window: James Aris, DMD, of Advanced Dentistry of Wilton, says dentists have seen a rise in stress-related oral health conditions since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. © Provided by Connecticut Post

James Aris, DMD, of Advanced Dentistry of Wilton, says dentists have seen a rise in stress-related oral health conditions since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dec. 4

a person wearing a blue jacket standing in front of a house: Ed Zack of Branford, one of more than 40,000 volunteers worldwide participating in Pfizer’s Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial. © Provided by Connecticut Post

Ed Zack of Branford, one of more than 40,000 volunteers worldwide participating in Pfizer’s Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial.

8:20 p.m. - Public and private Pre-K-12 schools in Connecticut reported 859 new cases of COVID-19 among students in the last week and 383 new cases among staff, according to the weekly numbers released by the state.

a man standing in front of a building: Ed Zack of Branford, one of more than 40,000 volunteers worldwide participating in Pfizer’s Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial. © Provided by Connecticut Post

Ed Zack of Branford, one of more than 40,000 volunteers worldwide participating in Pfizer’s Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial.

New cases among students fell 10 percent from the week before, while new cases among staff rose by 5 percent, according to the state’s database.

By learning model, remote students saw the biggest jump in infections, up 44 percent over the number of new cases reported the week before. New cases among students learning in-person or on a hybrid model were both down from the week before.

4 p.m. - For the second day in a row, COVID hospitalizations declined in Connecticut on Friday. The governor’s office reported 41 fewer hospitalizations associated with the disease, but also noted there had been 35 more deaths since Thursday.

After reaching its highest daily positivity rate of 7.13 percent on Thursday, the rate fell to 5.52 percent on Friday when 1,538 new cases were reported.

Meanwhile, at least one major Connecticut health network is considering having employees wear a badge to signal they have been vaccinated against the virus. Click here to read the full story.

a group of people standing in a room: Griffin Hospital employees administer free Covid-19 tests during the opening day of a drive through testing site at Unity Park in Trumbull, Conn. on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. Free testing will be available each Tuesday at the site from 9:30 am to 3 pm. © Provided by Connecticut Post Griffin Hospital employees administer free Covid-19 tests during the opening day of a drive through testing site at Unity Park in Trumbull, Conn. on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. Free testing will be available each Tuesday at the site from 9:30 am to 3 pm.

7:25 a.m. - Gov. Ned Lamont will hold a news conference at 10 a.m. Friday to announce an executive order that expands unemployment benefits for Connecticut workers impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to read the full story.

Dec. 3

a car parked on the side of a road: Cars line up for free Covid-19 testing at Griffin Hospital's new drive through testing site at Unity Park in Trumbull, Conn. on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. Testing will be available each Tuesday at the site from 9:30 am to 3 pm. © Provided by Connecticut Post Cars line up for free Covid-19 testing at Griffin Hospital's new drive through testing site at Unity Park in Trumbull, Conn. on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. Testing will be available each Tuesday at the site from 9:30 am to 3 pm.

8:35 p.m. - UConn reports three new cases of COVID-19 among students living off campus at Storrs. Another seven employees have also tested positive, according to a press release from the university.

a person wearing a hat talking on a cell phone: Michaela Garcia, of Shelton, administers Covid-19 swab tests during the opening day of Griffin Hospital's drive through testing site at Unity Park in Trumbull, Conn. on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. Free testing will be available each Tuesday at the site from 9:30 am to 3 pm. © Provided by Connecticut Post

Michaela Garcia, of Shelton, administers Covid-19 swab tests during the opening day of Griffin Hospital's drive through testing site at Unity Park in Trumbull, Conn. on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. Free testing will be available each Tuesday at the site from 9:30 am to 3 pm.

With students studying remotely for the last two weeks of class between Thanksgiving and the winter break, Connecticut’s largest university has been reporting new cases only on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

7:15 p.m. - Connecticut health officials reported 4,751 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday with a 7.13 percent — the highest the state has seen during the pandemic, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

There were 11 fewer hospitalizations, the first time in recent weeks that number has declined.

The governor also unveiled the details of how the state plans to vaccinate residents once Pfizer’s vaccine clears emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administrition. The state is expecting to start receiving doses of that vaccine on Dec. 14, assuming the approval is granted.

a man wearing a hat: Michaela Garcia, of Shelton, administers Covid-19 swab tests during the opening day of Griffin Hospital's drive through testing site at Unity Park in Trumbull, Conn. on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. Free testing will be available each Tuesday at the site from 9:30 am to 3 pm. © Provided by Connecticut Post Michaela Garcia, of Shelton, administers Covid-19 swab tests during the opening day of Griffin Hospital's drive through testing site at Unity Park in Trumbull, Conn. on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. Free testing will be available each Tuesday at the site from 9:30 am to 3 pm.

Read the full story here...

4:11 p.m. - For the second consecutive year, the Greater Hartford St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, officials announced Wednesday.

a man standing next to a body of water posing for the camera: Omar Yacoub poses overlooking Greenwich Harbor in Greenwich, Conn. Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. Yacoub, who works in Greenwich and grew up in Cos Cob, has been taking part in vaccine trials for the COVID vaccine that will soon be available throughout the country. © Provided by Connecticut Post Omar Yacoub poses overlooking Greenwich Harbor in Greenwich, Conn. Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. Yacoub, who works in Greenwich and grew up in Cos Cob, has been taking part in vaccine trials for the COVID vaccine that will soon be available throughout the country.

“In the observance of current public health circumstances, the Central Connecticut Celtic Cultural Committee, sponsor of the Greater Hartford St. Patrick’s Day Parade, has decided to cancel its parade previously scheduled for Saturday, March 13, 2021,” organizers said.

a man wearing a wet suit standing on a sidewalk: Omar Yacoub near Greenwich Harbor in Greenwich, Conn. Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. Yacoub, who works in Greenwich and grew up in Cos Cob, has been taking part in vaccine trials for the COVID vaccine that will soon be available throughout the country. © Provided by Connecticut Post Omar Yacoub near Greenwich Harbor in Greenwich, Conn. Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. Yacoub, who works in Greenwich and grew up in Cos Cob, has been taking part in vaccine trials for the COVID vaccine that will soon be available throughout the country.

“This decision was not made lightly and we have everyone’s health and well-being at the forefront of our decision,” said Parade Chairwoman Elizabeth Saunders.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Omar Yacoub near Greenwich Harbor in Greenwich, Conn. Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. Yacoub, who works in Greenwich and grew up in Cos Cob, has been taking part in vaccine trials for the COVID vaccine that will soon be available throughout the country. © Provided by Connecticut Post Omar Yacoub near Greenwich Harbor in Greenwich, Conn. Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. Yacoub, who works in Greenwich and grew up in Cos Cob, has been taking part in vaccine trials for the COVID vaccine that will soon be available throughout the country.

1:48 p.m. - There will be free COVID-19 testing offered from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at Rockville High School in Vernon at 70 Loveland Hill Road. Testing is open to all. For more testing sites in the state, visit www.ct.gov/prioritytesting.

Dec. 2

a man standing in front of a fence: Omar Yacoub poses overlooking Greenwich Harbor in Greenwich, Conn. Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. Yacoub, who works in Greenwich and grew up in Cos Cob, has been taking part in vaccine trials for the COVID vaccine that will soon be available throughout the country. © Provided by Connecticut Post Omar Yacoub poses overlooking Greenwich Harbor in Greenwich, Conn. Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. Yacoub, who works in Greenwich and grew up in Cos Cob, has been taking part in vaccine trials for the COVID vaccine that will soon be available throughout the country.

5:45 p.m - Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the next few months could be the “most difficult time in the public health history of this nation,” as he predicted the United States could “be close to 450,000” deaths from the virus by February.

The remarks came during the director’s address to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

During waves of infections earlier in the year, the country’s hospital systems were able to “shift capacity” to wear the virus was surging, Redfield said. “Right now we have unfortunately a pandemic that’s really throughout the nation,” he said.

12:15 p.m. - In partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, all 33 Big Y Pharmacy and Wellness Centers are preparing to administer COVID-19 vaccines once approved and available for distribution.

a person talking on a cell phone: Megan Adams, of Branford, administers Covid-19 swab tests during the opening day of Griffin Hospital's drive through testing site at Unity Park in Trumbull, Conn. on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. Free testing will be available each Tuesday at the site from 9:30 am to 3 pm. © Provided by Connecticut Post Megan Adams, of Branford, administers Covid-19 swab tests during the opening day of Griffin Hospital's drive through testing site at Unity Park in Trumbull, Conn. on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. Free testing will be available each Tuesday at the site from 9:30 am to 3 pm.

10:10 a.m. - Gov. Ned Lamont on Wednesday said Connecticut received its full deliver of 141,000 laptops for students during the COVID-19 pandemic to give students in need a way to safety access remote learning classes.

9:45 a.m. - Bridgeport Hospital announced on Wednesday changes to its toy donation program due to the pandemic. There will be no in-person donation deliveries; items collected in large-scale toy drives cannot be accepted for pediatric patients; and donations from pre-approved donation wish lists can be accepted by mail/shipment only. The hospital is not accepting items held in storage, gift cards, perishable food or handmade goods like blankets or hats. Click here for ways to support patients.

9:09 a.m. - The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends health care workers and nursing home residents should be the first groups to receive a vaccine shot when it is available, according to the Associated Press. This is already the plan in Connecticut when the first vaccinations arrive later this month.

9:03 a.m. - The CDC is set to shorten the recommended quarantine time-period after exposure to a COVID-19 positive person, the Associated Press reported. The quarantine recommendation will be lowered to 10 days, or seven after a negative test results, from the current 14-day recommendation.

a group of people in front of a building: Gampel Pavilion on the University of Connecticut campus, in Storrs. The UConn men’s basketball team has paused activities following a positive COVID-19 test in the program. © Provided by Connecticut Post

Gampel Pavilion on the University of Connecticut campus, in Storrs. The UConn men’s basketball team has paused activities following a positive COVID-19 test in the program.

7:45 a.m. - British officials have authorized a COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, the world’s first shot against the virus, according to the Associated Press. Click here to read the full story.

Dec. 1

a man walking down a street next to a car: Workers register people who had lined up for COVID-19 testing at the Connecticut Institute for Communities' Greater Danbury Community Health Center on Friday morning, November 20, 2020, in Danbury, Conn. © Provided by Connecticut Post

Workers register people who had lined up for COVID-19 testing at the Connecticut Institute for Communities' Greater Danbury Community Health Center on Friday morning, November 20, 2020, in Danbury, Conn.

7:40 p.m. - Don’t plan a vacation to Canada anytime soon. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signaled the country’s nearly 4,000 mile border with the U.S. will remain closed to travelers “until the virus is significantly more under control everywhere,” Reuters reported.

Canada’s provincial leaders have expressed support for the travel ban, which went into effect in March and has been rolled forward each month since, the outlet reported. The restrictions do not apply to trade.

One other exception: U.S. travelers are allowed to pass through Canada if they’re on their way to Alaska.

6:20 p.m. - Gov. Ned Lamont has signed an executive order loosening the state’s restrictions on hiring short-term substitute teachers who do not have a bachelor’s degree. The order, his 83rd since the pandemic began, also allows charitable organizations to sell alcohol as part of virtual fundraising efforts and resumes “statutory requirements and deadlines” for some Supreme and Appellate court functions.

5:45 p.m. - Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said he would like to see most people in the U.S. vaccinated before the end of the second quarter of next year.

“I would like to see children, adults, everyone... so that when we get into the fall season the children can feel safe at going back to school, the teachers can feel safe that they’re not going to get infected,” Fauci said during an interview with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Fauci noted that wouldn’t happen unless the majority of Americans get vaccinated, so he said he would like to see those who are “reluctant” to get the vaccine take the shot “sooner rather than later.”

4 p.m. - Connecticut health officials reported 1,459 new infections Tuesday. The new cases were found out of 24,831 new tests for a daily positivity rate of a little under 6 percent.

The seven-day positivity rate stands at a little more than 4.7 percent.

An additional 54 patients were hospitalized for COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, bringing the total in the state to 1,152— still below the peak hospitalization of 1,972 on April 21.

Twenty more deaths attributed to the illness were reported, bringing the statewide death toll to 5,040.

a large green field with trees in the background: Danbury High School was suppose to start on the hybrid model on Monday but postponed due to a rise in COVID cases.Monday, October 26, 2020, in Danbury, Conn. © Provided by Connecticut Post

Danbury High School was suppose to start on the hybrid model on Monday but postponed due to a rise in COVID cases.Monday, October 26, 2020, in Danbury, Conn.

2 p.m. - U.S. hospitalizations for the novel coronavirus surpassed 96,000 Monday, the highest they have reached at any point during the pandemic, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

a man standing in front of a building: Branford, Connecticut - Monday, December 7, 2020: Ed Zack, one of more than 40,000 volunteers worldwide participating in Pfizer's Phase 3 COVID-19 clinical trial, still doesn't know whether the injections he got were the real vaccine, expected to be approved for distribution Thursday, or the placebo. But he knows he's been involved in something groundbreaking, something of worldwide, historical significance, and he's happy he was able to help © Provided by Connecticut Post Branford, Connecticut - Monday, December 7, 2020: Ed Zack, one of more than 40,000 volunteers worldwide participating in Pfizer's Phase 3 COVID-19 clinical trial, still doesn't know whether the injections he got were the real vaccine, expected to be approved for distribution Thursday, or the placebo. But he knows he's been involved in something groundbreaking, something of worldwide, historical significance, and he's happy he was able to help

That comes as new tests and new infections both dipped slightly following a spike in the days around the Thanksgiving holiday. On Monday, the nation reported more than 147,000 new cases, down from the peak of more than 193,000 the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Deaths also fell slightly, with 1,136 new fatalities attributed to the disease on Monday, down from a peak of more than 2,200 on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

1:15 p.m. - U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2, who has been in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19, is expected to return to Washington this week for votes and other official duties following clearance from his doctor. Courtney has remained on the job while quarantining and recovering at home in eastern Connecticut.

“My experience with COVID-19 was thankfully a relatively mild one, and my family and I are grateful that was the case,” Courtney said in a release. “But that has not been the experience of hundreds of thousands of other Americans. As we near the end of 2020, while American families are struggling and hospital beds are filling up, it’s clear that folks need more assistance — our health care workers, our local small businesses and restaurants, working families uncertain about the future, and so many others. It is imperative that Congress and the White House, in the final weeks of the lame duck session, find a way to approve emergency COVID relief which is screaming out for action.”

a person wearing a blue jacket standing in front of a house: Branford, Connecticut - Monday, December 7, 2020: Ed Zack, one of more than 40,000 volunteers worldwide participating in Pfizer's Phase 3 COVID-19 clinical trial, still doesn't know whether the injections he got were the real vaccine, expected to be approved for distribution Thursday, or the placebo. But he knows he's been involved in something groundbreaking, something of worldwide, historical significance, and he's happy he was able to help © Provided by Connecticut Post Branford, Connecticut - Monday, December 7, 2020: Ed Zack, one of more than 40,000 volunteers worldwide participating in Pfizer's Phase 3 COVID-19 clinical trial, still doesn't know whether the injections he got were the real vaccine, expected to be approved for distribution Thursday, or the placebo. But he knows he's been involved in something groundbreaking, something of worldwide, historical significance, and he's happy he was able to help

12:10 p.m. - In a letter to the public on Tuesday, the American Hospital Association, American Medical Association and American Nurses Association told the public they are committed to supporting a “rigorous scientific and regulatory process by which COVID-19 vaccines are evaluated and may ultimately be approved.” Until the population is broadly vaccinated, the agencies urged the public to wear a face mask, maintain social distancing and wash their hands. Click here to read the full letter.

a group of people looking at a cell phone: Connecticut National Guard Sergeant Collin Paternoster administers free Covid-19 tests at the new Fair Haven Community Health Center testing site at 293 East Street in New Haven, Conn. on Thursday, December 3, 2020. © Provided by Connecticut Post

Connecticut National Guard Sergeant Collin Paternoster administers free Covid-19 tests at the new Fair Haven Community Health Center testing site at 293 East Street in New Haven, Conn. on Thursday, December 3, 2020.

11:10 a.m. - Nursing home residents and front-line medical personnel will be the first in Connecticut to get the COVID-19 vaccine when the state receives its first 40,000 doses on Dec. 14. Click here to read the full story.

a person in a car talking on a cell phone: Janelle Berry performs a COVID-19 test at Broadview Middle School on Monday. The City of Danbury and the Community Health Center, Inc, sponsored free testing in the school's parking lot. Danbury, Conn, Monday, August 24, 2020. © Provided by Connecticut Post

Janelle Berry performs a COVID-19 test at Broadview Middle School on Monday. The City of Danbury and the Community Health Center, Inc, sponsored free testing in the school's parking lot. Danbury, Conn, Monday, August 24, 2020.

Nov. 30

a sign over a fire hydrant: A file photo of a sign for COVID-19 testing in Connecticut. © Provided by Connecticut Post

A file photo of a sign for COVID-19 testing in Connecticut.

1:35 p.m. - Gov. Ned Lamont announced Monday that 154 nonprofit arts organizations in the state will receive a total of $9 million in grants this month under the COVID Relief Fund For the Arts, administered by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development. The program uses federal CARES Act funding from the state’s Coronavirus Relief Fund.

9:14 a.m. - Novavax, a vaccine maker in the UK, is looking to begin the third phase of its COVID-19 vaccine trial in the U.S. soon. The company “expects its pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial in the United States and Mexico to begin in the coming weeks,” a Novavax press release said.

7:30 a.m. - Moderna announced Monday it is requesting emergency use authorization from the FDA for its COVID-19 vaccine, which the company says is more than 94 percent effective, according to ABC News. Moderna is the second company to seek emergency use authorization from the FDA for a virus vaccine in the U.S.; Pfizer’s public FDA hearing for its vaccine is scheduled for Dec. 10. Moderna’s hearing is a week later on Dec. 17.

Nov. 27

a man standing in front of a refrigerator: Nathaniel Witherell Executive Director John Mastronardi shows one of the new visitation pods at Nathaniel Witherell nursing and rehabilitation center in Greenwich, Conn. Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. The pods offer a safer method for friends and family to visit their loved ones staying at Nathaniel Witherell during the pandemic. © Provided by Connecticut Post Nathaniel Witherell Executive Director John Mastronardi shows one of the new visitation pods at Nathaniel Witherell nursing and rehabilitation center in Greenwich, Conn. Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. The pods offer a safer method for friends and family to visit their loved ones staying at Nathaniel Witherell during the pandemic.

7:15 p.m. - Hospitals in the U.K. are being told to prepare to receive doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as soon as Dec. 7, The Guardian reported. The vaccine candidate, trials of which were studied at Pfizer’s R&D lab in Groton, Conn., is still under review by the Food and Drug Administration for an emergency use authorization in the United States.

4 p.m. - A total of 3,429 new cases were reported in Connecticut over the last two days, with a daily positivity rate of just under 5 percent.

The positivity rate was spread out over 71,327 new tests. The seven-day positivity rate stood at 4.94 percent.

a person standing in front of a building: Nathaniel Witherell Board of Directors Chair Larry Simon shows one of the new visitation pods at Nathaniel Witherell nursing and rehabilitation center in Greenwich, Conn. Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. The pods offer a safer method for friends and family to visit their loved ones staying at Nathaniel Witherell during the pandemic. © Provided by Connecticut Post Nathaniel Witherell Board of Directors Chair Larry Simon shows one of the new visitation pods at Nathaniel Witherell nursing and rehabilitation center in Greenwich, Conn. Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. The pods offer a safer method for friends and family to visit their loved ones staying at Nathaniel Witherell during the pandemic.

Forty-nine new hospitalizations were reported, bringing the total to 1,017— the highest it has been since mid-May.

Thirty-five new deaths brought the statewide total to 4,961.

1:10 p.m. - Gov. Ned Lamont on Friday reminded residents to be alert to any potential COVID-19 testing scams. Residents in Connecticut can use the state’s COVID-19 website or the website of a provider like a local health clinic, hospital or pharmacy to find a place to get a test.

Nov. 25

a bedroom with a bed in a room: The interior of one of the new visitation pods at Nathaniel Witherell nursing and rehabilitation center in Greenwich, Conn., photographed on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. The pods offer a safer method for friends and family to visit their loved ones staying at Nathaniel Witherell during the pandemic. © Provided by Connecticut Post The interior of one of the new visitation pods at Nathaniel Witherell nursing and rehabilitation center in Greenwich, Conn., photographed on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. The pods offer a safer method for friends and family to visit their loved ones staying at Nathaniel Witherell during the pandemic.

8:10 p.m. - El Paso officials have ordered a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew beginning Wednesday night. The curfew covers all “social activities,” according to the order, including congregating outside of private homes other than businesses permitted in the order. The curfew is set to end at 5 a.m. on Nov. 30.

Two of the four new visitation pods are set up and ready for use at Nathaniel Witherell nursing and rehabilitation center in Greenwich, Conn. Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. The pods offer a safer method for friends and family to visit their loved ones staying at Nathaniel Witherell during the pandemic. © Provided by Connecticut Post Two of the four new visitation pods are set up and ready for use at Nathaniel Witherell nursing and rehabilitation center in Greenwich, Conn. Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. The pods offer a safer method for friends and family to visit their loved ones staying at Nathaniel Witherell during the pandemic.

3:30 p.m. - President-Elect Joe Biden held a live pre-Thanksgiving address. Watch below:

a close up of a person wearing a mask: Nathaniel Witherell Director of Facilities Larry Vanterpool shows one of the new visitation pods at Nathaniel Witherell nursing and rehabilitation center in Greenwich, Conn. Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. The pods offer a safer method for friends and family to visit their loved ones staying at Nathaniel Witherell during the pandemic. © Provided by Connecticut Post Nathaniel Witherell Director of Facilities Larry Vanterpool shows one of the new visitation pods at Nathaniel Witherell nursing and rehabilitation center in Greenwich, Conn. Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. The pods offer a safer method for friends and family to visit their loved ones staying at Nathaniel Witherell during the pandemic.

8:10 a.m. - Stratford Mayor Laura Hoydick announced Wednesday that town administrative offices will be closed to the public and available by appointment only starting Monday, Nov. 30, in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Nov. 24

a truck is parked on the side of a road: Two of the four new visitation pods are set up and ready for use at Nathaniel Witherell nursing and rehabilitation center in Greenwich, Conn. Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. The pods offer a safer method for friends and family to visit their loved ones staying at Nathaniel Witherell during the pandemic. © Provided by Connecticut Post Two of the four new visitation pods are set up and ready for use at Nathaniel Witherell nursing and rehabilitation center in Greenwich, Conn. Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. The pods offer a safer method for friends and family to visit their loved ones staying at Nathaniel Witherell during the pandemic.

9 p.m. - One possible consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic? Researchers think the U.S. could be headed for a “baby bust,” the Atlantic reported. One estimate suggested 300,000 to 500,000 fewer babies could be born next year, based on declining birth rates that followed other calamitous events, such as the 1918 flu epidemic and the Great Recession. Other researchers have also looked at Google search term data related to pregnancy and unemployment, which also suggested a drop in birth rates next year.

5:30 p.m. - Officials in Manchester have suspended the food license for The Hungry Tiger, a popular bar and grill, after the owner repeatedly ignored the state’s COVID-19 rules, the Hartford Courant reported. Fire and health officials had gone to the restaurant six times to explain the protocols to the restaurant’s owner, Fire Chief Dave Billings told the newspaper. The alleged violations included failing to enforce face coverings for customers, the Courant reported.

2 p.m. - Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced residents will not be able to purchase alcohol the night before Thanksgiving, in an effort to curb the transmission of COVID-19, CNN reported. Wolf said the day before Thanksgiving sees the most drinking.

“When people get together in that situation, it leads to an increase in the exchange of fluids, that leads to an increase in infection,” he said

The ban goes into effect from 5 p.m. Wednesday through 8 a.m. Thanksgiving Day.

a man standing in front of a window: James Aris, DMD, of Advanced Dentistry of Wilton, says dentists have seen a rise in stress-related oral health conditions since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. © Provided by Connecticut Post

James Aris, DMD, of Advanced Dentistry of Wilton, says dentists have seen a rise in stress-related oral health conditions since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

10:12 a.m. - The city of Stamford will host a mask giveaway on Saturday, Nov. 28 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Rippowam Middle School, 381 High Ridge Road.

Nov. 23

a group of people in a room: People check in for free COVID-19 tests at the new Fair Haven Community Health Center testing site at 293 East St. in New Haven this month. © Provided by Connecticut Post

People check in for free COVID-19 tests at the new Fair Haven Community Health Center testing site at 293 East St. in New Haven this month.

5 p.m. - What’s the risk of holding a Thanksgiving party with 10 people outside of your immediate family? It depends where you live in Connecticut.

a person sitting on a bed: Hospital workers in personal protective equipment collect samples for coronavirus testing at a drive-up faciltiy in the parking lot at Norwalk Hospital on March 19. © Provided by Connecticut Post

Hospital workers in personal protective equipment collect samples for coronavirus testing at a drive-up faciltiy in the parking lot at Norwalk Hospital on March 19.

“If it’s a random group in Fairfield County, you’ve got a 24 percent chance that one of those people is infected,” Gov. Ned Lamont said during his 4 p.m. press conference. “New London it’s only 14 percent, but don’t get over-confident there either.”

The other six counties break down as, according to the governor’s office: New Haven, 23 percent; Hartford: 20 percent; Litchfield: 19 percent;Middlesex 18 percent; and Tolland and Windham both 16 percent.

The governor pointed to a Stamford Advocate article reporting the sale of smaller turkeys has increased this year with smaller groups around the table.

Lamont said the numbers are not intended to scare people, but make it clear why the state has limited gatherings to 10 people and asked those celebrating to stay within their immediate households.

“And by the way if it’s 20 people around that table, you can take these numbers and almost double them,” he added.

4:30 p.m. - Gov. Ned Lamont asked college students to step up in their communities while home for winter break, in a press conference. He encouraged students to visit the Step Up Connecticut website and seize opportunities at hospitals, COVID-19 testing sites and schools, where help is most needed.

a man standing in front of a car: Hospital personal record patient information at the entrance to a drive-thru testing site for the respiratory virus known as COVID-19 that has been setup in one of Danbury Hospitals parking garages. The Danbury Police Department is controlling the flow of traffic to the street. Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in Danbury, Conn. © Provided by Connecticut Post

Hospital personal record patient information at the entrance to a drive-thru testing site for the respiratory virus known as COVID-19 that has been setup in one of Danbury Hospitals parking garages. The Danbury Police Department is controlling the flow of traffic to the street. Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in Danbury, Conn.

4:23 p.m. - Connecticut officials reported 5,271 new cases of COVID-19 since Friday increasing the state’s cumulative count to 106,740 cases. The new cases were found out of 109,045 new tests raising the daily positivity rate to 4.83 percent. There were 43 more deaths over the weekend amassing to a death toll of 4,871.

4:05 p.m. - U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said distribution of regeneron— a COVID-19 antibody therapy used to treat President Trump— will begin Tuesday, CNN reported. The therapy was granted an emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Adminstration on Saturday. It will be used to treat mild and moderate COVID-19 for high-risk adults and pediatric patients ages 12 and older, accoridng to the FDA.

graphical user interface: The entrance to a COVID-19 Specimen Collection Site at the Yale New Haven Health location at 150 Sargent Drive in New Haven on March 17, 2020. Patients with a physician's order for a Covid-19 test can be scheduled for appointments at the outdoor collection location. © Provided by Connecticut Post

The entrance to a COVID-19 Specimen Collection Site at the Yale New Haven Health location at 150 Sargent Drive in New Haven on March 17, 2020. Patients with a physician's order for a Covid-19 test can be scheduled for appointments at the outdoor collection location.

3:34 p.m. - Gov. Lamont signed an executive order allowing the Department of the Economic and Community Development to authorize rules for all Connecticut sports. All sports, that are not professional or college activities, are postponed until Jan. 19, 202,1 and people must wear a mask in all gyms and fitness centers with zero exceptions.

1:20 p.m. - UConn reports five new on-campus cases and six off-campus cases, all in Storrs, as well as seven new employee cases. Students are on Thanksgiving break this week, with the final two weeks of the semester and final exams happening entirely online. Several hundred students remain on campus during part or all of the break, including athletes, international students and others who were unable to return home.

a police car parked in front of a building: A line of cars stretches down the block as patients wait in their cars to be tested for COVID-19 at Community Health Center in Stamford, Conn. Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020. Community Health Center's COVID-19 testing line has stretched around the block with patients often waiting several hours. © Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media

A line of cars stretches down the block as patients wait in their cars to be tested for COVID-19 at Community Health Center in Stamford, Conn. Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020. Community Health Center's COVID-19 testing line has stretched around the block with patients often waiting several hours.

10:22 a.m. - Drive-thru COVID-19 testing will be offered in the Kent Town Hall parking lot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday. Click here to read the full story.

9:40 a.m. - State officials will hold a virtual discussion at 10 a.m. Monday via Zoom that focuses on resources available to individuals struggling with anxiety, stress or depression during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to register and virtually attend.

a person is walking down the street: COVID-19 site leader Anika McPherson chats as patients wait in their cars to be tested for COVID-19 at Community Health Center in Stamford, Conn. Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020. Community Health Center's COVID-19 testing line has stretched around the block with patients often waiting several hours. © Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media

COVID-19 site leader Anika McPherson chats as patients wait in their cars to be tested for COVID-19 at Community Health Center in Stamford, Conn. Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020. Community Health Center's COVID-19 testing line has stretched around the block with patients often waiting several hours.

6:30 a.m. - The University of Oxford and AstraZeneca PLC announced that their COVID-19 vaccine was up to 90 percent effective in preventing infections without serious side effects during clinical trials, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Nov. 21

12:22 p.m. - Most coronavirus infections are spread by people who have no symptoms, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in newly updated guidance, CNN reports.

It’s one of the main reasons mask use is so important, the CDC said.

“Most SARS-CoV-2 infections are spread by people without symptoms,” the agency said in a section of its website devoted to explaining the science of how to use masks to control the spread of the virus.

10:15 a.m. - Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Stamford Police Department will be suspending ALL civilian fingerprinting for at least the next two weeks.

9:45 a.m. - In Danbury, due to expected heavy traffic from a COVID-19 testing site at 120 Main St, the Danbury Police Department is advising residents to avoid the area of Boughton, Foster, Bank and Wooster streets. if possible.

COVID-19 testing at this location will take Saturday, Monday and Wednesday.

Heavy traffic delays are expected.

Residents who are having the COVID-19 test at this location will be directed to enter the testing site from Wooster St. into the St. Peter’s rear parking area.

Nov. 20

4:53 p.m. - Bridgeport officials learned Friday of fraudulent COVID testing taking place near Gala Foods on East Main Street.

“This illegal unregulated pop-up testing site was not registered with the state and anybody who used this site should immediately contact the Connecticut Department of Public Health Office of Facility Licensing and Investigations, at dphflisevents.ct.gov .

4:40 p.m. - Connecticut health officials reported 2,088 new cases of COVID-19 Friday increasing the state’s cumulative count to 101,469 cases. The new cases were found out of 31,493 new tests for a daily positivity rate of 6.63 percent.

10:50 a.m. - One Hartford HealthCare official predicts that COVID-19 hospitalizations in Connecticut could reach 1,600 to 1,700 by late December. As of Thursday, the state reported 840 hospital patients being treated for the virus. Click here to read the full story.

10:35 a.m. - Gilman Brothers, a Bozrah-based manufacturer, has designed and tested a lightweight, insulated box to distribute a future COVID-19 vaccine, according to The Day. The company worked with the U.S. Army Corps or Engineers to ensure it could maintain a temperature of minus 75 degree Celsius. The box has a series of compartments, many of which will be used for dry ice storage to keep the vaccine doses at the right temperature.

8:51 a.m.- In a press conference Thursday, Gov. Ned Lamont announced a pause on club and team sports in the state until Jan. 19, 2021. College and professional sports remain unaffected. Lamont’s announcement decision comes after the CIAC postponed all sports until Jan. 19.

8:47 a.m. - Pfizer and Biontech announced they will submit an emergency use authorization request to the FDA on Friday for the COVID-19 vaccine. They expect to produce, globally, up to 50 million doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion by the end of 2021. The companies will be ready to distribute the vaccine “within hours after authorization,” they said in a press release.

7:50 a.m. - Connecticut is on the verge of reaching 100,000 COVID-19 cases, with 99,381 total confirmed cases reported by the state on Thursday as infections continue to rise. There are 145 towns and cities in the state classified as “Red Alert” areas, meaning they’re at greater risk of virus spread.

Nov. 18

8:50 p.m. - The United States has reached 250,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19, the New York Times reported. The country could soon see 2,000 or more deaths per day, the newspaper reported.

4 p.m. - Connecticut health officials reported 2,042 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday . The cases were found out of 34,135 new tests for a daily positivity rate to 5.98 percent.

There were 39 more people hospitalized Wednesday with the virus, bringing the statewide total to 816.

Thirteen more deaths attributed to the disease were reported, bringing Connecticut’s death toll to 4,784.

2:50 p.m. - New York City’s public school buildings will close starting Thursday, Mayor Bill DeBlasio announced. The closure of the country’s largest public school district came as the city passed the 3 percent positivity rate over a seven day average — a key threshold the mayor set months ago.

“We must fight back the second wave of COVID-19,” DeBlasio said in a tweet announcing the threshold had been reached.

The rest of New York state uses 9 percent as the redline when schools will have to close, the New York Times reported.

2:45 p.m. - New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday he expects to see an increase in postiive COVID-19 cases in what he called “living room spread.”

In his daily update, Cuomo said many people are not following suggestions of limiting the number of family and friends in their homes whether it’s watching a football game or sharing a holiday meal.”

“This living room spread is the new problem. And it will go up after Thanksgiving, and you will see orange zones and increase positivity after Thanksgiving,” Cuomo said.

“And you’re gonna see more dramatic action and then it’s gonna get worse. Because what comes next is Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and that’s going to be the problem.”

2:30 p.m. - Connecticut regulators have extended the enrollment date for a COVID-19 payment plan for public utilities through at least Feb. 9 of next year. Customers enrolled in the plan cannot have their utilities shut off for nonpayment, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority said in a news release.

The state also has a winter protection program, which ensures those enrolled do not have their heat shut off during the winter months. The program runs from Nov. 1 through May 1.

To apply for the COVID-19 repayment plan, customers should call their utility companies and first ask if they are eligible to be “coded hardship” to be enrolled in the winter protection program. If the customer is not eligible, or is a nonresident, they should ask to be enrolled in a COVID-19 payment plan.

The COVID-19 payment plan does not require customers to show financial need and can include the waiving of fees and interest in monthly payments.

2:20 p.m. - U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., on Wednesday unveiled the Protect Our Heroes Act of 2020, a bill that will increase the production of critical personal protective equipment like N-95 masks and improve the transparency of the supply and distribution of medical supplies needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bill is introduced as coronavirus cases are spiking across the country and as frontline health care workers are facing shortages of critical protective equipment. The Senate Democrats’ bill authorizes $10 billion for the Strategic National Stockpile to purchase critical PPE, including N-95 masks, nitrile gloves, gowns, face shields, surgical masks, and more. This investment will provide certainty to manufacturers that there will be a market when they scale up their production.

1:45 p.m. - The U.S. reported its highest one-day death toll since May 14, with 1,707 deaths reported on Tuesday, according to CNN.

10:17 a.m. - Gov. Ned Lamont said on MSNBC on Wednesday morning that he plans to work with Connecticut’s major pharmacies, nursing homes and hospitals to get COVID-19 vaccinations out to the state’s residents as soon as they are available.

10:02 a.m. - The FDA approved the first at-home COVID-19 test late Tuesday night, according to a press release. The rapid test, created by Lucira, was approved with an emergency use authorization. The test has been authorized for use by individuals aged 14 and older who are suspected of COVID-19 by their health care provider and is available for prescription use only.

7:23 a.m. - After collecting enough safety data, Pfizer is preparing to file for emergency use authorization from the FDA, according to company CEO Albert Bourla. This comes as the company announced its vaccine is 95 percent effective, AP News reported.

Nov. 17

8:40 p.m. - Across the nation, 155,201 new cases of COVID-19 were reported Tuesday, according to the COVID Tracking Project. While the number of new cases was down from last Friday, which set a record at more than 171,000 new cases, Tuesday’s figure still far exceeded the worst day last month— Oct. 30, when health officials reported 96,700 new cases. Hospitalizations rose to 76,830, and 1,565 new deaths attributed to the disease were reported.

4 p.m. - Connecticut health officials on Tuesday reported 1,702 new cases of COVID-19. The results came from 32,964 new tests for a daily positivity rate of 5.16 percent. The total number of tests for the virus conducted in the state has now surpassed 2.8 million.

Hospitalizations for the disease also increased, with 20 more patients, bringing the total number hospitalized in Connecticut to 777. A dozen more deaths attributed to the illness were also reported from the previous day, bringing Connecticut’s death toll to 4,771.

2:30 p.m. - How long does someone stay immune after they recover from the novel coronavirus? While health authorities have recorded instances where a patient has caught the disease a second time, a new study published Monday suggests the body’s immune response to the virus sticks around for several months, maybe years. The study, which has not yet been peer reviewed or published in a scientific journal, involved 185 people who had COVID-19.

1:30 p.m. - Vermont has been added to Connecticut’s travel advisory list. Click here to see the full list.

12:07 p.m. - Branford-based Wren Laboratories developed a saliva-based COVID-19 test that has been approved for emergency use by the FDA. The saliva test kits are self-administered and provide results within 24 hours. The test has a 12-month shelf life.

9 a.m. - Stop & Shop will be among the first pharmacies in the nation to provide future COVID-19 vaccinations, once a vaccine is authorized or approved for use in the United States, the grocery chain announced Monday. Click here to read the full story.

7:45 a.m. - Students at Jefferson school in Norwalk transitioned to remote learning until Nov. 30 after a staffing shortage following a COVID-19 case and necessary quarantines. Click here to read the full story.

7:37 a.m. - Gov. Ned Lamont announced new guidelines for college students who return home for the holiday break, according to WTNH. Students are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days before or after coming home, and those flying back must get tested before leaving school and after arriving home.

Nov. 16

4 p.m. - The Office of Gov. Ned Lamont reported that 4,639 people tested positive for the coronavirus over the weekend. A total of 86,210 tests were administered; the positivity rate was 5.38 percent.

Another 98 people were hospitalized, bringing that total to 757, and another 22 people died of the virus, according to Lamont’s office.

3:30 p.m. - The University of Connecticut reported 17 new coronavirus cases Monday, seven among off-campus students, 10 among those living on campus.

9:44 a.m. - Gov. Ned Lamont sent a letter to President Donald Trump late last week, requesting that he extend his previous authorization for Connecticut to use 400 U.S. National Guard members for six more months.

Trump initially authorized the use of the National Guard in Connecticut in response to the COVID-19 pandemic through Dec. 31. In his letter, Lamont asked Trump to extend that authorization from Jan. 1, 2021 through June 30, 2021.

Click here to read the full letter.

8:30 a.m. - Gov. Ned Lamont said discussions among the region’s governors over the weekend focused on creating a policy requiring college students going home for the holidays to get COVID-19 tests before and after they return home.

Click here to read the full story.

Correction: This post has been updated to reflect that Stop & Shop is not offering COVID testing, but will offer vaccines when they are made available. The grocery chain has partnered with Quest Diagnostics to offer health-screening tests at 60 locations in Connecticut.

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