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|2020 coronavirus pandemic in Connecticut|
Map of total confirmed cases as of 26 March 2020
|Arrival date||March 8, 2020|
The first case of COVID-19 in Connecticut was confirmed on March 8, although there had been multiple suspected cases before that point which tested negative. As of April 1, 2020, there are 3,824 positive cases and 112 deaths in the state. Some state officials have speculated that there may be thousands of undiagnosed cases in the state.
In late-January, 2020, two students living in Connecticut were monitored for displaying coronavirus-like symptoms. The first student attended Wesleyan University in Middletown and was confirmed to not have the virus, and instead had a case of the flu on January 27. The second student monitored for the virus was attending the 2020 Yale Model United Nations Conference at Yale University in New Haven, and was also diagnosed with the flu, not coronavirus, on January 31. On January 28, a student from Uncasville who had traveled to China was suspected to carry the virus was confirmed not to, and was cleared to return to school on January 29.
On February 6, the Connecticut Department of Public Health released a document with information intended for schools to prevent the spread of the virus. The document advocated for those who had been to China recently to self-monitor for 14 days, and that those exhibiting no symptoms after the 14 day period were able to return to their normal lives.
In late February, greater precautions were undertaken by different organizations to be prepared for the eventual spread of the virus into Connecticut. On February 25, the University of New Haven suggested that all students in Italy should return to the United States. A laboratory in Rocky Hill was approved by the United States Centers for Disease Control to test for the coronavirus.
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On March 1, two of Connecticut's neighbors, Rhode Island and New York, were confirmed to have cases of the virus within the states. On the same day, both the Connecticut state governor Ned Lamont and the United States surgeon general spoke at a Connecticut Department of Public Health laboratory in Rocky Hill, which had been previously approved to test for the virus. On March 2, two suspected cases of coronavirus in Connecticut were confirmed to be negative
Southern Connecticut State University suspended all institutionally-supported travel to nations including Italy, China, South Korea, and Japan on March 3 to try to prevent the spread of the virus. On March 4, it was revealed that a Meriden-based company had began research on a vaccine for SARS-Cov-2.
On March 5, over 200 people in Connecticut were advised to self-monitor for symptoms. An employee at Danbury hospital and Norwalk hospital was confirmed to have the coronavirus on March 6, which marked the first confirmed coronavirus case that could be linked to Connecticut. The person infected lived in New York however, and was quarantined in Westchester county, where she lived.
On March 8, the first confirmed case in the state was reported in the town of Wilton. The patient is between the ages of 40 and 50 and is believed to have contracted the virus during a trip to California.
On March 13, governor Lamont ordered all schools to close after March 16 until at least March 31.
Dr. Cory Edgar, 48, of the University of Connecticut Health Center was arrested and charged with a breach of peace misdemeanor for coughing and hugging coworkers. Edgar is in good health and is not believed to have Covid-19.Sen Chris Murphy (D-CT) said that administration officials turned down an offer of congressional funding made on February 5.
President Trump decided against imposing a broad two-week lockdown on New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut; however, the CDC advised residents of the region not to travel except for essential purposes.
In college sports, the National Collegiate Athletic Association cancelled all winter and spring tournaments, most notably the Division I men's and women's basketball tournaments, affecting colleges and universities statewide. On March 16, the National Junior College Athletic Association also canceled the remainder of the winter seasons as well as the spring seasons. In addition, CIAC, which regulates high school athletics in the state cancelled winter championship tournaments and is reported to currently be discussing the future of spring sports.
Over 30,000 unemployment claims have been filed between Friday, March 13, and Tuesday, March 17 in Connecticut. Many of these unemployment claims have been associated with the laying-off of employees of businesses unable to afford to maintain their entire staff during the outbreak, as well as due to the closure of businesses reliant on public and social interactions such as bars and gyms.
In response to racism surrounding the coronavirus outbreak, Connecticut governor Ned Lamont stated during a speech at the Connecticut Department of Public Health's laboratory in Rocky Hill that "there is no link between race or ethnicity and the spread of coronavirus. Viruses do not discriminate."
Governor Ned Lamont signed an executive order requiring the closure of all Connecticut public schools schools on March 17 until April 20, however it is possible that closure will be extended. Lamont also encouraged private schools and other non-public schools to follow the same schedule. Many colleges in Connecticut switched to virtual learning.