Vaccinations continue to roll out across Connecticut as cases of COVID-19 and deaths linked to the virus continue to be reported statewide.
Stay informed on the latest local and statewide updates as well as major regional, national and global information about the coronavirus below.
10:20 a.m. - St. Vincent’s Medical Center’s COVID-19 drive-through testing site will relocate to the Harbor Yard parking garage at 700 Main St. effective Monday, Jan. 25. The testing is for those experiencing symptoms and who might have possible exposure. A doctor’s referral is encouraged. Call 1-833-621-0600 for more information.
4 p.m. - Connecticut reported 2,094 new COVID-19 cases out of 37,033 tests for a daily positivity rate of 5.65 percent. The state reported 27 people have been hospitalized since Monday, increasing the statewide total to 1,141. A dozen more deaths brought the statewide death toll to 6,682.
As of Tuesday, 220,820 vaccine doses had been administered in Connecticut, including 24,067 people who have received their second and final dose, according to the governor’s office.
7:25 a.m. - Connecticut reported 76 COVID-19-related deaths over the weekend and 6,703 new virus cases since Friday. The total number of patients hospitalized with the virus increased by 16.
8:45 p.m. - President-elect Joe Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, said in a memo that Biden will mandate the wearing of masks on federal property and during interstate travel as one of his first acts in office, according to the Associated Press.
7 p.m. - Schools in Orange will reopen Tuesday after taking an additional two week break over the holidays, as there were an increased number of cases among children in town.
“We will continue to monitor as always, and I think at this point, since the cases among school age children have declined we can safely resume our in-person learning,” Health Director Dr. Amir Mohammad said in an email Friday.
3 p.m. - The University of Connecticut released its coronavirus safety plan for the spring semester Saturday, as students returned to campus. A total of 4,559 students will live at the Storrs campus, with an additional 6,385 living off-campus but physically attending classes
4:30 p.m. - Connecticut’s hospitals hovered at around 81 percent capacity over the last seven days while about 61 percent of intensive care unit beds were full, according to the state’s weekly report, released Friday. Two hospitals, Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London and St. Mary's Hospital in Waterbury reported they were at more than 90 percent capacity.
4 p.m. - Connecticut recorded 1,878 new COVID-19 cases on Friday. The new cases were found among 30,303 new tests for a daily positivity rate of 6.2 percent.
Hospitalizations continued to decline with 20 fewer patients since the previous day, dropping the statewide total to 1,098.
However, 41 more deaths attributed to the disease were recorded Friday, increasing the death toll to 6,594.
8:05 a.m. - There will be no alternative football season played this spring, the CIAC’s Board of Control ruled during its Thursday meeting. The CIAC had announced plans for an alternative football season on Sept. 29, 2020, after officially canceling the 2020 fall football season because it was deemed a “high risk” sport. Click here to read the full story.
7:45 a.m. - Connecticut residents age 75 and over, and those already eligible for the vaccines under Phase 1a, can now register with the Vaccine Administration Management System to schedule an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The system requests the individual’s full name, date of birth, zip code, occupation (including “retired”) and an email address. The information will only be used for vaccination scheduling purposes, the state said. Only those currently eligible should submit their information at this time. Click here to register for a vaccination appointment.
4:30 p.m. - There were 87 more deaths attributed to COVID-19, bringing the Connecticut death toll in the state to 6,536.
The milestone came less than two weeks after the state surpassed 6,000 deaths.
There were 3,529 new infections were reported Wednesday, found in 56,600 tests for a daily positivity rate of 6.23 percent.
Hospitalizations fell, with a net six fewer patients hospitalized for the illness bringing the statewide total to 1,148.
3:30 p.m. - Hartford HealthCare on Wednesday vaccinated 20 police, fire and EMS first responders at the Connecticut Convention Center.
HHC — which includes St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport — has vaccinated a total of roughly 3,000 front-line first responders across the state. The event was intended to illustrate the importance of vaccinations and discuss the work that HHC has done so far in getting people vaccinated.
“This is a massive undertaking,” said Jeffrey A. Flaks, president and CEO of Hartford HealthCare.
He said Hartford has been in close contact with officials in the state Department of Public Health and in Gov. Ned Lamont’s office during the vaccine rollout.
“I remain very optimistic about our ability to be a leader in the country for distributing vaccine,” Flaks said.
So far, Hartford HealthCare has vaccinated about 20,000 people at its nine centers. The health system also is preparing to begin rolling out vaccines to people 75 and older. HHC is allowing people in this group to make an appointment using their MyChartPlus account, and has set up a website with instructions on registering for a vaccine.
In addition to educating people about vaccinations, Wednesday’s event was intended to highlight the work of first responders, and the need to vaccinate these members of the community.
“The first responder unit is an extension of Hartford HealthCare,” said Keith Grant, senior system director of infection prevention at Hartford HealthCare.
7 a.m. - Beginning Jan. 26, anyone flying to the United States will be required to get a COVID-19 test within three days of their flight, and will be required to show written proof of the test result to their airline, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Travels who previously had the infection must provide documentation that they had it and recovered. Airlines have been told to stop passengers from boarding if they don’t have this documentation.
6:55 a.m. - Connecticut reported another 3,689 positive COVID-19 cases for a total of 217,047 statewide since the start of the pandemic. There were 34,422 tests performed, with more than 4 million administered overall. There are currently 1,154 virus patients hospitalized in Connecticut, an increase of 12 since Monday. There were 31 more virus-linked deaths, putting the state’s total at 6,449.
6:50 a.m. - Some members of the gorilla troop at the San Diego Zoo have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a press release from the zoo earlier this week. Two gorilla started coughing on Jan. 6. Two days later, preliminary test results confirmed they had the virus. Additional testing indicated the virus was found in some of the gorilla; that same testing “does not definitively rule out the presence of the virus in other members of the troop,” the zoo said. Officials said they believe the gorillas caught the virus from an asymptomatic staff member.
6:20 a.m. - Connecticut residents age 75 and over who are not in long-term care will be able to register for the COVID-19 vaccine starting Thursday and inoculations will begin Jan. 18. Click here to read the full story.
6:15 a.m. - A key panel of experts on Gov. Ned Lamont’s Vaccine Advisory Group wants to add about 720,000 Connecticut residents to the list of people next in line for COVID-19 vaccinations. Click here to read the full story.
1:45 p.m. - CIC Health, a subsidiary of Cambridge Innovation Center, announced Tuesday it is adding three COVID-19 testing sites to some of Connecticut’s major cities.
In Bridgeport, the CIC Health testing site is located at Seaside Park’s West Beach and is mainly a drive-through service for vehicles, but accommodates pedestrians and bicycles. The Hartford site is at XFINITY Theatre at 61 Savitt Way. In New Haven, the testing site is at 60 Sargent Drive and is drive-through only; it does not allow pedestrian or bicycles.
All three sites are open from 8 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. Monday through Friday and from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. To make an appointment, visit www.cic-health.com/test. Testing is free to residents and do not require insurance of a doctor’s order.
Click here to read the full story.
12 p.m. - Gov. Ned Lamont will host a COVID-19 news briefing late Monday afternoon. The press conference will be live-streamed on CT-N. Click here to watch the live-stream at 4 p.m.
11:55 a.m. - In Madrid, Spain, a blizzard dumped over 20 inches of snow in some areas and covered roads in sheets of ice, hampering the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, the Associated Press reported on Monday. Doses of the vaccine destined for Madrid, expected to arrive Monday, had to be diverted because of the weather. Authorities said police escorts will help the vaccines get through the snow-clogged streets and highways.
11:50 a.m. - Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, said Monday that the coming weeks could be the worst of the pandemic as a new, more contagious variant of COVID-19 continues to pop up across the U.K., overflowing hospitals and putting more press on an already-strained medical staff. Whitty told the BBC, “I think everybody accepts that this is the most dangerous time we’ve really had in terms of numbers into the NHS (National Health Service.”
11:45 a.m. - BioNTech, the company that developed the first COVID-19 vaccine on the market with Pfizer, announced Monday that it expects to produce 2 billion doses of the vaccine in 2021.
11:20 a.m - Edi Rama, Albania’s prime minister, on Monday was among the first to get one of the 975 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine that Albania received from an undisclosed European Union country, according to the Associated Press.
9 p.m. - Three cases of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus have been found in New York, including one on Long Island, according to the Associated Press.
“That brings the number of UK cases in this country to just about 55, and we believe that it is more widespread than that number would suggest,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at his daily briefing, according to the AP.
7 p.m. - The Boston Celtics could be without stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown for their upcoming game against the Miami Heat because of coronavirus safety protocols, according to the Associated Press.
Tatum is listed as doubtful and Brown as probable. A total of seven Celtics players are at risk of missing the game because of coronavirus-related safety measures.
4 p.m. - The state announced Friday that 32 people have tested positive for flu in Connecticut during this flu season.
This is unusually low activity for this point in the flu season, health officials said. For instance, at this same time last year, the state had already seen 1,613 positive influenza tests.
Earlier this flu season, doctors and other experts said the low flu activity wasn’t surprising, as many of the measures people are taking to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 — such as mask-wearing, social distancing and regular hand washing — can also help prevent the flu.
Noon - A member of Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz’s staff has tested positive for COVID-19, according to her office.
In a news release, Adam Joseph, Bysiewicz’s chief of staff said the staff member was tested for the coronavirus Thursday and received the positive result Friday.
Bysiewicz was in contact with the person who tested positive and will isolate after testing negative on Thursday.
4:31 p.m. - Connecticut recorded 3,236 new cases of COVID-19 Friday, while the positivity rate jumped to 8.46 percent out of 38,262 new tests.
Hospitalizations for the disease rose again after sinking earlier in the week, with a net 22 more patients bringing the statewide total to 1,109.
Another 37 deaths brought the statewide death toll to 6,324.
2:30 p.m. - Friday afternoon, Gov. Ned Lamont visited LiveWell, a longterm care facility serving patients with dementia in Plantsville, and announced it was the final nursing home to receive its first shots of the vaccine. Lamont said the state is now the first in the nation to offer the vaccine to all of its nursing homes.
“Residents all across the board want to get the vaccine, they know it’s safe, they know it makes an incredible difference in their lives,” he said, speaking to reporters outside the facility
Around 90 percent of the staff there are expected to eventually receive the vaccine.
“You’re gonna get vaccinated, right?” Lamont called out over his shoulder to staff who whooped and cheered.
9:45 a.m. - Johns Hopkins University data shows the U.S. recorded 4,085 COVID-19-linked deaths Thursday, the highest number of daily deaths from the virus since the pandemic began, according to the Associated Press.
7:25 a.m. - The European Medicines Agency has approved doctors drawing up to six doses from each vial of the COVID-19 vaccine made by BioNTech-Pfizer, expected to boost the pace of inoculations.
7 a.m. - New research suggests that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine can protect against a mutation in two highly contagious variants of the virus found in the United Kingdom and South Africa.
6:30 a.m. - Connecticut reported another 3,304 cases of COVID-19 among residents Wednesday, putting the state’s total at 202,758. Hospitalizations dropped by 52, putting the total number of virus patients in hospitals across the state at 1,087. Another 57 residents died with the virus, pushing the total number of virus-associated deaths to 6,287.
7:20 a.m. - South Africa says it will import 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to inoculate the county’s health care workers as COVID-19 cases skyrocket. This is the country’s first announcement of a vaccine purchase. The first 1 million doses will be delivered later this month, followed by an additional 500,000 doses in February, Health Minister Zwelini Mkhize announced Thursday, according to the Associated Press. South Africa announced record highs late Wednesday, with 21,832 new confirmed cases and 844 deaths.
6:25 a.m. - Connecticut on Wednesday announced another 2,486 cases of COVID-19, putting the state’s total number of cases at 199,454. There were another 29,080 tests performed, putting the total number of reported tests since the start of the pandemic at more than 4.5 million. The number of hospitalized patients reached 1,139, down 10 since Tuesday. Another 38 virus-associated deaths were reported, putting the state’s total at 6,230.
6:25 a.m. - Connecticut’s prison inmates and residents of other congregate settings are expected to be included in the next wave of COVID-19 vaccinations, officials announced Tuesday. Food service workers are expected to be moved into the next phase too, including those who work in food banks or as health inspectors. Waterwaste and sanitation workers will also be in that next wave. Click here to read the full story.
6:20 a.m. - As the number of cumulative coronavirus cases in Bridgeport approaches 12,000, the Connecticut Department of Public Health opened a new drive-thru testing site at Seaside Park. Click here to read the full story.
4:21 p.m. - Connecticut reported 2,332 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday as the daily positivity rate climbed back up to 7.66 percent. Hospitalizations for the disease also rose, with a net 38 more patients bringing the total statewide to 1,149. Another 24 fatalities brought the statewide death toll to 6,192.
10:55 a.m. - Eleven employees at the Williams Schools, a private school in New London, received COVID-19 vaccinations after they were mistakenly identified as eligible for shots meant only for health care workers and those in nursing homes, according to The Day of New London.
9 a.m. - As a new, more contagious strain of COVID-19 continues to spread across the U.K., England is entering a third national lockdown that will last at least six week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced. The lockdown went into effect at midnight Tuesday and won’t be reviewed until at least mid-February, according to the Associated Press. A lockdown also began in Scotland Tuesday. Northern Ireland and Wales have already imposed tough restrictions.
8:40 a.m. - The American Red Cross partnered with the NFL to urge people to donate blood, especially those who have recovered from COVID-19, according to a press release. All those who donate blood or platelets this January will be automatically entered to win a trip to next year’s Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles. Appointments can be made at RedCrossBlood.org, on the Red Cross Blood Donor smartphone application or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.
8:15 a.m. - In California, the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency directed ambulance crews not to transport patients with little chance of survival to hospital and to conserve the use of oxygen as COVID-19 cases continue to spike in the area, filling hospital beds with virus patients, according to CNN. The LA Times reports that a person is dying every 10 minutes with the virus in Los Angeles County.
8:05 a.m. - The Connecticut General Assembly will begin its 2021 session on Wednesday outside the state Capitol — which is still closed to the public due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Protesters are expected. Click here to read the full story.
8 a.m. - Patrick Dragon, a deputy fire chief and retired Connecticut State Police trooper who was among the first on the scene at the Sandy Hook shooting, died Saturday night after what those who knew him described as a “valiant battle” with COVID-19. Click here to read the full story.