CONNECTICUT — Connecticut on many fronts is improving its battle with coronavirus, but caution is still prudent as the state is nine days away from its first reopening phase, Gov Ned Lamont said Monday. There are also new questions about potential rare inflammatory conditions in children related to the coronavirus.
“Basically the trend lines continue in a very positive direction,” Lamont said.
Net hospitalizations decreased by 30 patients to 1,212. Another 211 positive cases were reported out of 2,316 tests, which made for a multi-day trend of the positive case rate being below 10 percent. Still, Monday brought a sad milestone as the state reached 3,008 deaths after another 41 deaths were reported. There are 33,765 lab-confirmed cases in the state.
Lamont also announced Monday that three children at Yale-New Haven Hospital were being treated for an inflammatory illness related to the coronavirus. In New York there have been three deaths and as many as 93 cases among children with the inflammatory disease. Not much is known about the condition, but doctors report that so far it appears to happen four to six weeks after exposure to the virus, according to NBC New York.
“It’s something we are very concerned about,” Lamont said, adding that it appears to be a rare condition that affects children from three months into their teenage years.
“We realize every week we don’t know everything about this virus,” Lamont said. “We maybe have six months of experience with it, but we don’t know some of the medium and longer-term effects.”
Lamont also mentioned how Germany’s infection rate increased when schools opened despite a robust testing and contact tracing system. South Korea also saw an uptick in cases that were likely connected to some nightclubs opening.
Questions remain on vulnerable people returning to work
Connecticut is looking into whether employees who are at higher risk of severe coronavirus complications would still qualify for unemployment benefits after businesses reopen in-person. Lamont said he doesn’t want people in their 60s or older or those with pre-existing conditions going into work in the near-term.
The state has also put together a group of dentists and hygienists to talk about whether it is wise to resume non-emergency dental work such as cleanings, said State COO Josh Geballe. Officials will consider whether additional rules or restrictions are appropriate.
Lamont said that he suspects that consumers will be slow to go in for things like cleanings and dental offices won’t operate at full capacity, which means that vulnerable hygienists wouldn’t have to go to work. If that isn’t true then he will consider additional rules, he said.
Lamont also announced that a state hotline will be established to report violations of executive orders related to business restrictions. The first enforcement action will likely be a warning, but the second violation would have tougher penalties, he said.