CT - Update a/o 3/30/2020 2,571 cases 36 DEAD: Note: Testing figures are highly unreliable as CT hasn't been testing in any volume for over a week due to lack of supplies and kits at the State Lab. Gov. Lamont daily briefing with panel discussion with healthcare CEOs who together manage roughly 70% of the States hospitals. CT-N: Governor Lamont March 30th Briefing on the Coronavirus Daily coronavirus updates: Connecticut case count continues to double every three days as officials weigh potential overflow sites and first inmate tests positive Quotes from article: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Connecticut has risen to 2,571, Gov. Ned Lamont announced Monday, as the state’s total continues to double about every three days. As of Monday evening, Connecticut ranked fourth among the U.S. states in confirmed cases per capita (behind New York, New Jersey and Louisiana) and sixth in COVID-19 deaths per capita. [BBM] In preparation for a possible mid-April spike, state and hospital officials are identifying nontraditional sites, including sports arenas, to handle potential overflow patients. After 578 new positive tests Monday, Connecticut has now added nearly 1,300 new cases since Friday afternoon. The state’s number of confirmed cases has grown exponentially at about the rate national and state public health officials expected, indicating that the state remains on the steep part of its COVID-19 curve. Coronavirus-related hospitalizations in Connecticut increased by 113 to 517 on Monday, with 39 new hospitalizations in New Haven County and 41 new hospitalizations in Fairfield County, where the majority of the state’s cases originate. Additionally, two more people have died of COVID-19, according to state statistics, bringing Connecticut’s death toll to 36. Lamont said the new confirmed cases Monday came from about 2,700 tests. “We are ramping up our testing again,” Lamont said, adding that he wants the state to conduct broader testing. [NOTE: The State has been unable to clearly articulate how many tests are possible on any given day and its also unclear whether critical testing has been made available to keep healthcare workers safe in the event that they are showing symptoms.]. View from the ground in CT: In today's briefing Gov. Lamont CONTINUED to DODGE and WEAVE IMO about continued healthcare benefits for 60-90 days for terminated employees. Kudos to the Press for staying on this issue as the Gov. IMO has been trying to sweep it under the rug now for WEEKS. Gov. Lamont seems IMO to be taking the 'God will provide' approach to COVID19 for Southern CT residents as the hospitals in the region are filling up rapidly with many people possibly from outside CT. Gov. Lamont again said he is 'counting on the goodwill of the insurance and banking industries' to look out for their customers etc. during this time of job loss and great financial stress. Mmmmmm. CT, like most States, has been SLAMMED with unemployment claims and now has a 3+ week backlog due to the presence of antiquated systems and insufficient workforce to process claims. Many people cannot afford COBRA as they are trying to feed and keep a roof over their heads and take care of their families during this crisis period. What is so stunning is that even knowing the great financial pain that this crisis has inflicted on the working people of CT that Gov. Lamont is choosing to DO NOTHING about providing health insurance to formerly working people and their families and offers the feeble excuse that he is 'asking' the banks and insurance companies to do the 'right thing'. I'm not sure how often the use of the word 'good will' or 'doing the right thing' and banks and insurance companies happens together but absent another official Order from the Gov. IMO its a foregone conclusion that the powerful Hartford insurance companies will choose to do NOTHING to take care of the people of CT and ditto for the banks. If Gov. Lamont is claiming to watch and listen to what is going on in NY he will see that Gov. Cuomo dealt with the insurance, rent and bank issues long ago via Executive Order. Why is Gov. Lamont waiting? What is he waiting for? More deaths? More personal bankruptcies due to COVID19 related healthcare expenses? Why the dithering from Gov. Lamont and Hartford Legislature??? Not sure why there isn't more public outrage on the insurance issue but I guess the good people of CT are used to be abused by the huge insurance companies that are based in Hartford with no interference from the State and whose lobby pretty much dictates most, if not all of the agenda in the CT political arena IMO. It's all quite sad that $$$ for the Hartford Insurance Companies takes precedence, yet again, vs the welfare of the citizens of CT. BTW this is the same legislative crew that has kept gun stores 'open by appointment' in the good state of CT during the COVID19 crisis as essential businesses! No real news from the CEOs of the CT Hospitals and that is a bit of a newsflash IMO given the situation that seems inevitable in coming weeks in Southern CT (40-50 miles from NYC hot spot). Lots of corporate speak today about 'daily communication' and 'coordination' amongst the hospitals. BUT, the newsflash IMO was when the CEO of YALE NEW HAVEN who manages Greenwich Hospital was asked about the bed capacity of that hospital (no answer) and how many of the critically needed ICU beds were filled with New Yorkers (again no answer). The Yale New Haven CEO did make a lemon face at the Reporter for asking the questions though and to me this was VERY TELLING as its clear that there is insufficient capacity in Southern CT for the APEX period based on trends we are now seeing in NYC just over the border. Southern CT really has very few hospitals (4 in Southern Fairfield County close to NY border and 2 in Northern Fairfield County near New Haven) to serve its 1 million residents. So, as CT seems to be heading for its APEX of COVID19, the likelihood is that the hospitals where most of the 1 million residents of Fairfield County will be looking to go just might be FILLED and so UNAVAILABLE for use. So, were will the COVID19 sick of Southern CT go? Gov. Lamont and the Hospital CEOs didn't really have any clear answers and IMO this was highly disturbing. Do we even have ambulances and EMS vehicles that can drive 100+ miles to take people to other parts of the State if no beds are available in the Southern part of the State? Why aren't the Press asking harder questions about this issue? Why aren't First Selectman demanding planning answers from Hartford and Gov. Lamont? Gov. Lamont and the Hospital CEOs still haven't detailed the following so far as I can tell after a fair amount of digging - its quite pathetic IMO as some of these stats are fairly basic: - How many ICU and respirators in CT hospitals NOW? - How many respirators and CPAP machines will be coming to CT and WHEN? When will the Federal supplies show up? - Is there some agreement in place with NY and surrounding States to take CT residents to other states in the event that the APEX in Southern CT means that no hospital beds are available for COVID19 patients? - Status of PPE at hospitals - very murky answers on this issue today....meanwhile pictures of hospital staff spraying their masks with lysol for multiuse continue to flood social media in CT. - Status of PPE for first responders and EMS/FD who are charged with taking possible COVID19 patients that are critically ill to hospital. - HOW MANY AMBULANCES exist in Southern CT that have gear and can transport COVID19 patients? - Have all the rules/regulations/regulatory issues with ambulances been dropped such that any EMS truck can take a CT resident ANYWHERE in the State where a bed is available such that they can get treatment? -What is the status of the 200 medical folks at Danbury Hospital who were exposed to COVID19 less than 2 weeks ago? - What is the status of Greenwich Hospital medical folks that were exposed to COVID19 last week in the ER? Has Greenwich Hospital provided PPE to its front line workers in ER and yes this includes the Valet in Greenwich who as of last week had NO PROTECTIVE GEAR and yet was greeting incoming ER vehicles! - What testing is available to keep hospital workers and staff safe? Rumors have been running hard and fast that hospital personnel at Yale Hospitals (including Greenwich!) aren't able to access tests even when they have symptoms. It's unclear from listening to the CT Hospital CEO's what the plan will be when Greenwich, Stamford, Norwalk and Danbury all are overrun. So far as I have read, Gov. Lamont has done ZERO to clear away the rules/restrictions for ambulance/EMS/FD so as to allow them to take sick people in ambulances to other hospitals in other parts of the State. Many Towns just have EMS attached to a single hospital and are unable to take people in the town to another hospital. Perhaps the Gov. thinks that sick people should be driving themselves or their critically ill family members to hospitals in the distant parts of the State (perhaps over 100 miles????). Great plan - NOT! But, it also appears that many Towns don't have adequate PPE to even offer ambulance services to possible COVID19 patients. So, its unclear how during the APEX period how sick people in desperate need will make it to the hospital or if hospital beds will even be available if they are filled with people from New York? Gov. Lamont and the hospital CEOs IMO have done nothing to make sure that beds are available in ICU for the residents of the State of CT. If the avg. time on respirator is 13 days (we learned this today in the Press conference) and So. CT is perhaps 7 days behind NYC on the COVID19 curve, then it seems likely that the beds and respirators will be used by New Yorkers at the time CT residents will have a critical need. Not sure how this will all play out but right now it looks like a huge mess and tragedy in the making IMO. Testing in CT remains lamentable and so Gov. Lamont and his reactionary team have been fighting the COVID19 enemy that 'they cannot see'. For weeks the folks in Hartford have been telling people in Southern CT that if you have the symptoms to assume you have COVID19. Mmmmm. They were saying this because they had at best limited testing capabilities at the State level. Private testing from the labs has been available on a limited basis but test results have been slow or not forthcoming for many folks tested. Hospital workers haven't been able to consistently get tests and workers at healthcare facilities for senior citizens and disabled have also had difficulty getting tested even when hot spots at care facilities have materialised. Its been tragic to watch and the passivity from Hartford has been hard to understand at each of the daily briefings too. When will testing volume EVER come to CT? Gov. Lamont seems to just be moaning endlessly about the Federal response to the situation but its unclear if the extra 2 kits from the CDC ever arrived to the State Lab. The Federal Contingent in the form of Senators Murphy and Blumenthal seemed to be focused on the economic issues of the recent bills and not as involved with securing vital PPE, respirators and CPAP machines for the State. Its sad because CT isn't hitting the charts posted by John's Hopkins and CDC IMO due to the lack of testing. Its baffling that NY State and Gov. Cuomo have been able to figure out how to test but CT seems absolutely paralysed. I continue to watch these Gov. Lamont briefings in hopes that there will be some good news and evidence that if a family member needs a hospital that a bed and equipment will be available. Sadly, I keep watching these pressers and am not seeing that any good news is in evidence on any of these COVID19 issues. The lack of proactivity and planning in CT from Gov Lamont has been stunning to watch and now to watch a sad game of 'catch up' with the partisan finger pointing toward Washington with no clear answers on what the APEX will look like in Southern CT is simply beyond bearing as it simply seems like a slow motion train wreck where many people might die unnecessarily or without adequate access to healthcare.