coronavirus

Coronavirus Cases in Connecticut Approach 20,000

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There are 1,853 new coronavirus cases in Connecticut and 204 deaths since Sunday, according to Gov. Ned Lamont.

That brings the total number of cases to 19,815 and the death toll in Connecticut now stands at 1,331.

Gov. Lamont said the large jump in new cases and deaths is due to a change in how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is classifying some COVID-19-related cases.

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After falling for two days, the net number of hospitalizations rose by 18 since Sunday.

Lamont announced Monday that Connecticut has become the first state in the nation to enter into a partnership with HowWeFeel.org.

The independent non-profit has an app that allows people who register to submit symptoms they are experiencing in realtime. The data will be collected by the organization and then sent to the state Department of Public Health.

Lamont said it may allow health officials to track where the virus may be moving through the state.

The information will be anonymous, he said. Users will be asked to enter their zip code.

The app was developed by MIT professor Feng Zhang.

He said Monday that about 3,500 people in Connecticut are using the app. Nationally, the app has about 300,000 users.

Last week, Governor Lamont signed an executive requiring all residents to wear masks in public in situations where they cannot socially distance beginning at 8 p.m. on April 20.

"If you are walking around and you are in a crowded area and you can't keep that six feet of distance, then you should probably, you should, must, wear a mask to protect yourself if you can't keep social distancing," Lamont said.

The masks and coverings are to be worn in public wherever the six feet social distancing is unavoidable, which includes employees at work.

Riders in taxis, cars, ride-sharing services or public transportation must always wear a mask. In addition, anyone at a semi-enclosed transit stop or waiting area must wear a face covering.

The governor's recommendation is for cloth face masks, not surgical masks or N95 respirators, said Josh Geballe, the state's chief operating officer.

On Monday, the Libertarian Party of Connecticut held a rally to protest the governor's executive order requiring non-essential businesses to close.

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