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New Haven Coronavirus Cases Rise to 7; Bans Gatherings Over 10 People

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The number of positive COVID-19 cases in New Haven has climbed to seven, New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker announced Thursday.

"We have some additional presumptive cases," Elicker said. The mayor did not say how many additional cases were involved.

The city also is partnering with Hartford, Hamden and Bridgeport to ban gatherings of more than 10 people beginning Friday, Elicker said.

"We have learned from other communities that are suffering greatly from the impacts of COVID-19 that we must act quickly to dramatically reduce gatherings and close interactions between people in order to slow the spread of the virus," Elicker said in a statement. "I did not make this decision lightly and understand the significant impact it has on our businesses. But the long-term economic impact will be much greater if we do not act quickly. I’m grateful to our business partners for responding so quickly to these orders. I am grateful for the collaboration with our municipal partners and have been in conversations with other municipalities who are considering similar steps. We are in this together."

On Wednesday, Elicker announced the city was opening an isolation shelter to house homeless people who test positive for coronavirus but don't require hospitalization. Some neighbors in the area of Career Regional High School raised concerns to the city.

"The site is the only identified regional emergency shelter in New Haven," Elicker said. "The site was identified years ago through a process and collaboration with our federal, state and local partners. This is the site we need to use as the emergency isolation shelter."

Elicker said by housing homeless residents who test positive for coronavirus there, the city is preventing the patients from spreading the disease around the city.

Elicker announced earlier in the week he was closing childcare centers in the city in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

So far, 97 people in Connecticut have tested positive for the virus, though health officials believe the actual number of cases is likely quite higher.

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