COVID-19 Deaths in Connecticut Approach 1K; First Details on Reopening Plan

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Connecticut has 1,129 new cases of coronavirus since Wednesday and 103 new deaths.

That brings the total number of cases to 15,884 and the death toll in Connecticut now stands at 971.

The number of hospitalizations statewide rose by 18 patients, bringing the total number of people currently hospitalized to 1,926.

Gov. Ned Lamont said he was concerned about Hartford County, where the number of hospitalizations increased by 30-percent.

"This is a pandemic that is going to be with us for a while," he said.

As part of a news conference on Thursday, Gov. Lamont talked with the co-chairs of his panel looking at how and when to begin to reopen the state.

Among the early recommendations include a 14-day decline in both coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, mass testing, social distancing, and potentially the continued use of masks and temperature checks.

The panel will come up with a timeline to reopen early next week.

On Wednesday, the governor urged residents statewide to wear cloth masks in public places to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and said that an executive order requiring the wearing of masks is likely soon.

On Thursday, the state revealed the largest single-day coronavirus-related death total with 200 new deaths reported since the day before.

Lamont said he wants employers and employees to wear masks in any place where public interactions are taking place. The governor singled out grocery stores as a business where he wants to see masks worn.

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

Masks can be made of anything you have at home, from an old t-shirt to a pillow cover.
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