Coronavirus cases in Connecticut rose by 557 on Tuesday, climbing to 3,128, according to Gov. Ned Lamont. He said 33 more people have died, bringing the total number of fatalities to 69.
The large jump in deaths, up from 36 on Monday, was the result of a number of coronavirus-related deaths being reported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner over the past two weeks, but that had not been reported to the Department of Public Health.
The majority of new cases, 400, were in Fairfield County, but New Haven County saw an increase of 145 new cases, according to Lamont.
"You can see the virus is heading north," Lamont said Tuesday.
Lamont said Connecticut has the fourth most COVID-19 infections per capita in the U.S., behind New York, New Jersey, and Louisiana.
Medical Equipment Resources
The governor said he learned on Tuesday that the national stockpile of personal protective equipment (PPE) has been depleted.
"For now we are on our own, and for now we are working our heart out scouring the globe for PPE," Lamont said.
The governor said he was appreciative to learn the federal government had delivered 50 badly-needed ventilators to Connecticut.
Coronavirus Mortgage Help
For those who have been financially impacted during this coronavirus national emergency, the state has reached a deal with 62 financial institutions to allow a grace period on mortgage payments for up to 90 days.
The deal also means no foreclosures for the next 60 days.
Those applying for relief must show that they have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
Nonviolent Prisoner Releases
For the first time, Gov. Lamont said the state was releasing nonviolent offenders from state prisons in an effort to keep the virus from spreading among inmates.
"A special focus on those who are older, those who are most at risk. Trying to find out where they would be most safe," Lamont said.
Monitoring Essential Businesses
Lamont said Tuesday he’s considering narrowing the list of businesses considered essential to keep people home, predicting April will be a “horrible month” for coronavirus cases in Connecticut.
Lamont said more needs to be done to persuade young people that social distancing is crucial to reducing the spread of the virus, noting the infection rate is expected to peak in Connecticut over the coming weeks.
“We’re definitely at a point where you’ve got to stay home and probably we have to take a look at what is an essential worker and to continue to tighten that up in terms of any possible confusion,” Lamont said during an interview on WPLR FM.
The governor said is considering tightening the restrictions around what businesses can remain open.
“I’m looking at more ways to keep people at home, at least for this 30-day period," he said during the interview.
Lamont said he’s been "reluctant" to close the state’s large parks, but worries when he sees large groups of young people congregating, such as playing basketball, and not taking social distancing seriously.
"We've got to be a lot stricter in some of these places where people tend to congregate," the governor said.
“Certainly I think that April is going to be a horrible month,” said Lamont, basing his prediction on how the virus spread overseas and in Seattle.
Lamont told WPLR the state is at capacity right now.
"My first priority is Connecticut," he said. "I think New Yorkers ought to stay at home. I think the Connecticut people stay at home. And if you absolutely have to cross the border from some emergency reason, it's really important that you self diagnose and self quarantine. This virus is traveling across borders at warp speed."
The governor said he is scaling back on public appearances.
"I'm here at the residence in Hartford 90 percent of the time," Lamont said.
He said he has not been tested yet.
"I am thinking about it," Lamont said.