One year ago, a Wilton man tested positive for COVID-19, marking the first known Connecticut resident to contract the virus. Since then, there have been over 285,000 cases of coronavirus in Connecticut and more than 7,700 people have died.
One Year Ago: First COVID-19 Case in Conn.
The first case of coronavirus involving a Connecticut resident happened on March 8, 2020, when Governor Ned Lamont announced that a man from Wilton tested had tested positive for COVID-19.
Chris Tillett most likely became infected with COVID-19 during a trip to California, Lamont said when Tillett first tested positive.
Tillett appeared on the Today Show last year to discuss his experience with the virus that put him in a medically induced coma.
Even a year later, Tillett said he is still dealing with lasting effects from having coronavirus.
"I have to be on blood pressure medicine probably for the rest of my life. And then the other day I woke up and my right leg was twice the size of my left leg," Tillett said.
Tillett also said having coronavirus has changed how he views things and lives his life.
"I'm enjoying little aspects of life, even when things go bad. I just choose to laugh at it now, instead of letting it be angry and upset and like, what is that gonna do for me? Right. So I've just found I yes, definitely a new lease on life," Tillett added.
Tillett also gave his take on where we are a year later and seeing half a million Americans who have passed away from the virus.
"You know, it hurts me to see that every day. It's devastating. And I unfortunately, I see individuals that they're like, 'well, I had it and it went away and it's not that big of a deal.' And my thing is this, it's not a death sentence to get this, but look at the lasting effects that I have," Tillett said.
Tillett isn't alone in experiencing lasting effects after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
Now, global medical experts are working to better diagnose and treat them for what they are tentatively calling "long Covid."
One Year Later: First Cases Connected to Connecticut
A few days before Tillett was diagnosed, a Connecticut hospital employee tested positive for coronavirus, marking the first case connected to the state. The Connecticut hospital employee who was first infected was an employee from Danbury Hospital and Norwalk Hospital and a New York resident.
She lived in Westchester County and the positive coronavirus test was performed in New York state. The commissioner of the state Department of Public Health Renee Coleman-Mitchell said the case did not officially count as a Connecticut case.
The community physician made rounds at Bridgeport Hospital, according to Lamont. The physician is also a New York State resident who works in Connecticut, Lamont added.
Neither the community physician nor the Danbury Hospital employee were ever publicly identified.
A day after Tillett tested positive, a second Connecticut resident tested positive for coronavirus. That person received treatment at Bridgeport Hospital, state officials said. Authorities never released further details about the case.
The Latest: Coronavirus in Connecticut
Early on in the pandemic, Connecticut was a hotspot for COVID-19. Within the last year, there have been over 285,000 cases of coronavirus in the state and more than 7,700 people have died.
Gov. Lamont to Roll Back COVID-19 Restrictions as Cases Continue to Decline
When COVID-19 cases started to increase in Connecticut, restrictions were put into place at many schools, restaurants and businesses in an effort to stop the spread.
Schools across the state were shut down and kids adjusted to remote and hybrid learning.
Many restaurants and businesses were closed down and were slowly reopened with new capacity limits, enhanced cleaning and mask mandates.
Last week, Lamont announced plans to roll back capacity restrictions at many businesses later this month. Masks and social distancing requirements will still be in effect.
COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution in Conn.
The state continues to be a national leader in vaccine distribution. As of Thursday, more than 1 million doses have been distributed with more being distributed every day.
Who Can Get a COVID-19 Vaccine in Connecticut
- The state started the vaccine rollout in mid-December by vaccinating healthcare personnel, long-term care facility residents and medical first responders.
- As of mid-January, Connecticut residents 75 and older have been able to sign up for an appointment and get a vaccine.
- Connecticut residents 55 and older can sign up and get an appointment.
- Pre-K-12 Teachers, paraprofessionals, custodial staff, food service providers, school bus drivers and childcare providers as well as in-school administrative staff. This group does not include individuals who are not required to work on-site in a school.
- Note: Pre-K-12 school staff and teachers, and professional child care providers will be eligible for the vaccine.
- People 45 to 55
- People 16 and up
Note:To get a vaccine in Connecticut, you must either live or work in the state. If you typically visit a provider here but do not live or work in Connecticut, you are not eligible and must get vaccinated in your home state.
COVID-19 Cases in the United States
Within the last year, there have been nearly 29 million cases of COVID-19 in the United States, the World Health Organization says.
In total, over 500,000 people have died from coronavirus in the U.S. in that time.
Over 165 million COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed so far across the United States.
COVID-19 Cases Worldwide
Worldwide, there have been more than 116 million cases of COVID-19 within the last year, according to WHO.
Within the last year, there have been over 2.5 million COVID-19- related deaths worldwide reported to WHO.
As of Monday, nearly 350 million COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed across the world.
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