45 More Dead; Rest of School Year in Doubt

May 20 Set as Earliest Opening Date

Dave Mager
April 09, 2020 - 10:13 pm
graph via CTDPH, 4/9/20

@CTDPH

Call it a date uncertain.

On Thursday, the Lamont Administration named May 20 as the earliest possible opening date for school buildings, restaurant dining rooms and bars, which all remain closed in the statewide effort to mitigate the deadly impact of Coronavirus.

At the same time, top state officials made it clear that date is likely to come and go without changes to the sweeping restrictions that have most Connecticut residents stuck at home until further notice.

Gov. Ned Lamont says a return to work and school can't be carried out recklessly. He's concerned a premature end to his Stay Safe, Stay at Home advisory could touch off a second wave of COVID-19 infections and deaths.

"We'll be outlining over the next week for two how we carefully plan to get people back to work," said Gov. Ned Lamont, "We're just not going to open the doors on May 20."

During the governor's daily briefing with reporters, Education Commissioner Dr. Miguel Cardona said while the earliest school opening date was pushed from Apr 20 to May 20, schools are planning for the "worst-case scenario:" declaring an end to the current in-person school year.

Cardona says he understands that if the rest of the school year consists of "online learning only," most students, especially seniors, won't be satisfied.

The commissioner had a promise for those seniors: "You will have a graduation. All superintendents and high school principals are already planning what it might look like if classes are cancelled for the remainder of the school year."

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The Department of Public Health reports 45 more COVID-19 deaths, bringing the statewide death toll to 380. Among the fatalities, 295 (77.6%) were patients 70 or older.

As predicted by various models, this has been Connecticut's deadliest week in the crisis, and the case load is still on the upswing, with more than 1,000 positive tests in the last day, for a total of 9,784 known COVID-19 cases.

Searching for positives, Gov. Ned Lamont cites a one-day decrease in daily hospitalizations. 46 people were hospitalized in the last day, a low for the week.

He also says hospitalizations have leveled off in the hardest-hit county, Fairfield, and that Connecticut hospitals are so far able to handle the load.

"We may be reaching a peak," he says.