There were 7 new COVID-19 deaths reported since yesterday, bringing the death toll to 8,168; hospitalizations declined by 21 to total 222, the Department of Public Health (DPH) reported. Residents testing positive for the virus totaled 344,612, an increase of 471 since yesterday’s report. The state reported 8,959,322 tests completed, up 29,973. The positivity rate is 1.57%. For a county-by-county breakdown of cases, go here and click on “Daily Data Report.”
If you are without health insurance, you can find coverage during a special enrollment period that runs through Aug. 15, Access Health CT announced. The newly-approved federal American Rescue Plan is making health insurance more affordable by eliminating or vastly reducing monthly premium costs for people with low to moderate incomes. Even people with higher incomes who are enrolled in health insurance through Access Health, the state’s insurance exchange, may see their monthly premium costs reduced. The special enrollment period at Access Health CT runs from May 1 to Aug.
Q. Some people are skeptical about receiving the vaccine. What are some of the concerns, and what are the responses to these concerns? A. According to polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit health information and journalism organization, the main reasons given by those who are hesitant to get a COVID-19 vaccine include possible side effects (59%); lack of trust in the government to ensure the vaccines’ safety and effectiveness (55%); vaccine is too new (53%); concerns over the role of politics in the development process (51%); the risks of getting COVID are exaggerated (43%); don’t trust vaccines in general (37%); don’t trust the health care system (35%); worried about getting COVID from the vaccine (27%); don’t think they’re at risk of getting sick from the virus (20%). Members of different racial groups have different reasons for not wanting to get vaccinated.
Q. The vaccine rollout is under way. Where are we in the process, who can get it, and where? A. The state is in Phase 1B of the vaccine process. In Phase 1A, healthcare personnel, long-term care facility residents and medical first responders were vaccinated.
Q. Since COVID-19, the hospital experience is different for patients and visitors. Patient and employee safety has changed many things, some that we see and some behind the scenes. This is what our hospitals are doing for safety reasons and why. A. At the beginning of the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that hospitals give priority to urgent visits and delay elective care to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in hospitals.
Q. We have been hearing about different scams related to the COVID-19 virus. One such scam had to do with fake COVID-19 testing. What type of scams are out there and how can they be avoided? A. In November, Bridgeport officials warned residents about a fraudulent COVID test site near Gala Foods on East Main Street.
Q. People are worried about receiving surprise medical bills after having been treated for COVID-19. To what extent will the person be responsible for all the treatment received during their stay in the hospital? A. There is a federal law in place that covers the cost of COVID-19 testing, but there is no federal legislation regarding costs of the treatment of the virus, such as hospitalizations or extended care. Treatment costs depend on the type of health coverage the patient has.
Q. COVID-19 affects each person who gets it somewhat differently. What symptoms should cause me to seek care and how long should I wait to seek medical care. Does any of this change based on the number of cases that are reported in my community? A. So you’ve got the sniffles and a mild cough, but no fever.
Front-line health care workers pushed to the limit, extraordinary lines for food, surging demand for shelter – these were some of the scenes as the pandemic swept through the state during this unprecedented year. Our photographers captured these moments and more as they illustrated a year’s worth of compelling stories. Scroll through the gallery to see C-HIT’s outstanding photography in 2020 by photographers Melanie Stengel, Steve Hamm, Carl Jordan Castro, Carol Leonetti Dannhauser and Cloe Poisson. And a shout-out to those who shared their photos of the moments our photographers couldn’t get to.
Q. People are concerned about the isolation and negative psychological impact that the separation of family members is causing. Residents are seeing a higher number of family members suffering and a resulting high rate of suicide cases. What are the findings and what is being done about this in our communities? A. The number of people looking for help with anxiety and depression has skyrocketed from January through September 2020, according to Mental Health America.