The state’s weekly COVID summary: 1,027,729 residents have tested positive for COVID-19, with 3,827 testing positive over the last 7 days; the 7-day positivity rate is 15.56%, the state Department of Public Health (DPH) reported. The state reported 16,026,603 PCR/NAAT tests, with 24,598 residents testing positive over the last 7 days. Hospitalizations total 714. The state reported 37 deaths, bringing the death total to 11,770. DPH is releasing weekly COVID reports on Thursdays.
A patch of dirt in the northwest corner of their back yard, bounded by a chain link fence, a stone wall and a garage that houses feral cats, has become a happy place for Gladis Castro, 57, and her daughter Carla, 27. The Danbury mother and daughter have found purpose and meaning, and built a strong relationship, in a simple garden that has connected them with nature, given them food and provided a diversion from the COVID-19 pandemic. Just being outdoors has become increasingly important to them in caring for their long-term respiratory effects from the virus. Inhaling the early-morning air while working in her garden often reminds Gladis Castro of Santa Isabel, her village in the Andes mountains of Ecuador. After a morning summer walk the two made smoothies with freshly picked red raspberries from their garden.
Avery Santos, a rising senior at Middletown High School, said he felt “isolated” because of COVID-19. The pandemic made it difficult to socialize, and Santos said “my mood went down.”
Covid -19 has affected high school students both mentally and physically. Santos said social distancing “caused a barrier between me and my friends.” Schools implemented social distancing as a safety measure, but students said it limited interactions with their friends. The daily lives of high school students changed dramatically, affecting their education and activities. “I couldn’t go outside without a mask,” Jaikwon Francis, who is going into his senior year at Kennedy High School in Waterbury, said.
On a bustling Friday morning, the aroma of rice and beans wafts through a cloud of hairspray in Romy’s Beauty Salon in Meriden. Merengue music soothes the senses. Customers exchange pleasantries in Spanish as Romy Norwood offers each a small bowl of “arroz y habichuela,” the Dominican staple of rice and beans. Later in the day, Norwood repeats the courtesy with small mugs of strong coffee, “cafecito,” prepared by her mother, Yolanda Sosa, in the kitchenette in the rear of the shop. Unlike Norwood and her mother, most clients aren’t wearing a mask.
Michael Kelly is still fighting. After waging—and winning—an epic battle with COVID-19 in spring 2020, Kelly is now focused on his recovery and preventing a second infection. But getting back on his feet has been challenging. Once intimidated by what he described as wealthy, better-educated clients of his carpeting business, Kelly, 64, says he feels he’s on equal footing with the world today. During his recovery from COVID, he said, he realized that regardless of wealth, education or status, everyone has the same allotted 24 hours to live each day.
The state Medical Examining Board agreed Tuesday to withdraw the charges filed against a Durham physician accused of providing fraudulent exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines and masks after she voluntarily relinquished her medical license while it was suspended. Sue McIntosh, a retired former physician, will not face any discipline and will not be able to practice medicine unless she seeks a formal reinstatement before the board, state Department of Public Health (DPH) officials said. The board’s vote was unanimous. The board did not discuss the case before the vote other than a comment by Chair Kathryn Emmett who said since McIntosh had voluntarily surrendered her license, “there was no license to reprimand.”
McIntosh was accused of deviating from the standard of care by failing to properly diagnose or examine people who she issued signed exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines and masks. The state said that McIntosh failed to build a patient and physician relationship with those who requested the exemptions, failed to obtain their medical history and failed to comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines by providing advice that was harmful to the public. The board suspended McIntosh’s medical license on Sept.
The Durham doctor whose license was temporarily suspended for giving out exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines and masks without examining the patients surrendered her medical license Friday, according to the state Department of Public Health. Dr. Susan McIntosh was being investigated by the DPH after she was accused of allowing people to mail her Durham practice a self-addressed, stamped envelope to receive signed exemptions, the DPH said. Her license to practice medicine and surgery was suspended by the state Medical Examining Board until a hearing scheduled for Oct. 5, officials said. It’s uncertain whether that hearing will go forward.
The state Department of Public Health (DPH) will investigate physicians accused of spreading misinformation about COVID-19 and the vaccines designed to combat the virus if a complaint is filed, officials said. Christopher Boyle, DPH spokesman, said that if the agency receives a complaint that a physician was spreading COVID-19 vaccine misinformation, the Practitioner Investigation Unit will investigate. In July, the Federation of State Medical Boards warned physicians that they could face disciplinary action by a state medical board for spreading disinformation about COVID-19 vaccines. DPH said that there is no mechanism for monitoring social media or other forms of media for doctors who are spreading misinformation. By state law, the public has no way of knowing if a physician is under investigation until a resolution to the complaint comes before the state Medical Examining Board months, or possibly years, from the filing of the complaint.
The Community Health Center Inc. set up shop inside the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Waterbury on a Friday in mid-July. Armed with 24 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, the team of six staff and volunteers sat ready for patients from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Not one person showed up. The turnout was not surprising, according to the vaccination site leader and nurses at the mobile clinic. Last month, new vaccinations across Connecticut fell to the lowest numbers since January, a predictable outcome when nearly 65% of the total state population has received at least one vaccine dose. But in Waterbury, only 46% of residents are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Sweating in his black jacket under a brilliant spring sun, Keith J. DuPerry, 40, waited in line on the New Haven Green. Destination: FEMA’s first-in-the-nation COVID-19 mass vaccination trailer, administered by Griffin Hospital of Derby. Earlier that morning, DuPerry had taken a bus from the sober house where he lives to an addiction treatment center downtown. The buzz of activity on the Green—party tents and comfortable seating, trailers custom shrink-wrapped with photos of smiling, diverse, shot-giving caregivers and grateful patients—got him thinking. He returned to the Green after lunch.