Connecticut governor urges residents to sign up for alerts

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont urged residents to sign up for cell phone alerts Sunday, saying he will deliver a recorded message to more than 4 million phone numbers through the state’s CTAlert system about the coronavirus.

The message from the state’s Emergency Operations Center in Hartford will urge all residents to stay home and will be accompanied by a text message with a link to Connecticut’s coronavirus website.

In Greenwich, First Selectman Fred Camillo ordered all town parks and beaches closed as of 8 p.m. Sunday to keep people from congregating. There were more than 8,000 visitors to one town park on Saturday, he said.

Here are the latest coronavirus developments in Connecticut:

___

NURSING HOME INFECTIONS

A nursing home where a short-term patient died on Saturday has at least five other patients who have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a spokesman for Athena Health Care Systems, which owns the Stafford Springs facility.

Four of the patients who tested positive have been isolated in the Evergreen Health Care Center and the other is in the hospital, spokesman Timothy Brown said.

A deep cleaning of the nursing home was done after the first positive test was announced and all employees will now wear personal protective gear when dealing with any patients, Brown said.

The 88-year-old man who died had been at Evergreen for a week. The assisted living facility in Ridgefield where he had lived before has at least one other person with the virus, Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi said.

___

CASINO SHUTDOWN LEADS TO MASS FURLOUGHS

A Connecticut casino that closed this week has furloughed its workforce of more than 5,000 employees.

Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket closed to the public Tuesday night for two weeks. After the closing, Local 2121, the union representing table-games dealers, told its 1,200 members the casino would not agree to offer paid leave, The Day reported Saturday.

Union president John DelMonte said in a statement that the union is “very disappointed” and was only given 24 hours’ notice to notify its members of the furlough. The union has been helping members apply for state unemployment benefits.

Foxwoods’ president and CEO John James said the casino is making decisions based on several factors, including employee and guest safety and guidance from state leaders.

“We value and respect all of our Team Members and want to do what is best for them and the business such that we can all come out of this in a manner that allows us to recover,” James said in a statement.

___

At least 29 additional Connecticut residents have tested positive, bringing the statewide total to 223 as of Saturday evening.

More than 3,100 tests have been conducted in the state to date. Approximately 43 people are hospitalized and there have been 5 deaths.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough, and the vast majority recover. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

(Copyright (c) 2020 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)