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Economic Worries In Connecticut As Unemployment Numbers Continue Record Rise

empty parking lot; Midway Restaurant & Pizza
Joe Amon/Connecticut Public/NENC
An empty lot at Midway Restaurant & Pizza along Rt. 44 in Ashford as they are serving take out only on March 20, 2020 in Ashford, Connecticut.

The economic impact of the coronavirus continues to be felt both here in Connecticut and around the world.

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This afternoon, state labor officials will join Gov. Ned Lamont’s daily briefing to provide updates on unemployment insurance claims and the timeline for federal unemployment insurance stimulus benefits. The state has had a record backlog of applicants and the Department of Labor has hired more help to process claims.

Tomorrow morning, the weekly report on national unemployment benefits claims will be released. In the previous three weeks, 17 million people filed for unemployment nationwide.

In Connecticut this week, pay cuts have been announced at ESPN and Pratt & Whitney, which is also furloughing employees.

The $1,200 in stimulus money from the federal government should be showing up in your bank account if you’ve used direct deposit with the IRS before. Checks for everyone else should be mailed out soon, although it may be a little delayed after the Treasury Department ordered that President Donald Trump’s signature be on the checks.

Here’s the latest on the coronavirus in Connecticut...


  • Nearly 14,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Connecticut. Fairfield, New Haven, and Hartford counties have the most cases.
  • Gov. Lamont receives bipartisan support from two local leaders in Fairfield County about his handling of the pandemic. A poll found that despite approval of Lamont’s handling of the crisis from the general public, more than 60% of people are concerned about the economic impact this will have on the state.
  • Nursing home residents who have tested positive for the coronavirus will start to be moved to designated facilities in Bridgeport and Sharon by the end of this week. 

By The Numbers

All numbers are as of April 14 at 6 p.m.

  • 671 deaths from COVID-19
  • 13,989 confirmed cases
    • Fairfield County: 6,213
    • New Haven County: 3,543
    • Hartford County: 2,370
    • Litchfield County: 460
    • Middlesex County: 355
    • Tolland County: 201
    • New London County: 222
    • Windham County: 87
    • Pending address validation: 533
  • More than 45,841 people tested


The Latest

  • As mentioned above, we’re expecting an update from the Department of Labor on unemployment claims. Commissioner Kurt Westby and Deputy Commissioner Daryle Dudzinski will join Gov. Lamont’s daily press briefing at 4 p.m.
  • Many people are anxiously awaiting an antibody test to be able to determine if they’ve had COVID-19 previously. But a lot of questions around this type of test remain. It’s not even known if you can gain immunity with the antibodies. As Richard Harris reports for NPR, the tests that do exist are wrong much more than you might expect.
  • At the time of writing, there are just 10 Connecticut towns without a single confirmed case of COVID-19. One of those towns is Colebrook in Litchfield County. Of course, the towns are small, with an average population of just 2,075 according to 2018 state estimates.

Other Reads On The Coronavirus

“This Too Shall Pass”

Several words and phrases have become associated with the pandemic: unprecedented, social distancing, quarantine.

One phrase has been used to provide comfort and hope: This too shall pass.

That has led this song to be stuck in my head for weeks now. It’s an oldie but goodie. The video may also provide some inspiration for those of you bored at home.

Send me a video of your Rube Goldberg Machine in action on Twitter or via email.

Stay safe. Stay sane. Stay distant.

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