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Police and firefighters who are awaiting coronavirus test results or have relatives who have been exposed to the virus will be able to move into a University of New Haven dormitory in the coming days, Elicker said.
But Yale University initially declined his request to make rooms available promptly, though the Ivy League school changed course Saturday.
The number of cases in New Haven has doubled to more than 50 in recent days, and Yale New Haven Hospital physicians have warned that the city may be at the beginning of a surge of new cases. Dr. Rick Martinello said Friday the peak could be two to four weeks out.
Yale said Friday that it couldn't make dorm rooms available for weeks because students' belongings were still there. Elicker, who has a Yale master's degree in business and environmental management, noted that UNH had managed to clear space quickly.
“Generally, in times of crisis, we’re looking for everyone not to find ways to say no but to find ways to say yes,” the mayor said at an online news conference Saturday.
Yale President Peter Salovey said Saturday that the university would make 300 beds available for first responders and hospital personnel by the end of this coming week.
“We are eager to help New Haven with this need,” Salovey said in a statement, noting that Yale is also working to provide swift testing for first responders in its labs and is raising a $5 million fund to help the city deal with the virus outbreak. The university is contributing $1 million.
Town-gown relations have hit rocky points many times over their centuries-long history. But “now more than ever, Yale and City Hall need to be on the same page,” Salovey said.
Elicker said he'd also discussed the temporary housing need with Southern Connecticut State University.
The Connecticut National Guard has deployed two climate-controlled tents at the VA Medical Center in Newington to deal with possible patient overflow in the future, similar to tents put up on grounds of the VA hospital in West Haven, Lamont said Friday.
Mobile field hospitals have also been set up on the grounds of Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford and Danbury Hospital and another one was expected to be set up at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown in the coming days, he said.