About two dozen groups of teachers, parents and advocates held coordinated demonstrations on Thursday, demanding more funding to ensure schools can reopen safely during the continuing pandemic.
The “School Safety First” car caravans were organized by the state’s two largest teachers’ unions.
“Nothing is more important that the safety of our students, our teachers, and our school communities,” said Jeff Leake, president of the Connecticut Education Association. He said CEA and the American Federation of Teachers of Connecticut want to “amplify teachers’ voices in calling for resources needed to fully implement protocols that could help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our schools.”
The largest caravan was in Hartford, where the participants traveled to the governor’s residence.
In other coronavirus news in Connecticut:
The Connecticut Department of Correction has begun a second round of COVID-19 testing of prison staff across the state. This time the tests are mandatory, under an agreement reached between the state and union officials.
The mandatory testing began on July 17 at the Cheshire and Garner Correctional Institutions. It has since been conducted at six more facilities. So far, there have been three asymptomatic positive results among 2,538 employees, for a .1% positive rate. To date, DOC said 386 staff members have contracted the virus and 378 have recovered.
A second round of testing began July 23 of the prisoner population. So far, 834 inmates at the Robinson and Osborne Correctional Centers were tested, with 770 testing negative and 64 testing as asymptomatic positive cases, for an 8% positive rate. Those inmates that tested positive are being isolated and monitored to make sure they don’t develop any COVID-19 symptoms, DOC said.
The first round of testing of more than 9,500 offenders resulted in 830 asymptomatic positive results, with only two of those inmates later developing symptoms. DOC said both have since recovered. To date, only one inmate out of approximately 9,700 offenders is currently recuperating from symptoms.