With his ready demeanor and seated behind a desk, Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim offered reassuring words to the public and called on the city's faith leaders to pray that evening in his Facebook Live broadcast Thursday, April 9.
The mayor asked for "prayer and words of faith during a time that residents in our community are impacted by coronavirus. These are difficult and uncertain times, but our faith-based groups have and continue to be an integral part in spreading positivity and hope," in the virtual town hall he runs daily.
"We will all pray for good health and strength for our city," Ganim said, reminding local residents and visitors to "Stay safe at home."
The two major health centers' "fearless leaders" appeared on the video with hopeful remarks.
Anne Diamond, the president of Bridgeport Hospital reiterated the message to "Stay home, stay safe." She said, "Make sure you're disinfecting your house, your phone. "
She also added that Bridgeport Hospital has 160 COVID-19 patients) in house right now, with 52 of those in the ICU—35 of which are on ventilators—and 16 in the process of COVID testing. And over the past two weeks, of 200 admissions of COVID patients, 94 percent have been discharged.
"So it's a really good rate of patients coming and going home and that's exactly what you want if you come in with COVID," said Diamond. "In the ICU we're seeing seven to eight days you're in the hospital, regular room 10 days and a med search unit five days. People seem to get better and that rate's much higher than we're seeing in New York."
"We're seeing more men, about 55 percent of our admissions. We're seeing about an even (number of patients) between black and white, from a race perspective. We're doing good work," she said.
"You're doing phenomenal work," Ganim said. He applauded health care workers for their "long hours, constantly being exposed and going home to their families. We need you and we need you badly, and we need to know what we can do to support you so we can get through this together."
Vince DiBattista, the president of Hartford Healthcare- St. Vincent’s Medical Center also appeared on the mid-day live video. He thanked Bridgeport workers for "keeping basic services running. Life has to continue to go on. We thank our first responders and everyday heroes, our doctors, our nurses, our support team, day to day. My hat's off to them on a daily basis."
"In the last 24 hours we had 60 positive COVID patients and 16 patients under investigation, 30 of those are in our ICU. And we believe we have the capacity to see more patients. The good thing is we have 31 discharges of COVID patients with no issues," DiBattista continued.
Ganim countered with, "It's comforting, the level of stability and control that we feel we have from both of the hospitals is very important and much appreciated."
On Tuesday, April 7, Ganim issued a recommended curfew of 8 p.m. for Bridgeport with the message to reinforce Gov. Ned Lamont's "Stay Safe, Stay Home," announced on Facebook live that day. It follows what Lamont told Connecticut residents that all non-essential workers are directed to work from home, and social and recreational gatherings of more than five are prohibited.
With the measure, the city started sending an Emergency Operations Communications voice message generated via an automation system to advise them of the “Stay Home” order, covered also in Ganim's Tuesday briefing.
Wednesday, April 8, signage was seen throughout the entire city via yard signs and variable-message signs to remind residents to socially distance themselves and stay home.
In addition, Ganim and city officials have been in contact with grocery stores and open restaurants that close at or around 8 p.m. and urged them to take into consideration that some customers and residents may be traveling home from picking up essentials just after 8 p.m.
"The City also understands and recognizes that employees of these establishments may have more work to do and will be leaving their job site after the 8 p.m. closing time," said the mayor's April 8 announcement to residents.
The stringent measure is to "flatten the curve, minimize residents contracting the coronavirus, and ultimately minimize fatalities" from the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
Joe Ganim will have Congressman Jim Himes, Hartford Healthcare nurse Sue Skoog, and community members join him Friday, April 10 at 12:30 p.m. on Facebook Live. Those without access to social media can listen to the mayor's daily briefings on the radio also live on WICC 600 and Radio Cumbre 1450 at 12:30 p.m.