Government Works To Begin Disbursing Loans And Payments Amid Record Unemployment

Updated at 7:37 p.m. ET The government has gone to work disbursing the billions of dollars Washington has committed to sustain the economy after the deep shock it has undergone in the pandemic, the White House promised on Thursday. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Jovita Carranza, head of the Small Business Administration, vowed that some of the first systems for loans or payments would be up and running as soon as Friday. Meanwhile the Treasury Department, the SBA, the IRS and other...

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David J. Phillip / AP

UConn Grad Co-Founds Medical Supply Clearinghouse

Hospitals all over the country are in desperate need of personal protective gear. Many private citizens have stepped in with ideas to help. Nadav Ullman is one of those citizens. He’s a web developer and University of Connecticut alumnus, who co-founded a national medical supply clearinghouse for hospitals in need of scarce N95 masks and ventilators.

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Eric Gay / AP

Religious leaders on Long Island say upcoming festivals, celebrations and Sabbath gatherings should be suspended temporarily to preserve life and health during the pandemic.

Courtesy of CT-4

A group of Connecticut nonprofits has created a new charitable organization to raise money in response to COVID-19. The funds will be given to agencies that provide food, housing, childcare and other services.  

Kathy Willens / AP

A 250-bed FEMA mobile hospital has been set up on the campus of Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven. It’s part of the state’s effort to increase hospital bed capacity in anticipation of a surge of COVID-19 admissions.  

Steven Senne / AP

A Connecticut nonprofit that helps people who are homeless says it’s facing unprecedented challenges in the COVID-19 era.  

Updated at 10:38 a.m. ET

The number of new people claiming unemployment benefits totaled a staggering 6.648 million last week — doubling the record set a week earlier, the Labor Department said Thursday.

In the prior week, ending March 21, a revised 3.307 million initial claims were filed.

In just two weeks, nearly all of the jobs gained in the last five years have been lost.

Frank Franklin II / AP

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he struggles to find new ways to convince young people to socially distance themselves. Cuomo suggested enacting a law to fine people who don’t follow the guidelines.

Mike Groll / Office of N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Here’s the latest on the coronavirus outbreak in the region:

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has closed playgrounds in New York City in order to eliminate crowds of young people from gathering. Connecticut has prohibited walk-in visitors at its state parks. Officials have also limited parking capacity as some parks have been overcrowded.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says he told President Trump on Wednesday that the United States should grant hazard pay — additional pay for hazardous duty — to frontline federal employees responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

Italy is extending its coronavirus lockdown to April 13, as the country's death toll from COVID-19 now tops 13,000 people. The death toll rose by the smallest amount in days, but officials say it's too soon to declare the epidemic over. The number of new cases, which had been declining, was higher than the previous day.

News of the continued lockdown in Italy comes after members of the White House's coronavirus task force referred to Italy as an example of how the coronavirus could play out in the U.S.

Some devout Orthodox Jewish communities have been slow to follow lockdown orders in Israel, helping drive a surge in coronavirus cases that officials are struggling to contain.

Known in Israel as Haredim, or those who tremble in awe before God, ultra-Orthodox Jews make up about 12% of Israel's population — but they account for as much as 60% of Israel's COVID-19 cases in major hospitals, according to estimates. More than 6,000 Israelis have been infected and at least 31 have died.

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