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Home Care in Willimantic, CT

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that’s how it should be – a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, sometimes they cannot live independently without someone by their side to provide care. Unfortunately, some older Americans aren’t able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today’s world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That’s where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live in the comforts or their home rather than in an assisted living community. Home care in Willimantic, CT is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

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What Our Clients Are Saying

The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they age. We are proud to have helped tens of thousands of seniors to maintain a higher level of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients’ lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a “one size fits all” approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life’s little moments – where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can’t quite keep up with life’s daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home care services in Willimantic, CT. Always Best Care is here to help.

How does In-home Senior Care in Willimantic, CT work?

Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliché, it’s especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.

The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.

At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one ages, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

Types of In-home Care in Willimantic, CT

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes or Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite activities and hobbies while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community Events and Social Outings

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy other activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress helps reduce the risks of caregiver burnout.

When it comes to non-medical home care, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior’s daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible. If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

Benefits of Home Care in Willimantic, CT

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

  • Age in Place
    According to AARP, 9 out of 10 seniors prefer to age in place within the comfort of their own home. With in-home care, seniors have a way to stay at home, receive the care they need, and maintain a sense of independence, improving overall wellness.
  • Peace of Mind
    If you or a member of your family have assumed the role of caregiver for your senior loved one, you know how stressful the job can be. Between caregiver burnout and constant worry, being a family caregiver is hard. In-home care relieves your burden and gives you peace of mind knowing that your senior family member is in expert hands.
  • Socialization
    Unlike many senior care facilities where the staff and residents rotate frequently, seniors can foster new friendships and build bonds with their caregiver. Seniors who socialize on a regular basis are often happier, which fosters positivity and leads to increased wellbeing.
  • Personalized Care Plan
    No two seniors need the same kind of in-home care assistance. That is why each of our care plans are tailored to meet our client’s individual needs. We offer plans that cover everything from light housekeeping to more involved duties like transportation to doctor’s appointments. Our Care Coordinators will work closely with you to develop a personalized plan to ensure your senior’s needs are exceeded.

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for clients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it’s true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a unfamiliar assisted living community, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

Comfort

How much does a senior’s home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home’s emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, that a senior’s home is where they want to grow old. With the help of elderly care in Willimantic, CT, seniors don’t have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Healthy Living

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors’ health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors. Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors’ quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

Independence

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom – much more so than in other settings like an assisted living community. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

Cost and Convenience

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it’s usually easier to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, can be less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care’s home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care in Willimantic, CT gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

Affordable Care Plans

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you’re worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

  • Veteran’s Benefits: Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
  • Private Insurance: Home care can be included as part of a senior’s private insurance plan. Read over your loved one’s insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
  • Life Insurance: Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.

During your Care Plan consultation with Always Best Care, your Care Coordinator will speak with you about in-home care costs and what options there may be to help meet your budget needs.

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver’s role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors’ minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Willimantic,CT understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior’s day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

01

An assessment of your senior loved one

02

An in-depth discussion of the needs of your senior loved one to remain in their own home

03

Reviewing a detailed Care Plan that will meet your senior loved one's needs

Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

Latest News in Willimantic

Middlesex County students graduate, earn honors

Chadron State College CHADRON, Neb. — Eighty-three Chadron State College graduate candidates were recognized recently during a combined ceremony. George Clements Jr. of Portland was among them, earning a master of science in organizational management.Pomfret SchoolPOMFRET — The following Pomfret School students earned a grade-point average of at least 3.670 and received no grade lower than a B+ for the fall 2021 term: Nicholas Ferrucci of Essex, Kai Konstantino of Ivoryton and Riley Millard of Chester....

Chadron State College

CHADRON, Neb. — Eighty-three Chadron State College graduate candidates were recognized recently during a combined ceremony. George Clements Jr. of Portland was among them, earning a master of science in organizational management.

Pomfret School

POMFRET — The following Pomfret School students earned a grade-point average of at least 3.670 and received no grade lower than a B+ for the fall 2021 term: Nicholas Ferrucci of Essex, Kai Konstantino of Ivoryton and Riley Millard of Chester.

These individuals earned a GPA of at least 3.330 and no grade lower than a B: Matthew Bassett of Westbrook, Dava Dudek of Middletown and Beaulisa Staff of Old Saybrook.

Hanley Ferrucci of Essex earned a GPA of 4.0 and received no grade lower than an A-.

Bryant University

LEXINGTON, Va. — Thomas Williams, a native of Haddam, was recently initiated into the Bryant University Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society. It welcomed more than 1,100 new initiates from 41 universities during November.

Students initiated into the society must be sophomores, juniors, seniors, or graduate/professional students in the top 35 percent of their class, demonstrate leadership experience in at least one of the five pillars, and embrace the ODK ideals.

Fewer than five percent of students on a campus are invited to join each year.

National Honor Society

NORTH HAVEN — Students from the area were recognized as a members of the Physical Therapy Pro Bono National Honor Society. Founded in 2014, the society recognizes outstanding physical therapy students who provide pro bono service as a part of their education.

Brittany Kearney of East Hampton and Janelle Berry of Middlefield were inducted.

Elmira College

ELMIRA, N.Y. — Elmira College released its dean’s list for academic achievement for the fall 2021 term, which recognizes full-time undergraduate students who were registered for at least 12 credit hours and who earned a term GPA of 3.6 or higher.

They are Gabrielle Caporossi and Gabriella Prifitera of Durham.

Lasell University

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The Lasell University women’s track and field team competed in its first indoor meet since 2019 recently. The Springfield College season opener featured five Division III collegiate programs and one Division II collegiate program.

12 Lasers competed in the event, including freshman Hannah Babek of Deep River, who finished 15th in the 60 meter dash with a time of 8.55 seconds. Babek also competed in the 200 meter dash placing 23rd with a time of 28.89 seconds.

Eastern CT State University

WILLIMANTIC — The Student Activities Office at Eastern Connecticut State University recently concluded its fall session of the Learn, Explore, Achieve, Perform leadership program. The program is designed to help students develop their leadership skills through a variety of workshops. This semester’s session trained 13 students.

Alex Karalus of East Hampton, who majors in environmental earth science, was a council member.

Students who complete the eight-week cohort training and wish to continue with the program can transition to become LEAP council members.

St. John’s at UConn: Time, TV and what you need to know

ST. JOHN’S vs. UCONNWhen: Wednesday, 8:30 p.m.Where: Gampel PavilionRecords: St. John’s 9-4 (1-1 Big East), UConn 10-4 (1-2 Big East)TV: FS1Radio: UConn Sports Network, 97.9 FM-ESPN Hartford, Sirius-137, XM-206, SXM App-965, WAVZ-New Haven (1300 AM), WGCH- Greenwich (1490 AM), WATR-Waterbury (1320 AM), WILI-Willimantic (WILI 1400 AM)KEEP AN EYE ONNo more ga...

ST. JOHN’S vs. UCONN

When: Wednesday, 8:30 p.m.

Where: Gampel Pavilion

Records: St. John’s 9-4 (1-1 Big East), UConn 10-4 (1-2 Big East)

TV: FS1

Radio: UConn Sports Network, 97.9 FM-ESPN Hartford, Sirius-137, XM-206, SXM App-965, WAVZ-New Haven (1300 AM), WGCH- Greenwich (1490 AM), WATR-Waterbury (1320 AM), WILI-Willimantic (WILI 1400 AM)

KEEP AN EYE ON

No more gaffes: It’s been a tough season for Jalen Gaffney. The junior guard was expected to be a key piece off the bench, backing up R.J. Cole at the point, or maybe even starting at shooting guard. Instead, he’s shooting just 36.6% from the floor and turning the ball over too much. He’s played just a combined 17 minutes the Huskies’ past two games.

“It’s an important time for him to step up and step forward and play better,” coach Dan Hurley said. “I wouldn’t have imagined, going into the year, that he’d be playing 8 or 9 minutes a game here. I would have imagined a much bigger role, based on where we hoped things would be. But, just like this team, he still has the chance to accomplish everything he wants to accomplish. We have so many games left, 17 league games left. So, he can still have the type of year that he wants. But he’s got to do it now.”

40 minutes of hell?: Under second-year coach Mike Anderson, St. John’s likes to ramp up the pressure defense, cause havoc with steals and turnovers, and overall kick up the pace.

“It is a concern,” Hurley said. “We don’t have a ton of handlers, we don’t have a ton of guards that can go by you when the other team is aggressive in passing lanes and trapping. They take you out of a lot of things you’re trying to run, so now you’re in a situation where we have to be sharp with passing and cutting, and just kind of playing basketball.”

That said, although UConn is about middle of the pack in pace-of-play nationally, Hurley is expecting this one to be a “really, really fun game.”

“I think our guys are gonna be excited about a game that’s gonna be pretty open, and a real players’ game,” he said.

Stamford Stormer: After spending the past four years at Purdue, Stamford’s Aaron Wheeler is now a grad student for the Red Storm. The 6-foot-9 forward is averaging 5.4 points and 3.3 rebounds per game off the bench while shooting 49 percent from the floor. Wheeler, who began his prep career at Trinity Catholic and ended it with a season at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, matched a career-high with 15 points in the Johnnies’ loss on Saturday at Providence.

Icing Champagnie, Posh: St. John’s junior forward Julian Champagnie is second in the Big East in scoring at 20.7 points per game and “is an NBA player,” Hurley said. Posh Alexander, the league’s reigning co-Defensive Player of the Year along with UConn’s Isaiah Whaley, is sixth in the Big East in scoring at a 15.8 ppg clip.

“I think you go into the game knowing that you’ve got to do a great job on Champagnie and Posh,” said Hurley, “and it starts there.”

PROBABLE STARTERS

ST. JOHN’S

Player Pos. PPG

Posh Alexander G 15.8

Julian Champagnie F 20.7

Dylan Addae-Wusu G 10.3

Montez Mathis G 9.7

UCONN

Player Pos PPG

R.J. Cole G 16.2

Tyrese Martin G/F 14.3

Akok Akok F 4.9

Adama Sanogo C 14.9

Andre Jackson G/F 7.4

UConn at No. 24 Seton Hall: Time, TV and what you need to know

UCONN at No. 24 SETON HALLWhen: Saturday, noonWhere: Prudential Center, Newark, New JerseyRecords: UConn 10-3 (1-1 Big East), Seton Hall 10-3 (1-2 Big East)TV: FOXRadio: UConn Sports Network, 97.9 FM-ESPN Hartford, Sirius-137, XM-206, SXM App-965, WAVZ-New Haven (1300 AM), WGCH- Greenwich (1490 AM), WATR-Waterbury (1320 AM), WILI-Willimantic (WILI 1400 AM)KEEP AN EYE ON...

UCONN at No. 24 SETON HALL

When: Saturday, noon

Where: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey

Records: UConn 10-3 (1-1 Big East), Seton Hall 10-3 (1-2 Big East)

TV: FOX

Radio: UConn Sports Network, 97.9 FM-ESPN Hartford, Sirius-137, XM-206, SXM App-965, WAVZ-New Haven (1300 AM), WGCH- Greenwich (1490 AM), WATR-Waterbury (1320 AM), WILI-Willimantic (WILI 1400 AM)

KEEP AN EYE ON

Sanogo hamstrung? Adama Sanogo missed four games before returning to play just 13 minutes in UConn’s most recent game, a 78-70 win at Marquette. In the second half of that game, Sanogo tweaked a hamstring, and that has limited him in practice over the past couple of weeks.

Sanogo didn’t practice on Wednesday and was limited in practice on Thursday. Hurley was hoping the 6-foot-9 sophomore center could practice fully on Friday, but couldn’t offer a prediction as to his status for Saturday’s game.

If Sanogo can go, he would likely still be on some sort of minutes-restriction, as he was in the Marquette game.

Tough enough? UConn, which has had nine players test positive for COVID-19 since Christmas, only had six players available for practice on Monday and a seventh who was “limited.” The team finally got up to double figures in available bodies on Thursday, but it’s clear that players could be rusty and/or struggle with conditioning. Players who tested positive spent 10 days in quarantine. The six who tested negative were able to work out, but obviously couldn’t play 5-on-5 scrimmages, etc.

With that in mind, Hurley knows what has to lead the way on Saturday.

“Our toughness and our defense and our rebounding have got to be really on point this weekend,” Hurley said, “because offensively, it’s going to be hard against such a great defensive team to have our rhythm and to play a beautiful game on Saturday. I think it’s a lot to ask of our team. But, we’ve got to play really, really hard, and defend and rebound and do the toughness stuff, at the absolute highest level.”

“There’s always a path to victory,” he continued, “and the path to victory in this one’s going to have to be through toughness and togetherness, and what we do on the backboard and defensively. Because those are the easiest things to pick up where we left off.”

Kids in the Hall: Seton Hall has had its own COVID issues lately, canceling three games and losing two in a row without 7-foot-2 center Ike Obiagu and talented forward Tyrese Samuel available. Obiagu returned for the Hall’s impressive win at Butler on Tuesday, and all signs point to Samuel returning on Saturday.

Senior wing Jared Rhoden is third in the Big East in scoring and one of the league’s top overall players. Point guard Bryce Aiken is healthy again and averaging 16.5 points and four assists over his last four games, and UConn fans are well familiar grad forward Alexis Yetna, who’s averaging 9.4 rebounds (along with 11.8 points) over his last five games.

“They’re a really good team, they’re talented, a Top 25 team in the country,” said UConn point guard R.J. Cole. “We know we have to stop Rhoden, Bryce Aiken’s been playing very well. We just have to lock in defensively, and I think it should work out in our favor.”

PROBABLE STARTERS

UCONN

Player Pos PPG

R.J. Cole G 16.3

Tyrese Martin G/F 14.4

Akok Akok F 4.8

Isaiah Whaley F 7.5

Andre Jackson G/F 7.2

SETON HALL

Player Pos. PPG

Bryce Aiken G 12.2

Alexis Yetna F 9.8

Jared Rhoden F 16.4

Ike Obiagu C 2.9

Myles Cale G 9.0

— David Borges

Daily coronavirus updates: Weekly positivity rate at 23%; Hartford HealthCare expands testing capacity

Connecticut’s weekly COVID-19 test positivity rate and number of hospitalizations due to the virus continued to rise on Friday, reaching their highest points since the early months of the pandemic.“Not just in [Hartford HealthCare] but in the state we are seeing a rise in cases as well as hospitalizations, as well as ICU and ventilator utilization,” Dr. Ulysses Wu, an infectious disease specialist at Hartford HealthCare, said Friday. “We still hope that our prediction of the middle of January when all this will...

Connecticut’s weekly COVID-19 test positivity rate and number of hospitalizations due to the virus continued to rise on Friday, reaching their highest points since the early months of the pandemic.

“Not just in [Hartford HealthCare] but in the state we are seeing a rise in cases as well as hospitalizations, as well as ICU and ventilator utilization,” Dr. Ulysses Wu, an infectious disease specialist at Hartford HealthCare, said Friday. “We still hope that our prediction of the middle of January when all this will start to decrease holds true.”

The state’s weekly COVID-19 test positivity rate increased slightly on Friday to 22.69%, a record high since widespread testing began more than 18 months ago. Even so, over the past week, the rate of change for the metric has begun to slow somewhat, signaling a potential flattening.

In a push to expand the state’s testing capacity as COVID-19 caseloads remain high, Hartford HealthCare is opening a few new testing sites, hospital officials announced Friday.

“As everyone is aware, testing has become essential and limited and we’re excited to be able to start opening up these additional sites,” said Jim Cardon, Hartford HealthCare’s chief clinical integration officer, during a press conference Friday.

In addition to the health system’s preexisting testing sites in Newington, New Britain and Torrington, a testing site opened at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport on Friday. Two additional testing sites, at Backus Hospital in Norwich and Windham Hospital in Willimantic, will open Wednesday. All locations require appointments and do not accept walk-ins.

The additional sites will increase the health system’s testing capacity by roughly 1,000 tests per day, Cardon said.

The new sites are poised to help offset the loss of testing sites run by SEMA4, the Stamford-based laboratory which supplies more than half of the state’s testing capacity and which is ending its contract with Connecticut at the end of the month.

Connecticut reported 10,076 new COVID-19 cases Friday out of 41,038 tests administered, for a daily positivity rate of 24.55%. The state’s seven-day positivity rate now stands at 22.69%, the highest of any time since widespread testing began more than 18 months ago.

All eight Connecticut counties — along with nearly the rest of the country — are currently recording “high” levels of COVID-19 transmission as defined by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With this level of transmission, the CDC advises people to wear a mask in public indoor settings.

As of Friday, Connecticut had 1,810 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, an increase of 26 individuals since Thursday and the most the state has seen since April 25, 2020.

According to the state, 67.3% of people hospitalized with COVID-19 are not fully vaccinated. Hospital officials say the rate is significantly higher when considering only patients with severe symptoms.

On Thursday, the state reported 121 coronavirus-linked deaths over the past week, the most in a seven-day period in nearly a year. Connecticut has now recorded 9,281 COVID-19 deaths during the pandemic. The state reports additional COVID-19 deaths once a week.

As of Friday, 89.6% of all Connecticut residents and 95% of those 12 and older had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, while 75% of all residents and 83.9% of those 12 and older were fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

The CDC warns that booster shots are sometimes misclassified as first doses, likely inflating the reported number of first-dose coverage and understating the true number of people who have received boosters.

Capital Prep’s Mitchell an unknown commodity, but likely a bright Division I future

Levy Gillespie remembers when he first saw Keyshawn Mitchell as a freshman at Capital Prep.“He wasn’t much of a player. He couldn’t dunk and was kind of awkward,” Gillespie said. “I knew he would grow, but I didn’t know he would be 6-foot-9.”“I will figure out what’s best for me. I’ll go on official visits to different campuses and meet with the coaching staffs and players and see what’s the best fit,” Mitchell said.According to the New England Recru...

Levy Gillespie remembers when he first saw Keyshawn Mitchell as a freshman at Capital Prep.

“He wasn’t much of a player. He couldn’t dunk and was kind of awkward,” Gillespie said. “I knew he would grow, but I didn’t know he would be 6-foot-9.”

“I will figure out what’s best for me. I’ll go on official visits to different campuses and meet with the coaching staffs and players and see what’s the best fit,” Mitchell said.

According to the New England Recruiting Report (NERR), Mitchell is the 21st ranked player from the Class of 2022 in Connecticut - third among CIAC players. The NERR ranks Mitchell 59th in all of New England among 2022 graduates.

Mitchell does a little bit of everything for the Trailblazers. He is averaging 18.3 points, 18.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 4.3 steals and 2.7 blocks per game thus far.

Last season, he averaged 9.4 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.9 blocks in 14 games in the CRAL. Yes, Mitchell has come a ways from being a freshman who couldn’t dunk.

“When I first came to Capital Prep, I wasn’t really that good. I was just tall (Mitchell says he was 6-6 at the time) and I could shoot,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He came to live with his dad in Hartford before high school. At an open gym at Capital Prep was where he met Gillespie for the first time.

“I never knew of him, never heard of him, never seen him, never knew anything about him,” Gillespie said.

But Gillespie saw promise in the young man and worked with him to be good at all aspects of the game. As Mitchell put it, “Coach’s mindset was everybody could be a guard.”

So even as Mitchell grew a few inches, he still was able to do a little bit of everything for the Trailblazers’ program. It helped the program go undefeated last season.

“I think I’m a little too unselfish. I always try to pass the ball and get everyone open,” Mitchell said.

Said Gillespie: “He is an unselfish player. He handles the ball for us, he rebounds for us, he passes the ball out of the double team for us. He does everything a basketball player does,” Gillespie said. “I wanted to sell him on the idea that really good basketball players do all these things at the highest level.”

Gillespie has had Division I players come through during his 17-year tenure as head coach — Andre Drummond and Khalil Dukes.

Gillespie calls Mitchell a “diamond the rough” — someone flying under the radar, so to speak.

“I’m surprised he hasn’t gotten more attention with his skill set,” Gillespie said.

But his time at Capital Prep and on the AAU circuit has gotten Mitchell noticed.

Mitchell said he has several scholarship offers from Division I schools. The first one he received, he said, came from UMass after his sophomore year.

Other offers Mitchell said he has received include VCU, Rhode island and St. Peters. He said Long Island and Binghamton have also shown interest. H

Mitchell said he wanted to choose a college already, but Gillespie convinced him to make official visits first.

So Mitchell said he hopes to make a decision toward the end of this basketball season.

“I explained to him that college is more than basketball and in order to make the best decision for him and his family, it would be in his best interest to visit the school to determine if it is the best fit for him academically, socially and athletically,” Gillespie said. “It is most important for him to want to be at a school with or without basketball.”

Mitchell has remained committed to the program, despite now living in Willimantic with his dad. He said he takes the bus to school, a ride of more than 30 minutes.

Capital Prep played only within its conference — the Capitol Region Athletic League — last season. The Trailblazers are off to a 1-2 start — its two losses to seventh-ranked Norwich Free Academy and Prince Tech, which recently had its state-beat, 40-game winning streak snapped.

Their non-conference schedule also includes fourth-ranked Northwest Catholic, Fairfield Prep and Amistad. So Mitchell will be tested in what he hopes will be a road to both a league and CIAC Division V state championship.

[email protected]; @nhrJoeMorelli

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