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New Haven mayor encourages undocumented individuals to seek medical care if they believe they have coronavirus, as first death due to the virus in the city is reported

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — New Haven has seen its first death in the coronavirus outbreak, Mayor Justin Elicker announced in a virtual press conference Wednesday.

Mayor Elicker reported the individual died after complications due to COVID-19. New Haven Health Department Director, Maritza Bondmph said the patient was a man in his 50s with underlying health issues.

The total cases of coronavirus in the city is 29 as of Wednesday. Health officials said they expect that number to rise. It’s a new reality for cities across Connecticut.

The mayor also shifting his focus Wednesday to the undocumented immigrants in New Haven, saying he wants to make sure those who won’t report symptoms out of fear get the treatment they need.

Health officials want to send a loud message to all: Regardless of immigration status, if you’re ill, you can get tested and treated without fear.

“This is affecting all people. We are trying to ensure that we are providing that support regardless of their status of residency,” said Maritza Bond, Director of The New Haven Health Department.

Yale New Haven Hospital released new flyers posted around the city that read the rights of those being treated in a hospital setting. For example, as listed on the flyer, the hospital will not ask a patient about their documentation status or report a patient’s status unless required by law.

Health officials say they are working to communicate the same message. For Director Bond, it’s about curbing the spread of the virus impacting the lives of hundreds across Connecticut.

“It’s important and we’ve been trying to do that in our messaging, that individuals if they portray symptoms they can call their local health center who can provide support, our health department can also issue orders that would allow them to get tested,” said Bond.

Elicker told News 8 the city is working to remove barriers for anyone to be tested for COVID-19. 

“It’s important and we’ve been trying to do that in our messaging, that individuals if they portray symptoms they can call their local health center who can provide support, our health department can also issue orders that would allow them to get tested.”

Those showing symptoms are asked to call the New Haven Health Department Hotline at (203) 946-4949.

Early Wednesday, Congress passed two coronavirus response bills to give insurance assistance to individuals and paid sick leave assistance for workers to companies, among other things.

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