HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Public schools across Connecticut will be required to stay closed until at least May 20 to fight the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Ned Lamont said Thursday.

Schools had been under orders to stay shuttered until April 20 because of COVID-19, and Lamont has suggested previously that students might not return until the fall.

“I don’t want us to get complacent and I wouldn’t be surprised if that May 20th date extends as well,” the Democrat said. Lamont, who plans to soon issue an executive order finalizing the new date, said bars, restaurants and other businesses closed for the outbreak could also anticipate opening around May 20 or later.

Statewide nearly 9,800 people have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, and there have been 380 deaths.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.

Lamont said Thursday the state was seeing some good news, with a daily net increase of 46 hospitalized patients representing the lowest number seen in two weeks.

“It continues a trend, I think the most important trend,” he said, noting how hospitalizations in Fairfield County were down by one compared to Wednesday. While Lamont acknowledged one day of data does not signify a trend, he said it is “glimmer of hope that perhaps we’re reaching a peak” in the state’s hardest hit county.

To date, 1,464 Connecticut patients have been hospitalized.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Connecticut officials said they expect to finally receive some long-awaited personal protective equipment that has been on back-order for weeks. The state has placed 78 orders for 18.8 million pieces of equipment, ranging from N95 respirators to gloves and surgical masks. That’s in addition to 1.8 million units from the national stockpile, which is now closed to states, and 378,000 units that were donated.

“We’ve really been turning over every stone and chasing every opportunity,” said Josh Geballe, Lamont’s COO. “I think we’re getting close to seeing a very significant wave of PPE coming into the state.”

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Lamont said the state has had mixed results in obtaining equipment from people who came forward, offering assistance.

“We’ve been inundated with folks who have had access to protective gear, protective gear being everything from the masks, the gowns,” he said. “Of those 1,000 plus that were identified, a lot of them were pretty shaky to tell you the truth. They seemed to have a friend of friend who knew somebody who knew somebody in the Ukraine.”

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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