A coronavirus testing drive-thru operated by Murphy Medical Associates on March 20, 2020 in Stamford, Connecticut. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Non-essential businesses in Connecticut must close at 8 p.m. on Monday to combat the novel coronavirus through social distancing, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont and state officials said on Friday.

What he's saying: "Don't open your retail store unless you're involved in some essential service, like food, grocery stores, or health care as in pharmacies, fuel as in gas stations. I want to see all the rest of those non-essential services closed. Closed for at least a few weeks or for the foreseeable future," Lamont said. Businesses could face civil fines if they remain open.

Where it stands: There are four deaths in the state related to COVID-19 as of Friday, Lamont said. All fatalities in Connecticut have been in Fairfield County, he added. There are 194 reported cases in the state as of Friday.

  • Currently 40 people are being hospitalized in the state due to COVID-19 symptoms, Lamont said. "We know that number is going to go up. We have to prepare for that," he said.
  • "If you're over 70 years old, stay at home," Lamont urged citizens on Friday.

The big picture: Connecticut's call for non-essential businesses to close falls short of California and Illinois' statewide stay-at-home mandates, which apply to all residents within the state.

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced Friday that the state's entire workforce must stay home amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Go deeper... Coronavirus updates: U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico to close

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The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC+) coalition is entering the next phase of fraught market-management efforts that have repercussions for the battered U.S. oil industry.

Driving the news: The group yesterday agreed to press ahead with plans to begin increasing output as demand haltingly recovers.

More than 32 million Americans are receiving unemployment benefits

Photo: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

More than 32 million Americans are receiving some form of unemployment benefits, according to data released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

Why it matters: Tens of millions of jobless Americans will soon have a smaller cash cushion — as coronavirus cases surge and certain parts of the country re-enter pandemic lockdowns — barring an extension of the more generous unemployment benefits that are set to expire at the end of the month.

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Data: Mat Talk Online; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

242 collegiate athletic programs have been cut amid the pandemic, altering the careers and lives of thousands of student-athletes.

Yes, but: Some passionate alumni groups have opted to fight, banding together in hopes of saving the programs they helped build and continue to love.