HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The Connecticut Health Department's daily COVID-19 report listed zero coronavirus-related deaths Thursday for the first time since last September.

Gov. Ned Lamont touted the milestone while speaking at a news conference to announce the allocation of $2 million in federal COVID relief funds to summer jobs programs for teens.

“Yesterday was the first day in months and months and months we had zero fatalities related to COVID, fewer people in the hospital than ever before, the third-lowest infection rate in the country," Lamont said. "And that's due to a lot of you and a lot of your good work.”

Connecticut has recorded 8,247 deaths related to the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, according to the governor's office. There were 89 people hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Thursday.

The last time the state recorded zero deaths was on September 15, 2020, when the state's death toll stood at 4,485 according to data provided by the Department of Public Health.

In other COVID-19-related news, a collaboration of Fairfield County businesses has awarded $300,00 in grants to area nonprofits to deal with educational inequities exacerbated by the pandemic.

The money from the Fairfield County Business Collaborative for Education Equity, which includes companies such a Pitney Bowes, Bank of America and Xerox is targeted for education-related initiatives in the Greater Bridgeport, Danbury, Norwalk, and Stamford areas.

The group says the programs that will benefit focus on summer learning, kindergarten and college readiness, and food insecurity and its impact on education.

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