Coronavirus in Connecticut: 3 things to know today
Here are your Connecticut coronavirus basics on Monday, March 9.
Worldwide, coronavirus cases have topped 111,000, with more than 3,800 deaths.
Two members of Congress, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, met a man with coronavirus and are in voluntary quarantine.
Here are three things you need to know about coronavirus in Connecticut right now.
1. Connecticut has its first case. A Wilton man has been diagnosed with COVID-19, making him the first state resident to be a confirmed coronavirus patient.
The as-yet unidentified patient is being treated at Danbury Hospital.
“All people who have had direct, face-to-face contact with this person are being instructed to stay home and self-isolate,” Gov. Ned Lamont said Sunday.
Connecticut has tested 46 patients so far, and only one has been positive. Gail Lavielle, a state representative from Wilton, said the number of cases in her district is expected to go up.
“What they tell us is, within days, there will be numbers, and each case will not be possible or constructive to follow to that degree,” she said Sunday. “It’s always difficult to hear it is in your town the first time, but that’s going to change very quickly.”
The case is not connected to the two hospital employees — one in Norwalk and Danbury, the other in Bridgeport — who contracted the disease. They are both New York State residents.
2. Quest Labs may start testing. There have been a total of 46 patients tested in Connecticut, in part because only one laboratory has been cleared to perform coronavirus tests.
That may change. Quest Diagnostics announced that it will begin testing for coronavirus starting today, though that is pending approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The state has had a single test kit, capable of testing about 600 patients, which some said was a problem. Dr. Matthew Cartter, the state epidemiologist, told Lamont during a Thursday briefing that it’s possible there are positive cases in Connecticut.
“There could very well be people that have it, that haven’t been tested because of CDC guidelines,” Cartter said.
3. State employees are staying close to home. Lamont has suspended all out-of-state travel for state employees. Conferences could be rescheduled, and state employees who work with contractors who do out-of-state work have been asked to conduct their business remotely.
“This morning I sent the following email to all State of Connecticut executive branch agency employees announcing the implementation of some actions in our offices that will significantly and proactively escalate measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus,” Lamont said in a tweet.