First Case of Coronavirus Connected to Connecticut
Hartford Correspondent: The first case of novel coronavirus has been connected to Connecticut. The person infected is an employee from Danbury Hospital and Norwalk Hospital and a New York resident. The patient lives in Westchester County and is currently there under self-quarantine, according to the governor. The positive coronavirus test was performed in New York state. She was originally tested Wednesday but the results just came back late Friday.
“We believe she was infected in New York,” said Kerry Eaton, Chief Operating Officer of Danbury Hospital.
Renee Coleman-Mitchell, the commissioner of the state Department of Public Health, said the case does not officially count as a Connecticut case. Teams are working to identify all people possibly exposed to the virus, according to Eaton.
“Our staff knows how to take care of people with infectious diseases,” Eaton said.
The hospital employee came into contact with a limited number of patients, Eaton said. She was notified that she came in contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus, reported the contact and was placed on leave.
“This is not unexpected. We were prepared for this,” Governor Lamont said.
“It’s disruptive, it’s scary, but at the end of the day, we are going to be OK,” Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton said. “We got this.”
The woman has not returned to Connecticut since she was initially tested for COVID-19.
“This unfortunate news highlights the need for heightened preparedness – swift and strategic action to prevent COVID-19 from spreading further,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal said in a statement. “The CDC should immediately provide Connecticut with tests already promised now more necessary than ever. Other federal support should follow, such as reimbursement for local and state expenses, assistance for local health officials and first responders, and aid for small businesses. My thoughts are with the patient and prayers for a swift and complete recovery.”
“Hospitals have been preparing individually and collectively for the arrival of COVID-19 and the public should have full confidence in the readiness of Connecticut’s hospitals,” Connecticut Hospital Association President and CEO Jennifer Jackson said in a statement.
Danbury and Norwalk Hospital are a part of the same hospital system, Nuvance Health. Nuvance Health also operates New Milford Hospital and Sharon Hospital, but there is no indication the infected employee worked at those locations.
Coronavirus Testing Underway in Connecticut
Connecticut has tested 42 specimens at the state lab with all the tests coming back negative, according to Coleman-Mitchell, the commissioner of the state Department of Public Health. At least 11 more specimens are awaiting testing.
The state currently has one coronavirus test kit, which can support 600 tests, Coleman-Mitchell said. The state has a request in for an additional kit with the hopes of securing it next week.
The governor said the state wants to ensure people who want to be tested for COVID-19 can be.
At Least 200 Self-Monitoring in Connecticut
At least 200 people in Connecticut have been advised to self-monitor for signs of coronavirus, a spokesperson for the governor told NBC Connecticut on Thursday.
Max Reiss, a spokesperson for Gov. Ned Lamont, confirmed Thursday that the 200 people were either showing potential symptoms or were under a travel advisory from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those cases date back to the start of February.
Cases of the coronavirus have also been reported in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey and New Hampshire.