State Considers Coronavirus Triage Centers

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Hospital officials said Friday the state may consider triage centers to test people for coronavirus.

The concept was unveiled at a news conference with Gov. Ned Lamont at Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford.

In the event that Connecticut sees an outbreak of coronavirus, health officials want to keep people exhibiting symptoms from coming into a hospital emergency room to be tested, they said.

The triage centers could be set up in tents or offices, officials said.

"A place where people with a fever and a cough and shortness of breath can go to to be screened and evaluated, and also isolated from everyone else while they're being assessed," said Dr. John Rodis, president of Saint Francis Hospital.

Those who test positive would then be sent to hospitals for treatment.

Testing for COVID-19 may also soon be expanded in the state.

The Department of Public Health state lab is currently testing for coronavirus and two commercial labs, Quest Diagnostics, and LabCorp, have both announced they will begin testing for the virus, officials said.

"We're going to expand our testing capability so that we can really prioritize people who need to be tested," Gov. Lamont said.

The update comes a day after the news that at least 200 people in Connecticut have been told to self-monitor for signs of coronavirus.

A spokesperson for the governor said Thursday that the 200 people were either showing potential symptoms or were under a travel advisory from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Connecticut. To date, the Department of Public Health State Lab in Rocky Hill has tested eight patients for the virus, and they all came back negative.

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