Jackson Laboratory in Farmington said will begin COVID-19 diagnostic testing next week, which the governor's office said will help the State of Connecticut to test more people faster.
The lab will not be testing patients, so people with symptoms should not respond to Farmington site to get tested.
Officials from the lab said they will ramp up the speed of sample testing on samples collected from possible coronavirus patients will come from Hartford HealthCare and UConn Health.
The initial plan is to conduct around 150 tests per day.
A statement from the governor's office says the additional testing capacity will both allow the state Department of Health to diagnose patients who have the virus and allow researchers to learn more about the virus for broader epidemiological purposes.
“Today’s partnership with The Jackson Laboratory, the Department of Public Health, UConn Health, and Hartford HealthCare will provide diagnostic testing at a time when we need it most," Gov. Ned Lamont said in a statement. "By having an increased testing capacity at our disposal, Connecticut will be able to be more proactive against this illness. This collaborative effort is also a reminder that we are all in this together and so many are stepping up in our state in a big way.”
The announcement comes as the state is dealing with 96 positive cases of coronavirus in the state and the first death, an 88-year-old man who suffered severe complications from the virus.
The 88-year-old man was living at Benchmark Senior Living at Ridgefield Crossing, an assisted living facility in Ridgefield. He was recently admitted to Danbury Hospital, where he died.
Total patients tested positive as of March 18: 96
- Fairfield County: 69
- Hartford County: 11
- Litchfield County: 5
- Middlesex County: 1
- New Haven County: 1
The key symptoms of the coronavirus, according to the CDC are:
- Shortness of breath
Symptoms can appear in infected persons two to 14 days after exposure.
Coronavirus Prevention Steps
Steps for prevention from the CDC include:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
- You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
- Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, such as to the grocery store
- Coverings should not be placed on children under 2, anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- The face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected
- Do NOT use a facemask meant for a health care worker
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Steps to Self-Monitor for Coronavirus
Steps to self-monitor from the CDC include:
- Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
- Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
- Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
- Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).
If you do get sick with a fever, cough or have trouble breathing, call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room and communicate with your doctor about your recent travel.
- If you develop symptoms, stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
The CDC has a special website set up with details about the coronavirus, including how it spreads and treatment.
Anyone with questions relating to coronavirus can call 2-1-1 or text "CTCOVID" to 898211. The 2-1-1 hotline is available 24 hours a day.
You can also visit the state's coronavirus information website here. Residents are encouraged to check the website for answers to questions before calling the hotline.