ONE YEAR LATER: Wilton Man Marked 1st CT Resident to Test Positive for COVID-19

NBC Universal, Inc.

One year ago, a Wilton man tested positive for COVID-19, marking the first known Connecticut resident to contract the virus. Since then, there have been over 285,000 cases of coronavirus in Connecticut and more than 7,700 people have died.

One Year Ago: First COVID-19 Case in Conn.

The first case of coronavirus involving a Connecticut resident happened on March 8, 2020, when Governor Ned Lamont announced that a man from Wilton tested had tested positive for COVID-19.

A Wilton man who was the first person in Connecticut diagnosed with COVID-19 last March, looks back at what he went through one year after his diagnosis.

Chris Tillett most likely became infected with COVID-19 during a trip to California, Lamont said when Tillett first tested positive.

A Wilton man has tested positive for coronavirus, marking the first presumptive positive case of coronavirus involving a Connecticut resident.

Tillett appeared on the Today Show last year to discuss his experience with the virus that put him in a medically induced coma.

He said in the Today Show interview last year that doctors were originally treating his symptoms like the flu until they got worse and he ended up in the hospital.

A man from Wilton who was diagnosed with coronavirus discusses the experimental treatment that saved his life after the virus put him in a medically induced coma.

Even a year later, Tillett said he is still dealing with lasting effects from having coronavirus.

"I have to be on blood pressure medicine probably for the rest of my life. And then the other day I woke up and my right leg was twice the size of my left leg," Tillett said.

A man from Wilton who was diagnosed with COVID-19 one year ago joins this week's Face the Facts to discuss how he is staying vigilant though cases are decreasing.

Tillett also said having coronavirus has changed how he views things and lives his life.

"I'm enjoying little aspects of life, even when things go bad. I just choose to laugh at it now, instead of letting it be angry and upset and like, what is that gonna do for me? Right. So I've just found I yes, definitely a new lease on life," Tillett added.

Tillett also gave his take on where we are a year later and seeing half a million Americans who have passed away from the virus.

"You know, it hurts me to see that every day. It's devastating. And I unfortunately, I see individuals that they're like, 'well, I had it and it went away and it's not that big of a deal.' And my thing is this, it's not a death sentence to get this, but look at the lasting effects that I have," Tillett said.

As COVID-19 cases climb, so are the number of "long haul" patients whose physical and mental symptoms persist long after others recover. Research suggests as many as ten percent of coronavirus patients go on to become long haulers, with symptoms that continue for weeks or even months.

Tillett isn't alone in experiencing lasting effects after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

Some Covid-19 patients are experiencing shortness of breath, fatigue, headaches and "brain fog" for months to nearly a year after their initial illness.

Known as COVID-19 “Long Haulers,” some survivors in this pandemic just cannot seem to find relief from the symptoms of the coronavirus. They want answers about what is happening with their health, even months after initially contracting the virus.

Now, global medical experts are working to better diagnose and treat them for what they are tentatively calling "long Covid."

One Year Later: First Cases Connected to Connecticut

A few days before Tillett was diagnosed, a Connecticut hospital employee tested positive for coronavirus, marking the first case connected to the state. The Connecticut hospital employee who was first infected was an employee from Danbury Hospital and Norwalk Hospital and a New York resident.

She lived in Westchester County and the positive coronavirus test was performed in New York state. The commissioner of the state Department of Public Health Renee Coleman-Mitchell said the case did not officially count as a Connecticut case.

Less than a day after Tillett tested positive, a Connecticut community physician also tested positive for coronavirus, marking another case connected to the state.

The community physician made rounds at Bridgeport Hospital, according to Lamont. The physician is also a New York State resident who works in Connecticut, Lamont added.

A second person has tested positive for coronavirus in Connecticut as schools, businesses and the state government take new steps to protect against the spread.

Neither the community physician nor the Danbury Hospital employee were ever publicly identified.

A day after Tillett tested positive, a second Connecticut resident tested positive for coronavirus. That person received treatment at Bridgeport Hospital, state officials said. Authorities never released further details about the case.

The Latest: Coronavirus in Connecticut

Early on in the pandemic, Connecticut was a hotspot for COVID-19. Within the last year, there have been over 285,000 cases of coronavirus in the state and more than 7,700 people have died.

The latest numbers from the state show some of the lowest numbers for Connecticut in months with a COVID-19 positivity rate at 1.84% and hospitalizations continuing to decline.

Gov. Lamont to Roll Back COVID-19 Restrictions as Cases Continue to Decline

When COVID-19 cases started to increase in Connecticut, restrictions were put into place at many schools, restaurants and businesses in an effort to stop the spread.

Schools across the state were shut down and kids adjusted to remote and hybrid learning.

Many restaurants and businesses were closed down and were slowly reopened with new capacity limits, enhanced cleaning and mask mandates.

Last week, Lamont announced plans to roll back capacity restrictions at many businesses later this month. Masks and social distancing requirements will still be in effect.

COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution in Conn.

The state continues to be a national leader in vaccine distribution. As of Thursday, more than 1 million doses have been distributed with more being distributed every day.

Who Can Get a COVID-19 Vaccine in Connecticut

Note:To get a vaccine in Connecticut, you must either live or work in the state. If you typically visit a provider here but do not live or work in Connecticut, you are not eligible and must get vaccinated in your home state.

COVID-19 Cases in the United States

Within the last year, there have been nearly 29 million cases of COVID-19 in the United States, the World Health Organization says.

In total, over 500,000 people have died from coronavirus in the U.S. in that time.

Over 165 million COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed so far across the United States.

COVID-19 Cases Worldwide

Worldwide, there have been more than 116 million cases of COVID-19 within the last year, according to WHO.

The United States, India and Brazil have had the most amount of cases, WHO says.


Within the last year, there have been over 2.5 million COVID-19- related deaths worldwide reported to WHO.

As of Monday, nearly 350 million COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed across the world.

Contact Us