coronavirus testing

State Lifts Certain Restrictions on Testing; Referral Will No Longer Be Required

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The state is lifting certain restrictions regarding COVID-19 testing as they take steps to expand testing capacity ahead of reopening, Gov. Ned Lamont announced Thursday.

As part of that plan, he announced he would lift certain regulations regarding who can order tests to allow the expansion. That means patients will no longer need a referral from a medical provider to get a test.

The state will also allow pharmacists to conduct tests.

The goal is to significantly increase the number of testing being done and also to create better access to unserved communities.

The changes were achieved through a combination of an executive order, and an implementation order signed by Public Health Commissioner Renée D. Coleman-Mitchell.

The state aims to have about 42,000 coronavirus diagnostic tests per week -- about double the current testing capacity, by the May 20 opening date. The governor outlined other criteria for the reopening in a press briefing Thursday.

The state's COVID-19 testing sites will still require an appointment.

A total of 31,784 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the state, and 2,797 have died.

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