A third person has tested positive for COVID-19 in Connecticut, according to state officials.
Dr. Matthew Cartter, the state epidemiologist with the state Department of Public Health, said the patient is an elderly man from New Canaan. Officials believe this is a case of community spread, as the person has had no known contact with another COVID-19 patient.
Officials said 71 people have tested negative for the virus in the state. Another 16 tests are pending.
DPH learned of the case Tuesday, the same day Gov. Ned Lamont declared a public health emergency and a civil preparedness emergency over the coronavirus.
“These are challenging times, but like other pandemics, there are things that we can do to slow it down, make sure our hospitals stay open so they can take care of people who get very sick," Cartter said.
Cartter noted that health officials believe around 80 percent of those who get the virus will be able to recover at home.
The two other people in Connecticut who have tested positive for coronavirus include a Wilton man in his 40s or 50s, who is being treated at Danbury Hospital, and a woman in her 60s from Bethlehem who is being treated at Bridgeport Hospital.
Two New York residents who work in Connecticut have also tested positive for the virus.
Right now the state public health laboratory is only doing testing for people who have been hospitalized and who have fever, cough and shortness of breath. They do not recommend people showing up to emergency rooms if they think they have coronavirus but instead call their doctor first.
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.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 "CTVOID" 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.