U.S. Surgeon General Vice Admiral Jerome Adams visited the Connecticut State Public Health Laboratory in Rocky Hill Monday.
The Rocky Hill lab was recently approved to become the first and only one in the state to test for COVID-19. Previously all samples needed to be sent to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta. Adams said with more testing, there is a higher likelihood of positive results, but people should remain calm.
“We do expect that we will see more cases of community spread but folks should not panic,” explained Adams.
According to Connecticut’s health commissioner, two samples were tested in the lab this weekend. Both were negative but officials urge continued preparedness.
“I must caution all of you, this situation is extremely fluid and dynamic,” said Connecticut Public Health Commissioner, Renée D. Coleman-Mitchell. “It could change at any moment.”
“We are surrounded by states that have had one or two incidents, none yet in the state of Connecticut but that’s why we’re ready,” said Governor Ned Lamont.
Projecting confidence, the surgeon general called the team overseeing the government’s response, an All Star team. Adams further explained the federal game plan for handling this health crisis is a proven one.
“We’ve dealt with SARS. MERS, H1N1 and we literally all have a playbook that we are following to respond to the novel coronavirus,” Adams said.
While there have been no cases in Connecticut health officials are urging precautions, advising to wash hands frequently, cover your cough and disinfect surfaces. They’re also advising people to bump elbows instead of shaking hands.
The surgeon general has also advised not getting medical masks, explaining mask wearers touch their face more and actually increase risk. This, while depleting the supply of masks needed by medical professionals.
“There are actually things that can harm you and your community and going out and hoarding masks is one of those things,” said Adams.
Adams also recommends getting the flu shot. He says there’ve been over 18,000 flu-related deaths in the US this year and that risk right now is much greater than the COVID-19.