Governor Lamont Requests CDC Provide Connecticut Additional COVID-19 Test Kits to Comply With New Federal Guidance
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he is requesting the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide the State of Connecticut with additional coronavirus (COVID-19) testing kits above the supply provided to the state late last week in order to comply with new federal guidance for clinicians on which patients should be tested.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) was provided with kits capable of testing slightly more than 500 patients. The governor is concerned that new CDC testing guidance casts a broader net on the population of patients who should be tested and will result in a shortage of kits in the state. He expressed his concern in a letter to CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield and asked for additional testing kits.
“Here in Connecticut, we are doing everything we can to protect our residents from the spread of this illness and want to ensure we have the capability to prepare for every possibility,” Governor Lamont said. “We continue to be proactive on this front and want to follow all of the guidance being provided by the medical community to our best ability as possible.”
Since February 5, approximately 200 state residents returning to Connecticut from other countries have been under self-monitoring following guidance from the CDC due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Travel guidance issued by the CDC advises anyone returning from China, Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea to stay home for a 14-day period of self-monitoring.
As of the evening of March 5, specimens from 12 individuals have been tested for COVID-19 at the DPH State Laboratory in Rocky Hill. All test results thus far have been negative. There still are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Connecticut.
Currently, the state lab has capacity to test specimens from approximately 500 individuals and priorities for testing are focused on patients hospitalized with symptoms so the state’s acute care hospitals can care for those patients. Lab testing capacity will be greatly expanding in Connecticut soon with the help of private sector labs, and testing capacity at the state’s hospitals is expected to be available within the next two weeks.
State-level information regarding COVID-19 from the State of Connecticut, including guidance for residents, schools, and healthcare professionals, can be found by visiting ct.gov/coronavirus.
Residents are also urged to follow the CDC’s website for updated guidance from the federal government by visiting cdc.gov.