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A Danbury Hospital employee who lives in Westchester County has tested positive for coronavirus.  The individual was exposed to the virus while in their home by another individual who has tested positive, and then the individual worked shifts at both Danbury and Norwalk Hospitals. 

Governor Ned Lamont says patients and staff may have been exposed as a result.  The hospital employee is currently at their home, where they are in isolation and recovering.  She self-quarantined on Wednesday. Notification came almost simultaneously as identification of the source patient.  The test results came back late today and Nuvance Health started notifying appropriate people here. It is an isolated number of people because the patient worked in isolated places within the hospitals.

Lamont says they have been expecting exposure of this virus for several weeks, so its presence should not surprise anybody.  Lamont says public health officials and medical experts have been making every effort to put every precaution possible in place.

The State Laboratory has tested 42 patients and all of them have returned negative results for the virus. Another 11 cases are in the queue to be tested. There still are no confirmed cases among Connecticut residents.  Connecticut has one kit for coronavirus testing; one kit provides 600 tests. Lamont has requested additional kits from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coleman-Mitchell said the extra kit should be in next week.

State Department of Public Health Commissioner Renee Coleman-Mitchell says people should continue adhering to the basic but important steps like washing your hands frequently, avoid shaking hands, avoid close contact with people who are sick, and stay home when sick. Mitchell notes that people with questions can call 211.  They can either listen to a recorded message with answers to frequently asked questions, or speak with a person.

Coleman-Mitchell says they will provide technical assistance to Nuvance Health and can bring in DPH staff.  Nuvance COO Kerry Eaton says they've been preparing for an infection since mid-January with weekly meetings.  But she cautioned that anyone who is ill should first call their primary care physician and not just show up at the ER.  Eaton says they don’t want to be overwhelmed by the “worried well” looking for answers. 

Once exposed, the likelihood of developing symptoms is within 14 days.

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Dave Rinelli
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