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The Connecticut Department of Public Health State Laboratory has confirmed the first presumptive positive case of coronavirus disease, COVID-19, involving a Connecticut resident. The patient, a resident of Wilton who is 40 to 50 years of age, is being treated at Danbury Hospital. The person most likely became infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 during a recent trip to California and sought medical care shortly after returning to Connecticut.

This presumptive COVID-19 case is not related to the COVID-19 case involving a Danbury Hospital employee who is a resident of New York State that was announced on Friday, or the COVID-19 case involving a community physician who made rounds at Bridgeport Hospital and is also a New York State resident that was announced on Saturday.

This case is considered a presumptive positive case until it is confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Extensive contact tracing is being done on this case. All people who have had direct, face-to-face contact with this person are being instructed to stay home and self-isolate.

Risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 is considered low for people who had contact with an individual who does not have COVID-19 and does not have symptoms.  In other words, a contact of a contact is considered low risk.

To date, 29 people had negative test results at the Connecticut DPH State Laboratory.  Eight test results are pending.  Governor Ned Lamont encouraged anyone with questions about how to protect yourself and your family from this virus to go online at ct.gov/coronavirus to obtain important guidance and other information or call the 2-1-1 info line.

Dr. John Murphy, president and CEO of Nuvance Health, the hospital system that includes Danbury Hospital, said, “First, we want our patient and their family to know that we are here for them, and to our other patients, staff, volunteers, and communities, we are working around the clock to contain the spread of COVID-19. Second, it’s important to emphasize that this patient is in no way related to the hospital employee from New York who tested positive for the virus. This patient’s infection is connected to recent out-of-state travel. We understand there is a lot of concern. Please know that we have been preparing for this new outbreak for the last several weeks, and we have years of experience effectively dealing with infectious diseases.

There are many respiratory illnesses circulating in Connecticut, such as the flu and the common cold. Having respiratory symptoms does not mean that you have COVID-19.  People are at higher risk for COVID-19 if they have symptoms of the virus (cough, fever, shortness of breath) AND if they were a contact of a positive case of COVID-19, or have traveled to country with community transmission, such as China, Italy, South Korea, Iran, and Japan.

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Jim Bohannon
Local Headlines