HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — State officials are looking to prepare, not scare, people about the coronavirus. At the same, they warn it is probably a matter of when, not if, it spreads to Connecticut.
Governor Ned Lamont, public health and emergency management officials held a news conference Wednesday to give an update on the state’s efforts to protect residents against coronavirus.
During that time, the Connecticut Emergency Management Association (CEMA) urged Lamont to take immediate action in preparing the state for any impact of Coronavirus.
“The focus up until now has been on containment, trying to keep it out,” said Matthew Cartter, Connecticut Department of Public Health. “That has never worked.”
The association wrote to the governor on Wednesday morning with concerns of the state’s current preparedness, claiming the state has an “extreme shortage” of protective equipment.
CEMA is requesting the state to stock up on protective equipment such as N95 filtering masks, full-body Tyvek suits, and protective Biocell coverings for ambulances.
Officials said the virus takes six days to show symptoms, is highly contagious and affects people differently.
“There were several patients who got quite ill from the new coronavirus from a patient who is really not symptomatic from it, if that turns out to be accurate, that is scary,” said Dr. Michael Ivy, Yale-New Have Health System.
Officials are asking the governor to consider partially activating the State Emergency Operation Center.
The governor emphasized the state is ready for the virus should it show up.
“I am concerned,” said Ivy. “We had ebola, but the ebola was not nearly as contagious, even though it was probably much more lethal.”
Health officials warned that the virus is moving quickly; they are working hour-by-hour, preparing for the worst while hoping for the best.
Health officials said at the news conference that the response to the coronavirus “is a marathon, not a sprint.”
“Connecticut is ready and we’ve been ready for a while.
What this means in terms of a unified command is that you’ve got state government working together on a coordinated basis and making sure that we can provide all the support we can for our hopsitals and healthcare providers, makeing sure they can get all the supplies and personal they need depending on what could happen going forward.”Governor Ned Lamont
All updates on the coronavirus can be found on the state’s website.