HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Ned Lamont announced a new track and trace program for coronavirus in Connecticut on Tuesday.
The state is moving forward with widespread contact tracing plans by the end of May. The whole process will be voluntary, but it also comes amid a warning we could see another coronavirus wave in the fall.
With this new method, state officials will be able to track and trace the virus back through the community when someone tests positive. They also said contact tracing needs to be in place before Connecticut can reopen.
Dr. Matthew Cartter, Connecticut State Health Department, said they want to roll the program out by late May before the fall season.
“It is likely that we will see a second wave in the fall,” he said. “We all wish that would not be the case, but if we do have a second wave, I think we have time to prepare to make sure that we have enough personal protective equipment. We may have an antiviral treatment something that will actually treat the infection.”
They hope by the end of May to be testing 50,000 people per week, and that means people who don’t show symptoms.
“We will increasingly be testing people who do not have symptoms because we know that people who do not have symptoms transmit COVID and so we will begin testing people who are asymptomatic,” Cartter said.
Lamont said he hopes it will stop the virus from spreading.
“In terms of the track and trace, we can notice those people sooner and get them tested sooner and stop the virus sooner,” he said. “That would’ve been incredibly helpful in the nursing homes to have that fast turnaround.”
By finding the positive people who don’t have symptoms, that will help keep the virus a bay. They are also looking at quarantine. If a person tests positive and can’t safely self-quarantine because of family, they want to create a safe place in the community where that person can go for 14 days.
“If they’re infected or need to quarantine and they can’t do that at home, it’s part of wraparound services, which will be part of the track and trace initiative,” Lamont explained.
He said the program would also work with similar ones in New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.