ROCKY HILL, Conn. (WTNH) — As the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow in the United States, the CT Department of Public Health Laboratory has been approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to test for the virus locally.
Currently, there are only 12 states that have been approved by the CDC for testing.
Kits with the coronavirus reagent arrived in the state Friday, which will allow for quicker turnaround time for testing because doctors won’t have to send the samples to the CDC.
“Before, [it was] between a few days and a week before the test results come back,” said Jafar Razeq, CT Department of Public Health Laboratory Director. “Now, we should be able to turn the results within 24 hours of the specimen arrival.”
By processing the samples in hours and not days, it will allow health officials to stay ahead, but there are a limited number of test kits, so patients will be screened by doctors before a sample is sent to the lab.
The lab will then be able to request more kits when it runs low.
“We we will submit a request to the CDC to send us more reagents, and that is why there is a criteria for testing because it is very important that we only test those who are in need to be tested.”
“Based on all of the data we have, it is primarily an adult disease, thank goodness,” said Doctor Anand Sekaran, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. “So about two percent of the cases in China are children.”
While the virus seems to be adult-based, doctors said parents should inform their children but limit what they see and read about it because it could cause anxiety.
“The severe cases have not been in children,” said Sekaran. “So, all of the mortalities have been in adults that have been none under the age of nine.”
So far, two people in the state have been tested for coronavirus. Both tests came back negative; however, they did test positive for the flu.
This isn’t the first time the state is getting involved with the virus. Protein Science, a Meriden-based lab, will be working on the vaccine candidate.