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Connecticut to ramp up testing as state nears May 20 reopen date


CONNECTICUT (WTNH) — Coronavirus testing is about to ramp up as the state nears the May 20 reopening date amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Governor Ned Lamont said Yale New Haven Health System is set to deliver 5,000 tests per day, adding that number could go up to 10,000. He’s working with partners to bring more of the faster saliva-based tests as opposed to the swab tests that take longer and are a bit more intrusive.

“We are going to get the tests out, and we are going to use vacant schools and federally qualified health centers, and make testing more available,” said Marna Borgstrom, President and CEO, Yale New Haven Health System.

RELATED: New Haven to start testing asymptomatic residents ahead of state reopening May 20

State officials are anticipating 42,000 tests will be done next week — the goal the governor prefers to reopen.

RELATED: CT ramps up efforts to get PPE to those who need it most before May 20 reopening

Leaders said they plan to target high-risk communities.

“We want to go into the nursing homes,” Borgstrom explained. “We want to test high-risk populations people who live in dense areas where social distancing is difficult.”

They hope to test nursing homes on a regular basis — that means asymptomatic people as well as those people who are showing symptoms. That will also include track and trace.

Jackson Laboratory said it can do tests within a 24-hour turnaround time — that means the faster officials know who is testing positive, the faster they can trace it to the community.

“They’re not just doing the traditional nasal testing, but in many cases, they are also doing the saliva test just to test the test as we ramp up to see… we may be able to do that as a faster, less intrusive, less expensive way to go forward,” Lamont said.

As they continue to ramp up the testing and have track and trace up in full swing, leaders said by the middle of the summer they should have all they need to keep this virus and bay.

And if you’re wondering where these new testing sites will go: places like vacant schools, and health centers. The governor says that come summertime, testing across our state will certainly be faster and more efficient.

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