HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Ned Lamont has signed declarations of civil preparedness and public health emergencies in response to a coronavirus outbreak in Connecticut on Tuesday afternoon.
So, Lamont has declared these emergencies, but what does that mean?
First, residents should no go into a hospital unless they are in respiratory failure or just can’t breathe.
Those showing signs and symptoms of coronavirus should not be going to a waiting room in the hospital where they can infect everybody.
“If you have a doctor’s note that you need to get tested, rather than have you go to an emergency room, you go into one separated area, you get the test done and then in a very short period of time a day or so, you will get the results back,” said Brenda Bergeron, Connecticut Department of Emergency Management.
The emergencies will also allow municipalities to make decisions based on whether or not they should close schools or stop basketball games or theater programs. Lamont said it’s also a way for the state to get ahead of a disaster situation — like one would with a hurricane.
Lamont said that there have been two cases of coronavirus identified in the state and some others who work in Connecticut.
One of the cases had contact with a student in Region 14, which is the Woodbury and Bethlehem district. This closed daycare facilities and will close schools in that area from March 11-15 to allow the buildings to be deep cleaned.
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At this time, the student and their family are healthy and showing no signs of illness but are self-monitoring at their home for 14 days.
Additionally, Wilcoxson Elementary School in Stratford will also be closed for the rest of the week, March 11-13, for extensive cleaning after a person connected to the school may have been in contact with the coronavirus.
The declaration of a public health emergency will help Connecticut ramp out the testing capacity for the coronavirus and will speed up some of the public health regulations.
Connecticut COO Josh Geballe also announced with increased testing, they expect a larger number of positive COVID-19 diagnoses.
At this time, there have been 56 people tested at the State Public Health Lab, with two positives. There are now 19 in the queue for testing, according to DPH Commissioner Renee Coleman-Mitchell.
Commissioner Coleman-Mitchell also stressed that people who are feeling symptomatic should contact their healthcare providers instead of calling the 211 coronavirus hotline.