HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut State Health Department reported a third positive case of coronavirus in Connecticut on Wednesday.

A sobering message from the governor’s office and state health officials.

Doctor Matthew Cartter, CT’s State Chief Epidemiologist reported a third positive case of coronavirus in the state. He said the patient is an elderly man over the age of 65 from New Canaan and is being hospitalized at Norwalk Hospital.

The patient had no known exposure to COVID-19. Dr. Cartter reports this third case is likely community-acquired.

This is a very serious situation and Dr.Cartter says there is now no doubt that there will be widespread cases of COVID-19 in the state.

“We have not seen a pandemic like this in 100 years,” Doctor Cartter said at a press conference Wednesday.

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Health officials said, if this virus acts like the flu, we will see transmission for six to eight weeks. But, they remind the public there is no way to know how this virus will act.

According to Dr. Cartter, the virus lasts only between one hour to one day on surfaces, so the real danger in contracting the virus is being near a person who already has it: person-to-person contact.

He said you can still get the virus by touching objects, but only if those objects (doorknobs, countertops, cups, etc…) were recently touched by an infected individual who recently touched their face.

If you have fever and a cough for example, and you are in the Southwestern part of the state, you should assume that you have COVID-19.

You don’t need a test to tell you that this is what you have, you should assume that’s the illness that you have.

– Doctor Matthew Cartter, CT State Chief Epidemiologist

As of Wednesday, health officials have tested 74 state residents for the virus: 71 negative results, three positive, 16 pending.

Dr. Cartter reports that the state department lab can test 40-60 individuals for the virus per day and that the effort to keep the state healthy and get the most tests done as possible “is taking all our resources.”

At the press conference Wednesday, the State’s Chief Operating Officer, Josh Geballe, announced the state has requested additional protective equipment from the Strategic National Supply.

Additionally, he said the state Insurance Department has “issued a notice to all travel insurers regarding cancellation requests in light of the declarations of emergency Governor Lamont signed on Tuesday.”

As there continues to be a global shortage of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers and others who need to be in the presence of someone who may be infected with COVID-19, the State of Connecticut has made an emergency request from the Strategic National Supply for a total of 540,000 additional N-95 protective masks.

– Officer of Governor Ned Lamont