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Gov. Lamont says state is closely monitoring coronavirus

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HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Ned Lamont said the state is continuing to closely monitor the outbreak of coronavirus in China after the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said on Monday that there have been five confirmed cases in the U.S.

While no cases have been confirmed in Connecticut, two students were being closely monitored over the weekend.

Despite the fact that Connecticut has one of the most modern, state of the art, health care labs in the nation, they still have to pack up any suspected samples and send them to the CDC in Atlanta for coronavirus testing. That’s why it took almost three days to conclude that a student at Wesleyan was negative for that new virus.

“The person at Wesleyan has the flu,” Dr. Matt Cartter, the state epidemiologist said. “This is also true for the person in New Haven as well. That person also tested positive for influenza-type A.”

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The sample from the individual in New Haven was received at the CDC on Monday and final results should be known in a couple of days. But Dr. Cartter suspects it will also be negative adding, “The person who traveled to New Haven was not from Wuhan and so Wuhan in China is still the primary area of interest.”

The CDC also announced Monday that it has developed a new, real-time test and that kits will soon be going out to local state labs, which will reduce the time it takes to determine if someone actually has the coronavirus to just a few hours.

Officials with the Connecticut Department of Public Health said they’re getting a lot of calls about coronavirus.

“We’re getting calls about people who’ve seen people who a wearing masks,” said Cartter. He notes that there are a lot of students from China going to schools in Connecticut and that in Asia it is not uncommon to wear a mask if you have a cold, but the practice is not done here.

The new test for coronavirus is expected to be distributed to Connecticut and other states within the next few weeks.

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