Connecticut: Coronavirus is here, be prepared.


President Trump Addresses the Nation Amid Coronavirus Outbreak - Travel bans, Tax extensions and updates. CLICK HERE for the recap from last night. (3.11.20)

CLICK HERE to get more information about the coronavirus with Hartford Healthcare.

Questions about the coronavirus? Need help?Hartford HealthCare’s COVID-19 Clinical Command Center hotline, staffed by healthcare professionals, is now available to the community. To reach the 24-hour hotline, call860.972.8100 or (toll-free)833.621.0600.

Related: Please take a listen to our conversation with Virginia Mary Bieluch, MD -Chief, Infectious Diseases, The Hospital of Central Connecticut with the Hartford HealthCare Medical Group CLICK HERE

HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF?

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection. Person-to-person spread of the virus is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Much is still unknown about how the virus spreads. Take these everyday preventative actions to help stop the spread of germs.

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based sanitizer
  • Avoid shaking hands as a greeting
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

For more information on the CDC's latest guidelines, click here

Symptoms of coronavirus can include:

  • Fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher)
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

People who have recently traveled to an impacted location and is feeling sick should:

  • Call ahead before visiting a doctor’s office or emergency room
  • Tell the doctor about recent travel and the symptoms being experienced
  • Avoid contact with others, and so not travel while sick

Gov. declares public health emergency due to the coronavirus.

The State of Connecticut is partnering with United Way of Connecticut to launch the infoline. 
Those who have questions can call 2-1-1 or text "CTCOVID" to 898211. 
Officials are urging those who have questions to first review the state's coronavirus information website before calling the hotline. 

“We understand people have specific questions but we want to stress that this call center is only intended for general information. Anyone looking for specific medical advice regarding symptoms they may be experiencing is strongly urged to seek medical treatment,” Gov. Lamont said. 

The hotline is available 24 hours a day and multilingual assistance along with TDD/TTY access for those with hearing impairment is available. 

Governor Ned Lamont has declared a public health emergency after two residents test positive for coronavirus.

The public health emergency allows Lamont to order travel bans and the closing of schools, as well as private businesses.

It also gives the governor and the attorney general the power to crack down on scammers and those who are charging extremely high prices for things like face masks and hand sanitizer. 

"One thing that has become crystal clear to me why it's important we have this emergency declaration, it gives us the opportunity to get more testing capacity and it's faster for all the people in the State of Connecticut," Lamont said. 

The state has received a second test kit, saying one kit can test up to 600 patients.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the state laboratory has tested 74 individuals, with three of them being positive.

Doctors are saying if you feel sick, or have a fever or cough, you might not need to rush to the hospital.

"If you have a fever and cough, and are in the south western part of the state, you should assume you have the coronavirus. You don't need a test to tell you that's what you have. You should assume that's the illness you have. Most people will get better at home, especially the younger you are, you should talk to your physician to give you advice on how to care for yourself with COVID-19 at home," said Dr. Matt Cartter, CT epidemiologist.

He said we shouldn't inundate the hospitals, and more than 80 percent of people will get better on their own, at home.

Tuesday 3.10.20 Update

New Haven St Patrick's Day Parade among many other events in CT cancelled

Governor Ned Lamont has announced the second presumptive case of coronavirus in Connecticut. This brings the total number of positive COVID-19 cases in Connecticut to two. Officials said the second patient is being cared for at Bridgeport Hospital, but the person is not a Bridgeport resident. CLICK HERE for the whole story.

Also in quarantine are seven Trinity College students. They're self-quarantined after possible exposure to COVID-19 off campus and out of the area.

Connecticut School districts brace for coronavirus: Click here for details.

Connecticut: Coronavirus is here: What you need to know and how to reduce your risk. Latest updates and events cancelled in our state.

PRESS CONFERENCE: Coronavirus is in Connecticut and lawmakers warn more cases could soon be reported.

Gov. Ned Lamont and other lawmakers plan to speak on Monday at Bristol Health's administrative board room to update the public on the state's response.

Stream it around 10:30 a.m. here: CLICK HERE

#Breaking Monday 3.9.20
US stocks halted after falling 7%. Global stocks plunge as oil crashes and coronavirus fear spreads CLICK HERE for the complete story and breakdown.
#Breaking Sunday 3.8.20
The Department of Public Health State Laboratory confirmed Connecticut's first presumptive positive case of the coronavirus on Sunday afternoon, according to Governor Ned Lamont.
The patient is a resident of Wilton between the ages of 40 and 50 and he is being treated at Danbury Hospital.
Lamont said he most likely caught the virus while on a recent trip to California and received health care back in Connecticut.
This case is not related to the two positive tests involving hospital workers.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO ON THIS BREAKING STORY

Second CT hospital employee tests positive for coronavirus CLICK HERE for updates

RELATED: Officials say 200 in CT self quarantined amid coronavirus concerns

Hartford Healthcare has also instituted its own policies since the coronavirus outbreak. All work travel either out of the country or within the U.S. has been suspended. Personal travel is subject to review.

Folks can call the command center at 860-972-8100, or click here for more information.

Earlier this week, Lamont joined the U.S. surgeon general to tour the state’s lab in Rocky Hill, which was cleared to test for the virus.

RELATED: State lab approved to test for coronavirus

While the coronavirus has created fear, Surgeon General Vice Admiral Jerome Adams emphasized on the fact that folks should not panic, but take precautions.

"Caution is appropriate. Preparedness is appropriate. Panic is not,” Adams said. Health Organization busts coronavirus myths

Lamont has also urged all Connecticut residents who have recently traveled outside of the country, or are planning to do so, to follow guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

RELATED: Gov. advises travelers to follow CDC guidance surrounding coronavirus outbreak

The CDC is recommending travelers avoid all nonessential travel to countries that are at risk at this point.

Local schools, colleges and universities have also taken precautions by canceling trips abroad, bringing students back to the U.S. who have traveled abroad, and even quarantined those students.

RELATED: UConn students returning from Italy, South Korea will be quarantined

Doctors are advising anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms to contact their medical provider immediately.

The symptoms the flu and coronavirus share are fever, cough, and muscle aches.

Doctors weigh in on what to do if you think you have coronavirus

For a coronavirus test to be done, a patient must exhibit flu like symptoms, have come in close contact with a coronavirus patient, or have a travel history to China, Iran, Italy, Japan or South Korea.

While flu testing results are usually available in a hospital or clinic and can take less than hour or two, results for the coronavirus take a little longer, as they are sent to the lab.

Agency lists cleaning products that combat coronavirus

Health organizations are helping folks fight back against the spread of covid-19.

Doctors also say if someone is sick, stay 6 feet away from them.

Cough into a tissue and throw it in the trash right away.

Also, make sure to always wash your hands.

RELATED: Stores selling out of hand sanitizer, soap, face masks

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