It appears as though Connecticut's first "presumptive" case of Coronavirus is being treated at Danbury Hospital.

According to an announcement from Governor Ned Lamont on Sunday afternoon (March 8), the Connecticut Department of Public Health confirmed that the patient is a resident of Wilton somewhere between the ages of 40 and 50 years old. Officials say the man likely became infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 during a recent trip to California, after which he became ill and sought medical care shortly after returning to Connecticut.

The Governor's Office notes that this case is considered a "presumptive positive case" until it it officially confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

It is important to note that the case of the Wilton man is not related to the COVID-19 case in which a Danbury Hospital employee who lives in Westchester County tested positive for the virus. The case announced on Saturday involving a community physician who made rounds at Bridgeport Hospital is believed to be unrelated as well.

All people who may have had direct, face-to-face contact with the Wilton patient are being traced, contacted and instructed to stay home and self-isolate.

According to the Department of Public Health, risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 is considered low for people who had contact with an individual who does not have COVID-19 and does not have symptoms. In other words, a contact of a contact is considered low risk.

In a statement, Dr. John Murphy, president and CEO of Nuvance Health, the hospital system that includes Danbury Hospital, said:

First, we want our patient and their family to know that we are here for them, and to our other patients, staff, volunteers, and communities, we are working around the clock to contain the spread of COVID-19. Second, it’s important to emphasize that this patient is in no way related to the hospital employee from New York who tested positive for the virus. This patient’s infection is connected to recent out-of-state travel. We understand there is a lot of concern. Please know that we have been preparing for this new outbreak for the last several weeks, and we have years of experience effectively dealing with infectious diseases.

 

Our readiness for COVID-19 cases at our hospitals is thorough and standardized across our health system. We have been, and will continue to work closely with local and state health departments and follow guidelines for preparedness and care. We want to reassure our communities that we intend to continue operating our hospitals with minimal interruptions, while we implement new policies to ensure the health and safety of everyone.

Any resident that is not currently showing symptoms of the virus (two or three days of fever, cough, and shortness of breath) can dial 211 at any time with any basic questions.

The Governor's Office has also provided residents with some important messages to keep in mind:

  • People without symptoms should not be tested for COVID-19. Testing individuals with no symptoms is not recommended by CDC.
  • If you were with someone who does not have symptoms, the risk of transmission is very low.
  • There are many respiratory illnesses circulating in Connecticut, such as the flu and the common cold. Having respiratory symptoms does not mean that you have COVID-19.
  • People are at higher risk for COVID-19 if they have symptoms of the virus (cough, fever, shortness of breath) AND if they were a contact of a positive case of COVID-19 (or have traveled to country with community transmission, such as China, Italy, South Korea, Iran, and Japan).
  • Someone is considered a contact if they have had direct, face-to-face contact with a person with COVID-19.
  • People who think they have COVID-19 should call their healthcare provider. These people should not go directly to a healthcare facility without first calling a healthcare provider (unless they are experiencing a medical emergency).
  • People with general questions about COVID-19 can visit ct.gov/coronavirus or call 2-1-1.
  • Everyone can help stop the spread of viruses in Connecticut.
  • Get your flu shot, and make sure the people around you do the same.
  • Wash your hands often throughout the day. Use warm water and soap. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand gel.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow. Viruses can spread by coughing or sneezing on other people or into your hands.
  • Stay home from work or school if you are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious foods.
  • Keep surfaces (especially bedside tables, surfaces in the bathroom, and toys for children) clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant.
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