Conn. Decreases Testing, Limits Gatherings To 5 People After 27 COVID-19 Deaths

WCBS 880 Newsroom
March 27, 2020 - 2:58 pm

HARTFORD, Conn. (WCBS 880) — Connecticut is looking to conserve supplies as it prepares for what is happening already in New York amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Ned Lamont says the state will decrease testing, giving priority to the very sick, healthcare workers and front-line responders.

Connecticut is instead going to rely on people self-diagnosing and self-quarantining for 14 days if they have symptoms.

Lamont stressed Friday that with the scarcity of supplies, Connecticut needs to concentrate on treating the very sick and protecting healthcare workers.

The news came as the state reported 27 fatalities from COVID-19 and over 1,000 cases.

In an effort to slow the spread of the virus, Gov. Lamont has urged New Yorkers to stay out of the state and avoid traveling to Connecticut unless absolutely necessary.

Lamont has also limited gatherings to five people or less.

“You know before we had said 50, but use your common sense. I'm going to be stricter than that. No more than five people at a social gathering and less than that if you possibly can,” Lamont said.

As schools across the state are closed, the state has canceled all school achievement tests as well.

While there are some concerns shopping bags may be contaminated with the virus, the state has suspending the ten-cent plastic bag tax.

Additionally, a southwestern Connecticut foundation has raised $1 million in pledges over the past week to help local nonprofits in the county hit hardest by the coronavirus. But demand for the financial help has already grown by at least another $560,000 and will likely grown even more.

The president of Fairfield County's Community Foundation says homeless shelters can't address the need.

Civil liberties advocates are urging court officials to change pretrial detention rules to allow people to avoid or be freed from detention because of the outbreak.

Meanwhile, the state's epidemiologist notes that seasonal flu is still active, too.

(© 2020 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)