At least a dozen area residents have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the latest data released by state health officials over the weekend.
Among 3,600 tests and 327 laboratory-confirmed cases in Connecticut as of March 22, the state Department of Public Health listed 54 as residents of Hartford County, with 13 currently hospitalized.
New Britain had two confirmed cases, Newington, 4; Plainville, 1; Southington, 3; and Berlin, 2. Bristol and Plymouth have no cases.
New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart confirmed one of the city’s cases in a post to Twitter Sunday morning.
“We knew we wouldn’t be spared,” her tweet, posted at 8:06 a.m., read. “We have confirmed our first New Britain resident who has tested positive for COVID-19. Good news is they are on the mend and doing well. They were treated at UConn Medical Center and released to quarantine in their home for 14 days with their family. Our public health department is in close contact with them and they are complying with all tasks. I ask all of you to be vigilant and follow all guidelines.”
The mayor did not return a call for additional comment Sunday.
Two patients were being treated at the Hospital of Central Connecticut’s New Britain General Campus over the weekend: a husband and wife who had tested positive for the virus. They were reported to be in isolation at the hospital, which has not confirmed any more positive cases since the initial report.
Hartford HealthCare Marketing Manager Amanda Blaszyk told the Herald that HOCC had received an influx of media inquiries and was planning to provide an update in a press briefing Monday afternoon.
“Hartford HealthCare has paused elective or non essential surgeries across the system in preparation for the surge,” Blaszyk said Sunday. “Our Care Logistics Center ensures Hartford HealthCare would always find a bed for someone in need and connect them to the appropriate care. Hartford HealthCare has the appropriate precautions in place to keep both patients and staff safe. Hartford HealthCare is actively planning for more space should the need arise, connecting with community partners and even local universities.”
Bristol Health tested 53 people Saturday and another 23 on Sunday, Spokesperson Chris Boyle said, bringing the organization’s total number of tests administered to well over 400.
Specimens collected were sent out to laboratories out-of-state and results are expected in about a week’s time.
A Bristol Health employee who tested positive for the virus is currently recovering in self-quarantine. An employee screening began on Saturday morning to ensure no others have the virus.
“That’s been going well, as well as our visitor screening,” Boyle told the Press.
Employees had their temperature taken and were screened for shortness of breath, cough or exposure to the virus.
Boyle went on to say that things have been made easy by the public’s willingness to cooperate.
“What we’ve been finding since Wednesday is that the public is being very cooperative,” he added. “They know we’re all in this together.”
Gov. Ned Lamont utilized the state’s CTAlert system on Sunday to deliver a voice recording to over 4 million phone numbers in Connecticut, urging all residents to “Stay Safe, Stay Home.”
The recording was accompanied by a text message to mobile phones containing a link to the state’s coronavirus website, ct.gov/coronavirus. Residents wishing to receive alerts through the statewide system can sign up at ctalert.gov.
“The CTAlert system is a vital tool to keep our residents informed, especially during a public health emergency,” Lamont said. “Providing accurate information to our residents during these kind of events is important, and the CTAlert system is how we do that.”
The City of Hartford has reported 11 cases, the most in this area, but still low in comparison to reports out of Fairfield County, where the count had reached 208 Saturday. Westport, Greenwich and Stamford had the highest number of reported cases altogether.
So far, eight Connecticut residents have died of the virus.
Staff writer Adam Hushin contributed to this story.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at 860-801-5097 or email@example.com.