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Coronavirus Latest: Another Lamont Spokesperson Tests Positive; L.I. Leads In Cases Outside Of NYC

Conn. Gov. Ned Lamont
Jessica Hill

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont's Deputy Communications Director Rob Blanchard has tested positive for the coronavirus. Lamont came in contact with Blanchard on Thursday but does not meet the criteria for “close” contact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Staff members who did have close contact will self-quarantine.

The 7-day positive test rate in Connecticut is 5.47%, according to data provided by the state on Friday. The state does not record daily infection rates for the weekend — they are included in Monday's total. 160 cities and towns in Connecticut are now under ‘red alert’. The state asks residents to postpone indoor events and restrict activity outside of their homes.

The federal government has extended its support of the Connecticut National Guard until April in response to the pandemic. The current federal authorization covers 75% of the cost to bolster the state’s healthcare infrastructure.

On Long Island, the 7-day positive COVID-19 test rate increased to 5.32%. The rest of New York is at 4.87%. Suffolk County reported the second most amount of new cases in New York on Saturday with over 1,100. Only New York City reported more. Nassau County had 739 new cases.

And Long Island now leads the rest of the state in new daily COVID-19 hospitalizations. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has said hospitalizations and hospital bed capacity would play a role in deciding to shutdown regions of the state