Commercial Labs To Expedite Coronavirus Testing In Connecticut

Mar 9, 2020

Public health officials in Connecticut say they hope to have another coronavirus testing kit in the state by early this week.

The state only has one testing kit, at its Rocky Hill facility. Each kit can be used for about 600 tests. Governor Ned Lamont said over the weekend the virus is spreading fast, but added that it’s rarely fatal.

“It’s gonna be like an intense flu season, but we have to be ready. We’re expanding our test capacity every day.”

Lamont requested more kits from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week. Officials say they hope to receive one by Wednesday of this week.

Meanwhile, Quest Diagnostics, a commercial lab, will begin private sector testing on Monday. That’s according to state Health Commissioner Renee Coleman-Mitchell.

Coleman-Mitchell says this will greatly expand testing capacity in Connecticut, where the Rocky Hill state lab can only handle 15 to 20 tests a day.

“And we do know that Yale New Haven Hospital and Hartford HealthCare thus far have signed on to say that they would be interested in also providing testing. We are still working with these sectors to really greatly expand the access to testing here in Connecticut.”

Coleman-Mitchell spoke to state lawmakers at an informational hearing on the potential impact of the coronavirus on Connecticut. She says the state is focused on preparation in order to slow the spread of the virus.

 

LabCorp, another private company, also says it will offer testing soon.

As of Sunday, the state had tested 29 people for the virus.

Read the latest on WSHU’s coronavirus coverage here.