Physician who works at Bridgeport Hospital tests positive for coronavirus

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A physician who works at Bridgeport Hospital and lives in New York tested positive for coronavirus, state officials say.

The patient is a resident of New York state who works as a community physician who made rounds at Bridgeport Hospital. The patient did not show signs or symptoms of coronavirus while working with patients and stayed home to self-monitor, Lamont says.

In a statement, Bridgeport Hospital said it's notifying the "limited number of patients" who had contact with the physician at the facility last weekend.

GET INFORMATION: Coronavirus details from the CDC

"We were well prepared for this eventuality and the small number patients who interacted with this physician have been identified and have been notified and are being managed in accordance with CDC guidance," the statement said in part. "Given the fact that the physician lacked symptoms at the time of his visit to Bridgeport Hospital, the risk to patients, staff and visitors is very low."

VIDEO: News conference at Bridgeport Hospital, 3/7

Officials said during a news conference Saturday afternoon that the physician was not systematic while treating patients. The hospital took the steps to isolate those patients, even though the CDC said it was not necessary. It was also not required for staff at Bridgeport Hospital to isolate themselves or be furloughed. Instead, they are self-monitoring.

Another New York resident who works at Danbury Hospital and Norwalk Hospital tested positive for the virus, authorities announced Friday.

Gov. Lamont said that the cases were “not unexpected.” He also said that the state is working with the federal government and is focusing on getting private labs to perform more tests next week.

“It’s serious and we are prepared,” he said.

Renee D. Coleman-Mitchell, the commissioner of the state Department of Public Health, says the virus is in the “community transmission” phase. She also clarified that 21 patients tested negative for the coronavirus in the state on Friday out of a total of 42 specimens that were collected.

There are currently nine people in the state being tested – three are from Friday’s situation in Norwalk and Danbury. Another person is being tested in Bridgeport. No Connecticut residents have tested positive for the virus so far.

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“This most recent case of another New York resident who works in Connecticut testing positive for COVID-19 shows us what we already know – coronavirus is here and viruses don’t stop at state borders," Lamont said.

Coleman-Mitchell also reminded residents to avoid handshakes, and even fist-bumps, while greeting people. She says the public should opt for an elbow-bump.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal criticized the Trump administration’s response to the virus, saying that more testing kits should be made available.

"I'm going to be a little less a time when we need to plan for the worst, the federal government has been lacking and lagging,” said the senator. “It has been, in effect, missing the opportunity and the obligation to do more and to do it better and quicker."

He says he met with top administration officials last Tuesday and was "promised that tests would be available, a million of them, by the end of the week."

"They are still nowhere to be found in Connecticut...We should have received those tests by now," said Sen. Blumenthal.

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News 12 will host a 30-minute call-in show Monday, March 9 at 7:00 p.m. where experts will answer your questions about the coronavirus. The show will be followed by a special Facebook Live Q&A.

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