Gov. Lamont: State labs working to increase amount of coronavirus tests done per day

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Gov. Ned Lamont says the state lab is working to increase the amount of coronavirus tests it can do per day. 

Patients are claiming that hospitals in the state are refusing to give them coronavirus tests when they feel they have symptoms. Even though the state lab can process 1,200 people, so far they've only tested 115. Private labs have tested 21 patients.

There was one case of a 66-year-old woman in Stamford with coronavirus who was initially denied the test when she first showed symptoms of the virus.

The patient’s daughter says her mother was turned away from testing because she did not have a fever during the three weeks she felt ill.

However, Lamont is telling residents who feel they may be experiencing symptoms of the virus to do a few more steps before going to directly the hospital for a test.

"If you feel sick, if you have symptoms, stay home. If you have shortness of breath and it's not getting better, call your doctor. If the doctor gives you an authorization, we'll get a test for you,” he says.

He also says hospitals are working on methods that can increase the number of tests done while also keeping a low number of patients at a time in their facilities.

"I think a lot of people flooding into the hospital is the worst thing to do,” he says. “What we're trying to do is, set up remote testing areas. You know, we've got it in Greenwich, we have it in Stamford.  I think we're getting it in Stratford.”

The progress on the number of tests available is already improving as Yale New Haven Hospital announced Friday that it will start testing up to 200 patients a day.

State leaders are also speaking on how they will work on a financial assistance package as schools and business shut down due to the coronavirus.

"We're putting together a package,” says Lamont. “We're going everything we can ahead of the curve.  But let's face it -- it's a curve that's moving fast."

In the short term, Lamont says he is looking at extending unemployment benefits to workers who have to quarantine.

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