A Wilton resident who traveled recently to California is the first Connecticut resident to be diagnosed with coronavirus, state officials said Sunday.
The resident, a man who is 40 to 50 years old, is being treated at Danbury Hospital. The person “most likely became infected” with the virus during a recent trip to California, the governor’s office said in a statement, and sought care shortly after returning to Connecticut.
State officials are working to identify everyone this person came into contact with, the governor’s office said, and are instructing anyone who has had “direct, face-to-face contact” with this person to stay home and self-isolate.
“We have been expecting for some time that a Connecticut resident would become infected with COVID-19, so this should not come as a surprise to anybody,” Gov. Ned Lamont said in a statement. “We wish this patient a full recovery and we know he is being cared for by highly competent medical teams. My administration and the Department of Public Health are working around the clock to help conduct contact investigations for this case and any others who test positive in the future.”
Officials said the person’s illness is not connected to either of the other two COVID-19 cases announced since Friday. In the first case, a New York state resident who works at Danbury Hospital and Norwalk hospital was diagnosed with the virus. In the second case, a doctor who lives in New York but works in Connecticut and recently made rounds at Bridgeport Hospital, was confirmed. Both health care professionals are quarantined at their homes.
“It’s important to emphasize that this patient is in no way related to the hospital employee from New York who tested positive for the virus. This patient’s infection is connected to recent out-of-state travel. We understand there is a lot of concern,” said Dr. John Murphy, president and CEO of Nuvance Health, the hospital system that includes Danbury Hospital, in a statement released Sunday. “Please know that we have been preparing for this new outbreak for the last several weeks, and we have years of experience effectively dealing with infectious diseases.
Lamont’s office said it considers this a “presumptive positive case” of coronavirus until it is confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Officials with Nuvance Health did not return calls seeking further comment Sunday. Amy Forni, a public relations manager for the company, said in an email that no additional information would be released about the patient, and referred back to the governor’s statement.
Hospital officials did not say whether the Wilton man had been in direct contact with someone in California who tested positive for the virus.
As of noon, 29 people have tested negative for COVID-19 in Connecticut. There are eight tests pending.
According to national media reports, there are at least 450 cases of the coronavirus across 32 states and the District of Columbia as of Sunday afternoon. Nineteen people in the U.S. have died from the illness. There are more than 107,500 cases worldwide, with a death toll that currently stands at 3,654.
Health officials are urging people to take basic precautions as COVID-19 spreads throughout the United States. Those precautions include washing hands thoroughly with soap and water throughout the day, maintaining some social distancing from others (such as not shaking hands), coughing and sneezing in your elbow or a tissue, and staying home if you are sick.
The state is encouraging anyone with questions about coronavirus to either go online at ct.gov/coronavirus or call the 2-1-1 info line.