Gov. Ned Lamont outside the Executive Residence. MARK PAZNIOKAS / CTMIRROR.ORG
Gov. Ned Lamont Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror

A member of Gov. Ned Lamont’s security detail tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday, marking the second employee from Lamont’s office to contract the virus in the past week.

The governor and his top aides began a 14-day self-quarantine Friday night after Max Reiss, Lamont’s communication director, tested positive.

Paul Mounds Jr., the governor’s chief of staff, announced the second case but did not identify the security personnel by name.

“The member of the security detail has immediately entered self-isolation,” Mounds wrote. “Governor Lamont remains in self-quarantine at his private residence following exposure to a member of his senior staff last week. There are no other positive test results to report from the governor’s office.”

Cases continue to escalate statewide

The test results come as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to escalate statewide.

The administration reported 2,042 of the 34,135 coronavirus tests completed Tuesday were positive, a daily rate of just below 6%. Connecticut’s weekly rate now stands at 5.6%.

From mid-June through late August, Connecticut enjoyed both daily and weekly rates that hovered around 1%.

The latest report also included 13 more deaths from COVID-19, bringing the statewide total since the pandemic began to 4,784. Hospitalizations increased Tuesday by another 39 patients, bringing the current total for all Connecticut hospitals to 816.

The University of Connecticut reported 16 new cases involving resident students at its main campus in Storrs and another 40 cases involving students who commute to that campus.

The university has confirmed 340 cases on the Storrs campus this semester.

Of the 56 new cases, 52 were identified through regular surveillance testing and 46 cases were asymptomatic, UConn reported. Only four of these new cases involved students who had sought care for symptoms.

UConn recently announced plans to test all students before they return off for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Following that break, students will complete the last two weeks of the fall semester remotely through online classes.

Northeastern governors press all colleges to test students before Thanksgiving break

A coalition of governors from the Northeast called Wednesday for all colleges to provide similar pre-Thanksgiving testing and to complete the fall semester with remote instruction.

“College students returning from highly infected states could accelerate the spread of COVID in Connecticut,” Lamont said. “I appreciate the joint effort of all our regional governors to clearly state the testing/quarantine rules for returning home from college.”

Joining Lamont in this appeal to all higher education were Govs. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island, Phil Murphy of New Jersey, Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania and John Carney of Delaware.

The governors also urged colleges to press those students who do test positive to isolate on campus and to detail specifically how they will travel home safely and mitigate any further spread of the virus.

Colleges also are being urged to educate all students on the COVID-19 quarantine policies of their respective home states.

Keith has spent most of his 31 years as a reporter specializing in state government finances, analyzing such topics as income tax equity, waste in government and the complex funding systems behind Connecticut’s transportation and social services networks. He has been the state finances reporter at CT Mirror since it launched in 2010. Prior to joining CT Mirror Keith was State Capitol bureau chief for The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, a reporter for the Day of New London, and a former contributing writer to The New York Times. Keith is a graduate of and a former journalism instructor at the University of Connecticut.

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