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CT lab approved to test for Coronavirus rapidly speeding up response

A response time that will now take less than 24-hours. Previously, it could take the CDC a few days to a week to confirm a test result.

The state of Connecticut continues to prepare for the Coronavirus. On Friday they announced a big step forward in preventing a widespread outbreak. The State of Connecticut Public Health Laboratory in Rocky Hill has been approved by the US Centers for Disease Control to test for the Coronavirus. 

"If the disease spreads, we will be better equipped to be able to respond," said Dr. Jafar H. Razeq, Director of the State Public Health Laboratory. 

A response time that will now take less than 24-hours. Previously, it could take the CDC a few days to a week to confirm a test result. 

"That’s a significant improvement in the turnaround time," said Dr. Razeq.

The CDC sent testing kits to state labs across the country in hopes of approving every state for covid-19 testing by the end of next week. The kits are a test of sorts to see if the labs are able to positively detect this coronavirus strain.  Connecticut was successful.

"The turnaround time and delivering the test results is critical of patient management, for infection control practices and for contact investigations," said Dr. Razeq

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In order to be tested, you must show symptoms of the virus, possibly have traveled to infected areas or have all other possible illnesses ruled out before sending a specimen to the lab.

Dr. Razeq says the state lab has enough materials to run tests for the next few weeks.

"That’s why the criteria for testing is very important that we only test those who are in need," said Dr. Razeq. 

If you do test positive you may end up in one of Hartford Hospital's 58 negative pressure rooms.

"Pulls the air out of the room and puts it out in the atmosphere," said the Interim Director of infectious Disease, Stephanie Wright. 

Well protected medical professionals would aid to the isolated patients. The highly cautious practice isn’t out of the ordinary.

"Airborne isolation is used not only for Coronavirus. It’s used for some other illnesses too such as tuberculosis and measles," said Wright. 

The state says they will continue testing patients until commercial and private laboratories are ready to test. Until then they say they are as prepared as they can be. 

There have been 63 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus across the country. Two people were tested for the virus in Connecticut but neither tested positive. Any positive tests are sent to the CDC in Atlanta for further national investigation and response.