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CT cuts down on COVID-19 testing to focus on medical workers

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Read The Latest Coronavirus News Updates Globally Here: "Coronavirus Live News Updates" | Or Visit Our Full Global Statistics Page for Detailed Informations On Coronavirus Here

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HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut plans to decrease testing for the new coronavirus, giving priority to the very sick, health care workers and front-line responders, Gov. Ned Lamont said Thursday.

Lamont said the state will instead rely on people self-diagnosing and self-quarantining for 14 days if they have any symptoms.

He said because of the scarcity of personal protective equipment, the state is prioritizing the use of nurses for the treatment of those critically ill rather than testing.

“If you have any symptoms at all, assume it’s COVID-19 and go home and stay there for 14 days,” he said.

Lamont also urged New Yorkers and others from out of state to stay home and avoid traveling to Connecticut unless absolutely necessary. He ordered those who do come to the state to self-quarantine until they can be sure they are healthy.

Given the state’s proximity to the COVID-19 hot spot of New York City, Lamont said President Trump’s push to reopen the country by Easter is “bad, bad advice.”

“You’re never going to get this economy going again until we get this public health crisis behind us,” Lamont said. “So I think it’s wrong to say we can rush people back to work and set artificial dates, like he did.”

He also signed an executive order restricting all social and recreational gatherings to no more than five people, with certain exceptions.

Lamont said the state on Thursday had 125 COVID-19 hospitalizations, with 21 fatalities. He said 19 of those deaths were people over 70 years old and 15 were people over 80.

The virus usually causes mild or moderate symptoms, which can include fever and cough but also milder cases of pneumonia, sometimes requiring hospitalization. The risk of death is greater for older adults and people with other health problems.

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