Originally published at New Britain Herald
NEW BRITAIN – Gov. Ned Lamont was outside the Community Health Center of New Britain Thursday to provide updates on the state’s coronavirus response efforts.
The news briefing included Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, Chief Operating Officer for the State of Connecticut Josh Geballe and Dr. William Petit, who represents Plainville and New Britain in the Connecticut House of Representatives.
“We love what the Community Health Center does,” Lamont said. “The Community Health Center brings good comprehensive health, no questions asked, and no cost to the people.”
Telehealth is a major asset Lamont mentioned that many healthcare facilities in the state have learned more about over the course of the pandemic and have been utilizing.
“It’s easier for you to get a basic conversation with a doctor, either online or by telephone,” Lamont said. “So we’re doing everything we can to bring the healthcare to you, but it only works if you open the door and reciprocate.”
Lamont shared how Connecticut has more testing capacity than it had two months ago and the response time is much faster.
“Two or three months ago it would take three, four or five days to get a response from that lab in California,” Lamont said.
The state has also ramped up testing and capacity at nursing homes.
“One of the things we know is how tragically the nursing homes were hit, but we got there early. We were allowed to make some protocols especially regarding visitation and in terms of testing,” Lamont said. “We are now testing every single patient and nurse that’s there on a regular basis.”
If someone tests positive in a nursing home, they have the capacity to keep them safely isolated.
“This is a key part of the inspections, wherever there is a case where they can’t do that for some reason that’s why we set up these alternate COVID facilities as well to provide overflow where capacity is needed,” Geballe said.
Community Health Center provided testing for the community and had a station set up out in the lot where doctors were fully draped in PPE.
“We have lots of testing available,” Lamont said. “New Britain was hit pretty hard by the COVID virus and yet we’re only 50th in terms of testing. You can also get an immunization and that’s really important as well; we’ve got another flu season coming up in the fall and we’re trying to make that easier for you.”
Bysiewicz added, “I think another reason to get tested is because there are so many asymptomatic people that could be carriers for COVID. That’s why the governor and I have both been tested, to get the message out to everyone.”