State receives first shipment of rapid tests

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By Paul Hughes, Republican-American

NEW BRITAIN — The governor’s office reported the state received its first shipment of 69,000 of the latest 15-minute diagnostic tests developed by Abbott Laboratories on Tuesday.

The federal government has committed to delivering 1 million kits to Connecticut.

Gov. Ned Lamont said his administration plans to distribute the test kits to school systems, starting with the most socioeconomically disadvantaged districts first.

“What we really want to do is rank education so kids can get back to school and we don’t have to quarantine a whole school if we find out it is just a bad case of the traditional flu,” he said.

The advent of rapid testing was another reason why Lamont said schools should be offering traditional classroom instruction to the maximum extent possible while public health conditions allow it.

“Let’s do it safely while we can. I have no idea what November is going to look like,” Lamont said.

The number of COVID-19 infections and associated deaths continued to increase Tuesday, while the number of hospitalizations remained flat.

The 121 additional positive cases reported since Monday brought the total to 59,241 in the state. There have now been more than 1.7 million tests performed in the state, though the figure includes multiple tests of some patients and specimens.

Public health officials reported four more coronavirus-associated deaths on Tuesday. The death toll rose to 4,521.

There was no net change in hospitalizations between admissions and discharges. There were 129 patients hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Naugatuck Valley Health District reported Tuesday no new cases since Monday within the towns its serves — Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Derby, Naugatuck, Seymour and Shelton. The health district reported there have been 460 confirmed cases in Naugatuck and 60 in Beacon Falls.

There have been 41 coronavirus-associated deaths in Naugatuck and none in Beacon Falls, according to health officials.

Chesprocott Health District reported Oct. 2 there have been 91 coronavirus cases in Prospect — an additional three cases since Sept. 18. There have not been any coronavirus-associated deaths reported in Prospect.

Elio Gugliotti contributed to this report.