State Takes Precautions Against Spread Of Coronavirus

Bruna Vila Artigues, News Editor

Officials, public health and universities in Connecticut are taking precaution as the inevitable and fast outbreak of the coronavirus continues to spread and are recommending preventive measures for state residents to take.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) began this past December in Wuhan, China and has already spread throughout 31 other countries, including the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 16 cases have already been diagnosed in the U.S. and an additional 27 cases are presumptive positive, with the first two deaths reported during the weekend.

The COVID-19 mainly spreads from person to person via respiratory droplets, which is in part why it has transferred so fast. As of now, there has already been three cases of the respiratory illness in New England – Massachusetts and Rhode Island, – which means that no state is safe.

State officials aimed to assure the public that the government is working together to provide all of the support, supplies and personnel necessary for hospitals and health care providers.

“We have to be ready for the fact that it could come to our shores in a more aggressive way,” Governor Ned Lamont said during a press conference addressing the virus’s swift eruption.

“It’s not a call to make you nervous, it’s a call to give you confidence that we are ready for what’s going forward,” he added. “Connecticut is ready, and we have been ready for a while.”

Along with the state’s preparation, Central Connecticut is also beginning to take its own precautions. In the midst of Connecticut taking action against COVID-19, President Dr. Zulma R. Toro released a statement explaining that “the preparations for a possible disease outbreak are well underway.”

Dr. Toro also attached the CDC daily preventive guidelines and actions to prevent the virus from spreading.

The CDC suggests to avoid contact with those who are ill and to stay home if one feels sick. They also advise to avoid touching one’s eyes, nose and mouth, and to use a single-use tissue to cough or sneeze. It is also very important to clean and disinfect one’s household and wash one’s hand regularly for at least 20 seconds during the day.

“With all viruses, the one and most important thing that you can do is wash your hands frequently with soap and water,” Dr. Marisol Ostrov, interim director of student health services, stated.

Dr. Ostrov explained that the health and safety of the students are their number one priority, so CCSU Health Services has also started to take steps in protecting the community from the virus.

The university has trained its front desk team members to use an actual script that they can follow for students calling in with symptoms that could possibly be signs of the disease. They have also provided disease assessment, treatment and decision-making algorithms to all clinicians and medical providers so that they follow CDC recommendations when seeing students.

Additionally, CCSU has set up an isolation exam room for any student who may need to be kept under observation with an adjacent room holding all the appropriate protective gear needed for its medical providers.

“Over the years, my experience at CCSU has been that we take any and all health alerts very seriously,” Dr. Ostrov said. “We communicate effectively and collaborate closely with our state and local health departments, and we understand the importance of getting information out immediately to our students and campus community.”

Department of Public Health Epidemiologist Dr. Matthew Cartter explained during the press conference that there are no vaccines or approved medication to combat the virus and there won’t be any time soon.

Therefore, all of these precautions are key steps to try to slow the spread of the virus, to prepare the medical system and to reduce the number of people who get sick or even die.

For more information on preventing the spread of any respiratory diseases, check the CDC preventions and treatments at