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20 coronavirus cases confirmed so far in Connecticut

March 14, 2020 GMT
A researcher at Protein Sciences moves a vial in a lab, Thursday, March 12, 2020, in Meriden, Conn. The biotech company is currently researching a vaccine for COVID-19. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
A researcher at Protein Sciences moves a vial in a lab, Thursday, March 12, 2020, in Meriden, Conn. The biotech company is currently researching a vaccine for COVID-19. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
A researcher at Protein Sciences moves a vial in a lab, Thursday, March 12, 2020, in Meriden, Conn. The biotech company is currently researching a vaccine for COVID-19. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The first case of the coronavirus in the Hartford area has been identified, officials said Saturday, as the number of cases across Connecticut rose to at least 20.

The patient, a woman in her 80s, lives in Rocky Hill and was being treated at Hartford Hospital, city and hospital officials said.

Most of cases of COVID-19 in the state have been in communities near the New York state line. Faifield County had at least 15 known cases as of Saturday evening.

The Hartford Courant reported the nursing chief of Yale-New Haven Health and two hospital patients tested positive, citing a memo distributed within the health network Saturday.

Efforts to test for the virus around the state are expanding. Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said he assumes there are other cases of the virus in the Hartford area.

For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death. The vast majority of people recover.

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Gov. Ned Lamont signed an executive order intended to promote social distancing and help the healthcare industry obtain medical equipment and other supplies.

“The virus is spreading and it is here in Connecticut,” he said. “Our state has taken critical measures to maximize public health and those steps will continue.”

School districts including Hartford, New Haven and Stamford have announced they will close for two weeks or longer in an attempt to slow the spread of the disease.

The two giant casinos operated by Native American tribes remained open but canceled or scaled back several events.

The bingo hall was closed beginning Saturday at Foxwoods Resort Casino. At the nearby Mohegan Sun casino, comedy shows and card playing tournaments were among the postponed events.

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The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.