ctnewsjunkie file photo
Xiugen Zhang,, a microbiolgist at the state lab in Rocky Hill (ctnewsjunkie file photo)

HARTFORD, CT – Another 15 people tested positive for COVID-19 in Connecticut by Monday evening, bringing the total number up to 41.

Most of those patients are in Fairfield County where there are 29 total positive cases. There are four cases each in Hartford, Litchfield, and New Haven Counties.

As of Friday, March 13, the state has stopped giving out the number of patients tested because there was an increase in the use of private labs for some of those tests.

“So far, there have been 216 tested in state labs, 194 negative, and 22 positive,” according to Gov. Ned Lamont’s spokesman Rob Blanchard.

It’s unknown at this moment how many negative tests have been done in private labs.

Av Harris, a spokesman for the Department of Public Health, said state law prohibits private labs from reporting anything other than “positive tests.”

It means the state will only be able to provide information about cases that test positive from those private labs.

As of Monday drive-through testing has been approved at seven Connecticut hospitals.

Bridgeport, Bristol, Danbury, Greenwich, Stamford, Waterbury, and Yale-New Haven Hospitals all have drive-through testing available.

Meanwhile, there still is no plan for continued learning while schools are closed.

“The Connecticut State Department of Education (SDE) is working to provide school districts with additional guidance on distance learning, with a basic option to support their planning, and are working with partner districts and providers to develop more robust resources to promote equitable access around Connecticut,” according to Lamont’s press release.

As of Monday, a total of 89 school districts have been approved by the state to serve meals at more than 353 sites. Hartford, at its eight sites, served 400 lunches and handed out 400 breakfast kits for Tuesday. The agency reports that school districts have been very proactive communicating to families the plans for providing meals to students.

Lamont did not hold an in-person press briefing Monday, but he sent out a press release with the latest information.

The release included earlier information about his decision to close restaurants, bars, gyms, and movie theaters. In addition, he banned gatherings of more than 50 people.

He also closed off-track betting facility operations and urged the two tribal casinos to close, which they did.