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Coronavirus Update: Suspected Case Reported In Monmouth County As N.J., Conn. Get Approval To Test For The Virus

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - There's a new suspected case of the coronavirus in the tri-state area.

The patient was identified at Bayshore Medical Center in Monmouth County and is currently in isolation.

We won't know for sure if that person is infected for a couple of days, but hospital officials say it's taking every precaution and is prepared to handle the case.

Watch Jessica Layton's report --

Meanwhile, New Jersey and Connecticut have received federal approval to administer a test for the virus, eliminating the need to send samples out of state.

That means patients can know if they have the virus much sooner.

Connecticut officials say it will now take 24-48 hours to determine if someone has the coronavirus.

CORONAVIRUS: CDC Latest | Guidance For Travelers | NY Health Dept. | NY Hotline: 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Department Of Health Guidance For Parents | NJ Health Dept. | NJ Hotline: 1-(800)-222-1222

"We recently got a little good news. We are now allowed to test, at least in our laboratory in Rocky Hill, our own public health center. That's a positive development, but we need more resources from our federal government," said Gov. Ned Lamont.

The feds are allowing the Health Departments in both Connecticut and New Jersey to administer their own tests instead of having to send samples to the CDC and waiting days - or sometimes weeks - for results.

"It's good that the Department of Health in New Jersey can do that. I want to make sure we can maximize the universe of who can do the test," said Sen. Bob Menendez.


To Menendez, that means going a step further by allowing other institutions like Hackensack Meridian Health to also be able to test patients. Menendez toured the lab where two coronavirus tests have been created with results made available in two hours, but they still need live samples of the virus from the CDC to see if it actually works.

"It would give us direction in terms of isolation and ongoing treatment for that individual in a world where we have relatively scarce resources," said Dr. Daniel Varga.

With immediate results, doctors can know if isolation is needed. It removes the current uncertainty and helps address growing fears.

Coronavirus 2/28/2020 Update: New York Bracing For Potential Outbreak

"We're in daily contact with all of our health care providers, the local level as well as the hospitals and such. And this is what we've got to do to prepare for an eventuality that I hope does not come to our shores. But we're ready," Lamont said.

So far, there have not been any confirmed coronavirus cases in the Tri-State Area, but medical professionals expect that to change. They're asking the federal government for a more aggressive approach to make sure they're prepared.

Local testing has not been approved in New York. Both the local and state health departments say the elements they received to create the test had problems, but they're working with the CDC to get authorization.

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