The Naugatuck Valley Health District is working closely with local partners here in the Valley as well as at the state and federal levels to monitor and respond to the current coronavirus disease outbreak, COVID-19. A novel coronavirus is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. That is why the current outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China was called the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. On February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization officially named it COVID-19. More specifically, the virus is named SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes is named “coronavirus disease 2019”.
NVHD like many other jurisdictions in Connecticut, has learned that there is at least one laboratory confirmed positive case and a presumed positive case of COVID-19 among residents in our jurisdiction (as of March 17, 2020). We expect that the number of confirmed cases will rise with the increased availability of commercial laboratory testing. Additionally, community spread/transmission is now occurring. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.
How will I know if I came in close contact with a confirmed positive case of COVID-19?
Those who have come in contact with individuals who are positive with COVID-19 outside of a healthcare setting are referred to as “community contacts” and will be notified by the local health department for the town they reside in. Individuals will be advised to self-quarantine and monitor their symptoms.
Individuals who reside in the same household as a confirmed positive case will be required to self-quarantine with public health supervision performed by the local health department.
If an exposure occurs within a healthcare setting, that agency will take the lead on contacting and monitoring the individual(s) for the duration of their self-quarantine.
If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice. Please do not show up without calling first.
What can I do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?
There is currently no vaccine or antiviral medication to prevent or lessen the impact of this particular coronavirus so the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to it and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
It is extremely important to practice social distancing and stay home as much as possible. We understand this may be disruptive and difficult, and may even seem extreme but these are the strongest public health steps we can take as a community to slow the spread of this virus, protect the most at-risk members of our community from serious illness, and prevent our healthcare systems from becoming overwhelmed.
Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Please call your medical provider before showing up.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.