The Naugatuck Valley Health District continues to work closely with our partners at the State Department of Public Health (DPH), local hospitals, and with outpatient healthcare providers to obtain information related to persons under investigation (PUI) who are Valley residents. A PUI is any person who is currently under investigation for having the virus that causes COVID-19, or who was under investigation but tested negative for the virus.
Public health officials, healthcare providers, and private laboratories are working around the clock so that we can keep our patients and residents informed. We want to take this opportunity to explain how this process occurs and why there have been minor discrepancies in reporting of cases for our communities.
The State Department of Public Health now publishes a report that breaks down positive COVID-19 cases by town. That report can be accessed at www.ct.gov/coronavirus. The sources of the data included in this report are: The Dr. Katherine A. Kelley State Public Health Laboratory, Hospital, and Commercial Laboratories.
Effective March 18, 2020, DPH Commissioner Coleman-Mitchell amended the List of Reportable Diseases, Emergency Illnesses and Health Conditions and List of Reportable Laboratory Findings by adding “COVID-19” and “SARS-CoV-2” to such lists. The amendment also requires laboratories to notify DPH with positive and negative laboratory findings for SARS-CoV-2. When DPH receives these reports, they are entered into a HIPAA compliant and secure online electronic disease surveillance system that is accessible by local health departments. However, in some cases, a hospital or healthcare provider may learn of a laboratory confirmed case and notify the local health department before the report is entered into the DPH online surveillance system.
The physician who ordered the test for the patient and the Naugatuck Valley Health District staff will contact individuals who test positive for the coronavirus disease 2019, COVID-19. Those individuals will remain in quarantine at their homes. Individuals who reside in the same household as a laboratory confirmed positive case will also be required to self-quarantine at their home. Health department staff will work with the patients to investigate and determine if additional individuals need to be notified or require 14-day self-monitoring periods at home. If an individual is inpatient or in a healthcare facility, that facility will lead the investigation.
Community spread/transmission is now occurring in the Valley. People have been infected with the virus, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected. Please practice social distancing and stay home as much as possible.
Every day, at 3:00PM, Naugatuck Valley Health District will provide updates on the data available for cases here in the Valley.
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.
For general questions about COVID-19, please call 2-1-1. This hotline is accessible 24 hours a day and in multiple languages.
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger. NVHD has compiled resources for individuals and families that can be accessed at www.nvhd.org/coping.