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COVID-19 Press Release 3/17
Date: March 17, 2020
The Naugatuck Valley Health District (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. 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.
No further details about the residents will be provided to protect their privacy. In the age of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, commonly referred to as HIPAA, no disease outbreak on this scale has ever been experienced. However, it is important to remember that during a public health emergency, such as a disease outbreak, the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules still apply and that the privacy of our residents must be protected to the extent possible.
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.
Where can I find information about laboratory confirmed cases in CT?
At the state level, the latest COVID-19 testing data which can be accessed at www.ct.gov/coronavirus.
NVHD will also post aggregate testing data when it becomes available on our webpage www.nvhd.org/coronaviruses/COVID-19.
Where can I find additional information?
If you have any general questions related to COVID-19 after reviewing this information, you can call 2-1-1 or text “CTCOVID” to 898211. This hotline is available 24 hours a day and in multiple languages.
Additionally, Griffin Health is offering an information hotline at 203-204-1053 for patients, visitors, and community residents who have questions about COVID-19. Griffin caregivers will be available to answer questions Monday – Friday from 8:00AM – 5:00PM.
For tips on taking care of your behavioral health and coping with stress and/or anxiety during an infectious disease outbreak, please visit https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/Pages/Behavioral-Health or https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html.
Naugatuck Valley Health District will continue to post updates and information on our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIN).
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