Message from the Director of Health
There is still community transmission of COVID-19 in CT, although the percentage of positive tests has been greatly reduced. Social distancing and wearing face coverings will continue to be important to keep infection rates low, especially as Connecticut “reopens”. People who are at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should continue to be careful to avoid unnecessary exposure.
The Pomperaug District Department of Health is actively monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and participating in State and Federal teleconferences to ensure we are up to date on the latest CT Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) guidance. Information and guidance changes frequently. For up to date information, visit the links below (scroll to bottom of page).
Pomperaug District Department of Health Update – Number of Cases 8/31020
- Total: 364
- Oxford: 96
- Southbury: 209
- Woodbury 59
- Deaths: 45
As of 8/31/2020, there were 16,534 COVID-19 tests done for residents of Oxford, Southbury , and Woodbury. Of these tests done, approximately 3% were positive. The percentage of positive tests has been decreasing over time. Note that the number of positive tests is greater than the number of cases. That is because some people had multiple tests.
- COVID-19 Question Hotlines
- How COVID-19 is Spread
- Steps protect yourself and others
- Preparing your household
- Testing for COVID-19
- What to do if you are sick
- Helpful Links
- I’ve been sick, how do I stop home isolation?
- Recovered from COVID-19? Consider Donating Plasma to Help Others
Nuvance Health (Danbury Hospital) 800-350-1595
Griffin Health 203-204-1053
Pediatric Hotline – Connecticut Children’s Medical Center 1-833-226-2362
Hartford Healthcare 1-833-621-0600
Yale New Haven Health 1-833-ASK-YNHH (1-833-275-9644)
The State of Connecticut has an info line for people who may have general questions related to coronavirus (COVID19): Call 2-1-1.
Check with your health insurance company about their telehealth options. If you are mildly ill, is a good way to get answers about your symptoms without leaving your home. It is one of the ways that can be used to lessen the burden on the healthcare system, particularly hospital emergency departments.
How COVID-19 is Spread
The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). The more closely a person interacts with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about how this virus spreads.
Steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:
- Wash your hands frequently. Wash for 20 seconds with soap and water. Be sure to wash your hands when you come home from public places. If you do not have access to soap & water, use an alcohol-based (at least 60%) hand sanitizer. Use enough sanitizer to thoroughly cover your hands and rub until dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose with unwashed hands.
- At home, avoid close contact with people who are sick. maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members. * Outside of your home, put distance (at least 6 feet) between yourself and other people. Do not gather in groups. Avoid crowded areas; this is especially important if you are at higher risk for severe illness.
- Wear a face mask or a cloth face covering when you go in public places to slow the spread of the virus. Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others even when wearing a face cover.
- Frequently disinfect “high-touch” surfaces, such as, tables, door knobs, light switches, remote controls, keyboards, phones etc. Don’t forget the surfaces in your car, like the steering wheel. If surfaces are dirty, clean them prior to using the disinfectant. Use a household disinfectant according to the label instructions for disinfection.
- Know the symptoms of COVID-19 and monitor your health daily.
- Stay home if you are sick except to get medical care. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, read about what to do if you are sick. Do not visit anyone in the hospital or a nursing home and do not attend large gatherings if you are not feeling well or if someone is your household has COVID-19. If you are ill, do not go to work – protect your co-workers and the business you work for.
- If you are not wearing a face covering, cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue. Discard the tissue in the trash. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer. If you don’t have a tissue, use the crook of your elbow.
Preparing your household:
- Have a plan in place for childcare in the event that schools or daycare facilities are closed. Sometimes these closures occur to slow the spread of transmission within a community or because absenteeism is very high. If schools are closed, children and teenagers should not gather in public places – keep them home.
- Have plan for taking care of sick family members. This includes having necessary supplies on hand (medicines, disinfectants, masks, etc.) and planning the best way to keep the sick person(s) separate from the healthy persons.
- Have enough household supplies (food, paper products, medicines, cleaning supplies) on hand in case you need to stay home for a couple of weeks . If you order them, plan on a longer delivery time than normal.
- If your employer will allow you to work from home, be sure to have everything in place, if this should become necessary.
- Prior to travel abroad, review the CDC advisories regarding travel. Also, be familiar with Connecticut’s Travel Advisory for travel to other states.
Testing for COVID-19
Currently in CT, the testing for COVID-19 is readily available. Testing is not available through the Pomperaug District Department of Health. There are many testing sites have been established at various locations, typically at hospitals and some urgent care offices. Some things to know:
- Testing requires doctors orders. Be sure to understand if they are electronically transmitted to the testing site or if you have to bring a copy.
- Doctors orders can often be obtained through the organization’s telehealth system.
- You will likely need to bring current photo ID and your insurance card to the testing site.
- Some testing sites restrict the number of people who can be in the car.
- The test consists of a nasal-pharyngeal swab; it is not a blood test.
If you are getting tested because you think you have COVID-19, you should stay home while you await test results. In most cases, people who have positive test results will be contacted by their local health department for follow-up and contact tracing.
What to do if you are sick
- Common symptoms of coronavirus are cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, aches and pains, tiredness, new loss of sense of taste or smell. Other symptoms can include: sore throat, headache, nasal congestion, runny nose, cough with sputum or blood-stained sputum, diarrhea, and nausea. There are reports of people having conjunctivitis or sores on their toes. Please note that all of these can be symptoms of other illnesses as well as COVID-19.
- If you have COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19, read What to Do If You Are Sick
- If you are at higher risk for severe illness because you are an older adult or you have certain medical conditions, call your healthcare provider for advice.
- Stay home except to get medical care. Avoid public areas. Avoid public transportation, including ride sharing. If you are mildly ill with COVID-19 you can isolate at home during your illness, you may not need medical care. If you are mildly ill, and have questions about your symptoms, consider calling one of the hotlines listed above or the telehealth options offered by many health insurance plans.
- Monitor your symptoms carefully. The CDC has a Self Checker to guide you in seeking appropriate medical care. Symptoms may get much worse in the second week of illness. Seek prompt medical attention if your symptoms worsen. Call 911 if you are having difficulty breathing, let them know you have symptoms of COVID-19. Call your doctor before going to their office – they will instruct you on what you should do to minimize spread once you arrive at their office; they may have a designated area to screen patients. Wear a face mask, if you have one.
- Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home. Stay in a separate room, separate from other household members. Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
- Members of your household and other close contacts should self-quarantine for 14 days after their last contact with you while you were symptomatic.
- Call ahead before visiting your doctor if you have symptoms of COVID-19. This will help them take steps to prevent other people from getting exposed.
- If you are sick, wear a face mask when you are around other people. If you cannot wear a face mask, either because you don’t have any or because it causes difficulty breathing, stay isolated from other household members. The person that is taking care of you should wear a face mask.
- Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue. Dispose of the tissue in a trash can. Wash your hands.
- Clean your hands often. Wash with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Use enough sanitizer to thoroughly cover your hands and rub until dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid sharing personal household items such as dishes, eating utensils, towels, and bedding.
- If you are sick or have sick household members, frequently disinfect high-touch surfaces, such as door knobs and handles, faucet handles, remote controls, table tops, etc. Use a disinfectant that is effective against COVID-19.Look at the EPA number on your product to see if it is on the EPA list.. To ensure proper disinfection, it’s important to follow the instructions for contact or standing time.
I’ve Been Sick, How Should I Stop Home Isolation?
People with COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19 who have stayed home can stop home isolation under the following conditions:
- At least 24 hours with no fever (without the use if fever reducing medication) AND
- improvement in symptoms, AND
- At least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared
Individuals with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 who have not had ANY symptoms may discontinue home isolation when at least 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test and have had NO subsequent illness, provided they remain asymptomatic. If symptoms develop, then the symptom based strategy (above) should be used.
People with a weakened immune system due to a health condition or medication might need to stay home longer than 10 days. Talk to your healthcare provider for more information.
People who have close contact with someone with COVID-19 should stay home for 14 days after exposure based on the time it takes to develop illness.
The CDC has specific guidance for healthcare workers about when they can return to work if they were under home isolation for COVID-10 or symptoms of COVID-19.
Recovered from COVID-19? Consider Donating Plasma to Help Others.
If you had COVID-19 and have recovered, you may be able to save a life. Your blood may contain antibodies that fight the virus and can help critically ill people. Nuvance Health (Danbury Hospital) and Hartford Healthcare have programs for plasma donations. Click on links for more information about who is eligible and how to sign up.
Here are some helpful CDC links to get up-to-date information:
Please note that the information in these links is frequently updated
- Re-opening Guidance – Cleaning & Disinfecting Businesses, Workplaces, Public Places, Schools, Homes
- Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19
- CDC’s Interactive Corona Virus Self-Checker – Should I Seek Medical Treatment?
- About Antibody Testing
- Children and COVID-19
- How to Prepare
- Managing Stress and Anxiety
- Disinfecting Your Home if Someone is Sick
- Steps to Prevent Illness in Yourself and Others
- Older Adults & People With Serious Health Conditions
- If you are Sick or Caring for Someone
- Getting Your Household Ready
- Frequently Asked Questions
- General Information About COVID-19
- Travel in the United States
- Information for Travelers
- Resources for Businesses and Employers
- Disinfecting Your Facility if Someone is Sick
Other Helpful Links
- Connecticut’s COVID-19 Response – Information on a wide range of topics related to COVID-19
- FAQ’s on the State of CT’s Actions Related to COVID-19
- Emergency Orders issued by the Governor of CT
- State of CT Business Resources
- CT Dept. of Labor – How to File for Unemployment Benefits
- State of CT Information for Consumers
- News Updates from the CT Governor’s Office – Coronavirus Response Efforts
- VA – Information for Veterans
- Information for Pet Owners and Veterinarians
- What you need to know (EN) (325KB)
- What to do if you are sick (EN) (465KB)
- How to Protect Yourself and Others (263KB)
- Important Info About Cloth Face Coverings (619KB)
- CDC Instructions on How to Make a Cloth Face Mask (757KB)
- How to Safely Wear & Remove a Cloth Face Covering (429KB)
- What do I do with gloves after I use them? (315KB)
- Disinfectants Effective Against COVID-19 (940KB)
- Guidance for Living in Close Quarters or with Extended Family (487KB)
- Resuming Business Toolkit (1MB)
- Connecticut's Travel Advisory
- State of CT Guidance for Schools
- CDC Guidance on Schools
- FDA Hand Sanitizer Recall
- Sector Rules for May 20 and June 17 Reopen - Food Service, Salons, Pools, etc
- Safe Workplace Rules for Essential Employers
- CT Business Reopening and Recovery Center - Get your Self Certification
- CT Department of Public Health
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
- World Health Organization (WHO) Coronavirus Outbreak Information
- Town of Southbury
- Town of Woodbury
- Town of Oxford
- National Library of Medicine