Message from the Director of Health
There is community wide transmission of COVID-19 in CT. A key public health goal is to minimize the number of people who get seriously ill at the same time. If too many people become very sick all at once, this will put an unmanageable burden on our healthcare system. If that happens, people may not be able to get the medical care when they need it. As a community, we can work together to slow or reduce transmission to protect our healthcare system and those who are at most risk for serious illness. That means staying home except to work or to obtain essentials. If you must go out for essentials, wear a face mask and maintain a six-foot distance from other people. This is not a time to panic or be fearful. Most people will have mild illness that may not require medical care. Please become familiar with how you can protect yourself and others, particularly the most vulnerable in our communities. Know what to do if you or a family member becomes ill.
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 5/21/2020
- Total: 273
- Oxford: 79
- Southbury: 154
- Woodbury: 40
- Deaths: 38
So far, there have been 2291 COVID-19 tests done for residents of Oxford, Southbury , and Woodbury. Of these tests done, approximately 15% were positive. 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
Individuals experiencing symptoms are encouraged to call the hotlines to mitigate the high-volume call-intake of hospital emergency departments and medical practices.
Danbury Hospital 888-667-9262 For the community. Other inquiries can be answered on the hospital’s website. Hours of operation: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; seven days a week*
Griffin Health 203-204-1053 Staffed by Griffin Health caregivers. Hours of operation: Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.*
Trinity Health of New England (St. Mary’s Hospital) 1-888-786-2790 Staffed by clinicians. *Hours of operation: daily, 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM.
Pediatric Hotline – Connecticut Children’s Medical Center 1-833-226-2362 For parents and pediatricians. Staffed by Connecticut Children’s clinicians. *Hours of operation: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition to the hotline, Connecticut Children’s has also launched a Coronavirus Information Center.
Hartford Healthcare (860) 972-8100 or (toll-free) (833) 621-0600 For the general public and clinicians. Manned by healthcare professionals. Hours of operation: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Yale New Haven Health 1-833-ASK-YNHH (1-833-275-9644) Staffed by healthcare professionals. The call center is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m, Monday – Friday.
The State of Connecticut has launched 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, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). 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, but this is not thought to be the main way the 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.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 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 and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. 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. Use a household disinfectant according to the label instructions for disinfection.
- 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. 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 (not a couple of months or years). 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
Testing for COVID-19
Currently in CT, the testing capacity for COVID-19 is becoming more readily available. Testing is not available through the Pomperaug District Department of Health. Currently there are many mobile testing sites have been established at various locations, typically at hospitals and some urgent care offices. Some things to know:
- Testing at mobile testing sites require 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.
Call the hospital/testing site or visit their website for the most current information and to find out what you need to get tested. As more information becomes available, we will update our information.
PhysicianOne Urgent Care, Southbury: 855-349-2828 Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM and Weekends/Holidays, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM. Call with questions about COVID-19 testing, symptoms or exposure or visit www.P1UC.com. Local number for PhysicianOne Urgent Care is 203-262-1911.
DOCS Urgent Care, 203-437-8368 Waterbury. Telemedicine appointment required prior to test. Antibody test also available. DOCS Medical Group Telemedicine & Testing
Waterbury Hospital Mobile Testing Facility: 203-573-6000. Open 7 days a week, 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM. Must have a doctors order. The doctor can fax it or you can bring it with you. Must also bring a valid ID and insurance card. Call before you go.
Saint Mary’s Hospital: 203-709-6000. Open 7 days a week, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM. The screening site can be accessed in the lower level of the Visitor’s Garage on Cole Street in Waterbury. For more information visit their website.
Danbury Hospital – Nuvance Health: 203-739-4344. Monday – Saturday, 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM. For more information: visit the Nuvance Health COVID-19 Collection Site webpage.
Griffin Hospital: 203-204-1053 (main number for hospital).
Murphy Medical Associates: 203-658-6051. Three testing sites located in Stratford, Stamford, & Greenwich. Testing done Monday – Friday, 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM. You must register on their website. Visit their website for additional information and instructions.
Hartford HealthCare: Mobile Test Site. Must have a referral from a Hartford HealthCare Medical Group provider or by a virtual visit done by a doctor at the Hartford HealthCare Clinic Command Center: 860-972-8100. Testing Sites are located in Hartford, St. Vincent in Bridgeport, Meriden, Norwich and Torrington. Visit their website for more information.
Other testing sites – a doctor’s order is required:
Bridgeport Hospital • Bristol Health • Greenwich Hospital • Johnson Memorial Hospital (Stafford Springs) • Lawrence Memorial Hospital (New London) • Manchester Memorial Hospital • Norwalk Hospital • Rockville General Hospital (Vernon) • Saint Francis Hospital (Hartford) • Stamford Hospital • UConn John Dempsey Hospital (Farmington) • Yale-New Haven Hospital
Free Rapid Tests for COVID-19 The State of Connecticut in partnership with CVS Healthcare is providing free, rapid COVID-19 tests to eligible Connecticut residents at the state’s first rapid testing site located in New Haven. Anyone experiencing certain COVID-19 related symptoms and risk factors as defined by CDC guidelines, as well as those who meet certain requirements including state residency and age guidelines, are eligible.You must register online and schedule a time slot prior to arriving to the test site. Anyone who does not have an appointment will not be tested. The testing will be held at the former Gateway Community College parking lot (60 Sargent Drive, New Haven). All patients must arrive in a vehicle. At this time, walk-up testing is not being offered. The process takes approximately 30 minutes from the collection of the swab to the delivery of the results
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 (over 60; with underlying health conditions such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease; a weakened immune system; are pregnant), 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. If masks are available, the person that is taking care of you should wear one.
- 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 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery. Recovery is defined as no fever (without the use if fever reducing medication) AND improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath), 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.
Healthcare workers should check with their employers for guidance 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
- April 30, 2020 Governor Lamont outlines phased-in approach to reopening Connecticut’s economy
- 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)
- CT DPH Return to Work Guidance for Healthcare Workers and First Responders (254KB)
- CT Long Term Care Plan FAQ's (160KB)
- Sector Rules for May 20 Reopen
- Map of CT COVID-19 Cases by UCONN Dept. of Geography
- CT Department of Public Health
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
- National Library of Medicine
- World Health Organization (WHO) Coronavirus Outbreak Information
- Town of Southbury
- Town of Woodbury
- Town of Oxford
- Safe Workplace Rules for Essential Employers