COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Updated 3/30/2020

Message from the Director of Health

We can now assume 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. 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).

State of CT – Number of Cases 3/31/2020

Pomperaug District Department of Health Update – Number of Cases – as of 3/25/2020

  • Southbury: 13
  • Woodbury: 5
  • Oxford: 11


QUICK JUMP

COVID-19 Hotlines
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.

Telehealth
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

Person-to-person spread of the virus is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. 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.

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 between yourself and other people. Avoid crowded areas; this is especially important if you are at higher risk for severe illness.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If you are sick, wear a mask when you are around other people. If you are not sick, you do not need to wear one, unless you are caring for a sick person who cannot wear a mask. Masks are in sort supply – save the masks for caregivers if you are not sick.
  • 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.

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 limited. It is done on a case-by-case basis under criteria determined by the CT Department of Public Health. Testing is typically done in a hospital setting or at mobile testing site with doctors orders. Several mobile testing sites have been established at various locations.The test consists of a nasal-pharyngeal swab, It is not a blood test. Testing is not available at the Pomperaug District Department of Health. 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.

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. Yo u must have a doctor’s order and bring proper identification. you can bring the order with you or the doctor can submit it electronically. 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. Must have a doctors order and an appointment for the test. Your doctor will give you the phone number to schedule the appointment You must bring a valid photo ID and insurance card. For more information: visit the Nuvance Health COVID-19 Collection Site webpage.

Griffin Hospital: 203-204-1053 (main number for hospital). Will open on 3/17/2020

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 doctors 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

What to do if you are sick

  • Common symptoms of coronavirus are fever, dry cough, tiredness, aches and pains, and shortness of breath. Some less common 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 losing their sense of smell or taste associated with COVID-19. Please note that all of these can be symptoms of other illnesses as well as COVID-19.
  • If you are at higher risk for severe illness (over 60; with underlying health conditions such as 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 option offered by many health insurance plans.
  • Monitor your symptoms carefully. 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 facemask, 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 facemask when you are around other people. If you cannot wear a facemask, 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.
  • 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.

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 three conditions:

  1. You have no fever for at least 72 hours (3 full days of no fever without the use of fever reducing medication), AND
  2. Other symptoms have improved (example: your cough or shortness of breath have improved), AND
  3. at least 7 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 7 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test and have had NO subsequent illness.

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.

Here are some helpful CDC links to get up-to-date information:
Please note that the information in these links is frequently updated

Other Helpful Links