10 more Shelton deaths, all nursing home residents
SHELTON — The city - same as the state — experienced its deadliest day of the coronavirus pandemic so far with 10 deaths Monday into Tuesday, bringing the number of local deaths to 27, according health district data.
Gov. Ned Lamont announced Tuesday that the state, overall, has a total of 277 COVID-19-related deaths. Statewide, there are 7,781 confirmed positive cases, an increase if 875 since Monday, with 1,308 presently hospitalized.
In Shelton, positive cases rose nearly 20 in 24 hours to 147, by far the most in the Valley. Overall, there are 313 positive cases in the Valley, with 52 in Naugatuck, 41 in Ansonia, 33 in Seymour, 26 in Derby and 14 in Beacon Falls. The only other COVID-19-related death in the Valley was reported in Seymour.
“We send our condolences to the families,” said Public Safety Director Michael Maglione. “We understand the loss for families who couldn’t be with their loved ones at the end is even more tragic. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”
Naugatuck Valley Health District Director Jessica Stelmaszek said the spike in cases in the Valley, as well as the state, is evidence that Connecticut remains in the acceleration phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With an increasing number of cases, we can expect that we will continue to see an increase number of COVID-19-related deaths,” said Stelmaszek. “We expect the Valley cases to continue to rise over the next few days. We will continue to remain in this phase until we are consistently seeing declining cases, at which point we move into the deceleration phase of the pandemic.”
Stelmaszek said, of the 28 overall Valley deaths, 26 were residents of nursing homes or assisted living facilities. All of the 10 Shelton residents who died Monday into Tuesday resided in such facilities.
For public health surveillance, laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 associated deaths are defined as patients who tested positive for COVID-19 around the time of death; this is not a determination of the cause of death, she said.
Data show that 95, or 34 percent, of the 279 confirmed cases among Valley residents are individuals who currently reside in a nursing home, assisted living facility, group home or similar setting. Eighty of Shelton’s 129 confirmed COVID-19 cases are residents of nursing or assisting living facilities.
Of the Valley deaths, 21 were people 80 and older, six were between 70 and 79, and one was between 60 and 69 years of age.
Three Shelton assisted living facilities — Apple Rehab Shelton Lakes, Bishop Wicke Health and Rehabilitation and Gardner Heights Health Care Center — all were listed as having a worker or individual test positive for the coronavirus, according to state health officials.
More than 50 such facilities across the state have at least one worker or resident who has tested positive for the virus.
Maglione said last week that several positive cases are in the city’s nursing home community, but the virus is also among the general population. There are five nursing home facilities in Shelton, according to Maglione, housing some 450 residents altogether.
“Positive cases are scattered throughout the city,” said Maglione. “That is why we constantly reinforce social distancing. Stay away from crowds … and wash your hands.”
Lamont’s executive orders have shuttered all schools until at least April 20 and closed all nonessential businesses until further notice. Gatherings of more than five people are prohibited. The governor said last week that schools may remain closed until the fall.
“Residents should continue to heed the advice of their chief elected officials,” said Stelmaszek, “and stay home as much as possible and continue to practice social distancing to avoid exposure and further spread of the virus.”
Maglione said there are no plans to close parks, trails or the Shelton High School track, adding that city residents are maintaining social distance, and “we are not seeing groups of 15, 20 people walking together or gathered talking. All the emergency services would like to thank Shelton residents for following social distance guidelines.”
The NVHD defines a “person under investigation” as anyone who has been identified as someone who may have the virus that causes COVID-19 or who was under investigation but tested negative.
“The health district has received many requests to report ‘recovery’ statistics,” said Stelmaszek. “Currently, there is no reliable recovery data available. Health district staff will continue to work with patients to determine when an individual meets the CDC’s criteria to come out of self-isolation.”
The state Department of Public Health now publishes a report at www.ct.gov/coronavirus that breaks down positive COVID-19 cases by town.