COVID cases mount in Shelton as five more die with virus

Exterior of Shelton City Hall, in Shelton, Conn. Jan. 11, 2021.

Exterior of Shelton City Hall, in Shelton, Conn. Jan. 11, 2021.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

SHELTON — The city had five more COVID-related deaths last week as positive virus cases continue to rise, according to state data released on Monday.

Overall, positive cases in the city rose by 156 this past week.

The city, like nearly all communities in the state, remains in red alert status. In the state Department of Public Health data released on Monday, Shelton has had 2,378 confirmed coronavirus cases since the onset of the pandemic in mid-March.

The city has reported 161 COVID-related deaths, one of the most recent being Gregory Sember, a 59-year city custodian who had been working at Plumb Memorial Library. Sember’s death, along with seven other positive cases since early January, forced the city to close the library indefinitely.

DPH data shows 18,890 city residents have been tested through Monday.

Shelton’s positive numbers did see a slight drop in the two-week data recording done by the state DPH. Over a two-week period, Jan. 3-16, 280 residents tested positive, a rate of 48.7 per 100,000 people. This was down from 304 over the previous two-week recording period.

According to data collected by the school district’s central office, 17 school community members have tested positive between Jan. 20-25, yet only four — an individual from Shelton High on Jan. 20 and one each at Shelton Intermediate, Booth Hill and Perry Hill schools on Jan. 22 — required contact tracing, which has been completed.

None of the remaining positive cases — five at Booth Hill School, four at Elizabeth Shelton School, three each at Shelton High and Perry Hill schools, and one at Shelton Intermediate — required contact tracing because they “were not in the school environment.”

Schools moved to all remote learning on Nov. 11 due to limited staffing, with so many instructors being forced to isolate at that time. Schools reopened for in-class learning on Jan. 11.