SHELTON — The death toll from coronavirus-related complications continues to mount in Shelton, with five more residents reported dead Tuesday, bringing the number of city deaths to 48.

Naugatuck Valley Health District stated Tuesday that four were residents of a city nursing home or assisted living facility. The fifth Shelton resident was inpatient at an area hospital, where she died.

"The health district staff offers our sincerest condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their loved ones,” said NVHD Director Jessica Stelmaszek.

Overall, there are 263 positive cases in the city, by far the most in the Valley, according to NVHD data released Tuesday. In all, there are 54 Valley deaths from complications related to COVID-19, and 48 of those deaths were residents of nursing homes or assisted living 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, said Stelmaszek, adding that this is not a determination of the cause of death.

The Valley now has 620 positive cases, according to Stelmaszek, adding that the increase in local cases is largely related to “catch up of data entry by the state Department of Public Health into the shared secure online disease surveillance system as well as the recent implementation of a new method for reporting cases to the DPH by the labs and providers.”

Stelmaszek said the health district is continuing to urge residents to stay home as much as possible and practice social distancing by keeping 6 feet between you and others if you must go out.

“It is evident that we remain in the acceleration phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning we are consistently receiving an increasing number of cases,” Stelmaszek said. “With an increasing number of cases, we can expect that we will continue to see an increased number of COVID-19-related deaths. We expect the Valley cases to continue to rise over the next few days.”

To minimize the amount of people who can be exposed, Stelmaszek said families should designate one person per household to do grocery shopping or other necessary errands. Those going out in public should wear a cloth face covering, she added.

Of the Valley deaths, 40 were people 80 and older, 13 were between 70 and 79, and one was between 60 and 69 years of age.

Beside Shelton’s 249 positive cases, there are 97 in Naugatuck, 96 in Ansonia, 86 in Seymour including five deaths, 56 in Derby, with one death reported Monday, and 22 in Beacon Falls.

Data show that 171, or 28 percent, of the 620 confirmed cases among Valley residents are individuals who currently reside in a nursing home, assisted living facility, group home or similar setting. Overall, 122 of Shelton’s 263 confirmed COVID-19 cases are residents of nursing or assisting living facilities.

Positive cases cover a wide range of ages, with Valley data showing that 128 people are 80 and older; 61 are between 70 and 79; 101 are between 60 and 69; 92 are between 50 and 59; 98 are between 40 and 49; 82 are between 30 and 39; 53 are between 20 and 29; and five between 10 and 19 years of age.

Gov. Ned Lamont’s executive orders have shuttered all schools until at least May 20 and directed employees at nonessential businesses to stay home until further notice. Gatherings of more than five people are prohibited. The governor has stated that schools may remain closed until the fall.

“Residents should continue to heed the advice of their chief elected officials and stay home as much as possible and continue to practice social distancing to avoid exposure and further spread of the virus,” Stelmaszek said.

The state Department of Public Health now publishes a report at ct.gov/coronavirus that breaks down positive COVID-19 cases by town.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com