Shelton coronavirus cases jump to 34

SHELTON — The number of positive coronavirus cases in Shelton jumped by 10 over the past 24 hours, four days after the city’s first confirmed COVID-19 related death.

The Naugatuck Valley Health District updated the number of positive coronavirus cases in Shelton to 34 in data released Monday.

The health district, in a release last week, stated that “community spread/transmission is now occurring in the Valley. People have been infected with the virus, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected. Please practice social distancing and stay home as much as possible.”

In all, there are 72 residents in the Naugatuck Valley that as of 5 p.m. March 30 had tested positive for COVID-19. Most of the positive tests have been from Shelton, followed by 12 in Ansonia, 10 in Seymour, nine in Naugatuck, five in Derby, and two in Beacon Falls. No specific information was available on the Shelton residents.

“During the last 24 hours, NVHD has received a significant amount of reports of positive COVID-19 cases among residents,” said NVHD Director Jessica Stelmaszek, adding that some of these reports were for testing performed as far back as March 16 and as recent as March 25.

The NVHD states that, of the 37 testing positive in the Valley, six men and six women are 80 and older; five men and two women are between 70 and 79; four men and five women between 60 and 69; seven women and one man are between 50 and 59; six men and four women between 40 and 49; nine men and 10 women are between 30 and 39; and three men and four women are between 20 and 29.

Statewide, as of March 30, there were more than 2,500 confirmed cases and 36 reported deaths, including the man from Shelton. Gov. Ned Lamont’s executive orders have shuttered all schools until at least April 20, and closed all “nonessential” businesses, until further notice. Lamont said last week that schools may remain closed until the fall, and there can be no gatherings of more than five people.

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

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

The NVHD release states that the physician who ordered the coronavirus test for the patient and health district staff will contact individuals who test positive for COVID-19.

“Those individuals will remain in quarantine at their homes,” stated the NVHD release. “Individuals who reside in the same household as a laboratory confirmed positive case will also be required to self-quarantine at their home. Health department staff will work with the patients to investigate and determine if additional individuals need to be notified or require 14-day self-monitoring periods at home. If an individual is inpatient or in a healthcare facility, that facility will lead the investigation.”

Stelmaszek said health district officials are “hopeful that some of our residents will start meeting criteria to come out of self-isolation. Most individuals in Connecticut will not have a test to determine if they are still contagious.”

People with COVID-19 who have remained home isolated can stop home isolation under the following conditions:

They have had no fever for at least 72 hours — three full days of no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers, and;

other symptoms— a cough or shortness of breaths — have improved; and

at least seven days have passed since the symptoms first appeared.