SHELTON — The city continues to see a spike in positive coronavirus cases, with 12 alone in the past 24 hours, according to data released by area health officials Wednesday.

Shelton now has 60 positive COVID-19 cases, with four coronavirus-related deaths. All four residents who died were elderly — three in their 80s, one in her 90s.

Public Safety Director Mike Maglione said a number of 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.”

Naugatuck Valley Health District (NVHD) Director Jessica Stelmaszek said individuals experiencing grief, anxiety or stress can visit http://www.nvhd.org/coping/ for resources.

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 125 residents in the Naugatuck Valley that as of 4 p.m. April 1 had tested positive for COVID-19. Most of the positive tests have been from Shelton, followed by 24 in Ansonia, 23 in Naugatuck, 17 in Seymour, 16 in Derby, and nine in Beacon Falls.

The NVHD states that, of the 152 testing positive in the Valley, 11 men and 14 women are 80 and older; 10 men and seven women are between 70 and 79; 13 men and 14 women between 60 and 69; 15 women and two men are between 50 and 59; 12 men and 11 women between 40 and 49; 13 men and 16 women are between 30 and 39; and five men and six women are between 20 and 29.

Statewide, as of April 1, there were more than 3,500 confirmed cases and 85 reported deaths, including four 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 www.ct.gov/coronavirus 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.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com