Shelton coronavirus-related deaths hit 65

Shelton City Hall.

Shelton City Hall.

Contributed photo

SHELTON — Four more coronavirus-related deaths — three from nursing homes — were reported in the city Tuesday.

In all, 63 of the 65 deaths in Shelton were residents of one of the four nursing homes, according to data released by the Naugatuck Valley Health District. The news comes as the number of the city’s positive cases increased by three to 339, still highest in the Valley.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends who are mourning the loss of their loved ones,” said NVHD Director Jessica Stelmaszek.

Stelmaszek said the health district was made aware of four COVID-19-associated deaths — three in Shelton, one in Seymour — among nursing home residents. The fourth city resident who died of COVID-19-related complications was a female resident in her 80s.

“Our condolences go out to the families and friends of those we, as a city, have lost,” said city Public Safety Director Michael Maglione, adding that, beside the vast number in the nursing homes and assisted living facilities, there are more than 130 different spots with individuals testing positive throughout Shelton, with varying age ranges.

Overall, there are 829 positive cases in the Valley and 82 deaths — with 13 in Seymour, two in Derby and one each in Ansonia and Naugatuck — from complications related to COVID-19, and 67 of those deaths were residents of nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

Statewide, positive cases topped 20,000 — 8,472 of those in Fairfield County — with 1,423 deaths from COVID-19-related complications. Overall, there are 1,949 people hospitalized with COVID-19. The numbers have prompted Gov. Ned Lamont to order that all residents wear masks or facial coverings when in public while also maintaining social distancing if leaving their home is necessary.

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.

Area health district officials are continuing to urge residents to stay home as much as possible and practice social distancing by keeping six 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.”

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, 60 were people 80 and older, 18 were between 70 and 79, three were between 60 and 69 years of age, and one was between 40 and 49.

Beside Shelton’s 339 positive cases reported Tuesday, there were 132 in Ansonia, 128 in Naugatuck, 127 in Seymour, 76 in Derby and 27 in Beacon Falls.

Data show that 233, or 28 percent, of the 829 confirmed cases among Valley residents are individuals who currently reside in a nursing home, assisted living facility, group home or similar setting. Overall, 157 of Shelton’s 339 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 171 people are 80 and older; 79 are between 70 and 79; 136 are between 60 and 69; 134 are between 50 and 59; 126 are between 40 and 49; 107 are between 30 and 39; 70 are between 20 and 29; and six between 10 and 19 years of age.

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 that breaks down positive COVID-19 cases by town.