Shelton nursing home death toll mounts because of coronavirus

Shelton City Hall.

Shelton City Hall.

Contributed photo

SHELTON — Another day brings more reported coronavirus-related deaths at city nursing homes.

Three more deaths bring the total of Shelton deaths from COVID-19-related complications to 68, 67 of whom were residents of one of the city’s four nursing homes, according to data released by the Naugatuck Valley Health District Wednesday. Shelton’s positive tests have risen to 350.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the individuals who have passed away from complications due to COVID-19,” said NVHD Director Jessica Stelmaszek.

“Our condolences continue go out to the families and friends of those who have passed away,” 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 862 positive cases in the Valley and 87 deaths — with 15 in Seymour, two in Derby and one each in Ansonia and Naugatuck — from complications related to COVID-19, and 72 of those deaths were residents of nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

Statewide, positive cases topped 22,000 — 9,883 of those in Fairfield County — with 1,544 deaths from COVID-19-related complications. Overall, there are 1,972 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. 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.

Of the Valley deaths, 62 were people 80 and older, 19 were between 70 and 79, five were between 60 and 69 years of age, and one was between 40 and 49.

Beside Shelton’s 350 positive cases reported Wednesday, there were 140 in Ansonia, 135 in Naugatuck, 130 in Seymour, 78 in Derby and 29 in Beacon Falls.

Data show that 236, or 27 percent, of the 862 confirmed cases among Valley residents are individuals who currently reside in a nursing home, assisted living facility, group home or similar setting. Overall, 159 of Shelton’s 350 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 172 people are 80 and older; 80 are between 70 and 79; 142 are between 60 and 69; 140 are between 50 and 59; 134 are between 40 and 49; 113 are between 30 and 39; 74 are between 20 and 29; and seven 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.