Shelton nursing home deaths reach 60

Shelton City Hall.

Shelton City Hall.

Contributed photo

SHELTON — Coronavirus continues to ravage the city’s nursing homes, with five more deaths there reported on Monday.

In all, 60 of the 61 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 jumped to 336, by far the highest in the Valley.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who have passed away due to complications from this virus,” said NVHD Director Jessica Stelmaszek.

“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 808 positive cases in the Valley and 77 deaths — with 12 in Seymour, two in Derby and one each in Ansonia and Naugatuck — from complications related to COVID-19, and 63 of those deaths were residents of nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

Statewide, there are 19,815 positive cases — 8,320 of those in Fairfield County — with 1,331 deaths from COVID-19-related complications. Overall, there are 1,919 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 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.”

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, 55 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 336 positive cases, reported Thursday, there are 130 in Ansonia, 125 in Seymour, 120 in Naugatuck, 73 in Derby and 24 in Beacon Falls.

Data show that 227, or 28 percent, of the 808 confirmed cases among Valley residents are individuals who currently reside in a nursing home, assisted living facility, group home or similar setting. Overall, 155 of Shelton’s 336 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 170 people are 80 and older; 78 are between 70 and 79; 132 are between 60 and 69; 130 are between 50 and 59; 123 are between 40 and 49; 104 are between 30 and 39; 66 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.