SHELTON — Four more Shelton residents died from coronavirus-related complications since Saturday, bringing the number of city deaths to 43.

Naugatuck Valley Health District stated Monday that all four were residents of a city nursing home or assisted living facility. City Public Safety Director Michael Maglione said all five such facilities in Shelton have at least one case of COVID-19, whether a resident or employee.

"The health district staff offers our sincerest condolences to the families and friends of those who have passed away,” said NVHD Director Jessica Stelmaszek.

Overall, there are 249 positive cases in the city, by far the most in the Valley, according to NVHD data released Monday. In all, there are 48 Valley deaths from complications related to COVID-19, and 43 of those deaths were residents of nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

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 Maglione, adding that this is not a determination of the cause of death.

The Valley now has 578 positive cases, according to Stelmaszek, adding that the increase in local cases is largely related to “catch up of data entry by the state Department of Public Health into the shared secure online disease surveillance system as well as the recent implementation of a new method for reporting cases to the DPH by the labs and providers.”

Stelmaszek said the health district is 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. We expect the Valley cases to continue to rise over the next few days.”

To minimize the amount of people who can potentially 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, 37 were people 80 and older, 10 were between 70 and 79, and one was between 60 and 69 years of age.

Beside Shelton’s 249 positive cases, there are 90 in Ansonia, 87 positives in Naugatuck, 77 in Seymour including four deaths, 55 in Derby, with one death reported Monday, and 20 in Beacon Falls.

Data show that 161, or 28 percent, of the 578 confirmed cases among Valley residents are individuals who currently reside in a nursing home, assisted living facility, group home or similar setting. Overall, 118 of Shelton’s 249 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 124 people are 80 and older; 59 are between 70 and 79; 86 are between 60 and 69; 87 are between 50 and 59; 91 are between 40 and 49; 76 are between 30 and 39; 50 are between 20 and 29; and five between 10 and 19 years of age.

Gov. Ned 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.

For more information about making or using cloth face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.

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

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com