Shelton positive COVID cases - city and schools - continue surge

Shelton City Hall.

Shelton City Hall.

Contributed photo

SHELTON — Positive COVID cases continue to surge citywide, including among school community members even with in-person learning suspended until at least Jan. 1, with 278 recorded in a two-week period from Nov. 15 to 28.

More than three dozen positive tests alone were recorded over a 24-hour period last week and one more city resident has died with the illness, according to data released by the Naugatuck Valley Health District (NVHD).

The latest numbers have Michael Maglione, the city’s emergency management director, urging residents to focus on following all necessary safety protocols.

“People like to socialize and because of this they are coming together in groups and not following the basic rules to protect themselves and others,” Maglione said. “It is important to social distance and limit your exposure to those outside of your family or living cohort. If you do have close interaction with others outside your cohort, limit the size of your group to maintain the current state guidelines.

“Continue to wear a mask when inside and in close proximity with other not in your household — this includes driving in vehicles,” Maglione said. “Continue to wash your hands. Continue to social distance. Avoid making unnecessary trips to crowed public places. Plan trips to the store during less crowded times if possible. If you are not feeling well get a COVID test.”

Maglione said residents who have gotten a test must remember to quarantine until they have received their result, and if found positive, must follow their physician’s and local health department guidelines.

“Remember, most people won’t know they are sick until a few days after initial exposure,” Maglione added. “That means a person could be feeling fine on the day you get together and wake up the next day with symptoms having exposed their family and friends the day before.”

Data from the state Department of Public Health, released Dec. 4, has Shelton still in the “red alert” zone, with 48.3 positive cases per 100,000. Overall, the city’s positive cases stand at 1,567 - 1,445 of those confirmed - out of 14,530 total tests since the pandemic began in early March.

The latest recorded death, a 78-year-old resident, brings Shelton’s total to 141 since March.

The latest numbers come as eight more school community members have reported to have tested positive for COVID, according to Interim Superintendent Beth Smith.

“As we approach the holiday season, please remember to wear a mask, practice social distancing and hand hygiene, and follow CDC/DPH guidelines if you gather with friends and family members,” Smith said.

Smith said three individuals at Shelton Intermediate School, two at Shelton High, and one each at Perry Hill, Booth Hill and Mohegan schools have tested positive. No contact tracing was necessary for any of these cases.

In all, 90 individuals district-wide have tested positive since schools reopened in September. Of the 90 positive tests, Smith said 71 have been reported since November.

The spike in cases — and massive numbers of quarantined staffers — forced the school district to send all students to remote instruction on Nov. 11. Students will stay on distance learning until at least Jan. 1, she announced.

“The district will continue to track daily positive cases and contact trace when necessary,” Smith said.

“Please continue to practice hand hygiene, mask wearing and social distancing to assist in keeping yourself and your family safe and healthy,” Smith added.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com