Shelton’s COVID-related death toll on rise
SHELTON — Three city residents reportedly died recently of coronavirus-related complications, according to health district data released Tuesday.
The Naugatuck Valley Health District (NVHD) stated the three Shelton residents were men — ranging in age from 60s to 80s — living in nursing homes in the city. These were the first reported deaths of city residents since late last month.
Shelton’s overall number of positive COVID-19 cases also increased from 585 to 590 since the last NVHD report on June 10.
“The increase in these local statistics is due to data entry into the state of Connecticut Electronic Disease Surveillance System and does not necessarily mean the individuals tested positive or passed away in the time since Friday,” said NVHD Director Jessica Stelmaszek.
“Community transmission is still occurring,” added Stelmaszek, “and residents should still follow the current guidance of practicing social distancing, wearing a mask or face covering in public and washing hands frequently and thoroughly.”
Deaths of Shelton residents now stand at 135, with 114 confirmed COVID-19-related, 21 listed as probable.
Statewide, health officials report 47,530 positive cases, an increase of 20 since Monday. The number of deaths over the same period rose three to 4,372.
Hospitalizations continued to decline, dropping eight since Monday to bring the total to 66.
A travel advisory requiring visitors or people returning to Connecticut, New York or New Jersey to quarantine for 14 days has been established. In all, the advisory lists 22 states — as Connecticut continued its strong progress in reducing COVID-19, with 20 new cases out of 2,447 tests reported Tuesday.
The states covered by the travel advisory — based on new COVID-19 cases or percentages of positive tests — now covers nearly half of the continental U.S. with most southern and western states included. It includes the three most populous states, California, Florida and Texas. The closest state on the list to the tri-state area is now Ohio.
Gov. Ned Lamont last week delayed Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan. That means private gatherings will remain at 25 people inside and 100 people outside, bars will remain closed and indoor dining at restaurants and gyms will remain at 50 percent capacity. Large entertainment venues including racetracks will remain at 25 percent capacity.
Lamont did not immediately offer a new date for Phase 3, which was originally slated for July 20.
State campgrounds opened July 8 as planned, and outdoor graduation ceremonies — allowed as of Monday under certain guidelines including capacity limits of 150 people — continued as planned, including last week at Shelton High School.
Shelton remains the hardest hit — both in positive cases and COVID-19-related deaths — in the Valley. Overall, Naugatuck has 388 positive cases, followed by Ansonia, 287; Seymour, 231; Derby, 174; and Beacon Falls, 56. Seymour has 52 coronavirus-related deaths; Naugatuck has 40.
Overall, 475, or 28 percent, of the 1,726 confirmed positive cases in the Valley are individuals who currently reside in a nursing home, assisted living facility, group home, or another similar setting. In Shelton, 256 of the 590 positive cases fall under this category.
Of the 475 facilities, NVHD data states 183, or 39 percent, have died from COVID-19-related complications.
Last month, city hall office hours were expanded to 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. The city website states that offices are open by appointment only, but people can visit the assessor to pay tax bills or the building department.
The Shelton Community Center, senior center, libraries, registrar of voters’ office and the youth service bureau remain closed to the public. The animal shelter is taking reports by phone for routine cases. Plumb Memorial Library is offering drive-up service for material pickups. City officials are also finalizing plans for reopening the community center pool, with final details to be released later.