First Laboratory Confirmed COVID-19 Case in Northeast Connecticut

(BROOKLYN) – On March 19, 2020, the Connecticut Department of Public Health
(CT DPH) reported two positive COVID-19 cases in the jurisdiction of the Northeast District Department of Health (NDDH). On March 21, 2020, CT DPH updated their report to indicate that there is one case of COVID-19 in Woodstock, CT. The second positive test result, originally attributed to Putnam, CT, was removed from the list of cases in Windham County.

“We have seen this happen elsewhere in the state,” said Sue Starkey, NDDH Director of Health. “Results are sometime recorded based on the town where a test was conducted then corrected to reflect the town where the person resides—which is how these statistics are supposed to be reported.”

Due to national shortages of personal protective equipment and testing supplies, communities across the country are focusing on testing individuals who are severely ill and health care providers. In Connecticut, a doctor’s order is required for testing. Many people who display mild symptoms will not be tested. Consequently, the number of positive cases reported is a fraction of the number of true cases.

“We understand the anticipation that many residents feel as they await word of confirmed cases in their towns, however, laboratory tests confirm what we already know; COVID-19 is circulating in this area.” said Starkey. “Now is the time to take action to prevent more cases. Creating physical distance between people is absolutely required to slow the spread of disease. Personal and environmental hygiene continue to be of utmost importance both inside and outside the home.”

NDDH staff will work with positive cases and potential contacts to help them prevent further spread of the disease. In addition, NDDH will continue to work with town leaders, healthcare, schools, emergency medical services and other partners to exchange information, provide education and guidance, and minimize the number of people impacted by the disease.

“People absolutely need to keep their distance from others,” said Starkey. “The illness can spread before symptoms appear—meaning that it can be spread by people who don’t look like they are sick. Going out into the community increases the risk of bringing the disease into your home, potentially infecting you and those you love. Thanks to technology, you can stay connected and be social with others all while keeping your distance. Please, follow the Governor’s instructions. Stay safe. Stay at home.”

Residents and businesses are urged to access up-to-date information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic from reputable sources including:

NDDH

Daily updates on COVID-19 in Connecticut are provided by CT DPH 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

People with general questions about COVID-19 are urged to call 2-1-1.

About NDDH: The Northeast District Department of Health prevents illness, promotes wellness, and protects the health of nearly 85,000 people in the towns of Brooklyn, Canterbury, Eastford, Hampton, Killingly, Plainfield, Pomfret, Putnam, Sterling, Thompson, Union, and Woodstock and the borough of Danielson.