Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a sudden acute respiratory illness that is spreading rapidly from person-to-person. A new coronavirus caused this disease and created a pandemic - a global outbreak of disease for which there is little to no immunity.
COVID-19 can cause mild to severe illness; most severe illness occurs in older adults. It has interrupted our way of life and created historic disruption. There are many global, federal, state, and local partners responding to this situation.
On March 10, 2020, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announced Public Health and Civil Preparedness Emergencies, effective through September 9, 2020. The declaration of these emergencies allows additional resources and supplies to be deployed to the state of Connecticut – resources that are necessary to identify infection and slow the spread of coronavirus in our communities.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to evolve rapidly and as a result, information and guidance change frequently.
An Open Door Policy...Even When the Doors Are Closed
Latest News from NDDH:
NDDH Office Closed to Public Entry
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak that is impacting communities across the world and in northeast CT, our office is closed to public entry...but we are still working hard behind the scenes (and behind closed doors) for you.
Services are still available Monday – Thursday, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm by the following methods:
Online (24/7): www.nddh.org
USPS Mail: 69 South Main Street,Unit 4, Brooklyn, CT 06234
Our office will not process or approve any Temporary Permit Applications for the foreseeable future. We will keep applications on file for review when the situation changes.
NDDH does not provide testing or medical services for COVID-19.
To date, NDDH has been maintaining situational awareness through weekly teleconferences with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the CT Department of Public Health (DPH). We are conducting countless activities related to preparedness and communicating regularly with town leaders, community partners, and the public.
While we cannot predict the impact of COVID-19 with great certainty, we can assure you that there are many trusted and experienced community partners in our public health system working together to protect our communities.
We are grateful for these partnerships.
Be Ready by Being Informed - Links for Learning
(Admit it...we've been telling you this for years...)
Call 2-1-1 for general questions about COVID-19. Available 24 hours a day; multilingual assistance and TDD/TTY access for those with a hearing impairment. Only intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms. Anyone experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider to seek treatment.
Flattening the Curve
We get ahead of COVID-19 by "flattening the curve." This means we implement measures to prevent everyone from getting sick at the same time. In this way, we give our healthcare systems and providers a fighting chance to keep up with the patient load, which means fewer people who need treatment will be turned away.
At this time, there is no vaccine to prevent the disease or medicine to treat it. Testing is limited and there is a national shortage of personal protective equipment for healthcare personnel. So the only way to flatten the curve is with community mitigation strategies...things like washing your hands, staying home when you are sick, and social distancing. Social distancing measures help to keep people at a distance from each other. Staying at least six feet apart can reduce your chance of getting a respiratory illness like COVID-19.
All across the planet and right here in northeast CT, communities are participating in forms of social distancing:
- Businesses and schools have closed
- Many people are working from home
- Meetings and events have been cancelled
- In some states, there are curfews or orders to "shelter-in-place."
What You Can Do to Slow the Spread
Practice Everyday Preventive Actions Now
Practice and remind others of the importance of using everyday preventive actions that can help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses. Yes, these are simple strategies and they work:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue. Throw the tissue in a lined trash container.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Germs spread this way.
Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily (e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles) using a regular household detergent and water. If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent and water prior to disinfection. For disinfection, a list of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved products is available at Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Fighting Products. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person...between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious foods.
Get an annual flu shot…and future vaccines that are developed to fight new communicable illnesses. The flu shot will not provide protection from COVID-19, but it will protect against the flu, which can be serious. If we avoid severe flu cases, those people won't have to go to the hospital and take up services and beds that will be needed to treat those with COVID-19. Vaccines prevent illness...and save lives.
A Whole Different Kind of March Madness
Decisions Regarding Cancellation or Postponement of Events and Activities
COVID-19 is circulating in northeast Connecticut. Social distancing measures such as school closures and cancellation of public events have been implemented. While these measures are very disruptive to society they are necessary to slow the spread of the disease.
Decision-makers should take common sense steps regarding event cancellation or postponement and make decisions on a case-by-case basis based on their specific situation, event space, target audience, and the ability of community partners, staff, volunteers, and attendees to participate or attend.
Help Us to Help Those Who Need it Most
Key Messages to Keep in Perspective
- People without symptoms should not be tested for COVID-19. Testing individuals with no symptoms is not recommended by the CDC.
- There are many respiratory illnesses circulating in Connecticut, such as the flu and the common cold. Having respiratory symptoms DOES NOT mean that you have COVID-19.
- People are at higher risk for COVID-19 if they have symptoms of the virus (cough, fever, shortness of breath) AND if they were in contact with a positive case of COVID-19 or have traveled to locations with community transmission.
- Someone is considered a contact if they have had direct, face-to-face contact with a person with COVID-19.
- People who are severely ill or think they have COVID-19 should call their healthcare provider for instructions. These people SHOULD NOT go directly to a healthcare facility without first calling a healthcare provider (unless they are experiencing a medical emergency).
- People sick with mild symptoms of respiratory illness should stay home to take care of themselves and stay away from others. This includes distancing themselves from people in their household and vehicles.
- Our local health care systems are preparing for a surge in patients. That means the ability to access emergency care has changed. Learn more with Day Kimball Healthcare’s Drs. John Graham, Marc Cerrone and Infection Preventionist Sarah Healy on the WINY Morning Show.
- Hospitals, clinics, health centers, medical groups, and other healthcare systems are enhancing their efforts to screen and care for people. This will include screening patients outside before you enter the building. Follow instructions on all posted signage. NDDH Director of Health Sue Starkey, Generations Family Health Center Chief Operating Officer Missy Meyers, and Day Kimball Healthcare Interim President Joseph Adiletta detail some of these changes and share information on the WINY Radio Morning Show with Gary O.
- Connecticut nursing homes have been directed by the CT DPH to impose restrictions on all visitors except when a current health state such as end-of-life care is in question.
We're All in This Together
These are unprecedented times. Rely on us for information. Turn to us for facts.
Trust that a caring community like ours is the best defense for whatever comes our way.
We are still connected despite some temporary, yet necessary distance between us.
Take this time to rediscover your family, yourself and reflect on all that really matters.
Challenge reveals character...and COVID-19 is about to see our resilience and resolve.
Keep your spirits up, keep spreading kindness, keep your sense of humor, keep smiling...
and just keep washing your hands.