Hope has arrived.
Vaccine is available in northeast CT but is in short supply.
We appreciate your patience as we work to protect our communities.
COVID-19 Testing - Where, When and How to Get a Test
Coronavirus is still circulating in northeastern CT. Testing is still a vital part of identifying and controlling the spread of COVID-19.
Wear your mask. Watch your distance. Wash your hands.
Stay home if you are sick. Get Tested.
New Hours beginning April 12, 2021 for Sema4 Regional Testing Sites:
- Testing Services have been discontinued at the Plainfield Senior Center - 482 Norwich Road, Plainfield
- Quinebaug Valley Community College - 742 Upper Maple Street, Danielson Saturdays, 8:00 am -12:00 pm. This site has a lane for priority workforce.
- Putnam Riverview Market Pavilion - 18 Kennedy Drive, Putnam - Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm. This site has a lane for priority workforce.
Save time at the test sites by downloading and completing your Sema4 Test Form and bringing it with you.
Additional testing locations:
Day Kimball Healthcare has testing available for patients having procedures at Day Kimball Hospital & for symptomatic patients of the Day Kimball Medical Group. Physician orders are required. Contact your physician if you have symptoms of COVID-19.
Here is where you will find regular updates on confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 hospitalizations, and deaths presented in a variety of maps, charts, tables, and graphs. All data in the daily reports are preliminary and data for previous dates may be updated as new reports are received and data errors are corrected.
Who Does What When it Comes to COVID-19?
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) provide important information and guidance to a number of federal and state agencies; local health districts and departments, which have numerous responsibilities in the COVID-19 response; and the general public.
- The Office of Governor Ned Lamont coordinates the COVID-19 response actions of state agencies and provides the public with information necessary to make decisions about their health and wellbeing through regular press conferences and the State's coronavirus website.
- The Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) is responsible for re-opening the economy and issuing guidance for businesses and gatherings.
- Each town has a COVID-19 Municipal Designee who provides education and is responsible for enforcing sector rules for businesses that do not fall under the oversight of public health. Many town leaders also serve as the Municipal Designee.
- Local law enforcement assists in providing education, compliance reminders, and enforces mask wearing and gathering size restrictions.
- The Northeast District Department of Health (NDDH) provides education and enforcement for public health facilities such as food service establishments, hair and nail salons, campgrounds, B & Bs, hotels and motels. NDDH also provides guidance to town leaders, school superintendents, school nurses, healthcare system partners, community partners, and the general public. Note – NDDH provides guidance to all businesses, even those not regulated by the public health code, if there is a positive COVID-19 case confirmed among employees.
- The CT State Department of Education (CSDE) provides guidance for K-12 schools; the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) oversees a network of early childhood care, education, and development programs for families of children birth to age five; and the CT State Colleges & Universities System (CSCU) is responsible for COVID-19 guidance and compliance for the state's 17 colleges and universities.
- All entities work collaboratively to assure compliance in order to protect our communities. It's a big job. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
Check out our latest COVID-19 Prevention Campaigns created in partnership with Generations Family Health Center:
Quick Links to the COVID Content You Need
- Being Well Informed for Your Well Being
- Cloth Face Coverings and Masks
- Links for Learning
- NDDH Services
- Reopening Responsibly
- Slow the Spread
- Testing FAQs
The economy continues to reopen under Sector Rules set by the CT Department of Economic and Community Development. Sector Rules and Certification for Reopening - All businesses subject to the Phase 1 , 2, and 3 reopening rules are required to self-certify prior to opening.
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, (then extended to November 9, 2020, February 9, 2021, now April 20, 2021). 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
NDDH Office Closed to Public Entry
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 and Fridays, 8:00 am - noon by the following methods:
Online (24/7): www.nddh.org
USPS Mail: 69 South Main Street, Unit 4, Brooklyn, CT 06234
Please Note - Regular permits may take ten business days or longer to process after submission. PLEASE WAIT 10 business days before calling to check on a permit application.
NDDH does not provide testing or medical services for COVID-19.
NDDH maintains situational awareness through regular 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.
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.
We recognize that economic health is important to physical, mental, financial, and social health. The health of our community depends on the responsible efforts of state and local agencies, municipal officials, employers, employees, customers and the general public alike. Let's all work together to get this right.
While the State and local communities slowly phase in reopening strategies, it is important to note that residents in high-risk groups with underlying health conditions and over the age of 65 should continue to stay safe and stay home.
The Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) is coordinating business reopenings in CT. You can learn more here.
DECD requires businesses to be certified before reopening through this website. Note, certification is required, and badging is optional. NDDH encourages all businesses to participate in the badging process. The badges are intended to foster customer confidence.
Business owners are responsible for meeting the DECD requirements for re-opening, including procurement of their own Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Here are the important details related to establishments that are subject to routine permitting by NDDH:
- Businesses that have a valid permit from NDDH do not require an inspection from NDDH in order to reopen. (Businesses must obtain a new permit when there is a change in ownership, address or menu. Preoperational inspections are required for new permits. Call NDDH at 860-774-7350 if you have questions.)
- Foodservice operations may apply to their town for approval to operate outdoors; no approval or additional inspections are required by NDDH for town approved outdoor operations. Contact your town hall for information.
- Salon owners should review guidance with their independent contractors to assure that they are in compliance with reopening requirements.
- NDDH will continue to enforce the Public Health Code and will conduct regular inspections for permitted establishments on a routine basis.
Thank you for your efforts to reopen safely!
Everything you do is ESSENTIAL to stop COVID-19. Those at work...those at home...THANK YOU.
These are extraordinarily difficult times for everyone...but everything we are doing is working. Those staying home are slowing the spread. Those who must report to work keep essential services and systems functioning. Employers are taking unparalleled steps to keep employees safe.
Additional CDC Resources
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.
Being Well-Informed Leads to Well-Being
Watch this excellent CDC video to understand how the virus spreads:
It's easy to get overwhelmed by all the information about COVID-19. Here is an exceptional post by Erin S. Bromage, Ph.D., an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. In his own words, Dr. Bromage "enjoys being able to translate scientific data and findings into prose that non-scientist lay people can more readily understand as we navigate through this pandemic." It's well worth the 12-minute read, as evidenced by nearly 16 million views in less than a week.
The list of symptoms grows as we learn more about COVID-19. Discover the CDC's Self-Checker Tool - a guide to help you make decisions and seek appropriate medical care.
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Is it a cold, the flu, or COVID-19?
Here's a handy guide from Yale New Haven Health:
We All Know Superheroes Wear Masks.
Save the PPE for Healthcare and First Responders.
Join the Ranks with a Cloth Face Covering.
The CDC urges Americans to wear cloth face coverings and reserve surgical masks, N95 respirators and other types of personal protective equipment for health care, first responders, and other front line workers.
Vox Video - What Face Masks Actually Do Against Coronavirus
Despite the CDC's recommendation, more surgical masks are becoming available and are being made available to essential employees and the general public. If you absolutely do not have a cloth face covering and only have a surgical mask for use, it is important to use it properly. Masks and cloth face coverings alone cannot protect you from COVID-19. They must be used together with social distancing (6 foot rule) and frequent hand hygiene. Surgical masks were intended for one-time use, but due to shortages, extended use and re-use is recommended. Surgical masks should be discarded if soiled, damaged, or become hard to breathe through. This will vary per individual and their environment.
Video – A Sarasota Memorial Hospital RN shows proper putting on (donning), taking off (doffing), and storing of a surgical mask:
Flattening the Curve - We Flattened It Once, Let's Do it Again.
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.
We did a great job to flatten the curve in the spring of 2020 in northeast CT with community mitigation strategies...things like wearing a cloth face covering, 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.
The purple line shows us what it looks like when social distancing measures start to work:
Note how the purple curve that represented Connecticut's eastern counties "flattened out," with a projected "peak" in mid-to-late May, 2020. This meant that our local healthcare systems had some extra time to prepare...and as hospitalization and case rates began to decline in western counties, there were more resources to deploy to eastern CT, if needed. Our numbers were among the lowest in the state.
And then came the fall....
The State began to issue Town Alert maps in late October to notify towns of increased COVID-19 positive cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in all 169 communities...and what happened next realized our worst fears. COVID-19 consumed our state...taking cases that had "leveled off" in August, 2020, at approximately 44,000 and deaths at 4,400 and skyrocketed them to unimaginable numbers.
We may have been COVID NAIVE and COVID FATIGUED - not fully understanding the relentless and deadly consequences of the disease the way our western CT neighbors did in the spring - and weary of all the restrictions that had altered our lives for the past 9 months. COVID-19 took it's toll...physically, emotionally, mentally, financially, and economically.
But now, hope has arrived in the form of COVID-19 Vaccine and with it comes the prevention tool that is desperately needed to flatten the curve once and for all. It will take some time to vaccinate the population of Connecticut with the necessary two doses, but keep the faith and stay the course. Keep doing the things that are known to reduce your risk and the spread of COVID-19. Wear your mask. Watch your distance. Wash your hands. Avoid crowds. Stay home when you are sick. Get vaccinated when it's your turn. There are better days ahead.
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 spreads 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 like COVID-19 vaccine 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 Continued Cancellation or Postponement of Events and Activities
COVID-19 continues to circulate in northeast Connecticut.
Decision-makers should continue to 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.
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 seeing our resilience and resolve.
Keep your spirits up, keep spreading kindness, keep your sense of humor, keep smiling...
and just keep washing your hands.