Redding COVID-19 General Protocols and Guidance
Click Here: COVID-19 What You Need to Know (updated May 19, 2021)
The purpose of this document is to provide guidance and to inform residents of necessary protocols that safeguards the health of Redding residents. Due to the fact that COVID-19 is a novel virus and subject to change, this information may evolve as the science of this pandemic becomes clearer.
When Presenting Ill with Symptoms
If any resident develops COVID-19 symptoms consistent with the virus, they must get tested and it’s suggested they contact their health care provider. If they’re symptomatic in a school setting then they must go to the nurses’ office where arrangements will be made to be sent home.
In a work setting ill workers must go home immediately and get tested as soon as possible. Call 2-1-1 or visit www.211ct.org to find a testing organization near you. Symptoms include: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever or chills, muscle or body aches, sore throat, headache, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, runny nose or stuffy nose, fatigue, and recent loss of taste or smell.
The CT Department of Public Health recommends the polymerase chain reaction test (PCR). To date it is the most accurate and is considered the “gold standard”. The PCR test is best in all COVID situations, meaning whether someone is simply interested in being tested, or thought to be asymptomatic or symptomatic, or when having been deemed a contact of some who has tested positive. Results for the PCR test usually takes 2-5 days. While waiting for test results one must stay home to prevent possible spread.
The antigen test provides quicker results, however it’s less sensitive and can come back with false negatives and positives. The antigen test is best used when demonstrating symptoms.
When looking to be tested keep in mind that some test sites will require you to be presenting symptoms and/or having had possible exposure to a positive case, and some test locations don’t have such pre-test requirements.
Test Positive Procedures
When test results come back positive students and/or their parents must inform the school immediately. Sports teams, clubs and any other group that that person might have had exposure to must also be notified.
Workers must contact their employer and the Redding Health Department (203-938-2559). A positive result from a lab is reported to the State and the local Health Department; however a direct call is the quickest way to start the interview and tracing process to quickly prevent the spread.
A person testing positive must isolate 10 days from when symptoms first appear. They cannot go back to school or work unless they have completed the 10 day isolation period and have been 24 hour fever free without medication, and symptom free.
If you have tested positive and never had symptoms you must isolate 10 days from the date of the positive test result. You must actively monitor your health daily and be symptom free before returning to work.
Contact Tracing & Interviewing
A local contact tracer, the Health Department, or a school nurse will contact the positive case to assure they are clear on the isolation requirements and conduct an interview to determine who might be considered a contact.
When You Are Deemed a Contact
When you have been informed by a public health professional, nurse, or contact tracer that you are considered a contact with a known positive case of COVID-19, this means it has been determined that you were likely within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more, within a 24 hour time period from someone who tested positive. You should get tested. No matter the test results you must quarantine for 14 days starting from the last day you were in contact with the positive person. A negative PCR or antigen test for a contact does not void the need to quarantine. The14 day quarantine time period for contacts is always required.
When making decisions on who is a contact the COVID mitigation measures (mask wearing, ventilation, distancing) that were in place are also taken into account.
Masks & Distancing
When indoors everyone must wear a mask face covering that covers both the nose and mouth at all times when in public, or anytime a person is within 6 feet, whether indoors or out, not including family members and those living under the same roof. Wearing a mask does not eliminate the need to maintain the distance of 6 feet apart from others.
Outdoors mask wearing is required when near others. This includes while watching sporting events on the sidelines and athletes who are not on the field playing.
If working in a private office alone a mask is not required. Once someone enters the room a mask must be worn. In offices with multiple employees a 6 foot separation distance is needed and a plexi-glass separator or an impervious barrier is advised. The barriers should be set up in front of the one using the desk to effectively shield from others.
Masks are allowed to be taken off while eating and must be put back on when the meal is completed.
Should someone not be wearing a mask in public when close to others it can be reported to the Redding Health Department at 203-938-2559 or the Redding Police Department at 203-938-3400.
All foodservice facilities must be COVID-19 compliant. Space must be arranged to maintain at least 6 feet of empty space between customer groups. Employees must wear a facemask properly, payments should be contactless, utensils should be rolled or packaged, and hand sanitizer made available at the entrance. Menus should be no-touch or disposable (e.g. phone app, whiteboard). If no-touch or disposable options are not utilized, businesses must sanitize menus between uses.
Bar seating is permitted so long as the staff behind the bar is 6 feet from customers and co-workers and are wearing personal protective equipment. Work behind the bar is limited to pouring/serving beverages, taking orders, serving food, and delivering and picking up the bill. All work performed behind the bar must be done at a distance of 6 feet from customers seated at the bar or a physical barrier (e.g. Plexiglas) must be used. Parties must be seated at bars with 6 feet of spacing. No standing customer service allowed.
For those entering the state from affected states or countries (those with unacceptably high infection rates of 10% or more) can avoid 14-day quarantine if they show proof of a negative PCR COVID test within three days prior to arriving in Connecticut. It is however safest if you get tested upon entering Connecticut where you must self-quarantine until favorable results are received. Those choosing to not get tested must quarantine for 14 days.
For a list of the current states listed see link: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/travel. In addition, anyone entering from one of the identified states must fill out a travel health form upon arrival. Travelers can fill out the form at https://appengine.egov.com/apps/ct/DPH/Connecticut-Travel-Health-Form. Failure to self-quarantine or fill out the form may result in a $1,000 penalty for each violation. The required self-quarantine does not include individuals remaining in Connecticut for less than 24 hours.
Other Redding COVID Policies
The Redding Health Department follows the guidance provided by the CT Department of Public Health and The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Decisions on sports, Town activities, and gatherings are based on the current area COVID conditions in the region and the guidance provided by the above stated agencies. Please trust that all decisions are in efforts to prevent the spread.
COVID Policies of other town agencies such as Park and Rec and the Mark Twain Library can be found on their respective websites. For Park and Rec look on their brochure page.
Committee meeting information and how to attend meetings can also be found posted on the Town of Redding website at townofreddingct.org.
Redding Health Department