Redding Health Department
Public Health Advisory
Due to COVID-19 cases surging both locally and statewide, and with community spread increasing, it is vital that we roll back to a more restrictive Phase 2.1. Redding’s positive COVID cases previously averaged 3 per month in the summer, and this past October cases rose to 12. Redding is now considered an orange alert community. At least 70% of Connecticut’s population now lives in either a red alert or orange alert (10-14 cases per 100,000 populous) community for COVID-19 infection. We are entering a dangerous phase and the only way to make progress is for all of us to dial back our activity.
CT Commissioner of Health Advisory
The CT Commissioner of Public Health has issued an advisory for all Connecticut residents to stay home between the hours of 10pm-5am in order to reduce the risk of further viral transmission. This applies to all residents except those who are essential workers and anyone who must leave their home on an emergency basis to seek medical care or to purchase medical supplies, food, or groceries.
What the Phase 2.1 Roll Back Includes
Phase 2.1. includes reducing restaurants to 50% capacity with a maximum of 8 people limited to a table; Restaurants being required to close by 9:30, with the exception of food takeout and delivery services; Event venues are limited to 25 people indoors, 50 people outdoors; and religious gatherings are limited to 50% capacity or 100 people maximum. These restrictions are also in place in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
For personal activity we must limit time with non-family members; maximize spacing, mask wearing, and do not attend indoor activities where social distancing cannot be maintained. Virtual social gatherings are safest.
Due to COVID cases having been associated with athletic teams the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) is about to release an updated guidance on sports. Massachusetts and Rhode Island are also using the same guidelines. The document at this time has not been released however they have stated they are planning on suspending high risk sports through the end of the year, and the list of high risk sports is being expanded. DPH stated for ice hockey and basketball that masks will be required. Also interstate sport competitions will not be taking place for moderate and high risk sports. Specifics will be provided and distributed when the guidance is released.
Masks & Distancing
The Redding Health Department has received complaints of those not wearing a mask or not wearing a mask properly. 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. It is strongly advised all wear masks at outdoor sporting events. It makes those around you feel more comfortable and protected, and you never know when someone might walk by within 6 feet. Keep in mind wearing a mask does not eliminate the need to maintain the distance of 6 feet apart from others.
Mask wearing is not required when you are around those who live under the same roof or when eating. It must be put back on when the meal is completed.
In an office setting if working in a private room/area alone, a mask is not required. Once someone enters the room a mask must be put on. 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.
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.
When Presenting Ill with Symptoms
When someone develops COVID-19 symptoms consistent with the virus, they must get tested, and it’s also 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, when used, is best 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. 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 then the local Health Department; however a direct call is the best and quickest way to start the interview and tracing process to 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 and symptom free without medication.
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.
When You Are Deemed a Contact
When you have been informed by someone you were with that they tested positive, you likely will be considered a contact. If you’re 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.
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 and the guidance provided by the above stated agencies. Please trust that all decisions are in effort to prevent the spread.
It boils down to our personal behavior, and how mindful we are about adhering to the COVID mitigation measures.
Redding Health Department