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Update on the Coronavirus from Redding Health Department

From the Town of Redding Health Department

March 11, 2020

Based on the events of this past weekend we should assume that community transmission of Coronavirus (COVID-19) is occurring in Connecticut and we should expect the prevalence of the virus to increase sharply in our region over the coming weeks.

Governor Lamont has declared a public health state of emergency and under his advisement we are strongly recommending the suspension of all gatherings of 100 people or more and that everyone practice social distancing by staying an arm’s length away. We realize this decision will potentially impact Redding residents and organizations but they are being made in the community’s best interest.

We know that Coronavirus is transmitted via respiratory droplets (from cough or sneezing). Wearing surgical masks is of little benefit, as they are designed primarily to prevent people who are sick from transmitting respiratory droplets to others; for those who are not sick, they provide little to no protection.

If you are concerned that you may have COVID-19 illness, stay home and call your doctor for advice before leaving the house and going anywhere.

The best means of protection is via behavior modifications:

• Wash hands frequently (best with very warm water and soap with vigorous scrubbing of the fingers for at least 20 seconds, or hand sanitizers when soap and water are not available.
• Avoid coughing or sneezing into your hands (best to do so in the crook of your elbow or into a tissue followed by handwashing).
• Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
• Stay home when ill
• Minimize exposure to others who are ill
• Clean surfaces with disinfectant wipes whenever possible (these can harbor respiratory secretions).

Please remember that for most healthy people, the illness is self-limited and poses little threat. In fact, it is likely that many cases (both domestically and abroad) have gone unreported. Therefore, the true prevalence of COVID-19 remains unknown.

Concerning international travel the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to countries that have widespread transmission. The countries on this list currently includes China, Italy, Iran, and South Korea. Those who have returned to the United States from these countries are asked to stay home for 14 days and practice social distancing.

Regarding domestic travel everyone is asked to consider the virus transmission in their intended destination, personal risk with respect to the virus (e.g. underlying health conditions), and the time sensitivity of the trip. Other considerations include the size and reach of the event you are traveling to, and the importance of the event.

Lastly, as a means of providing some perspective, please remember that seasonal influenza is also here, has affected millions of people, and can also lead to death. All of the above stated behavior modifications apply.

The Redding Health Department continues to collaborate with the Connecticut Department of Public Health, our community partners, and our neighboring towns.

For those with questions there’s an info line at 2-1-1 or text “CTCOVID” to 898211.

For updates and additional information you can visit https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/Public-Health-Preparedness/Main-Page/2019-Novel-Coronavirus and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

The Redding Health Department