Newtown Coronavirus Cases Jump To Five As State Numbers Surge
The number of positive coronavirus cases in Newtown increased from one to five as of Tuesday, March 24, according to Health District Director Donna Culbert.
Culbert said she is also monitoring the first positive case in neighboring Bridgewater, which is part of the Newtown district along with Roxbury.
At the same time, Governor Ned Lamont worriedly reported at his daily press update that numbers across Connecticut surged by 203 since Monday, with 62 percent of those being in Fairfield County.
The governor said the next two largest groups of positive cases are in New Haven and Hartford Counties, which each now have 14 percent of the remaining Connecticut cases.
As of March 24, a total of 618 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported among Connecticut residents. Cases have been reported in all eight Connecticut counties.
Seventy-one patients were or are hospitalized, and 12 residents have died - seven in Fairfield County, two in Hartford County, and three in Tolland County.
Culbert said besides the female she identified last weekend, she learned the first three Newtown males, and one additional female had tested positive. The Bridgewater case is also a male.
No other specifics on the ages of these cases were available.
The governor said that St Francis Hospital in Hartford was completing a mobile treatment center that could handle 25 intermediate care cases, which would free up beds inside the hospital.
Lamont said some colleges and universities are also preparing dormitories that could temporarily house medical workers so they could keep isolated from family and loved ones while treating patients.
He also recognized 900 nurses and doctors who returned to work from retirement to bolster the roles of medical professionals on the front lines, and that 300 were already at work - primarily in Fairfield and New Haven County.
The governor said along with myriad orders of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) the state was expecting from sources around the country, donated materials have continued coming in, including 1 million protective gloves from the Mohegan Sun Casino.
Salvageable School Year?
During the press conference, the governor referred to state Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona when asked about comments Lamont had made earlier in the day during a New York radio interview regarding schools likely being closed until fall.
Cardona said his priority is the health and safety of students and staff, and that he was still maintaining a tentative return to school date of April 20. He added that he was prepared to call the school year off, however, if it best supports health and safety.
To help support students out of school, Lamont announced a massive collaborative effort with the Scholastic company to supply materials, and said he was working with cable companies to provide at least three months of free online access to student families who may not be able to afford internet service.
One day earlier, the Partnership for Connecticut, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Connecticut’s disengaged and disconnected youth and young adults access education and career opportunities, announced that it plans to donate up to 60,000 laptops to students from some of the state’s most under-resourced high schools.
Also on Tuesday, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded $1,169,092 to 16 health centers in Connecticut stemming from the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020.
Health center recipients in Connecticut may use these awards to address screening and testing needs, acquire medical supplies and boost their telehealth capacity in response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
The awards will also give health centers the flexibility to meet the evolving COVID-19 needs in their respective communities including, but not limited to, expanding COVID-19 screening and testing capacity, purchasing supplies such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and providing safety education.
As the first full day of Lamont's new "Stay Home, Stay Safe" social isolation initiative drew to a close, he reminded residents that one of the best ways to stem the rampant spread of COVID-19 is to minimize social contact as much as possible.
"Don't be dumb - stay away from groups," Lamont said in closing. This virus is incredibly contagious. You can't be too safe."
For the most up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on COVID-19, including an FAQ and other guidance and resources, residents are encouraged to CLICK HERE.
To review the latest information from Newtown, CLICK HERE