Town of Westbrook HEALTH Department
866 Boston Post Road
Westbrook, Connecticut 06498
(860) 399-9869 · Fax (860) 399-2084
December 17, 2020
Public Health Alert: COVID-19
Dear Westbrook Community,
Today, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) has updated the Town of Westbrook’s 14-day rolling average of new cases per 100,000 population per day to 58.9 (Reporting Period 11/29-12/12).
Rates from the previous six DPH updates:
46.5 (Reporting Period 11/22-12/5)
33.1 (Reporting Period 11/15-11/28)
34.1 (Reporting Period 11/8-11/21)
34.1 (Reporting Period 11/1-11/14)
25.8 (Reporting Period 10/25-11/7)
10.3 (Reporting Period 10/18-10/31)
Total number of COVID-19 cases among Westbrook residents: 177
Total number of Westbrook residents tested for COVID-19: 2,978
Total number of cases per month from the previous six months (July 1 - December 17):
December (As of 12/17): 47
Westbrook Health Department contact tracers report most of the recent infections are connected to spread among family members in the same household, gatherings of friends, and outbreaks at places of work outside of Westbrook.
Westbrook parents and legal guardians: Please refrain from allowing gatherings inside your residence with your children’s peers, or simply, those outside of the immediate household. These gatherings increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission throughout our community, to your loved ones, and to those at greater risk of suffering severe COVID-19 related health complications. The Westbrook Health Department understands that this pandemic may contribute to stress, fear, and anxiety among Westbrook’s young population. We encourage parents and legal guardians to visit CDC’s Helping Children Cope website to learn how we can assist our young population through these challenging times: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/for-parents.html
This past week, a historic public health achievement occurred with the approval and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. The first COVID-19 vaccine in Connecticut was administered on Monday December 14th at Hartford Hospital. As once can imagine, the logistics of mass distributing this vaccine are unprecedented and ever-changing. The goal is for all residents of Connecticut to have access to the vaccine, although this will likely not occur until late Spring or early Summer 2021. The Westbrook Health Department will be working with surrounding local health departments in the region to mass vaccinate the region’s population as identified in the State of Connecticut vaccination plans, which are based on recommendations made by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
ACIP has made these recommendations based on several values:
-- Decrease death and serious disease as much as possible.
-- Preserve functioning of society.
-- Reduce the extra burden the disease is having on people already facing disparities.
-- Increase the chance for everyone to enjoy health and well-being.
The State of Connecticut is currently in Phase 1A of COVID-19 Vaccine distribution.
Those eligible to receive vaccine in Phase 1A are:
-- Healthcare Personnel: All paid and unpaid persons serving in settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients.
-- Long Term Care Facility Residents: Adults who reside in facilities that provide a range of services, including medical and personal care, to persons who are unable to live independently.
-- First Responders at Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 through their response to medical emergencies, such as Emergency Medical Technicians, Police, and Fire.
Phase 1B, expected between January and May has not been finalized, but the State of Connecticut anticipates will include:
-- Critical Workforce
-- Other Congregate Settings
-- Adults Over 65
-- High Risk Individuals Under 65
Per Governor Lamont, additional guidance on Phase 1B is expected next week. Visit the State of Connecticut COVID-19 website to learn more about the State’s vaccinations plans: www.ct.gov/coronavirus
As COVID-19 cases continues to rise in the State of Connecticut, and as we await the full distribution and accessibility of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Westbrook Health Department urges everyone to remain committed to the basic preventative illness measures:
-- Wear a mask over your mouth and nose in public places.
-- Social distance of at least 6 feet.
-- Wash hands frequently using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer when available.
-- Limit non-essential trips outside of your home.
-- Avoid gatherings with those who do not live in your home.
-- Postpone all indoor activities.
-- Postpone all outdoor activities where mask wearing and social distancing cannot be maintained.
-- Cancel non-essential social or community gatherings.
-- High-risk individuals should stay home and stay safe.
-- Employers should allow work-from-home as much as possible.
-- Answer the phone call from the Health Department. Discussions with the Health Department are confidential and help in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in the community.
If you have been in contact with someone confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19, you should get tested and self-quarantine for 14 days after your last close contact with that person.
For more information on When To Quarantine, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html
For information on What To Do If You’re Sick, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html
For the latest COVID-19 Testing information, please visit: https://uwc.211ct.org/coronavirus-covid-19-information/
While waiting for your COVID-19 testing result, PLEASE:
-- Stay home and away from others.
-- Monitor your health for symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, chills, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, coughing, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, congestion, runny nose, fatigue, headache, muscle or body aches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
-- Do not go to work.
-- Think about the people you have recently been around, as this will be critical information to provide public health officials in the event of your positive test.
If you must conduct business with the Town of Westbrook, you are strongly encouraged to do so via postal mail, phone, email, fax, or by utilizing the gray drop-box located at the rear of Westbrook Town Hall. Visit the Town of Westbrook website for Department contact information: http://www.westbrookct.us
This Public Health Alert shall remain in effect until COVID-19 disease trends move in a more positive direction in the Town of Westbrook.
Zachary Faiella, MPH, RS
Director of Health
Westbrook Health Department