Coronavirus (COVID-19) – General Information for Connecticut

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Updated: May 28, 2020

For guidance and updates on Connecticut’s coronavirus preparedness efforts, visit:  ct.gov/coronavirus

To view 211’s Information & Resources to Help Communities #LiveUnited During the Coronavirus Pandemic, visit: https://uwc.211ct.org/covid19resources/

WHAT IS NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19, 2019-nCoV)?

The virus was first detected in Wuhan, China, and is currently known as coronavirus (COVID-19), meaning it is a strain of virus not previously seen in humans. This virus presents as an upper respiratory illness with symptoms similar to the common flu and is spreading person-to-person. The virus has caused death, but cases have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness including pneumonia, depending on a variety of factors that are not yet fully known.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19, AND WHO IS AT RISK?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever (100.4 or higher), cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has indicated that individuals may begin to experience the symptoms of the virus 2-14 days after exposure.  Individuals who have recently traveled to China or other affected geographic area (see here) and individuals who have had close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient are most at risk.

For more detailed information, visit the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html

DO WE HAVE CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN CONNECTICUT?

For an up to date list of current cases in Connecticut, visit: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus. The Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) is providing updated information on the state and federal response to the Coronavirus, as well as resources for Connecticut schools, healthcare practitioners, municipalities and residents.

The State of Connecticut partnering with the developers of the “How We Feel” app, created in an effort to anonymously provide scientists with critical health information needed to understand the spread of COVID-19, will assist health officials obtain more information because of widespread testing shortages. Survey takes users about 30 seconds each day to report any symptoms they may be experiencing, and the information shared has the potential to reveal outbreak hot spots and provide insight into the progression of COVID-19. People in Connecticut – whether they are healthy or sick – can help this research by using the app and self-reporting their daily symptoms through a series of short prompts about how they’re feeling, and share that data with scientists in real time.

In addition to being available to download to mobile devices via an Apple or Google App Store, users can also complete the survey through a web version available at howwefeel.app.  For more information and details, see Governor Lamont’s press release here.

WHAT CAN I DO TO PREPARE?

A COVID-19 outbreak could go on for an extended period of time, so you need to create a household plan of action so you will be prepared.  The CDC has guidelines to help families create a plan of action, regarding personal health habits for the home, preparations for a temporary closure of school, childcare facilities, or workplace, and how to plan.  Visit the CDC website for more detailed information:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/get-your-household-ready-for-COVID-19.html

WHERE HAVE THERE BEEN CONFIRMED CASES?

The CDC is closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19.  To view the global case numbers, visit:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/locations-confirmed-cases.html#map. For detailed information on cases in the United States, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html

HOW IS CORONAVIRUS TRANSMITTED?

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person when individuals are in close contact with one another and respiratory droplets produced by an infected person (coughing, sneezing) land in the mouths or noses of nearby people. Transmission can also occur via contact with infected surfaces or objects. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or their eyes.

HOW CAN I HELP PROTECT MYSELF

Masks for the General Public in Connecticut: Executive Order 7BB – which goes into effect at 8pm on 4/20 –  requires any person in a public place who cannot maintain 6 feet of social distancing, to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face-covering. Additionally, all persons should wear a mask or covering when using a taxi, ride-share or public transit. Individuals who are exempt from the order:

Information on the Center for Disease Control’s “Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19”, which includes how to wear a mask, how to make a mask for a face covering, how to clean masks, and more, can be found at this link:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL?  EVEN TO OTHER COUNTRIES WITH HIGH NUMBERS OF CONFIRMED CASES?

CDC has guidance on their website (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html) for travelers inquiring about upcoming travel to certain countries with a high number of COVID-19 cases.

CDC COVID travel FAQ:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/faqs.html

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAD CLOSE CONTACT WITH SOMEONE WHO HAS THE VIRUS?

Call your doctor if you develop symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you have recently traveled from an area in the United States with COVID-19 cases,  Link here for more information:   https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/index.html.

IS THERE A VACCINE OR TREATMENT?

Currently, there is no vaccine or anti-viral treatment available to protect against COVID-19.

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Link here to the 2-1-1 Database for additional “Frequently Answered Questions” (FAQs), and related information for Connecticut residents on various topics regarding COVID-19:

For additional 2-1-1 FAQ’s and State of Connecticut general information, visit

https://www.211ct.org/search?terms=Coronavirus&page=1&location=Connecticut&service_area=connecticut

https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus 

Mental health issues during this time can be difficult for oneself and/or family members.  For information on tips to help you cope, visit the various mental health resources below: 

World Health Organization:

Coronavirus “SCAM ALERT” Warnings

The Connecticut Departments of Consumer Protection (DCP), Public Health (DPH) and the Office of the Attorney General William Tong is warning consumers that scam artists are trying to take advantage of consumers’ during heightened attention to Coronavirus. Scam artists may post, email, and text to promote false information about “cases” of the disease in your neighborhood that do not exist, and bogus prevention medication in order to obtain your personal information and your money. They also may ask you to donate to victims through a sham charity or offer “advice” about false treatments for the disease.

For more detailed information, visit the link here to the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection New Release: https://portal.ct.gov/DCP/News-Releases-from-the-Department-of-Consumer-Protection/2020-News-Releases/Scam-Alert-Coronavirus-Inspires-Scam-Artists-to-Target-Consumers

Also, Connecticut residents are warned to be on the lookout for potential scams involving future stimulus checks from the federal government. After the federal government enacted a $2 trillion economic stimulus package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state officials’ two offices are beginning to receive reports of scammers trying to steal American’s personal information and money.

Residents should follow these tips to prevent falling victim to a scam artist:

For more information, read the press release issued  by the Attorney General and Department of Consumer Protection

The Department of Consumer Protection (DCP), the Better Business Bureau Serving Connecticut, and Attorney General William Tong are warning families about work from home scams that may be targeting vulnerable workers during this time.  Press Release:  https://portal.ct.gov/DCP/News-Releases-from-the-Department-of-Consumer-Protection/2020-News-Releases/Officials-Warn-Families-to-be-Aware-of-Work-from-Home-Scams

Any consumers who notice one of these scams or feel they have fallen victim to a scam should report it to DCP or the Office of the Attorney General as soon as they are able using the below contact information:

Individuals that want to check on the legitimacy of a charity can go to https://www.elicense.ct.gov/. All charities must register with the state.

If someone is concerned that they may have spotted a business or offer that seems like a scam, they can go to the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker site: https://www.bbb.org/scamtracker/.

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SOURCES: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); World Health Organization; Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection; Connecticut Department of Public Health; Office of Attorney General; SAMSHA

PREPARED BY: 211/tb
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: May2020