Coronavirus (COVID-19) – General Information for Connecticut

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Updated: October 21, 2021

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.

Delta VariantWhat Individuals Need to Know: See the CDC webpage here for more details on this new variant: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/delta-variant.html

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

People with COVID-19 can have wide range of symptoms – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Some common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Other symptoms include a new loss of smell or taste, feeling tired, headache, chills, muscle or body aches, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, or nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.  Symptoms may appear 2 – 14 days after being exposed to the virus.

If you have these symptoms, you should check with your healthcare provider about whether you should be tested for COVID-19.

COVID-19 may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions. Some people, mostly those with underlying conditions such as chronic lung disease or compromised immune systems, require hospitalization.

People with COVID-19 who are cared for at home should:

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.

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?

This virus can spread from person-to-person, in much the same way that cold or seasonal flu viruses spread.  The virus mainly spreads between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period of time, usually 15 minutes or more. There is evidence that people can be contagious when they have no symptoms. However, people are thought to be most contagious when they are the sickest. In general, the more closely a person interacts with other people, and the longer that the time a person spends around other people, the higher the risk of being exposed to COVID-19. Spending time in large gathering, such as parties or other events, increases your risk of being exposed to COVID-19.

Transmission mainly occurs through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

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 possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads but we are learning more about this virus every day. This is why is it very important to wash your hands often and clean frequently touched surfaces often.

Symptoms may appear 2 – 14 days after being exposed to the virus.

HOW CAN I HELP PROTECT MYSELF

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus using the same protections you would use for seasonal flu and many other respiratory infections.

The best ways to prevent getting COVID-19 are to:

General Guidance/Rules for the General Public in Connecticut:

Sector rules in effect throughout Connecticut: As Connecticut continues taking steps to protect residents from the spread of COVID-19, the state has established specific rules for various sectors to keep people safe. Here are all of the rules currently in effect that apply for each sector.

Most sector rules will be eliminated by May 19, 2021: Governor Lamont has announced plans to eliminate most of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions for every sector by May 19, 2021, with the exception of certain mask requirements that will remain in effect. The changes will include:

Outdoor: Masks not required.
Indoor: Vaccinated people are not required to wear a mask. Unvaccinated people are to continue to wear a mask.
**Businesses, local and state government offices and events may require universal mask wearing. Masks will still be required in high-risk housing and facilities, public and private transportation, correctional facilities, schools and daycares.
**For more information: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/Covid-19-Knowledge-Base/Latest-COVID-19-Guidance
**CDC information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html

Updated: August 5, 2021
Governor Lamont Issues Executive Order Allowing Municipalities To Implement Universal Mask Requirements and Announces Unvaccinated Nursing Home Staff Will Be Required To Receive Weekly Tests – See the press release here: https://portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/News/Press-Releases

August 1, 2021: CT Department of Public Health New Mask Recommendation:
Given the rapid increases in cases of COVID-19 in Connecticut due to the spread of the Delta variant, the Connecticut Department of Public Health is strongly recommending that ALL CONNECTICUT residents over aged two years, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, return to wearing masks when in indoor public spaces. Vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals at high risk for complications from COVID-19, including those with compromised immune systems, diabetes, asthma, other lung diseases, pregnancy, or obesity, should also avoid large indoor gatherings that may include a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

For more information and a list of the CT Counties and category risk, visit the CT Department of Health Press Release, https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/Press-Room/Press-Releases—2021/Health-Alert–For-Middlesex-County-Recommends-Wearing-Masks-When-in-Indoor-Spaces

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?

Quarantine if you have been in close contact (within 6 feet of someone for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone who has COVID-19, unless you have been fully vaccinated. People who are fully vaccinated do NOT need to quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19 unless they have symptoms. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested 5-7 days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.

What to do

After quarantine

You may be able to shorten your quarantine

Your local public health authorities make the final decisions about how long quarantine should last, based on local conditions and needs. Follow the recommendations of your local public health department if you need to quarantine. Options they will consider include stopping quarantine

For more details on the CDC Quarantine and Isolation guidelines, visit the website here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html

If an individual has contacted their health provider and has additional medical-related questions, they can contact their local health department, their insurance company, or one of the hospital COVID hotlines. Local health departments can be located on the state site: https://portal.ct.gov/dph/Local-Health-Admin/LHA/Local-Health-Administration—Site-Map.

IS THERE A VACCINE OR TREATMENT?

There are several vaccines that are authorized for use. The Pfizer vaccine received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have also received EUA from the FDA.

Current Phase: For which populations of individuals the State of Connecticut is currently vaccinating and for other information on how to get a vaccine,  Third Dose & Booster shots, and other pertinent information visit:  https://portal.ct.gov/Vaccine-Portal?language=en_US

10/21/21 – Booster Vaccine Update:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday (10/20/21), authorized COVID-19 booster shots for recipients of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, which now will have approved all three authorized shots, including Pfizer, which was previously approved in September.  Connecticut residents will be able to mix and match any of the three vaccines regardless of initial vaccination type received, after final approval by the CDC this week. Booster vaccine shots will be available at sites, including public clinics, doctor’s offices and pharmacies including CVS, Walgreens, and others. The availability of these authorized boosters is important for continued protection against COVID-19 disease.”

Who is now able to get a booster?
If the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorses the FDA’s decision, the following groups will be newly eligible for booster shots:

NOTE: Individuals wanting to get a booster shot must bring their vaccine cards or else risk being turned away.

For more information on Vaccines and the Booster Shot, visit the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html

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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 Governor Lament’s New Release on vaccination scams: https://portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/News/Press-Releases/2021/03-2021/Governor-Lamont-and-Attorney-General-Tong-Warn-Connecticut-Residents-About-COVID-19-Vaccine-Scams

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

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: October2021