Updated: April, 2022
For guidance and updates on Connecticut’s coronavirus preparedness efforts, visit: ct.gov/coronavirus
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.
Omicron Variant’s – The Omicron variant, like other variants, is comprised of a number of lineages and sub-lineages. The three most common lineages of Omicron currently are BA.1, BA.1.1 and BA.2. For more information on Omicron, visit the CDC website: here
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
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAD CLOSE CONTACT WITH SOMEONE WHO HAS THE VIRUS?
Quarantine and Isolation Guidelines: Updated – 3/30/22
CDC is shortening the recommended time for quarantining and isolating from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to 5 days, if asymptomatic, followed by 10 days of wearing a mask when around others. The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of COVID-19 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after. Therefore, people who test positive should isolate for 5 days and, if asymptomatic at that time, they may leave isolation if they can continue to mask for 10 days to minimize the risk of infecting others.
For the latest CDC details regarding isolation and quarantine guidelines, visit the website here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html
WHERE CAN I FIND A VACCINE LOCATION IN CONNECTICUT?
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: http://ct.gov/covidvaccine
Free At-Home COVID-19 Test Kit Availability:
Federal website where individuals can request free COVID-19 tests, starting on January 19th, via the United States Post Office, as the White House looks to address nationwide shortages. Supplies will be limited to four free tests per residential address, no matter the number of occupants. The website http://COVIDTests.gov will begin providing access to order the at-home COVID tests at no cost, including a no shipping fee.
In addition, as of Saturday, January 15th, private insurers will be required to cover the cost of up to eight at-home rapid tests per month per insured person, required by a new Biden administration rule. Individuals will have the option of buying tests at a store or online, then can seek reimbursement from an individuals health insurance provider. Individuals with Medicare or without insurance, will be directed to covidtests.gov to order tests or to free community testing sites set up in each state. Note: These programs may not be immediately widely available.
For individuals with no internet access, can call the hotline at: 1-800-232-0233 (TTY: 888-720-7489)
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.
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.
2/28/22 Update: Mask and face covering requirements in Connecticut:
Effective on and after February 28, 2022, and pursuant to an order issued by the Connecticut Public Health Commissioner, all individuals in Connecticut, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear face masks in the following locations:
*Patients or clients in these settings can remove masks when they are alone in an examining room, when in rooms by themselves or socially distanced from others, when the procedures or services being provided require the removal of such mask, or when the patient/client is unable to tolerate masking due to clinical status.
Private businesses and state and local governments also have the option of requiring masks to be worn inside of their establishments (this includes places such as private retail stores, government office buildings, correctional facilities, etc.). In addition, current federal policy requires masks to be worn by everyone while on public transit.
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: portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/News/Press-Releases/2021/08-2021/Governor-Lamont-Issues-Executive-Order-Allowing-Municipalities-To-Implement-Universal-Mask
**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
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/.
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: April2022