Newtown's first positive case of the novel coronavirus is a patient who is reportedly recovering at home.

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The case was confirmed on Sunday, March 22, in an announcement from the town's First Selectman Dan Rosenthal, who said that the unidentified patient is currently recovering under self-quarantine and that this is something Newtown has "long anticipated and prepared for."

"As testing continues to ramp up, we expect there will be more cases in town. How many more really depends on us" said Rosenthal. "This virus isn’t about you or me, it’s about our collective efforts to protect the vulnerable. How do we do it? It’s not complicated, wash your hands regularly and stay away from one another."

The local first selectman went on to note that residents have been getting themselves outside to enjoy the early spring weather, which is encouraged, but most certainly not encouraged if you're considering to go out and get together in a large group.

"Far too many people are getting together in large groups to do it. This is unacceptable and frankly, reckless," said Rosenthal. "In addition, it makes it more likely that future orders from the federal and state governments become more extreme.

That's the part that will hopefully strike a chord throughout our local communities. Let's all please do what we can do now to flatten the curve, reduce the spread of COVID-19 and ensure that our government officials don't get to the point at which they are required to put even restrictive measures into place.

First Selectman Rosenthal finished his Sunday afternoon announcement with some words of encouragement for our local first responders. He said, "Please say a prayer for the sick and for our medical professionals and first responders. They have never given up on us and never will. Let’s also commit ourselves to doing the right thing and show the world that Newtown comes together, while staying apart."

According to the Department of Public Health, risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 is considered low for people who had contact with an individual who does not have COVID-19  and does not have symptoms. In other words, a contact of a contact is considered low risk.

To stay informed on the evolving coronavirus situation throughout the country, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Website (CDC).

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The Governor's Office has also provided residents with some important messages to keep in mind:

  • People without symptoms should not be tested for COVID-19. Testing individuals with no symptoms is not recommended by CDC.
  • If you were with someone who does not have symptoms, the risk of transmission is very low.
  • There are many respiratory illnesses circulating in Connecticut, such as the flu and the common cold. Having respiratory symptoms does not mean that you have COVID-19.
  • People are at higher risk for COVID-19 if they have symptoms of the virus (cough, fever, shortness of breath) AND if they were a contact of a positive case of COVID-19 (or have traveled to country with community transmission, such as China, Italy, South Korea, Iran, and Japan).
  • Someone is considered a contact if they have had direct, face-to-face contact with a person with COVID-19.
  • People who think they have COVID-19 should call their healthcare provider. These people should not go directly to a healthcare facility without first calling a healthcare provider (unless they are experiencing a medical emergency).
  • People with general questions about COVID-19 can visit or call 2-1-1.
  • Everyone can help stop the spread of viruses in Connecticut.
  • Get your flu shot, and make sure the people around you do the same.
  • Wash your hands often throughout the day. Use warm water and soap. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand gel.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow. Viruses can spread by coughing or sneezing on other people or into your hands.
  • Stay home from work or school if you are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious foods.
  • Keep surfaces (especially bedside tables, surfaces in the bathroom, and toys for children) clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant.
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