Lea Crown, MPH
Director of Health and Human Services 165 Miller Street
Meriden, CT 06450-4283
Telephone (203) 630-4226
Fax (203) 639-0039
March 13, 2020
Meriden COVID-19 Response Update – March 13, 2020
The coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to evolve rapidly and as a result, information and guidance change frequently. On March 10, 2020, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announced Public Health and Civil Emergencies, effective through September 9, 2020. While the term “emergency” can raise concern for people, please know that there is no cause for panic. The declaration of these emergences allows additional resources and supplies to be deployed to our state – resources that are necessary to identify infection and slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.
To date, our office has been maintaining situational awareness through weekly phone conferences with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the CT Department of Public Health (CT DPH). We, with city leadership and community partners, are conducting countless activities related to preparedness and communicating guidance to long term care facilities, day cares, EMS, businesses, and others.
To date, there are NO confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Meriden. We urge the public to practice everyday preventive actions now. They are simple and they work:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
- Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue; throw out the tissue in a lined trash container.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily. These include tables. Countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles using a regular household detergent and water.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
- Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious foods.
- Get an annual flu shot, and future vaccines that are developed to fight new communicable diseases.
Key Messages – March 13, 2020
- 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 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 in contact with a positive case of COVID-19 or have traveled to locations with community transmission.
- Someone is considered a contact if they have had direct, face-to-face contact with a person with COVID-19.
- People who are severely ill or think they have COVID-19 should call their healthcare provider for instructions. These people SHOULD NOT go directly to a healthcare facility without first calling a healthcare provider (unless they are experiencing a medical emergency).
- People sick with mild symptoms of respiratory illness should stay home to take care of themselves and stay away from other. This includes distancing themselves from people in their household and vehicles.
COVID-19 is a rapidly changing emerging public health issue. We urge Meriden residents to stay informed. Please visit the following websites often:
- CDC Coronavirus website https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- CT DPH website: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus. This website also has information on behavioral health resources for coping with stress and talking with children during infectious disease outbreaks.
In addition, there are 2 hotlines for information:
- Individuals who have general questions that are not answered on the websites above can also call 2-1-1 for assistance. The information line is available 24 hours a day and has multilingual assistance and TDD/TTY access for those with a hearing impairment. The hotline is only intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider to seek treatment.
- Hartford Healthcare COVID-19 Hotline: 1-833-621-0600. This line is staffed 24/7 by medical professionals