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Danbury Halts Plans For In-Person School After COVID Spike

Dj1998d, Wikimedia Commons
Danbury High School

Although Connecticut’s coronavirus positivity rate remains around 1 percent, Danbury’s infection rate has jumped to 7 percent, prompting state public health officials to issue a COVID-19 alert for the city Friday. On Monday, Mayor Mark Boughton announced that Danbury’s K-12 schools will delay in-person classes until at least Oct. 1 because of the spike in cases.

The city also stopped sports events and closed parks and boat launches.

“The primary contributing factors that have been identified are travel, both domestic and international, bringing cases in and introducing them at family gatherings and at parties,” Josh Geballe, the governor’s chief operating officer, said during the state’s coronavirus briefing.

Despite the spike in Danbury, he said, surrounding towns like New Fairfield have not seen a rise in infections. 

Around 200 cases have been confirmed in the area over the past 10 to 14 days, including 15 cases reported Monday.

The city is partnering with Nuvance Health -- the network that includes Danbury Hospital -- to monitor the spread of virus.

“The key responsibility of all of us in the setting of an outbreak is to fundamentally test, trace and then isolate,” said Nuvance CEO Dr. John Murphy. “Once we find as many individuals as possible who have tested positive, we find a way for them to be isolated and quarantined for a period of two weeks.”

Danbury Hospital has yet to experience an uptick in hospitalizations, but Murphy said officials be acting in accordance with lessons learned from the onset of the pandemic in Connecticut. The network’s playbook includes staged plans for a variety of levels of resurgence, he said.

Back in early March, Danbury Hospital treated the state’s first COVID-19 patient. Since then, the hospital has treated 700 cases, Murphy said.

Murphy advised people in Danbury and across Connecticut to practice social distancing and proper hand-washing, and to do their part to avoid a potential “twindemic” this fall by getting a flu shot as soon as they can.

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