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Confirmed COVID-19 cases on the rise

Three people in the Northwest Corner had tested positive for COVID-19 as of Tuesday morning, March 24. The three cases are in Kent, Sharon and Salisbury.

The first reported case in the Lakeville Journal coverage area  was a 57-year-old woman who is a long-term care resident of Sharon Health Care Center, a nursing home that is owned by Athena Health Care Systems. The center is across the street from Sharon Hospital but not affiliated with it.

That positive diagnosis was reported on Sunday, March 22.

The six towns covered by The Lakeville Journal are Canaan (Falls Village), Cornwall, Kent, North Canaan, Salisbury and Sharon.

The woman is healthy enough that she could remain at the health care center. She and her roommate are now in private rooms; she is not on a ventilator.

State health officials are now investigating how the woman became infected.

For more information on this case, go to The Lakeville Journal website at www.tricornernews.com.

On Monday, March 23, Erica Joncyk, director at the David M. Hunt Library in Falls Village, announced on social media that “a member of our library community has tested positive with COVID-19.”

The library staff will self-quarantine for the recommended 14 days, Joncyk said.

The library had been offering curbside pickup on Tuesdays and Saturdays, but that will stop for two weeks as well. No details were available on that patient; however, the state list of positive cases shows no cases in Falls Village but one case in Salisbury, so it is believed but not confirmed that the person she means is a Salisbury resident.

No other information is available on who that Salisbury patient is but sources say it is a “younger” person and not a resident of either Noble Horizons or The Hotchkiss School.

On Tuesday morning, March 24, Kent First Selectman Jean Speck announced in an email update that there is now a confirmed case in Kent.

No information is available on the Kent case either. Speck referred questions to the Torrington Area Health District (TAHD), which is the public health authority for all the Northwest Corner towns except Sharon, which has its own health authority.

Rob Rubbo is the TAHD director of health. He said in a phone interview Tuesday morning that no specific information is available on the two new cases.

Lora Rae Anderson, who is acting as a media spokesperson for the state government on COVID-19 questions, said Tuesday morning that as a general rule, if a COVID-19 patient is in an institution or facility of some type, such as a school or a nursing home or retirement center, then that institution will make a report to the state.

Neither Rubbo nor Anderson could confirm that the Kent and Salisbury cases are in private residences but there are no reports of these two people living in a facility or institution.

Rubbo also said that both people are not hospitalized; neither is on a ventilator.

He stressed that there are many more cases of COVID-19 than the numbers so far indicate.

“Please consider this to be widespread,” he said. “The numbers are coming up now because there is testing.” As more people get tested, he said, the numbers are likely to rise quickly.

“Take this seriously,” he said.  “Follow the governor’s orders: socially distance; stay away from large gatherings. You don’t know who other people have been in contact with,you don’t know if that person has traveled.

“Social distancing is the greatest tool we have to curb the spread of the virus. We are urging the public to take this seriously.”

For daily updates on the number of positive cases in the state, by town, go to the state website at  www.portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus and click on “Latest COVID-19 Testing Data in Connecticut” and scroll down to the list and then the map.

Editor’s note: The Lakeville Journal is providing content related to the coronavirus outbreak for free as a public service to our readers. Please support local journalism by subscribing to The Lakeville Journal, The Millerton News, or TriCornerNews.com or by becoming a contributor to our membership model. Click here for more information.

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