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TAHD: COVID-19 might now be nearing its peak in County

The unfortunate part of this story is that the number of COVID-related deaths reported in Litchfield County increased over the weekend from three at mid-day on Friday, April 3, to eight on Tuesday morning, April 7.

Robert Rubbo, the director of health for the Torrington Area Health District (TAHD), said on Friday that the first three deaths were all in Torrington, and were all elderly. At least one was in a retirement facility.

On Tuesday, it was not possible to sort through the data to figure out exactly where the remaining five deaths had occurred.

Rubbo said there was one in the town of Litchfield, and one in Watertown. A majority, he said,were in Torrington and probably 99% of them were already hospitalized. The ages and genders of the fatalities were not available.

The brighter side of this not very happy story, however, is that the state seems to be nearing its COVID-19 peak. After we hit the peak, which could happen as soon as the next week or two, it is expected that the number of reported cases will flatten out and then begin to decrease.

But for now, Rubbo said, it’s important to remain vigilant; respect social distancing rules; stay home except for essential errands; and follow Gov. Ned Lamont’s Executive Orders (which can be found online at www.portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus, along with statistics that are updated at the end of every day on cases of COVID-19 in the state).

As of this week, Rubbo said, “the number of cases is rapidly increasing throughout the state.”

This is in part, he said, because “we’re doing a lot more testing, as compared to a few weeks ago.”

Nonetheless, he optimistically said that, “I think we are nearing the peak. We are very hopeful we will hit that peak in a week or two, based on what we’re hearing from the state of Connecticut, and we hope it will come down fairly quickly from there.”

Rubbo believes that social distancing and other quarantine measures have helped to slow the spread of the disease. He said it is not known yet whether people who have had the virus and recover from it develop immunity.

“We still don’t have good data on immunity, we don’t know how much or for how long they have it. We have to wait for more studies and more information to get out there before we can say with confidence that they will be immune.”

Until then, he said: social distance. Quarantine. Stay home.

And wear face masks.

“This is a shift,” he said. “It’s now thought that there are asymptomatic people who are spreading the virus. Wearing masks is another way the public can do their part to stop the spread.”

The Torrington Area Health District (TAHD) is the health authority for 20 towns in the Northwest Corner, including five of the six towns in The Lakeville Journal coverage area (Sharon has its own health authority).

At press time on Tuesday morning, the heaviest local concentration of confirmed cases of COVID-19 was in Torrington, with 44 confirmed cases.

In Litchfield County as a whole, on Tuesday morning 15 people were hospitalized with confirmed cases of  COVID-19 and there were 230 total reported cases.

In the six towns in The Lakeville Journal coverage area, there were no reported cases in Canaan/Falls Village, one case in Cornwall, five cases in Kent, one case in North Canaan, four cases in Salisbury and six cases in Sharon.


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