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Vigilance and preparedness will get us through the COVID-19 pandemic

Sharon Hospital urges everyone to follow public health guidelines in response to increases in COVID-19 cases throughout the region

In recent days, the northwestern corner of Connecticut and surrounding communities have been impacted by an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. As our region copes with this uptick in infections, we remind residents that following public health guidelines is key to preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, such as the flu.

This has been a challenging time, and some of you are likely experiencing “COVID-19 fatigue” from months of wearing masks and social distancing. The virus has shown a significant presence in our region this season, and during this period — and beyond — we need to stay united in our vigilance. 

Wear a mask, wash your hands, maintain a safe distance of six feet or more (especially among non-household members) and remember to stay home if you’re sick. These small acts protect our families, friends and neighbors by limiting their risk of infection.  

Flu season is also upon us, and getting vaccinated is one more way our communities in Litchfield and Dutchess counties can safeguard their health right now. Although getting a flu shot doesn’t guarantee you won’t get the flu, it does decrease your chances of infection and lowers your risk for serious complications — which is crucial during a pandemic. 

Remember, if you do get sick and aren’t sure whether you have COVID-19 or the flu, please contact your healthcare clinician — especially if you’re at a higher risk of complications from respiratory illnesses.

We also want to assure you that Sharon Hospital, in close cooperation with local and state public health officials, is monitoring local COVID-19 positivity rates and hospitalizations. We remain ready to respond to the evolution of the virus with proactive contingency plans and forthright transparency to our teams, patients and you — our community.  

For example, Nuvance Health and its seven hospitals developed a COVID-19 “playbook” based on what researchers and clinicians learned during the initial novel coronavirus surge earlier this year. The playbook details protocols and processes followed by our teams in both Connecticut and New York on key topics to reduce the risk of a second surge of infections, from transmission prevention among COVID-positive and non-COVID patients, best-practices for maintaining adequate supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) and medication management. It is adapted frequently by infection control and prevention, infectious disease, critical care and administrative and clinical leaders as we learn more about this novel coronavirus. 

Sharon Hospital extends heartfelt appreciation for the collaborative efforts of government officials, first responders and experts from local and state public health departments to keep us informed and guide COVID-19 prevention and response plans to meet evolving needs.

We will always emphasize the importance of following the guidelines and pledge to serve the region like family with the utmost care and support. Please be safe, careful and smart. It is an honor to be your trusted healthcare partner and neighbor. Together, we will combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sharon Hospital is part of Nuvance Health; Nuvance Health patients may have the option to schedule a Virtual Visit, which is a safe-and-secure way to connect with a healthcare clinician from your home. For more information, to schedule an appointment or to find a clinician, visit nuvancehealth.org/virtualvisits. 

For more information about COVID-19 testing at Nuvance Health’s primary care practices and outpatient locations, please visit: https://patients.healthquest.org/covid-19-testing/

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