April 7th - COVID-19 UPDATE

COVID-19 is projected to peak in Connecticut in about 2 weeks. That means right now we are at the peak time for getting infected. Please stay home if you can: maintain social distancing when you go out.

Since my last update the Governor has issued three executive orders (EO). They each deal with multiple items but some of the key ones from each are:

EO 7S - Social distancing at grocery stores, relief from some municipal tax deadlines and interest. (We are looking into the tax relief programs.)

EO 7T – Restrictions on short term rentals (intended to address people moving from COVID-19 hot spots)

EO 7U – Health insurance coverage and costs

The CDC added information to their site about testing and cloth masks. They recommend anyone who goes out in public wear a cloth mask to reduce the spread of the virus. 

There’s been a lot of talk about herd immunity on social media. It won’t work for this outbreak. Herd immunity requires a high percentage of the population to have immunity to a disease, either by having had the disease or by immunization. How high depends on the disease. Measles, a very contagious disease, requires 98% of the population to have immunity. Though we don’t know about COVID-19, most coronaviruses need about 85%. We don’t want to expose very vulnerable groups, elderly, very young, and immune compromised, to this disease. 17% of our Connecticut population is elderly, another 5% is 5 or younger. Even without accounting for the immune compromised we’re maxing out at 78% immune. The numbers don’t add up. Herd immunity won’t work for us now, As I’ve said before, please get your information from reliable sources. 

The IHME COVID-19 projection for Connecticut has changed. The good news is the peak has flattened which alleviates some of the pressure on our healthcare system. The bad news is the projection calls for this to continue until the end of June. The state’s projections call for the peak to occur at a different time for each county. That makes sense and is also good news. It allows resources to be moved from areas that are past their peak to ones that are approaching it.

Speaking of numbers, we now have 3 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Haddam. I was asked why the numbers the state reports don’t always agree with what we know. A couple of reasons. Only a very limited number of laboratories, it may only be 2, can report test results to the state electronically. The rest report by paper. Because of this, the local health districts may know of cases before the state. I learned about 2 of the cases from our health district, CRAHD. I learned of the third from an East Hampton emergency responder. Why? The second glitch in the system. Haddam Neck, the location of the third case, is served by the East Hampton post office. Notification of that case was sent to the East Hampton health district because of the patient’s mailing address. The health district reported the address to their emergency services who told me. The bottom line is the number of cases reported doesn’t matter. All the cases matter. I’m sure we have many cases that are unreported. Stay home, stay away from others and stay safe.

Don’t let the media fixation on the COVID-19 death toll overwhelm you. Yes, each day we hit a new high daily fatality number. That’s to be expected. We still haven’t hit the peak where the death rate will start to drop. That will come. 99% of the people who get COVID-19 survive. We will get through this.

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