Danbury residents on alert after 'serious' virus outbreak

Residents of Danbury are being urged to take precautions after what officials have described as a “serious outbreak” of the coronavirus.

State health officials issued a COVID-19 alert Friday night that recommends that residents stay home, avoid unnecessary outings, limit indoor gatherings and avoid attending church services. It also urged people to cooperate with contact tracers and get tested immediately if they feel they've been exposed, and self-quarantine for 14 days if they test positive.

“This is a serious outbreak in Danbury and we really need an all hands on deck approach,” Acting DPH Commissioner Deidre S. Gifford said in a statement.

The alert came days after a spike in cases led the city to cancel youth sports leagues.

The state reported the city of roughly 85,000 has had nearly 180 confirmed cases from Aug. 2-20, compared to 40 new confirmed cases in the previous two-week period.

Mayor Mark Boughton told the News-Times that 44 new cases were reported on Friday alone. Acting city health director Kara Prunty told the newspaper the seven-day average of new cases went from 2.3 in the week of July 19 to 8.4 last week.

City officials have blamed the recent uptick on neighborhood gatherings such as barbecues, travel and youth sports.



Officials in Bridgeport report that 911 calls about alleged COVID-19 violations have already surpassed the total for July.

City Health Director Lisa Morrissey told the Connecticut Post that her office also has been inundated with tips from people reporting large gatherings or businesses not following state guidelines.

COVID-19 tips are supposed to be called in to the health department or the state's 211 line, but 911 operators had received 23 calls through last Monday. Twenty-two calls were received in July.

Bridgeport has seen its weekly total infections drop from 129 to 27 in June then rise to the high 40s by mid-July. The number had dropped slightly by the first week of August, the Post reported.

Morrissey told the newspaper her department is only shutting down businesses in “extreme” cases. The Post reported health and police officials had shut down nine businesses in late July and August including several bars and restaurants. All but two had made changes and were allowed to reopen as of Thursday, Morrissey said.

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