Chesprocott Director Esposito: COVID-19 cases doubling on daily basis in cheshire; First cheshire death reported, 27 confirmed cases
By Dan Nowak
CDTC Communications staff
CHESHIRE—Early last week when I first talked to Maura Esposito, director of Chesprocott Health District, there were no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Cheshire.
On Wednesday (April 1) at 11:30 a.m., the state of Connecticut reported that there were 18 confirmed cases in Cheshire. Through no fault of the state’s reporting, Esposito said that number was low and offered a reason for the increase of cases in Cheshire – an increase in testing.
Chesprocott covers the towns of Cheshire, Prospect and Wolcott.
“While the state is reporting 18 cases, the number of confirmed cases in Cheshire we have right now is actually 27,” Esposito said. “Since we had our first case reported in Cheshire last week, the past five days the number of cases has nearly doubled every day. We also reported our first death in Cheshire today (April 1), an elderly women with underlying health issues
“This is spreading through the whole Cheshire community and it is impacting people of all ages, including young people. We have a 26-year-old male in the hospital and a 21-year-old female has tested positive as well. We anticipate it to hit our teenager population too.”
Esposito said the main reason for the increase of confirmed cases in Cheshire is an increase of testing and testing sites. Esposito also reported 11 confirmed cases in Wolcott and seven in Prospect.
“When we talked early last week, we had no confirmed cases,” Esposito said. “But there were actually positive tests out there. It just took a while for those test results to get to us. Now, we are getting test results that are recorded faster with all the mechanisms in place. That is why the state-announced cases lags a bit. We (Health Districts) are constantly getting updates so when the state announces an updated number of cases they don’t reflect immediate, new cases being reported.
“The reason for Cheshire’s increase of confirmed cases is due to so many different labs reporting results now. Our numbers in Cheshire really jumped up Tuesday night when St. Mary’s Hospital (Waterbury) added 12 confirmed cases in Cheshire. Some results still come in slow with places like Griffin Hospital reporting cases by snail mail. The bottom line is we are continually seeing this doubling of cases on a daily basis."
Confirmed cases in Connecticut will continue to rise.
“We’re following what the Feds are telling us and stressing social distancing," Esposito said. "They tell us the predicted peak of this virus will be the second week of April. It is spreading fast through Connecticut. New Haven County’s confirmed cases are right up there with Fairfield County and soon the whole state will have that high level of cases.”
Esposito said the town governments in Cheshire, Prospect and Wolcott are “doing a great job” when it comes to combating the disease. She thought it was a great move by Cheshire and the other towns to close public playgrounds and outdoor courts (basketball, tennis, etc.) to the public.
Non-essential businesses are also doing their part and asking employees to take proper steps to stay safe like working at home. While all the nursing homes in Cheshire are doing okay, Esposito said the highest cases have been in group homes.
Esposito also wanted to give residents a reality check and for them to understand the worse is yet to come. They should still adhere to safety protocols.
“There is no question this virus is spreading throughout Cheshire,” Esposito said. “Once a family member gets it, the virus spreads fast in that family. For every case confirmed they say you can expect 100 more cases. In Cheshire, that could be as many as 10,000 cases. The coronavirus cases aren’t going to peak for another two weeks.
“We don’t want anyone to be complacent with this virus because it knows no boundaries. Stay at home and keep practicing social distancing. We’ve been getting calls from people who see other people who aren’t adhering to those protocols. If you see some people in a group and talking close to one another, say something and ask them in a nice sort of way to do the social distance thing."
For more information, go to www.Chesprocott.org.
Dan Nowak is chairman of the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee's Communication Relations/IT Committee, a volunteer position. He is a Cheshire Parks and Recreation Commissioner and has been a sportswriter at the New Haven Register for 36 years.