There are now seven identified cases of COVID-19 in Middlesex and New London counties, and those numbers are only expected to increase in the next few days.
Two of those cases are in Killingworth, and one each in Clinton, Haddam, and East Lyme. Other cases are have been identified in the Chatham Health District.
In response to a request for town-by-town data on COVID-19 infections, the Connecticut Department of Public Health declined to provide that information, but said that the data will be available next week when a heat map displaying cases in all 169 towns is released.
“We were reporting town data for the first few, but there are so many that now we are just reporting by county,” said Av Harris, the director of government relations and communications for Connecticut Department of Public Health. “We are in the process of creating a heat map that will show infections per town, hopefully will be able to roll that out next week.”
Each individual health district or department, however, is informed when a case in their area or town is found.
“The information is reported to each town or district individually, so I can only see information for residents in my town,” said Lisa Fasulo, health director for Essex, who confirmed that no cases have been identified yet in that town.
With a case in the Ledge Light Health District in New London County, director Stephen Mansfield said the focus is still on slowing the spread of the virus.
“The single best way to slow the spread is to practice social distancing. LLHD recommends that all individuals limit any unnecessary person-to-person contact until further notice,” Mansfield said.
Even without a case in Essex, Fasulo said her message to the residents of Essex is just as serious.
“Yesterday I put out a reverse 9-11 message. It was a little harsh and more direct, but residents need to know that each of us must do our part. Hunker down and do what we need to do as a community to stay safe,” Fasulo said. “We have to work together to get through this even if it is a little scary.”
The Connecticut River Area Health District which covers Deep River, Chester, Old Saybrook, Haddam and Clinton, was unavailable to comment for this story.
As of Thursday evening, there were 159 total cases in Connecticut.
This story has been updated to reflect additional cases of infection.