Dear Chester,

The State Department of Public Health has reported that there is a positive case of COVID-19 in Chester, a resident in her 40's who is recovering at home. This case is expected to be travel related. O n behalf of the entire Chester community, our thoughts and prayers for a complete recovery are with this individual, their family and their loved ones.

COVID -19 is a highly contagious virus, and as testing has been ramping up, positive cases in our area are to be expected. Connecticut River Area Health District (CRAHD) continues to monitor the situation and will ensure that all appropriate CDC guidance is followed. I anticipate that we will continue to get more cases as the infection spreads and testing becomes more available.  
This first case is a reminder to us all to review the messages being delivered by the CDC, the CT DPH, and our local health department, CRAHD. If you do not need to be out in public, don’t be! 

Less contact + less exposure = less infection = less death.  

The single best way to slow the spread of this virus is to practice social distancing. Assume that you are contagious, and that everyone around you is contagious as well.
 
All of us should now assume that there are people infected with the disease in Chester, and should follow the guidelines to avoid contracting or spreading the disease:

·      Call or email your doctor if you think you may have COVID-19
·      Stay home if you do not have to go out.
·      Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
·      Avoid touching your face
·      Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs and phones daily
·      Maintain social distancing of at least six feet

You are free to walk your dog, get groceries or prescriptions, take a hike, or work in your garden. Put 6 feet of space between you and anyone else you come in contact with, and do not visit with friends (except via telephone or video).
 
  We will continue to provide updates on measures Chester is taking to address the COVID-19 pandemic. We are not panicked - we are prepared. Chester's leaders and Emergency Management Team are here to support you.

We will get through this together.