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Newtown, Connecticut

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Code Red
The Town of Newtown has instituted the CodeRED Emergency Notification System.  Sign up for the CodeRED Early Warning System.



Health District-serving Newtown, Bridgewater and Roxbury
Contact TypeContact Information
Contact:
Director of Health
Administrative Assistant
Scroll down this page to find important information for: FLU SHOT CLINICS, EBOLA, ENTEROVIRUS D68 (EV-D68) and BLAST TICKBORNE DISEASE. Also See our link below for MENTAL HEALTH information
Address:
3 Primrose Street
Newtown, CT 06470
Phone:
(203) 270-4291
Fax:
(203) 270-1528
Hours:
OFFICE HOURS:
NEWTOWN: Mon thru Fri 8:00 am - 4:30 pm.
BRIDGEWATER: Mon & Wed 8:00 am -12 noon
ROXBURY: Tue & Thu 8:00 am -12 noon
PLEASE NOTE: Sanitarians are available in Newtown office for sign-offs between 8:00 - 9:00 AM; 12:30 - 1:30 PM, and 3:30 - 4:30 PM. If you have a specific need, please call.
 
Additional Links:
Link to PageLink to PageLink to Page
Staff Members
NAME
TITLE
Donna M. Culbert, M.P.H., P.E., R.S.
Director of Health
Thomas F. Draper, M.D., M.P.H.
Medical Advisor & Associate Director of Health
Michael Carey, M.P.H., R.S.
Senior Sanitarian
Edward C. Knapik, R.S.
Assistant Sanitarian
Keith Vaughn, R.S.
Assistant Sanitarian
Suzette LeBlanc
Food Service Inspector
Maureen Schaedler
Administrative Assistant
Board of Health Members
NAME
TERM EXPIRES
Robert Grossman, M.D., Chairman
 
Audrey Grasso, Vice Chairman
 
Joan Crick, Member
 
Herbert Rosenthal, Member
 
Curtis Read, Member
 
Bernie Meehan, Member
 
Rev. David Peters, Alternate
 
Anne Marie Lindblom, Alt.
 
FLU VACCINE is readily available at clinics, physicians offices and pharmacies.
Visit www.cdc.gov for for more information about Flu, Flu vaccine and Flu Prevention


Bethel VNA Public Flu Clinic Schedule 2014 -
visit http://www.bethelvna.org/calendar.html to learn more about Flu shots & BVNA insurance coverage


10/27/14 (Monday) 11:30 – 2:00 Caraluzzi’s Georgetown Market (920 Danbury Rd, Wilton)

10/28/14 (Tuesday) 4:00-6:00  Newtown Youth Academy (4 Primrose Street, Newtown)

10/30/14 (Thursday) 11:30 – 2:00 Caraluzzi’s Bethel Food Market (98 Greenwood Ave, Bethel)

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WESTERN CONNECTICUT HOME CARE is also conducting Flu shot clinics

To learn more about Flu shots & WCHC insurance coverage

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 Infographic from CDC.  Please scroll down to see Newtown Health District statement and links below this infographic.
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For the latest information on Ebola, visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Ebola webpage. The CDC website is www.cdc.gov

The Newtown Health District and its health care partners have been, and continue to be, in regular contact with the Connecticut Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding the response to Ebola.~Regular e-mails, conference calls and meetings help us stay current on the most evolving health information.

We are also in regular contact with the Western Connecticut Health Network ,which includes both Danbury and New Milford Hospitals, as they will be major partners responding~in the unlikely event that Ebola~infected individuals are isolated in our area.~
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Our Health District's~goal is to keep you informed of what we know, what actions we as a public health system are taking, and what we will recommend as actions to protect yourselves.
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We will communicate through updates to our website as well as our usual public communication channels (the Newtown Bee, municipal websites, schools’ news venues as deemed appropriate)
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Connecticut's Stance on Ebola
There are currently no cases of Ebola in Connecticut and the risk of an outbreak in our country remains low. With that said, Connecticut has taken several proactive measures to control the spread of the Ebola virus in the event of confirmed cases in the future should such an instance occur.

  • The Department of Public Health (DPH) has launched a website to provide residents with accurate information and helpful guidance. This website can be found here: http://www.ct.gov/ebola.
  • Governor Malloy signed an executive order to grant authority to the Public Health Commissioner to quarantine or isolate an individual, or group of individuals, potentially exposed to or infected with the Ebola virus.
  • The Department of Public Health has requested that all hospitals conduct an assessment of their readiness to detect, protect and respond to patients infected with Ebola.
  • Governor Malloy convened a Unified Command Team (UCT) to ensure statewide coordination in the ongoing emergency management efforts and also to provide clear communication to the public. The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) is a member of the UCT, with DPH taking the lead role.
  • The United Way’s 2-1-1 is also a resource equipped to handle inquiries regarding the Ebola virus. Residents with questions or concerns can call 2-1-1 at any time to speak with a call specialist.  Multilingual assistance and TDD are also available.
Ebola Virus Information & Preparedness
This page contains information and links to keep you informed about topics related to the Ebola Virus Epidemic.~
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Ebola: Know the Facts
National health experts are monitoring the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa and are updating their guidance continuously. ~Check the CDC website www.cdc.gov ~for the most up-to-date information, and newtownbee.com, or The Newtown Bee's Facebook and Twitter feeds for breaking local developments.
~
Ebola can be a frightening and confusing topic, so it can be helpful to know some basic facts about the virus:
First, the risk of having or getting Ebola is extremely low unless a person traveled to an affected area (listed on the CDC website) and had direct contact with the blood or body fluids (such as blood, vomit, diarrhea) of an Ebola-infected person, or with objects soiled with that person’s blood or body fluids.
Unless someone meets both of these conditions and has early symptoms (such as fever, headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach pain), they are not at risk of having Ebola.
~
According to state and federal health officials, you can only get Ebola from:
  • Touching the blood or body fluids of a person who is sick or has died from Ebola,
  • Touching contaminated objects, like needles, or
  • Touching infected animals, their blood or other body fluids or their meat
You cannot get Ebola from the air, water, or food, according to the CDC.
~
What can you do now?
Remember during this time of heightened public health awareness that~it is more important~than ever to practice sensible behavior to prevent the spread of disease.~
Again, it is very unlikely that you or someone you know would be at risk of getting Ebola, unless they meet the criteria above, but we can all take steps to stay healthy overall this season and avoid other illnesses like colds and the flu:
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often with soap and water.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
  • If you are feeling ill, stay home from work or school.
  • Get your flu shot.
The Newtown Health District continues to encourage everyone to get their yearly Flu shot.~~While it is important to get an annual~flu shot – this year is especially important.~ The flu is a serious illness because~it causes severe symptoms and can lead to complications and death.~
It is important to protect the health of yourself, your family, co-workers~and community members.
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The Newtown Health District is working closely with town officials, emergency responders, health care providers, and state health officials to monitor the situation and prepare in the unlikely event that Ebola virus should appear in our area.
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For more information, visit these webpages:
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ENTEROVIRUS D68 (EV-D68)

Recent media coverage about cases of Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) which has caused severe respiratory symptoms in children in several states has raised awareness and concerns for families in our community.

Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is one of many non-polio enteroviruses. This virus was first identified in California in 1962, but it has not been commonly reported in the United States.

EV-D68 can cause mild to severe respiratory illness.  Mild symptoms may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches.   Most of the children who got very ill with EV-D68 infection in Missouri and Illinois had difficulty breathing, and some had wheezing. Many of these children had asthma or a history of wheezing.

EV-D68 likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches contaminated surfaces.  EV-D68 causes respiratory illness, the virus can be found in an infected person’s respiratory secretions, such as saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum.
In general, infants, children, and teenagers are most likely to get infected with enteroviruses and become ill. That's because they do not yet have immunity (protection) from previous exposures to these viruses. This is believed to also be true for EV-D68.
Among the EV-D68 cases in Missouri and Illinois, children with asthma seemed to have a higher risk for severe respiratory illness.

EV-D68 can only be diagnosed by doing specific lab tests on specimens from a person’s nose and throat.  
Many hospitals and some doctor’s offices can test ill patients to see if they have enterovirus infection. However, most cannot do specific testing to determine the type of enterovirus, like EV-D68.  Some state health departments and CDC can do this sort of testing.
CDC recommends that clinicians only consider EV-D68 testing for patients with severe respiratory illness and when the cause is unclear.
Respiratory illnesses can be caused by many different viruses and have similar symptoms. Not all respiratory illnesses occurring now are due to EV-D68. Anyone with respiratory illness should contact their doctor if they are having difficulty breathing, or if their symptoms are getting worse.
There is no specific treatment for people with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68.
For mild respiratory illness, you can help relieve symptoms by taking over-the-counter medications for pain and fever. Aspirin should not be given to children.
Some people with severe respiratory illness may need to be hospitalized.
There are no antiviral medications currently available for people who become infected with EV-D68.
Protect yourself from respiratory illnesses by following these steps:
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
  • Keep your child home from school if sick and stay home from work and other activities if you don't feel well;
  • Please don’t visit friends and family at the hospital
  • If you/your child is wheezing or is having difficulty breathing, contact your physician.
  • Since people with asthma are higher risk for respiratory illnesses, they should regularly take medicines and maintain control of their illness during this time. They should also take advantage of influenza vaccine since people with asthma have a difficult time with respiratory illnesses.
There are no vaccines for preventing EV-D68 infections.

For people with asthma and children suffering from reactive airway disease, CDC recommends:
  • discuss and update your asthma action plan with your primary care provider.
  • take your prescribed asthma medications as directed, especially long term control medication(s).
  • be sure to keep your reliever medication with you.
  • if you develop new or worsening asthma symptoms, follow the steps of your asthma action plan. If your symptoms do not go away, call your doctor right away.
  • parents should make sure the child’s caregiver and/or teacher is aware of his/her condition, and that they know how to help if the child experiences any symptoms related to asthma.
More information about EV-D68 is available from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention New Link




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Community Needs Assessment
for the Town of Newtown, CT
in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shootings

BarronCNANewtown.pdf


HELPFUL RESOURCES from the CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services:  
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PLEASE SCROLL DOWN THIS PAGE  for
IMPORTANT INFO about our effort to BLAST Tick-borne Disease out of our lives!!!
See our Tick Information & Test Result page for more info and helpful links





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Be a Tick Fighter...BLAST Tick-Borne Diseases out of our lives!
Tick season is here and the Newtown Health District is promoting the BLAST Tick-Borne Diseases program. BLAST stands for the five most important things YOU and your family can do to stay safe from tick-borne diseases.

It is important to BE AWARE of the risks of Tick-borne Disease – Everyone should understand that we live in an area where Lyme and other tick-borne diseases are widespread. The good news is that tick-borne disease is preventable. We should be aware of how the disease is transmitted, what to look for, how to minimize contact with ticks and what steps to take if you suspect you have become infected. Education and awareness will greatly improve your ability to prevent tick-borne disease.
  • B stands for bathing soon after spending time outdoors. A recent study showed that people who bathed or showered within 2 hours of coming indoors did not contract Lyme disease as frequently as those who did not bathe or shower soon.
  • L reminds everyone to look their bodies over for ticks daily and remove them properly. Speedy removal helps avoid disease transmission. Remove ticks carefully by their mouth parts with a tweezer and save them in a plastic bag for identification. Contact your local health department for tick-testing policies and notify your physician if you have any concerns. “L” also reminds us to look for expanding rashes and reported them to your physician in a timely manner. The painless erythema migrans (EM) rash sometimes seen with Lyme disease can often go unnoticed and will eventually disappear while the infection remains. Other early symptoms include fatigue, headache, fever and achy muscles and joints.
  • A encourages you to avoid ticks when possible, and to become educated about repellants and apply them appropriately. Know where ticks live and avoid those areas: Ticks don’t like sunny, dry areas; they like shade, shelter and moisture. ~Ticks can be found in leaf litter, shaded gardens, weeds, tall grass, shrubs, low trees, and ground cover like pachysandra. Dress properly when entering potentially tick-infested areas: Wear long pants that are light-colored to allow easy identification of ticks. ~Tuck your pant legs into socks and shirt into pants. ~Tape pant legs and wear long sleeves when working near the ground. ~Cover hair with a hat. ~Tie long hair back.  Apply repellent.  Studies have shown that applying 30-40% DEET-based repellant to skin is effective at repelling blacklegged (deer) ticks. Application of 0.5% permethrin-based insecticide to clothing is highly effective at repelling and even killing ticks. Clothing treated with permethrin can be washed several times and still retains its repellant properties. The use of repellants, while proven effective is a personal decision. For more information on tick repellants, visit the National Pesticide Information Center's website.
  • S stands for safeguarding your yard to reduce your possible tick exposure.  Spraying the yard can reduce tick abundance. Homeowners should consider the benefits of applying pesticide to the perimeter of their yards. Studies have shown that even one application of pesticide at the right time of year and in the best location can reduce blacklegged tick populations by 85 – 90%. Complete information on tick management is available at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station website.   Additional safeguards include creating a “Tick Safe Zone”, in which the homeowner manages their yard to make it less hospitable to ticks, by doing the following: remove leaf litter and clear tall grasses and brush around homes and at the edges of lawns; place wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas to restrict tick migration to recreational areas; mow the lawn and clear brush and leaf litter frequently; keep the ground under bird feeders clean; stack wood neatly and in dry areas; and keep playground equipment, decks and patios away from yard edges and trees.  Deer play an important role in the tick’s life cycle, often serving as the third and final blood meal. Deer should be discouraged from migrating into your yard by using deer-resistant plantings and residents should not feed deer. The Health District has an excellent brochure that can guide homeowners with making changes in their yards.
  • T reminds everyone about treatment.  In general people who begin medical treatment soon after becoming infected, have a quicker and more complete recovery from Lyme and other tick-borne disease. Learning to recognize the symptoms and receiving early medical treatment will help to prevent more serious illness. Erythema migrans (EM) is a rash and can be the first symptom of Lyme disease. The telltale rash starts as a small red spot at the site of the bite and gets larger over a period of days or weeks and forms a red rash shaped like a circle or oval. Not everyone gets or sees the rash.  Other symptoms can include fever, headache, stiff neck, body aches and tiredness. Although these symptoms may be like those of common viral infections such as the flu, Lyme disease symptoms tend to continue longer or may come and go. Lyme disease can also affect your nervous system, causing symptoms such as stiff neck, severe headache (meningitis), temporary paralysis of the facial muscles (Bell’s palsy), numbness, pain or weakness in the limbs and poor muscle movement. Other more serious long term affects may include memory loss, difficulty with concentration and change in mood or sleep habits. Less commonly, people who have not taken antibiotics may develop heart or other problems weeks, months, or even years after they were infected with Lyme bacteria. Receiving early medical treatment is the key to preventing long term health effects. It is also important to treat your pets. Local veterinarians offer a variety of methods for protecting animals from tick-borne diseases. Dogs and cats increase one’s chances of exposure to Tick-Borne Disease. Pets can carry ticks in to the home on their fur. Pet owners should be cautious about sleeping with their pets.
For additional information on the BLAST Tick-Borne Disease prevention program, contact Donna Culbert at the Newtown Health District. Phone 203-270-4291 or email donna.culbert@newtown-ct.gov Make everyone in the family a Tick-Borne Disease fighter this year. BLAST Tick-Borne Disease.

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For more information about staying safe and healthy after a disaster or storm, visit
www.ct.gov/dph. or call the Newtown Health District

RE:     Food and Water Safety after Storms/Extended Power Outages

With thousands of households in town without power, it is important to prevent
getting sick from food that has spoiled or water that has been contaminated. The Department of Public Health provides the following tips to stay healthy:

Food Safety: When in doubt, throw it out!
  • The refrigerator will keep food at proper temperature for about four hours if the doors are not opened. A full freezer will hold a safe temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full).
  • If the temperature in your refrigerator or freezer goes above 40 degrees, throw away perishable foods such as beef, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, and cut fruits and vegetables.
  • Food can be safely refrozen if it still has ice crystals on it or has stayed below 40 degrees.
  • Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water. This includes
packaged food items in plastic, paper, cardboard, cloth, and similar containers that may have been water damaged, as well as beverage containers with screw-caps, snap lids, crimped caps (soda bottles), twist caps, flip tops, and home canned foods, as these tops cannot be disinfected appropriately.  In addition, lids of commercially canned foods should be sanitized (bleach and water solution) prior to use.
  • As always, if there is any doubt as to the safety of the food, it is best to discard the food rather than take a chance of contracting a foodborne illness. WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT!
Drinking Water
  • The public water supply in Newtown has remained safe for drinking and bathing.  If that condition changes, an advisory will be issued.  
  • If an advisory is issued concerning contaminated water, use only bottled, boiled, or treated water for drinking, cooking, food preparation, and hand washing.
  • Homeowners in flooded areas whose private wells have flooded (flood waters submerged their wells) should consider their wells contaminated. For information on disinfecting flooded wells, go to www.ct.gov/dph/floods or call the Newtown Health District at (203) 270-4291.
Throw away any bottled water that may have come in contact with flood or storm water.

Toilet Flushing  During an outage, you may flush a toilet, then pour water into the toilet tank (not the bowl) before flushing again. Turn off the water supply to the toilet before flushing. Toilet tanks vary and hold several gallons of water, so plan accordingly.

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TEMPORARY FOOD EVENT NOTICE

As warmer weather approaches and with summer just around the corner many groups and organizations are preparing for seasonal events such as church fairs, fund raising picnics and carnivals.  The Newtown Health District wants to help make these events healthy, safe and successful by ensuring that food served at these events is safe for the public to consume.  To do this the health district requires that any operation offering food to the public obtain a temporary food service license.  If your facility rents space to groups serving food to the public, please advice them to contact the health district.

Organizers may obtain an application for a temporary food service license from the health district or online (see above)  and should submit it at least two weeks prior to the scheduled event.  Every applicant will receive a Temporary Food Service Guide containing basic food safety information and personal instruction on proper food handling.  To review specific details regarding upcoming events please contact Suzette Le Blanc @ suzette.leblanc@newtown-ct.gov or by calling the health district at 203-270-4291.

The Newtown Health District is located at 3 Primrose Street in Newtown.  Please contact Newtown Health District for more information and to obtain a Temporary Food Service License application (download application above).