I hope that you and your loved ones are safe and well. I am writing to you today regarding a significant uptick in COVID-19 cases during the past six weeks. During that timeframe, COVID cases have increased by 64 cases to a total of 94 cases year to date. East Granby remains in the “red zone” for municipalities with case rates equal to 15 or higher per 100,000 population.
In the last sixteen days, East Granby has experienced a total of 33 cases, which equates to a case rate of 64.12 per 100,000 population. A “red zone” designation calls for increased vigilance when it comes to limiting gatherings, mask wearing and social distancing.
Based on contact tracing work completed by the Farmington Valley Health District, we understand that a number of these cases are clustered in single households, are linked to social events or occupational exposures and some are travel related. Additionally, a very limited number of these cases involve children under the age of ten. While these cases did impact schools, the collaboration between the parents, school administration and Farmington Valley Health District ensured minimal risk to those involved.
It is very important to note that we are monitoring not only the absolute number of cases and the case rate, but also the context of the circumstances under which the cases are occurring, as we work collaboratively to take steps to mitigate the spread of the virus in the community. Preventing an increase will require a community-wide effort and we must all do our part.
Please note that while the spike in COVID cases in East Granby reflects trends elsewhere, however the surge is significant. Here are some East Granby specific numbers:
- Year to date – 94 positive COVID cases
- March 17 to October 31, 2020 – 31 cases in seven months
- November 1 to November 30, 2020 – 30 cases in one month
- December 1 to December 15 – 33 cases in sixteen days
- Positivity rate has increased from 1.5% to 4.90% in the past two months. (Positivity rate equals positive individuals divided by residents tested per 1,000 cases).
We ask that residents continue to take the following measures which will help turn back the surge and prevent the need for more restrictive actions:
- Remember the three W’s: wear your mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance!
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Seek testing if you have any symptoms
- Limit trips outside home, avoid gatherings with non-family members.
- Consider postponing indoor activities or limiting them per the Governor’s “Phase 2.1 Statewide Mandatory Changes Guidelines”.
- Postpone outdoor activities where mask wearing, or social distancing cannot be maintained.
The Farmington Valley Health District continues to support the in-person instructional learning model for East Granby. The transition from hybrid to in-person learning did not contribute to the increase in COVID-19 cases in town. Should the data or the context surrounding the data cause a heightened concern for in-person learning, the health district will advise accordingly. Governor Lamont has stated that it is important for schools to remain open and communities should work together to ensure that districts can operate with in-person learning for as long as possible.
We understand that the last nine months have been difficult for everyone and I am grateful for the strength and resilience of our community during these challenging times. Thank you in advance for your continued vigilance.
Please do not hesitate to contact the Town at (860-413-3302), the Board of Education at (860-653-6486) or the Farmington Valley Health District at 860-352-2333 with questions. Stay safe and be well.
Jim Hayden – First Selectman