November 26, 2020

Ledge Light Aligns COVID-19 Metrics with DPH; Cases in Old Lyme Rise to 46, Lyme to 12

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

LYME/OLD LYME — Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) sent out their usual weekly COVID-19 summary in a different format this week.

Stephen Mansfield, LLHD Director of Health, said in the introduction to the report emailed Friday, “With the assistance of the Connecticut Department of Public Health, Ledge Light Health District has modified our weekly COVID data presentation to more closely align with the reporting period, metrics and format of the DPH statewide data release.”

The report showed an increase in cases reported by LLHD in Old Lyme from last week’s number of 34 (which included two fatalities) to 46, and in Lyme from last week’s number of 11 to 12 with an additional probable case.

It should be noted however that CT DPH reported 41 cases in Old Lyme last week on the CT Open Data website. It is unclear why there has been this ongoing discrepancy between LLHD and CT DPH figures, but it now appears to have been resolved by LLHD adopting CT DPF’s numbers.

As soon as we received Friday’s report, we requested a full listing from LLHD of all the COVID cases in both towns.

Mansfield responded Friday evening, “We are no longer tracking and reporting case numbers independent of the state report. We will only be publishing what DPH reports to us each Friday … Simply put, due to the workload associated with the increase in cases, we do not have the resources to duplicate the efforts of DPH, nor provide a more detailed analysis of the cases in our communities.”

Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold told LymeLine.com Thursday evening that he had been informed of two additional cases this week. These were an 18-year-old male and a 17-year-old female.

We asked Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser if he could confirm whether there were any confirmed COVID-19 cases in Lyme-Old Lyme Schools. He referred us to a letter he had sent out to all parents Thursday (Nov. 5 in which he reminded them of the, “[Lyme-Old Lyme Schools] COVID-19 protocols that have been in place since we first reopened school on September 1, 2020.”

Neviaser stated in his letter, “Should we have a confirmed positive case, our first step is to work with our local health department, Ledgelight Health District, to follow their contact tracing protocol and determine who might be considered a ‘close contact.’ (Close contact is defined by CDC as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic clients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.)”

He continued, “Once those determinations have been made, families of those students (or staff members if applicable) are immediately notified by phone and asked to follow the Ledgelight quarantine protocol found here.”

Neviaser noted in his letter, “In most cases, in order to balance transparency and the need to protect personally identifiable information, only those students and staff members who have been determined to be ‘close contacts’ are notified as those that have not had ‘close contact’ are not considered to be at high risk for transmission of COVID-19.”

Mansfield noted in his introduction to Friday evening’s report, which covers all the towns in the LLHD and includes Lyme and Old Lyme,  “Our contact tracers continue to report that they have observed many instances of family and social gathering connections. We are also seeing a significant number of cases associated with sporting events.”

He states, “Cases associated with institutions (schools, long-term care facilities, etc.) remain relatively low.”

The total number of cases in Old Lyme, of which we have details, is now 36 including two fatalities. The number of surviving cases in Old Lyme now comprises 18 males and 16 females ranging in age from 17- to 82-years-old. The two fatalities were a 61-year-old female and an 82-year-old male.

The total number of cases in Lyme, of which we have details, remains at 11 comprising five females and six males ranging in age from one- to 68-years-old. There have been no fatalities in Lyme.

Ledge Light Health District states their data may conflict with the data DPH reports on their website, as there is often a delay in posting data at the state level. The data LLHD reports is current as of noon on the Friday on which it is issued.

In our COVID-19 report last week, when we noted that the CT DPH was reporting 41 confirmed cases in Old Lyme (on the CT Open Data website) in contrast to the 34 cases reported by LLHD, we shared that we had asked Mansfield to explain the possible reasons for  this discrepancy.

He responded Saturday, Oct. 31, “I don’t have an explanation as to why the state numbers are different than the numbers that are reported to us. I have reached out to the state epidemiologist how to determine if they have an explanation for the discrepancy.”

We also asked about the question of contact tracing if the numbers were different, and Mansfield explained, “Contact tracing is done through a partnership between local health districts and DPH.”

Gender and age details of the confirmed cases in Lyme to date are:

  1. Male, age 34
  2. Female, age 61
  3. Female, age 34
  4. Male, age 1
  5. Male, age 34
  6. Male, age 20
  7. Male, aged 68
  8. Female, age 21
  9. Female, age 62
  10. Male, age unknown
  11. Female, age 51

To demonstrate the growth in confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme, the table below is a summary of the cases that LymeLine.com has reported since March 31 when the first case was announced and also includes both fatalities.

DateCumulative no. of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme
March 311
April 44
April 96
April 107
April 1510
April 1812
May 113
May 1515
May 2616
June 817
June 1018
June 1419
June 2221
June 2422
July 1722
July 2823
Sept. 224
Sept. 426
Sept. 1527
Oct. 128
Oct. 829
Oct. 1630
Oct. 1631
Oct. 1632
Oct. 3034
Nov. 436
Nov. 653

Details of all Old Lyme’s confirmed surviving cases to date are as follows:

  1. Female, age 64
  2. Female, age 21
  3. Male, age 27
  4. Female, age 53
  5. Female, age 61
  6. Female, age 29
  7. Male, age 40
  8. Male, age 53
  9. Female, age 60
  10. Male, age 45
  11. Female, age 20
  12. Female, age 43
  13. Female, age 48
  14. Male, age 70
  15. Male, age 67
  16. Female, age 68
  17. Male, age 50
  18. Male, age 21
  19. Female, age 48
  20. Female, age 34
  21. Male, age 20
  22. Male, age 28
  23. Male, age 74
  24. Male, age 61
  25. Female, age 19
  26. Male, age 31
  27. Female, age 25
  28. Male, age 61
  29. Male, age 35
  30. Female, age 38
  31. Male, age 56
  32. Male, age 20
  33. Male, age 18
  34. Female, age 17

Griswold has previously noted that the 21-year-old female with a confirmed case (#2 in the list immediately above) was tested in Florida, but used an Old Lyme address although she does not live here. Because she gave the Old Lyme address, Griswold said that LLHD must report her as an Old Lyme resident.

Residents and businesses are urged to access up-to-date information regarding the pandemic from reputable sources including the Ledge Light Health District website (www.llhd.org), Facebook (@LedgeLightHD), Twitter (@LedgeLightHD), and Instagram (@LedgeLightHD).

Editor’s Note: Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) serves as the local health department in southeast Connecticut for the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme as well as East Lyme, Groton, Ledyard, New London, North Stonington,  Stonington and Waterford. As a health district, formed under Connecticut General Statutes Section 19a-241, LLHD is a special unit of government, allowing member municipalities to provide comprehensive public health services to residents in a more efficient manner by consolidating the services within one organization.

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Comments

  1. Neviaser isn’t giving enough details to people about cases in the school. Other schools in the state are far more honest with their community.

    Neviaser is putting people at risk. The selectmen and the board of education should be demanding more information. Parents deserve more information too, so they can make an informed decision about keeping their famiilies safe.

    How long will Neviaser be allowed to gamble with the lives and health of teachers and students?

  2. Thomas D. Gotowka says

    The data seem to be against us!
    The legitimate scientific community has warned us for months that we would experience a COVID “spike” in October, November, and December. People are spending more time indoors and, experiencing “COVID fatigue”, may be less willing to observe recommended behaviors.
    We experienced a pandemic-high 126,000 new cases nation-wide yesterday. “Be Best”!
    We have now reached 239,354 deaths, 4,671 in CT. The number of patients hospitalized for COVID in CT now exceeds 400, and the state recorded more than 1,065 new cases in 24 hours.
    A little bit of good news: just before Halloween, Connecticut’s COVID test positivity rate reached 6.1 percent. the highest it had been since June. Yesterday’s rate was 3.6 percent.
    I always check the data for South Dakota, which I consider the pyrite (i.e., “fool’s gold”) standard for abysmal attention to this public health crisis. Personal freedoms rule! The SD seven-day rolling average test positivity rate has reached a catastrophic 50.6 percent.

    Some news regarding CT inter-scholastic sports: Governor Lamont just announced a crackdown on “COVID-risky” sports. “There will be no high-risk sports games played by any K-12 Connecticut team through the remainder of 2020”. In addition, no CT venue may host competitions or tournaments for high or medium risk sports. No local team may travel out-of-state to play a sport. Players of any moderate-risk indoor sport must wear a mask.”
    https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/Press-Room/Press-Releases—2020/DPH-Releases-Comprehensive-Guidance-and-Recommendations-for-All-Organized-Sport
    So, and I feel like a skipping record (if anybody else remembers LPs and 45s):
    Wash your hands frequently, disinfect common surfaces, practice physical
    distancing, wear a face mask, avoid crowded areas, especially indoors, stay at home when sick, and it is also now recommended that you get a flu shot. None of this is difficult.

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