March 23rd, 2020
HAMDEN, Conn. – A message from Mayor Leng,
“As you may already know, Hamden had its first individual who tested positive for Coronavirus 19. We wish that individual the very best, and offer our concern and the prayers of our entire Hamden community for swift recovery.
While this positive test was the first official in Hamden, there are certainly more cases here in Town that are yet untested. State Officials explained that we should assume for every one positive case, there are 100 additional people who have the virus who have not yet been identified through testing.
Hamden will continue to take action every day and will enforce both the State’s Shut Down “Stay Safe, Stay Home” efforts and the Hamden Emergency Orders that further restrict gatherings to be of no more than 10 individuals, along with efforts to keep social distancing strictly enforced at Town buildings and parks and more. These actions are designed to reduce the number of people exposed and slow the spread of this extremely contagious and potentially lethal virus.
However, these actions alone will not be enough to stop the spread - we can’t do this alone. Everyone has to be a part of the solution and that means taking the recommended steps so you don’t catch the virus, and if you do, so you won’t spread it to someone who could end up losing their life.
I am desperately hoping that all of our residents fully realize that this virus is directly in our community. Further, please understand something very important.
I don’t consider Hamden to have one case, we need to understand that we likely have at least 200 cases in our community. I am watching people stopping for coffee and being together in small areas, groups gathering for sports and making contact, seeing crowds at stores. This is NOT WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING. We need to spread people out away from each other, and follow the directions from the Center for Disease Control & Prevention of staying a minimum of 6 feet apart to reduce the spread.
The Governor’s limited shut occurred just this evening, and for the reasons I described and many more, we should assume that our 200 potential cases have already unknowingly infected others in our community. Within days, we will likely have multiple hundreds of unknown cases. Recent studies have shown that each individual is likely to spread it to 3 people each until all people have fully restricted their physical interactions with one another.
Since this isn’t the case yet, and many folks are living as usual, it could mean up to 1% of our local Hamden population has the Coronavirus.
This number is going to continue to increase dramatically until extreme social distancing is embraced and followed by all of our residents.
Health Experts advise that unless we really shut down contact, likely 20% of the population will get the virus - and this is their conservative estimate. For Hamden, that would be roughly 12,400 people. It will mean people you know, people in your family, your friends and neighbors families, getting sick and potentially dying.
You have an opportunity right now in this moment to take simple actions that could save the lives of many, the lives of members of your family and of your friends and neighbors families. We need to change our behaviors immediately, understand the seriousness of the new normal of fully avoiding physical contact, and take efforts to increase cleaning and sanitization of yourself and commonly used surfaces.
Residents of all ages should please stay home and away from other people, unless absolutely necessary. If you catch the virus you can pass it to people at higher risk, and there are many people in our state who are younger and are experiencing severe infections requiring hospitalization. As of yesterday, the highest level of positives was in the 40-49 age bracket.
Your actions, your personal decisions, your respect in following the State and Town Orders, will save the life of someone you know or love.
In this very strange moment in our history, you have potentially a once in a lifetime opportunity to be a true superhero and save lives. Know that you have this power, and take responsibility. Follow the guidelines of our health experts, exercise precautions and smart judgement, and embrace inconvenience in favor of saving lives.
God bless you and please be safe.”
For more information on the coronavirus, please visit the CDC.com website. For more information on Hamden’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, please visit www.hamden.com.