A Generations Family Health Center employee who worked in Willimantic died unexpectantly Monday, and company officials say COVID-19 may be the cause.
Healthcare group officials said Tuesday that the employee, who died at home, was presumed positive for COVID-19 at the time of his death, but confirmation was still pending with the state Department of Public Health.
The employee, who was not identified, has not had contact with any patients for three weeks, and reported symptoms the night before he died, company officials said.
Other employees have been contacted, officials said. There are no other known cases among employees or patients of the healthcare group.
"The entire Generations team extends our deepest condolences to our colleague’s family and friends during this challenging and distressing time. We are profoundly saddened by this unexpected loss. Our organization has offered assistance to the family, and we will not be sharing any further information at this time, in respect for the family’s privacy," the company said in a statement.
Generations Family Health Center is a community-based healthcare provider. According to their website, they have been taking steps to protect against the spread of the coronavirus, including suspending dental services, adjusting hours during the crisis, and asking that anyone with possible symptoms of the coronavirus, or who had contact with a COVID-19 patient call the office before coming in.
The key symptoms of the coronavirus, according to the CDC are:
- Shortness of breath
Symptoms can appear in infected persons two to 14 days after exposure.
Coronavirus Prevention Steps
Steps for prevention from the CDC include:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
- You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
- Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, such as to the grocery store
- Coverings should not be placed on children under 2, anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- The face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected
- Do NOT use a facemask meant for a health care worker
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Steps to Self-Monitor for Coronavirus
Steps to self-monitor from the CDC include:
- Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
- Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
- Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
- Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).
If you do get sick with a fever, cough or have trouble breathing, call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room and communicate with your doctor about your recent travel.
- If you develop symptoms, stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
The CDC has a special website set up with details about the coronavirus, including how it spreads and treatment.
Anyone with questions relating to coronavirus can call 2-1-1 or text "CTCOVID" to 898211. The 2-1-1 hotline is available 24 hours a day.
You can also visit the state's coronavirus information website here. Residents are encouraged to check the website for answers to questions before calling the hotline.