The city of New Britain stopped evening outdoor school activities because of the threat of Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile virus, but the city and schools are again allowed to schedule outdoor events after 6 p.m.
A statement from the mayor’s office says city health officials say that as temperatures drop throughout Connecticut, mosquito activity and populations are weakened, further reducing the risk of contact with humans.
“The first frost over the weekend has definitely helped reduce the mosquito population around our area. Which is why the Director of Health is advising me that city evening activities including school sports can schedule activities past 6 p.m.,” Mayor Erin Stewart said in a statement.
The New Britain Consolidated School District will resume regularly scheduled evening events.
The mayor said residents are still advised to protect themselves, especially people who are most at risk, including the young and elderly, while outdoors when mosquitos are present.
Three people in Connecticut have died after contracting EEE. The residents were from East Haddam, East Lyme and Old Lyme.
Another, a Colchester resident, was hospitalized.
Dr. Theodore Andreadis, the director of the state agricultural experiment station, said the state Department of Health recommendation to limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn remains in effect, particularly in communities where the local department of health has asked people to refrain from being outside from dusk until dawn.
He added that we have not had a hard frost needed to end the threat.
The mayor’s office says health department recommends applying insect repellant containing DEET when outdoors and reapplying as directed by the manufacturer; avoiding peak hours of mosquito activity, from one hour after dawn and an hour before dusk; wearing long sleeves, pants, and socks when outdoors, especially in evening hours; repairing damaged widow and door screens; removing standing water from around your home; disposing of water holding containers such as ceramic pots, used tires, and clogged gutters; drilling holes in the bottom of containers, such as those used for recycling; changing water in bird baths often; cleaning and chlorinating pools and pool covers when not in use; and using landscaping to eliminate areas where water can collect.
Learn more hear on the symptoms of EEE as well as treatments for EEE.