COVID-19 Community Levels Map Update, Jan. 27, 2023: The CDC has listed three Connecticut Counties—Litchfield, Middlesex and New Haven Counties—in the High/Orange category as part of its weekly COVID-19 Community Levels update. Fairfield, Hartford, New London, Tolland and Windham Counties are listed in the Medium/Yellow category.  Because all eight Connecticut counties are either in the High or Medium categories, the Connecticut Department of Public Health recommends that all residents consider wearing a mask in public indoor spaces. People who are at high risk for severe illness should consider additional measures to minimize their exposure to COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses. Visit the CDC COVID-19 Community Levels Map for updates.


Please visit covidtests.gov to request four free COVID-19 self-test kits from the Federal Government. Find a location that has a supply of COVID-19 therapeutics as part of the Test to Treat initiative here. The complete DPH COVID-19 toolbox is located at ct.gov/coronavirus.

Toxicology ImageThis group is the Risk Assessment unit for all state agencies. Risk assessment is a scientific process in which we estimate the amount of chemical exposure possible and combine that with the toxicity of the chemical(s) to estimate the risks to the general public. We use this technique to identify levels of contaminants in the environment (air, water, soil, food) that may be a health risk. In this manner, we help set cleanup standards. We also apply this to toxic chemical incidents that may involve spills and releases to the air, soil and water (e.g., chemical fires, tanker car accidents). 
 

Selected Topics

 
Lead in Wild Game
Lead in venison may be a health concern for some. Venison is a valuable source of locally harvested protein for hunters and their families, as well as for food pantries.  However, recent evidence from Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota indicate that lead bullets fragment more than previously believed and can contaminate cuts of venison, even those taken far from where the bullet enters the deer.  In general, ground venison is more often contaminated that whole cuts.  Consumption of venison harvested with lead bullets may be a health concern for some consumers, especially pregnant women and young children.  For more information, please see this new fact sheet from the Connecticut Dept of Environmental Protection.  
        Wood Burning

Wood burning in any form produces nuisance odors and smoke.  The smoke is made of very small particulates that can have serious health effects if concentrations are high enough.

CT DPH is aware of numerous complaints due to smoke coming from various wood burning devices including “outdoor wood boilers” and wood stoves.  Owners of wood burning devices can follow some simple steps to reduce the amount of smoke produced.  The primary precaution is to only burn dry, well seared wood.

Neighbors negatively impacted by wood smoke may file complaints with a number of government agencies.  CT DEP regulates Outdoor Wood Burners (OWBs) and they should be your first call if you live near a problem OWB:  CT DEEP Wood Burning Web page

Your local health department can also respond to wood smoke violations, as well as your local Fire Marshall.

Response to Wood Burning Complaints in Connecticut (pdf)

Guidance to support local health directors in their effort to address local nuisance complaints stemming from woodburning.

Outdoor Wood Boilers (NYDH)

EPA Burnwise Web page

Wet Wood is a Waste (video)

Technical Briefs:

 
Circular Letters: