March 26th- I am very saddened to share that two elderly Wilton residents, who tested positive with Coronavirus, have passed away. I know you all join me in sending thoughts and prayers to their families and friends.
As we all know, statistically, residents aged 65 and older are at higher risk should they contract the virus. Upon learning of today’s news, I reflected upon the sacrifice so many residents, in that same age range, have made for our country, with many putting their lives on hold and at risk to serve in World War II, the Korean War or Vietnam War. For Veterans Day, Wilton school children and their parents attend school assemblies where students speak of their gratitude for the service of those veterans. Well, those veterans and their families need your gratitude now. Not in words, but in actions. Actions that can prevent those same veterans from becoming sick and at risk. Please, show that gratitude and respect them by behaving as if you have the virus and as if those around you do as well. Stay home, don’t congregate in groups, and follow the directives of federal, state and local officials.
Last night, I shared a comment made by a participant on yesterday’s call with the Governor regarding availability of case data information. I followed up with the participant, who shared an email from Dr. Matthew Cartter, the State’s Chief Epidemiologist. Dr. Cartter indicated, at this point in the pandemic, local health departments will hear about cases directly from hospitals and providers that the CT DPH do not know about and that it wouldn’t be long before CT DPH would not be able to provide even an approximate count of the number of people with Coronavirus in CT. He advised that as the pandemic intensifies, CT DPH would need to switch to just counting hospitalizations and deaths.
In Wilton, we know that is already true, as today’s report from CT DPH indicates that there are still 17 laboratory-confirmed cases in Wilton, while the Wilton Public Health Department is aware of at least 20 laboratory-confirmed cases. CT DPH reported one additional death in Fairfield County while we know there were at least two additional.
Although the CT DPH numbers are understated and I loathe providing inaccurate data, I will continue to report the numbers only because so many of you have asked me to do so. Today CT DPH reports 1,012 laboratory-confirmed cases, with 607 in Fairfield County and 21 deaths statewide, with 13 in Fairfield County. If you have received a confirmed or presumptive positive test and you have not been contacted by the Wilton Health Department, please contact the department.
Thank you to all the volunteers who have signed up with Wilton Helping Hands, a volunteer network led by Peg Koellmer organized to address the needs of Wilton’s most vulnerable population. Volunteers assist at a social distance with doorstep drop off of basic necessities or by making daily calls or sending emails. To volunteer, please call (203) 451-8479. If you or someone you know is in need of help, please contact Director of Social Services Sarah Heath at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are not asking for food donations for emergency responders, but many of you are asking how to make donations. We suggest gift cards to local restaurants or markets which will allow them to purchase food/meals. Gift cards can be left at Town Hall, Monday through Friday between 8:30 and 11:30am, in the drop box in the vestibule at the back of the building. Gift cards should be put in an envelope addressed to Sarah Gioffre, Community Affairs Coordinator. We are not able to accept home cooked meals, baked goods, or catered food at this time.
Details on the Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program, including the application form are now available. Businesses or nonprofits with 100 or less employees are eligible.
The Governor did not issue any new orders today. We are expecting an order regarding bonding referendums. Otherwise, with no Annual Town Meeting this May, we will need to hold a special Town Meeting, at some date in the future, for consideration of proposed bonding, including funds to pave an additional 15 miles and to replace the WHS stadium track.
We are receiving a number of calls and emails about crowded trails, use of private clubs closed by order of the Governor and use of fields closed by the Town. Please respect the orders. Wilton has never been the type of community that requires heavy handed enforcement. We don’t want to see that happen now, nor do we want to put people at risk of exposure in doing so. There are many calling for the Governor to require Connecticut residents to shelter-in-place. Both the course of the virus and the actions of citizens will determine the Governor’s decision on this matter.
As always, if you have any questions, email me or the appropriate town department.
What Can You Do to Help Stop the Spread?
- Maintain a distance of 6 feet between you and another person. This standard applies whether inside or outside.
- Consolidate your shopping and errands to minimize the numbers of days you must leave your home.
- Please do not to run to the store every time you hear a delivery has arrived. Widespread overbuying is the major cause of shortages. With businesses and schools closed and not ordering, new supply chains are open.
- Take advantage of the delivery options offered by many Wilton businesses.
- Practice your team sport on your own, not with your teammates. The internet is full of videos and suggestions on how to do this.
- Do walk outside. If your street is walkable, please consider walking there rather than a public trail. When the NRVT parking lot, or that of another trail, is more than 50% full, please find another place to walk. There are 127 miles of town-owned roads, more than 80 private roads and more than 3 miles of sidewalk on state-owned roads.
- Please respect the town’s closure of fields and recreation facilities.