Ask Me Anything: Lynne Vanderslice Answers Reader Questions on COVID [VIDEO]

You asked, GOOD Morning Wilton got answers. We invited readers to submit their questions for First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice on the town’s response to COVID-19, and we posed them to her last week. Below are the video results of that interview, where Vanderslice responded to questions on everything from what to do if you know someone who should be quarantining isn’t, to whether she’ll provide more demographic information on positive cases, to why residents only hear from her and not Health Director Barry Bogle.

We are making the entire video available, followed by clips of the individual questions to help readers search for a particular question of interest.

Question 1:  What are the safest activities I can do with my friends when they come back for the holidays?

Question 2:  What is the threshold that will determine when we go back to full remote learning? How many students and staff have to be infected or quarantined before we go fully remote?

Question 3: Barry Bogle, the Health Director, has made some very conservative–some say restrictive–decisions. Some of us don’t agree with them. Is there anything you can say to talk to us about that?

Question 4: There are people in town who want more restrictions, want schools to go fully remote, want things to be more conservative. On the other hand, there are people who want things more open, who want things to be looser, and more things to be allowed. How do you balance those two when you hear from residents?

Question 5:  Can we generalize from recent Covid cases in Wilton as to the most likely sources of transmission? Indoor restaurants? Bars? Sports? Imprudent social events? If we are to learn from what’s happened and correct behavior, we need specifics. “Family gatherings” doesn’t cut it.

Question 6: What is the best course of action if you know someone is not quarantining after traveling? Or not quarantining after being in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID? What do you do if someone you know is not following the rules?

Question 7:  Why is there such secrecy about the ages of our residents who have tested positive, have been hospitalized, or in a few instances, have succumbed to COVID-19? Ages and/or demographics are not personal information. Such information would help Wilton families make informed decisions about our own health. The withholding of information is deemed to many as a scare tactic; it also causes much stress in the community because of fear of the unknown. Would you consider being more forthcoming with information to your constituents?

Question 8: How much in dollars are the incremental COVID-related costs the town incurred and will pay? And how are these costs going to be paid⎼debt? tax hikes? spending cuts? By how much and when will the bill come due for Wilton taxpayers?

Question 9:  All I hear is, “cases, cases, cases” that are being reported. I have COVID fatigue and am on a quest to find the full picture as I refuse to only be focused on the number of cases. I love my own chances for survival given my prayers, health and lifestyle. The local, state and national messaging–especially through the media–comes across as overwhelmingly doom and gloom. I’d like to see more positive information–and no, I’m not being naive, or rose-colored glasses. Please show me who is alive, who does not have COVID, what are some of the GOOD numbers?

Question 10:  With 96% of the town not having a positive COVID test result, why are the restrictions still so extreme? Why are the restaurants limited with how many people can eat inside? Why are people having to wear masks? Why are the schools having to go full remote, if our numbers are so GOOD at 96% not having COVID?

Question 11:  With parents clamoring for four-day-a-week school schedules, it seems counterintuitive to allow these indoor sports to function in their current mode.

Question 12:  We are seeing college students that are from Wilton but away at school, test positive and return home. How are those numbers being recorded? If a student tests positive–let’s say in Virginia–does that stay on Virginia numbers or Wilton numbers?

Question 13:  Anything else to add? (Vanderslice discusses losing sleep worrying about residents, why they hear from her and not Barry Bogle, and the plan for vaccine distribution.)