GOOD Morning Wilton‘s last COVID-19 update was published on June 4, 2021. Clearly, much has happened since then, a time when there had been no new Wilton cases reported for the previous week, test positivity rates in both the town and across Connecticut were below 1%, and no new COVID-19 deaths were reported in the state.

In fact in June, Wilton recorded only four new COVID-19 cases. In all of July, there were 12 new cases.

Now, Wilton has tallied 15 new cases so far in August, as of Tuesday, Aug. 10. Of that total, there were 12 cases recorded in the first week alone — the same amount as in all of July. More telling, there have been 10 new cases since Friday, Aug. 6.

According to GMW‘s tracking, that puts Wilton back in the yellow risk zone (see chart above), with a two-week average number between 5-9 new cases per 100,000 people (although because of delayed reporting, the CT DPH still categorizes Wilton as grey or ‘low risk,’ signifying an average of fewer than five cases per 100,000 over two weeks).

Wilton’s test positivity rate as of Aug. 5, 2021, is 0.8%. Thankfully, no new deaths have been reported in several months.

First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice attributes the case rate increases in Wilton to the new, more contagious Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus.

She shared with GMW the ages of the Wilton residents who have tested positive since July 26 — information gathered by the state through contact tracing. She noted that there could be a timing difference with when the CT-DPH reported cases to the town and when the virus was actually contracted.

  • July 26, 2021: Female, 67; Male, 40
  • July 27, 2021: Female, 52
  • July 29, 2021: Female, 59
  • July 30, 2021: Male, 32; Female, 29
  • July 31, 2021: Female, 36; Male, 60
  • Aug. 2, 2021: Female, 64
  • Aug. 3, 2021: Female, 33
  • Aug. 6, 2021: Female, 51; Male, 23; Female, 20; Male, 15

Mask Mandates

Through an executive order signed last week, Gov. Ned Lamont has left the decision about mask mandates to officials in individual cities and towns in Connecticut, for the time being. Several municipalities have taken the opportunity presented by the governor, including Norwalk, Westport, Danbury, Bridgeport, Stamford, and Bethel in Fairfield County, as well as New Haven, West Haven, Madison, Middletown and New Fairfield. Each municipality has set its own restrictions on where and when masks must be worn, whether that’s indoors everywhere, or in certain locations only.

At Wilton’s Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday, Aug. 2, Vanderslice noted that the CT Department of Public Health recommends that all individuals wear masks while indoors regardless of their vaccination status.

She has stopped short of issuing any mandate, telling GOOD Morning Wilton that she, Wilton Health Director Barry Bogle, and other town officials are “continuing to monitor the situation.”

While voluntary mask-wearing is part of the COVID response she hopes residents will consider, Vanderslice continues to champion getting vaccinated.

“Voluntary use of masks by the vaccinated while indoors is an important element to continue to contain the spread, but the most important and most critical element is for unvaccinated residents, who are able, to get the vaccine and or complete their full dosage,” she said.

Vanderslice is encouraged by the past behavior of Wilton residents, especially in light of rising numbers statewide of cases due to the Delta variant.

“Throughout the pandemic, Wilton residents have stayed informed and a very significant majority have taken the measures required to keep themselves and our community safe. [In fact,] 90% of those eligible have had a least one dose of the vaccine, meaning 76% of all residents have had at least one dose. The rate of vaccination and a cautious approach by residents to the variant have helped contain the spread,” she added.

On Tuesday, Aug. 3, Vanderslice sent the following information as part of an email to residents:

“On Friday, July 30, the CT Department of Health (DPH) issued a Public Health Alert for Fairfield County recommending masks be worn by anyone older than 2 years old while indoors in public spaces, regardless of one’s vaccination status. As of Sunday, Aug. 1, similar health alerts had been issued for six of Connecticut’s seven counties.

“The reason for the alerts and the recommendation was that those counties had increasing cases due to the Delta variant and were classified as substantial transmission counties by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Substantial transmission is defined as more than 50 new cases per 100,000 residents during a 7-day period. As of Sunday [Aug. 1], Fairfield County had a 7-day rate of 61.06 new cases per 100,000. Neighboring New Haven County had a rate of 71.6.

“As of last night, Wilton had a 7-day rate of 38 new cases per 100,000 residents, more than two times last week’s rate. Recent case data is as follows:

    • Actual new cases one week ended 8/1/21:  7
    • Actual new cases four weeks ended 7/25/21:  7
    • Actual new cases four weeks ended 6/27/21:  5

“In light of the increasing rate of new cases, we are reconsidering the indoor masking policy for municipal buildings. In the meantime, the following is the current policy for visitors to municipal buildings:

    • “Unvaccinated individuals are required to wear masks at all times while inside any municipal building
    • “Vaccinated individuals are not required to wear a mask while inside municipal buildingsbut consistent with CDC and CT DPH recommendations, we strongly encourage vaccinated individuals to wear a mask while inside municipal buildings.

Wilton’s Vaccination Status

As of Wednesday, Aug. 4, (the most recent information compiled by the CT-DPH) 75.88% of Wilton residents have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccin; 71.27% are fully vaccinated.

Wilton is currently ranked 16th in the state for vaccination rates, performing much better than many other CT towns, some of which have vaccination rates in the low 30s.

Here’s how the town’s vaccination rates break down by age group:

  • 12-15 years old (1,470, or 8.01% of the total population)
    • first dose: 1,091 (74.22%)
    • second dose:  978 (66.53%)
  • 16-44 years old (5,053 or 27.55% of the total population)
    • first dose:  4,662 (92.26%)
    • second dose:  4,255 (84.21%)
  • 45-64 years old (6,127 or 33.40% of the total population)
    • first dose:  5,115 (83.48%)
    • second dose:  4,933 (80.51%)
  • 65 and older (2,814 or 15.34% of the total population)
    • first dose:  3,050 (108.39%)
    • second dose:  2,907 (103.30%)

[Editor’s note:  there are 2,879 residents below 12 years old, or 15.70% of the total population.]

Statewide Case Data

Statewide, 63.9% of residents are fully vaccinated and 71% of residents have received at least one dose (per The New York Times). That ranks Connecticut among the states with the highest vaccination rates. But still within the state, vaccination rates vary widely.

According to COVID ActNow, Fairfield County’s risk level was considered “high risk” (orange) as of Monday, Aug. 9; the day before and last week, the county’s risk level was elevated at “very high risk” (red). However, the website does note that the risk level is “reduced for those who are vaccinated.”

After much of the summer with test positivity rates regularly below 1%, and the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 well below 100, numbers across Connecticut are once again rising.

As of Tuesday, Aug. 10:

COVID-19 Cases (confirmed and probable)359,638+275
COVID-19 Tests Reported (molecular and antigen)10,091,382+9,637
Daily Test Positivity2.85%
Patients Currently Hospitalized with COVID-19219+11

As of Monday, Aug. 9:

COVID-19 Cases (confirmed and probable)359,363+1,287
COVID-19 Tests Reported (molecular and antigen)10,081,745+38,702
Daily Test Positivity3.33%
Patients Currently Hospitalized with COVID-19208+34

Data on COVID-19 associated deaths is updated by the state once per week every Thursday. The most recently reported total number of deaths since the start of the pandemic is 8,296.

Gov. Lamont and DPH Acting Commissioner Gifford express concern over COVID-19 outbreaks, highlight reduced risk for vaccinated persons

Wednesday, Aug 4., Press Release from Gov. Lamont — Gov. Ned Lamont and Dr. Deidre Gifford, acting commissioner of the CT Department of Public Health and senior advisor to the governor for health and human services, are expressing concern with recent COVID-19 outbreaks among vaccinated and unvaccinated persons in Connecticut:

  • A birthday party took place in June with about 50 attendees, resulting in 16 cases of COVID-19 in the subsequent week. The birthday party started outdoors and then moved indoors. Unvaccinated attendees at this party were four times as likely to test positive than those who were vaccinated, with a total of six cases among 33 fully or partially vaccinated attendees and 10 cases among 13 vaccinated attendees. Four cases were hospitalized as a result.
  • A summer camp of about 50 campers and about 20 staff members experienced a COVID-19 outbreak in July with 13 identified cases among campers. All staff have been vaccinated and no cases have been identified among staff. The cameras are 11-14 years of age and their vaccination status is unknown.
  • A total of 28 Connecticut residents have been identified as COVID-19 cases associated with an outbreak in Massachusetts, having traveled to Provincetown (26) or having had contact with a case that traveled to Provincetown (2) in July. A total of 26 (93%) of the cases were fully vaccinated. None of the cases were hospitalized.

The CT-DPH reminds CT residents that social gatherings with a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated persons should be outdoors. Indoor gatherings should include masks. Unvaccinated children are susceptible to COVID-19 and should get vaccinated before school starts.

Vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals at high risk for complications from COVID-19 — including those with compromised immune systems, diabetes, asthma, other lung diseases, pregnancy, or obesity — should avoid large, indoor gatherings that may include a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

Vaccination remains the most important defense against illness and hospitalization from COVID-19. So-called “vaccine breakthrough” cases have occurred in Connecticut, but they remain rare. Most hospitalizations and deaths in Connecticut and around the country are in unvaccinated individuals. The CT-DPH strongly recommends that unvaccinated individuals get vaccinated as soon as possible to help stop the ongoing spread of the Delta variant.

Statewide News Coverage

Below are links to recent news coverage of important developments and alerts regarding COVID-19 in the state of Connecticut.

Hartford, Bridgeport, Stamford, Norwalk to require masks in restaurants and businesses amid COVID-19 spike (Hartford Courant, Tuesday, Aug. 10): “Hartford, Bridgeport, Stamford and Norwalk will join New Haven in requiring masks in restaurants and businesses amid a spike in COVID-19 cases, the cities announced on Tuesday.”

Norwalk reinstates indoor mask mandate (Norwalk Hour, Tuesday, Aug. 10): “Beginning Friday, masks will be required indoors across the city, regardless of vaccination status.”

Health Care System Resurrects COVID-19 Hotline (, Tuesday, Aug. 10): “Hoping to combat misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine, Hartford HealthCare relaunched its hotline Monday, [Aug. 9] and encouraged residents to base their medical decisions on scientific evidence rather than social media posts.”

COVID hospitalizations skew younger as delta variant spreads in CT (CT Mirror, Tuesday, Aug. 10):  “As the delta variant has spread, people between the ages of 20 and 59 now account for a higher proportion of COVID-19 hospitalizations than in January, according to data compiled by the federal Department of Health and Human Services.”

Hartford to require masks in restaurants and businesses amid COVID-19 spike (Hartford Courant, Tuesday, Aug. 10): “Hartford will become the second in Connecticut municipality to restore a mask mandate, following New Haven, whose new policy took effect Monday. The capital city has recorded a high rate of new cases recently while continuing to have one of the lowest vaccination rates in the state.”

Lamont orders long-term care facilities to get workers vaccinated or face fines (CT Mirror, Friday, Aug. 6):  “Workers at long-term care facilities must be vaccinated by Sept. 7 or their workplaces will face a $20,000 daily penalty.”

School Officials Want Lamont To Make The Mask Call (, Friday, Aug. 6): “Amidst a surge in COVID cases driven by the delta variant, school superintendents and teachers unions are waiting to see if Gov. Ned Lamont will continue a statewide policy requiring masks in Connecticut classrooms as schools open.”

UConn Grants COVID Vaccine Exemptions (, Tuesday, Aug. 3): “The University of Connecticut has granted more than 65% of 771 requests for non-medical exemptions to its student COVID vaccination requirement, according to a state motion to dismiss a recent federal court lawsuit.”

Where should you wear a mask? Is it safe to dine indoors? Physicians, experts weigh in. (Hartford Courant, Saturday, July 31): “As Connecticut has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases among not only the unvaccinated but also, in some instances, the vaccinated, many residents have resumed precautionary measures they had previously set aside.
Here are the latest rules, guidance and expert recommendation about what is and isn’t advisable at this stage of the pandemic.”

Unvaccinated people in Connecticut 17 times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 than vaccinated people, even as breakthrough cases increase (Hartford Courant, Thursday, July 29): “Unvaccinated people in Connecticut have been about 17 times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 during the month of July than vaccinated people, according to state data, even as breakthrough cases have become slightly more common due to the spread of the Delta variant.”

National News

Half of US population is fully vaccinated against Covid-19 (CNN, Friday, Aug. 6)

What vaccinated parents should know about the delta variant and kids under 12 (NBC, Wednesday, Aug. 4)

Delta Variant Accounts for More Than 94% of U.S. Cases (CDC, Wednesday, Aug. 11)

F.D.A. Aims to Give Final Approval to Pfizer Vaccine by Early Next Month (The New York Times, Tuesday, Aug. 3)

C.D.C. Internal Report Calls Delta Variant as Contagious as Chickenpox (The New York Times, Friday, July 30)

Vaccinated people may spread the virus, though rarely, the C.D.C. reported. (The New York Times, Friday, July 30)

Side-by-side comparison of vaccination rates, Covid spikes shows clear cause and effect (NBC, Thursday, July 29)

2 replies on “COVID-19 Update Aug. 11 — No Wilton Mask Mandate, Yet; Where Things Stand”

  1. Of the many new Covid cases in Wilton and in Connecticut, I would be interested in knowing how many of them were vaccinated. And how that information is collected. We keep reading the statistics about cases and deaths and that the non-vaccinated are causing the spread. However, we can’t be certain these statistics are accurate. Perhaps the vaccinated without symptoms are also causing the spread. No one audits the accuracy of these statistics and the reliability of “expert“ opinions. The media just prints what it’s handed by the usual sources.

    1. The state doesn’t release town-specific breakdowns of whether the cases are in vaccinated or unvaccinated people. Legitimate media report statistics from verified sources — the CDC, state and local health departments, and hospitals. While the CDC has reported that vaccinated people can transmit the Delta variant, the number of breakthrough cases is MUCH lower than the number of cases and deaths of UNvaccinated people. From the CDC: “As of Aug. 9, 2021, more than 166 million people in the United States had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. During the same time, CDC received reports from 49 U.S. states and territories of 8,054 patients with COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough infection who were hospitalized or died.” That’s 0.0048%.

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