COVID-19 Update July 30–As Wilton Adds More Cases, Vanderslice says: If you want kids in school and playing sports, then behave safely now

Wilton added two new COVID-positive cases in Thursday’s report from the CT Department of Public Health, bringing the week’s total to nine new cases.

The week before, Wilton had only one new case.

Based on new guidance released Thursday by the State Dept. of Education and the CT Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC), Wilton’s trend in the wrong direction is a warning for those who want to see their children in school and able to play fall sports.

First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice made that clear in her nightly COVID-19 update for Wilton residents. “Decisions about learning and sports will be based on residents’ behavior over the next several weeks. It is that simple.”

As she explained the guidance released by the state, local educators and public health officials will determine what learning model to use based largely on the seven-day average of new cases per 100,000 residents:

  • Low-risk:  In-person learning favored if less than 10 new cases per 100,000.
  • Moderate-risk:  Hybrid favored if 10-24 new cases per 100,000.
  • High-risk: Remote learning favored if 25 or more cases per 100,000.

For Wilton, 10 cases per 100,000 equals an average of 1.8 cases per day. Over the last week, Wilton averaged 1.3 cases per day.

Vanderslice reiterated to Wilton residents that how they act now will impact whether or not Wilton schools can open and sports teams can play. “If you want your child learning in school and if you want your child playing school sports, please have your family behave in a manner that maximizes the chances of that happening:

  • “Keep six feet distance from anyone who does not reside in your household. This includes while exercising, while on the sidelines during team sports, while a spectator, or while socializing.
  • “Wear a mask, if you can’t keep six feet of distance and are medically able to wear one.
  • “Avoid Coronavirus hotspots.
  • “Quarantine if you travel to a hotspot.”

Another not-so-great statistic in Thursday’s report was the one-day uptick in hospitalized COVID patients, which noted 13 new cases, including eight in Fairfield County. While the total number of COVID-positive cases in hospitals across the state is still below 100–a major metric that Lamont has used to measure the ability to keep the state ‘open’–it’s not a trend in the right direction.

Lamont Intent on Getting Back To School

During his daily press briefing on Thursday, Gov. Ned Lamont clarified his position on what his administration’s role is in making in-person learning happen. It’s been a question since earlier guidelines counted only in-person learning toward the required 177-day school calendar, until Lamont reversed that policy earlier this week to give individual districts more autonomy over moving to hybrid or remote models.

He was asked if districts at ‘low-risk’ case levels that still chose remote learning would be forced to implement an in-person only learning model?

“Can I force that school to open? Can I force those teachers in there? You know probably not. But I feel very strongly if there’s an opportunity for an in-school option, it’s the best option for these kids,” Lamont said.

School districts can appeal to Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona for a waiver, but the governor said they’d have to make a strong case.

“I have not done anything by strict edict. But if a kid has a chance to get to a classroom I want them to be able to have the opportunity to be in a classroom. I think the overwhelming number of our school districts agree.”

Lamont indicated his approval for the hybrid option of in-person with remote learning.

“Right now the metrics indicate we’re going to have a mix of in-classroom, particularly for the lower grades, as well as the hybrid, most likely for the upper grades where it’s tougher to cohort,” he said.

By the Numbers (July 30)

Here are the current updates related to the COVID-19 public health crisis in Wilton and across Connecticut in the Last week, as of 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 29:

CT DPH reported the following for Wilton as of July 29:

  • Total Wilton cases:  240 (+2)
    • July 28:  238
    • July 27:  235
    • July 26:  233 (* one case erroneously reported on July 23 was removed from the total count)
    • July 23:  234
    • July 22:  231
  • Total Wilton fatalities:  42 (+0; Unchanged since July 19)
  • Total Number of Wilton residents tested: 2,618 2,570 (+48) 
  • Number of tests performed:  3,443 (+68)

CT DPH reported the following for Fairfield County as of July 29:

  • Total Fairfield County Cases:   17,786 (+13 since July 28)
    • Confirmed:  17,142
    • Probable:  644
  • Total Fairfield County Deaths:  1,406 deaths  (+2 since July 28)
    • Confirmed:  1,094
    • Probable:  312
  • Total Current Fairfield County Hospitalized patients:  27 (+8 since July 28)

CT DPH reported the following for statewide as of July 29:

  • Total CT cases: 49,670  (+130 since July 28)
  • Total CT deaths:  4,431 (+6 since July 28)
  • Total Current State hospitalized patients:  66 (+13 since July 28)
  • Total tests performed in CT:  776,775 (+12,958 since July 28)

It is important to note that these newly reported updates include data that occurred over the last several days to a week. All data in this report are preliminary, and data for previous dates will be updated as new reports are received and data errors are corrected. Hospitalization data were collected by the Connecticut Hospital Association. Deaths* reported to either OCME or DPH are included in the daily COVID-19 update.

Visit the state’s coronavirus webpage for several additional charts and tables containing more data groups, including a town-by-town breakdown of positive cases in each municipality and a breakdown of cases and deaths among age groups.

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