COVID-19 Update, March 9: “Path Toward Normalcy”–Wilton Looks to Restriction Rollback, CDC Gives Guidance for the Vaccinated

Wilton Public School/Early Learning Center employees Bernadette Hess, Christine Polito and Patti Terranova after receiving their first COVID-19 vaccine dose on Friday, March 5, 2021

In her COVID-19 update Monday evening to Wilton residents, First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice summed up where the town is one year since the first resident tested positive: “The path forward to normalcy is becoming clearer.”

She noted that “more than 20% of Wilton residents have been vaccinated and the Town’s Emergency Management Team is developing the plan to implement the rollback of restrictions announced last week by the Governor,” and added that she hoped to have additional details about the changes later this week.

CDC Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Residents

Also Monday, the CDC issued interim guidance for fully vaccinated residents. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose in a two-dose series or one dose for a single-dose vaccine. Vanderslice outlined what can be done when outside a healthcare setting:

  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.
  • Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.
  • Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic.

Fully vaccinated people should continue to:

  • In public, wear a mask and physical distance.
  • Wear masks, physical distance, and practice other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households.
  • Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings.
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Follow guidance issued by individual employers
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations

Rescue Plan Funding

Vanderslice also provided information on the Federal American Rescue Plan, which is expected to pass Congress and go to President Joe Biden for his signature later this week.

The plan includes $1.6 billion in aid to Connecticut municipalities and $1 billion in aid to Connecticut schools. Vanderslice said that “exact details as to the amount of aid for the Town of Wilton and the Wilton Public Schools and when the funds will be received is not yet known.”

She explained that as the legislation is understood, allocations for municipalities are designated for reimbursing costs, replacing lost revenues and funding other efforts determined by the Town. Use of funds by the schools will be provided to the Board of Education and Superintendent Dr. Kevin Smith.

“The distributed funds are not intended to be used to provide one-time property tax relief.  Fortunately, on the Town side, we do not have significant unreimbursed costs and lost revenue,” Vanderslice wrote, adding that more details will be shared as they become available.

Town to Hold Vaccine Clinic for Middlebrook & WHS Teachers

Vanderslice said the town received a shipment of Moderna vaccines over the weekend, allowing the Wilton Health Department to hold a second vaccine clinic for in-person education employees.

“At a minimum, we expect all Wilton Public School classroom employees who choose to receive the vaccine through the Town and are not in quarantine, will be vaccinated by the end of this week,” Vanderslice said.

Additional clinics are expected to be held next week for other in-person education and childcare workers employed in Wilton.

Monday, Gov. Ned Lamont released current vaccine data for Connecticut:

  • 137,000 vaccine doses to arrive in CT
  • 75% of residents age 75-and-up have received a first dose.
  • 64% of residents age 65-74 have received a first dose.
  • 25% of residents age 55-64 have received a first dose. This amount includes medical workers vaccinated in Phase 1.a.

Vanderslice said that this week’s expected doses are down from the 150,000 received last week, presumably because last week the state received a one-time bump of 30,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines–something not expected to be repeated this week.

In addition to targeting doses to education and childcare workers, the CT Department of Public Health is targeting doses to cities, where the rate of vaccination is significantly lower than in surrounding suburban communities. According to Vanderslice, the CT DPH reported that, as of the end of last week, 50% of residents 75-and-up in Bridgeport were vaccinated versus 101% in Wilton; for people age 65-74 in both locations, Bridgeport was at 47% versus 82% in Wilton.

Similar differences exist for other cities and surrounding suburbs across the state. Vanderslice said that may mean a delay for residents 55-64:  “Unless there is an increase in weekly doses received, residents 55-64 could be waiting into April to receive the vaccine and newly eligible residents as of March 22 will not likely receive an appointment in March.”

Vanderslice said that anyone who is currently eligible and still doesn’t have an appointment is encouraged to search all providers on the links on the Town’s Coronavirus Resources webpage or call the State telephone number listed. Anyone who double-booked appointments is requested to cancel the no-longer-needed appointment, so it can be used by another resident.

Case Numbers

Wilton’s case numbers as of Sunday, March 7, 8:30 p.m., include:

Total cases since pandemic start:  987 (+9 from Friday, March 5)
Test Positivity rate:  2.5%
Total fatalities since pandemic start:  49

Vanderslice said that during the past two weeks, there was a noticeable decline in cases for those aged 65 and above. During the most recent 7-day period (March 2-8), there were no known cases for residents aged 55-and-above.

Wilton Mar 2-8 Feb 23-Mar 1 Feb 16-22 Feb 9-15
Ages Population
0-4 5% 0% 7% 0% 3%
5-14 18% 35% 7% 0% 11%
15-24 13% 18% 27% 14% 20%
25-44 16% 24% 40% 21% 18%
45-65 32% 24% 17% 50% 33%
65+ 16% 0% 3% 14% 14%