On the same day that the United States reached a somber number in the COVID-19 pandemic–more than 250,000 Americans have now died from the coronavirus–Wilton’s case numbers also hit unfortunate milestones. On Wednesday, Nov. 18, the day’s 12 new cases reported by the CT Department of Public Health nudged the town’s total number of positive cases diagnosed since the start of the pandemic over the 400 mark, to 406.
Wednesday also marked the 99th case of the month so far, just a bit beyond November’s midpoint. That puts the month on track to be Wilton’s worst month so far, likely topping April’s 107 cases total by month’s end. The trajectory appears to be even more alarming, as Wilton’s two-week rolling average case rate is now at 33.96 cases* per 100,000 (see chart above).
Statewide on Wednesday, there was another notable number, with 39 new hospitalizations, pushing Connecticut beyond 800, to 816 current hospitalized patients.
First Selectwoman’s Update
Wednesday evening, First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice said that Wilton’s known cases over the prior two days ranged from ages 6 to 61. She said there’s important context for the information presented:
- The specific number of Wilton residents, if any, who are hospitalized with COVID is NOT provided to the town by CT DPH.
- Reported new cases are current as of 8:30 p.m. the evening prior to the day of the CT DPH report. The report may lag cases reported by the Wilton Public Schools, which may be more current.
- The “known ages” are the ages of patients known to the Wilton Health Department. The information is provided either by the State for contact tracing or self-reported to the department or the schools. The State does not pass along all cases for contact tracing. Depending on the circumstances, state employees may instead perform contact tracing, so Wilton’s Health Department may not have information on every single case.
- Officials aren’t aware of any source for recovery statistics for COVID patients residing in Wilton, Fairfield County or Connecticut.
Vanderslice also provided ages for Wilton’s known cases reported for the nine days from Nov. 10-18, with the largest number in the 11- to 20-year-old cohort:
|Age Range||% of New Cases|
STATE EFFORTS TO EXPAND TESTING
Vanderslice noted that on her call Wednesday with the Governor’s staff, they acknowledged the strain due to a surge in testing. In response, the State is working with state-contracted partners to increase availability through new regional test sites. They will not be opening a site in each municipality. Instead, they will open sites at large venues with the capacity to serve the regional population.
Many of the state partners are also seeking to expand hours. To do so, new hires are required. College students on break are encouraged to consider short-term employment and seek out those openings. Volunteers are also needed for the regional testing centers, and can volunteer through the CT Medical Reserve Corps or CT Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.
A list of testing centers in abutting communities with website links is available on the Coronavirus page on the Town’s website. Additional locations, including pop-up sites, are available on the State’s 211 site and the Community Health Center.
The CT DPH Commissioner reminded the public that testing is only one component in reducing the spread of the virus. Wearing masks and avoiding indoor gatherings are two critical components that everyone can practice.
Vanderslice said she added a 5th “W” to her list of W ways to keep Wilton safe:
- Watch your distance
- Wear a mask/face covering when you can’t maintain 6 feet of distance whether indoors or outside
- Walk, run or bike to the right in single file when passing another person on the NRVT, sidewalks and trails
- Wait to host indoor gatherings
- Wash your hands