When it comes to COVID-19, Wilton numbers are headed in the wrong direction.
Not only are more new positive cases being reported, but the town now leads its neighboring communities in the case per person rate. In other words, we’re adding new positive cases faster than the towns around us.
Even more alarming, officials are linking the new cases to younger residents and suspecting that the exposure is happening when people travel out of state to states with hot spots or play team sports.
According to the data released by the CT Department of Public Health’s CT Data Center on Monday, July 13 (recorded as of July 12), Wilton has added four new positive cases since last Friday, bringing the total number of reported cases to 230.*
Here are all the stats for Wilton as of July 13 (as of July 12), versus the dates prior to the start of Phase 1 and Phase 2 reopening:
- 230 total positive cases–23 additional since June 16 and 30 since May 19
- 1,991 residents tested, 841 since June 16 and 1,241 since May 19
- 2,555 tests performed, 1,103 since June 16
- 41 deaths, no change since June 16 and 4 additional since May 19
“The increase in the new cases that we’ve seen since Phase 1 and Phase 2 opening is a significant amount of those cases are in younger residents. And we know that we have some cases linked to travel in one of the 19 states [on Gov. Lamont’s travel advisory list], and we know that we have cases that are linked to sports,” First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice told GOOD Morning Wilton on Monday afternoon.
Officials believe the exposure from team sport activity isn’t happening during sanctioned or allowed play.
“Team play that goes on right now isn’t supposed to happen without having submitted a plan to the health director. Those are the rules. And if we have people out there playing team sports that aren’t doing that, that’s a concern,” Vanderslice said, noting that it presents a high risk. “You are getting close to people, you are breathing heavily, and so it can happen.”
According to Vanderslice, right now Little League baseball and Wilton Softball are the only sports that are authorized to be conducted. UPDATE 1:30 PM Vanderslice provided an updated list of youth sports organizations that have approved plans: WHS Football Boosters, WHS Soccer Boosters, Wilton Lacrosse Association, Wilton Youth Football and Cheerleading, Wilton Baseball and Softball, including Wilton Little League, Wilton Field Hockey Association, and Wilton Youth Field Hockey.
“There are procedures, that has all been approved by the health director to minimize exposure. It is the health director’s job to try to minimize the risk to this community. So, we had to close the fields once because people were using them improperly. We haven’t seen too much of that now. But…when we see these spikes, when these things are happening, the health director has to make a decision. So he’s watching this very closely, to determine if and what’s steps may have to occur,” she said, explaining that yes, fields might get closed again. “The fields obviously are a potential consequence.”
Vanderslice reinforced the directive to quarantine after traveling to any of the states on Connecticut’s travel advisory list.
“We all know when you travel to one of those 19 States, you risk exposure. Then if you come back here and you don’t quarantine, then you risk exposing it to everyone. Even though 14 days is the quarantine period, we do know that sometimes it takes longer than 14 days. So everybody’s got to make the decision for themselves what they’re going to do,” she said, adding, “But if everybody’s operating in the environment that minimizes exposure, then we’re all better off.”
In her nightly update to town residents, Vanderslice cautioned, “We must do better to avoid reinstatement of restrictions, particularly those involving younger residents.” She listed her cautions:
- If you travel to one of the states identified for quarantine, please quarantine for the full 14 days away from other household members.
- If you have a visitor from one of those same states, have them quarantine away from you and other household members.
- Whether within or outside your home, please maintain 6 feet of distance from those with whom you don’t reside and wear a face-covering unless you have a medical condition.
- Avoid or minimize participation in higher-risk activities.
These higher-risk activities have put Wilton in a tougher spot, reversing a previous better trend. “During the height of the pandemic, Wilton’s case per person rate lagged our neighboring communities. Now, we lead our non-urban neighbors with a rate of 1 case for every 81 residents,” Vanderslice wrote to residents.
1 Case per Residents Stamford 39 Norwalk 42 Wilton 81 Westport 89 Darien 100 Ridgefield 109 New Canaan 108 Weston 152
Vanderslice also aimed to dispel a belief that Wilton’s positive case numbers were primarily due to nursing home cases and an older population. “New cases are not fueled by our nursing or assisted living facilities. The incidence of cases at those facilities is decreasing,” she wrote. In fact, as of July 7, the date of the most recent facility data:
- During Phase 2, 8% of new cases were from a nursing or assisted living facility.
- During Phase 1, 12% of new cases were from a nursing or assisted living facility.
- Prior to Phase 1, 21% of new cases were from nursing or assisted living facility.
Other Critical Numbers:
- Hospitalized Patients: Statewide, a 3-patient net decrease. Fairfield County, a 2-patient net decrease.
- Deaths: Statewide 23 deaths. Fairfield County 5 deaths. These numbers follow two days last week with no deaths.
CT DPH reported the following for Fairfield County as of July 12:
- Total Fairfield County Cases: 16,974 (+68 since July 10)
- Confirmed: 16,309
- Probable: 645
- Total Fairfield County Deaths: 1,385 deaths (+5 since July 10)
- Confirmed: 1,075
- Probable: 310
- Total Current Fairfield County Hospitalized patients: 23 (-2 since July 10)
CT DPH reported the following for statewide as of July 12:
- Total CT cases: 47,510 (+223 since July 10)
- Total CT deaths: 4,371 (+23 since July 10)
- Total Current State hospitalized patients: 74 (-3since July 10)
- Total tests performed in CT: 587,331 (+31,101 since July 10)
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.
*Correction: an earlier version of the article transposed the numbers–the total number of cases as of July 12 is 230, not 203.