Sunday evening (March 15), First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice released her daily update to the town about changes being made and steps being taken by Wilton officials. She titled it, “Take Responsibility & Additional Closings,” but the most important words in her message were something else: “This isn’t a drill. This is real. We all need to make changes to our daily lives to slow the growth of the virus.”
The statement outlines several drastic but important moves–closing all playing fields and playgrounds, as well as ending in-person contact between town employees and members of the public.
The other key words in her update are “community responsibility.”
The entire update is below [emphasis added]:
“March 15th-We are in a national state of emergency with the number of coronavirus cases increasing daily across the country, the state and particularly Fairfield County. Our medical infrastructure is being stretched. Every resident, no matter their age, must take personal responsibility for themselves, their family and their community. This isn’t a drill. This is real. We all need to make changes to our daily lives to slow the growth of the virus.
“We urge residents to minimize their contact with individuals outside of their immediate family. This means no large social gatherings, maintaining distance from other members of the public when at the grocery store or when in line at the pharmacy, utilizing restaurant take-out options, rather than dining-in and working from home, if possible.
“This past Wednesday, we closed the Wilton Public Schools, Comstock Community Center and Trackside Teen Center because we were informed that parents of one or more WPS students had contact with an individual that subsequently tested positive for coronavirus. Parents should assume their children are in the same school as the children of those parents, and exercise community responsibility by following the instructions given at the time–keep your children home, in your own backyard and away from the public, as much as possible. That means no discretionary sleepovers, no dining out, no team practices and no birthday party with friends, no matter how disappointing. If you must share childcare because of the closings, pick one or two families and only share with them. These same recommendations apply to students returning from college.
“To further ensure residents are not congregating,
- “All playing fields are indefinitely closed and inaccessible to the public.
- “All playgrounds are indefinitely closed and inaccessible to the public.
- “All tennis and basketball courts are indefinitely closed and inaccessible to the public.
- “The high school track is closed and inaccessible to the public. Residents, who want to run or walk, can use the sidewalks on Rte. 7 and in Wilton Center or Schenck’s Island, the Town Forest or other town trails. Please keep your distance from others on the sidewalks and trails.
- “The WPS, Comstock Community Center and Trackside Teen Center remain indefinitely closed. All other town buildings and properties, other than the lobby of Police Headquarters, are now closed to the public. For public health reasons, the Transfer Station remains open.
“The Town provides essential services, so employees will continue working in Town Hall and the Annex, but they will no longer provide in-person services within those buildings. Residents and their contractors should call or email the departments to make arrangements to transact their necessary business. Each building has been equipped with drop off and pick up boxes and signage to facilitate transactions. Residents are encouraged to reconsider non time sensitive applications. Many services can be provided online.
“The Emergency Operations Center is open and under the management of Chief of Police and Emergency Management Director John Lynch. Regular meetings are being held.
“Health Director Barry Bogle continues to maintain contact with impacted residents, the state health department, area health directors and Wilton’s long-term care facilities, daycare center, businesses and such. Restaurants are asked to limit their capacity to one-half of their previously allowed capacity, although in most cases, restaurants aren’t even experiencing half capacity.
“Essential Town boards and commissions will continue to hold meetings, even if just electronically. Meetings must continue to allow for public participation. We will be exploring possible options to meet the legal requirements, while minimize in-person interactions. Residents should expect changes.
“Many Wilton organizations, such as the Wilton Library and the Wilton Y, are following the Town’s recommendations and remaining closed. They are also changing the way they provide services.
“In addition to following these recommendations, residents should continue to follow the last week’s recommendations relative to NPI.
“This situation is fluid, with changes occurring daily. Residents should anticipate further announcements and possible additional changes. Town e-alerts are the best way to remain informed.
“This is difficult for all of us and our families, but taking the necessary precautions now will help mitigate the impact on our Town, our medical infrastructure and our State.
“Lynne Vanderslice, First Selectwoman”