Vanderslice: Testing/Tracing Increase & Town Facilities Open, but Gatherings Still Limited to 5 People–On Lamont’s Orders

In her updates over the weekend to Wilton residents, First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice reiterated some of the social distancing regulations still in place as set by Gov. Ned Lamont. She also explained some of the progress being made on testing and contact tracing, and how that fits in with progress being made on Wilton relaxing some of its regulations.

One of the main points she reiterated concerns social gatherings. Vanderslice wrote that even with guidelines on Phase 1 business reopening that were issued over the weekend, the restriction on gatherings will remain at no more than five people throughout Phase 1.

“I have received numerous inquiries about whether the five-person restriction applies to weddings, fundraising events, a concert or movie with people remaining in their car, team sports, birthday parties, and family reunions. The answer is yes, the five-person restriction applies. The original restriction that expired in April was extended to May 20 by another order and will be extended again through Phase 1. Essential businesses and those allowed under Phase 1 will have their own density standards,” she explained.

She also wrote again about residents needing to wear face masks when in public.

“Unless you have a health condition that prevents wearing a face covering, comply with the Governor’s executive order and wear a face covering while in public, whether outside or in a retail outlet and when you can’t maintain 6-feet distance from any other individual.”

Vanderslice also specified the need for masks for anyone walking or running in Wilton. “While out running or walking, if you aren’t wearing a face covering, maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others running or walking on the same road, sidewalk or trail.”

Contact Tracing Explained

She said she recently received questions from residents about contact tracing, and addressed how it will work and whether it’s mandatory.

“Residents, who test positive are not required to provide information to allow for contact tracing. Participation is voluntary. The [Wilton] Health Department does not inappropriately pressure patients. Contact tracing is performed by the Town’s Health Department by individuals with the appropriate health backgrounds. School nurses are currently assisting the department.  Information received as to a resident’s health status is confidential and protected by HIPPA laws,” Vanderslice wrote.

“If direct contacts are provided by the positive resident, those individuals are contacted and told they may have been exposed and advised. The information remains with Wilton’s Health Department. There isn’t a universal computer-based system used by the CT municipalities to facilitate contact tracing. The State engaged Microsoft to develop the system. That system is currently being tested by 20 municipalities. Wilton is not one of these municipalities, as such our health director has not assessed the system.”

Opening of Town Facilities

Vanderslice expanded on her previous comments about when town recreational facilities will be opened.

All town-owned trails and open spaces managed by the Conservation Commission have been and continue to be open. Limited family play at the tennis courts at WHS and Rte. 7 is available by registration through e-Trak. We anticipate offering limited family use of the Stadium Track this week, again by registration through e-Trak. We anticipate offering limited family use of the Stadium turf field and the softball and baseball fields within the next two weeks, also by registration. As with the tennis courts, rules will be published to ensure compliance with the Governor’s executive orders,” she wrote.

Vanderslice said that reopening town facilities involves the Parks and Recreation staff reviewing recommendations by various national and state sports organizations. She shared an excerpt from recommendations issued by the US Olympic Committee for Olympic athletes returning to training as context: 

Participants should use their own equipment and avoid touching each other with their hands. If a ball is being used (e.g., basketball), make sure only one player is using a specific region of the court and/or basket at a time, and the court in that region needs to be cleaned before another player uses the ball in that space to prevent indirect transmission from ball one to ground and from ground to ball.”