Vanderslice’s Message: 68 COVID-19 Cases Now, Expect Large Spikes This Week

In her nightly message to Wilton residents, First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice gave the people of her town a “vivid reminder why we shouldn’t be gathering right now.” She pointed to the new total of 68 positive COVID-19 cases in CT as something hitting very close to home:  48 of those cases are in Fairfield County, including several related to a Westport party where a Wilton family’s exposure led to the closure of Wilton’s schools.

Even worse, with drive-though testing approved at seven or more CT hospitals, Wilton should be prepared to see large spikes in those statewide number as early as the end of this week, potentially even locally.

Vanderslice is trying to do what she can to limit the spread of coronavirus in Wilton. Tuesday afternoon she issued an executive order requiring nail and hair salons and barbers to open for appointment only service, a move she said would reduce the number of people gathering together while waiting for service.

Along those same lines of limiting spread, Vanderslice is advocating to Gov. Lamont and Secretary of State Denise Merrill for the state to postpone the April primary, and to make the call now. She explained that it’s to protect town employees as well as residents.

“There are many reasons to postpone including the fact that the significant majority of our election staff is in a high risk group. Even with no excuse absentee voting, all of the employees, if not more, will be needed. It isn’t prudent to ask our fellow residents to risk their health when a postponement is possible. It isn’t prudent to wait to make a decision forcing employees in the registrars’ and town clerk’s departments to be in the office and in meetings planning for an April election that might never happen.  Wilton’s two registrars are advocating for an expeditious decision to postpone.”

She also made an emotional appeal to Wilton residents, once again, to limit contact beyond immediate family. She had a special message for families with children in middle school, high school and college:

“As members of a community, we have a responsibility to our fellow members. It is difficult, both emotionally and physically, for all of us to limit human contact. It is particularly difficult for middle and high school students, those returning from college and for parents dealing with pushback. It’s understandable, as we all remember feeling invincible at that age. My message to those students is the life you may save by staying home could be your grandparent, mother, father, sister, brother or friend.  It’s well worth the short-term sacrifice.

To subscribe to Vanderslice’s e-alerts visit Wilton’s town website.

Vanderslice’s Tuesday, March 17 message:

“The number of coronavirus cases in CT increased to 68, with 48 of those in Fairfield County. Several of those are related to a gathering that occurred in Westport before the virus was known to have hit CT.  A vivid reminder of why we shouldn’t be gathering right now.

“With drive-though testing approved at 7 or move hospitals, we expect to seek large spikes, as early as the end of the week and into the weekend, as those results become known. There are reports that we will only receive information on positive tests for those locations, not the number of people tested. As such, we aren’t likely to have details on the percent positive.

“Today, as allowed under last night’s Declaration, I issued an Executive Order to require appointments at nail and hair salons and barbers. These are businesses which often provide walk-in service. This was done to reduce the number of people waiting for service.

“Earlier today, I participated on a call with CT’s Secretary of State Denise Merrill. She indicated she is still considering whether to change CT presidential primary date, scheduled for late April. I am writing to the Secretary and the Governor to encourage that the election be postponed and now. There are many reasons to postpone including the fact that the significant majority of our election staff is in a high risk group. Even with no excuse absentee voting, all of the employees, if not more, will be needed.  It isn’t prudent to ask our fellow residents to risk their health when a postponement is possible. It isn’t prudent to wait to make a decision forcing employees in the registrars’ and town clerk’s departments to be in the office and in meetings planning for an April election that might never happen. Wilton’s two registrars are advocating for an expeditious decision to postpone.

“Federal assistance is available for CT small businesses through the SBA.

“Lastly, please comply with federal, state and local recommendations to stay at home and to limit contact beyond your immediate family. As members of a community, we have a responsibility to our fellow members. It is difficult, both emotionally and physically, for all of us to limit human contact. It is particularly difficult for middle and high school students, those returning from college and for parents dealing with pushback.  It’s understandable, as we all remember feeling invincible at that age. My message to those students is the life you may save by staying home could be your grandparent, mother, father, sister, brother or friend. It’s well worth the short-term sacrifice.”