Wilton COVID-19 Update 3/29: Could 1,800+ residents get the virus in next 5-7 weeks?

As Wilton's case numbers show a big one-day jump, 1st Sel. Lynne Vanderslice urges residents to take more precautions than ever–or face much bigger totals.

The number of positive cases increased dramatically, both in Wilton as well as across the state Sunday. In First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice‘s nightly update for March 29, she reported 42 positive cases in Wilton–up 11 from yesterday. Warning that town officials think the actual number of cases is higher than reported, she asked anyone who has a confirmed or presumptive positive test and hasn’t been contacted by the Wilton Health Department, to contact the department.

Case numbers rose across the state as well. Vanderslice said that, with the CT Department of Public Health reporting 1,993 laboratory-confirmed statewide cases, newly reported test results had a 33% positive rate, causing the overall rate of positive tests to increase to 17%. The number of cases requiring hospitalization has increased to 20% (possibly due to a reporting change).

Make Changes Now or Prepare for Virus to Infect 10% of Wilton’s Residents 

Vanderslice warns that the way residents behave now will have the most impact on whether or not Wilton can control the coronavirus spread in town.

“There are many health professionals warning how we behave over these next two weeks will determine the magnitude of the peak of the spread of the virus,” she wrote, pointing to some alarming predictions from state health officials.

Last week, the State’s epidemiologist and director of infectious diseases wrote that he expects at least 10% of CT’s population will get the virus in the next 6-8 weeks.

“Will more than 1,800 Wilton residents get the virus in the next 5-7 weeks?” Vanderslice asked. “We don’t know. But, we do know the best way to stop the spread is to behave as if you have the virus and as if those around you do as well.”

One thing Vanderslice suggested that residents consider changing is how they shop or run errands. She pointed to more extreme lengths the mayor of neighboring Norwalk took, issuing an order that restricted residents of his town while they shop. She won’t go that far, but Vanderslice does want residents to be more thoughtful, writing:

“Sunday, in response to what he viewed as residents utilizing shopping as a means for the entire family to get out of the house together, Norwalk’s mayor issued an order requiring Norwalk families to limit themselves to only one family member at the same time per visit to a Norwalk store, with certain exemptions for single parents and such. We aren’t aware that this is occurring in Wilton, but we certainly support the message of the Mayor’s order. We urge that only one family member at a time shop or pick up restaurant take out, whether in Wilton or Norwalk; and while waiting in line or for pick up, please keep six feet between yourself and the other customers and employees.”

These recommendations match up with federal guidelines for social distancing, extended until April 30 by President Trump on Sunday, as well as with the Domestic Travel Advisory for NY, NJ and CT issued by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  With the NYC metro area a hotbed, the Governor has ordered stricter measures.

What Can Residents Do to Help Stop the Spread?

  • Maintain a distance of 6 feet between you and another person. This standard applies whether inside or outside.
  • Consolidate shopping and errands to minimize the number of days you must leave your home.
  • Please do not to run to the store every time you hear a delivery has arrived. Widespread overbuying is the major cause of shortages. With businesses and schools closed and not ordering, new supply chains are open.
  • Take advantage of the delivery options offered by many Wilton businesses.
  • Practice team sports individually, not with teammates. The internet is full of videos and suggestions on how to do this.
  • Do walk outside. If residents’ streets are walkable, consider walking there rather than a public trail. When the NRVT parking lot, or that of another trail, is more than 50% full, please find another place to walk. There are 127 miles of town-owned roads, more than 80 private roads and more than three miles of sidewalk on state-owned roads.
  • Please respect the town’s closure of fields and recreation facilities.