First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice provided her update for April 24 on the town’s response to the COVID-19 health crisis.
She referred to the governor’s daily press briefing, which focused on a possible timeline for reopening schools and non-essential businesses. Gov. Lamont was joined by the co-chairs of the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Committee at the press conference. Vanderslice highlighted the main point: “May 20 is now the date when the advisory committee will present scenarios for reopening. The Governor will be presented with a number of options and the trade-offs of each. Schools and closed businesses will not reopen on May 20.” [emphasis added]
Vanderslice added that “Co-chair Indra Nooyi explained there won’t be a ‘big bang’ opening, instead it will occur in layers, with maybe ‘small steps starting in June’ and ‘progressing until the end of the year.”
In addition, Vanderslice wrote, “Co-chair Dr. Albert Ko shared that Yale New Haven is working on spit testing, which is safer for the individual administering the test, requires less protective equipment, and can be decentralized. No possible timetable was provided. Both co-chairs were very informative and I recommend watching the press conference.” Editor’s note: The press conference is available to watch on GOOD Morning Wilton‘s Facebook page.
Although the town receives guidance from the Governor, Vanderslice said Wilton officials are also developing plans for town operations over the next six months. “We are also planning for any possible resurgence when flu season begins in the fall. As requested by the Board of Finance, we are looking at options to reduce our FY2021 budget, but we will need to add Coronavirus related costs that were not in the previously submitted budget.”
Wilton Cases Hit 140
Vanderslice looked at the data on cases: “Today, the CT Department of Public Health reports 23,100 laboratory-confirmed statewide cases with 10,008 or 43% in Fairfield County and 140 in Wilton.” She noted that 522 cases have not yet been assigned to a municipality.
Thursday’s test positive rate was 40%–Vanderslice pointed out that Dr. Ko, the governor’s medical co-chair of the Reopening CT Advisory Committee, shared that 10% should be the test positive rate if the state was performing the adequate number of tests. “Currently, 2% of the State’s population has been tested.”
The number of deaths rose by 95 to 1,639, with Fairfield County at 615.
In a positive shift, the number of patients currently hospitalized decreased by 25 to 1,947 with a decrease of 19 in Fairfield County to 730. Vanderslice pointed out that, “For the first time, CT DPH released cumulative hospital admissions by location of hospitals: statewide there have been 6,024 hospital admissions of cases, with 2,351 in Fairfield County.”
Nursing Home Case Data
Thursday’s Executive Order issued by the governor includes mandatory reporting requirements for nursing homes and managed residential communities and the waiving of certain Medicaid authorizations. The issue of nursing home case numbers is a growing concern for state officials and will be under more scrutiny in the coming days.
“Nursing homes have experienced a significant number of patient and employee cases. CT DPH had hoped to provide more details on nursing homes in Thursday’s report, but compilation of that data is still not complete,” Vanderslice noted, adding that she will include that in Friday night’s report.
Dog Waste on NRVT
Vanderslice shifted gears and addressed a growing problem on the Norwalk River Valley Trail in Wilton: users walking dogs on the trail frequently leave dog waste bags on the trail.
“Wilton’s Carry In-Carry Out policy has generally had good compliance across the community, but with increased visitors to the NRVT, visitors leaving dog waste bags on the trails has been an issue. This could be due to an increase in non-residents using the trail. Friends of the NRVT has posted signs and temporarily placed a trash container in the parking lot off Sharp Hill Road. This is being done at their cost. If you are one of the individuals who isn’t carrying out your waste, please consider helping out with the cost by donating to Friends of the NRVT,” she wrote.