Wilton COVID-19 Update March 20: “Assume You Have Been Exposed”

First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice issued her nightly (Friday, March 20) update on the Town of Wilton’s response efforts in the coronavirus pandemic. The key message:  the virus is spreading too fast to keep up with, so assume you have been exposed.

“Based on information we have received, we have now moved to a new phase in which you have no choice but to assume you have been exposed and anyone you come into contact with has been exposed.  We need to slow down the spread of this disease so as not to overwhelm the healthcare system. That concern is real.”

This is relevant because of two important points she made previously:  on Thursday, March 19, she said that CT’s Dept. of Public Health has stopped contact tracing because the spread has increased so much; and on Wednesday, March 18, she said that testing only offers one moment of security if negative–people still need to maintain social distance and follow official recommendations.

She repeated it Friday:  “Testing, although important to the patient and those treating the patient, is no longer the means of containing the spread. The spread will only be contained if each individual takes responsibility for themselves, their family and community by taking the necessary precautions as if they had the virus and/or if the people around them had the virus.”

She reiterated, “Please follow federal, state and local recommendations:”

  • Stay at home
  • Maintain at least 6 feet between yourself and anyone else
  • Do not attend or host gatherings
  • Check your temperature and that of your children twice daily
  • Frequently wash your hands and wipe down surfaces
  • If you need to cough, do so into a tissue and dispose of the tissue. If you don’t have a tissue, cough into your elbow and then clean the elbow area
  • If you have a cough, fever or shortness of breath, self-isolate and call your physician
Local Shortages of Protective Equipment:  Gloves, Masks, Gowns and More

Vanderslice wrote, “Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corp and area hospitals are in need or personal protective equipment (PPE). Due to shortages, the current status is conserve and reuse. This is not good. If you are a medical provider in the area that is not providing services at this time or have more supplies than you expect to need, please consider donating. Contact WVAC or donate to hospitals by filing out a form on the State’s 2-1-1 website.”

She offered more explanation on the Governor’s executive order earlier on Friday about the closure of non-essential businesses:

“Friday, the Governor issued an executive order for the closure of non essential businesses as of 8 p.m. on Monday, March 23. The CT Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) will publish a list of essential businesses by Sunday, March 22 at 8 p.m.. On a call today, a long list of general categories of businesses classified as essential was provided. Residents should not panic as essentials such as grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, liquor stores (who knew), banks and financial institutions, and medical related businesses are all included as essential businesses. Also included are businesses like daycare centers, which facilitate essential workers’ ability to work. On Sunday evening, check the DECD website or the State’s coronavirus website for the list. The executive order also includes restrictions on the authority of mayors and first selectmen to issue executive orders.”

Editor’s note:  GOOD Morning Wilton has been informed that news media is an essential business. 

“Effective Monday, March 23, hours for dropbox services at Town Hall and the Annex have been reduced. Details are available in the related announcement.

“There are now 194 positive cases, 122 of which are in Fairfield County and 4 deaths, all in Fairfield County. There are 20 hospitals providing drive-by testing. Over 2,300 patients have been tested. The number of patients tested was not previously reported because those doing drive-by testing were not required to provide the number of patients tested. That changed with a recent executive order.”

Vanderslice said that residents who have any questions can email her or the appropriate town department.

The full text of her announcement can be found on the Town website.