Wilton COVID-19 Update, March 22: 7 Cases in Town, Medical Volunteers Needed

First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice released her nightly update for Sunday, March 22. In it she shared that there are seven confirmed coronavirus cases in Wilton. The CT Department of Public Health released statewide data, reporting 327 cases in Connecticut; of those, 208 cases are in Fairfield County.

There have been eight deaths, five of which are Fairfield County residents. The largest number of cases are those aged 40-49, followed by those aged 50-59. Those age groups represent the largest share of the State’s total population. Cases for the elderly outpace their share of the population, cases for young residents aged 0-19 are underrepresented.

Better Social Distancing Needed in Wilton

Vanderslice included a reminder about social distancing and staying apart from others not in an immediate family group:  “No matter your age, the message is the same, behave as if you have the virus and those around you do too.”

She also cautioned about areas where there has been high congestion and crowds. “The NRVT, particularly off Wolfpit Road, is receiving high use. Please remember there are a number of other trails. Trails and sidewalks connect Merwin Meadows to the High School and on to Allen’s Meadow. In addition, there are approximately three miles of underutilized sidewalks along Route 7, from Olmstead Hill Road to Wolfpit Road. Please respect field and recreational facilities closings.

Medical Volunteers Needed

Vanderslice announced that the Westport-Weston-Wilton Medical Reserve Corps is seeking volunteers. The application includes further details, including contact information. Corps members receive workers compensation.

Essential Businesses

Acknowledging Gov. Lamont’s Sunday evening announcement regarding prohibition of in-person functions for non-essential businesses, Vanderslice also asked residents to remember those Wilton businesses that won’t be open in their traditional locations, and figure out how to continue to patronize them after the governor’s order takes effect Monday evening at 8 p.m.

“Many of those businesses are already offering ways you can shop without being in the store and may be able to continue to do so after tomorrow,” she wrote. “Contact your favorite stores to inquire.”

She also noted that business owners who wish to appeal or inquire about the list of essential business that may remain open should do so directly with the Department of Economic and Community Development.

What Will Happen with Town Budget 

Following the Governor’s executive order on fiscal year 2021 budget approval, made Saturday, Vanderslice reiterated what would be happening.

“In lieu of holding our Annual Town Meeting and adjourned vote to adopt the budget, the Executive Order requires the Board of Selectmen (BOS) to authorize the Town’s budget-making authority to adopt a budget and set a mill rate. The Board of Finance (BOF) is the Town’s budget-making authority under our Charter. On March 16, the BOS voted to delay budget meetings to allow for the development of a plan as to how and when to hold budget meetings, while ensuring public participation and compliance with the Governor’s orders. Town staff and I, working with the BOF and Board of Education chairs, will develop a proposal to be presented to the BOS and the BOF. Stay tuned,” she wrote.

The governor’s executive order supersedes any other municipal authority, including Wilton’s Town Charter or Vanderslice now, during the town’s state of emergency when she has more power, as authorized by the other members of the Board of Selectmen. Vanderslice reiterated that point.

“As a reminder, due to a previous executive order by the Governor, as first selectwoman, I cannot issue an executive order that contradicts any of the Governor’s orders, even those involving our budget or our schools,” she wrote.