Wilton COVID-19 Update, March 28: FAQs on Forcing Business Closed, NY Renters & More

Saturday evening, First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice issued her nightly update for Wilton’s response to the coronavirus crisis. As part of the update, she addressed several questions she gets asked often, including whether she can force businesses deemed essential to close and what response might be for an increase in renters from New York City.

By the Numbers:  Cases as of March 28

Vanderslice said that the CT Department of Public Health reports 1,524 laboratory-confirmed statewide cases with 908 in Fairfield County and 31 in Wilton, along with 33 deaths statewide. The rate positive continues to hover around 15% and the number hospitalized around 13%.

She noted that she believes the actual number of cases is higher than reported.

Temporary Housing for Wilton’s Emergency Workers

On Saturday, Gov. Ned Lamont issued an executive order authorizing certain state officials to issue orders to provide or arrange for non-congregate housing for people at risk due to the nature of their existing housing or their working environment.

Vanderslice and town officials have previously done so, securing temporary housing for emergency workers who have been exposed or tested positive. In addition, she says there are similar plans for residents who need to be housed.  “We have a plan ready to execute for temporary housing of residents who have tested positive and cannot remain at home or vulnerable residents, whether or not they have tested positive.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Vanderslice offered answers to FAQs she hears.

Can the First Selectwoman close businesses in Wilton that have been designated as essential by the Governor?

No. The Governor issued an order, which prohibits mayors and first selectmen/women from issuing an order that contradicts any order issued by the Governor.

What measures are being taken to address the expected increase in renters from outside of CT during this emergency?

The Governor has directed interstate travelers to self-quarantine for 14 days.

What are the “rules of the road” for bikers and pedestrians? 

The CT Department of Transportation has a Share the Road program. The program’s website has information for walkers, bikers and motorists.

Other than the NRVT, what areas are recommended for walkers?

There are more than three miles of under-utilized sidewalk along Rte. 7 from Wolfpit Rd. to Olmstead Hill Rd., with plenty of empty parking lots along the way. Walking in Wilton Center also includes the option of the trail on Schenck’s Island. School Rd., Kristine Lilly Way and Wilton’s many cul-de-sacs or less traveled residential streets are also good choices. If you prefer a nature trail, we have many options listed on the Conservation Commission website.

What Residents Can Do to Help Stop the Spread?

Vanderslice listed ways for residents to help stop the spread of the coronavirus:

  • Maintain a distance of 6 feet between you and another person.  This standard applies whether inside or outside.
  • Consolidate your 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 your team sport on your own, not with your teammates.  The internet is full of videos and suggestions on how to do this.
  • Do walk outside. If your street is walkable, please 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 3 miles of sidewalk on state-owned roads.
  • Please respect the town’s closure of fields and recreation facilities.