Wilton COVID-19 Update, March 30: Resident Concerns on Paving, Shopping & More as Town Positives Hit 44

In her nightly update on the town’s response to the coronavirus crisis, First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice addressed concerns she has heard from residents as well as provided information on the increase in the number of positive cases.

Case Data Shows Increase

The CT Department of Public Health reports:

  • 44 positive cases in Wilton.
  • 2,571 laboratory-confirmed statewide cases with 1,445 (56%) in Fairfield County
  • 36 deaths statewide
  • 517 cases requiring hospitalization (125 last Thursday)

Again, Vanderslice said she believes the actual number of cases is higher than reported.  Anyone who has received a confirmed or presumptive positive test and has not been contacted by the Wilton Health Department is asked to contact the department.

Appropriateness of Road Paving, Shopping Safety

Vanderslice addressed concerns she said she is hearing about from residents:

  • Concerns with the appropriateness of road paving at this time–safety and fiscal prudence:
    • Vanderslice wrote:  “As far as safety, procedures to ensure social distancing were discussed prior to the start of the work. They include: employees driving in separate cars, no eating lunch together, maintaining proper distance while manually spreading the asphalt and only one employee in each truck. Road paving is classified as essential and requires no interaction with residents. The Governor has strongly urged municipalities to continue paving to both help the economy and to allow these businesses and their employees to continue to have incomes.”
    • Vanderslice wrote:  “As far as fiscal prudence, obviously, we don’t know the fiscal fallout from this crisis, but it is top of mind. We may decide to dial back from our planned 15 miles per year, but we think it is premature to cease paving all together, which would mean more deterioration and higher costs in the future.
  • Shopping Concerns:  Vanderslice addressed various shopping concerns and reinforced her cautions about the way residents should behave while shopping:  “Concerns of overcrowded grocery stores on Saturday as residents, concerned about talk of a quarantine, rushed to stock up. In turn, the stores weren’t very busy on Sunday and someone who arrived at the start of senior hours today at one of the Wilton grocery stores reported he was the only one shopping at the time.”
    • “Even when there was a quarantine in New Rochelle, trucks were able to deliver to stores.
    • “Be strategic about when you shop. If the parking lot is half-full or more, go back later or the next morning. Go alone and while there, behave as if you have the virus and as if those around you do as well.
  • Social Distancing on Trails:  Vanderslice said she has heard concerns about dogs on leashes making it difficult to keep a safe social distance on the NRVT. “If you have a dog with you, please be mindful of keeping the leash at a length that allows other walkers to maintain 6 feet of distance from you, your dog and other walkers.”
  • Rental Price Gouging and Evictions:  Vanderslice addressed rumored price gouging on rentals and evictions by owners to take advantage of opportunities to rent to someone else at a significantly higher price.
    • “Price gouging is prohibited and complaints are being taken very seriously at this time. The Attorney General’s website has information on how to file a complaint.
    • “Renters have numerous protections including a judicial stay on eviction cases until May 30.”
Two new small business assistance programs were announced today:
  • The State is offering a two-month sales tax remittance deferral for businesses that remitted $150,000 or less in sales taxes last year
  • Eversource is offering an extended payment program to their small business customers with $0 down payment and a 12-month payment arrangement, with the first payment not due until June 1st.

What Can You 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 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.