In her nightly update on Tuesday, March 31, to residents on Wilton’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice expressed her extreme “frustration” with people who ignore steps that town officials have taken to close public recreational facilities.
“We are beyond frustrated with the continued use of closed recreation facilities by adults, teens and children,” she wrote. The town closed playgrounds, playing fields, tennis courts and the high school track two weeks ago, and still, some individuals continue to flout those measures.
The facilities were closed as part of efforts to limit contact between people in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus.
Vanderslice framed it in terms of a simple question of character, asking residents to look inward at their own behavior, and how it could threaten the lives of other people.
“[During Tuesday’s White House Coronavirus Task Force press conference], Dr. Fauci and Dr. Brix reported that US deaths are projected at 100,000-200,000 assuming full mitigation, meaning IF Americans across the country follow the rules. Think about that and then ask yourself, ‘Who do I want to be?’ The guy or gal that follows the rules and helps saves lives? Or the guy or gal that thinks the rules don’t apply to them and is indifferent to others?”
On a day that the number of deaths doubled across CT, and the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Wilton grew to 49, she continued her admonishment asking residents to simply follow the rules–rules that were established to save lives. In other words, breaking those rules puts the lives of fellow Wilton residents–and your own–at risk.
“We now have the data from the experts. We are seeing what is happening in Wilton and our neighboring communities. Please, follow the rules. Please behave as if you have the virus and as if those around you do as well. Do it for yourself, your family, your parents, and grandparents and those of your fellow Wilton community members,” Vanderslice wrote.
She linked to a map from the UCONN Department of Geography that provides “a good visual of the concentration in Fairfield County versus the remainder of Connecticut.”
Vanderslice said that the town will take additional measures to keep people from using town recreational facilities:
- Additional, non-essential personnel will patrol the fields, the track and playground.
- Greater impediments will be installed to prevent their use.
- Any remaining rims, nets or such will be removed.
Separately, she informed residents that Gov. Ned Lamont had issued an executive order on Tuesday that would require school districts to continue to employ staff, and continue to pay school bus companies for the wages and health benefits of those employees the bus companies continue to employ. She noted that the order does not require municipalities to continue to employ municipal staff, but Wilton is doing so for both town and school employees.
The order also places restrictions on state parks.