COVID-19 Update: Lamont Declares Emergency; Library Cancels Programming; “Seussical” Postponed; State Basketball Tournaments, WIN Canceled

The coronavirus continues to play havoc with Connecticut life.

Gov. Ned Lamont has declared both a public health emergency and a civil preparedness emergency.

The first edict gives the state power over quarantine. The second allows the governor to restrict travel, and close public schools and buildings, among other powers..

Right now, however, Lamont says that decisions about school closings and large gatherings are being made by local government and public health officials.

The Westport Library will postpone or cancel all “in-person programming” through the end of March. Some events may be live-streamed — as was Sunday’s public meeting on the COVID-19 virus.

The Spring Book Sale scheduled for this weekend has also been canceled. The summer book sale will be held July 18 through 21, at a new location: Staples High School.

Right now, the library plans to remain open for patrons, and is “extra vigilant” about cleanliness.

Executive director Bill Harmer encourages users to take advantage of the library’s “extensive downloadable and streaming digital resource, eAudiobooks, eBooks, eMagazines, music, movies, and many other entertaining and educational resources are available to all cardholders.” Click here for links to the digital collection.

Staples Players’ production of “Seussical” — scheduled for a 2-week run, beginning this weekend — has been postponed until April 24 and 25 (matinee and evening shows) and April 26.

Ticket holders will be contacted by the box office within the next few days regarding transitions or exchanges.

“We will work as quickly as we can to respond to patrons, but we ask the public to be patient,” say directors David Roth and Kerry Long.

The actors and tech crew — who have dedicated themselves to the show since December — are not the only Staples students disappointed by the effects of the rapidly spreading virus.

Wrecker basketball players were stunned today to learn that the Connecticut State Interscholastic Athletic Conference canceled the boys and girls state tournaments. (Click here for a video of the announcement.)

Both Staples teams were having their best seasons in decades. Last night, the girls beat Glastonbury to advance to the semifinals. The boys were set to begin their tournament this evening, home against Enfield.

It’s an abrupt ending for both squads.

Meanwhile, the Westport Soccer Association’s WIN tournament — for over 30 years, the kickoff to the spring season — has been canceled too.

The event — which draws over 160 boys and girls teams to indoor and outdoor fields at Staples High and Bedford Middle Schools — is a fundraiser for the Coleman Brother Foundation.

Over the years, it has collected and donated more than $100,000 in scholarships.

The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce — which looks out for the interests of local businesses — has forwarded a CDC document: “Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers/Plan, Prepare and Respond to Coronavirus.” Click here for the link.

20 responses to “COVID-19 Update: Lamont Declares Emergency; Library Cancels Programming; “Seussical” Postponed; State Basketball Tournaments, WIN Canceled

  1. Sharon Fiarman

    Hi, Dan.

    Sadly, in addition, the Connecticut Science Olympiad Official 2020 Tournament (grades 6-9) was to have taken place this Saturday and has been canceled. Many hard-working Westport students have been preparing since last summer for this annual competition which they won the past two years and which propelled them to the Nationals – an achievement they were hoping to repeat! It’s deeply disappointing.

    Thank you,

    Sharon Fiarman


  2. Sally Palmer

    Will any of these competitions be rescheduled?

  3. Seth Goltzer

    This is all idiotic considering that at this point in time there appears to be no risk factor for anyone getting sick. To state that this is over reacting on a grand scale is an understatement.
    On what basis has the Governor declared an emergency? How many people are infected , has anyone died in the State?

    • John McCarthy

      You must not be a fan of weather forecasts.

    • The man in Wilton is now in a coma. Please show some respect. Not everyone in our community has the health privilege of waving this off; for many, this could mean severe complications. We have high risk Westporters for whom this “it’s not that bad” narrative is deeply hurtful.

    • Russell Gontar

      It’s not over reacting when you don’t know how many people are infected because dear leader didn’t want to know and failed to order enough tests back in Decemeber when he was notified.

      • Bob Stalling

        To Fred Cantor –
        Hi Fred,
        Russell’s comment here is another good example of politicizing the issue…just in case you were still looking for examples.

        • Bob, I didn’t say I was looking for examples. And, yes, one could argue that Russell’s comment is, in part, politicizing the situation just one could say the same about, for example, your comment from a couple of days ago which seemed to be…would “snarky” be an accurate description?…and one that merely parrots a political talking point that is being used to mock or reject the recommendations of infectious disease specialists who are obviously well aware of flu statistics.

          We would all be better off listening to the expertise—and deferring to the judgment—of the scientific experts who are admittedly battling some unknowns here.

          Bob Stalling on March 7, 2020 at 10:47 am
          CONNECTICUT UPDATE 2020:
          11,149 test positive
          2454 Hospitalized
          65 Deaths
          Oh wait, that’s the Flu….
          Never mind.

          • Bob Stalling

            Hi Fred,
            I got those stats from the experts at the Connecticut Department of Public health….not sure what that has to do with politics.
            Please explain.

            • Bob, I explained my point very clearly. Your “never mind” comment in response to a story about the local forum on coronavirus speaks for itself.

              • Bob Stalling

                And yet here you are, basically saying “never mind” to the stats I listed.
                Ironic, isn’t it?

                • No. I have said repeatedly that the infectious diseases specialists, which apparently you are not, are fully aware of these stats and the dangers posed by the flu, but are treating Covid-19 on a different level. Again, I will defer, as I believe we all should, to the scientific experts as they attempt to deal with this situation. For whatever reason, you seem to reject the consensus of the infectious disease specialists and feel that, based on whatever it is you do for a living, you have a very different perspective—which obviously is your prerogative.
                  Finally, I will reiterate that I have had some level of brain damage as part of my health issues, so perhaps I do not communicate my train of thought the way I used to be capable of doing.

        • Russell Gontar

          Actually, it is Trump that policitized the issue by trying to avoid “the numbers” from going up instead of protecting the public health. On friday it was his voice that said anyone who wants a test can get one despite the fact this team just said that only 75,000 tests had been obtained in a country of 300 million. Read it and weep:

  4. Robert Harrington

    We need to close our Westport schools with immediate effect. No panic but getting ahead of this even though we are really playing against time now. This should be part of other hard decisions taken within our community. Calm and proactive. This needs to go beyond Library scheduling and basketball.

  5. This thread is closed to comments. Enough points have been made on both sides.