COVID-19 Roundup: Call 211 For Test Questions; Small Business Loans Available; Takeout Restaurants Listed; New Transfer Station Rules; Fitness, Merchant News And More

COVID-19 testing is now available at several locations around Connecticut, and can be accessed through its 2-1-1 hotline — with certain caveats (see below).

The Westport Weston Health District’s initial contact trace testing is completed. They have one final round to test for those who were part of the initial investigation. It is only open to those already contacted directly by the WWHD.

Residents who feel symptoma of COVID-19 should stay home, and call or email their primary care provider with questions. Residents can call the state 2-1-1 line if instructed by their primary care provider to arrange testing, or if they have questions about being tested. A series of questions will be asked by a 2-1-1 representative to determine if testing is appropriate.

WWHD director Mark Cooper says, “It is no longer about parties, schools, religious institutions, employment, etc. Residents should assume that COVID-19 is everywhere and that anyone could have it. It has been shown that some people can have the virus with no symptoms at all. The number of COVID-19 cases in Westport and the state are going up, and they will continue to increase.”

Locally, the WWHD has contacted all those it became aware of who had contact with a COVID-19 positive person involved in the initial outbreak, and who it had tested.

Those who tested positive for COVID-19 are being advised to practice strict voluntary isolation. They are instructed not to go out, but to stay home. If they require something and must go out, they should do so during times there are fewer people out. Masks and gloves should be worn so as not to spread the virus.

Yesterday’s announcement about closing restaurants, bars, and theaters is a step towards implementing social distancing. Day care facilities continue to remain open. Day care facilities provide essential services, and the WWHD is working closely with them to reinforce the message that it is incumbent upon them to keep their staff and children safe. They have been requested to use thermometers and practice hygienic measures. If a staff member or child becomes infected by COVID-19, the WWHD will close that facility.  It is in the facilities’ and the parents’ best interest to keep sick children at home.


Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce director Matthew Mandell just spoke with the director of the Connecticut Small Business Administration.

Mandell reports that loans of up to $2 million are now available. They can be used for most expenses: payroll, accounts payable, fixed costs. They do not cover business losses.

Interest is 3.25% (profit businesses) and 2.75% (non-profit businesses). Funds come directly from the US Treasury, not a bank.

All businesses with a physical presence in the state are available. Applicants must show a credit history and ability to pay back the loan.

Click here for an application, or call 800-659-2955, or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

The Connecticut Small Business Development Center can assist in filling out and filing applications. Click here for more information.


The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce has also updated its list of restaurants offering curbside and takeout delivery. Click here to see.


To facilitate social distancing at the transfer station, residents may no longer bring bulky waste items that require assistance.

While the transfer station remains open, personnel will refrain from coming into contact with individuals, or refuse brought there by residents. Thus, they will not assist residents with the removal or disposal of solid waste from vehicles.

Residents bringing smaller waste items to the transfer station must deposit their solid waste directly into the hopper, and discharge recycling directly in to the single stream bins. Plastic bags are not allowed in single stream recycling.

These protocols are in effect at least through March 31. During this time, all fees and collection of refuse tickets will be waived.

Bud Valiante is always helpful. But he can no longer help residents dispose of large items at the transfer station. (Photo/Cindy Mindell)


JoyRide is one of the many fitness centers closed by the coronavirus.

To fill the void, they offer free Instagram live classes all week at 10 a.m. Follow @joyridestudio, and click on in the morning.

Thanks to Forte.Fit, people can also take live 30-minute classes, or stream from a library of on-demand JoyRide cycling classes filmed over the past 2 years.

For those without a bike, there a number of JoyX boot camp classes, plus pilates, barre and yoga from other brands.

JoyRide offers Westporters a deeply discounted Forte.Fit membership (less than $8 a month). Use the code JOYRIDE89.

In addition, JoyRide has partnered with dietician Ilanit Blumenfeld to offer a 4-week nutrition and online fitness challenge. It starts March 23. Click here for info and sign-ups.


Annette Norton of Savvy + Grace asks customers and friends to follow her store on Facebook or Instagram.

She’ll post new merchandise daily. Her website will be ready to take orders on Friday. And she offers curbside delivery as well as shipping.


The other day, “06880” posted a story on 3 Westport teenagers who offer to run errands for older folks, and anyone else homebound by the virus.

A woman who took them up on their offer writes:

“I contacted them last night and got a text back from one that he would do my shopping. What a lifesaver! He kept in constant touch with me by text, went to 3 different stores (!) and spent about 3 hours.

“He delivered it all outside my door. I left him a check in an envelope with a generous tip, and proceeded to stock my house (after wiping stuff down with alcohol). We appreciate hearing about him, and what he did, very much.”

(From left): Ty Chung, Jonathan Lorenz, Luke Lorenz. — 3 very helpful guys.


Former 2nd selectman Avi Kaner continues to be interviewed by national media about the effects of COVID-19 on retail outlets. As co-owner of New York’s Morton Williams supermarket chain, he spoke today on Fox News about “senior hours” for shoppers, and contingency plans. Click below to see:


 

16 responses to “COVID-19 Roundup: Call 211 For Test Questions; Small Business Loans Available; Takeout Restaurants Listed; New Transfer Station Rules; Fitness, Merchant News And More

  1. Dorian Barth

    Does anyone know when hand sanitizer
    and alcohol will be back in the stores?

  2. Dianne Quagliariello

    Dan, I can’t thank you enough for all your time and effort keeping us all in the loop! You are a valuable resource and I am very grateful! Thank you very much!

  3. Michelle Benner

    Thank you Dan for your amazing job keeping our community informed.

    I have a problem with Mark Cooper’s directive, as stated above. I feel it is misguided and irresponsible, and will lead to further spread, possibly risking thousands of lives.
    Mark Cooper states:
    “Those who tested positive for COVID-19 are being advised to practice strict voluntary isolation. They are instructed not to go out, but to stay home. If they require something and must go out, they should do so during times there are fewer people out. Masks and gloves should be worn so as not to spread the virus.”

    If they must go out?? Has the WWHD lost it’s collective mind? Anyone with the virus absolutely MUST NOT go out. Can the WWHD please put in place a protocol for those who test positive? Mandatory self isolate for at least two weeks after the virus runs it’s course and home services set up to bring them necessities if they don’t have other resources, friends or family to help.

  4. fantastic coverage of our local reality. thanks

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  5. Hey Dan, you can’t get a test scheduled by calling 2-1-1 (a very big waste of time on hold) — only your primary-care doctor can get you signed up for a test.

  6. Tom Kashetta

    If everyone is so happy with Dan we should all donate some money to him to help pay his expenses. We are all very lucky to have him in our community, Write a check today. I did. Do it now !!!!!!

  7. Westport had done a fantastic job so far with a quick and effective response to the virus in our community so, why are we stopping NOW when things have just started? The advice of the World Health Organization (WHO), is to aggressively test, track and isolate as many cases of COVID-19 as possible. We will regret not doing this at the local level at least.

    • Michelle Benner

      I agree. Why is the WWHD pulling the plug on local testing and telling people who test positive that they can go out if they wear a mask and gloves?? The only way to slow this spread is to isolate, contact trace and extensively test. Westport is failing us at a local level. I am concerned about the competency of our leadership at the WWHD.

      • Werner Liepolt

        Very distressing, indeed.

        The WHO says, “ You can’t fight a virus if you don’t know where it is. Find, isolate, test and treat every case, to break the chains of transmission.”

        The statement from the WWHD implies that they’re throwing in the towel.

  8. Hi Dan,

    I couldn’t find the open restaurants list in this email?

    TY!!!!

  9. NEVERMIND, found it!

    Always helps to ask someone, I immediately find it after!