Marpe’s Message: Do Not Congregate This Weekend. Look Out For Each Other. Don’t Point Fingers. Be Safe.

First Selectman Jim Marpe says:

I’d like to update you on a number of aspects of the COVID-19 crisis that we are all facing. All the following information is on the Town website: Please keep in mind that this is a fluid situation and conditions may change.

First, as we approach the weekend where the tendency is to leave our homes and socialize, it is more imperative than ever to stress the need for everyone to take this situation seriously and self-isolate.

Do not congregate in any location anywhere. This includes the town beaches, and Parks & Recreation and school facilities. If you must get provisions, practice social distancing at all times, even outside. These measures not only protect you, they are necessary to protect the public health and those around you.

This was the sight last Sunday at Compo Beach. It cannot be repeated this weekend.

Let me also assure you that the emphasis of town management activity is based on proven emergency response strategies. For the time being our Incident Response Team is focused on containment. Many other decisions will need to be made in the near future, but that is the status as of right now.

As I reported yesterday, 42 Westport residents have tested positive for COVID-19. That number is expected to grow. The virus is definitely among us. The Westport Weston Health District has tests scheduled for the next 3 Tuesdays. These will be conducted solely for Weston and Westport residents and by appointment only.

The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce has prepared a list of restaurants that are available for curbside takeout and delivery, as well and stores that offer special hours for seniors to shop. Click here to see.

Curbside pick-up and delivery is available from many restaurants in town.

In future videos and postings there will be information relative to how upcoming town public meetings will be conducted, including how the budget process will proceed.  Also, we anticipate discussions on business recovery and town recovery plans when the time is appropriate.

These are unprecedented times. It is vital that we manage our emotions and natural anxieties.

Perhaps take a moment to call a neighbor, friend or family member who may need a personal contact and a friendly voice. Of course, we cannot physically get close, but we may be able provide some level of comfort to those less fortunate or in circumstances more dire than our own.

My office has received numerous e-mails and calls relative to a particular incident in Westport that seemingly precipitated the spread of the coronavirus in town. While I understand the inclination for some to know the numbers, know exact locations and the identities of people involved, it is now past the point where any of that is relevant. The fact of the matter is that this could have been any one of us, and rumor-mongering and vilification of individuals is not who we are as a civil community.

Please be assured that Westport’s public safety, health and municipal officials are in constant contact with each other, and state authorities and experts, while we make day-to-day and hour-to-hour decisions. Many will not appreciate the severity of the directives, while others will feel they are not drastic enough. I appreciate your opinion, but everything is managed and implemented to benefit all residents.

Town Hall is closed to the public. However, municipal officials are working tirelessly on the coronavirus crisis. And employees are available by phone and email. (Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

I would also like to take this moment to emphasize that I cannot be prouder of the response of our town employees. These dedicated personnel are among the most experienced and professional people that can be working on your behalf.  I appreciate their support, and I hope you will acknowledge their service if you see them – of course with appropriate social distancing.

In the meanwhile, continue to self-isolate and follow all the advice of the CDC: Wash your hands thoroughly, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw it away, keep surfaces sanitized, do not touch your face, and maintain social distancing. Follow us through social media and the website

Together, we will weather this crisis. Thank you and have a safe weekend.

To view this message as a video, click below:

13 responses to “Marpe’s Message: Do Not Congregate This Weekend. Look Out For Each Other. Don’t Point Fingers. Be Safe.

  1. Dan – thanks so much for being such a voice of reason and also a nice break in our day to read about the great people in our community. It’s very much appreciated.

    Steve Mochel Parent, CEO Fresh Green Light 203.861.1188

    Named to the 2018 Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing Companies in the US.

  2. All of the information is important and based on common sense, but none of us are safe if we go to the supermarket where there is no such thing as a safe distance and most shoppers without gloves of any kind or protective masks. So shut down the town or city, prohibit parking at the beach to take a walk so we don’t get stir crazy and go out of our minds … and we still need to go shopping among crowds pressing against each other at the cash register. Let restaurants open with fewer tables spaced at least 6 feet apart so they are not forced to go out of business.

    • It also doesn’t help to go to the supermarket and find the shelves empty of any sanitizing cleaning products. I have some, but at the rate I’m using them they’ll be gone soon.

  3. Nancy Ippolito

    Can someone please tell the Selectman that requesting how many positive cases in our town, alerting people to the severity of our situation so that they understand the seriousness and protecting those outside of our community are not rumor-mongering. The Compo Beach situation may never had taken place if we were thoroughly informed. His excuse of rumor-mongering cannot be used as rationale for his suppression of valuable information. We were simply asking for positive test cases, which all other Towns in Fairfield County were permitted to have. Why not Westport ?

    • What are you talking about? The positive cases in Westport have been published as they have been confirmed. A batch last week and a batch this week. If you have read the news at all since things exploded in china in JANUARY, you would understand the seriousness. If you think you were not thoroughly informed, I advise you spend 15 minutes every morning reading world news. Take ownership.

  4. Lisa Friedland

    Jim and Dan, I just want to take a moment to thank both of you for all you are doing to keep Westport safe and informed during this pandemic. Know that it is truly appreciated. Lisa and Ed Friedland


  5. so please everyone no congregating no parties what is it going to take for everyone to just do this for the greater good

  6. okay fellow Westporters, PLEASE no congregating and no parties what is it going to take. we have to do our part to not overrun the health system please listen

  7. Michelle Benner

    Bayshore, LI residents received this notice (see below) from their superintendent yesterday. Why hasn’t the town of westport including the first selectman, mark cooper of the wwhd and our interim superintendent done the same for westport residents? Why is this information continuously being swept under the rug? Why this refusal by our town leaders and certain residents to maintain this veil of secrecy? We have yet to be told which schools and which locations throughout town were and are hotspots. It’s not too late to broadcast this information. Our own wwhd has thrown in the towel regarding contact tracing but we as citizens don’t have to accept this inadequate response and we as a community must continue to do more to inform each other of what we know. People are still congregating despite warnings. People should have as much info at their disposal as possible to make informed opinions and decisions about their family’s health and the health of our community. If better information had been publicly shared in the beginning (not names but places) it would have quelled rumors. It’s disheartening to see marpe turning the tables on those who are pushing for information. calling people rumor mongers. The very people who were left in the dark.

    BAY SHORE, NY — An employee of Bay Shore High School was confirmed to have coronavirus, school officials announced earlier this week. The announcement was made in a letter to the community from Superintendent Joseph C. Bond on Thursday. However, due to privacy laws, officers were not able to share the identity of the individual or share details of his/her case.

    “All of our buildings have been sanitized regularly over the last few weeks, and in the days since school has closed,” Bond wrote in the letter. “We will continue to ensure that our buildings are cleaned and sanitized before our students return to class.”

    All schools have been closed this past week since Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced last Sunday that all public and private K-12 schools in Suffolk County have been ordered to close for two weeks amid dozens of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus. The number of cases confirmed in Suffolk have been skyrocketing since more testing has become available.

    “I understand that this news may cause fear in some within our school and larger community. If you were someone who was in close proximity of this employee, you will be notified by health officials, who will provide further guidance,” Bond wrote. “In the meantime, if you feel that you are experiencing symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider.The best thing that you can do to protect yourself and your family is to continue following the guidelines that have been shared for preventing the spread of infectious disease.”

    • Well said.

      This is the second time of late (following the Historic Society debacle) that Mr. Marpe has chosen to respond to the reasonable requests of residents for information by criticizing those people as being some sort of bullying mob.

      I’d prefer he’d stop calling voters names and just address simple questions in the same way that other communities have. Maybe if we’d had more information sooner we’d have this the slightest bit under control. It isn’t like New Rochelle made their Coronavirus “Ground Zero” some deep dark secret. Obviously, we have no idea how bad this will get – but Westport should not have a quarter of the cases in all of Connecticut.

  8. Frank DeMelio

    I’m a older senior who would be a goner if I got infected. I quarantine myself for my own protection. This means no visit to the grocery store, even with senior hours. Prescriptions are another problem. I had to ask the busy pharmacy person to deliver to me in the parking lot. I felt so inconsiderate. Solution: I found a kind young Westport woman who will shop for $20. She is at Perhaps this can solve the problem for other seniors.

    • Frank, I just posted this in today’s Roundup (Saturday) of stories. Hope it helps:

      “Need a delivery of food? Medications? Toilet paper (the holy grail)?

      “Cup of Sugar can help. Its mission is simple: make deliveries for those who need them.

      “It’s simple — just click on, then click “Request a Delivery.” I’m not sure who is behind this, but for many people it could be a literal life saver.”