1st Selectman Jim Marpe says:
Much has transpired over the past few months. I want to update Westport residents on a number of COVID-19 issues.
Westport was at the forefront of activity when the initial wave of COVID-19 cases came to this region in the late winter/early spring of 2020. I am proud of the town’s response then, and I am equally proud of, and impressed by, our ongoing diligence and hard work to control the virus. To those whose health has been directly impacted and affected by the virus, we extend our comfort and support.
It is important to stress that while “COVID fatigue” and complacency are natural responses as the conditions have extended into the fall, we must continue to stay vigilant and appropriately manage our activities during this ongoing public health crisis.
It is incumbent upon all of us to do our part to avoid another outbreak. Everyone must be mindful and respectful of our families, neighbors, friends, and work colleagues when considering any behavior, including social activities, that may be counter to medical advice and the protocols that have been established to protect the community from the virus.
I am encouraged that Westport has reopened businesses, restaurants and other services using the State of Connecticut guidelines. We continue to monitor the results. To date, strict adherence to the sector rules has helped us minimize the number of COVID cases.
Please continue to wear a face covering whenever you are in a public setting and cannot maintain a 6-foot distance. Maintain social distancing whenever and wherever it is necessary. Obey all the rules and conditions posted in local businesses and public spaces.
On Thursday, Governor Lamont announced additional reopening guidance that will bring the state closer to Phase III beginning October 8. This step specifically increases the patron capacity at indoor establishments such as restaurants, salons and libraries, outdoor event venues, religious establishments and performing arts venues. Of course, social distancing and mask wearing are emphasized in these plans.
Bars continue to remain closed. While it is not a full Phase III as was previously envisioned, we are encouraged that the governor considers up-to-date trends on COVID that will ultimately help businesses, arts and cultural institutions and places of worship get closer to operating at full capacity. For more details on the Governor’s plan visit Portal.CT.Gov.
The Westport Weston Health District remains an invaluable resource for those residents seeking information and guidance related to COVID-19, the upcoming flu season, and other health-related issues that affect our community. For daily updates and case numbers, please visit their site at www.wwhd.org.
Recent issues addressed by the WWHD include:
- The WWHD has noted an increase in positive cases within younger age groups. As residents may know, there have been positive cases identified in the Westport Public Schools. The public school administration is working closely with medical personnel and the WWHD to respond quickly and appropriately. Please be mindful that it is possible to be COVID-19 positive but not experience any symptoms. To reduce the spread of infection, remember the 3W‘s (Wear a mask, Watch your distance, and Wash your hands).
- Flu vaccines are highly recommended and are available through your health care provider and at various area pharmacies. The Health District hosted 2 flu clinics in September, and plans to offer additional vaccination clinics as supplies become available.
- Vibriosis: There has been an increasing number of Vibrio vulnificus (Vv) cases reported to the Connecticut Department of Public Health related to the Long Island Sound. Vv is always a risk when water temperatures are greater than 68°F, and the risk is greater depending on the pathogenic strains that are circulating. Those with cuts, abrasions, recent surgery or other wounds should avoid brackish water along Long Island Sound. This applies to dogs as well. More information from the CDC can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/vibrio/healthcare.html.
- The CDC recently released guidance stating that “Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses. There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween.” The town has established a workgroup with town officials, the public school administration and members of the PTA to discuss how the Westport community may celebrate Halloween in a manner that keeps COVID health and safety protocols at the forefront. Further information and plans will be forthcoming.