2020 has obviously been a unique and challenging year in Westport, the nation, and the world. We remember those among us who have been negatively impacted by this horrible pandemic, and we send them our healing thoughts and prayers.
In their honor, I respectfully request that you enjoy Christmas and New Year’s with only those in your immediate household, foregoing travel and large gatherings. Instead, I encourage you to stay safe and stay at home. By doing so, I’m confident that by this time next year, we’ll again be able to gather together in person to recall, rejoice and reaffirm our holiday traditions.
This Christmas season, I wish you the calm and peace that is at the heart of good will and generous spirits.
(Card created by Bonnie Marcus)
And this year in particular, I hope that you have the chance to slow down and thoughtfully reflect on the true meaning of this time in our collective human experience. To quietly celebrate, and to rest. Perhaps take the opportunity to initiate new traditions in your family.
And to reach out – virtually or physical distanced – to a neighbor, relative or friend who may be alone, in need, or less fortunate. Remember, small acts of kindness can have a huge impact.
However you choose to celebrate and worship this year, on behalf of the town of Westport, I wish you a happy and joyful holiday season with your immediate family.
Please continue to be healthy and safe. The proactive behaviors that you take today will insure that our families, friends and neighbors will be here to happily celebrate what I know will be a renewed and uplifting 2021.
Yesterday, Governor Lamont announced that 145 of Connecticut’s 169 municipalities are in the red zone alert level, the highest of the state’s 4 alert levels on the weekly COVID-19 Alert Map. This indicates municipalities with an average daily COVID-19 case rate over the last 2 weeks of more than 15 per 100,000 population.
This week Westport is calculated at 33 cases out of a population of 100,000, compared to 22.4 cases last week.
According to the CDC, more than 1 million COVID-19 cases were reported in the United States over the last 7 days. This is alarming, and demonstrates that we must remain vigilant. We must anticipate that cases will continue to spread as individuals travel, return home from college, gather and shop in the weeks ahead. Wearing masks, social distancing and avoiding gatherings is a must if we are to control this pandemic.
This year, many traditional activities surrounding Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays have the potential to threaten our health and safety. I urge all residents to refrain from typical large holiday gatherings.
This Stevan Dohanos Saturday Evening Post cover — modeled on a Long Lots Road home — shows a scene that (for many reasons) will not be repeated this year.
As of November 6, the statewide cap on gathering in private residences is 10, down from 25. Please keep your Thanksgiving celebration to no more than 10, and preferably celebrate at home only with the people with whom you live. Gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase the chances of contracting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu.
Avoid crowds on Black Friday, or prepare for strict adherence to the 50% capacity rule at retail stores. Consider Cyber Monday as an alternative. Always maintain a 6-foot distance from others, and wear a face covering.
Review the CDC and state Department of Public Health guidelines for the Thanksgiving holiday, including traveling, gathering, and alternatives to gathering and protocols for college students returning to or visiting Connecticut:
For information on testing sites, please click here for a list of local test sites, or click here for the state-wide listing.
If you have a pending test due either to symptoms of COVID or exposure to COVID, please refrain from going out into the community until you have received results.
St. Vincent’s Health Center is one of several places offerin COVID-19 tests. (Photo/Adam Stolpen)
Much of the increase in COVID cases and the resulting school closures are a result of gatherings, parties and sports team activities. Effective Monday (November 23), the governor has ordered all club and team sports, including CIAC sports, to postpone all organized events until January 19.
Staples High School, and Bedford and Coleytown Middle Schools, are on distanced learning through the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Westport Public School Superintendent Tom Scarice and I remind everyone that the ability for our schools to remain open for in-person learning depends primarily on the actions of our entire population. We continue to urge all to follow the appropriate protocols so that our community can remain open, but safe.
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