Coronavirus: What is social distancing and contact tracing?

For the protection of residents, employees and visitors to Wilton, the town has adopted the CDC’s non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI) recommended approach for a pandemic.

Although a pandemic has not been officially declared, the town is taking a proactive approach to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Social distancing is a key component of the approach and is outlined on the town’s website,

Social distancing involves maintaining a greater than normal distance between people. Six feet is ideal, three feet is recommended as a minimal distance.

Wilton officials acknowledge there will be times when this isn’t practical, but offer some examples when it is practical: When attending meetings, leave a seat between yourself and the person adjacent and/or behind you. When standing in line at the grocery store, step back and add more distance than normal. When placing a take-out order, step back from the counter and then step away while waiting for your order.

Officials are discouraging discretionary large gatherings and suggest, if possible, that the event be broken out into two or more smaller gatherings. When determining room capacity, consider capacity at half the stated capacity, as each person will require more space.

Contact tracing

Another issue discussed on the town’s website is contact tracing.

It explains why the identity of the Wilton man who contracted the coronavirus has not been disclosed.

Contact tracing is the identification and follow-up of persons who may have come into contact with a person infected with the virus.

Epidemiologists with the CT State Department of Public Health (DPH) perform contact tracing. They notify individuals they have identified as having come in contact with a person infected with the virus. DPH personnel provide information to the appropriate municipal health director. State laws protect the confidentiality of the patient information.

Once DPH finishes its investigation, it will determine what it will share with the public.

First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice said any information that identifies the individual is confidential and protected by federal and state laws and can not be disclosed by town officials.