Wilton coronavirus advice: Develop a plan if you become sick

It’s a good idea to get outside if you are staying home every day, but try to find a somewhere that is not crowded with other walkers or runners.

It’s a good idea to get outside if you are staying home every day, but try to find a somewhere that is not crowded with other walkers or runners.

Bryan Haeffele /Hearst Connecticut Media

WILTON — Should the coronavirus hit more households in Wilton, First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice is advising residents to develop a plan of action.

“If you haven’t already done so, it is important to develop a plan for yourself and anyone living with you as to how you will manage if one or more of you test positive,” she said in a message on the town’s website.

The state’s Department of Public Health (DPH) reports 17 laboratory-confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Wilton and 546 in Fairfield County. There have been 19 deaths statewide, 12 of which are in Fairfield County.

“We think the numbers for Wilton are underreported. If you have received a confirmed or presumptive positive test and you have not been contacted by the Wilton Health Department, please contact the department,” she said.

Vanderslice said today on a call with the Governor and his staff, it was mentioned that DPH will soon no longer release the number of confirmed cases for each municipality, nor will the municipality be allowed to release the number. We are seeking more information about this.

The town is in a continual planning mode, Vanderslice said, and is holding three regularly scheduled Emergency Operations Committee meetings per week, plus additional meetings as required.

“We have already executed a plan for potential sheltering of exposed emergency services personnel and non-hospitalized emergency services personnel, who have tested positive. Fortunately, we haven’t yet had a need for it. We are executing a plan for potential sheltering of our vulnerable population and non-hospitalized residents with the virus, who live alone and may need assistance,” she said.

Emergency Management Director and Chief of Police John Lynch is spearheading the town’s participation in developing regional facilities. ”All of us are participating in region-wide or statewide calls either daily or more frequently,” she said.

Make plans

In anticipation of someone getting sick in a household, Vanderslice advises making a plan for isolating people within the same home, handling meals for the patient, and planning for various family dynamic scenarios.

“What if both mom and dad are sick? If you live alone, make sure you have a network you can contact in case you need meals or other supplies left on your doorstep. Many people with the disease become weak, so if you do live alone, think strategically about where you would want to place a bed and still be able to care for yourself,” she said.

She emphasized a number of ways to help stop the spread in Wilton:

 Maintain a distance of six feet between you and another person. This standard applies whether inside or outside.

 Consolidate your shopping and errands to minimize the numbers of days you must leave your home.

 Do not run to the store every time you hear a delivery has arrived. Widespread overbuying is the major cause of shortages. With businesses and schools closed and not ordering, new supply chains are open.

 Take advantage of the delivery options offered by many Wilton businesses.

 Practice your team sport on your own, not with your teammates. The internet is full of videos and suggestions on how to do this.

 Do walk outside. If your street is walkable, please consider walking there rather than a public trail. When the Norwalk River Valley Trail parking lot, or that of another trail, is more than 50-percent full, find another place to walk. There are 127 miles of town-owned roads, more than 80 private roads and more than three miles of sidewalk on state-owned roads.

 Respect the town’s closure of fields and recreation facilities.

 If you have a fever, cough and/or shortness of breath, call your doctor. Only a doctor can approve you for testing.

Editor’s Note: This story was corrected to quote the First Selectwoman directly about her phone call with the DPH.