Wilton moves to ‘red alert’ town with COVID-19 spike

A resurgence of the COVID-19 is sweeping the state, with 100 of Connecticut’s 169 towns and cities, including Wilton, now placed on ‘Red Alert’ status.

A resurgence of the COVID-19 is sweeping the state, with 100 of Connecticut’s 169 towns and cities, including Wilton, now placed on ‘Red Alert’ status.

State of Connecticut graphic

WILTON — With five new cases of COVID-19 reported in the past two days, Wilton has been named a “red alert” community.

The state Department of Health issues a “red alert” for municipalities with 15 new cases of COVID per day per 100,000 people.

The red alert status was calculated from Oct. 25 through Nov. 7, during which time 43 new cases of COVID were reported in Wilton, resulting in a rate of 16.7 per 100,000 residents.

Wilton Public Schools has created a COVID-19 information page, notifying residents of the number of students and staff in self-isolation or quarantine due to the virus.

As of Wednesday, Nov. 11, the schools reported 12 students that tested positive for COVID were in isolation, while 114 students were in quarantine due to close contact. There are four positive staff members in self-isolation and 19 staff members in quarantine.

On Thursday, Nov. 12, Superintendent of Schools Kevin Smith announced a new positive case of COVID-19 in the district’s Genesis program, an alternative educational program held at Trackside Teen Center.

The town’s public safety departments have also been affected by COVID.

In a message on the town’s website, First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice said, “Just like our schools, our public safety departments have been impacted by required quarantines due to exposure. Recently, police and fire staffing was down 25 percent due to quarantining. The numbers can grow quickly. Police and fire officers experiencing increasing required overtime to cover for those quarantined. Those additional hours mean more opportunity for exposure for those officers, additional costs for the town and potential burnout.”

She said the departments didn’t experience this level of exposure during the spring, as most residents were staying home. She asked residents to help reduce required responses by “following the law and being smart about your personal property.”

“Don’t be that guy or gal driving 45 or 50 mph on local roads. With less cars on the road, drivers are driving faster than ever, leading to calls for enforcement and accidents. Lock your vehicles. Police are still responding to thefts of or within unlocked cars. Thieves continue to target Wilton because residents make it easy,” she said.

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, 359 cases of COVID have been reported in Wilton. The number of deaths stands at 43 according to the most recent state report.

A resurgence of the virus is sweeping the state, with 100 of Connecticut’s 169 towns and cities now placed on Red Alert.

Connecticut reported 1,158 new cases on Thursday, or 32 for every 100,000 people. The daily positivity rate was 4.8 percent, calculated from 24,001 new tests in the previous 24 hours. Hospitalizations are also up, with a net increase of 33 patients, bringing the total to 617.

In light of the recent COVID increase, Gov. Ned Lamont is tightening restrictions, announcing private indoor and outdoor social gatherings are limited to 10 people, including Thanksgiving celebrations.

He is also recommending a statewide curfew, urging all residents to stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. except for essential trips.

Yesterday, the state introduced an app to help state health officials trace people who came in close proximity to someone with COVID-19.

The app is available for iPhone and Android, uses Bluetooth to tell whether a phone’s owner has been in contact for a long enough period with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus and had been notified by state health officials.