As Delta variant spreads, Greenwich monitors rising COVID-19 infection rates but won't require vaccines

Photo of Tatiana Flowers

GREENWICH — First Selectman Fred Camillo said he is monitoring the rising COVID-19 infections rates daily but does not plan to follow the mayor of New York City in requiring all of its employees to get the coronavirus vaccine or face weekly testing.

But at the same time, Camillo is urging all residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I certainly understand people who have hesitancy (to get the vaccine), because they may have underlying issues, or there’s a religious component to it or they’re still not convinced that it’s safe,” Camillo said Monday.

“I would ask them to really reconsider, and look at the data so far that (shows) the majority of the people going into the hospitals (with COVID-19) right now are those that are unvaccinated,” he said. “And they’re putting themselves at risk. And unfortunately, other people are putting themselves at risk now.”

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday that all municipal workers, including teachers and police officers, will be required to get inoculated by mid-September or undergo weekly COVID-19 tests, making the city one of the largest employers in the U.S. to take such action. The mandate covers about 340,000 employees.

“This is about our recovery. This is about keeping people safe. This is about bringing back jobs,” de Blasio said.

The state of California said it will also require proof of vaccination or weekly testing for all state workers and health care employees starting next month. In San Francisco, its 35,000 employees must get vaccinated, get an exemption or lose their job. The Department of Veterans Affairs also became the first major federal agency to require health care workers to be fully vaccinated.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed course Tuesday on some masking guidelines, recommending that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the coronavirus is surging.

Citing new information about the ability of the delta variant to spread among vaccinated people, the CDC also recommended indoor masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.

The Greenwich Public Schools cited the state policy on continued use of masks this fall in reaction.

“We have already shared with our families last week that the Connecticut governor’s Executive Order mandating masks in school was extended through September 30th,” Superintendent of Schools Toni Jones said Tuesday.

But Camillo said that if COVID-19 infection rates swell again locally — “and get out of hand” — policies would be adjusted.

“We’ll do anything to keep people safe,” he said.

Statistics from the town

At the end of last week, town Health Department Director Caroline Baisley said the uptick in new COVID-19 cases among residents was continuing.

The recent rise in cases of COVID-19 in town is “something of concern,” she said last week.

Camillo said in email blast Friday that the town had 24 more cases than a week ago, and that the Greenwich Health Department is tracking 26 active cases in town. Greenwich Hospital had two COVID patients as of Friday afternoon, he said.

As of July 22, 62.7 percent of Greenwich residents have been fully vaccinated with 68.46 percent of residents having received an initial vaccine dose, Camillo said, citing state statistics.

“I cannot stress enough that residents who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear a face mask, especially when social distancing isn’t possible,” he said. “Please get a vaccination as state statistics show that three out of four new COVID cases involve the Delta variant that was contracted by unvaccinated people.”

More Information

COVID vaccine and testing information

The town of Greenwich and First Selectman are providing information on how to get tested for COVID-19 and where to get vaccinated.

For homebound residents, the Family Health Division of the Health Department can provide assistance. Residents should contact their physician to request that a doctor's order for a vaccine shot is forwarded to the Health Department. Doctors can contact the Family Health Division by calling 203-622-6495.

Here is a list of available vaccine providers:

Yale New Haven Health: Sign up online here (, or call 1-833-275-9644.

Stamford Health: Sign up online here (, or call 203-276-7300.

CVS Health (limited locations): Sign up online here (, or call 1-800-679-9691.

For information on testing:

Greenwich Hospital and the Yale New Haven Health system: click here (

Community Health Center: click here (

Family Centers at Wilbur Peck Court: click here (

Gov. Ned Lamont said Monday that his administration is not planning any new mandates, including travel restrictions floated as a possibility last week, even as COVID hospitalizations jumped over the weekend.

Staff Writer Justin Papp and the Associated Press contributed to this story. @TATIANADFLOWERS