Greetings Greenwich friends and neighbors.
It’s been several weeks since it was necessary for me to open my newsletter with COVID-19 news. Unfortunately, statistics in Greenwich mirror what is occurring around our state and the country – the cases are increasing at a rate that we haven’t seen in many weeks.
And Health Department Director Caroline Baisley reports the uptick in the number of new COVID cases primarily involve unvaccinated residents. Today, Greenwich Hospital has five COVID-positive patients, four of whom did not receive the vaccine. As of today, July 30, a total of 5,246 residents have tested positive for COVID-19 or any of the variants since the pandemic began in March 2020. That is an increase of 43 cases from a week ago. The Greenwich Health Department is tracking 48 active cases in Town. Fortunately, the number of residents who have died from COVID remains unchanged – as it has for 12 weeks - at 89. A report from the Centers for Disease Control says that the Delta variant is more transmissible than the viruses that cause the common cold, chicken pox, Ebola and SARS. The report also says that given how easily it can be spread, universal masking may be the best means to help reduce the virus spread, even among those who are fully vaccinated.
This afternoon, Fairfield County was added to the list of Connecticut counties that are considered to have “substantial” COVID infections. The CDC issued new guidance that people in these areas of “substantial” or “high” transmission rates should resume wearing masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. It is my hope that we voluntarily follow this guidance to help mitigate the spread. While we continue to monitor the situation, I urge you to continue the other 3 W’s that worked so well months ago: wash your hands, watch your distance and wipe down commonly-used surfaces.
As of July 29, 63.85 percent of residents have been fully vaccinated with 68.92 percent of residents having received an initial vaccine dose, according to state statistics. Of the Town’s 62,840 residents, there are 9,545 who are younger than 12 years and are not eligible to be vaccinated.
Vaccine and testing information: Locations of vaccine providers and how to contact them can be found here.
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.
Visitation changes at The Nathaniel Witherell
Earlier this week, The Nathaniel Witherell nursing home reported one new COVID positive case. The person is part of Witherell’s outsourced vendor staff who was vaccinated. TNW is now in Outbreak Testing until cleared per Connecticut Department of Public Health guidelines. There will be NO indoor visits. Outdoor and POD visits will continue.
All staff and residents, vaccinated and unvaccinated must be tested twice a week. If there are no further positive cases for one round of testing, which can take 7 to 10 days, The Witherell will be scheduled to go back to normal visitation by August 5.
Please refer to the TNW website for the complete TNW visitation policy.
West Nile virus
The first mosquitoes to test positive for West Nile virus in Town this year were trapped in the Mianus River Park.
The mosquitoes trapped in Greenwich are typically bird- and mammal-biting and breed in standing water often found in containers such as discarded tires, birdbaths or catch basins, according to the Greenwich Health Department.
In 2020, eight Connecticut residents were diagnosed with West Nile-associated illness, including two Greenwich residents, officials said. The cases were not fatal.
Since June, the Town has taken preemptive measures, including treating public and private roadway catch basins, public school ground catch basins and other property owned and operated by The town as needed. The program includes the placement of larvicide every four to six weeks in the catch basins.
West Nile symptoms typically present themselves about five to 15 days after the bite from an infected mosquito and include a slight fever, headache, rash, swollen lymph nodes, nausea, malaise and eye pain.
Attention District 7 voters
For residents participating in the August 17 special election for the 36th District Senate seat, in-person voting has been relocated. Instead of voting at Greenwich High School, you will be voting in the cafeteria of Central Middle School, 9 Indian Rock Lane. Polling hours remain the same: 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
GEMS offering CPR training
Greenwich Emergency Medical Service will host a CPR/AED/First Aid course on Thursday, August 5, from 11am-3pm at GEMS headquarters, 1111 E. Putnam Ave. Participants will learn lifesaving skills including adult, child and infant CPR/AED and First Aid. Each student will receive a 2-year certification from the American Heart Association. For more information, please contact SMazzotta@greenwichems.org. You may register for the class here.
Ferry service update
The Islander II was hauled out of the water at the dry-dock yesterday morning so that it could be inspected and work could begin. Today, the Coast Guard looked over the Islander II. Parts are ordered and work is underway. The Coast Guard is tentatively scheduled on Tuesday to review the repairs, assuming everything goes according to plan. Next week, the Town should have an idea about a timeframe to get the vessel back in the water.
In the meantime, ferry service to Great Captain Island will be provided Monday, August 2. The ferry will leave Arch Street at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. with return trips from the Island scheduled for 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.
In the event of inclement weather, please call the ferry information hotline at 203-618-7672.
Register for blood drive
The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive – by appointment only – from 2 to 7 p.m. Monday, August 2. The location has been changed to Temple Sholom, 300 E. Putnam Ave. Appointment can be made by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or by going to www.RedCrossBlood.org
What do you think?
The Department of Public Works continues its quest for community feedback on our Greenwich Avenue Streetscape project. With safety and aesthetics in mind, the project was created in an effort to revitalize Greenwich Avenue, an iconic street and the premier shopping destination in the heart of our Town. Please visit greenwichstreetscape.com to share your feedback on the initial renderings during the conceptual stages of this project.
*** Stay safe and all the best. Fred
Read past issues: https://us4.campaign-archive.com/home/?u=d97600d8f53687c558836a341&id=ecd4a0dbf2