News Flash

First Selectman

Posted on: December 24, 2021

December 24: Community Connections from Fred


Greetings Greenwich friends and neighbors.

 

COVID-19 update

 

As of Thursday, December 23, Greenwich Hospital was treating 24 COVID-positive patients, with 2 in the Intensive Care Unit and 1 on a mechanical ventilator. The Yale New Haven Health system was treating a total of 262 COVID patients yesterday. 


In Greenwich Public Schools, as of December 21, there was a total of 171 cases among students and staff. Last Friday, there were 104 cases. The district’s data tracker did not provide a breakdown on the sources of infection. With the exception of the Windrose School, all schools have cases including 70 at Greenwich High School.


As of 3 p.m. Thursday, December 23, the total number of resident COVID cases confirmed among Town residents (since the pandemic began in March 2020) increased to 7,084 with 320 active cases being tracked by Health Department staff. Last Friday, December 17, there had been a total of 6,471 cases among residents.


Health Director Caroline Baisley reports that in two days – on December 21 and December 22 – there were 195 new cases reported.


Because of the growing spread of the omicron variant, I decided that as of December 23, the face mask and social distancing requirements at all Town facilities would be reinstated. This temporary measure, which includes holding public meetings virtually, will remain in effect until further notice.


In addition to the masks being required in our Town public buildings, I strongly encourage that in order to be safe in confined settings in private buildings, that people wear masks. If you’re outdoors and not in a confined setting, I recommend you to use your best judgment. 


Since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, a total of 99 residents have died of COVID. 


Here are the latest full vaccination rates as reported by the state Department of Health and Human Services, as of December 21:

  • Age 5 – 11: 30.14% of 6,470 residents 
  • Age 12 – 17: 89.43% of 5,449 residents
  • Age 18 – 24: 81.94% of 4,037 residents
  • Age 25 – 44: 66.91% of 13,580 residents
  • Age 45 – 64: 81.64% of 18,950 residents
  • Age 65 +: 91.42% of 10,466 residents 

Yale New Haven Health (YNHHS) is administering booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in Fairfield County. All vaccinations are by appointment only and to find out which booster is available and to make an appointment, log onto the YNHHS website: www.ynhhs.org/covidvaccine. Information on testing – which also by appointment only - can be found here.


The Connecticut Department of Public Health is offering mobile vaccine clinics. Information on locations can be found here. Information about the January 5, 2022 Greenwich Health Department vaccine clinic can be found here.


I thank our residents who have been vigilant about wearing masks and getting the vaccines, especially as we approach the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. If you are vaccinated and have received a booster, I encourage residents to support our local businesses and patronize them by doing their holiday shopping here in Town.


As we have done for the past two years, I appreciate your continued collaborative efforts in fighting this disease. This will help us see a brighter future in the New Year. 

 

Ida updates


I want to thank all of the residents who turned out for this week’s public forum regarding Byram River flooding. This project has been a long time in coming and I will continue to work with the various state, federal and neighboring jurisdictions in New York State to ensure this project becomes a reality.


As I said last week, we would provide a link to GCTV’s recording of the hearing for those who were unable to attend. The meeting video can be found here on GCTV’s YouTube channel.

The deadline to file with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for assistance for damage caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida is Jan. 28, 2022. More details can be found here.


To begin the process online, please use this link. Assistance also is available by calling the FEMA helpline at 1-800-621-3362, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., seven days a week. The TTY number is 1-800-462-7585. Here is a link with information on how the application process works.  For information on the Individuals and Households assistance programs which provide financial help or direct services to people with needs that aren’t met through other means, please use this link.


Here is the link to frequently asked questions. And here is the link to help guide you through the process: Disaster Resource and Recovery Guide.


If you plan to challenge your 2021 property assessment because of storm-related damage, you must submit photographs or documentation to explain the extent of the damage by January 7. It may be emailed to 2021reval@greenwichct.org with the subject line: IDA. 


Holiday closures


Town Hall and most facilities, including the libraries, will be closed Friday, December 24, for the Christmas holiday. Regular business hours will resume Monday, December 27. Town Hall also will be closed Friday, December 31 for the New Year’s holiday with regular business hours resuming Monday, January 3, 2022.


The Holly Hill Resource Recovery Facility will be closed on Christmas Day, December 25. The facility will be open for regular operating hours on Christmas Eve, December 24, as well as New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Please remember to display your permit hang-tag on your vehicle’s rearview mirror.

 

Recycle Your Textiles


Greenwich High School Outreach Club is holding a clothing and textile drive through December 31. Donate clothes, shoes, belts, bags, accessories, towels, linens (in any condition) which will help keep these items out of landfills. Collection bins are available at:


 • GHS back parking lot, 10 Hillside Road
 • Arch Street Teen Center, 100 Arch Street
 • The Nathaniel Witherell, 70 Parsonage Road


A percentage of the proceeds will support The Harris Project’s CODA (Co-occurring Disorders Awareness) prevention programming For more information, click here.


Speaking of recycling … the Department of Parks and Recreation is once again holding the annual Christmas tree recycling program, starting Sunday, December 26. Christmas tree recycling will end on Monday, January 31, 2022.   All trees to be recycled must be undecorated (ornaments, tinsel, lights, and stands must be removed). Trees may be deposited at Byram Park, Bruce Park, Greenwich Point and the Holly Hill Recycling Center.

 

The Parks & Trees Division will be recycling resident’s Christmas trees by chipping them. The wood chips can be used by residents as mulch or compost. Tree chips retained by the Town will be used in parks as mulch for trails in woodlands, shrub beds, and soil stabilization. 

 

Want to go out for a drive?


If you enjoy driving, have some free time and are looking for a volunteer opportunity, I hope that you’ll consider Call-A-Ride. This service that provides essential travel services for our seniors, is experiencing a driver shortage. Without enough drivers some seniors in need cannot take advantage of this free service and have to pay to get where they need to go.


Drivers use one of the three Call-A-Ride cars, which are fully insured and based at 37 Lafayette Place, Greenwich. There are 2 shifts available - Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to noon and 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Drivers can commit to a weekly shift, or a few times a month, or volunteer for an open shift that’s posted on the group’s monthly calendar. For more information or to sign up, please call 203- 661-6633 or click here


Last call for commuter parking permit renewals


The deadline to renew your annual commuter parking permit is next week. It is being conducted only online via this link https://www.greenwichct.gov/572. Please allow 2 to 3 business days for your application to be reviewed.


The deadline to pay is 4 p.m., December 31, 2021.  For information, email parkingpermits@greenwichct.org


***

This is my last newsletter for 2021. I appreciate all of you who take the time stay connected by subscribing to this newsletter. We’ll reconnect in early January. In the meantime, I hope that you remain healthy.


Happy Kwanzaa and happy Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!

 

Best,

Fred

 

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