News Flash

First Selectman

Posted on: January 14, 2022

January 14: Community Connections from Fred

1.14.22 weather map

Credit: National Weather Service.

Details of what to expect when the severe weather arrives in Connecticut this weekend.


Greetings Greenwich friends and neighbors. 

 

There is some severe winter weather, with bitter cold temperatures buffeted by strong wind gusts, forecast for this holiday weekend.

The National Weather Service is predicting the very cold air mass moving into the region overnight, along with strong northerly winds, will result in wind chills of -10 to 0 degrees. Sunday night into Monday, precipitation is expected to begin as snow and change to sleet and rain along the coastline where high tides could be impacted by the winds. Details can be found here.


Our Department of Public Works staff has been pre-treating roads in anticipation of the storm.

 

This afternoon, Governor Lamont imposed severe cold weather protocol statewide. It will remain in effect until noon, Wednesday, January 19. 

If residents lose power or heat, the Margenot Atrium in the Public Safety Complex, 11 Bruce Place, is available as a warming and charging center 24/7.  A reminder: all visitors are required to wear face masks in Town facilities. 

Greenwich Department of Health is reminding residents to take precautions against hypothermia and frostbite and when using alternative heating sources in their home. Heating systems during cold weather normally work “overtime” and sometimes become faulty without warning. When this situation occurs, space heaters and fireplaces are used. However, their use increases the risk of household fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. 

 

Extreme weather conditions are classified as near-freezing or below-freezing temperatures. Exposure to these weather conditions, whether indoors or outside, can cause serious or life threatening health emergencies. Although anyone can be affected by the cold, infants, children, the elderly and those with medical conditions are particularly at risk. 

 

Outdoor safety tips

To avoid frostbite and hyperthermia, please follow these suggestions:

  • Wear layers of loose clothing with hat, gloves, scarf and insulated shoes 
  • Limit outdoor exposure including daily exercise routines 
  • Know outdoor temperature and the effect of wind chill factors on the body 
  • Keep walkways free of ice and snow to prevent falls 
  • Avoid the use of alcohol 
  • Notify someone of your whereabouts when you go out 
  • Avoid prolonged time outdoors of infants, children, the elderly, those with medical conditions and pets 

 

Tips to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless gas that can be fatal. The following safety tips will prevent CO poisoning: 

  • NEVER use portable generators or gasoline-powered equipment inside your home or garage, car port, etc. 
  • Never use gas or charcoal grills in the house, garage, etc. 
  • Purchase a carbon monoxide detector for your home 
  • Make sure inlets and outlets for your furnace are free of snow 
  • Make sure your car’s exhaust pipe is clear. Never warm up your car in the garage, even if the garage door is open 

 

Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, fatigue, dizziness, nausea or vomiting or loss of consciousness. Take everyone, including pets out of the house and call 911 from outside the house if you think there is a CO exposure.

TO REPORT ONLY EMERGENCIES – For all Police, Fire and EMS emergencies, dial 911. 

 

Emergency Helplines – Utilities: 

Aquarion Water Company 1-800-732-9678 

Eversource 1-800-286-2000 

CT Natural Gas Company (203) 869-6900 

 

Local Non-Emergency Phone Numbers: 

Town of Greenwich – www.greenwichct.org (203) 622-7700 

Greenwich Department of Health, Environmental Health Division (203)-987-1000 

Greenwich Fire Department non-emergency (203)-622-3950 

Greenwich Police Department non-emergency (203)-622-8000 

Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Service 

– American Medical Response (AMR) 1-800-462-9111 

Department of Parks and Recreation Tree Division (203)-622-7824 

Greenwich Chapter, American Red Cross (203)-869-8444 

Greenwich Department of Human Services (203) 622-3800 

Connecticut Poison Control 1-800-222-1222 

 

For more helpful severe cold weather guidance, please use this link


COVID-19 updates

 

As of today, January 14, Greenwich Hospital was treating 59 COVID-positive patients, with 5 in the Intensive Care Unit and 3 on ventilators. That is down from 72 patients a week ago. The Yale New Haven Health system was treating a total of 725 COVID patients yesterday. That is down from 771 patients a week ago.

 

In Greenwich Public Schools, as of today, there are a total of 264 cases among students and staff.  The district’s data tracker did not provide a breakdown on the sources of infection. There are cases in all 15 of the district’s schools, with the exception of the Windrose Program, including 92 at Greenwich High School.

 

As of 3 p.m. Friday, January 14, the total number of resident COVID cases confirmed among Town residents (since the pandemic began in March 2020) increased to 10,026 with 559 active cases being tracked by Health Department staff.  In 3 days – from Wednesday, January 12 through 3 p.m. today, Friday, January 14, there were 447 new cases reported to the Health Department.

 

It is sad to note that four more residents’ deaths have been attributed to COVID. Since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, a total of 104 residents have died. It is important to note that information on ages and vaccination status of the victims is unavailable. 


 Here are the latest full vaccination rates as reported by the state Department of Health and Human Services, as of January 12:

  • Age 5 – 11: 41.02 % of 6,470 residents 
  • Age 12 – 17: 90.07 % of 5,449 residents
  • Age 18 – 24: 82.98 % of 4,037 residents
  • Age 25 – 44: 67.08 % of 13,580 residents
  • Age 45 – 64: 81.56 % of 18,950 residents
  • Age 65 +: 91.52 % 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.

At this time, the Town does not expect to receive additional test kits or N95 masks from the state for distribution to residents.


Snow Sculpture Contest

Greenwich Recreation and the Greenwich Arts Council are presenting the 10th annual Snow Sculpture Contest. Throughout the winter season, create your best snow sculpture and submit a photo for an opportunity to win a prize from Greenwich Parks and Recreation. The deadline to submit photos is Friday, March 4. The contest is open to Greenwich residents only.


Summer sailing school update

I am pleased to announce that the Town is working with a Greenwich-based non-profit organization to reinstate the Greenwich sailing program at Greenwich Point for summer 2022. 

The non-profit organization will continue this important community service, which serves approximately 800 adults and children every year. The program also provides 30 seasonal jobs, primarily for local college and high school students.

The non-profit organization is facing a significant start-up financial challenge to get this ready for this summer. They are in the procurement stage for items and services that must be secured as soon as possible, such as insurance, a website launch, and most importantly, instructional equipment. 

If you’re interested in supporting this program and helping it get off the ground, please contact the principal sponsor, Bill King, at greenwichsailingschool@gmail.com or at wjking0001@msn.com.  I thank you in advance for helping support this initiative.

 

Energy Assistance for Winter 2021-2022

The Greenwich Department of Human Services is assisting residents who may need assistance in paying energy bills this winter. that there is help with energy bills for those whose incomes fall below 60% of the state median income guidelines and those facing financial hardship. (For a family of 4 this is equal to $75,052, gross annual income.) 

Eligible households may apply for:

  • Connecticut Energy Assistance Program – assists with primary heating bills.
  • Winter Protection Program – prevents heat source shut-offs.
  • Matching Payment Program – provides forgiveness of past due balances when a payment plan is maintained over time.
  • Operation Fuel –a private, non-profit statewide program that provides emergency utility bill assistance to low and moderate income individuals and families, the elderly and disabled individuals who are in financial crisis. 

 

For information, call Human Services at 203-622-3800.  A case manager will determine the best program for residents and assist with the application process. The Energy Assistance Program runs through May 31, 2022. (All services are confidential.)


Kudos to our DPW engineers, staff

I am pleased to share that Town of Greenwich Department of Public Works recently received the Achievement in Civil Engineering (ACE) Award from the Connecticut Society of Civil Engineers (CSCE) for the Greenwich Avenue and Elm Street Intersection Improvement Project. The award recognizes projects that showcase engineering expertise and innovation. Completed in June 2021, the Greenwich Avenue and Elm Street Intersection Improvement Project was created to improve safety and accessibility in an intersection heavily trafficked by both vehicles and pedestrians. For more information about this project, click here

 

Pedestrian safety

I have received calls and emails from residents concerned about pedestrians and cyclists. To ensure motorists can see you, I encourage pedestrians to wear bright and reflective clothing or use a flashlight when walking during evening hours. For cyclists, it would be most helpful to use a bell or call out as you approach pedestrians so they are aware of your presence.


***

One last reminder, Town facilities, including Town Hall, are closed Monday, January 17 in observance of the Dr. Martin Luther King Day holiday. We’ll reopen at 8 a.m. Tuesday, January 18.

In the meantime, stay safe, stay warm and 


All the best,


Fred

 

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