Photo Credit: Unsplash.
Greetings Greenwich friends and neighbors.
There appears to be a promising downward trend in the number of COVID cases in our schools and of those being treated at Greenwich Hospital.
This week, the federal government began accepting orders for free test kits available for every household. The initial program will allow four free tests to be requested per residential address. You may order the kits via COVIDTests.gov. The web site also has information about insurance reimbursement for purchased at-home test kits.
For residents without Internet access, please call 1-800-232-0233. The tests will typically ship – via the U.S. Postal Service, within 7 to 12 days of ordering. If anyone has issues with their address when trying to place your order, please call 1-800-ASK-USPS.
Residents who need assistance securing test kits or N95 face masks may contact the Department of Human Services at 203-622-3800 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Commission on Aging at 203-862-6710.
As of today, January 21, Greenwich Hospital was treating 43 COVID-positive patients, with 7 in the Intensive Care Unit and 3 on ventilators. That is down from 59 patients a week ago. The Yale New Haven Health system was treating a total of 592 COVID patients today, which is a substantial drop from 725 patients a week ago.
In Greenwich Public Schools, as of today, there are a total of 83 cases among students and staff. That is a dramatic drop from the 264 active cases reported a week ago. There are cases in all 15 of the district’s schools. Greenwich High School has 26 active cases, reflecting a decrease from 92 cases a week ago. The district’s data tracker did not provide a breakdown on the sources of infection.
As of January 21, the total number of resident COVID cases confirmed among Town residents (since the pandemic began in March 2020) increased to 10,593 with 484 active cases being tracked by Health Department staff. Last week at this time, the Health Department was tracking 559 active cases.
It is sad to note that we have lost three more residents, whose deaths have been attributed to COVID. As of January 20, 107 residents have died since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. Information on ages and vaccination status of the victims is unavailable.
I continue to encourage you to remain vigilant in wearing a face mask when social distancing isn’t possible and to receive a vaccine or booster, if you haven’t already done so.
Here are the latest full vaccination rates as reported by the state Department of Health and Human Services, as of January 19:
Age 5 – 11: 42.87 % of 6,470 residents
Age 12 – 17: 90.46 % of 5,449 residents
Age 18 – 24: 83.18 % of 4,037 residents
Age 25 – 44: 67.14 % of 13,580 residents
Age 45 – 64: 81.58 % of 18,950 residents
Age 65 +: 91.51 % of 10,466 residents
Yale New Haven Health (YNHHS) continues to administer booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in Fairfield County. All vaccinations are by appointment only. 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.
New rules for nursing home visits
Beginning tomorrow, Saturday, January 22, visitors to nursing homes in Connecticut must show proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter the facility.
Gov. Ned Lamont signed an executive order Wednesday that requires vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test result from either a rapid antigen test that was completed within the previous 48 hours or a PCR test that was completed within the previous 72 hours.
Funding for Byram River flooding mitigation
This week we received news from our Congressman, Jim Himes, that he was successful in lobbying for a $40 million allocation in the infrastructure bill to pay for measures to mitigate the flooding along the Byram River. I thank Jim for his efforts and look forward to working with him, the Army Corps of Engineers in bringing this project to fruition.
The flooding has been a perennial problem for decades. There is much work to be done as it also will require involvement with New York State, the Village of Port Chester and Westchester County. Your continued patience is appreciated as we negotiate the various local, regional, state and federal channels to make this project a reality.
As we receive details and updates, we’ll be sure to share them with you.
Winter farmers’ market to open
The 2022 Winter Farmers’ Market is set to open at Sam Bridge Nursery tomorrow, Saturday, January 22. The market takes place inside the greenhouses every Saturday (weather permitting) from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. until May 7. There is a diverse group of farmers and artisan vendors from Connecticut and surrounding states. Local produce, meats, fresh seafood, breads, desserts and greens, are among the items available. The nursery is located at 437 North St. More market information and updates can be found here.
A call for volunteers
Are you interested in getting involved with our Town government? Whether you have an interest in recreation or sports, health and human services, conservation or our wetlands, planning and zoning, there are myriad opportunities to serve our Town. For information about the various boards, commissions and committees, please check the Board of Selectmen webpage. Once you find an area of interest, please click here for the Selectmen’s Nominations Advisory Committee’s guidance on how to apply.
Help for paying winter energy bills
With the unrelenting cold weather, if you need assistance in keeping your home warm, please contact the Greenwich Department of Human Services. Staff is here to help guide residents with applying for assistance that’s available from several state agencies. There are income requirements - the programs are open to 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.)
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.)
With this extreme cold weather, should you lose power and need to warm up, the Margenot Atrium in the lobby of the Public Safety Complex, 11 Bruce Place, is available 24/7 as a warming station. Face masks are required. For helpful severe cold weather guidance, please use this link.
And I want to take this opportunity to give a very special shout-out to Mary Provost - she celebrated her 110th birthday earlier this week, on January 19.
In the meantime, stay safe, stay warm and
All the best,