First Selectman Declares Local Civil Preparedness Emergency
First Selectman Jim Marpe has announced that under the powers granted by Connecticut General Statute (C.G.S.) 28-8a and Westport’s Emergency Preparedness Ordinance, Chapter 26, Article III, he has declared a Local Civil Preparedness Emergency (LCPE). The statute and ordinance allow for this declaration in the event of a local emergency creating a risk of severe hazards to life, welfare or property of the Town of Westport or its residents, and includes any public health crisis occurring in or adversely affecting the Town of Westport.
As of 8:00 PM this evening (March 16, 2020), the following will remain in effect until further notice:
- All restaurants, including bars, delicatessens and other locations where food and/or beverages are prepared for on-premises consumption, are prohibited from all in-restaurant and outside service. No customers are allowed inside a restaurant. Delivery of food and beverages and curb-side pick-up of food and beverages is permitted, subject to all existing laws. This prohibition does not apply to cafeterias where employers provide meals exclusively for employees and residents/patients.
- All commercial gyms and fitness centers shall be closed.
- All nail and hair salons and barber shops shall serve by appointment only.
- There shall be no social or other gatherings of any sort at the Inn at Longshore.
The onset of the COVID-19 virus has introduced a public health crisis to Westport. Executive Director of the Westport Weston Public Health Department Mark Cooper, has advised that of the 31 Westport residents recently tested for the presence of the COVID-19 virus, 20 tested positive for the virus. This confirms that the virus has developed a significant presence in our community and highlights the need to take a much more aggressive action to limit the spread of the virus through social contact.
There have been repeated calls by the Town and the Health District for residents to socially isolate or distance themselves in order to “flatten the curve” of the virus spread and the closing of the Westport Public Schools. Nevertheless, many instances and opportunities to gather in groups and to further spread the virus remain.
Mr. Marpe said, “I want to thank our residents, the public and private schools and all the local organizations, houses of worship, businesses and other groups that have worked to fulfill the previous request to not gather in groups. Unfortunately, based on the advice of Health Director Mark Cooper and other public health experts, I concluded that the Town must take additional steps under the LCPE to reduce any group gatherings and minimize social contact.”
Marpe continued, “We support and encourage local restaurant curb-side pick-up and direct delivery of food at this time. We recognize the financial and operational hardships that this introduces to the businesses and employees as well as the inconvenience to their customers. This decision has not been taken lightly, but is nevertheless demanded because of the risks of the current COVID-19 public health crisis. We encourage all residents to patronize any businesses that remain open under required conditions. Westport is committed to promoting the patronage of these businesses as much as possible.”
If you have not already done so, you are encouraged to sign up or follow us:
- Online: www.westportct.gov/COVID19
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We urge you to be vigilant, stay at home, and stay informed.
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