Video Statement re COVID 19 in Westport 3/20/2020
The following is the text of First Selectman Jim Marpe’s video update:
This is First Selectman Jim Marpe. I’d like to take this opportunity to update you on a number of aspects of the COVID-19 crisis that we are all facing. All the following information is on the Town website: www.westportct.gov. Please keep in mind that this is a fluid situation and conditions may change before many of you view this video.
First, as we approach the weekend where the tendency is to leave our homes and socialize, it is more imperative than ever to stress the need for everyone to take this situation seriously and self-isolate. Do not congregate in any location anywhere. This includes the town beaches and Parks & Recreation and school facilities. If you must get provisions, practice social distancing at all times, even outside. These measures not only protect YOU, they are necessary to protect the public health and those around you.
Let me also assure you that the emphasis of Town Management activity is based on proven emergency response strategies. For the time being our Incident Response Team is focused on containment. Many other decisions will need to be made in the near future, but that is the status as of right now.
As I reported yesterday, 42 Westport residents have tested positive for COVID-19. That number is expected to grow. The virus is definitely among us. The Westport Weston Health District has tests scheduled for the next three Tuesdays. These will be conducted solely for Weston and Westport residents and by appointment only.
The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce has prepared a list of restaurants that are available for curbside takeout and delivery as well and stores that offer special hours for seniors to shop – these lists are available on its website.
In future videos and postings there will be information relative to how upcoming town public meetings will be conducted, including how the budget process will proceed. Also, we anticipate discussions on business recovery and town recovery plans when the time is appropriate.
These are unprecedented times. It is vital that we manage our emotions and natural anxieties.
Perhaps take a moment to call a neighbor, friend or family member who may need a personal contact and a friendly voice. Of course, we cannot physically get close, but we may be able provide some level of comfort to those less fortunate or in circumstances more dire than our own.
My office has received numerous e-mails and calls relative to a particular incident in Westport that seemingly precipitated the spread of the coronavirus in town. While I understand the inclination for some to know the numbers, know exact locations and the identities of people involved, it is now passed the point where any of that is relevant. The fact of the matter is that this could have been any one of us, and rumor-mongering and vilification of individuals is NOT who we are as a civil community.
Please be assured that Westport’s public safety, health and municipal officials are in constant contact with each other and state authorities and experts while we make day-to-day and hour-to-hour decisions. Many will not appreciate the severity of the directives, while others will feel they are not drastic enough. I appreciate your opinion, but everything is managed and implemented to benefit all residents.
I would also like to take this moment to emphasize that I cannot be prouder of the response of our town employees. These dedicated personnel are among the most experienced and professional people that can be working on your behalf. I appreciate their support and I hope you will acknowledge their service if you see them – of course with appropriate social distancing.
In the meanwhile, continue to self-isolate and follow all the advice of the CDC: wash your hands thoroughly, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw it away, keep surfaces sanitized and do not touch your face, and maintain social distancing. Follow us through social media and the website www.westportct.gov/covid19
Together, we will weather this crisis. Thank you and have a safe weekend.