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3/25/20 - COVID-19 Update from First Selectman Jim Marpe

Post Date:03/25/2020 3:45 PM

 Westport, CT – Westport Weston Health District (WWHD) Director of Health Mark Cooper reports that yesterday (Tuesday, March 24, 2020) the number of positive COVID-19 cases being reported by the Connecticut State Department of Health revealed that out of the total 618 confirmed laboratory cases in Connecticut, 384 were located in Fairfield County, 79 were from Westport and 7 from Weston. Of the 114 increase in the number of Fairfield County cases from the previous day, 5 were from Westport and 3 from Weston.

The Statewide increase of 203 new cases was the largest single-day jump since the crisis began.  According to the Governor’s Office yesterday, 71 CT residents are hospitalized and there have been 12 fatalities.  To date, more than 5,300 tests have been conducted statewide.  These numbers are being updated daily portal.ct.gov/coronavirus.

As of 1 pm today, a total of thirteen sworn members of the sixty-three member Westport Police Department have been tested for COVID-19. An initial round of testing for three officers was conducted. The three employees initially tested were all either exhibiting symptoms generally consistent with those of the virus and/or had direct contact with a known infected person.  The results received from this initial group indicated that one officer had tested positive for COVID-19.  An additional eleven tests were performed as a precautionary measure based solely on direct contact with an exposed person from the initial group. None of those eleven individuals were exhibiting symptoms at the time of testing. Further results are expected by week’s end. 

The affected individual has been self-isolating since testing and will not return to work until the virus has subsided and all guidelines set by the CDC for recovery have been met.  The department is continuing to deploy strict hygiene, rigorous cleaning and testing within its facility and has been proactively taking steps to limit officers’ exposure since the initial outbreak.  All critical functions of the department continue to operate normally.

First Selectman Marpe says, “I want to assure residents that Westport is leading the way in its rapid response to the COVID-19 crisis. Despite reports suggesting otherwise, we are well prepared as a Town, and are fortunate to have the experienced public safety and health professionals taking care of us all. Their leadership during these trying times differentiates Westport from many communities across the United States who are may not be coping as well.  The majority of our residents are cooperating, self-isolating and maintaining virus distancing.” 

He continued, “I am very proud of this community’s response to this unique experience and uncertain situation. I want everyone to know that we hear your concerns, hear your criticisms and suggestions, and hear your fears. Together, we are doing all that we can to provide accurate and timely information and appropriate updates.  Most importantly, we are continuing to provide comfort and support for those in need.  When we work together to promote responsible behavior along with the positivity that is so necessary these days, we demonstrate the true nature of the caring, compassionate community that is our beloved Westport.”

Information for Seniors and At-Risk Population

First Selectman Marpe and Department of Human Services Director Elaine Daignault reminds Westporters that the health and safety of our residents is our top priority and the Department of Human Services (DHS) stands by ready to help as needed.  Many seniors and other at-risk populations may need assistance procuring supplies during this Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order from the Governor.  The DHS has compiled a guide www.westportct.gov/covid19resources that provides up-to-date financial and social services information for the most vulnerable and at-risk members of the community.

Residents are reminded to contact Human Services at 203-341-1050 or humansrv@westportct.gov if they or a neighbor has an emergency need of either food or medications. 

The Westport Center for Senior Activities (WCSA) continues to deliver home delivered meals three times a week to those who qualify under the guidelines.  If you are interested in learning more about this program, please call Senior Nutrition Coordinator, Kristin Malagise at 203-341-5097 or kmalagise@westportct.gov.

The DHS and WCSA also continue to provide remote services to residents Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. via phone at 203-341-1050 and/or email Humansrv@westportct.gov or check the Town website at www.westportct.gov/covid19 for more information.

Town Services

Town Hall and Town offices are closed to the public until further notice.  Essential staff will remain on-site utilizing alternating work schedules with some staff working remotely. 

There is now a drop box at the rear entrance to Town Hall. Include contact information with any submissions though the drop box. All items received at Town Hall, including drop box items, US Mail and overnight packages for all departments are being accepted, but there is a 36-hour hold before opening and processing. Please take this delay into consideration when mailing or dropping off any documents and allow time for staff review.

The Town Clerk reminds those who are dropping off documents for land recording and time sensitive liens that there will be a 36-hour hold before processing.

The Tax Collector reminds residents to include coupons, contact information and / or instructions with all tax payments. DO NOT DROP OFF CASH.

DO NOT USE THIS BOX IF SUBMITTING P&Z APPLICATIONS.

While the Planning & Zoning Department has resumed accepting applications for Zoning Permits, the drop box is not configured to accept the documents necessary for permit applications. For more information, search “Planning & Zoning Department” on the town’s website www.westportct.gov. 

The Westport Weston Probate Court remains open 8:30 am to 4:30 pm weekdays with limited staff conducting hearings via telephone and video.  Call 203-341-1100 with any questions for the Probate Court.

First Selectman Marpe will appear on Probate Judge Lisa Wexler’s radio show tomorrow (Thursday, March 26) at 11:20am on WICC AM 600

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