4/21/20 - COVID-19 Update from First Selectman Jim Marpe
First Selectman Jim Marpe provided the following updates, reminders and relevant information today.
Director of the Department of Human Services, Elaine Daignault reminds residents that during this time of physical isolation, social connections are essential to maintain mental and physical health. She says, “When we must stay at home, it can be challenging to maintain those connections and manage new or existing mental health matters. Many of us are learning to live with uncertainty which requires a certain degree of patience with ourselves and others. Identifying and discussing your own anxieties and fears is one way to manage the stress that we are all feeling. You may also choose to create a daily routine that includes exercise, a hobby and time for yourself.”
She continued, “Sitting with this discomfort is part of the process, as is finding activities to engage your mind and body to relieve yourself from the worry. For those experiencing significant anxiety and depression, please acknowledge that you need help and seek additional support. Start with your primary care provider and/or your mental health provider. Most are offering tele-health visits from the comfort of your own homes.”
If you’re having trouble getting started, or require a personal conversation to determine which options are best for you, the Department of Human Services staff are available by phone and/or email Mondays through Fridays from 830am-4:30pm (203-341-1050 or Humansrv@westportct.gov). Ms. Daignault said, “We are happy to speak with you and will provide resources to support you and your families now and in the future.”
For Families and Children:
We recognize that this can be a stressful time for families as we all are staying safe in our homes. Westport Together was launched in late 2019 as an alliance between the Town, the Westport Public Schools, the PTA and many local non-profits to strengthen the health and well-being of youth and families. While in-person events have all been canceled, we continue to provide relevant and dynamic content on our Westport Together Facebook page. Please click here https://www.facebook.com/WestportTogether/ to like us, enjoy the content and stay tuned for more details on some excellent panel discussions ahead.
The Westport Center for Senior Activities (WCSA) has started a new WCSA YouTube channel to encourage our homebound residents to stay active and engaged. Sign up for email updates and/or contact email@example.com to register for a class by calling 203-341-5099.
The Southwest Connecticut Agency on Aging has also developed a helpful guide with a variety of information for seniors and their families.
For Renters and Utility Customers:
Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7X includes a provision to protect residential renters during the public health crisis. If you cannot pay rent or utilities due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 emergency, please review the town’s online resource directory or call DHS to request that a paper copy is mailed to you.
Information on Face Coverings and N95 Masks
According to Governor Lamont’s Executive Order 7BB, effective at 8:00 p.m. tonight, any person in a public place who is unable to or does not maintain a safe social distance of approximately six feet from every other person shall cover their mouth and nose with a mask or cloth face-covering unless a medical condition prevents the use of a face mask.
In particular, when it is necessary to go to supermarkets, grocery stores or pharmacies for essential items, wear your cloth or disposable facemask.
Note that N95 masks are recommended for people in the medical community at high risk for contracting COVID, such as a nurse, paramedic, or doctor. People who go out in public should be maintaining social/physical distance & use simple facemasks - they do not need the level of protection required by healthcare providers.
Respirators significantly limit airflow & can exacerbate certain heart conditions (e.g., high blood pressure, heart attacks, irregular heartbeats) and respiratory diseases (e.g., asthma, COPD), sometimes to the point of requiring hospitalization. Diabetics & epileptics are also at higher risk for complications when using a respirator. All of these conditions require a physician’s examination & approval before someone may wear a respirator. Anyone who needs a respiratory has to be fit-tested to ensure the mask that they are issued fits & filters air appropriately. Using an unfitted N95 provides a false sense of security for the user when, in truth, it provides little-to-no protection.
Cloth & disposable facemasks are more comfortable & cover a wider portion of the face, which in turn provides better protection against the spread of COVID in public areas.
Please continue to self-isolate, quarantine if necessary, thoroughly wash your hands, socially distance yourself and, as much as possible, stay at home. Remember, you’re not stuck at home, you’re safe at home.
To follow or check updates:
- Online: www.westportct.gov/COVID19
- Get Updates:Signup for emergency alerts
- Get Updates:Sign up for email subscriptions
- Social Media:#Westportctcovid19info