Greenwich Coronavirus Updates: Budget Meetings Rescheduled

RJ Scofield

This article originally appeared on the Greenwich Patch

GREENWICH, CT — Three upcoming budget meetings have been canceled and rescheduled, and will be held virtually as the town continues to grapple with the new coronavirus. During a press update late Thursday afternoon, First Selectman Fred Camillo said the Board of Estimation and Taxation's upcoming meetings related to the 2020-21 fiscal year budget will no longer be held on their originally scheduled dates.

The BET public hearing scheduled for Monday, March 30, will now be held Tuesday, April 21, at 7 p.m., and the board's budget workshop has been rescheduled from Tuesday, March 31, to Thursday, April 23, at 9 a.m.

As a result, the board's "decision day" has been rescheduled from Thursday, April 2, to Monday, April 27, at 9 a.m. (To sign up for Greenwich breaking news alerts and more, click here.)

Please note that these meetings will be held virtually and may be subject to change," town officials said in a statement. "Information on how to participate in the public hearing and how to view all the meetings will be published in advance of the meeting."

Here are some updates on other town operations provided by the first selectman's office:

Updated Numbers

Town officials said 55 Greenwich residents have tested positive for the virus, also referred to as COVID-19, as of Thursday afternoon, according to Greenwich Health Director Caroline Baisley.

That is the same number of positive cases reported by the town's health department on Wednesday, however numbers released by the state list Greenwich as having 57 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

During the press update, Camillo said he was unsure of the exact number, but it was "either 55 or 57."

As of noon Thursday, there were 161 total patients at the Greenwich Hospital outpatient site who have tested positive for the virus, town officials said. Also as of that time, there were 49 positive patients in the hospital being treated in several different units.

Camillo previously pointed out that only a minority of those positive cases were town residents, as the hospital also draws many patients from New York.

Health Department

As an essential service in responding to COVID-19, the Greenwich Department of Health is continuing to work in Town Hall with more than half of the staff. The team is monitoring COVID-19 reported cases who are isolated at home. In addition, close family members of COVID-19 patients are quarantined and being monitored for possible signs and symptoms.

Another required public health intervention measure taken by the Department of Health staff is Contact Tracing, through which the Department is monitoring people who have or may have had a close and prolonged contact with a COVID-19 patient.

If you become ill, please contact your healthcare provider and also call the Greenwich Department of Health if you were in close and prolonged contact with a person known to have COVID-19.

The Department of Health has five phone lines specifically dedicated to the public for questions and answers about COVID-19. They are: 203-622 -7865; 203-622-7703; 203-622-7614; 203-622-7842 and 203-622-7836.

Golf Course

The Griffith E. Harris Golf Course remains closed until further notice. While the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development has relaxed restrictions to allow golf courses to open, subject to certain guidelines, in the best interest of Greenwich residents, "The Griff" remains closed.

"We could be two to four weeks away from a peak in this outbreak," Camillo said in a statement. "While fresh air and exercise is good, I do not want to rush to reopen the course. We need to be cognizant and concerned not only of the public health, but the health of our employees as well."

Camillo said the town continues to urge everyone to maintain social distancing of at least six feet.

"Even in large, open areas such as a golf course," Camillo said, "there is too much risk of people gathering and mingling too closely."

Reminders and Other Helpful Tips:

  • The CT Office of Early Childhood is reminding first responders and healthcare workers that child care is available for essential workers. Where possible, for those who have to work, first look to trusted friends, neighbors, and family members who are not in a highrisk category to fill in care for children. For healthcare workers and first responders who are not able to find trusted family or friends for child care, please call the 2-1-1 dedicated number 860-756-0864 for support.
  • Violators of the Town-wide parks closure declaration may be cited for trespassing or more severe criminal sanctions in accordance with Connecticut General Statutes.
  • The Police Department reminds residents that if you are experiencing mild symptoms of illness and are not in a high risk group that you contact your personal physician rather than call 911. If you have mild symptoms, do not go to the emergency room before contacting your doctor for direction. If you have any serious symptoms, please do not hesitate to call 911. Please save 911 for real emergencies

Resources for Residents and Businesses

  • For Seniors, the Greenwich Commission on Aging/Greenwich Senior Center has teamed up with faculty and staff from Greenwich Country Day School to launch the new digital program, CONNECTT- Connecting Our Neighbors Naturally Enriching Community Through Technology. For information about the various services available, please log onto the center's webpage.
  • For those residents experiencing challenges with food, finances, and living arrangements, please call the Department of Human Services at 203-622-3800.
  • In addition to social distancing protocols, residents are encouraged to review CDC guidelines on preventing the spread of COVID-19.
  • If you experience price gouging, please contact the State Attorney General's Office which has a dedicated phone line and website to collect information: 860-808-5318 or online at www.dir.ct.gov/ag/comp.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories, of which Connecticut is included, low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Please visit their website for more information on eligibility and how to apply: www.sba.gov/disaster.
  • Governor Ned Lamont has provided a list defining essential businesses that are allowed to continue to operate during this time. Information can be found here. Also, there is a process to will allow business owners to file for an exemption from the order.
  • The Greenwich Chamber of Commerce has compiled a listing of food-related businesses that are offering take-out and delivery services. The list can be found here.