Westport Coronavirus Cases Rise, Town Reaches 'Orange' Level

Alfred Branch
·2 min read

WESTPORT, CT — Coronavirus cases are rising in Westport, and a result the town has been placed on "orange alert" status by the state, according to First Selectman Jim Marpe.

"According to a 14-day rolling average, Westport now has a rate of 13.3 corresponding to the orange color category of 10-14 cases per 100,000," Marpe said in a statement. "The colors are meant to provide communities an accurate account of the prevalence of COVID-19 so that the appropriate personal precautions can be managed."

Connecticut has a color-coded, four-tier alert system as it relates to COVID-19. The lowest level, gray, is for communities with less than five cases per 100,000. Next is yellow, with between five and 10 cases; followed by orange, with between 10 and 14 cases.

The highest level, red, is for communities with 15 or more coronavirus cases per 100,000. Norwalk, Stamford, Bridgeport, Stratford and Danbury are among the 68 Connecticut communities now on red status.

As a result of the jump in coronavirus cases, the state is rolling back from phase 3 re-openings to a modified phase 2 plan, which Marpe said includes:

  • Restaurants will return to or remain at 50 percent capacity with a maximum of 8 people limited to a table;

  • Restaurants and entertainment venues will be required to close by 9:30 p.m., except for food takeout and delivery services, which will be allowed to continue after 9:30 p.m.;

  • Personal services, such as hair salons and barber shops, will remain at 75 percent capacity;

  • Event venues will be limited to 25 people indoor, 50 people outdoor;

  • Performing arts venues and movie theaters will have a capacity of 100 people;

  • Religious gatherings will be limited to 50 percent capacity or 100 people maximum; and

  • A public health advisory is issued urging residents to remain indoors between 10pm and 5am, unless for essential activities.

"Westport officials are pleased that our businesses will remain open," Marpe said. "To those who can, I encourage you to continue patronizing our local restaurants and businesses. Please do so while following the new guidelines."

The recent increase in COVID-19 cases is partially attributed to youth travel sports, according to the Westport Weston Health District. On Thursday, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference announced it was delaying the start of the winter sports season due to the uptick in cases statewide.

"These programs are regional, span several states and fall outside of local authority," Marpe said.

He added that town officials also became aware "that some very large gatherings of both young people and adults occurred this past Halloween weekend."

Marpe urged residents to remain vigilant in fighting the virus, and to be "sensitive to neighbors and be aware of the risks imposed on those with pre-existing conditions and the elderly."

This article originally appeared on the Westport Patch