Westport Remains On Coronavirus Red Alert: First Selectman

Alfred Branch

WESTPORT, CT — Westport remains one of Connecticut's red alert towns for the coronavirus, with cases increasing over the past week, First Selectman Jim Marpe announced.

Red alert communities are calculated as those with more than 15 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people, and as of Thursday, 145 of the 169 municipalities in the state were at red alert status, according to Gov. Ned Lamont. (See the map below)

"Westport remains in the red zone and has witnessed further growth in cases," Marpe said. "This week, Westport is calculated at 33 cases out of a population of 100,000, compared to 22.4 cases last week. There are no municipalities in the State that were in the red zone last week that have been recategorized to a lower alert level this week."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1 million COVID-19 cases were reported in the United States over the past week, Marpe added.

"This statistic is alarming and demonstrates that we must remain vigilant," Marpe said. "We must anticipate that cases will continue to spread as individuals are travelling, returning home from college, gathering and shopping in the weeks ahead. Wearing masks, social distancing and avoiding gatherings is a must if we are to control this pandemic."

With Thanksgiving next week, Marpe urges residents "to refrain from the typical large and plentiful holiday gatherings," and adhere to social distancing protocols.

"Please keep your Thanksgiving celebration to no more than 10 individuals, and preferably celebrate at home only with the people with whom you live," Marpe said. "Gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase the chances of contracting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu."

This is from Marpe's announcement:

Avoid the crowds on Black Friday or prepare for strict adherence to the 50 percent capacity rule at retail stores. Consider cyber Monday as an alternative. Always maintain a 6-foot distance from others and wear a face covering.

I urge you to review the CDC and the CT Department of Public Health (DPH) guidelines for the Thanksgiving holiday, including travelling, gathering, and alternatives to gathering and protocols for college students returning to or visiting Connecticut:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/thanksgiving.html

https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/Covid-19-Knowledge-Base/Holiday-Guidance

Testing

For information on testing sites, please visit the WWHD (wwhd.org/covid-19-testing-sites/) for a list of local test sites, or the state-wide listing at: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/Covid-19-Knowledge-Base/COVID-19-Testing

If you have a pending test due either to symptoms of COVID or exposure to COVID, please refrain from going out into the community until you have received test results.

Winter Sports

As mentioned in several of my last messages, much of the increase in COVID cases and the resulting school closures are a result of gatherings, parties and sports team activities. Effective Monday, November 23, the Governor has ordered all club and team sports, including CIAC sports, to postpone all organized winter sports until January 19, 2021.

Schools

As you may be aware, Staples High School and the Bedford and Coleytown Middle Schools are on distanced learning through the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend. Westport Public School Superintendent Tom Scarice and I remind everyone that the ability for our schools to remain open for in-person learning depends primarily on the actions of our entire population. We continue to urge all to follow the appropriate protocols so that our community can remain open, but safe.

COVID Notification App

For your added protection as you visit supermarkets or anywhere else you have the potential to be exposed to a positive COVID case, download the State’s exposure notifications app to your smartphone to be alerted when you’re near someone who has tested positive. Privacy is protected. The app can be found at ct.gov/covidalertct.

Please follow the guidance to social distance, wear a face covering and practice good personal hygiene.



This article originally appeared on the Westport Patch