Greenwich COVID-19 Update: April 16


By Richard Kaufman

The number of positive COVID-19 cases for Greenwich residents has increased to 539, according to the Greenwich Health Department, up from 499 cases reported on Wednesday.

It’s important to remember that this increase is once again attributable to a lag in test results being entered into the Connecticut Department of Public Health’s computer systems. Many of these newly reported cases involve patients who were tested two to three weeks ago, according to Greenwich Health Director Caroline Baisley.

In his daily update to the media, First Selectman Fred Camillo said the lag in reported test results isn’t unexpected.

“This [situation] is kind of unprecedented, so you almost have to anticipate that there are going to be some glitches,” Camillo said. “There’s more and more people getting tested as more tests become available. We knew there was going to be a surge around this time anyway, so it’s not totally unexpected. Hopefully it will correct itself as time goes on.

Greenwich Hospital is reporting that as of Thursday, there were 115 COVID-19 positive patients being treated in several different Hospital units. So far, 232 patients have been discharged from the Hospital and continue their recuperation at home.

There have been 3,487 people tested at the Hospital outpatient test site with 1,328 testing positive. All of these numbers reflect patients who live in Greenwich as well as from other municipalities in Connecticut and Westchester County.

Although the number of cases in Greenwich is increasing, the hospitalization rate has been stable. Camillo credited the residents of Greenwich and other towns with complying to guidelines put in at the local and state levels.

“I’m very happy with the way the town is responding to the local emergency declaration and the state executive orders,” he said. “If we had all of these policies implemented alone, it wouldn’t work. I tip my hat off to every single town and the citizens of those towns that are adherent to the guidelines, because that’s the only way this is going to work. This is a team effort. No one can do this alone.”

Camillo applauded the event which took place at Greenwich Hospital on Thursday afternoon, in which first responders from Greenwich and surrounding towns drove by the campus to support all of the courageous healthcare workers and hospital staff who are risking their lives on a daily basis.

For video, go to the Greenwich Sentinel Facebook page here.

“I think people after 9/11 really started to appreciate our first responders. This has again reinforced our admiration for them, and it’s also put into spotlight two other groups: our healthcare workers… and the people who clean the buildings,” Camillo said.

Town Hall to Remain Closed

Town Hall will continue to remain closed to all employees, through May 20, in accordance with the closure date announced by Gov. Ned Lamont.

All employees are expected to continue to work from home and to be available by phone and email during business hours. The Town will continue to provide limited services where possible.If you need a Town service, please first visit the Department’s webpage. The Town website and email are the preferred methods of communication during this time.

Staff will make periodic checks of voicemail boxes, however, please allow additional time for responses during this situation. Given the unprecedented fluidity of this situation, expectations and operations may change at any time.

Do not flush wipes, paper towels, face masks and gloves

Camillo is also advising residents to that sanitizing wipes, paper towels, face masks and gloves must NOT be flushed down the toilet. On Tuesday, a Department of Public Works crew had to be deployed to repair a wastewater pump station which broke down because it became clogged with the aforementioned, according to Public Works Commissioner Amy Siebert.

This equipment malfunction is dangerous, as crews have to work in close quarters in order to perform repairs.

Here are some resources for residents and businesses and other helpful tips

Through the recently passed CARES Act, the Town of Greenwich has received an additional$486,978 in “CDBG-CV” funding to be used to prevent, prepare for and respond to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak. Interested nonprofit applicants may fill out an application found on the Community Development webpage. Questions should be directed to tyler.fairbairn@greenwichct.org. More information and the link to the application can be found here.

ITA, the IRS’s companion to the AARP volunteer income tax program, has initiated a virtual (on-line) option for the free preparation and e-filing of your taxes.

The filing deadline has been extended until July 15. However even if you owe money, your taxes can be filed now and you can pay on July 15. You will need between 20 to 30 minutes to complete and submit the form. VITA will then schedule a one-hour time slot on the portal to have a phone or video interview to complete and review returns.

Please click here for answers to frequently asked questions and further information (en español). You may begin the process by using this link: https://form.jotform.com/200751255209146

The Department of Public Works, in conjunction with the Greenwich Police Department, are continuing to reach out to landscaping crews with flyers written in Spanish to provide guidance to workers of the necessary precautions they should be practice during the course of their work.

The flyer can be found in spanish here. Additional prevention information in Spanish can be found here.

To reach the Domestic Abuse Services staff at the YWCA, please call the 24/7 hotline at 203-622-0003.

Residents, who need assistance with basic needs, including food, can call the Department of Human Services at: 203-622-3800.

Members of the public are encouraged to sign-up for the Town’s Emergency AlertNotification System at greenwichct.bbcportal.com/Entry

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.

If you are concerned about an activity or a group not following guidelines issued through COVID-19 related Executive Orders and emergency declarations, please call the Greenwich Police Department’s non-emergency phone number at 203-622-8004. Only legitimate concerns, please.

Many people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic, meaning they can transmit the virus without knowing they have it. Easy to follow instructions to make cloth facial masks can be found here.

About Author: Richard Kaufman

Richard Kaufman, general assignment reporter at the Sentinel, graduated from Springfield College in Springfield, Mass., in 2011 with a degree in journalism/communications. Having grown up in nearby Westchester County, Richard is familiar with the area and everything it has to offer. To get in contact with Richard, you can email him at richard@greenwichsentinel.com

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