COVID-19: Families grieve, two schools close

3D print of a spike protein of SARS-CoV-2—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—in front of a 3D print of a SARS-CoV-2 virus particle. (NIH)

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk has passed 5,000 cases of COVID-19. Jefferson and Fox Run Elementary Schools have joined the list of Norwalk schools on remote learning. An additional three deaths have been reported, bringing the total to 159.

Mayor Harry Rilling reported the deaths Friday. One of the victims was in his or her 50s, while the others were in their 70s.

“It pains me to share news that we have lost three more residents to COVID-19. These are just not numbers on the page. These are our neighbors, colleagues, and friends. My heart breaks for their families and loved ones, and I offer them my deepest sympathies. I ask residents to remember that this virus remains prevalent in the community, and that it can affect any one of us at any moment – we must remain vigilant,” Rilling is quoted as saying.

Sunday’s COVID-19 update reported that Norwalk has reached 5,006 positive cases. The recent stats:

  • 22 new cases, Tuesday, Dec. 1
  • 58 new cases, Wednesday, Dec. 2
  • 77 new cases, Thursday, Dec. 3
  • 42 new cases, Friday, Dec. 4
  • 135 new cases, Saturday, Dec. 5
  • 88 new cases, Sunday, Dec. 6


Seven schools closed

Jefferson at Ponus has gone to remote learning; the Silvermine annex in the Jefferson building remains open. In both the Fox Run and Jefferson cases, Norwalk Public Schools reports that one member of the school’s communities has tested positive.

The closures give the administration time to assess the situation, NPS states.

This makes seven NPS buildings closed, as well as the Next Steps program, according to the NPS website. Nathan Hale is returning to on-site learning Monday, Dec. 7.


No change to local quarantine guidance

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested alternatives to the 14-day COVID-19 quarantine period.

“The Norwalk Health Department is working with regional and state partners to take all local factors into consideration and determine next steps. As of now, the Health Department has not revised its quarantine guidance. Norwalk Public Schools announced there will not be any changes to the return dates of schools that are currently on full remote due to staffing limitations,” Rilling’s Saturday update said.

“Scientists and public health experts are constantly studying this virus which leads to improved treatments and revised guidelines. With any updated or revised guidance, we must do our due diligence before enacting sweeping changes. I appreciate the efforts of the Health Department and our state partners for reviewing the revised quarantine guidance closely and I look forward to hearing their recommendations,” Rilling was quoted as saying.


Testing, FAQs

“The Norwalk Health Department has answered COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and goes into greater detail about types of tests and what results mean. The two-page FAQ addresses different types of tests, when they should be used, and what to do while awaiting results. Find the FAQ and other important information at norwalkct.org/coronavirus,” a Rilling update states.

Free drive-thru COVID-19 testing remains available daily, from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. in Veteran’s Park.

“Testing will not begin until 8:30 a.m. and the public is advised not to line up early as the park does not open until 7:30 a.m.,” Rilling’s update states. “Due to high demand, testing lines may be closed periodically during the day and there may be significant wait times. Cars should not park on neighboring streets as walk-up capacity is limited. Registration forms can be filled out online and printed at chc1.com.”

“We continue to add pop up testing events to help supplement the daily testing happening at Vets Park and around Norwalk. I encourage residents to find time to get tested, as there is still asymptomatic transmission happening, or those with very mild symptoms, such as a slight runny nose, testing positive. No one wants to unknowingly be spreading this virus, and is why getting tested is so important,” Rilling is quoted as saying. “Residents should always call 9-1-1 for any emergency. Our first responders are here to help, are taking COVID-19 precautions and wearing protective gear. Please do not delay calling 9-1-1 or be fearful of going to the hospital or emergency room. Waiting even minutes can be a life or death decision.”

One comment

Bryan Meek December 8, 2020 at 7:29 am

Here’s news. The pandemic is tragic. Prayers for the departed and their families who could not mourn properly while the rest of us shop at Walmart and Costco for things we don’t really need, while other businesses are deemed non-essential.

Now, are we ever going to get the meaningful statistics, based on science, that will get us moving back to a way of normal life? Or does doom and gloom rule the day?

159 deaths are indeed sad. The city ordinarily loses a little less than 1000 residents a year give or take from all causes. 9 months into this, how are we tracking compared to that?

5000 cases are indeed alarming. The old WHO standard (prior to covid19) for classifying a disease as a pandemic was 1% of a population currently infected. It seems the new standard is cumulative cases, regardless of how many have recovered over the past 3/4th of a year. Does anyone care about the recovery rate?

How are the hospitals doing. Recall we were sold 15 days so the hospitals would never be overrun from this virus that has a 99%+ recovery rate. They never were overrun here to my knowledge, thank goodness. How are they today. How is the ICU? What is the overall utilization? As the global death rate and these rates continue to crater, what new scary gloom and doom metric will we shift to?

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