COVID-19 response: Rilling, Lamont, hand sanitizer, deadlines and PPEs

A sign over Interstate 95, Friday in New York.

This transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19. isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. (Courtesy of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases {NIAID}.)

NORWALK, Conn. — The latest COVID-19 updates:

  • Norwalk parks’ playgrounds and athletic areas closed
  • Hand sanitizer – for free, from SoNo business
  • Three new Norwalk cases
  • Tax deadlines moved
  • DMV extends deadlines
  • Donating PPEs
  • Rilling speaks to public


Caution tape in Norwalk parks

The playground, basketball court, and skate park at Calf Pasture Beach, as well as the playgrounds and courts at Veteran’s Park and Cranbury Park are closed until further notice, Mayor Harry Rilling’s evening update said. Rilling said Thursday that groups of “mostly young people” were gathering in the parks and that he might have to close the facilities; for now, the parks are still open but there’s caution tape blocking entry to the afore-mentioned areas.

“Mayor Rilling continues to emphasize the importance of social distancing and avoiding group activities at this time. Without further cooperation, more public facilities may close,” the update said.


Free hand sanitizer

A SoNo business says it has used a World Health Organization (WHO) formula to create hand sanitizer and will give it to you, no charge.

SoNo 1420 American Craft Distillers has set up a table outside its doors to allow for curbside pickup, the company said in an email. You can also order spirits but it’s not necessary to get the hand sanitizer.

The business is open from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, at 19 Day St. They will advertise further hours on their Instagram page, they said.

“Thus far, we have supplied Norwalk Fire & Police Departments & homeless shelters, in addition to over 1200 bottles to our neighbors throughout Fairfield county!” SoNo 1420 said in its email.



The count

There are three new positive COVID-19 cases in Norwalk, bringing the total positive reported cases in Norwalk to 11, Rilling’s update said.  In Fairfield County, the number of new positive cases went from 122 to 140.

An additional 29 Connecticut residents have tested positive, bringing the statewide total to 223, Gov. Ned Lamont reported. More than 3,100 tests have been conducted in the state to date. Approximately 43 people are hospitalized and there have been five deaths.

The fifth death is a man in his 80s who lived in a Stafford Springs nursing home and had been receiving treatment at Johnson Memorial Hospital.


Tax deadlines moved back

Your filing deadline for federal and state tax returns has been moved from April 15 to July 15. The IRS urges taxpayers who are owed a refund to file as quickly as possible. If you can’t file by July 15, you could file for an extension.

For more information, go here for federal taxes and here for state taxes.




DMV leniency

If your vehicle registration is set to expire, fear not. The deadline has been pushed back.

Ditto for emissions testing and other Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) items, including:

  • Boat registrations
  • Disabled parking placards
  • Business licenses
  • Suspension-related matters
  • Inspections
  • School bus proficiency tests
  • Flashing light permits


PPE outreach

More than 100 organizations have offered to donate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for use in Connecticut’s hospitals and long-term care facilities, Lamont’s daily update said.

“The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) is partnering with United Way 2-1-1 of Connecticut to collect responses from those willing to make donations,” it said. “Anyone who has these vital materials and would like to donate them to Connecticut’s medical community should fill out the online form located at www.211ct.org/DonationsCOVID19 .”

The State is requesting:

  • N95 Respirators
  • Face Masks/Surgical Masks
  • Face Shields
  • Surgical Gowns
  • Gloves (nitrile, or non-latex)
  • Thermometers
  • Thermometer Covers (if applicable to type of thermometer)
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Other Medical Items




Rilling releases video

“This is a new situation for all of us, and we are doing everything we can to help our residents, businesses, and community as a whole get through this unprecedented moment together,” Rilling said in his update. “There is no doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic is having an impact, but our goal is to lessen that as much as we possibly can. Please continue practicing social distancing and stay healthy, Norwalk.”

Again, City Hall is closed limited staff are performing “essential services,” Rilling said. “Please continue to reach out to specific departments via email and phone with questions. Staff is working staggered hours for the foreseeable future, and messages will be returned as soon as possible.”

He also posted a video on the City of Norwalk Facebook page. See below.

One comment

Scott Vetare March 23, 2020 at 8:17 am

It’s really not easy to get tested. It’s a shame that so many people will go without being tested and we’ll never know the real numbers.

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