NORWALK, Conn. — Some COVID-19 developments:
- Wolfpit closes
- Rilling’s update
- Town Hall planned
- Tax collectors may use window through the winter
Second positive test in two days closes Wolfpit
Wolfpit Elementary School is closed until at least Nov. 30 due to multiple quarantines reducing the number of staff members to a point where “we are no longer able to effectively operate the building,” Norwalk Public Schools said Friday.
NPS was notified Friday that a member of its community test positive, in addition to a positive test result reported Thursday, Communications Director Brenda Wilcox Williams said.
“The decision to move to full remote instruction was made after carefully considering the safety and well-being of all students and staff. Teachers and staff will also be working remotely and will be in contact with all students on Monday, November 16, at the school’s regular start time of 9:15,” she wrote.
West Rocks Middle School and Roton Middle School closed late last week. West Rocks is expected to reopen Wednesday and Roton is expected to reopen Thursday.
Mayor Harry Rilling reported 71 new COVID-19 cases Friday in Norwalk, bringing the total to 3,631.
He also released the latest statistics: the seven-day rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, from Nov. 1 to Nov. 7, was 48.2. The two-week rate, from Oct. 25 to Nov. 7, was 48.4. The test positivity rate from Oct. 25 to Nov. 7 was 8.1 percent.
There are now 100 Connecticut communities listed in red-alert status, up from 68 last week, Rilling’s update said. Norwalk is in red alert for the fourth week in a row. The status is based on more than 15 positive COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over a two-week period.
“Most of our state’s population is now living in one of these red-alert communities. This is not surprising, but it is alarming. COVID-19 is spreading at a rapid pace, and this virus does not care if it’s a city or town or an urban or rural area – it is impacting everyone,” Rilling said in the release. “We know that wearing a face mask, practicing good hand hygiene, and socially distancing are measures that work and can help slow the spread of the virus. I ask all residents to double down on these efforts and to not relax their guard, even with close friends and family. We all must remain vigilant to try to contain the spread of this virus.”
Virtual town hall planned
Norwalk has announced a town hall meeting focused on “The State of COVID-19 in Norwalk with a concentration on Norwalk Public Schools” for 7 p.m. Thursday on Zoom. More information is here.
The Norwalk NAACP Branch, NPS and the City are sponsoring the event, Norwalk Branch NAACP President Brenda Penn-Williams said Sunday. Common Council member Greg Burnett (D-At Large) will moderate a discussion between:
- Mayor Harry Rilling
- Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Alexandra Estrella
- Norwalk Director of Health Deanna D’Amore
- Norwalk Chief of Social Services Lamond Daniels
(Updated 1:30 a.m. Sunday: more information.)
Collecting taxes in a pandemic
The Norwalk Tax Collector’s Office recently closed due to COVID-19 cases in City Hall, as did the Town Clerk’s Office. Tax Collector Lisa Biagiarelli said Thursday that her office will reopen Tuesday.
Biagiarelli and her staff collected taxes this summer through a window, just to the left of City Hall’s door. The administration is considering keeping the window system in place even though it’s become cold, because of the COVID-19 surge, Biagiarelli told Common Council members.
“We’re just very concerned about bringing more people into the building,” she said. Taxpayers might be able to stay in their cars and be summoned when it’s their turn. “They would be safer and more comfortable waiting in their cars than lining up in front of the building or trying to crowd into the lobby.”