NORWALK, Conn. — Wear a mask when you go out. Just don’t think it will protect you from the coronavirus and remember to maintain a physical distance of six feet from people who aren’t in your family.
That’s among the recent news from the City of Norwalk during this COVID-19 crisis. Other announcements:
- Norwalk now has 595 positive cases
- Two charged with trespassing for using boat ramp
- Ring bells and shine lights
- Ramping up City meetings
- Don’t forget the Census
“Since yesterday, there are 92 new positive cases in Norwalk, bringing the total positive reported cases in Norwalk to 595. In Fairfield County, the number of new positive cases went from 3,050 to 3,719,” Mayor Harry Rilling’s Monday update said.
“We know that spikes in cases, or relatively low numbers of new cases, does not tell the entire story, and is based on when data is submitted. Members of the public should continue adhering to physical distancing guidelines to help slow the spread of coronavirus,” Rilling said in the update. “I know I sound like a broken record, but from what I’ve seen at some of our stores and other areas around Norwalk, there are some who are simply not taking this matter seriously enough. We will only be able to defeat this virus if we all make some tough sacrifices now.”
Statewide, “a total of 6906 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported among Connecticut residents,” a jump of 1,231 since Sunday, Gov. Ned Lamont’s update said. “
The increase in cases reported today is related to catch up of data entry and does not reflect a change in the trajectory of the outbreak.”
There were 17 deaths since the Sunday report and 79 more people hospitalized, a total 1,221.
The hospitalization increase is “linear,” not exponential, so “I think it’s good news,” Lamont said in his evening briefing. “…Our health care system is bending, but it’s not breaking.”
It “suggests that the social distancing may be beginning to work, and that our hospitals are having a chance to at least plan and catch up for where we’ve got to be,” he said.
Going boating, getting charged
“City officials continue to observe members of the public not following new rules for public spaces. Over the weekend, two different individuals launched their boats from the boat ramp at Veteran’s Park. These individuals deliberately moved construction barrels and caution tape that blocked the entrance to access the parking lot. Both were charged with misdemeanor trespassing and had their vehicles towed,” Rilling’s update said.
Wear a mask
“Cloth face masks or other homemade face coverings can be helpful to slow the spread of coronavirus from people who may have the virus but have no symptoms,” Rilling said in a Saturday press release.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday reversed course and recommended that everyone where a mask when they leave their homes. It’s now thought that this will reduce the spread of the disease since people who aren’t showing any symptoms can transmit the coronavirus.
“The main purpose of the CDC recommendations is to prevent people from spreading the virus – not protecting someone from getting it. Wearing a face mask should not make anyone feel they are immune to this virus.”
You probably know that it’s impossible to buy a mask right now.
“The CDC offers at-home and do-it-yourself guidance on how to create a face covering,” a City press release said.
“The CDC states maintaining six-foot physical distancing is critically important to slow the spread of the virus,” the press release said. “However, in areas where physical distancing is challenging to maintain, like grocery stores, the CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering. Additionally, the CDC reminds the public that cloth face coverings are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators, which are critical supplies that must be reserved for frontline first responders and health care workers.”
Honor first responders
You may be feeling socially disconnected, holed up most of the time in your home.
Shining a light from your home at 7 p.m. may help, Rilling said in a Friday press release. Churches and houses of worship can join in by ringing bells for a two-minute “way to offer thanks to first responders and other essential employees, and to show solidarity as a community.”
“Times are tough, no doubt about it, but small acts, like shining a light or ringing a bell, could really make a difference for our neighbors, first responders, and essential employees,” Rilling said in the release. “Whether it’s a church bell or a flashlight from the front porch, hearing the chimes and seeing the lights will hopefully create a sense of solidarity across the community. I encourage all of us to mark 7 p.m. on our calendars every day.”
The release continued:
“Mayor Rilling hopes the sound of bells and chimes, or the visuals of lights and candles, will serve as a reminder that Norwalk stands together. Those who can leave a light on or in the window throughout the night are encouraged to do so, to reach those who may still be working at 7 p.m.
“Additionally, anyone participating is encouraged to take videos or photos of their nightly routines and share on social media. That way, even neighborhoods that are far apart can be connected through the power of technology. Residents can also share photos and videos directly with Mayor Rilling by emailing [email protected] These submissions may also be used on City of Norwalk social media properties.
“Norwalk – even though we might be apart – we can still be together,” Mayor Rilling said. “Let’s make some noise each and every night for our friends, neighbors, and loved ones.”
City government is resuming public activities this week, using the Zoom platform to hold meetings. Two Board of Education committee meetings are expected this week on YouTube. They will be posted the day after they are held.
On the City-side:
- A Zoning Commission meeting scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday (today) promises a vote on an apartment complex proposed for 10 Willard Road and an update on East Norwalk Transit Oriented Development
- Common Council Finance Committee 7 p.m. Thursday (no agenda online yet)
- A Council Public Works Committee public hearing at 7 p.m. April 13 concerns a possible $100 fee for a resident disposal fee for those who do not pay vehicle taxes here
- A Council Ordinance Committee public hearing at 6:30 p.m. April 14 concerns changes to resident passes and honorary renaming of city streets
And the BoE:
- Curriculum Committee meets at 5 p.m. Tuesday
- A Finance Committee meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday concerns possible budget cuts
“The 2020 Census is continuing to move ahead. Multiple notices have been sent to every household in Norwalk. Officials encourage everyone living in Norwalk to complete the Census,” an update states.
You can fill out your form very quickly online.
But, “With the passage of a $2 trillion economic stimulus package and the 2020 Census underway, officials are warning the public of potential scams,” an update states. “The public should be wary of fraudulent emails, text messages and social media posts falsely asking for personal information, such as social security numbers, to receive a stimulus check. More information from Attorney General William Tong can be read here.”
Updated, 5:17 p.m.: Clarification regarding Board of Education Committee meetings.