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Over this last week, Madison has seen a rise of confirmed, positive COVID-19 cases to eight, and an increase of additional suspected, but not confirmed, cases. Our thoughts are with those individuals and their families as they work through this very trying time. These numbers are only sentinel indicators because of testing capacities in our state, and cannot be used to make decisions about the need for preventative measures and social distancing. The public must assume community spread is happening now in Madison and everyone should take seriously the advice and directives given by the Department of Public Health and the CDC.
This week the Governor issued a range of executive orders that focused on reducing the spread of the virus in our state, including restricting all social and recreational gatherings to no more than five people. The Town echoes this directive and recommends that everyone stay home as much as possible to limit interaction with individuals outside of their household.
Today, I signed an Executive Order to enact a number of smaller things to ease the burden on our community. This includes temporarily lifting our ban on single use bags and waving selected fees for electronic payments of property taxes. To help our seniors, any resident already participating in the Town’s senior tax freeze program will be automatically approved for renewal for the next fiscal year. This relieves those seniors and town officials from a burdensome application process that would be difficult to implement under emergency circumstances. Additional changes to other senior tax relief programs guided by state statute may be forthcoming so please check the town website at madisonct.org for more details on these emergency measures.
Many people have reached out to me about concerns regarding the return of seasonal residents to our town from the New York area or other places. We recognize that many of these people have family here, or consider Madison their second home. While we welcome people back, we strongly direct anyone coming from an area with a high degree of community spread to self-quarantine for 14 days in order to protect themselves, and protect the health and safety of their Madison friends and neighbors. Everyone living in our community has a civic duty to take daily preventative measures to help limit exposure for themselves and others.
I also want to thank those members of the community who have donated personal protective equipment and non-perishable food items at our Senior Center drop-off location. We are grateful for your generosity and encourage people to continue to do so as much as possible.
As a reminder, symptoms of the virus include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should self-quarantine for 14 days and contact your primary care physician by telephone immediately. If you do not have a primary care physician, please call a local urgent care facility. They can guide you through the appropriate next steps.
Our hearts remain with those Madison residents inflicted by this virus. Let’s work together to minimize its spread by staying safe, healthy, and at home.