November 13, 2020
I am both saddened and alarmed to announce that we have seen a significant spike in positive cases of COVID-19 in Madison over this past week, yesterday reaching 36 active cases in our community with more to be expected over the coming days. Madison is in now in the Orange alert category as per the Department of Public Health’s COVID map. Cases in our town continue to cross a spectrum of age ranges and circumstances, with some family outbreaks causing small clusters. Madison’s Health Department is actively contact tracing each of these cases, working closely with the schools to mitigate any spread. It appears that many of Madison’s new cases are linked to small private gatherings both indoors and outdoors, and sports related activities. Once one family member tests positive, we are often seeing other family members follow, expanding the reach of the virus.
As of yesterday, our public schools had 13 active cases across the District (including both staff and students). Due to stringent quarantine requirements at the schools, the multiplier effect can be substantial as a result of even one case. We continue to strongly urge all parents, coaches and children participating in extracurricular sports activities to please exercise extreme caution and follow all safety guidance issued by the state and associated athletic leagues. The continued safety of our schools depends on it.
This rising level of cases continues to highlight the need to get tested when experiencing symptoms or when in close contact with an infected person. Information on where to get tested can be found on the State’s 211 website at https://www.211ct.org/ where you can search for convenient testing locations throughout Connecticut. Because there is a growing backlog in the reporting system for positive cases, it is extremely important for contact tracing purposes to call the Madison Health Department at (203) 245-5614 as soon as you receive a positive test result.
To assist with contact tracing, the State announced the launch of COVID Alert CT, an exposure notification app that can let you know if you have been exposed to COVID-19 – all without disclosing any of your personal information. This app is only as successful as the number of people who use it so we encourage all our residents to visit ct.gov/covidalertct to download the app. Connecticut has made the app available in multiple languages, and is available both on Android and iPhone.
The Governor continues to update the State’s travel advisory, which now includes 46 states, and recently launched Phase 2.1 of the state’s re-opening plan (which implemented some more restrictive rules on gatherings, restaurant capacities, etc.). I encourage everyone to adjust any travel, dining and entertainment plans accordingly, and to continue to support our local food establishments by ordering take-out or curbside when possible.
The continuing COVID pandemic has impacted all of our lives, and Madison Youth and Family Services continues to provide a variety of programs and services to residents as we navigate this together. MYFS has launched an extended education and awareness campaign called “Mental Health Matters,” utilizing their Facebook page and Town Web page as the means to share information and resources to help our adult and youth community members. For Madison youth and parents, MYFS includes a staff of several licensed mental health professionals that are available for free and confidential consultation, and can also offer ongoing mental health treatment services. Residents may contact MYFS at (203) 245-5645. For more information visit MYFS at www.madisonyouthservices.org.
I also want to highlight that this recent surge demonstrates the importance of signing up for the Town’s new communications system called Madison Alerts, which will provide important community information, as well as the First Selectwoman updates. You can subscribe through the town website at https://www.madisonct.org/MadisonAlerts. This includes an app called Everbridge that can be downloaded to provide push notifications to your phone for important information. The app can be found in the App store for both iPhone and Android devices. Please note that going forward, my weekly updates will go out on Fridays in order to stay more in-line with the State’s case reporting schedule.
I cannot emphasize enough that the second wave of COVID-19 has arrived in our state and our town - we must stop being complacent and start taking this next wave seriously. Our town has already suffered some painful losses and no segment of our community will be untouched by today’s rising cases unless we work hard to reduce community spread. This includes cancelling any unnecessary travel, limiting gatherings, washing hands frequently, and wearing a mask. With this in mind, all Town departments will remain available to the public by appointment only, and all residents are encouraged to use the website and other remote means to conduct their business with the Town.
Let’s work together to protect each other and stop the surge. Stay safe, healthy and at home Madison.