November 20, 2020
Madison currently has 53 active cases in our community, similar to levels reported last week. Unfortunately, this means that we are now in the Red-alert category as per the Connecticut Department of Public Health’s (DPH) COVID map, which is consistent with a vast majority of towns across Connecticut. Cases in Madison 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 and working closely with the schools to mitigate any spread. Many of Madison’s recent cases continue to be linked to small private gatherings, both indoors and outdoors, and youth sports related activities.
As of yesterday, our public schools had 23 active cases across the District (including both staff and students), with all but 4 of these cases concentrated at Daniel Hand High Schools (DHHS). Last week, DHHS moved to remote learning in order to mitigate this outbreak, and the District continues to monitor cases at the K-8 level to ensure that school can offer safe, in-person instruction as long as possible.
Due to rising positive cases across the State, the Governor announced yesterday that all club and other team sports must pause all activities until January 19 following on a decision by CIAC (Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic League) to postpone all interscholastic winter sports. Further details from the State on what types of programs and activities will be impacted by these new restrictions are expected soon. I know this announcement will be painful for many of our kids active in sports, but the situation requires we take pro-active efforts to mitigate any potential risks to maintaining in-person learning at our schools. Also note that this action follows on previous announcements to roll back the State to a modified Phase 2 of the State’s re-opening plan. For details on Phase 2.1, please visit https://portal.ct.gov/DECD/Content/Coronavirus-Business-Recovery/Sector-Rules-and-Certification-for-Reopen
This onslaught of cases across our state continues to highlight the need to get tested when experiencing symptoms or when in close contact with an infected person. Given many are experiencing delays in getting appointments for tests due to high demand, the Connecticut DPH is launching an additional 60 testing sites to reduce wait time and create greater accessibility. Many of these sites do not require an appointment. Information on where to get tested can be found on the State’s 211 website at www.211ct.org/covidtesting where you can search for convenient testing locations throughout Connecticut.
Because there is a delay in the reporting system for positive cases, it is extremely important for contact tracing purposes to call the Madison Health Department at (203) 245-5681 as soon as you receive a positive test result. To assist with contact tracing, last week 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. This app is only as successful as the number of people who register to use it so we encourage all our residents to visit ct.gov/covidalertct and download the app. Connecticut has made the app available in multiple languages, and is available both on Android and iPhone.
A reminder that the Town is requiring all non-essential staff to work remotely whenever possible through December 4th. We do not anticipate any disruption to public services, but we do ask for the public’s co-operation by only requesting in-person appointments when absolutely necessary, and conducting routine business with the Town via email, on-line through the website, through the mail, or by telephone. Please visit https://www.madisonct.org/C19-TownHall for a list of all online and remote services, and links to email and phone numbers.
As we enter the Thanksgiving holiday week, we encourage everyone to stay close to home, plan for smaller gatherings with immediate family, and follow the CDC guidelines on celebrating this important holiday safely. We strongly encourage all our residents to avoid unnecessary travel and refer to the State’s travel advisory, which now includes 45 states. I also want to encourage everyone to enjoy our beautifully lit up downtown by supporting our local businesses through this difficult time. Thank you to the Economic Development Commission and the Chamber of Commerce for creating such an uplifting atmosphere for shopping and dining outdoors as we enter the holiday season.
I know how frustrating these last few weeks have been for many people in our community who have been exercising good judgement and extreme caution throughout this pandemic. We cannot control what is happening across the country, but we can rededicate ourselves to making every effort possible to stop the spread in Madison. This means stepping up our vigilance when in public, and working together as a community to save lives. This includes cancelling any unnecessary travel, limiting gatherings, washing hands frequently, and wearing a mask.
Enjoy the Thanksgiving Holiday, and stay safe, healthy and at home Madison.