Madison currently has 48 active COVID-19 cases in our community, with 10 residents currently hospitalized, and one new fatality. Our sympathies are with those residents and their families who have suffered from this horrible disease. Of these active cases, regretfully we are seeing 10 of these cases associated with long-term care facilities, and the additional new cases spread across a wide cross-section of demographic groups. As the state continues to see an increased infection rate over 9%, we should all expect to see an even greater resurgence in the coming weeks due to holiday travel and family gatherings over the winter break. It is very important that those who travelled to locations on the State’s travel advisory list, those who are showing any symptoms of COVID-19, or those who have come into close contact with a known positive case, get tested as soon as possible in order to stop the spread.
Earlier this week I was grateful to see the opening of Madison’s first vaccine clinic at the Madison Town Gym. The clinic was organized by the Madison Health Department in partnership with the Town of Guilford and the East Shore District Health Department. It is currently limited to serving our region’s Phase 1A First Responders in alignment with Connecticut’s 3-phase vaccine distribution plan developed by the State’s Vaccine Allocation Committee. Phase 1A includes medical first responders, healthcare workers and seniors living in congregate settings. More information about the State's vaccine distribution plan is available at www.ct.gov/covidvaccine. For individual questions about specific eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine, please speak to your employer for job-related eligibility, or your primary care physician for medical-related concerns.
The Community Health Center continues to operate a free COVID-19 testing site at Hammonasset Beach State Park. The site is open 7 days a week on a first come, first-served basis, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and is located in the park campgrounds. Testing is available to people with or without symptoms, and to all ages, including children with parental or guardian consent. No appointments or fees are required. Results are expected to take 3-5 days. To save time, print and complete the registration form found at www.chc1.com/COVIDTEST in advance for each person being tested. Note that due to high demand, the wait time for testing can vary and be as long as two hours. CHC staff actively monitors the number of cars waiting and may need to turn people away from joining the line by afternoon if it has reached daily testing capacity. Please contact Madison’s Health Department at (203) 245-5681 as soon as you receive a positive test result so we can begin the contact tracing process.
A reminder that Governor Ned Lamont recently issued a new emergency order which extends the two Connecticut tax relief programs previously required to be adopted by all municipalities. Last April the Board of Selectmen chose to implement a 90-day tax deferment program for most local taxpayers due to the COVID crisis, which extended the last day to pay the first installment without penalty. The new order would apply the same extension to the second tax installment, which is due January 1, 2021. This means that for eligible taxpayers the last day to pay the second installment without penalty will be April 1, 2021. Landlords who are interested in a deferment for the second installment must submit an application with the appropriate documentation to the tax collector by February 1. More details are available on the Tax Collector’s webpage at www.madisonct.org.
As we finish off this very difficult and challenging 2020, let’s take a moment to reflect on, and be grateful for, the many acts of kindness and generosity we have shared with each other to get through this trying year. Whether it was donating to a local charity to help needy neighbors, frequently ordering take-out from a local business, cancelling a family gathering to protect vulnerable relatives, or delivering meals to a homebound neighbor, we have all played an important role in protecting and sustaining the Madison community we know and love. With vaccinations starting to be rolled out across the state, I am hopeful we can all enjoy a happy, healthy and prosperous 2021.
Happy New Year Madison!