By Margaret Leonard
NORTH STONINGTON – Feeling that cabin fever and need to get out of the house?
You say you want to shop locally and support North Stonington business?
Well, here’s your chance.
This article was updated March 12, 2020 to include video of a press conference.
“While this may be disappointing, we are doing so in the best interest of our students and staff,” he added
“Please understand that this is an ever-evolving situation and conditions on dealing with the COVID-19 are subject to change at any time,” Nero said.
As of yesterday, there were two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the State of Connecticut – one in Fairfield County, the other in Litchfield County, according to the Connecticut Department of Health State Laboratory.
The day after Rhode Island declared a state of emergency, Connecticut followed suit.
“It gives us the opportunity to get more testing capacity faster for all of the people of the state of Connecticut,” Governor Ned Lamont said during a press briefing Tuesday.
“In the emergency briefing room, there you see a big red dot over New York and a big red dot over parts of Massachusetts,” Lamont said, “and we are in the middle and we’ve got to be prepared for what could be happening.”
At the PTO meeting Monday night, Nero said the town is working to be as prepared as possible. “We need to be ready to have a quick reaction, not an over-reaction,” he said.
Elementary school parent/teacher conferences also took a hit. The ritual of waiting to be called into a private meeting with your caregivers and your teacher won’t happen this season.
“To ensure the safety and health of all, we are changing our plans for Wednesday and Thursday parent/teacher conferences,” Elementary School Principal Veronica Wilkison said in an email to parents Tuesday afternoon. Instead of in-person conferences, the teachers will be calling all parents at the scheduled time of the conference, she explained. Both days will remain early dismissal days.
On Tuesday morning, state’s high school sports organization, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference canceled all remaining winter sports tournaments.
During the Tuesday evening Board of Selectmen meeting, former first selectmen Nick Mullane and current first selectmen Mike Urgo both expressed their disappointment for children who had worked so hard to be in the final tournaments, only to have them canceled. They both hoped Connecticut would follow along with what was being done in Europe by having spectator-free events, where the athletes were still able to participate.
The town’s health advisor is the Ledge Light Health District in New London. Selectman Robert Carlson expressed confidence in Ledge Light’s role.
“I’m very happy we are on board with them,” he said. “I think they are rated as one of the best health districts in Connecticut, if not the best.”
For the most up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on COVID-19, including guidance and other resources, all residents in the state are encouraged to visit ct.gov/coronavirus.
Individuals who have general questions that are not answered on the website can also call 2-1-1 for assistance. The information line is available 24 hours a day and has multilingual assistance and TDD/TTY access for those with a hearing impairment. The hotline only intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider to seek treatment.
Between Friday and Monday, the 2-1-1 information line has taken 252 phone calls from residents.
Continue to check back for updates.
By Margaret Leonard
NORTH STONINGTON – With words like “outbreak” and “pandemic” splashed across every media outlet, and headlines like “First Presumptive Positive Case of COVID-19 Identified at RIDOH's State Health Laboratories”, it’s hard not to have an increased fear of a new virus. The Milltown Monitor is being built on fact-based, non-sensationalized news.
Let’s break down the facts, talk about how to practice prevention, get prepared for worst-case-scenario and get you some resources.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “There is an expanding global outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus.” There are many coronaviruses and you have most likely had at least one in your life. This particular virus has been officially named SARS-CoV-2 and it causes COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019). This is the third time in recent history where a coronavirus isolated to animals has passed to humans and resulted in human-to-human spread. The other two were Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
On Friday, First Selectman Michael Urgo hosted an informative meeting for community officials. In attendance were Stephen Mansfield, Director of Health for Ledge Light Health District; Gary Baron, Director of Emergency Services for North Stonington; George Brennan, Director of Emergency Services for Stonington; Theresa Pensis, Senior Center Director and Agent for the Elderly; Resident State Trooper, Officer David Greene; Christine Dias, Administration and Finance Officer; Christine Wagner, Chair of the Board of Education and Peter Nero, Superintendent of North Stonington public schools.
Mr. Mansfield described the health departments in the United States as “the best in the world”. The group at the table seemed confident in their preparedness for such an outbreak.
In a statement from Mr. Urgo, "North Stonington follows Ledgelight Health Districts guidance and has been in regular contact with them to be sure we have the most up-to-date information from the CDC."