Photo: File / Matthew Brown / Hearst Connecticut Media
GREENWICH – Greenwich sees an increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the city, with 29 residents diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past week, city officials confirmed Friday.
As of Friday, 1,049 COVID-19 cases have been reported in the city, an increase of 29 cases since Oct. 9, according to city health director Caroline Baisley.
“This is not a case where we saw all 29 cases come in one day,” Baisley said. “They were stretched over a period of time.”
The city’s contact tracking efforts have not found a link between the increase in cases, she said.
“There is nothing that really drives these cases and we see it across all age groups,” Baisley said. “It is not a specific age group, as we saw with young people at parties” in late summer.
Instead, she attributed the increase to the transmission of society.
Baisley also stressed that Greenwich “is not in the danger zone”, referring to the state’s new list of “red zones” – cities where the rate of infection is more than 15 cases per year. 100,000 inhabitants. These red zones include Danbury, Hartford, New London, Norwich and Windham.
But she said Greenwich residents should not be complacent and should take steps to protect themselves, including wearing masks and practicing social distance.
The risk of infection may increase in the fall as people spend more time inside, she said. Plus coronavirus is known to “increase speed” when humidity and temperatures drop, Baisley said.
“We also see it with the flu in the fall and winter,” she said. “They predicted this (increase in cases) all the time, and now we’re starting to see it. How bad will it get? We do not know yet. I hope we can not see what we saw in the spring because we were hammered back then. ”
COVID case in Central
Along with uptick in the city, Greenwich Public Schools has also seen a slight increase in positive cases this week.
In the first month of teaching, the district reported only three positive cases – one at Greenwich High School, one at Central Middle School and one at Eastern Middle School.
In the week ending Friday, October 16, when Fairfield County’s rate of positive action per. 100,000 residents rose steadily to 6.4, the Greenwich school district registered two new cases, a school official said Friday.
A Greenwich High School student tested positive and forced 15 students to a two-week quarantine, a school official said. Also this week, another 14 students were quarantined after being in contact with a non-Greenwich High School student who had tested positive, a school staff member said.
An employee at Central Middle School also tested positive this week, resulting in quarantine for an entire group of students and staff, according to the school district. Most of those quarantined were approved to return to school by Wednesday, but five staff and two students remained out of school, a school official said.
Hospitalizations are also rising
There was also a slight increase in the number of COVID-19 patients at Greenwich Hospital. On Monday, the hospital reported that it was treating three patients with the virus. It rose to eight patients on Tuesday, which kept level on Wednesday and Thursday. The number was up to 10 by Friday, the hospital said.
Earlier this week, President Diane Kelly at Greenwich Hospital said the increase serves as a reminder that residents need to pay attention.
This announcement was repeated Friday by First Selectman Fred Camillo, who urged residents to continue wearing masks, washing hands and practicing social distance to mitigate the spread of the virus. These strategies have previously proven effective in keeping city rates low over the past few months, he said.
“It’s hard to pinpoint what is causing this rise in the city,” Camillo said. “I have said from day one: No matter how good we have been here, the virus knows no bounds. I will continue to say this until we are on the other side of this. We want people to have as much normality in their lives as possible, but just do things the safe way. ”
If residents gather, “It’s not so much to ask people” to wear a mask, social distance and wash hands, he said.
“This is not just for your protection, it’s for everyone else as well,” Camillo said. “At the same time, you have to remind people that we are still in the middle of this and you have to keep an eye on the ball.”
Baisley also warned against complacency, reminding residents that coronavirus has not disappeared.
“Nobody wants to hear it, but they need to know that we’re seeing an increase in the number of cases and we need to be conscientious,” she said.
Staff Writer Justin Papp contributed to this story.