COVID-19 Update: Numbers Plateau, Camillo Considering Making Trails One-Way for Social Distancing

On Monday Greenwich Hospital said there were 97 COVID-19 positive patients being treated in several different hospital units.

There were 13 more cases since Friday: 566 residents testing positive, up from 553 on Friday, per Greenwich Health Director Caroline Baisley.

Greenwich Hospital said 273 patients have been discharged to continue to recuperate at home.

There have been 3,799 people tested at the Hospital’s outpatient test site, with 1,427 testing positive.

“It is encouraging to see that the hospitalization rate is continuing to decrease,” Kelly said, adding that 19 people were in ICU as of Monday and 17 were on ventilators.

There have been 38 fatalities to date.

On the daily press conference call with First Selectman Fred Camillo and Greenwich Hospital COO Diane Kelly, there was discussion of the favorable numbers.

“I don’t think we have enough data points to say the curve is bending. We have a plateau –  it’s not increasing,” Ms Kelly said.

She added that social distancing, handwashing and wearing masks were having an impact.

“People have to keep that up. I am worried people will see that as, ‘We can let up a little,” she said.

“People are starting to say,’ We don’t need this any more. We can go outside,'” Camillo said. “I’m getting some outreach from residents saying exactly that. We know from other jurisdictions who opened up too soon, that they paid the price. We’re looking at how to ease up in a safe and measured way, we continue to do that.”

Asked about the push back on his emergency orders, including the closure of all Town parks and beaches as of, March 22, Camillo went on to say, “People are using this as a soap box and to spew ideological rants. When you promote policies that put people in danger – your family, friends, fellow residents first responders, health care workers. It’s more than ourselves. Thank God everybody is stepping up and rising to the occasion.”

For now, Camillo said he is working with Parks & Rec staff for ways to make it easier for people to get out and exercise on paths.

“We’re looking at having trail paths go in one direction, one way like a one-way road so they don’t pass each other,” he said, adding that other locations are being considered for exercise venues.

“I’m speaking to parks monitors, the police Chief, and the head of Parks & Rec,” Camillo continued adding that he and other town leaders are also working on clarifications about use of parks. “We’ll clarify that and make sure people are aware.”

“I’m a sportsman and an outdoorsman so this is frustrating to me,” he said. “It’s tough but you learn other things. Walking gives you a different perspective on your neighborhood. And it’s a great time to start gardening. Biking is another activity that’s encouraged.”

As for the Governor’s announcement that marinas in Connecticut could open for personal recreational use, Camillo said he hadn’t seen the town’s policy yet. (E-mails to Parks & Rec requesting details on marina policies were not immediately returned on Monday.)

Likewise, the Governor has allowed farmers markets to operate, and the Greenwich Farmers Market is set to open on May 16.

“I want to be sure things are in place in a local declaration of emergency. At the end of the day it’s on me,” Camillo said. “The emergency declaration issued by a Mayor or First Selectman is binding except when it comes into conflict with that of an executive order of the President or Governor.”