Camillo May Expand Mask/Glove Requirements; “Make Noise” Event Rescheduled; Fist Bumps May be the Future

In First Selectman Fred Camillo’s daily media conference call on Monday he said 325 Greenwich residents had tested positive for COVID-19, up from the 289 on Friday (Per the Health Dept).

Greenwich Hospital reported that as of Monday, 117 COVID-19 positive patients were being treated in several different Hospital units.

To date, 3,157 people have been tested at the Hospital’s outpatient tent with 1,215 testing positive (includes people from Greenwich, other towns in CT and Westchester County.)

Camillo said the town is weighing expanding the declaration requiring face masks and gloves to people entering buildings.

Currently the rule requiring people to wear gloves and face masks applies only to those in supermarkets or handling food.

The First Selectman said the town-wide “make noise” event to show gratitude for all front-line workers scheduled for Monday night at 7:00pm has been rescheduled for Wednesday night at 7:00pm.

“Join our religious community, which will ring their church chimes by grabbing a bell, a whistle, a pot or a pan and go out on your porch or front lawn,” he said. “Let’s make some noise across Greenwich to say ‘Thank You’ to those who put themselves on the front-line every day to ensure our safety.”

Diane Kelly from Greenwich Hospital was also on the call. She said 117 COVID-19 positive patients had been discharged and others are continuing to be discharged.

Kelly said to date 28 people had lost their lives to the virus, up from 16 a week ago.

She said 16 patients were on ventilators as of Monday, with 19 of them in the ICU.

Ms. Kelly said the community had come through in a big way with meal donations, and it’s been very uplifting to staff at Greenwich Hospital.

“I want to say how extremely important it’s become to the staff. It’s less about the food than the recognition and support of what our people are doing, and we’re pleased they’re using our local establishments in Greenwich.

It’s good restaurants and vendors can get some business through the donations and the people here enjoy it.” – Diane Kelly, Greenwich Hospital COO

Asked about donations of PPE, Kelly said the hospital is going through PPE as anticipated.

“We’re getting an incredible amount of donations. When we get donations of PPE, we manage it through the system (Yale New Have Health System), which means it’s less than we take from the system, so other hospitals in the system can use it.”

She said there is a dedicated email for donations: [email protected]

As for PPE for Greenwich’s first responders, including police, Camillo said the town is purchasing PPE for first responders.

“We have used town funds for masks for first responders, but we’re getting people contacting us and we’re redirecting it (donations) to first reponders. There was a big donation last week that should be coming in soon,” he said.

“This pandemic has created lots of holes in the budget,” Camillo added. “We’re trying to stay on top of it, and citizens have stepped up.”

Asked whether Greenwich Hospital might have to shift to alternative sites, Ms. Kelly said there had been no expansion in the past four days, and that the next stage would still keep COVID-19 patients “on campus.”

“We’ve had a surge plan all along that listed sites, and most are in the current building,” she said. “The next phase would be in the section where we do outpatient radiology exams and cardiac testing. Ultrasound rooms can house COVID-19 patients if need be. It’s approved by Dept of Public Health.  Now we’re using a surgical ambulatory department and medical ambulatory department where we manage the overflow.”

If a surge continues, after the radiology area, the hospital can always expand to the Holly Hill surgical day center.

“We have three more levels we can go to,” she said. “I’m very confident at where we are right now.”

Asked about enforcement of the parks closure, Camillo said he had been walking through parks.

“I did see a dad with two kids on the playground behind town hall and asked them not to,” he said. “There are signs up all around. But some people just don’t see the signs. Every group I’ve seen on a field or playground have immediately left when I spoke to them. Compliance is up.”

Asked to comment on recent arrests for Trespassing charges, Camillo said, “Use your head. Going toward an open area, if the gate is locked, it’s for a reason. If you try to go around it and you’re arrested you have no one to blame but yourself.”

Asked what the “new normal” might look like after the pandemic, Camillo pointed out there was still no treatment or vaccine.

“In the new norm, people will be more conscious of washing their hands, touching money and washing their hands immediately. Any touchable surface people will view as a potential source of contamination and for carrying germs,” he said. “I think that will hold over.”

“I’d still like to see people hugging,” Camillo said. “But you might go to fist bumps. Society will be a little different. You’ll see some behavioral changes.”

Asked about the transition of town government to online meetings, Camillo said it was going smoothly and might have implications for future operations.

“It’s showing us ways we can do things in the future,” he said. “When things get back to normal, and, say we have a storm, where meetings normally would be canceled, now we know they don’t have to be canceled. We know we can hold these meetings virtually, and we’re learning a lot of us can work from home and be just as productive.”

Camillo said having remote workers might result in more streamlined operations and save money.

“It might allow departments to identify which jobs can be conducted and performed at home one or two days a week,” he said. “As much discomfort and heartache and setback this has caused – it’s touched just about everybody – there will be some silver linings in it. Government has transformed itself.”

Additional financial aid for Greenwich non-profits. Through the recently passed CARES Act, the Town of Greenwich has received an additional
$486,978 in “CDBG-CV” funding to be used to prevent, prepare for and respond to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak.

Interested nonprofit applicants may fill out an application found on the Community Development webpage.

Questions should be directed to [email protected] More information and the link to the application can be found

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