On Wednesday in a call with local media, First Selectman Fred Camillo said he had received complaints about employees in Greenwich grocery stores not wearing masks, and asked the town attorney whether he had the power as First Selectman to require them to do so, as long as it didn’t conflict with an order from the Governor or President.
“The answer was yes,” he said. “The Health Dept agreed it was the right thing to do.”
“It’s not just for grocery store workers, but anyone handling food,” he said. “We’re requiring them to do it, effective immediately.”
Camillo said the masks could be simple cloth masks.
Asked about enforcement, Camillo said, “If you tell them to and they don’t do it, the hammer has to come down and you need a fine or punishment, but we’ve made it a practice to warn people if they’re in violation of an emergency order or declaration.”
“We stand ready to work with people,” Camillo said.
Camillo said Health Dept director Caroline Baisley said her department would reach out to establishments.
“We’ll start checking and enforcing,” he said. “We want businesses to thrive, and grocery stores are doing well.”
“Yesterday I was in Byram and the closest grocery store was in Port Chester. I was in my pickup truck with my dogs. I had gloves but no mask. I found a t-shirt in my truck and put it over my face,” Camillo said.
Camillo said now he wears a mask when he goes somewhere and comes into contact with others.
“If I’m walking and keeping a distance, no,” he said. “The main things are distance and gloves and having a mask ready if you’re going to be in close proximity.”
Camillo reported that as of Wednesday, Greenwich Hospital reported that as of noon there were 111
COVID-19 positive patients being treated in several different Hospital units and 136 patients have been discharged.
To date, 2,656 people have been tested at the Hospital’s outpatient tent with 1,022 testing positive. All of these numbers reflect patients who live in Greenwich as well as from other municipalities in Connecticut and Westchester County.
The Department of Human Services continues to experience increases in requests for assistance, especially food assistance. The Department, in collaboration with Neighbor to Neighbor and TAG (Transportation Association of Greenwich) have accommodated this increase. Prior to the pandemic, TAG and Neighbor to Neighbor would facilitate food deliveries to approximately 30 clients a week, This week those deliveries now total more than 500, according to Dr. Alan Barry, Human Services Commissioner.
Residents, who need assistance with basic needs, including food, can call the Department of Human Services at.203-622-3800.