With Covid Numbers Ticking Up, Camillo Announces Playing Fields Are Shut

First Selectman Fred Camillo and Greenwich Hospital president Diane Kelly held a press conference on the eve of Thanksgiving strongly urging residents to take the threat of Covid-19 seriously.

They warned residents with family members arriving from out of state to take care to wear masks indoors, social distance and hand wash.

First Selectman Fred Camillo at Greenwich Town Hall on Nov 24 to help with turkey give away to families in need. Photo: Leslie Yager

“That state of Connecticut’s positivity is back up. We have the highest hospitalization number since May 16, and the highest single day death count since May 25,” Camillo said. “And this is all before Thanksgiving break.”

Kelly said last week there were 18 patients in-house at Greenwich Hospital.

“Today we are at 24 positive patients, and 3 are ventilated in the ICU,” she added.

Currently over 100 active Covid cases in Greenwich, which are being followed through contact tracing by the Dept of Health.

Deaths are up to 55 and the 14 day average per 63,000 (the town’s population) people is 14.

Total aggregate number of Greenwich residents who have tested positive is 1,475.

Greenwich is averaging at least 100 new cases a week.

“We have people coming into town from all different states, and we’re bracing for numbers to spike up even further because of that. Between now and New Year’s I think you’ll see numbers going up,” Camillo said.

With these grim numbers in mind, Camillo announced the town is closing its playing fields, effective immediately. This includes all the public fields in Greenwich, including Cos Cob Park and Greenwich High School.

“We are going to close all the playing fields to recreational activities, team sports and personal use,” he said, noting that with Governor Lamont’s Executive Order 9M on Nov 20, Governor Lamont temporarily paused sporting activities between Nov 23 and Jan 19.

“We want to make sure that that is enforced,” Camillo said, adding that the town is planning to put up signage to alert people to the rule.

“We don’t know where we’ll be on Jan 19th, but, even with all the positive news on a vaccination on the horizon, we can’t take our eye off the ball. This is the rough period we were warned about.”

Greenwich First Selectman Fred Camillo

Diane Kelly said, “We are already seeing this wave expand pretty quickly. People’s vigilance has to be top of mind.”

“Thanksgiving is going to be here tomorrow,” Kelly said. “Make sure you are masked, wash your hands and stay 6 feet apart, especially if there are people in your home that you’re not usually living with. It’s not advisable. If you’ve chosen to do that, what is a must is to wear a mask.”

“If you have to ask, ‘Should I?’ the answer is yes,” she added.

Kelly said this week Greenwich Hospital changed their visitation policy.

“Visitation is only by exception,” she said. “There is no general visiting. Exceptions are for end-of-life care, some pediatric care and child birth.”

Camillo said the Town’s beaches are closed to out-of-town visitors, but that trails remain open because hiking is usually a solitary activity.

“My gut is telling me we have a couple months of this, and will probably lighten up a little as we see the positive effects of a vaccination,” he said. “Certainly we are in the danger zone right now. We don’t want to, but we’re prepared to do anything we have to to keep people safe.”

“This is a very strong virus. It is highly contagious. Everyone’s efforts are so important,” Kelly said.