‘Second Wave Coming’: First Selectman Warns of Rising COVID-19 Cases


First Selectmen Kevin Moynihan said Tuesday that New Canaan must “watch with eyes wide open” as COVID-19 virus resurges locally and in the wider region and state.

Addressing the Board of Selectmen at its regular meeting, Moynihan said, “It looks like there’s a second wave coming and we are going to have to begin to address further actions.”

“The EOC [Emergency Operations Center] is going to begin to meet twice a week instead of once a week,” he said during the meeting, held via videoconference. “And I have no specific actions to mention now, but I just want to mention that we are obviously concerned that state of Connecticut is heading the direction of a second wave.”

Made during an open comment portion of the meeting, Moynihan’s observation comes on the heels of a week that saw 10 new positive COVID test results for New Canaan residents. “[C]ommunity transmission is occurring,” Moynihan had said in a Friday town-wide outcall to residents. After weeks of urging downtown visitors to wear masks, with mixed results, New Canaan recently created a “mandatory mask zone” for the business district. Moynihan said failing to comply could result in fines for individuals. 

The Connecticut Department of Public Health reported five new confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 for New Canaan over the weekend, as well as five new probable cases. Gov. Ned Lamont said Tuesday that the state on Friday would roll back from its current reopening phase to a version of the previous one, so that “restaurants will reduce to 50 percent capacity with a maximum of 8 people limited to a table” and “event venues will be limited to 25 people indoor, 50 people outdoor,” among other changes.

The selectmen during Tuesday’s meeting also voted 3-0 to approve the hiring of a Torrington resident as a part-time public health nurse in the New Canaan Health Department. Aimee Ballard “has done COVID testing, contact tracing and I think will be a great asset to [New Canaan Health Director] Jenn [Eielson] to help her with this contact tracing,” town Human Resources Director Cheryl Pickering-Jones said during the meeting.

Moynihan said, “We very much need further resources in the Health Department as we fight COVID.”

4 thoughts on “‘Second Wave Coming’: First Selectman Warns of Rising COVID-19 Cases

  1. One of the glaring omissions from the weekly callout messages from the First Selectman is the positivity rate of new cases. Recently it has risen dramatically to the 4-5% range, according to my computations of the reported positive cases divided by the total reported results (negatives plus positives). Failure to make this statistic prominent and to point out the noticeable rise is not helpful to the public’s understanding of the increasingly alarming trajectory of the pandemic in New Canaan. I would urge that this positivity rate be prominently reported by the media even if the town government glosses over it or avoids mention of it. It is also worth noting that the town website pages with Covid-19 statistics also make no mention of the total tests reported each week in comparison to the number of positive cases. We only see the number of positive cases, giving us a verily limited perspective about the (now rising) rate of infection. If our government officials will not publish this critical information then the press must do so. And even if the town government does begin to publish this important piece of information, it is still essential in my opinion that the media disseminate it prominently. Perhaps, now that we have a new Emergency Management Director with emergency responder experience (as Mike Handler had and so ably displayed in his performance in the job) we may now get this key metric of the pandemic reported on a weekly basis, including on the town website. One can only hope.

  2. Also for those who might take this lightly as it might not be lethal to them, keep in mind of the butterfly effect this has with business shutdowns, school shutdowns, unemployment, crime etc.

    Just last week a whole lot of businesses in my area had their cash registers stolen and dumped on my street. A bank in town was robbed at gunpoint. While anecdotal, it seems that pandemic unemployment is driving these crimes.

    Also, the cost of drugs and any potential hospitalization for Covid19 is not going to be cheap. There should be a public awareness campaign that advertises the monetary cost of Covid19.

    Wishing everybody stays healthy.

  3. For months now, I have written, with no response, to the leadership of New Canaan asking for more call outs when the rates go up and for more transparency. We have gotten neither. Rolling back to Stage 2 is an expensive option for merchant that could have been avoided had people social distanced and worn a mask.
    Making masks mandatory on Elm St without imposing fines on non-masks wearers, just emboldens the non-mask wearers. The time to fine is here.
    And the time for better communication from leadership was months ago but certainly is here.

  4. As we now have community spread, and asymptomatic cases are often the cause of this, is New Canaan planning a major testing effort? If our rate is 3-5% as it has been statewide, easier testing could help identify where the spread is coming from.

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