COVID-19: State Reports 15 More New Canaan Cases Over Weekend

State officials reported 15 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 for New Canaan over the weekend. The cumulative total for the town rose from 416 to 431, according to data released by the Connecticut Department of Public Health Friday and Monday. The town also now has 32 probable cases of coronavirus disease, according to the DPH. The figures come as New Canaan’s first selectman reports that New Canaan last week saw 50 new positive cases. In a town-wide outcall Monday, Kevin Moynihan asked the community to “please do your part in controlling the spread by wearing a mask, washing hands frequently and maintaining social distance.”
“As a reminder all of downtown New Canaan is a required mask zone and with the holiday shopping season underway we appreciate the cooperation of all residents and businesses in complying with the mask zone requirements,” Moynihan said.

Bustling Real Estate Market Driving Up Workload for Town Health Department

The town Health Department is seeing steep increases in a number of applications for various permits and reviews, a reflection of New Canaan’s bustling real estate market, according to the head of the municipal agency. Septic plan reviews are up 82% year-over-year, according to Health Director Jenn Eielson. In addition, septic permits are up 65%, soil testing is up 133%, well permits are up 200% and building permit plan reviews for properties on septic are up 20%, Eielson told members of the Health & Human Services Commission at their Nov. 5 meeting. “So on top of us getting this COVID pandemic, we are also on the other end because of the real estate seeing significant, huge increases in all that workload,” Eielson said during the meeting, held via videoconference.

Town To Follow State Guidance for Halloween amid COVID-19; Traditional Trick-or-Treating Discouraged

Town officials say New Canaan this Halloween is following federal and state public health guidelines, which include hosting drive-by events or planning activities within the household in lieu of traditional trick-or-treating. 

Asked about Halloween amid the COVID-19 pandemic, New Canaan Health Director Jenn Eielson said in an email, “As far as the health department goes we are following CDC and state DPH [Department of Public Health] guidelines.”

“The health department continues to monitor the cases and community situation leading up to Halloween,” Eielson said. Guidelines on trick-or-treating, a “high-risk activity” under the state’s definition, call for “one-way trick-or-treating where goodie bags or a large bowl of candy are placed outside of your home for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance.”

For those who do choose to hand out candy, state public health officials recommend washing hands prior to answering the door, covering your nose and mouth, staying six feet away from trick-or-treaters and placing candy in the children’s bags rather than having them reach into a bowl. “All trick-or-treating participants should wear a mask or face covering while outside at all times,” the guidelines say (full list here). “A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth or surgical mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and does not leave gaps around the face.

Health Director: Signs of Community Transmission of COVID-19; Masks Must Be Worn Downtown [VIDEO]

Health officials say they’re receiving an increasing number of complaints about people failing to wear masks downtown or wearing them wrong inside places like restaurants, even as signs of community transmission of COVID-19 virus are emerging here. The town has “had a few more cases this week,” according to Health Director Jenn Eielson. “There is really no clear link, unlike last week where we kind of had a more clear link, so that’s kind of indicating community transmission is back, and a little bit on the rise, which is kind of expected two weeks after Labor Day, the schools are back in session, all the sports are playing,” Eielson told members of the Health & Human Services Commission during their regular meeting Thursday morning. “People are, I think, getting a little lax,” Eielson continued during the meeting, held via videoconference. “So it was to be expected.