First Selectman: New Local COVID-19 Cases Include Two at Party, Family of Four

New Canaan’s top elected official said the town learned last Monday of a party where a resident who had traveled to South Carolina ended up bringing COVID-19 virus back here and, at the gathering, infected one other local person. The two new cases account for some of the seven reflected in state Department of Public Health figures that appeared Monday in the agency’s statistics, according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan. Other new cases include a New Canaan woman who tested positive at a hospital where she’d gone in for a heart procedure, an employee of the New Canaan YMCA, a woman who had a wedding at her house on Ponus Ridge where out-of-state relatives were invited, and a local family of four that is hosting a Stamford teen, Moynihan said during a regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen. “That is a rather unusual case,” Moynihan said of the last, “but another indication that COVID is coming from outside rather than local transmission.”

“All of these cases are people under 50 and primarily teenagers, younger people,” he added during the meeting, held via videoconference. 

The comments came after Selectman Nick Williams said during a discussion of general matters before the town that he had thought Moynihan might do a town-wide outcall Monday night to address the DPH data on new cases in New Canaan. “You indicated over the weekend that you were collecting data and maybe didn’t have a chance to get the data that you wanted for purposes of the outcall,” Williams told the first selectman.

Selectmen Devereaux and Williams Thank Mike Handler for Years of Effective Community Service

Selectmen Kit Devereaux and Nick Williams on Tuesday thanked New Canaan’s recently ousted emergency management director for his years of effective volunteer work on behalf of the community. Citing a petition that has garnered more than 1,800 signatures calling for Mike Handler’s reinstatement, Devereaux during a regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen said he’s owed “a huge ‘thank you’ for the years of service that he volunteered to our community.”

“Mike’s was a voice we heard over the years during times of emergency and he diligently and clearly and eloquently kept us informed and calm,” Devereaux said during the meeting, held via videoconference. “In my opinion, New Canaan should be celebrating the years of volunteer work that Mike gifted our town and for his dedication to our wellbeing. And whatever the misunderstanding that caused this event, it should not keep the town from acknowledging MH’s long and effective volunteer service to the community. I don’t think he has been thanked.”

The comments came during a general discussion of matters before the town.

Town Re-Starts Enforcement of Two-Hour Parking Limit Downtown

With more local businesses reopening and greater numbers of shoppers and diners visiting the downtown, municipal officials this week re-started enforcement of two-hour time limits for on-street parking. For two weeks, parking enforcement officers have been issuing “courtesy tickets” to motorists who leave their vehicles for hours on end in free spaces on Elm and Main Streets, among other streets downtown—not fining violators, but urging them to use what have been designated free municipal lots such as Morse Court, Park Street and Playhouse. Yet the meters in those lots also will be enforced again after August, following a 2-0 vote by the Board of Selectmen at its regular meeting Tuesday. “I think it’s a good experiment to continue July and August with the free parking but I think to continue beyond Sept. 1, we hopefully will be much more back to normal by Labor Day,” Moynihan said during the meeting, held via videoconference.