By Elio Gugliotti, Editor
BEACON FALLS — Beacon Falls joined the growing list of towns in the state with at least one confirmed case of COVID-19 among its residents.
In a letter to the community on Sunday, First Selectman Gerard Smith said the Naugatuck Valley Health District informed him of the confirmed case. He said a 64-year-old man tested positive for the coronavirus. He asked residents not to be alarmed, adding the man self-admitted to Yale-New Haven Hospital and had no known contact with other residents or emergency personnel.
“Having said that, I encourage all residents to practice the directive to ‘shelter in place’ whenever possible and follow all CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and valley health district recommendations,” he wrote.
Officials have closed Town Hall to the public. Town employees are available via email and telephone to help residents. All town meetings are cancelled, and officials are working on a video or conference call option to hold remote meetings.
The Beacon Falls Senior Center and Beacon Falls Library are closed until further notice.
All town parks are open, but the tennis and basketball courts at the Beacon Falls Recreation Complex on Pent Road have been locked to maintain social distancing, Smith said.
“In this ever-changing environment in which we now live, please continue to use good judgment in venturing out and maintain social distancing,” Smith wrote in the letter. “Be mindful of neighbors who will require your assistance and offer before you’re asked.”
The number of people confirmed to have tested positive for the coronavirus rose by more than 100 on Sunday, and three more people have died, bringing the number of deaths in the state from the pandemic to eight.
Gov. Ned Lamont announced the latest numbers in a release Sunday evening. There were 327 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state spread around all eight counties, Lamont said, up from the 223 reported as of Saturday.
Of the 327 cases, eight were fatal and 51 people are hospitalized with the virus.
There were no confirmed cases reported in Naugatuck or Prospect as of Sunday.
Almost two-thirds of those diagnosed are from Fairfield County, which accounts for 208 cases and five deaths. Two people from Tolland County and one from Hartford County also have died, according to the governor. More than 3,600 people have been tested for the virus through Sunday, according to the governor’s office, with 327 returning positive results.
The majority of those confirmed cases are people age 40 and older, with just under 30 cases in people age 80 or older. There were three confirmed cases of the virus in Waterbury, two in Southbury, and one in Woodbury and Oxford.
The Republican-American contributed to this article.
The following is the full letter from Beacon Falls First Selectman Gerard Smith sent Sunday:
Dear Beacon Falls Residents,
As First Selectman of our Town, I am proud to say that I’m hearing many stories of neighbors and businesses showing compassion, support and a spirt of community to one another. Just two examples are a local business that provided N-95 masks and other supplies to our EMS and Police Dept., ensuring their safety, and a neighbor providing groceries for a single mom who was ill-prepared for this crisis. I know that there are many more similar stories; may this goodwill continue to grow. Unfortunately, I have been informed by Valley Health District that Beacon Falls has one confirmed COV-ID 19 case. Please don’t be alarmed; the 64-year-old male patient self-admitted to Yale New Haven hospital and has had no known contact with any residents or emergency personnel. Having said that, I encourage all residents to practice the directive to “shelter in place” whenever possible and follow all CDC and Valley Health District recommendations. I have and will continue to provide information and updates as they become available on our town website and social media. I have not inundated you with excessive Code Red calls and will only utilize that service for the most important updates and information.
Currently, Town Hall and all services are available. Although closed to the public, town employees are available to assist the public via email and telephone. The senior center and library are closed until further notice. If it becomes necessary to close Town Hall completely, we are working on full remote capabilities for staff to continue to provide services remotely. All town meetings are currently cancelled, and we are diligently working on an affordable video/conference call remote option. Trash pick-up will continue on Fridays for now. I’ve been informed that due to reduced staff, we may experience earlier and later trash pick-ups through this event. All town parks are currently open. Pent Road basketball and tennis courts will be locked and off-limits, in order to maintain social distancing. In this ever-changing environment in which we now live, please continue to use good judgment in venturing out and maintain social distancing. Be mindful of neighbors who will require your assistance and offer before you’re asked. Follow all recommendations as set forth by the CDC: www.cdc.gov, VHD: www.n-vhd.org and DPH: www.portal.ct.-gov/dph. I will continue to seek guidance and wisdom as I lead us through these trying times.
Gerard “Gerry” F. Smith