Friday, March 01, 2024

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Bon Voyage Party Cited for Coronavirus Shutdown

Regarding party attendees who are now experiencing flu-like symptoms, Cooper said they should “make the assumption they have COVID-19.”

“We are in the process of getting a list of all the attendees at the party,” he said.

The announcement touched off a flood of Facebook conversations with some parents saying officials should at least have named the school attended by student guests or cited the neighborhood party location.

Cooper made his announcement at a news conference on the steps of Town Hall, a symbolic gesture as the public and press were kept at arm’s length from the building.

The news conference had been called by First Selectman Jim Marpe, who together with Cooper and town officials announced that Town Hall, except for essential services, will remain closed to the public for the foreseeable future because of the coronavirus.

Marpe said Town Hall will be sanitized this week, and that all town meetings would be canceled.

“We want to make sure that Town Hall doesn’t become a center for the transmission of COVID-19,” said Marpe.

“Our utmost concern is for the safety of our residents and the safety of our employees,” he added.

Also closed as of today are the Westport Center for Senior Activities, the teen center and the Westport Library.

Bill Harmer, the library’s executive director, said the building would be closed for “deep cleaning and will open on Monday but only for essential services.”

Those services include residents who want to ask reference questions or to take out books, though Harmer suggested e-books.”

“I recognize that these are tough decisions,” Marpe said. “But we know that this is a disease passed on by close contact with other human beings.”

He discouraged public gatherings, even young people congregating or playing on the town’s athletic fields.

Marpe’s announcement came on the heels of the World Health Organization (WHO) today declaring COVID-19 a global pandemic.

Two hours before Marpe’s announcement, Interim Schools Superintendent David Abbey emailed parents that the town’s schools would be closed until further notice.

Regarding party attendees who are now experiencing flu-like symptoms, Cooper said they should “make the assumption they have COVID-19.”

“We are in the process of getting a list of all the attendees at the party,” he said.

The announcement touched off a flood of Facebook conversations with some parents saying officials should at least have named the school attended by student guests or cited the neighborhood party location.

Cooper made his announcement at a news conference on the steps of Town Hall, a symbolic gesture as the public and press were kept at arm’s length from the building.

The news conference had been called by First Selectman Jim Marpe, who together with Cooper and town officials announced that Town Hall, except for essential services, will remain closed to the public for the foreseeable future because of the coronavirus.

Marpe said Town Hall will be sanitized this week, and that all town meetings would be canceled.

“We want to make sure that Town Hall doesn’t become a center for the transmission of COVID-19,” said Marpe.

“Our utmost concern is for the safety of our residents and the safety of our employees,” he added.

Also closed as of today are the Westport Center for Senior Activities, the teen center and the Westport Library.

Bill Harmer, the library’s executive director, said the building would be closed for “deep cleaning and will open on Monday but only for essential services.”

Those services include residents who want to ask reference questions or to take out books, though Harmer suggested e-books.”

“I recognize that these are tough decisions,” Marpe said. “But we know that this is a disease passed on by close contact with other human beings.”

He discouraged public gatherings, even young people congregating or playing on the town’s athletic fields.

Marpe’s announcement came on the heels of the World Health Organization (WHO) today declaring COVID-19 a global pandemic.

Two hours before Marpe’s announcement, Interim Schools Superintendent David Abbey emailed parents that the town’s schools would be closed until further notice.

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