Coronavirus in Fairfield: 18 residents dead; 220 confirmed cases

FAIRFIELD — Six more residents have died with coronavirus, according to First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick, bringing the total number of deaths to 18.

“These losses weigh heavy on us all,” Kupchick said in a Tuesday evening update. “I hope everyone in our community will keep these Fairfield families in your thoughts and prayers.”

A state report put out on Wednesday afternoon puts the number of confirmed cases at 220 in town. Kupchick said 70 of those affected have reported that they are fully recovered.

“The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation shared an update on modeling for peak activity, and for Connecticut that means the peak dates for hospitalizations have shifted from April 15 to April 25, and peak dates for deaths have shifted from April 22 to April 26,” Kupchick said.

While some residents are not happy with the closure of town parks, beaches and open spaces, Kupchick said, she felt it was crucial to continue the closure in order to stop the spread of the highly contagious virus.

“We are not stuck at home, we are safe at home,” she said. “Our actions help ensure the safety of our health care professionals, first responders and residents in our community who are most at risk.”

The first selectwoman also encouraged residents to cover their mouths with cloth masks when traveling outside the home. She said the Emergency Operations Team has recommended that local grocery stores require their employees do the same.

Kupchick also discussed the tax deferment passed by the Representative Town Meeting in its virtual meeting on Monday. Through an executive order, Governor Ned Lamont said municipalities had to pick one of two options, a deferment or a low interest rate program, to help provide tax relief to residents.

“Any real estate, motor vehicle, personal property or sewer taxes that became due on April 1 will not be considered delinquent if paid by July 1,” Kupchick said. “Also, all taxes that become due on July 1 will not be considered delinquent if paid by Oct. 1.”

For landlords to qualify for the deferment, they must be able to prove that the savings will be passed on to their tenants, she said.

Looking to plans to reopen businesses and get the economy back on track, Kupchick said Lamont announced a multi-state council of representatives from Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Massachusetts would be working together to assess the situation.

“While the health and safety of our residents remain our top priority, it is also important that our state begins this process of establishing a plan with our neighboring states to reopen our economy,” she said.

Kupchick said better days are ahead and that the town was doing everything in its power to get there as soon as possible.

“However, this can only be achieved with your help and cooperation in fulfilling your civic responsibility by adhering to CDC guidelines, practicing safe physical distancing and only interacting with those inside your household,” Kupchick said.