Fairfield: A second resident has died from coronavirus

FAIRFIELD — A second Fairfield resident has died from coronavirus, according to First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick.

Kupchick said the individual was an 87-year-old woman with underlying medical conditions. Her death comes four days after the town confirmed an 85-year-old man from Fairfield died due to the virus.

According to a state report, there were 47 Fairfield residents that had tested positive for coronavirus as of 1:30 Thursday afternoon. Kupchick said the number had increased to 48, including the deaths, in an email she sent out on Thursday night.

State officials report that there are 3,557 cases of coronavirus in Connecticut, including 85 deaths. The majority of those cases, 1,986, are in Fairfield County.

Kupchick said the town is now in the acceleration phase of the pandemic. She said officials expect to see a dramatic increase in the number of confirmed cases in Fairfield.

“Please know that I am thinking about every family in Fairfield who (are) living in these uncertain times,” Kupchick said.

The first selectwoman also expressed gratitude towards medical professionals and first responders for all the work they are doing to keep the community safe. She thanked a variety of groups including town employees for keeping essential services running, the Emergency Management Team for the work it has done during the pandemic and local businesses and food establishments for revising their operations to continue to serve residents.

“The outpouring of kindness and support our community is showing to one another is inspiring,” Kupchick said. “On that note, my administration is working to establish a COVID-19 Relief Fund, which will aim to help residents who have experienced financial hardship as a result of the virus.”

Kupchick said the town will start accepting donations to the fund later this week. She said more information would be available soon.

Speaking to other ways the town was working to help residents, Kupchick said she was in discussions with the tax collector, the town attorney and the state about how the town can assist residents impacted by the coronavirus with property tax interest and penalty relief.

“The current town regulations allow residents to pay their April 1st tax bill by April 30th with no interest or penalties, by which time we expect to have new state and/or town programs in place to assist our impacted residents and businesses,” Kupchick said.

Kupchick also said that it was good the town closed the parks and beaches when it did. She thanked the country clubs in town for following suit and closing their golf courses.

“This will go a long way toward our town's ability to protect everyone in our community and reduce pressure on our first responders and healthcare professionals,” Kupchick said.

However, the first selectwoman said she was still getting reports from residents about high school students gathering in various places around town. She asked that parents have a “serious conversation” with their children about the importance of staying home and not gathering with people outside of their household.

“I say this in the most sincere way, it is all of our civic responsibility to stop the spread of this deadly virus,” Kupchick said, adding that the town would get through the pandemic together if they stayed apart.