Ridgefield reports 15 new COVID cases over three-day period

Photo of Alyssa Seidman
Now that omicron has been identified in the state, First Selectman Rudy Marconi is reminding residents to stay vigilant.

Now that omicron has been identified in the state, First Selectman Rudy Marconi is reminding residents to stay vigilant.

Macklin Reid / Hearst Connecticut Media file photo

RIDGEFIELD — On Tuesday the town’s COVID task force reported that 15 new cases of the virus were recorded with the state Department of Public Health over the weekend.

The data was entered to the state between Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which showed 15 residents tested positive for COVID-19.

According to a report from the task force, 100 percent of those cases comprised unvaccinated individuals who were eligible to get a shot, and only four were 5-17 year olds.

First Selectman Rudy Marconi was trying to decide the best day to get his booster shot when he spoke last week to Hearst Connecticut Media about the town’s latest COVID statistics.

Ridgefield’s positivity rate was 3.3 percent as of Sunday. Whereas Fairfield County is currently reporting 32 percent of new cases per 100,000 residents over a seven-day average, Ridgefield is reporting 25 percent.

“We’re running hot relative to the county and all the towns around us,” Marconi said.

Ridgefield has reported 105 cases of COVID-19 cases since Nov. 1, according to a report from the town’s contact tracer, Pamela Dunaway. Unvaccinated individuals comprised 82 percent of those cases, and 30 percent comprised 5-17 year olds.

If you were to add individuals who did not get a booster shot to that data set, Marconi said, the percentage would jump to 93 percent. Nineteen of the 105 cases were breakthroughs, he added.

COVID hospitalizations in Fairfield County have more than doubled since last month, with 103 people hospitalized as of Dec. 5, according to a report from Ridgefield data scientist Rick Lawrence.

“About a month ago it was ... level for about a week,” Marconi noted, “and it just started growing from there.

The recent emergence of the COVID omicron variant has put world leaders on high alert; the first confirmed U.S. case was detected in California on Dec. 1. This weekend Gov. Ned Lamont announced that one Connecticut resident has been infected with the omicron variant.

Now that omicron has been identified in the state, Marconi is reminding residents to stay vigilant. Although the town lifted its indoor mask mandate for vaccinated individuals in late September, he is recommending people wear a mask while in indoor settings outside the home, regardless of vaccination status.

“I went to do a little shopping last night, I wore my mask,” he said. “I’m not telling anyone they have to, but the increase (suggests) that it’s out there.

“Please also respect the fact that many local businesses require masks for everyone, vaccinated or not.” Marconi said in a release. “This is the time to support their efforts to protect their employees and customers.”

Almost 74 percent of Rigdefielders age 5 and up are fully vaccinated, according to Lawrence’s numbers. Marconi said those due for their booster shot should get one to “help out with the new variant.”

“The logical conclusion … (is to) get your shot, get your booster, get vaccinated,” he added. “The majority of people being hospitalized are unvaccinated people. If you’re not gonna get vaccinated, you’re taking a chance.”

Recent data compiled by the town’s COVID task force shows that relative to vaccinated people, unvaccinated people are almost 5 times more likely to contract the virus, 11 times more likely to become hospitalized and 33 times more likely to die from it.

“Cover up, wear that mask and get vaccinated,” Marconi added. “Those are the two best things you can do to keep yourself safe and healthy.”