Deaths in Ridgefield from COVID-19 have risen to 35, Health Director Ed Briggs said Monday, May 4, but the number of people who have tested positive for the disease has been holding steady — it was last reported at 166 on Friday.

The town also distributed close to 3,500 masks to local businesses, with help from the Boys and Girls Club, according to the town Office of Emergency Management.

The town’s release from Monday evening, May 4, follows:

RIDGEFIELD, CT: May 4, 2020:

  Health Director Ed Briggs reports that the number of cumulative positive COVID-19 tests has not changed in the last few days. The number of deaths, sadly, is now at 35. Mr. Briggs also reports that with the focus now transitioning to contact tracing and follow up, the health department will move away from the focus on daily numbers.

  The Office of Emergency Management thanks the Boys and Girls Club for their help in packaging and distributing nearly 3,500 masks to local businesses today. The state program allocated two masks per employee for essential businesses in need, but the town was required to pick them up and to set up a distribution program.

  Governor Lamont reported that Coronavirus-related hospitalizations in Connecticut declined for the twelfth straight day. He said he is looking for two straight weeks of a decline in hospitalizations before the state will be reopened which is consistent with federal guidelines.

  Safe store rules require that customers and employees wear masks inside retail establishments. Emergency Management Director Dick Aarons reminds people that there are medical reasons that allow some people to be exempt, but that everyone should practice social distancing regardless of where they are.

  Governor Lamont issued his four-level plan of reopening businesses by May 20th which includes restaurants for outdoor dining only, retail, offices with recommendation that those who can work at home continue to do so, personal services, museums, zoos for outdoor only, additional recreation and university research programs.

The plan is based on certain criteria being met including: a 14-day decline in hospitalizations, increased testing availability, sufficient contact tracing capacity, protection of high-risk populations, adequate healthcare capacity, adequate supply of PPE and appropriate physical distancing regulations.

  According to Health Director Ed Briggs, there are no shortages of tests. People experiencing symptoms should still follow the same procedures of contacting their primary care physician for a prescription.

  School reopening information is expected to be announced tomorrow (Tuesday May 5).

  Residents are asked to continue social distancing, wearing masks and sanitizing and not to relax their efforts.

Stay home, stay stafe, stay healthy.