‘We need to stay focused’: Ridgefield first selectman urges vigilance as COVID tracing begins

Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi

Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi

Bryan Haeffele / Hearst Connecticut Media

RIDGEFIELD — A contact tracing operation is starting in town, where there remains about a 1 percent positivity rate for COVID-19.

Ridgefield has 1.04 percent positive results after a new case was confirmed in the last five days, First Selectman Rudy Marconi said Wednesday.

“We’ve been hovering right at that 1 percent level,” Marconi said.

Ridgefield now has 260 coronavirus cases since the pandemic hit the area in March. The town has used an $83,000 grant from the state Department of Public Health to launch a contact tracing program.

Marconi said the town has four volunteers who will work with the local health department to help trace the positive cases.

“These will be four very well trained, very specific contact tracers, that will be working on the positive cases in our town and the related contacts that those people have had,” Marconi said.

During last week’s selectman’s meeting, Marconi said five cases in recent weeks all involved residents in their upper teens and 20s.

Marconi said Health Director Ed Briggs has not been concerned with the recent cases.

“Ed’s point is what we’re seeing is very, very little in terms of serious increases,” Marconi said.

“The number of cases we’re seeing in not alarming in Ridgefield.”

Marconi compared Ridgefield to Danbury, which had a public health alert after finding 178 new COVID-19 cases in the first three weeks of August.

“Looking at Danbury, their case load was huge — the spike that they saw, it was tremendous,” Marconi said. “It’s not even on our radar. Danbury exploded. The result was the mayor came out, shut down all the sports programs — really had to clamp down hard on it.

“But here in Ridgefield, we’ve been OK and we’re in pretty good control,” Marconi said.

Marconi credited Ridgefield residents for following safety protocols to help keep the cases down. But that doesn’t mean Ridgefielders can afford to relax these measures.

“We need to stay focused,” Marconi said. “This virus is still out there. And it still can spread and it still can spike.”