Westport Closes Schools, Some Public Facilities After Visitor Tests Positive for Coronavirus

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Schools in the Westport School District and some other public facilities are closed after a visitor tested positive for the coronavirus.

A statement on the school district’s website says that “a number of Westport parents and Westport Public School students, in schools throughout our district, were in contact with an individual presumed to be positive with coronavirus.”

Town officials said a visitor from overseas tested positive for the coronavirus. That man was at a private going-away party at a home last Thursday with around 40 people. Since that party, 14 people have come down with flu-like symptoms.

Mark Cooper, the director of Health at the Westport-Weston Health District, said he spoke to the patient Wednesday.

“(They) showed no symptomology whatsoever until they had left Westport. Symptoms did not occur until later on when they got home to their home country,” Cooper said.

Cooper added that the patient had mild flu-like symptoms so he went to his doctor, and contacted health officials when he got the diagnosis.

David Abbey, the interim superintendent of schools, said in a statement that the Westport School District will be closed until further notice after regular dismissal Wednesday. All after-school and evening activities, including athletics, are canceled as well.

“Immediately begin deep cleaning our schools and in conjunction with the Westport Weston Health District will be consulting with state and federal officials,” Abbey said in a statement.

Other public buildings including the library, town hall, and teen and senior centers are also closed.

There have been three positive tests for coronavirus in the state of Connecticut.

Officials said those patients are a Wilton man in his 40s or 50s, a woman in her 60s from Bethlehem, and an elderly New Canaan resident.

Several schools across the state are closing to clean or moving to remote learning. Get more information on what the schools are doing here.

Coronavirus Symptoms

The key symptoms of the coronavirus, according to the CDC are:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Symptoms can appear in infected persons two to 14 days after exposure.

Coronavirus Prevention Steps

Steps for prevention from the CDC include:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
    • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
    • Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, such as to the grocery store
    • Coverings should not be placed on children under 2, anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
    • The face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected
    • Do NOT use a facemask meant for a health care worker
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Steps to Self-Monitor for Coronavirus

Steps to self-monitor from the CDC include:

  1. Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
  2. Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
  3. Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
  4. Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).

If you do get sick with a fever, cough or have trouble breathing, call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room and communicate with your doctor about your recent travel.

  • If you develop symptoms, stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.

The CDC has a special website set up with details about the coronavirus, including how it spreads and treatment.

Anyone with questions relating to coronavirus can call 2-1-1 or text "CTCOVID" to 898211. The 2-1-1 hotline is available 24 hours a day.

You can also visit the state's coronavirus information website here. Residents are encouraged to check the website for answers to questions before calling the hotline.

Learn More About Coronavirus - COVID-19

Learn more here from the state about Coronavirus.

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