Stern words from leader after first COVID-19 case in Newtown
NEWTOWN - News of Newtown’s first confirmed coronavirus case Sunday did more than merely add a number to Connecticut’s tally of those infected, which is now over 325.
The news brought home a pandemic that has caused a public health crisis in Connecticut and across the United States.
And First Selectman Dan Rosenthal said it was time to take the crisis seriously.
“People are getting outside, which is great, but far too many people are getting together in large groups to do it,” Rosenthal said in a message to Newtowners on Sunday. “This is unacceptable and frankly, reckless.”
The infected Newtown resident, described as woman between 25 and 49, was in quarantine and receiving treatment at home, according to the Newtown Health District.
“Positive cases of COVID-19 in Newtown have been expected as community transmission of the virus has been occurring in the area” said Donna Culbert director of the Newtown Health District.
Rosenthal said that individual decisions involving freedom of choice were secondary to the common good during a public health crisis.
“This virus isn’t about you or me, it’s about our collective efforts to protect the vulnerable,” Rosenthal said on Sunday. “It’s not complicated, wash your hands regularly and stay away from one another.”
If Newtowners don’t modify their own behavior, the government will, Rosenthal said.
If the crisis gets worse, he said “it is more likely that future orders from the federal and state governments become more extreme.”
The coronavirus has infected 350,000 people worldwide and killed 15,000, the Associated Press reported Monday. The United States has 35,000 cases and more than 400 deaths. In Connecticut, eight people have died since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed at Danbury Hospital on March 8.