WALLINGFORD, CT — A “large portion” of Wallingford’s coronavirus cases in October came from a single event in town, according to Health Director Stephen Civitelli.
In an update to the Town Council this week, Civitelli said health officials were able to contact trace the confirmed COVID-19 cases to the event and found there were relationships with multiple people that also ended up impacting schools.
Civitelli provided the update at Tuesday night’s meeting, which was the first in-person Town Council meeting since April because of the coronavirus pandemic. The decision to resume in-person council meetings was criticized by several people on the Wallingford Patch Neighbor Post page and a speaker at the meeting.
Coronavirus cases have been on the rise in Wallingford in October. There were 20 confirmed cases as of Oct. 13, compared to 33 cases in September, 24 in August and 18 in July.
There were 1,928 tests conducted from Sept. 26 to Oct. 3 with a positive test rate of .7 percent, according to Civitelli.
Phase 3 of the state’s reopening, which increased indoor restaurant and personal service capacity from 50 to 75 percent, began Oct. 8 and Civitelli said health officials are trying to monitor reopenings with the cases and “how we react to that as a community.”
“We’re trying to monitor everything as best we can to try and get a grasp on where cases are and get to those quickly, so that we can identify the situation and try to isolate the people before it becomes a greater issue,” Civitelli said.
Civitelli, who was appointed this week to Gov. Ned Lamont’s Vaccine Advisory Group, compared Wallingford’s case rate to two cities that were recently assigned a “Red” alert level for the state’s coronavirus warning system. Towns in the red threshold have the option to scale back to the state’s second reopening phase.
Based on a new case rate per 100,000 population, New London had a 14-day rolling average of 30.5, Norwich was 46.9 and Wallingford was at 3.7, according to Civitelli.
The school district notified parents several times within the past week of confirmed COVID-19 cases at five different schools. Councilor Chris Shortell asked Civitelli if there is a concern about the school system.
Civitelli said “not at this point” because contact tracing showed the cases originated from within the community and were not spread from students in the same cohort at school.
“If we’re identifying where everything is coming from, that’s a good thing,” Civitelli said. “It’s when I can’t wrap my arms around it, and there’s no way where I can trace it back, then that’s where we’re back in April and early May where it was just so widespread. At that point, then you have true community spread. As of right now, it seems like it’s fairly steady.”
In-person meetings resume in Wallingford
Council Chairman Vincent Cervoni opened the meeting saying it was “appropriate” for the council to resume in-person meetings.
“In the past month, children of Wallingford have returned