MONROE, CT — First Selectman Ken Kellogg informed the town that six residents tested positive for COVID-19, but several residents want to know more. Some have asked what part of town these residents live in, their ages and how they may have been infected.
“People are asking,” Kellogg said Monday. “I want to make sure we share what is reasonable and legal.”
He said the pandemic is already past the point of where medical experts are trying to trace the origin of new infections. “We’re at the point where we have to assume there is community transmission,” Kellogg said.
The first selectman also said the town cannot release more specific information on where those who are infected live.
But he did say some communities have already been releasing ages and gender.
“I believe it will likely be allowed,” Kellogg said. “I would like to have some clarity that what we’re doing is approved. A lawyer for the state of Connecticut’s emergency management will tell us what we can and cannot do. I want to know definitively.”
Kellogg said townspeople should also realize there can be a delay in when the town receives information on confirmed cases from the state.
For example, by the time town officials are informed of a new case, Kellogg said, “the positive test result could be a week or more old at this point. The person’s case could be fully resolved.”
The first selectman said he will try to get more information on what details can be released to the public. He participates in several briefings throughout the week, from public health and emergency management to calls that include Gov. Ned Lamont.
“We’re all kind of just watching the numbers and trying to brace ourselves for more cases,” Kellogg said.
All of Monroe’s town meetings have been cancelled this week as residents practice social distancing to slow the spread of the virus. “We all have to hang in there,” Kellogg said. “We need to keep doing what we’re doing and work together.”
“We all have to deal with a certain level of uncertainty, but we’re doing what we can based on the information available,” he said. “We are on calls frequently, but we don’t get advanced information. We have to wait for something to come out and act accordingly when it does.”