Danbury Mayor Takes Look Back on City’s First COVID Case
It was one year ago this week that the first COVID-19 case showed up in Danbury. This week, Mayor Joe Cavo fills us in on what went on behind the scenes when the pandemic hit home.
The Mayor also gives us an update on how the city is getting the vaccine to the people and the future of the Dorothy Day Homeless Shelter.
It's been a year since the first COVID-19 case in Danbury and I know you were part of the team along with Mayor Mark that were the first to have to deal with it, so what was going on in city hall when you learned of that first case?
"The first thing we did was take a look at the situation and get an idea of what we we're seeing, how did we see it and where do we see the city going to best handle the cases. Our biggest concern was the safety of the public and we got into a room and huddled with our Health Department and the experts and tried to come up with the best course of action for Danbury as we waited for guidance from Federal and State authorities on exactly what we should be doing to control the spread."
So here we are a year later and we've got vaccination clinics set up all over the city including a big clinic at the Danbury Fair Mall.
"The CHC in conjunction with the Danbury Fair Mall and several state partners and federal partners were able to get that clinic started last week. We're hoping at some point they're going to be inoculating close to one thousand people a day. The city of Danbury's clinic did a closed clinic for our teachers and we were able to get over nine hundred doses administered to local school teachers and staff. We're moving and depending on how many vaccines we get a week, we're trying to get those distributed to as many people as possible so that we have none left by the end of the week and wait for our next allotment which comes every Monday."
Another big story in the city over the last week was the Dorothy Day Shelter which may be closing down the homeless part of their facility, and making a move to the Super 8 Motel. You've been talking about this for a while, so fill us in on the latest update.
"The homeless shelter at Dorothy Day has been shut down for almost a year now due to the pandemic. There were no facilities there to keep people six feet apart, we had the same issue with the city shelter as well. At the time the state and the city had some conversations and involved a company out of Stamford called Pacific House who runs a shelter in Stamford for their homeless and they have a great model. They actually provide wrap around services to people, which is not just a bed and a meal at night, it provides other services like job counseling, addiction services, career guidance and re-housing. The model we felt was really very good and would fit well here in Danbury. The State partnered up with Pacific House and so did the city of Danbury and chose the Super 8 Motel as the location to do this. It's been working very well, they have re-housed about seventy five people so far during the past year. They have the ability to keep people spaced apart during COVID so we don't have to worry about that. We are looking at a more permanent solution and for the Super 8 Motel to take on the role of being a complete homeless wrap around service, that would really work on ending the homeless situation here in Danbury."