MONROE — As state officials begin forming strategy for “re-opening” Connecticut, the town now mourns the deaths of four residents from coronavirus-related complications.

In all, through Wednesday, Monroe has 66 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19.

“Our hearts go out to those families,” said First Selectman Ken Kellogg in an email statement.

“Roughly two weeks ago, I started discussions with state and local officials regarding Monroe's long-term recovery,” added Kellogg. “While we must consider and address public health concerns first and foremost, we must also be prepared to position Monroe for a strong recovery for our community and local economy. As we continue to plan in this regard, I will be sharing more details in the future.”

Statewide, positive cases topped 22,000 — 9,883 of those in Fairfield County — with 1,544 deaths from COVID-19-related complications. Overall, there are 1,972 people hospitalized with COVID-19. The numbers have prompted Gov. Ned Lamont to order that all residents wear masks or facial coverings when in public while also maintaining social distancing if leaving their home is necessary.

In Monroe, 28 percent of the positives are people between 50 and 59 years of age, followed by 21 percent for those between 60 and 69. People ages 90 and older are 1 percent; 80 to 89 are 3 percent; 70 to 79 are 7 percent; 40 to 49 are 13 percent; 30 to 39 are 13 percent; and 20 to 29 are 13 percent of the total positives.

“We are awaiting further details regarding the future strategy on re-opening Connecticut,” said Kellogg. “Yesterday we were advised that the governor's task force would be releasing further details in the very near future.”

Kellogg said any strategy relies on significantly more testing throughout the state, as well as more resources to return to contact tracing efforts, in a more robust fashion, in roughly three weeks.

“This will include a new, state-provided technology platform to coordinate with local health departments, as well as a significant increase in state Department of Public Health personnel to conduct contact tracing activities,” said Kellogg.

A donation page has been established on the town’s website to make it easier to donate to local assistance programs.

Donations can be made to Monroe Community and Social Services, the Monroe Food Pantry, Project Warmth, the Monroe Volunteer Emergency Medical Service, the Monroe Community and Emergency Response Team and to any of the town’s COVID-19 response efforts.

Also, residents making homemade masks and cloth face coverings to comply with the governor’s executive order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus now have the option of helping others in need.

Donations can be placed in a drop off box in front of the Monroe Senior Center, 235 Cutlers Farm Road. The town website has a link for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s instructions and videos showing how to make a face mask with the sew and no-sew method.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com