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New Fairfield Town and School Budgets Presented at Board of Finance Public Hearing
March 12, 2020
A Selectman’s View – 3/19
March 19, 2020

 

By nature, we are social creatures.  We enjoy the company of our friends and family to celebrate the good times and to seek comfort in the bad.   We enjoy going to work and participating in our community.  We look forward to socializing at our local pubs and restaurants and catching a movie on date night.  Coming to grips with the idea that we must practice “social distancing” is hard – for all of us.  But it is the single most important thing that we can do to slow the spread of the coronavirus and protect our community – especially our parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors who may be most vulnerable to the illness.  To encourage social distancing, the most recent guidelines from the CDC include the following:

  • Work from home whenever possible,
  • Avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people (gatherings of more than 50 people are banned in Connecticut),
  • Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips and social visits,
  • Do not visit nursing homes, retirement homes or long term care facilities, and
  • Continue to practice good hygiene (Wash your hands often, avoid touching your face, avoid close contact with people who are sick, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces).

To limit large gatherings in Connecticut and neighboring states, restaurants and bars have been limited to take-out and delivery services and the sale of alcohol at these establishments is prohibited.  Indoor gyms, fitness centers, fitness studios and all movie theaters have also been closed through April 30.  These restrictions will have a tremendous impact on our local businesses.  Our small business owners are generous members of our community who support our schools, sports clubs, town events, scouts and more – please support them now, when they need us.  Try some take-out, or buy a gift certificate to a gym or fitness studio.  Our Economic Development Commission will be helping our small business owners apply for federal and state assistance as it becomes available.

Social distancing has impacted Town government as well.  The Senior Center, Library, Town Hall and Public Works Department will remain closed to the public until further notice.  Employees will continue to answer phones and respond to your e-mails, and you may apply for building permits, purchase Drop Off Center passes, register for Park and Rec programs and pay taxes online.  With social distancing in mind, the Governor has relaxed the requirements for open meetings.  Therefore, while we will continue to hold critical Board and Commission meetings, from this point forward we will use video and tele-conferencing in lieu of in person meetings.  Information will be posted on the Town website and Facebook page providing details of how the public can access these meetings and participate in public comment.

Danbury Hospital has also posted important information on drive-through testing for COVID-19 and patient visitation.  Pre-screened people with symptoms of coronavirus can now use the COVID19 drive-through collection site at Danbury Hospital to give a specimen sample. The collection site is ONLY for people who meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • You called your doctor’s office and had a consultation
  • Your doctor determined you meet criteria for COVID-19 testing and ordered a test for you, and
  • You have an appointment at the collection facility.

The Hospital has suspended patient visitation except for active Labor and Delivery, Pediatric, NICU, and Nursery.   Extenuating Circumstances will also be considered.  Other helpful information can be found at www.westernconnecticuthealthnetwork.org.

The New Fairfield Health Department will continue to provide the most current information on the virus as it becomes available.  This information is posted on the New Fairfield Health Department Facebook page and web page and on the CT Department of Public Health website.  Links to these and other reliable sources of information can be found on the home page of the Town of New Fairfield website, www.newfairfield.org.  We will be providing regular updates about virus transmission, containment efforts and any other evolving information as it becomes available.  I will also continue to share Governor Lamont’s daily updates as well as other important information on the Town of New Fairfield Facebook Page.

Hang in there, New Fairfield – you’ve got this.  If you need some help, or have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us at 203-312-5600.

  • Pat Del Monaco, First Selectman