TOWN OF BLOOMFIELD UPDATE ON CORONAVIRUS 2019 (COVID-19) - TUESDAY, MARCH 31, 2020

FROM MAYOR DEBEATHAM-BROWN:

Click to view: State of Bloomfield Address. The Mayor and Town Manager provide updates on the current Coronavirus situation and the 2020 Census. 

Transcription of the Mayor and Town Manager's State of Bloomfield Address is as follows: 

MESSAGE FROM MAYOR Suzette DeBeatham-Brown

Thank you for your time today, I wanted to provide a few updates to you as well as some information that should be helpful in the coming weeks.

This emergency is unprecedented, frustrating, and challenging to us all – however, we are strong, we are together, and we are moving forward with the best approach possible.

Observe the directions from the health district and the governor, and reach out for help when you need it.

Working together, we will bring our community through this and take care of each other as we go.

We have our first positive case here in Bloomfield. I would like to remind you is that there might be more cases out there so I recommend that you treat everyone as if they were positive. You can help to flatten the curve by following the guidelines.

The governor has set the stay home stay safe campaign and I endorse that. The best way that we can help ourselves and each other is if we just shut in.

Our budget process will take on a different form this session but we want to make sure that our residents can still have input and ask questions. The budget is on the website and we have created a special email address for you to ask questions.....we will also have some of the deliberations video/live stream.

While we battle with our new normal for a while we still have to make sure that we count, #count Bloomfield....your census means a lot to your community, stand up and be counted. So as you begin to receive the 2020 census in the mail, please remember census 2020 fill it out, don’t throw it out.

State, local and tribal governments use census information for planning and allocating funds for new school construction, libraries, highway safety and public transportation systems, new roads and bridges, location of police and fire departments and many other projects. Did you know that last year the town of Bloomfield received just shy of $2.2 million directly from the census allocated funds from the federal government? Some of these programs include:

  •       National school lunch - $864,291
  •       School breakfast - $254,133
  •       Justice Assistance Grant Program (PD) - $17,560
  •       Special Education Grants - $541,110
  •       Title 1 Grants to Local Education Agencies - $396,698
  •       Improving Teacher Quality State Grants - $72,234
  •       Career and Technical Education - $31,480

For those that might be in need of health insurance...Access Health CT is holding a special enrollment period – contact https://www.accesshealthct.com/ahct/landingpagecthix

First congregational church in partnership with the town and others.....will be giving out grocery bags on Fridays. Http://firstchurchbloomfield.org/index.html

We are here to help, and our community will move through this together, helping each other as we face each day. The coming weeks will be anything but normal, but our community is strong – we need to focus on what we all need to do to reduce the impact of this virus, and avoid the anxiety that can result from uncertainty.

I encourage everyone to:

  • Stay at home as much as you can
  • Observe social distancing 
  • Follow the advice from the health district, and
  • Call for help if you need it

Do your part to minimize the impact of this virus – it will make a difference.

A FEW WORDS FROM THE TOWN MANAGER Robert Smith

Thank you for your time and please share this information with others.

In response to the Governor’s declaration of an emergency on March 10, the town immediately changed operations to comply with his directives. We also updated and then deployed the town’s emergency operations plan on March 12th and have been following that plan since.

The town, the school district, health district, police department, emergency management, volunteer ambulance, and fire departments are all communicating with each other to help us through this emergency.

We have been revising our operations every day, to reflect additional instructions we receive from the Governor’s office. In pursuit of social distancing and slowing the virus, to protect you as well as staff, we have instituted the following measures:

  • Our offices and buildings are closed to the public and are being cleaned
  • Non-essential personnel are working in offices on skeleton shifts. Many non-essential personnel are working from home
  • We are using the phone and emails in the office to cease person-to-person contact between staff while at work. We are providing information and services to the public via phone, email and internet/website communications
  • Essential personnel continue to report to work, and significant social distancing and use of personal protective equipment is ongoing
  • Public meetings during the emergency will be conducted in compliance with the Governor’s directives – we will make sure information on how to observe/participate is on our website as soon as possible.

Please frequently review the Town website where you will find information, and additional sources of information, that will help you as we move forward through this emergency.

Although town hall, the Libraries and the Human Services Buildings are closed to the public, we are at work, and answering phones -- we are here to serve. Please call the relevant department if you need services or have questions – referencing our website will be very helpful to you in finding the appropriate contact.

Senior, Social and Youth Services are under limited operations, check with those departments for detailed information.

Outdoor parks and trails are open, however basketball courts are closed. We are securing authorization to keep the golf course open.

Meals distribution is ongoing, in a ‘grab and go’ outdoor process at the human services building

Social and Youth Services continue to operate via phone and internet

The Clerk’s Office is operational across a limited range of services

Planning and development, as well as Building Inspections are operational

Essential personnel are reporting to work on a normal shift and operations continue normally – this would include the Town’s First Responders: Police and Bloomfield Volunteer Ambulance as well as the Public Works Department.

The response to this emergency is continuously shifting to deploy better social distancing and comply with the Governor’s Executive Directives. Please review our website frequently as information is updated, and our operations do change with the challenges presented each day.

Thank you and stay well!


GOVERNOR LAMONT:

GOVERNOR’S EXECUTIVE ORDERS: Click to view all Governor Lamont's Executive Orders

Executive Order 7N: Restriction of Social and Recreational Gatherings to No More Than 5 People.

Effective immediately, and through April 30, 2020, unless earlier modified, extended, or terminated by me, the prior order set forth in Executive Order No. 7D, prohibiting social and recreational gatherings of 50 people or more, is hereby amended and modified to require that all such gatherings of six (6) or more people, including but not limited to, community, civic, leisure, or sporting events; parades; conceits; festivals; plays or live performances; conventions; and similar activities, are prohibited throughout the State of Connecticut, except that religious, spiritual or worship gatherings shall not be subject to such increased restrictions, and shall instead remain subject to the prohibition on gatherings of 50 or more people, provided that they employ reasonable and appropriate distancing measures. To further clarify this order, it does not apply to government operations, private workplaces, retail establishments, or other activities that are not social or recreational gatherings.

Restrictions on Restaurant Payment and Pickup Operations.

Where reasonably practicable, restaurants, eating establishments, and any bars that remain open for sales of food for off-premise consumption, shall limit entrance of customers into their locations to the minimum extent necessary to pick up and/or pay for orders, use touchless payment systems, and require remote ordering and payment, whether by telephone, computer, mobile application, or other technology. Nothing in this order shall require any such business to acquire or use ordering or payment technology that they do not already possess, prohibit drive-through ordering and pickup, or prohibit in-person payment or cash payment where there is no reasonable alternative. Previously issued guidance for hospital and business cafeterias remains in effect.

Further Restrictions on Retail Operations.

Any retail establishment that has been allowed to remain open and permit customers inside such establishment during this public health and civil preparedness emergency shall take appropriate and reasonable measures to ensure customers maintain six feet of distance between each other, and to manage any resulting lines to maintain such distance while people are waiting to enter, and where reasonably practical, employ touchless payment technology if they already have such technology available.

Firearms Transactions by Appointment Only.

Effective immediately and through May 15, 2020, unless earlier modified, extended, or terminated by me, because the nature of certain regulated retail transactions, including purchase, sale, and transfer of firearms, ammunition, and their components or supplies, requires the customer's presence inside the business to accommodate certain parts of those transactions or associated background check processes, and in order to limit person-to-person contact as much as possible and manage the large increase in requests for authorizations for such transactions and the resulting burdens on the communications technology and public safety staff responsible for reviewing and providing such authorizations, any firearms dealer shall conduct all such transactions by appointment only, shall limit such appointments to a number that will maintain a distance of six feet between any customers and/or staff in a store, including customers and staff conducting such transactions, and shall allow entrance into their establishments only to those customers conducting such transactions.

Temporary Suspension of Tax on Single-Use Checkout Bags.

All provisions of Section 355 of Public Act 19-117, as codified in Section 22a- 246a of the 2020 Supplement to the Connecticut General Statutes, regarding single-use plastic checkout bags, are temporarily suspended through May 15, 2020, unless earlier modified, extended, or terminated by me. The Commissioner of Revenue Services shall issue any implementing order he deems necessary, and any guidance for businesses on accounting or other necessary measures during this temporary suspension.

Employees Not Required to Bag Items in Reusable Bags.

Effective immediately and through May 15, 2020, unless earlier modified, extended, or terminated by me, no employer in a retail establishment shall require any employee to bag any item in a customer-provided reusable bag, provided that nothing in this order shall prohibit customers who wish to use such reusable bags from doing so; such customers shall bag their own items where the employee of the retail establishment declines to do so.

Suspension of 21-month Limit on Temporary Family Assistance.

Section 17b-l 12 of the Connecticut General Statutes and any implementing regulations are modified to exclude from the statutory 21-month time limit on receipt of Temporary Family Assistance all months of such assistance received during the public health and civil preparedness emergency.

Suspension of School Testing Assessments for 2019-20 School Year.

The provisions of Section 10-14n of the Connecticut General Statutes related to the administration of all state summative and alternate assessments; Section 10-14t, related to the administration of universal screening reading assessment for students in Grades K-3; and Section 10-265g, related to the administration of reading assessments in priority districts at the end of the school year, are hereby suspended for the 2019-20 school year. Any associated regulations, rules, and policies regarding statewide assessments are modified to authorize the Commissioner of Education to temporarily waive any requirements contained therein as he deems necessary to respond to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unless otherwise specified herein, this order shall take effect immediately and shall remain in effect for the duration of the public health and civil preparedness emergency, unless earlier modified or terminated by the Governor.

Frequently Asked Questions on the State of Connecticut’s actions related to COVID-19. Please click the following link to access the Governor's FAQ document: Coronavirus/COVID-19-FAQs

The State of Connecticut has activated a framework for donations of Donations of Personal Protective Equipment.  Members of the public, businesses, and philanthropic organizations that wish to donate these vital materials can fill out the online form at www.211ct.org/DonationsCOVID19

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress intended to assist business owners: Small-Business-Owners-Guide-to-the-CARES-Act


THE WEST HARTFORD-BLOOMFIELD HEALTH DISTRICT:

580 Cottage Grove Rd, Suite 100, Bloomfield, CT 06002.  (860) 561-7900.  https://www.westhartfordct.gov/health

Due to the rapid escalation of COVID-19 cases across the country, in our state and our District and the proportionately small number of individuals that are actually being tested in CT, the Health District is moving to a model that assumes that anyone suffering fever, cough or difficulty breathing has COVID-19.

Please study this simple chart (COVID-19 Model: "What To Do If I...") to help you determine what actions you and your family need to take to protect yourselves and slow the spread of this virus in our communities.

HAVE YOU BEEN IN NYC IN THE PAST TWO WEEKS?

The cases of COVID-19 in NYC are increasing more rapidly than anywhere else in the United States. This means that individuals who have spent time in NYC are at greater risk of having been exposed to the virus.

If you have been to NYC in the past two weeks, you are being urged to self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of your return to prevent the spread of the virus.

This means:
    • Check your temperature in the morning and evening
    • Watch for other symptoms
    • If symptoms develop—Isolate yourself from household members
    • Avoid going out and being in groups

    • For more information about what self-quarantine means please see CDC website:

        https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html


Bloomfield has a confirmed case of COVID-19

The Town of Bloomfield received notice today from the West Hartford Bloomfield Health District (WHBHD) of the first confirmed case of Coronavirus Disease, COVID-19, in Bloomfield. Aimee Krauss, acting Director of the Health District, informed us that the resident is between 25-35 years of age, but cannot disclose the identity or location of the resident due to privacy rules.

The resident will remain in self-isolation and the West Hartford Bloomfield Health District will regularly monitor the health of the individual and perform contact tracing, in compliance with guidelines issued by the State Department of Public Health.  Anyone who has had close contact with the resident will be told to self-quarantine. These procedural guidelines have been issued by the Department of Public Health.

Bloomfield town officials have been working with both the State of Connecticut and the District to limit the spread of COVID-19 since the onset of the virus’ arrival to the United States. We are proceeding with the assumption that there are other cases already in the Bloomfield community at this time and that the number of confirmed cases is likely to rise significantly.

Mayor Suzette DeBeatham-Brown stated, “I would like to thank our community for cooperating with both the Governor’s and Health District’s instructions to slow the spread of this disease and I am asking for our residents' continued patience and vigilance as we work together to “flatten the curve” of this virus’ progression. I am reminding residents to continue to protect themselves, avoid exposure; wash their hands frequently and avoid touching their face with unwashed hands. Practice social distancing of 6 feet or greater with other people, and do not leave home unless it is absolutely necessary.”

What To Do if You Are Sick – If you display symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath, do not leave home except to receive medical care. Call your doctor if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19. Also do the following:

  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor
  • Separate yourself from other people in your home, this is known as home isolation
  • Wear a facemask if you are sick
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Monitor your symptoms
  • Be sure to get care if you feel worse or you think it is an emergency

There is currently no vaccine or treatment for COVID-19.


TOWN HALL:

All business will be conducted by appointment only: call or email during the hours of 9:00am to 5pm. A drop box at the entrance at Town Hall on the Park Avenue side of the building can accept any correspondence needing to be submitted.

              Assessor’s Office                860-769-3530                  https://www.bloomfieldct.gov/assessor

              Building                               860-769-3516                  https://www.bloomfieldct.gov/building

              Engineering                        860-7693524                    https://www.bloomfieldct.gov/engineering

              Finance                               860-769-3533                   https://www.bloomfieldct.gov/finance

              Human Resources              860-769-3544                   https://www.bloomfieldct.gov/human-resources

              Information Technology      860-769-3539                    https://www.bloomfieldct.gov/information-systems-and-technology

              Planning & Zoning              860-769-3515                    https://www.bloomfieldct.gov/planning-and-zoning

              Registrar’s                          860-769-3540                    https://www.bloomfieldct.gov/registrar-voters

             Tax Collector                        860-769-3510                   https://www.bloomfieldct.gov/tax-collector

              Town Clerk                          860-769-3507                    https://www.bloomfieldct.gov/town-clerk

              Town Manager                    860-769-3504                    https://www.bloomfieldct.gov/town-manager


BLOOMFIELD POLICE DEPARTMENT:

              General Number                 860-242-6060                 https://www.bloomfieldct.gov/police

Police Response During CoVID-19

https://www.bloomfieldct.gov/police/news/police-response-during-covid-19

VOLUNTEER AMBULANCE:            860-243-3482                 https://www.bloomfieldct.gov/volunteer-ambulance


BLOOMFIELD SCHOOLS:

Schools have been canceled, until further notice

860-769-4200    http://www.bloomfieldschools.org


ALVIN & BEATRICE WOOD HUMAN SERVICES:

All in-person programs are canceled. Although the building is closed to visitors, a number of services will still be provided as follows during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.:

Leisure Services:   860-243-2923

               https://www.bloomfieldrec.com/info/news/details.aspx?NewsID=4130

All parks will be open for use.

Senior Services: 860-243-8361 and 860-243-8364

https://www.bloomfieldct.gov/senior-services

Meals-on-wheels will continue.

Food Share is currently as scheduled.

Social & Youth Services: 860-242-1895

              https://www.bloomfieldct.gov/social-and-youth-services

The Bloomfield Food Bank will have available pre-packed bags for “curbside” pick-up during our Food Bank hours. Residents MUST call in advance for service.


PUBLIC LIBRARIES:

Bloomfield Public Libraries will be limiting service until further notice, all in-person programs are cancelled. Our physical locations will offer telephone and curbside service only. Please call ahead to request and schedule pickup of materials using this curbside service.

Prosser: 860-243-9721               McMahon Wintonbury: 860-242-0041   https://bplct.org

Book drops are open.

Book donations will not be accepted.

Digital locations and online resources are available 24/7


PUBLIC WORKS

860-243-1487   https://www.bloomfieldct.gov/public-works


STATE OF CONNECTICUT HEALTH DEPARTMENT'S COVID-19 WEBSITE

https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus


CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html


CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) WHAT YOU SHOULD DO

https://www.bloomfieldct.gov/sites/bloomfieldct/files/news/infographic_3...


DIAL 2-1-1 TO TALK TO A SPECIALIST FROM ANYWHERE IN CONNECTICUT

Help locating programs and services in your area, find information, discover options or deal with a crisis. If you are having difficulties using the 2-1-1-number, dial 1-800-203-1234.

Coronavirus information is also on the 2-1-1 website

https://uwc.211ct.org/coronavirus-novel-in-connecticut-general-information/

Be well, stay healthy, and use common sense.