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COVID-19 Town & Library Services

VIRTUAL TOWN COUNCIL MEETING Monday April 6 at 6:30pm   AGENDA | MEETING

TOWN OF WEST HARTFORD
• STATE OF CONNECTICUT 
• WEST HARTFORD LIBRARIES 

West Hartford Libraries buildings are closed as a precaution to help contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus, but please call or text us with your questions or concerns:

LIBRARY PHONE SERVICE: 860-561-6990 or 860-561-6991
PHONE SERVICE HOURS: 
 Monday through Friday from 9:00AM-5:00PM
TEXT
to the Library: 860-935-2898 (9:00AM to 5:00PM weekdays)

EMAIL: askalib@westhartfordlibrary.org
CHAT
with a LIBRARIAN (Monday through Friday, 9:00AM to 4:30PM)

APPLY for a temporary LIBRARY CARD online.
DUE DATES: If you have library materials checked out, please keep them at home. There will be no fines incurred during our temporary closure.

BOOKDROPS: Bookdrops are closed at all locations. 
HOLDS:  If you have materials currently on hold, we will keep them on the hold shelf until libraries reopen. 
LIBRARY CARDS: We are automatically renewing any cards that expire. 

 

TOWN OF WEST HARTFORD https://www.westhartfordct.gov/  
Assessment - (860) 561-7414  
Building Inspection – (860) 561-7530   
Community Development – (860) 561-7520    
Engineering – (860) 561-7540   
Financial Services – (860) 561-7460    
Fire Marshal – (860) 561-8320 
Food Pantry – (860) 561-7580 
Human Resources – (860) 561-7480   
Information Technology – (860) 561-6636   
Mayor’s Office – (860) 561-7440   
Parking Tickets - (860) 561-7475    
Permits - (860) 561-7530    
Planning – (860) 561-7555    
Recreation (Leisure Services) - (860) 561-7510   
Registrar of Voters - (860) 561-7450    
Schools Administration - (860) 561-6600  
https://www.whps.org/district-info/coronavirus-covid-19   
Social Services - (860) 561-7561    
Tax Office - (860) 561-7474    
Town Clerk - (860) 561-7430     
Town Manager – (860) 561-7440     
Town Hall (Main Number) - (860) 561-7500    
West Hartford Library – (860) 561-6990, (860) 561-6991, text (860) 561-935-2898  
Zoning - (860) 561-7555

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WEST HARTFORD PUBLIC SCHOOLS 

https://www.whps.org/district-info/coronavirus-covid-19

WHPS "Grab and Go" Breakfast and Lunch Bags
https://www.smore.com/jxwvz 

FOOD PROGRAMS in the West Hartford Area 
http://www.westhartfordlibrary.org/services/virus/food_programs.asp

WEST HARTFORD BUSINESS UPDATES: COVID-19 Resources
https://admin.westhartfordct.gov/gov/departments/economic_development/default.asp
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) for Businesses 

WEST HARTFORD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 
https://www.whchamber.com/corona-virus-covid19-info  

WEST HARTFORD TOWN NOTICES (during Coronavirus):  

Track and Turf Fields are closed at the high schools (April 3, 2020)
WEST HARTFORD, CT  -- To enforce essential physical distancing, the Town of West Hartford has closed tracks and turf fields at both high schools. All fields are closed for organized or pick up sports.  

Other recreational facilities that are already closed include all playscapes, and basketball, tennis and pickle ball courts town- wide.

Currently, our public green spaces and parks are open but only if there is compliance with social distance protocols to protect the health of all members of our community and if people cannot comply, they will be closed. This also applies to the MDC properties in our town. If the MDC parking lots are full, please return at another time. Do not park on the street or the grass – you will be ticketed for non-compliance. 

Tennis Courts and Golf Courses are now closed (April 1, 2020)
WEST HARTFORD, CT  Due to public health concerns created by the COVID-19 virus, the Town of West Hartford has temporarily closed tennis and pickleball courts. The Town has also decided to keep the Rockledge and Buena Vista golf courses closed for an indefinite period. 

Parks, fields, and trails remain open for now, but groups of more than five people are prohibited pursuant to state law.

On March 25, 2020, the Town closed playground equipment (playscapes) and basketball courts at its municipal facilities and schools because large groups of people were gathering to play.

“We are at a critical stage of this highly contagious and dangerous virus. Our main objective is to prevent people from congregating in order to suppress the spread of COVID-19,” said Helen Rubino-Turco, Director of Leisure Services & Social Services. “We will continue to evaluate conditions and reopen these facilities as soon as we feel it is safe to do so.”

Mayor Shari Cantor added, “We recognize, appreciate, and value the benefits of being outdoors and the ability to be physically active while we are all complying with the statewide stay at home directive.

“The health and safety of our community is our primary concern and it is critical that we all follow the CDC’s guidance by physical distancing of at least six feet and not congregating with people. We need to temporarily close these recreational assets to allow us to enforce physical distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Cantor said.

 

West Hartford Coordinates with State in Restricting Social and Recreational Gatherings to No More Than Five People (March 28, 2020)  
WEST HARTFORD, CT  In light of Governor Lamont’s decision to restrict social and recreational gatherings to no more than five people, West Hartford Town Manager Matt Hart announced that he has terminated a local executive order he issued that similarly restricted gatherings. The Governor’s restriction will apply to West Hartford and all other Connecticut communities.


“Increasing physical distancing is critical to slowing the spread of COVID-19, and so we are appreciative of the Governor’s decision to further restrict recreational and social gatherings,” Hart said. “It is important to have one consistent standard. With the Governor’s recent action, my order is no longer necessary. ”

“We are thankful to the Governor for his strong decisive leadership for coordinating the statewide response and imposing the needed statewide restrictions to minimize community spread of Covid-19. The Governor’s accommodations have been important to allow municipal governments to function during these unprecedented times,” Mayor Shari Cantor said.  

“We are making a concerted effort to reach out to our town residents through a variety of ways urging them to stay home and to not congregate,” Mayor Shari Cantor said.  “We need to protect each other by physical distancing and we will get through this with everyone’s strength, patience and help.”

Local Executive Order 2020-1 was terminated March 27, 2020.

Celebrate! West Hartford is canceled (March 27, 2020, 8:30AM)
WEST HARTFORD, CT – West Hartford Town Manager Matt Hart announced today that West Hartford’s signature event, Celebrate! West Hartford, scheduled for June 6
th and 7th, is canceled.

This decision was made in conjunction with the Celebrate! West Hartford Committee, Mayor Shari Cantor, Town leaders including the Directors of Public Works and Social & Leisure Services, Fire and Police Chiefs, and the Acting Director of the Bloomfield-West Hartford Health District.

“As a Town-sponsored event, Celebrate! West Hartford requires time and attention from many Town departments and employees in the months and weeks leading up to it. During this unprecedented time responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, our first priority must be the health and well-being of our residents,” explained Hart.

Mayor Cantor remarked that, “The extreme measures and sacrifices that we are making now are an effort to get back to our normal way of life as quickly as possible.”

“We know many families look forward to the festival every year. For now, we must be responsible to each other and unfortunately canceling this event is the right decision,” said Committee Chair Mary Alexander. “We will all be back better than ever next year.”

Playgrounds, Basketball Courts are closed (March 25, 2020, 7:30PM) 
WEST HARTFORD, CT   Due to public health concerns created by the COVID-19 virus, the Town of West Hartford has temporarily closed playground equipment (playscapes) and basketball courts at its municipal facilities and schools. The parks, fields, trails and tennis/pickleball courts remain open for now.

We recognize, appreciate and value the benefits of being outdoors and maintaining physical activity while we are staying home. It is critical to the health of our community that people visiting these spaces follow the CDC guidance by maintaining physical distance of six feet with people other than those you live with and not congregating in groups. If we are unable to manage compliance with these guidelines, these facilities will need to be closed. #besafe #stayhome

First case of COVID-19 confirmed (March 20, 2020, 2:20PM)  
WEST HARTFORD, CT – West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor announced that the Town received notice today from the West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District (the “Health District”) of the first confirmed case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (”COVID-19”) in West Hartford.

“We knew it was only a matter of time before there was a confirmed case in West Hartford, given that community spread has already been established in our region,” said Mayor Cantor. “West Hartford is well prepared to deal with the influx of new cases, which is inevitable. We must assume that there are other cases already in our community at this time, and that the number will go up significantly. I am calling on all West Hartford residents to heed instructions by public health officials to ‘flatten the curve’ and slow the spread of the disease.”

Aimee Krauss, Acting Director of the Health District, said that the resident is between the ages of 20 and 30 years old. The Health District cannot disclose the identity or location of the resident due to privacy rules.

The resident will remain in isolation and the Health District will regularly monitor her health 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.

“If you have any symptoms of illness, including fever, cough or shortness of breath, you should not leave home except to receive medical care,” said Krauss. “Stay in touch with your healthcare provider. Call before you get medical care. 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, and so the best way for individuals to protect themselves is to avoid being exposed. This means washing hands frequently, avoiding close contact with other people (within about 6 feet), and not leaving home unless absolutely necessary.

Town officials have been coordinating for months with the State of Connecticut and the Health District to ensure that a structure is in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Residents can also get more information at the Town’s website, www.westhartfordct.gov/covid19.

Town Hall Offices Close (March 19, 2020)
Executive Order prohibits gatherings of 10+
West Hartford Joins Regional Municipalities In Prohibiting Gatherings Of More Than Ten People

WEST HARTFORD, CT – Today Town Manager Matt Hart announced that pursuant to Mayor Shari Cantor’s recent Emergency Declaration he is issuing an Executive Order to prohibit social and recreational gatherings of more than ten people. The social and recreational activities include, but are not limited to: community, civic, and sporting events; plays or live performances; and religious, spiritual, or worship gatherings. Several other municipalities in the region have issued similar orders. The Town Manager’s order will take effect March 20, 2020 and will be enforced by the West Hartford Police Department.

Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control issued guidance that all events of ten or more people should be cancelled. The emergency order runs through April 30, 2020, but may be modified, extended, or terminated at any time.

Mayor Shari Cantor stated: “Each day the number of COVID-19 cases is increasing rapidly in Connecticut and it is undoubtedly here in West Hartford. This executive order is a life-saving measure as we have to take every precaution available to us to slow the spread of this deadly disease. I call upon all members of the West Hartford community to do everything in their power to assist us in this effort.”

Town Manager Matt Hart stated: “Consistent with CDC guidance, I am issuing this emergency order to emphasize that everyone must minimize contact with others if we are going to be successful in slowing down the spread of COVID-19. We will use this emergency order to direct people to stop congregating in groups of more than ten, as we do everything possible to get the word out about the importance of social distancing. We realize that this a significant step to take but believe that it is fully warranted given the magnitude of the public health crisis that we are facing.”

Town Hall Offices Closed at Noon (March 16, 2020) 
Mayor Shari Cantor and Town Manager Matt Hart announced that Town Hall offices would close at noon today so that town officials can evaluate and modify operations to ensure the continued delivery of essential municipal services.

Following the Mayor's State of Emergency declaration, these additional measures are being taken.

Town Manager Matt Hart said, “Given the growing concern regarding community spread of this virus, I have made the decision to close Town Hall to the public beginning at noon today. Town employees that are not critical to operations will be notified that they should not report to work during this temporary closure. Over the next several days, our management team will develop an operations plan for the re-opening of Town Hall later this week.”

The Town Hall closure follows a decision made on March 12, 2020, to close the following facilities for two weeks: West Hartford Public Schools, Veterans Memorial Skating Rink, Cornerstone Aquatics Center, West Hartford Senior Center, Elmwood Senior Center, Elmwood Community Center, Hillcrest Area Neighborhood Outreach Center, and the three libraries.

“We encourage residents to continue doing business with the Town via our web site, www.westhartfordct.gov, and by phone,” said Mayor Shari Cantor.

 West Hartford Declares State of Emergency (March 15, 2020)

West Hartford Mayor Shari G. Cantor announced today, Sunday, March 15, 2020, at 7:30PM, that she has declared a State of Emergency in West Hartford in response to the global pandemic of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”).

“Our public health and safety officials are already fully mobilized and taking the necessary steps to protect West Hartford residents from the effects of COVID-19,” Mayor Cantor said.  “This additional step is intended to reinforce the seriousness of the public health crisis, and to make sure Town government has maximum flexibility and the authority to quickly respond as conditions change.”

“The reason these measures need to be followed is so we can flatten the curve of the spread of the virus,” said Aimee Krauss, acting director of West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District. “This means taking precautions even by people who are not sick or at high-risk to help mitigate a surge in cases that could overwhelm the hospital system.”

The goal is no longer to prevent the virus from spreading freely from person to person, instead, the objective is to spread out the inevitable infections so that the healthcare system isn’t overwhelmed with patients.

In making the emergency declaration, Mayor Cantor said she is asking West Hartford residents and businesses to take the following steps to prevent community spread of COVID-19:

• Families should keep young children and students at home to the extent feasible
• Religious organizations are encouraged to conduct services in a virtual mode and limit in-person services to reduce the occupancy by 50% to create adequate spacing between seating, in accordance with CDC recommendations
• Businesses should require their employees to work from home, wherever feasible
• Businesses should consider staggering or reducing hours of operation
• Food Service Establishments/Restaurants should cut their occupancy rate by 50% to create adequate spacing between seating, in accordance with CDC recommendations
• Food Service Establishments/Restaurants should encourage patrons to use their take-out service instead of dining-in
• Grocery stores should discontinue offering samples and providing self-service stations (ex: soup and salad bars)
• Restaurants and establishments should cancel all gatherings and special events and celebrations
• Official and unofficial sports activities, including games and practices, should be canceled

Town Manager Matthew W. Hart said that Town public safety officials and officials with the West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District are working closely with state and federal authorities to coordinate the response.  He noted that Governor Ned Lamont has already issued several Executive Orders to prevent community spread, including a prohibition on large gatherings. 

“This is a historic and unprecedented public health crisis, the likes of which the world has not faced in more than a century,” Mayor Cantor said.  “But West Hartford is a resilient community that has properly invested in public safety infrastructure, and we have planned and drilled for the most serious contingencies.  With the cooperation of our residents, we will endure and emerge stronger.”

West Hartford Community Advisory Notification System (March 15, 2020)
Good evening. This is Mayor Shari Cantor.

I am calling you tonight (3/15/2020) to announce that earlier this evening, in response to the global pandemic of COVID-19, I declared a State of Emergency for the Town of West Hartford.

Our public health and safety officials are already fully mobilized and taking the necessary steps to protect West Hartford residents from the effects of COVID-19.  This additional step is intended to reinforce the seriousness of the public health crisis, and to make sure Town government has maximum flexibility and the authority to quickly respond as conditions change.

In making this emergency declaration, we are asking residents and businesses to abide by certain restrictions, available on the Town website, www.westhartfordct.gov, that will help flatten the curve of the spread of the virus.  This means taking precautions even by people who are not sick or at high-risk to help mitigate a surge in cases that could overwhelm the hospital system.  These restrictions are in addition to those already mandated by President and the Governor.  The most important thing you can do is avoid groups and stay home. 

The goal is no longer to prevent the virus from spreading freely from person to person.  Instead, the objective is to spread out the inevitable infections so that the healthcare system is not overwhelmed with patients.

This is an historic and unprecedented public health crisis, the likes of which the world has not faced in more than a century.  However, West Hartford is a resilient community that has properly invested in public safety infrastructure, and we have planned and drilled for the most serious contingencies.  With the cooperation of our residents, we will endure this crisis and emerge stronger.

If you have additional questions or seek more information, please call 860-561-6990 or 2-1-1, or visit these web pages:
www.westhartfordct.gov/covid19,
https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus,
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

STATE OF CONNECTICUT 
Connecticut’s response to COVID-19: https://portal.ct.gov/coronavirus
All of Governor Ned Lamont's: Executive Orders 

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