A Message from the Town Manager
Coventry Declares a Declaration of Public Health and Civil Preparedness
The Town of Coventry’s emergency team is monitoring the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on our community, and remains in close communications with local and state public health, and safety officials. At this time, most normal Town government operations will continue. Coventry Public Schools, in consultation with the Eastern Highlands Health District, has decided to cancel school for the two-week period of March 16, 2020 through March 27, 2020. School office staff will be available during this period. The Booth Dimmock Library will also be closing on March 16h for two weeks. Other certain public events may be canceled or postponed as this event unfolds. The health of our residents, students, staff, and families is a top priority. To be proactive, I have declared a Public Health and Civil Preparedness Emergency. This situation is ever changing and we want to stay ahead of the curve to be able to adjust as new needs arise.
For updated information on COVID-19 call 211, or visit the State of Connecticut’s website at https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus
Please note that we are implementing the following protocols in response to COVID-19 out of caution:
For our employees:
• All official business travel outside of Connecticut has been cancelled. Any previously requested or approved travel for official business is subject to review by the Town Manager.
• Whenever possible, business meetings should be conducted remotely through teleconference or online collaboration, especially with out-of-state contractors or visitors.
• You should stay home from work when you are sick.
For our Coventry community:
• Please do not panic. Out of an abundance of caution, Coventry has declared a Public Health and Civil Preparedness Emergency. This is a state of increased readiness and is the first step in the standard National emergency procedures. We recognize that the majority of people will be okay, but we are taking action to protect our most vulnerable citizens who are at higher risk. These include those age 70 or older, and/or those with chronic conditions or weakened immune systems. If you fall into one of these categories, you are strongly encouraged not to attend meetings or events with large numbers of people. This reduces your exposures. Check before you leave for an event since many are cancelling.
• We are working to increase our cleaning procedures for all municipal facilities including raising the frequency and intensity of disinfection. Common touchpoints such as doorknobs and handles shall receive special attention.
• The Senior Center (lodge) will be operating for core functions and will be temporarily closed to all outside rentals to the public, beginning March 16, until further notice. This will reduce some surface contamination exposures. We are also working on proactive measures and assistance for our Seniors. We have cancelled the Senior Rides program except for medical appointments. All special programs and meals at the center have been cancelled. We will make special arrangements for picking up prescriptions and critical supplies. Contact the Senior Center during office hours at 860 742- 3525 for assistance.
• Access to some other Town facilities may have limited access for the public. All offices will remain accessible by telephone or email.
• Please reconsider attending large gatherings. This situation is constantly evolving. Right now, the guidance from the State of Connecticut stipulates that you are to avoid gatherings of 100 people or more, but this number is ever changing. If you are planning to attend an event where you will be in close proximity to many other people, please consider skipping it.
There are many things you can do as an individual and a family to plan and prepare for the spread of this illness in our community. You can find more information on this matter at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/home/index.html
In conjunction with Eastern Highlands Health District (www.ehhd.org) we are recommending the following controls to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases in our workplaces, homes, and schools:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with sick people.
• You should stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
• Obtain a flu vaccine.
We will continue to provide updates on this evolving situation. Again, for more information on COVID-19 please visit the State of Connecticut’s website at https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus or call 211.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. We will be in touch as things change or we need your help in helping others
John Elsesser, Town Manager
March 14, 2020