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Haddam COVID-19 Update: March 31, 2020

By Bob McGarry.

(March 31, 2020) — Since last week’s update the Governor has issued five executive orders (EO). Here are the highlights that affect most of us.

EO 7L extended the school closures until April 20th, opened fishing season early and modified requirements for a marriage license and access to copies of vital records.

EO 7M extended some filing and statutory deadlines.

EO 7N reduced the limit for gatherings from 10 people to 5, suspended the $.10 fee on plastic bags and prohibited stores from requiring employees to fill your reusable bags.

More details as well as copies of all of the EOs can be found at https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus.

The President issued disaster declarations for Connecticut and 19 other states. These are primarily for financial reimbursement purposes and not an indication that the situation is getting worse than expected. To be honest we don’t know what to expect for sure; none of us has been through a global pandemic. On the good news side, the University of Washington Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation maintains projections of the COVID-19 hospital bed usage for the outbreak by state. Their projection for CT has improved since I checked it yesterday. They predict the need for beds will peak on April 10th and drop off dramatically until demand ends in mid-May. I wouldn’t bet the farm on it, but it’s a glimmer of hope. Here’s the link if you want to know more https://covid19.healthdata.org/projections.

The United Way of CT has a COVID-19 website uwc.211ct.org/covid19resources. It has links to information and resources on:

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Financial Assistance – For Businesses

Financial Assistance – For Individuals & Families

Housing

Healthcare & Insurance

Food & Nutrition

Transportation, Utilities & Other Basic Needs

Emotional & Family Support

Volunteers & Donations

On a more local level as of noon Sunday there were 13 positive COVID-19 cases in our health district, Haddam, Clinton, Deep River, Old Saybrook, and Chester. Unfortunately, that includes a fatal case in Clinton. We still only have one positive case in town. All this is based on test results, I’m sure there are more we don’t know about. Other local items:

Parks & Playscapes – If all the quality time you’re spending cooped up with your loved ones is starting to drive you a little crazy, don’t feel like you’re the only one. Seriously, these are stressful times. I encourage you to get outside and enjoy the many parks and trails we have in Haddam. We really are blessed to live here with all the open space available to us. Please remember to maintain the 6-foot social distancing while you’re out. Some towns have had to close parks because people weren’t keeping distance. The same social distance requirements apply to our playscapes. I know how hard it is to keep children apart. I want you to be aware that we’re not cleaning the playscapes.

Transfer Station – The Transfer Station will resume accepting bulky waste, mattresses, tires and electronics starting Wednesday, April 8th. Wednesdays will be dedicated to these items only and Wednesdays will be the only day of the week to drop them off. No household waste will be accepted on Wednesdays. Household waste/recycling will be accepted on Saturdays and Sundays. Please bear with us as we try to balance waste disposal needs and social distancing requirements.

Haddam Emergency Food bank – I want to thank St Peter’s Church for hosting a food drive last weekend for the Food Bank. The Food Bank has a critical need for donations of basic essentials:  tuna, canned soup, canned vegetables, rice, cereal, oatmeal, and snack foods. Donations of restaurant and grocery store gift cards as well as money are also accepted. Donations can be dropped off at the Haddam Social Services office, 11 Jail Hill Road, during regular office hours.

Brainerd Memorial Library – I approached Marijean Conrad, the President of the Library Board, about starting a web page on their site with things you can do to keep yourself and family occupied and sane. It turns out they were already working on that. If you have suggestions for websites, activities, or other things to do please email them to Tom Piezzo at tpiezzo@brainerdlibrary.org.

Check your medicine cabinet and replace any expired over the counter medications, especially any that help relieve flu symptoms.

As I write this, Haddam Fire, Haddam Neck Fire and Haddam Ambulance, are picking up a stock of much needed personal protective equipment from the state. Help is trickling in. Again, thanks to all of our volunteers and others helping us.

I’m in my office during the week most days. Feel free to call (860) 345-8531 Ext: 205 or email (firstselectman@haddam.org) me if you have comments, questions or concerns.

Check on your neighbors. Support our local businesses. Take a deep breath and try to relax. With each other’s help, we will get through this.

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