Services continue as local COVID-19 numbers climb

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As of Monday, March 30, the Connecticut Department of Public Health confirmed 16 cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Southington. Across the state, there are 2,571 confirmed cases, 517 hospitalizations and 36 deaths associated with COVID-19. More than 14,600 tests have been administered to-date.

In Connecticut, the age group showing the largest number of positive cases is ages 50 to 59 with a total of 550 cases. The age group showing the largest number of COVID-19 related deaths is the population over the age of 80. Twenty-three people over the age of 80 have died, and those numbers are changing daily.

Norwalk and Danbury have been the hardest hit with over 200 confirmed cases. Three towns, Greenwich, Stamford and Westport, have between 100 and 200 cases.

Southington Town Manager Mark Sciota has closed both the town hall and municipal center to the public. Department heads are still working but are rotating working dates with assistant department heads to allow them to rest.

“Department heads and assistants are working three or four days a week and are home at least one or two days a week,” said Sciota. “We understand that exhaustion is a part of this, and we know the chance of catching this virus increases if people are worn down.”

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There are drop boxes set up outside of the town hall and municipal center for residents who need to drop off paperwork or have documents signed by town staff. In the case that something absolutely must be done in person, staff may arrange to meet a person off-site in the parking  lot.

The police, fire and water pollution control departments remain fullystaffed, but they, too, are rotating staff. Those employees are working between 20 to 25 hours a week.

The highway and parks department has three crews that are rotating, so just one crew works at a time.

“One of the biggest issues we’re having right now is that we want to keep our parks, open space parcels, the linear trail and the dog park open, but the public has to understand that we have to keep social distancing,” said Sciota. “I cannot stress that enough.”

Sciota said it is important during this time that people have the opportunity to get outside and exercise. However, people must maintain a distance from each other. The governor has urged people to stay 6 feet apart in order to prevent the spreading of the virus from one person to another. The governor has also urged that groups of over five people do not gather in one place.

Going forward, all town meetings that are essential to the functionality of the town will be done by teleconference. The public may dial in to those meetings. On each meeting’s agenda, there will be a phone number and a dial-in code listed. Sciota asked that all residents who call in to meetings select “mute” on their phones.

Meetings and agendas can be found on the town website at Southington.org. Click on the calendar to see meeting schedules. To view the agenda, click on the meeting title.

Construction projects in town are expected to continue but most likely will experience delays.

Sciota urged residents to listen to the directions given by state and federal officials.

“Please listen to those directions, and please don’t leave the house unless it is essential,” said Sciota.

Information is being updated daily. Follow along with updates by visiting ct.gov/coronavirus. For localized information, visit the Plainville Southington Regional Health District at PSHD.org.