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Brian Boyd, Editor, Shore Publishing/Zip06.com
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While the state of Connecticut is taking several steps to combat the COVID-19 health crisis, including urging people to stay safe by staying at home and ordering all non-essential businesses to close, local government is also taking steps to ensure the public’s business continues without increase the public’s risk of spreading the virus.
First Selectman Mike Freda received calls from local businesses that were seeking clarifications as to what businesses were included in the “essential” list.
“We are working with the Governor’s Office and the State Department of Economic Development to help certain businesses determine whether they are essential and can remain open,” said Freda. “Some have been confused and we are trying to help them clear up that confusion.”
Updates to the list of what is qualified as “essential” can be found at Zip06.com.
Following the closure of North Haven Public Schools, the senior center, library, and Community Services Daycare, all non-essential meetings and scheduled programs have been suspended throughout town buildings. All town board and commission meetings will be canceled or postponed until further notice.
North Haven Schools has updated its website, www.northhavenschools.org, with information for continued learning during the closure. Students in middle school and high school are being asked to check their email for new Google Classroom invitations, where their Digital Learning Days assignments will be posted. Assignments for grades K through 5 are posted on the website. For help, email email@example.com.
As of March 18, Freda announced the closing of all remaining town buildings, though town employees will continue to work, answering phone calls from the public. Any critical needs that may require in-person resources will be handled individually by scheduling appointments as needed.
“People should remember their government is here for them and we are watching out for public safety,” said Freda. “We are doing everything we can to continue to provide services and protect the citizens of North Haven.”
Residents and those having business with the town are encouraged to use online resources including the online permitting system for building permits and online program for payment of taxes. Sanitation and recycling will continue to operate on a normal schedule, and the police and fire departments will continue to be fully operational.
With a background working in the corporate world as well as leading the Town of North Haven through numerous storms, Freda has experience in crisis management and is confident that the town is doing all it can to keep the community safe.
“I don’t like seeing us having to deal with crisis management, but I’m well equipped,” said Freda. “We’ve done things like increase to an intense level of cleaning in town buildings with superior disinfectants and broadened that to town vehicles, including sanitizing public works vehicles after shifts. We are doing everything we can to make sure every detail is covered.”
In addition to the cleaning and sanitizing, Freda is practicing the recommended social distancing at Town Hall. Even though department heads continue to report to work, in meetings, the chairs are set up six to eight feet apart.
When it comes to local government continuing to run, Lamont has developed a plan to allow municipalities a 30-day pushback period for budgets, which include Board of Finance meetings, town hearings, and the budget referendum. Lamont also ordered the presidential primaries to be rescheduled to June 2.
At press time, Freda had not yet declared a state of emergency for the Town of North Haven, though he noted that it will be implemented should he receive a report from the Quinnipiack Valley Health Department that someone in town is infected.
“It’s a powerful announcement to the public,” said Freda. “A state of emergency allows me a broader responsibility to make decisions where I may not have been able to make a decision in the past due to the town charter provisions.”
Freda, who is the president of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, has continued to communicate with local leaders on a regional level. He encourages residents to stay informed through the town’s website and Facebook page as well as the CDC website.
With so many closings, many local businesses are being financially affected. Freda suggests that residents continue to support local businesses by purchasing a gift card to use later and order takeout or delivery from restaurants that are offering the service.
Despite the trying times, Freda has seen the residents of the Town of North Haven continue to support each other and offer help to neighbors.
“In many instances, it’s been about a community rallying around each other,” said Freda. “We’ve heard about price-gouging products or hoarding, but not here in North Haven. I had a group on social media who reached out because they wanted to help the seniors and elderly by delivering groceries or running errands. It was a very nice, generous gesture on behalf of the citizens.”Restaurants
In the wake of Governor Ned Lamont’s March 16 closure of restaurants and bars to sit-down patrons in response to the expanding COVID-19 crisis, local eateries have had to make tough decisions on whether to stay open for pick-up and deliveries or close temporarily. We asked food service establishments across the region to give us updates on their status. Find a list of new hours, delivery options, curbside service, and more at Zip06.com/open.Further Resources
“Town of North Haven” on Facebook
North Haven Town Hall: 203-239-5321
North Haven Police Department: 203-239-1618
North Haven Fire Department: 203-239-5321
Hartford Health Care’s COVID-19 Clinical
Command Center hotline: 860-972-8100 or
toll-free at 833-621-0600
Yale New Haven Health at 833-275-9644
(M-F, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
State of CT COVID Hotline: 211 or text CTCOVID
State of CT COVID Joint Information Center:
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