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The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted normal life in Clinton and around the world. Schools have been closed as have businesses like bars and restaurants and all non-essential retail businesses. Clinton Town Hall has been closed to the public except for essential or emergency business, which is available by appointment.
According to a post on the town’s website “Essential or emergency services include land record recording, title searches, and necessary filings. Town staff will be working normal business hours in our closed facilities and be available by email or phone.”
A list of department phone numbers is available on the town website clintonct.org.
With Town Hall closed, the Town Council is still going to have its annual biweekly meetings though other boards and commissions will likely cancel unless there is an important reason the body needs to meet. As an example, Town Council Chair Chris Aniskovich said it’s possible that the land use boards may be required to meet certain statutory regulations.
On March 18, Zoning Enforcement Officer Kathy King told the Harbor News/Zip06.com, “We are canceling meetings as we can. If we have meetings with statutory time frames, we need to abide by, we’re contacting applicants and agents to request extensions in situations where we can. At this point, all unnecessary meetings are being canceled, and as of noon today Town Hall will be open to the public by appointment only, although we will still be working in the building. We will be available by phone and email or by appointment.”
“The message is we need to be very patient and we need Town Hall to remain open and functional,” Aniskovich said. Stating that this is a new and strange time for everyone from citizens to the board members, Aniskovich said, “I just want people to understand we’re doing what we can our directives come from the state and the health department.”
In response to the outbreak, Clinton and other Connecticut towns have closed its schools. Last week, the school district announced a “grab and go” system to distribute cold lunch and breakfast meals to students free of charge.
Participating students will receive a bagged lunch for that day, and a bagged breakfast for the next day. Meals will be distributed Monday to Friday at The Morgan School and at the Pierson School building. Meals must be consumed off site. These meals contain perishable food items and are intended to be consumed or refrigerated immediately.
Morgan and Pierson will distribute meals from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Families can drive up or students/families can walk up to the distribution area (Pierson bus door and Morgan back bus loop) and receive their meals. According to the requirements of state approval, meals may be served to all children 18 years and under in the household if at least one child attends a Clinton Public School. Only one student needs to be present and he or she can be given enough meals for each sibling living in the home.
All Clinton public school students are eligible for this program even if they have never purchased or received a school lunch.
Restaurants Offering Options
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 about whether to stay open for pick-up and deliveries or close temporarily. The Harbor News asked food service establishments across the region to provide updates on their status. Find a list of new hours, delivery options, curbside service, and more at Zip06.com/open.
All barber and beauty shops have been closed by the state until further notice.
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommendations for hand-washing and social distancing are becoming increasingly famliar for local residents, and Clinton Emergency Management Director Mike Neff encouraged residents to adhere to those polices.
“I think the most important thing is for citizens to remain calm and understanding as we all navigate this process. All decisions and executive orders are made with the best interest of the community in mind,” Neff said.
The town’s emergency services are still answering calls as normal, though with an important new addition: “[W]e will be asking more questions and ask that the public answer them truthfully so we can protect ourselves and our patients,” Neff said. Callers will be asked what signs and symptoms they have as well as about recent travel or exposure to anyone who has COVID-19.
“Most importantly, if citizens feel sick and it is not emergent, they should call their primary care physicians and seek advice from them on a treatment plan. Clinics and hospitals are inundated with a multitude of medical emergencies and needs. By going to an emergency facility with non-emergent ailments, it not only further taxes the health facilities, but you may be exposing yourself unnecessarily,” Neff said.
Clinton Police Chief Vincent DeMaio echoed Neff’s plea that people listen to executive orders and directives.
“Whether you think this is an overreaction or not, it’s unprecedented. We ask that people take this seriously,” DeMaio said.
DeMaio said people should be practicing social distancing to minimize the impact of the virus and that everyone can do their part to help. DeMaio said that some modifications will be made to the departments service in the short term—such as asking callers more questions when a call is received—but otherwise he believes it will be business as usual for the department.
More information on the COVID-19 virus can be found on the state’s coronavirus information website, ct.gov/coronavirus or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website, www.cdc.gov/covid19. Residents can call the state’s Infoline at 2-1-1 if they have general questions about the virus, or they can text “CTCOVID” to 898211.
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