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UPDATES | Coronavirus - Library & Town Services

Short link to this page: http://bit.ly/WHupdates
WEST HARTFORD LIBRARIES
WEST HARTFORD PUBLIC LIBRARY BUILDINGS ARE CLOSED as a precaution, to help limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

LIBRARY PHONE SERVICE: 860-561-6990 or 860-561-6991
PHONE HOURS:  MONDAY - FRIDAY from 9:00AM-5:00PM
NEW: TEXT the LIBRARY: 860-935-2898 (9:00AM to 5:00PM weekdays)
If you have any questions or concerns and would like to talk to a librarian, our team will answer calls weekdays.

EMAIL US: askalibrarian@westhartfordlibrary.org

DUE DATES: Do not worry about due dates. If you have library materials checked out, please keep them at home. There will be no fines incurred during our temporary closure.
BOOKDROPS:
Bookdrops are closed at all locations. 
HOLDS:  If you have materials currently on hold, we will keep them on the hold shelf until libraries reopen. 
LIBRARY CARDS: We are automatically renewing any cards that expire between now and June.
TEMPORARY CARDS: To apply for a temporary library card, to access eBooks, eVideos, eMusic, and eAudio books, please click HERE. All downloadable resources are available on our website 24/7.

** LINK TO Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Page **
 

TOWN OF WEST HARTFORD INFO https://www.westhartfordct.gov/

West Hartford Library – (860) 561-6990, (860) 561-6991
Assessment - (860) 561-7414
Building Inspection – (860) 561-7530
Community Development – (860) 561-7520
Engineering – (860) 561-7540
Financial Services – (860) 561-7460
Fire Marshal – (860) 561-8320
Food Pantry – (860) 561-7580
Human Resources – (860) 561-7480
Information Technology – (860) 561-6636
Mayor’s Office – (860) 561-7440
Parking Tickets - (860) 561-7475
Permits - (860) 561-7530
Planning – (860) 561-7555
Recreation (Leisure Services) - (860) 561-7510
NOTE:
All Leisure Services Facilities are closed until further notice, including Cornerstone Aquatics Center, Veterans Rink, Elmwood Community Center, both senior centers, Rockledge Golf Club and Buena Vista Golf Course. Westmoor Park's barnyard is closed but trails are open. All field permits have been revoked. Residents are encouraged to practice social distancing. 

Registrar of Voters - (860) 561-7450
Schools Administration - (860) 561-6600  https://www.whps.org/district-info/coronavirus-covid-19
Social Services - (860) 561-7561
Tax Office - (860) 561-7474
Town Clerk - (860) 561-7430
Town Manager – (860) 561-7440
Town Hall (Main Number) - (860) 561-7500
Zoning - (860) 561-7555

STATE OF CONNECTICUT CLICK for all Governor Lamont's Executive Orders  
https://portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/Governors-Actions/Executive-Orders/Governor-Lamonts-Executive-Orders

WEST HARTFORD PUBLIC SCHOOLS 
https://www.whps.org/district-info/coronavirus-covid-19

WHPS "Grab and Go" Breakfast and Lunch Bags
https://www.smore.com/jxwvz 

FOOD PROGRAMS in the West Hartford Area 
http://www.westhartfordlibrary.org/services/food_programs.asp   

WEST HARTFORD BUSINESS UPDATES: COVID-19 Resources
https://admin.westhartfordct.gov/gov/departments/economic_development/default.asp  

WEST HARTFORD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 
https://www.whchamber.com/corona-virus-covid19-info

COMCAST Opens Xfinity WiFi Network Nationally for Free 
COVID 19 Response March 13.pdf

ACCESS HEALTH CT Special Coronavirus Enrollment Period   
Call 1-855-909-2428 | Click for more information   

WEST HARTFORD TOWN NOTICES (during Coronavirus):  

Celebrate! West Hartford is canceled (March 27, 2020, 8:30AM)
West Hartford Town Manager Matt Hart announced today that West Hartford’s signature event, Celebrate! West Hartford, scheduled for June 6
th and 7th, is canceled.

This decision was made in conjunction with the Celebrate! West Hartford Committee, Mayor Shari Cantor, Town leaders including the Directors of Public Works and Social & Leisure Services, Fire and Police Chiefs, and the Acting Director of the Bloomfield-West Hartford Health District.

“As a Town-sponsored event, Celebrate! West Hartford requires time and attention from many Town departments and employees in the months and weeks leading up to it. During this unprecedented time responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, our first priority must be the health and well-being of our residents,” explained Hart.

Mayor Cantor remarked that, “The extreme measures and sacrifices that we are making now are an effort to get back to our normal way of life as quickly as possible.”

“We know many families look forward to the festival every year. For now, we must be responsible to each other and unfortunately canceling this event is the right decision,” said Committee Chair Mary Alexander. “We will all be back better than ever next year.”


Playgrounds, Basketball Courts are closed (March 25, 2020, 7:30PM) 
West Hartford, CT -- Due to public health concerns created by the COVID-19 virus, the Town of West Hartford has temporarily closed playground equipment (playscapes) and basketball courts at its municipal facilities and schools. The parks, fields, trails and tennis/pickleball courts remain open for now.

We recognize, appreciate and value the benefits of being outdoors and maintaining physical activity while we are staying home. It is critical to the health of our community that people visiting these spaces follow the CDC guidance by maintaining physical distance of six feet with people other than those you live with and not congregating in groups. If we are unable to manage compliance with these guidelines, these facilities will need to be closed. #besafe #stayhome

First case of COVID-19 confirmed (March 20, 2020, 2:20PM)  
WEST HARTFORD, CONN. – West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor announced that the Town received notice today from the West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District (the “Health District”) of the first confirmed case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (”COVID-19”) in West Hartford.

“We knew it was only a matter of time before there was a confirmed case in West Hartford, given that community spread has already been established in our region,” said Mayor Cantor. “West Hartford is well prepared to deal with the influx of new cases, which is inevitable. We must assume that there are other cases already in our community at this time, and that the number will go up significantly. I am calling on all West Hartford residents to heed instructions by public health officials to ‘flatten the curve’ and slow the spread of the disease.”

Aimee Krauss, Acting Director of the Health District, said that the resident is between the ages of 20 and 30 years old. The Health District cannot disclose the identity or location of the resident due to privacy rules.

The resident will remain in isolation and the Health District will regularly monitor her health and perform contact tracing, in compliance with guidelines issued by the state Department of Public Health. Anyone who has had close contact with the resident will be told to self-quarantine.

“If you have any symptoms of illness, including fever, cough or shortness of breath, you should not leave home except to receive medical care,” said Krauss. “Stay in touch with your healthcare provider. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you feel worse or you think it is an emergency.”

There is currently no vaccine or treatment for COVID-19, and so the best way for individuals to protect themselves is to avoid being exposed. This means washing hands frequently, avoiding close contact with other people (within about 6 feet), and not leaving home unless absolutely necessary.

Town officials have been coordinating for months with the State of Connecticut and the Health District to ensure that a structure is in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Residents can also get more information at the Town’s website, www.westhartfordct.gov/covid19.


Town Hall Offices Close (March 19, 2020)
Executive Order prohibits gatherings of 10+
West Hartford Joins Regional Municipalities In Prohibiting Gatherings Of More Than Ten People

WEST HARTFORD, CONN – Today Town Manager Matt Hart announced that pursuant to Mayor Shari Cantor’s recent Emergency Declaration he is issuing an Executive Order to prohibit social and recreational gatherings of more than ten people. The social and recreational activities include, but are not limited to: community, civic, and sporting events; plays or live performances; and religious, spiritual, or worship gatherings. Several other municipalities in the region have issued similar orders. The Town Manager’s order will take effect March 20, 2020 and will be enforced by the West Hartford Police Department.

Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control issued guidance that all events of ten or more people should be cancelled. The emergency order runs through April 30, 2020, but may be modified, extended, or terminated at any time.

Mayor Shari Cantor stated: “Each day the number of COVID-19 cases is increasing rapidly in Connecticut and it is undoubtedly here in West Hartford. This executive order is a life-saving measure as we have to take every precaution available to us to slow the spread of this deadly disease. I call upon all members of the West Hartford community to do everything in their power to assist us in this effort.”

Town Manager Matt Hart stated: “Consistent with CDC guidance, I am issuing this emergency order to emphasize that everyone must minimize contact with others if we are going to be successful in slowing down the spread of COVID-19. We will use this emergency order to direct people to stop congregating in groups of more than ten, as we do everything possible to get the word out about the importance of social distancing. We realize that this a significant step to take but believe that it is fully warranted given the magnitude of the public health crisis that we are facing.”


Town Hall Offices Closed at Noon (March 16, 2020) 
Mayor Shari Cantor and Town Manager Matt Hart announced that Town Hall offices would close at noon today so that town officials can evaluate and modify operations to ensure the continued delivery of essential municipal services.

Following the Mayor's State of Emergency declaration, these additional measures are being taken.

Town Manager Matt Hart said, “Given the growing concern regarding community spread of this virus, I have made the decision to close Town Hall to the public beginning at noon today. Town employees that are not critical to operations will be notified that they should not report to work during this temporary closure. Over the next several days, our management team will develop an operations plan for the re-opening of Town Hall later this week.”

The Town Hall closure follows a decision made on March 12, 2020, to close the following facilities for two weeks: West Hartford Public Schools, Veterans Memorial Skating Rink, Cornerstone Aquatics Center, West Hartford Senior Center, Elmwood Senior Center, Elmwood Community Center, Hillcrest Area Neighborhood Outreach Center, and the three libraries.

“We encourage residents to continue doing business with the Town via our web site, www.westhartfordct.gov, and by phone,” said Mayor Shari Cantor.

West Hartford Declares State of Emergency (March 15, 2020)
West Hartford Mayor Shari G. Cantor announced today, Sunday, March 15, 2020, at 7:30PM, that she has declared a State of Emergency in West Hartford in response to the global pandemic of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”).

“Our public health and safety officials are already fully mobilized and taking the necessary steps to protect West Hartford residents from the effects of COVID-19,” Mayor Cantor said.  “This additional step is intended to reinforce the seriousness of the public health crisis, and to make sure Town government has maximum flexibility and the authority to quickly respond as conditions change.”

“The reason these measures need to be followed is so we can flatten the curve of the spread of the virus,” said Aimee Krauss, acting director of West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District. “This means taking precautions even by people who are not sick or at high-risk to help mitigate a surge in cases that could overwhelm the hospital system.”

The goal is no longer to prevent the virus from spreading freely from person to person, instead, the objective is to spread out the inevitable infections so that the healthcare system isn’t overwhelmed with patients.

In making the emergency declaration, Mayor Cantor said she is asking West Hartford residents and businesses to take the following steps to prevent community spread of COVID-19:

• Families should keep young children and students at home to the extent feasible
• Religious organizations are encouraged to conduct services in a virtual mode and limit in-person services to reduce the occupancy by 50% to create adequate spacing between seating, in accordance with CDC recommendations
• Businesses should require their employees to work from home, wherever feasible
• Businesses should consider staggering or reducing hours of operation
• Food Service Establishments/Restaurants should cut their occupancy rate by 50% to create adequate spacing between seating, in accordance with CDC recommendations
• Food Service Establishments/Restaurants should encourage patrons to use their take-out service instead of dining-in
• Grocery stores should discontinue offering samples and providing self-service stations (ex: soup and salad bars)
• Restaurants and establishments should cancel all gatherings and special events and celebrations
• Official and unofficial sports activities, including games and practices, should be canceled

Town Manager Matthew W. Hart said that Town public safety officials and officials with the West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District are working closely with state and federal authorities to coordinate the response.  He noted that Governor Ned Lamont has already issued several Executive Orders to prevent community spread, including a prohibition on large gatherings. 

“This is a historic and unprecedented public health crisis, the likes of which the world has not faced in more than a century,” Mayor Cantor said.  “But West Hartford is a resilient community that has properly invested in public safety infrastructure, and we have planned and drilled for the most serious contingencies.  With the cooperation of our residents, we will endure and emerge stronger.”

West Hartford Community Advisory Notification System (March 15, 2020)
Good evening. This is Mayor Shari Cantor.

I am calling you tonight (3/15/2020) to announce that earlier this evening, in response to the global pandemic of COVID-19, I declared a State of Emergency for the Town of West Hartford.

Our public health and safety officials are already fully mobilized and taking the necessary steps to protect West Hartford residents from the effects of COVID-19.  This additional step is intended to reinforce the seriousness of the public health crisis, and to make sure Town government has maximum flexibility and the authority to quickly respond as conditions change.

In making this emergency declaration, we are asking residents and businesses to abide by certain restrictions, available on the Town website, www.westhartfordct.gov, that will help flatten the curve of the spread of the virus.  This means taking precautions even by people who are not sick or at high-risk to help mitigate a surge in cases that could overwhelm the hospital system.  These restrictions are in addition to those already mandated by President and the Governor.  The most important thing you can do is avoid groups and stay home. 

The goal is no longer to prevent the virus from spreading freely from person to person.  Instead, the objective is to spread out the inevitable infections so that the healthcare system is not overwhelmed with patients.

This is an historic and unprecedented public health crisis, the likes of which the world has not faced in more than a century.  However, West Hartford is a resilient community that has properly invested in public safety infrastructure, and we have planned and drilled for the most serious contingencies.  With the cooperation of our residents, we will endure this crisis and emerge stronger.

Town Notice From 3/12/2020:  
The Town of West Hartford has made the decision to close some town facilities for two weeks as part of its emergency action plan to mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus. The closures will also allow our custodial staff to do a thorough cleaning of all the public spaces.

The facility closings are as follows:

West Hartford Public Schools: Monday, March 16-Friday, March 27
Veterans Rink: Saturday, March 14-Sunday, March 29
Cornerstone Aquatics Center: Saturday, March 14-Sunday, March 29
West Hartford Senior Center: Monday, March 16-Sunday, March 29
Elmwood Senior Center: Monday, March 16-Sunday, March 29. The CRT lunch program will be provided as a boxed lunch that will be available for pick-up only.
Elmwood Community Center: Monday, March 16-Sunday, March 29, except for critical services, which include YWCA Day Care Center and CRT lunch (boxed lunch pick-up only)
All library programs are canceled starting today, March 12. The main library and branch libraries will close from Sunday, March 15 to Sunday, March 29.
Hillcrest Area Neighborhood Outreach Center will also close for two weeks, but will assist with lunch distribution (outside the building), from 11 AM to 12:30 PM, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, for Hillcrest residents only.

Dial-A-Ride services will continue for medical appointments, grocery shopping, and CRT lunch pick-up.

The Food Pantry, located on the first floor of Town Hall, has suspended its Self-Select Wednesday program. Pre-packed bags will be available for pick-up.

If you have any questions or seek more information, please call 860-561-6990 or 2-1-1, or visit these web pages: www.westhartfordct.gov/covid19, https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

STATE OF CONNECTICUT CLICK for all Governor Lamont's Executive Orders

 Short link to this page: http://bit.ly/WHupdates