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Sharon’s COVID-19 plans

SHARON — Sharon First Selectman Brent Colley is a historian as well as a town official and he offered a summary of these COVID-19 days: “It’s a unique time in history. That’s for sure.”  

Plans are changing daily as new information arises and as new recommendations and mandates are made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and by Gov. Ned Lamont. 

Visits to Town Hall are being discouraged. 

“We are asking groups, boards, commissions and committees to meet remotely if they can,” Colley said. “For groups that need to meet in person, the town is arranging the seats in the conference room to provide enough distance among participants.”

Town officials are taking precautions, constantly cleaning, and discouraging anything but essential visits.

The governor has given towns permission to delay their budget votes by one month, and also to hold meetings that are not open to the public. The public must be able to watch videos of the meetings or, ideally, to watch “live stream” meetings online in real time.

Sharon is the only town in the region to have its own health and sanitation department; the other 20 towns that belong to the Northwest Hills Council of Governments are all served by the Torrington Area Health District (see story, Page A1). 

“We are blessed to have a health department upstairs in the Town Hall,” Colley said, praising the professionalism of Jamie Casey. “If anyone has a question, she is there.”

But again, it’s better to phone in than to stop in.

“If you look at the numbers,” Colley said reassuringly, “we are not in a hot spot” for the disease. “At present, there are no local cases.”  

The town’s elementary school and the shared regional high school are closed for at least two weeks beginning Monday, March 16. 

The transfer station is open, but the Swap Shop is closed.

Miriam Jones, the town’s social service agent, “is delivering food and medication to those in need and checking in with other residents daily via phone, so they have social interaction with someone,” Colley said. “Food and toiletries are her main concern at the moment, she’s working to get a regional food bank truck lined up to help those in need.”

Jones would appreciate help from volunteers; call her at 860-364-1003.

Colley said he will issue updates as information comes in. Check the town’s website and Facebook page, where the first selectman is posting updates via Constant Contact.  The town is also updating Marshall Miles and Jill Goodman at NPR station WHDD, which is next door to Town Hall, so they can announce the latest news.

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