June 16, 2020 - COVID-19 UPDATE

It’s time for another COVID-19 update, it’s been a while since my last one. We now have 36 confirmed cases in town. Thankfully, we still only have one fatality. Overall, we’ve been lucky in our health district (Haddam, Chester, Deep River, Clinton, Old Saybrook). The infection rate is low. Group living facilities account for most of the infections - 59% of the district’s 236 cases and 81% of the 36 deaths. However, the virus is still here. Please wear a mask and maintain social distancing. We’ve been responding well to the virus so far, state-wide COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to decline. That contrasts with many other states.

If you are participating in Saturday’s (6/20) protest, please follow COVID-19 precautions. While the transmission rate outside is low, it’s not non-existent.

This week we enter Phase 2 of the reopening. So far, Phase 1 has gone well. Last week, my wife and I enjoyed lunch outside at one of our town’s restaurants. With Phase 2 we’ll all soon be able to dine inside again. Phase 2 is the largest of the planned phases; most businesses will be able to open. Here’s a link to information on the Phase 2 business sectors and guidance. Next week, the town’s Land Use/Building Department will open to walk-in traffic, same hours as the Town Clerk’s Office. The Governor has issued nine Executive Orders (EO) since my last update. The ones that are either the most widely applicable or of particular interest to us are: 

  • EO 7TT – Social Indoor gatherings increased to 10 inside and 25 outside. Additional guidance for religious gatherings  
  • EO 7XX – Drive in religious gatherings, drive-in graduations 
  • EO 7YY – DMV functions

I’m very concerned about the upcoming Presidential primary and the November elections. We’re still in need of poll workers. Even with the people who have recently volunteered we can only staff two polling places. If you are willing to be a poll worker there’s more information on the town’s website. Please consider voting by absentee ballot. They’re more secure than some social media posts will have you believe. The primaries present a good chance to test their expanded use before the November elections. I’ve written more about this in my column for this month’s Haddam Bulletin.

Life is getting closer to normal, although certainly not as quickly as we’d like. Please keep supporting our local businesses and helping your neighbors. We are getting through this.