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7/24/2020 - 7.24 TOWN UPDATE
Dear Fairfielders,

It's hard to believe that July is almost over.  I hope you are enjoying your summer. Our new beach policies continue to be in effect this weekend.

On Saturdays and Sundays, parking at the Town of Fairfield's beaches will be limited to cars with a valid 2020 Fairfield resident beach sticker only. Additionally, anyone over the age of 16 walking on the beach will be asked for proof of residency such as a driver's license. 

Last weekend I was able go on patrol with our Police Department to check on how the new COVID beach polices are working. I commend the men and women of our Police, Parks and Recreation, and Public Works Departments for implementing our emergency management team’s plans to keep our beaches safe.  I have received a great deal of positive feedback from our residents on these new restrictions and overall our beaches are safer, which remains my priority. 
COVID-19 UPDATE:
The Town of Fairfield has 671 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 and a total of 145 of our residents have sadly lost their lives. Of the 671 residents who have tested positive in Fairfield, 321 have reported that they have fully recovered and 164 are assumed recovered. 

Charts and data on Fairfield cases including age, gender, nursing home statistics, testing samples, and different trend lines can be found at fairfieldct.org/covid19data.

Traveling? Please take the time to check the CT Travel Advisory page to know what states are on the list as most impacted. If you travel to these states, you are asked to quarantine for 14-days upon return to protect the members of our community. 


Contact Tracing
There have been 25 positive cases reported in Fairfield since July 1st.  The average age of these cases is 39 years old and of those 25 cases, 14 are under the age of 30. In recent days we have seen a slight increase in the number of cases that are being reported. We are urging residents to continue to follow social distancing guidelines and to wear a face covering when out in public.  

One of the key tools we have to contain the spread of COVID-19 is Contact Tracing. For this initiative to be successful, the Health Department needs the cooperation of residents who test positive for COVID-19. The primary purpose of contact tracing is to identify and notify direct contacts of confirmed cases as quickly as possible and to ensure those exposed are self-quarantining.  The information provided in the interviews with confirmed cases helps reduce the potential spread of the virus in our community. 

There have been delays in reporting positive tests to the local health departments. Any Fairfield resident who tests positive for COVID-19 and has not received a phone call from the Fairfield Health Department or the Connecticut COVID Tracing system within 24 hours of receiving their result is urged to contact the Fairfield Health Department at 203-256-3022. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 please call your medical provider or the Fairfield Health Department for more information on testing locations and isolation guidelines. The Fairfield Health Department thanks all Fairfield residents for doing their part in slowing the spread of COVID-19. 


IMPORTANT VIDEO GUIDANCE:

Contact Tracing video - 
https://youtu.be/G1g5oYUmYHY

Quarantine/Isolation video - https://youtu.be/h-sXNFc06lY
RESIDENT CORNER:

I take pride in our community's active engagement through the thoughtful emails I receive every day with feedback and questions. Here are some of the top issues I have been contacted about recently and what I am doing to address them. 

Reopening Schools: The Emergency Management Planning Team and I met with the Superintendent of Schools and the school administration to assist with preparing and planning for our schools to reopen safely. The school administration is scheduled to submit their plans to the State of Connecticut today. I have not yet seen a final copy, however the Town remains committed to assisting the school district in reopening our schools. You can reach out to the Superintendent of Schools with questions you have through this link. You can reach out to the Fairfield Board of Education members here

Universities: Residents have started to inquire about the policies Fairfield University and Sacred Heart University will implement to help stop the spread of COVID-19 when students return to campus this fall. The Emergency Management Team's Planning Committee has scheduled a meeting to go over these plans next week and I will be sure to share the details with residents following that meeting.  

Voting: The Governor has issued an executive order allowing all eligible primary voters to make use of absentee ballots for the 8/11 primary. Registered voters should have received an envelope from the Secretary of the State with an application and return envelope. To take advantage of this voting method, complete the form, return it to Town Hall in the enclosed envelope, and a ballot will be sent to you the week of July 20th.

Please make sure to complete and return your ballot before August 11th -- if you are concerned that you are returning it too close to the deadline to arrive by primary day, you can drop it off in the locked ballot box in front of Old Town Hall. 


Safety protocols will be in place at all polling places for residents to vote in person. Find your polling location here. Contact the registrars here


8-30g Building: This has been a long standing issue for our community. I have recently read numerous articles, letters to the editor and emails from residents regarding 8-30g and I wanted to clarify some misconceptions. The original goal of the state statute was to increase the number of affordable homes or units in towns across Connecticut, which is a necessary and laudable goal. The standards of local Zoning Regulations do not apply under the 8-30g statute, unless there is a threat to public safety or health, and if that threat outweighs the need for affordable housing.

I spent years in the state legislature as Ranking Member of the Housing Committee working to amend this law, but the majority party in Hartford is adamantly opposed to any changes. The good news is that Fairfield is getting closer to reaching a moratorium with the state, which would give the Town four years without entertaining any new 8-30g applications.

Before the pandemic, our Town Plan and Zoning Department was in the middle of the process of updating our Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD). A lot of great ideas were shared by residents and zoning officials during the working group meetings. The commission will review these suggestions at their meeting on Tuesday. 

I continue to meet with the developers who own the Exide and Metro Center properties that will help Fairfield grow its commercial tax base and eventually help alleviate the residential tax burden on our citizens.  Our town needs smart, targeted growth that fits within the character of our beautiful and historic town. 


Keep Fairfield Beautiful: Fairfield is lucky to have many beautiful parks, open spaces, and beaches available for the enjoyment of our residents. Please help the Town to keep our public spaces clean by properly disposing of your trash. Together we can keep Fairfield beautiful, clean, and safe!

I hope you will scroll through the new announcements and resources below that may be helpful to you. I hope you have a nice weekend and please stay safe.

Sincerely,

Brenda L. Kupchick
Fairfield First Selectwoman
HEAT KILLS: If You Love 'Em, Don't Leave 'Em 
It takes just a few minutes for the temperature inside a vehicle to skyrocket, sometimes causing entirely preventable tragedies. I worked hard to launch this program in 2015 with the Fairfield Police Department, which has been replicated throughout the state, in an effort to remind residents of the dangers of leaving their kids or pets in a car during warm weather. I thank all the stores who have posted these signs in their parking lots. 
 
STEP OUT FOR THE BRAVE 40,000 STEP VIRTUAL CHALLENGE 
Between Saturday, August 8th and Sunday, August 16th, join the Step Out for the Brave 40,000 Step Virtual Challenge to take 40,000 steps for each of the 40,000 homeless Veterans across the United States. Complete the challenge individually or as a group. Step Out in one day or nine. Each step you take is a step towards helping a homeless Veteran.  Register and more information here
FAIRFIELD BICYCLE & PEDESTRIAN COMMITTEE:
The Fairfield Bicycle & Pedestrian Committee reminds residents:
Pedestrians:

- Walk against traffic
- Use the sidewalks
- If there are no sidewalks, walk single file when in groups
Bicyclists:
- Ride with traffic in the street (not on sidewalks)
- Announce Yourself When Approaching Pedestrians Not Facing You
- Observe All Street Signs
- Ride Single File When in Groups
- And, WEAR A HELMET!
NEW EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM 
The Town of Fairfield will no longer be utilizing the current alert system known as CodeRed to issue emergency and community alerts to residents and business owners. We are switching to a new system.

In order to continue receiving Emergency and Community alerts from the Town of Fairfield, you must sign up again. Visit www.fairfieldct.org/alerts 
Help is available to Fairfield small businesses that are struggling due to the pandemic.  The Fairfield COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Program was established to provide limited, one time direct financial assistance to eligible Fairfield small businesses that have no more than five full-time employees and that have been adversely affected by the public health emergency. Applications are still being accepted by the Office of Community & Economic Development. To learn more or to apply, please visit the website: www.fairfieldct.org/covidsbr

The Office of Community & Economic Development also has a small supply of face shields and infrared thermometers for Fairfield small businesses and non-profits in need of PPE.  Please contact the Office of Community & Economic Development at (203) 256-3120 or cedoffice@fairfieldct.org if you are interested.
Eligibility & Application
The Fairfield COVID-19 Relief Fund was established to provide limited, one-time assistance to Fairfield residents who have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Use of the funds must be directly related to the effects of the virus. Donate to the fund or apply for relief by clicking below.
Donate or Apply to the Fairfield COVID-19 Relief Fund
PARKING:
Heading to the beach or Lake Mohegan? Check the parking lot capacity before you go:
BEACH PARKING - KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
FARMER'S MARKETS:
The downtown farmers market is held Sundays on Sherman Green, from 10AM-2PM throughout the summer months and into the fall season..  In keeping with CDC and State of CT guidelines, face masks and social distancing protocols are required.  For more information and a list of vendors, please visit www.fairfieldfarmersmarket.org.  For those unable to make Sundays, the Greenfield Hill Farmers Marketlocated at 65 Hillside Road, is another great local option which is open on Saturdays from 10AM to 2PM, through the fall.
LOCAL TAXES
Pay your taxes at the outdoor window. See how here. 

Tax Deferment: Deferment-eligible 1st quarter real estate taxes, and 1st installment motor vehicle and personal property taxes with an original due date of July 1 now have an extended grace period of 90 days until October 1, 2020. Failure to pay by October 1 makes the installment delinquent and subject to interest charges of 1 1/2% per month dating back to July 1, 2020. Please note that real estate accounts held in escrow and commercial accounts that did not apply for deferment by July 1 are ineligible and have a grace period until August 3, 2020 only. For more details on eligibility or for anyone with questions, please
 click here to visit the Tax Collector’s website or call 203-256-3100.
UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
If you become unemployed due to coronavirus (COVID-19), you should file for unemployment benefits. Click here for more information. For frequently asked questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) for workers and employers click here.
ASSISTANCE FOR RENTERS, HOMEOWNERS & RESIDENTIAL LANDLORDS 
Governor Lamont announced a comprehensive plan to put more than $33 million in state and federal resources to work providing emergency assistance to renters, homeowners, and residential landlords impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency. 

Rental assistance information can be found here. Further information is below:
TOWN GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
Sullivan Independence Hall and Old Town Hall are open to the public by appointment only for the safety of employees and residents. Please visit this summary page for an overview and follow links to specific departments for more information. 
Fairfield's Operations During COVID-19
Many residents are installing pools, decks and patios. Please be aware that many items require a permit for your own safety to ensure proper installation. Learn more about the COVID permitting procedures here
SOCIAL SERVICES
Social Services continues to assist by telephone town residents who are experiencing difficulty providing the basic needs for themselves and their families, especially during these unprecedented times. Please call with any questions or concerns: 203-256-3170 or visit at fairfieldct.org/humanservices

Food Drive to Benefit Operation Hope and the Bigelow Center Mobile Food Pantry: Gary Stewart, from Boy Scout Troop 82 in Fairfield, is hosting a food drive Saturday as part of his service project to become an Eagle Scout. It will run from 9 a.m. to noon in the parking lot at 636 Old Post Road.
BIGELOW CENTER 
Transportation services have resumed on a limited basis for medical appointments and grocery shopping. Reservations for rides are first-come, first-served for shopping and medical appointments and must be made no less than one week in advance. Please call the senior center for more information: 203-256-3166.
 
The buses may only transport four riders per trip. For those who do not live in Senior and Disabled Housing, Fairfield Senior Transportation will provide rides Tuesdays or Thursdays each week. Masks must be worn to board the buses. Rides are now available to medical appointments for Fairfield’s seniors and people with disabilities on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between the hours of 9:30 – 3:00 PM. 
     
If you or anyone you know are homebound and unable to shop, the Mobile Food Pantry is available every other week and lunches are available for those who are homebound. Please call Social Services for more information: 203-256-3170.
COVID-19 TESTING
CVS has expanded their drive-thru testing to include 12 new sites in CT. These new sites will utilize self-swab tests and will be available to individuals meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria, in addition to age guidelines. Learn more here.  

At this time, testing priority is given to those who are high risk. For more information on testing sites and protocols click here or visit www.fairfieldct.org/covid19. 
OPERATION HOPE FOOD PANTRY 
Operation Hope wants to make sure residents of Fairfield are aware that the food pantry remains open and is ready to help by providing food and other basic needs to community residents, as they have for nearly 35 years. The pantry is currently operating as a drive-up service at 636 Old Post Road offering prepacked bags of groceries appropriate for various-sized households. 

Hours of Operation: Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 10:00-12:00; Thursday from 4:00 -6:00. Visit operationhopect.org.
FAIRFIELD PUBLIC LIBRARY: OPEN ONLINE & CURB SIDE PICK-UP
Please visit fairfieldpubliclibrary.org  for full details regarding this service.  In the interest of everyone’s safety and health, library buildings will remain closed while providing this contact-free service.  

Fairfield Public Library continues to offer 24/7 access to their digital collection of books, music, magazines and movies plus a wide and varied assortment of virtual programs. Learn more here:  fplct.librarymarket.com/.

Need a library card?   Follow this link fairfieldpubliclibrary.org/my-fpl/library-cards/ and get started today!


Sign up for the library newsletter here
PEQUOT LIBRARY: WE'RE HERE, WE CARE 
Pequot Library's doors may be temporarily closed, but our librarians and staff are still here for you! Enjoy digital programs like story times, author talks, book clubs, and more! Get details on our website and social media:  
FacebookInstagramTwitterand YouTubeSign up for Pequot Library's Digital Digest eNewsletter or contact our Chief Librarian for personalized book recommendations. 

On Monday, June 22, Pequot will be curbside pickup. Please contact us for more information.

Important COVID-19 Links:

Fairfield Health Department coronavirus website:  fairfieldct.org/covid19

For the latest numbers of cases, deaths and those recovered click here

For additional data and graphs of activity click here

For guidance and updates on Connecticut’s coronavirus preparedness efforts, visit: ct.gov/coronavirus

Contact Information:

For general questions you can call 211

Hartford HealthCare’s COVID-19 Clinical Command Center hotline, staffed by healthcare professionals, is now available to the community. To reach the 24-hour hotline, call 860.972.8100 or (toll-free) 833.621.0600.

YNHH has a call center number it’s 1-833-ASK YNHH that’s open from 7am - 7pm.
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