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611 Old Post Road
Fairfield, CT 06824

Sullivan Independence Hall
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Fairfield, CT 06824

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Town of Fairfield News

10/29/2020 - 10.30 TOWN UPDATE
Good Afternoon Fairfielders,

As you know from last week's newsletter, the state's new COVID alert system moved Fairfield into the red category with 18 other Towns in Connecticut on October 22nd. According to the Department of Public Health, the red level is assigned to municipalities that have a two week average daily case rate higher than 15 per 100,000.

Case Rate in Fairfield Improved to Orange
The data that moved us into the red category last Thursday, was based off of cases from October 4-17. Fairfield's case rate was 19.2. We participated in a conference call with the State Department of Public Health this afternoon where they announced our case rate is now at 14.6 and the state has moved Fairfield from red to orange. Today's status level is based on data from October 11-24. The orange level is for towns with a case rate of 11-14 cases per day, per 100,000 residents.

While we are not out of the woods, I am very pleased to see the measures we are taking as a community is having an impact. 


I think it's important to note to our residents that while the state includes the number of positive cases from university students in the calculation, they do not include the number of students from the universities living in our town into the entire population. If you add the roughly 8,500 or so students into the Town's population, the case rate is actually 12.8 per 100,000. In order to put the town on an equal playing field with other town's case rates, it is my opinion that they should use accurate numbers to calculate the data. Our Health Department has requested the state consider doing so, as is being done for UCONN in the Town of Mansfield, but as of yet they have not changed Fairfield's calculation to the include the student resident population. The town is having a meeting with state officials tomorrow to discuss this further.

After conversations with the Emergency Management Team, which includes the Health Department, we have decided to stay in phase 3 that went into effect on October 8th, and review our numbers again next week to have a more accurate picture of where we are. During that time, the Town will continue to closely monitor our case rate, stay in constant contact with both universities, our residents, and the school district, as well as continue to contact trace. 

Fairfield Public Schools
I was invited to attend the Board of Education meeting this week after receiving a large volume of calls and emails from parents who wish to return to school full time. The frustration and exhaustion shared with me by parents is understandable. I'm happy the Board of Education provided parents the opportunity to be heard live during their meeting Tuesday night.  However, I myself was frustrated with the amount of time and attention some board members spent on social media rumors. I have said many times, including in my inauguration speech, rumors and posts on social media should never replace having real conversations. While social media can be a helpful tool in sharing information, it can many times be inaccurate and mean-spirited. 

I am grateful to our school administrators and teachers who are working tirelessly in the face of these new challenges. None of us thought our educators would be put in a position of having to instruct our students in this new technological environment. The stakes are high, the stresses continue to increase on working families and single parent households, but I firmly believe if we all come together to have honest and respectful dialogue, we can move forward in a productive way. 

I will continue to offer any assistance from the Town the school district needs going forward. For more information on the school district's meetings and plans visit their website at fairfieldschools.org.

Community Transmission
The primary means of transmission continues to be from small gatherings where residents across all age groups are letting their guard down by taking off their masks and are coming too close in contact with each other. We all must continue to do our part to stop the spread until we have a vaccine.  

Please, wear masks, wash your hands frequently and maintain a social distance from others.

The Town is putting up signs around the community and in windows of local business as part of our PSA campaign with the video we recently launched, to help remind residents that we are all in this together, and we all need to do our part. 

Data
Charts and data on Fairfield cases including age, gender, nursing home statistics, testing results, different trends and university statistics can be found at 
www.fairfieldct.org/covid19data. When looking at the data page, please be sure to read the notes around each chart as they offer explanations of some of the changes in the data.  The Health Department updates this page daily.

The Health Department also updates the COVID-19 School Data page, which details the school related metrics and is updated each week as the State releases the data. The Fairfield Board of Education also has a dashboard on their homepage at https://www.fairfieldschools.org.

The Universities each have dashboards with their daily testing information, which can be found here:

 
Fairfield University's Dashboard 
Sacred Heart University's Dashboard 


I will always put the health and safety of our residents above all else.  I will continue to work closely as part of our Town's Emergency Management Team, along with our Health Director, to closely watch our numbers during this phase.  Please, continue to do your part and if you have symptoms, make sure you get tested and stay at home.
LOCAL CHARITABLE OPPORTUNITIES 
It is truly unfortunate that COVID-19 has forced many nonprofits to cancel fundraising events which support their mission and operations. This is the second week we are featuring a "Nonprofit of the Week", which we be in each newsletter through the holidays. You can find the feature below my signature.

Please participate in any way you can and help those in need this holiday season! 
IN SUPPORT OF LOCAL BUSINESSES
Fairfield Eats
We are in the middle of 
Fairfield Eats, a special promotion to support and celebrate local restaurants, which is being offered in lieu of a traditional Restaurant Week this year. The event allows foodies to partake in two weeks’ worth of deals. Special offerings include price fixe menus, family meal discounts, take-out options and the chance to win a $50 gift certificate from participating restaurants. Read more about the participating restaurants at www.experiencefairfieldct.org/eats

Love Local E-Gift Card Program 
On Tuesday, the Town of Fairfield and the Chamber of Commerce launched a new buy local initiative with the Fairfield Community e-Gift Card program, which is exclusive to Fairfield businesses only. This is the first digital gift card program to be redeemable at Fairfield’s participating restaurants, retailers and service providers, all in Town.  The e-gift card makes a terrific holiday gift for a co-worker, friend or someone special...all while supporting the local businesses that are the fabric of our cherished community. The best part is they can use the gift card at a participating store, or at multiple places... only in Fairfield.

Watch our press conference by clicking the image and read more about the program or purchase a card at 
FairfieldCTChamber.com/GiftCards.



Small Business Assistance
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.

Since the program launched in May, the Town has approved 56 applications totaling $204,000. The average grant is roughly $3600.Of those approved 35 have been businesses that provide employment to persons of low/moderate income, totaling $145,725 or 71.4% of funds approved.  Of the businesses assisted to date, 53% had not received meaningful support from some other governmental source. We have $45K remaining to commit and are accepting applications on  a first-come, first served basis.  Here is a break-down of the businesses assisted by business type.



Applications are still being accepted on a first come first serve basis, by the Office of Community & Economic Development. To learn more or to apply, please visit the website:
 www.fairfieldct.org/covidsbr
COMMUNITY
This past weekend I enjoyed attending the Magyar Studies of America annual commemoration for the anniversary of the 1956 Freedom Fight by placing a wreath at the memorial plaque behind Independence Hall. Thank you to Zsuzsa Lengyel for organizing and State Representative Laura Devlin for joining me and my fellow Hungarians for this special program. 
Halloween
Halloween is this weekend and I don't think I have to remind residents this is not a normal year. Over the past few weeks I’ve shared the CDC recommendations such as to wear a cloth mask, bring hand sanitizer with you, supervise young children closely, and limit the number of houses you visit; preferably, stay in your neighborhood. If you are handing out candy, set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take on their own. Please practice safe distancing measures while celebrating to protect your children and each other.

Of course, if you do not wish to participate and do not want children coming to your home, please shut off your front lights. To review the town's flyer with the recommended guidance,
 click here.


While we have been downgraded to the orange level, we still have work to do. Don't let your guard down. Please have a safe and happy weekend.

We're all in this together.


Brenda L. Kupchick
Fairfield First Selectwoman
WAKEMAN BOYS & GIRLS CLUB
Since 1913, Wakeman Boys & Girls Club has provided a safe place for children and teens during out-of-school time. The Club focuses on academics, character development, and healthy lifestyles to advance its mission: to guide and inspire young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens­. Currently, the Club’s Remote Learning Village is open to support families and their students in grades K-12 during these challenging times.
 
Wakeman Boys & Girls Club serves 3,000 youth annually through its Southport Clubhouse, Smilow-Burroughs Clubhouse in Bridgeport, and Outreach at McKinley and Holland Hill Schools in Fairfield. In addition, plans are being finalized for construction of a third Clubhouse on Madison Avenue in Bridgeport. 
For more information visit www.wakemanclub.org 
DONATE HERE
CHANGE YOUR CLOCK, CHANGE YOUR BATTERIES
It's that time of year again! Change Your Clock, Change Your Batteries™!
Every fall, Energizer works to remind people of the simple, life-saving habit of changing and testing the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when setting the clocks back for daylight saving time. 

The National Fire Protection Association reports that 71% of smoke alarms which failed to operate had missing, disconnected or dead batteries. This reinforces how important it is to take this time each year to check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Energizer is committed to educating you about home safety. Partnering with retailers and fire stations across the country, we want to remind you to change your batteries in all of your connected home devices when you change your clocks back for Daylight Saving Time.
Fairfield Social Services kicks off its Holiday Giving Program 
Fairfield Social Services is committed to continuing our Holiday program, as we know so many families are struggling financially. Many of our clients lost jobs or lost income through reduction in hours, and are struggling in other ways due to COVID.  Our social workers and staff work hard to make sure no child, senior or family feels forgotten or invisible during the holidays. The Town of Fairfield, our residents, neighbors, town employees, businesses, clubs, schools and individuals have always been incredibly generous to our Holiday Program over the years and have made a real difference in the lives of the families and seniors we serve. We’re hoping we can count on your support again this year.

Rather than collecting wrapped gifts and toys, this year we are requesting gift cards for local supermarkets, toy stores - anywhere families may shop for their loved ones for the holidays. The ability to select and purchase gifts for their families provides our clients another level of independence in an otherwise difficult time. During this special, yet stressful time of year, our goal is to support parents with gift cards or gift certificates for experiences such as vacation camps, after school programs, art classes, or other activities that may be beyond the reach of struggling families to allow children to participate in extra-curricular enrichment opportunities.

On behalf of the families that receive the support from the Holiday Giving Program, the Town of Fairfield and Department of Human and Social Services would like to thank the community for keeping all our residents in mind for the upcoming holiday season.  If you are interested in donating or receiving holiday help, please contact Fairfield Social Services by calling 203-256-3170 or by email at 
socialservices@fairfieldct.org.  Donations are gratefully accepted during business hours 9 AM to 4:30 PM at the Bigelow Center for Senior Activities, 100 Mona Terrace, Fairfield CT 06824.
 
LEAF PICKUP
The schedule for leaf pick-up in the Town of Fairfield is as follows: 
November 9th
November 16th
November 30th
December 7th
More information available a
fairfieldct.org/curbsidecollection
HALLOWEEN GUIDANCE 
Some of our residents have reached out to me and asked if the town should cancel Halloween. The CDC released guidance for communities to experience a safe Halloween. Let me emphasize that for those who do not wish to celebrate, you have the choice of shutting off your front porch light so that no one will come to your door. You can read more about how to have a safe Halloween by clicking on the image below. Please be safe.

 
FAIRFIELD PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

What’s your story? What’s your reason?  
DO YOUR PART...Wear a mask!

Download the video here so you can upload it to social media, or share it from the links below, to continue to remind our residents that part of our civic responsibility to each other is to wear a mask. 
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
FAIRFIELD REVALUATION 

The Connecticut General Statutes requires each town to do a revaluation every five years. The Town of Fairfield is in the process of a real property revaluation as required for the Grand List of October 1, 2020. This revaluation will correspond to the tax bills that will be due beginning in July 2021. For more informationclick here

Current property information can be found here: https://gis.vgsi.com/fairfieldct/


To listen to the presentation from Assessor Ross Murray and Mike Fazio at the Board of Selectman meeting, click here. 

Reminder: Business Personal Property Declarations are due by November 2, 2020. More information can be found here https://www.fairfieldct.org/personalproperty 

APPLY FOR ENERGY ASSISTANCE 
If you need help with your heating bill, Fairfield Social Services can help families with the process. It's important to apply now because the utility moratorium on power/heat shut-offs ends October 1, 2020.W

Fairfield Social Services is now making appointments to assist Fairfield residents with applications for the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program. Energy assistance pays for a household's primary heating source such as oil, natural gas, electricity, propane, kerosene, coal, wood and wood pellets on behalf of eligible households. The amount of heat assistance may not be sufficient to cover a household's entire winter heating cost. Homeowners and renters may apply. 

Due to risks associated with Covid-19, there will be no in-person appointments for Energy Assistance. Please call the Social Services office to set up your telephone appointment: 203-256-3170. Don't wait, do it now.
DOGS ON LEASH
As of October 1st, Dogs are permitted on Town of Fairfield Beaches, however, they are prohibited from Boardwalks, Pavilions and playgrounds. Persons responsible for dogs must clean up after their animals while they are on the beach, in open spaces or in the parking areas. Dogs are not permitted in any Town of Fairfield parks or playground areas.

The CDC Guidelines have not changed regarding dogs being leashed at all times and under the control of their owner. I know our town has allowed dogs to be unleashed at Jennings Beach and at Lake Mohegan, however it would not be responsible for the Town of Fairfield to ignore the CDC guidelines during this pandemic. I hope our Town's dog owners understand that we must follow these guidelines while visiting any Fairfield Parks, Beaches & Open Spaces.

According to the CDC, we should "treat pets as you would other human family members to protect them from a possible infection." The "CDC recommends that pet owners limit their pet’s interaction with people outside their household."

In addition, the CDC states that you should "walk dogs on a leash at least 6 feet (2 meters) away from others" and "avoid public places where a large number of people gather."

We thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.

For the complete text of the Town Ordinance pertaining to dogs on beaches, open space areas, and marinas, go to: 
https://buff.ly/34jJsKm
FAIRFIELD BICYCLE & PEDESTRIAN COMMITTEE: 
The Town of Fairfield Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee has been working to encourage walking and biking for transportation, recreation, exercise and quality of life.

Working with multiple town departments we have established 
bicycle routesinstalled bicycle repair stationsworked to improve pedestrian infrastructure, and authored the Town of Fairfield Complete Streets Policy (approved by the Board of Selectman in 2018).

With more and more of our citizens using our roads, we would like to provide you with some important safety reminders for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. View the document here.
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
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.
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
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:
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
BIGELOW CENTER 
Transportation services are running 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
Testing capacity has increased in our area. To view locations where to get tested, please visit fairfieldct.org/covid19testing.

Contact Tracing 
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. Both Universities were trained and assisted by our Health Department to manage their own contact tracing for their respective campuses.

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.

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.
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. 

Hours of Operation: Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 10:00-12:00; Thursday from 4:00 -6:00. Visit operationhopect.org.
FAIRFIELD PUBLIC LIBRARY
The Fairfield Public Main Library is open for quick browsing and checkout Monday-Saturday afternoons 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm and Tuesday and Thursday evenings 5:00pm – 7:00pm. Learn more about Library Express service.

Please visit fairfieldpubliclibrary.org for full details regarding Curbside Pickup at the Main Library and Woods Branch Library.   Fairfield Public Library continues to offer 24/7 access to their digital collection of books, music, magazines, movies and databases.  Visit the Library Event Calendar to find a wide and varied assortment of Virtual Programs.

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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Contact Us

Old Town Hall (Directions)
611 Old Post Road
Fairfield, CT 06824

Sullivan Independence Hall
725 Old Post Road
Fairfield, CT 06824

203-256-3000
Find additional contact info here