The situation in our state continues to evolve rapidly during this public health emergency. I urge all Madison residents to assume that COVID-19 is prevalent in our town now, and to follow strict social distancing guidelines. The more proactive and serious we are in limiting physical contact with each other, the greater chance we have to limit the spread of the disease and protect our families, friends and neighbors.
Over these past few days, we have been taking a number of additional steps to protect our community:
- Today, March 20th, I formally issued an Emergency Recommendation that strongly discourages any gatherings of more than ten people for social or recreational activities, especially those gatherings outside of family groups. As the number of confirmed cases inevitably grows, and residents are observed to not follow CDC prevention guidelines designed to slow the spread of the virus, additional measures may need to be taken to protect public health and safety.
- Also as of today, all public playgrounds will be closed. Under the current public health emergency, we must limit potential exposure to the virus via surface contamination. While we encourage families to enjoy fresh air and get plenty of outdoor exercise, please do not allow children to congregate in groups on playscapes, swings, or other playground equipment at any of the town’s beach and recreation facilities.
- As of Monday, March 23rd, town offices will be closed to the public entirely through March 31st. Staff will be working remotely to conduct essential business, and reachable during regular business hours via telephone or email to answer questions and determine ways we can be of assistance, especially for critical services like the Town Clerk’s office. We continue to encourage the community to conduct routine business on-line when possible at madisonct.org.
- As a reminder, earlier this week the town directed a number of businesses to close including: restaurants (except take-out), bars, gyms and fitness centers, movie theaters, barbers, salons, and other related businesses that require direct physical contact with customers, to cease operations. While we recognize this will create significant hardships for some of our local business owners, we felt it was absolutely necessary in the interest of public health.
These measures are being taken to protect the health and well-being of our seniors and children. We are in a state of emergency and the public must take the situation seriously. I know this is a difficult and stressful time for many in our community to the high degree of uncertainty. The town is working hard to connect those in need with the appropriate resources available at the state and local level, and throughout our community through civic and faith-based organizations. Those Madison residents needing assistance for themselves or their families, and who are less than 65 years old, can contact Madison Youth and Family Services at 203-245-5645 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information on locally available resources. If you are a Madison resident seeking assistance for someone age 65 or older, you can contact Madison Senior Services 203-245-5627 or email at email@example.com. We are here to help guide you to the appropriate community resources.
Many of you have also reached out to my office saying you want to help, especially in our efforts to support those in our most vulnerable population. The Madison Senior Center has a drive-up collection site for non-perishable food donations. For anyone seeking to volunteer, you can contact Madison Senior Services at 203-245-5627 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteers may register individually or in groups.
Once again, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is we follow social distancing guidelines. This is a time for Madison residents to draw on the strength of our communal ties. This is a moment that calls for collective action and selflessness, and because we are all in this together to save lives.