Cheshire municipal reopening continues as pandemic wanes

CHESHIRE — Now that vaccinations are up and COVID-19 infections are going down, life can begin to go back to normal again. Although many municipalities are focusing on getting reopened, town officials believe the town never fully “shut down” during the pandemic.

“Cheshire has probably been one of the most open towns in the state over the past year,” said Town Manager Sean Kimball. “Nearly all the town services and buildings (Town Hall, Recreation, Department of Public Works, Police, Fire, etc.) have been fully open for regular hours and services for a while now. The library is open for reduced hours but will be at normal hours by July 1st at the latest. The Senior Center is open for nearly regular hours, although certain programming will need to be modified for some time due to protocols and volunteer availability.”

In recent weeks, the Senior Center has had some difficulty finding volunteers to work at the facility, but still has been trying to create activities for patrons. 

“This month, we are welcoming back people into the Senior Center and we want them to feel as comfortable as possible as they make the transition back to us,” said Stefanie Theroux, coordinator of Senior Services at the Cheshire Senior Center.

The Senior Center has been open to the public since May 3, and members can access the building between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Masks are still required for members and staff.

This spring, the Senior Center is holding a number of “Welcome Back” events, including outdoor concerts.

Kimball explained that the Cheshire Community Pool is the only town service that has a longer reopening time due to its unique design and usage.

“The pool is probably the only example of a ‘slower’ reopening only due to capacity restrictions as a pseudo-indoor establishment, although those might be changing soon,” he said. “We are working to resume in-person town meetings in the near future with physical plexiglass dividers installed for improved distancing.”

On May 19, Gov. Ned Lamont updated Connecticut’s mask-wearing guidelines for unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals, no longer requiring a mask for those who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and only requiring a mask for those who are unvaccinated indoors.

“Residents and businesses should follow the executive order released (on May 19) in circumstances where it applies to them,” Kimball said. “(The) executive order does permit the town to establish our own mask rules for town buildings/facilities and we are working through those in consultation with Chesprocott (Health District) and with input from the affected Town departments.”

Kimball also added that the Cheshire Yellow House, which is across the street from Cheshire High School and is typically used for youth programming, will continue to do virtual events but will be erecting an outdoor tent sometime this month to allow the facility to resume outdoor activities and functions. 

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