CHESHIRE — The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed many municipalities and towns and none have yet to resume business as usual.
Although Connecticut is currently faring better most states, some municipalities are cautious about reopening, unsure to what the fall might bring.
Town Manager Sean Kimball spoke to The Herald recently about how the town has handled the pandemic.
“It’s been an incredibly challenging time, but we are all really fortunate to be in the position we are in when you see what is happening in some other places,” he said. “We’ve now shifted as a state to focusing on how we keep and maintain low infection rates while we try and reopen again.”
As of Thursday, Cheshire had 220 confirmed case of the coronavirus and 24 deaths, according to state figures.
The town has started to take steps towards normalcy, with plans regarding parks and playgrounds released last week, as well as a majority or restaurants and businesses slowly adjusting to new rules.
“Generally speaking, Cheshire has been doing really well throughout this pandemic,” Kimball said. “But we don’t want to put ourselves in great risk now that we’ve been able to get to this point.”
All town services, including the Cheshire Yellow House, Senior Center, and Artsplace are open at some capacity, with some businesses adding online courses and virtual gatherings to continue providing services to the community, according to Kimball.
“The library just recently opened up again for book drop offs, and I know places like the Senior Center and Artsplace have moved a lot of their programming online,” he added. “Now the town has shifted to focusing on schools…”
Kimball said he doesn’t anticipate a PPE shortage this fall as long as the infection rate remains low.
“Currently, PPE is not in a high demand right now and we were able to replenish the stockpiles that were depleted in the spring,” Kimball said. “Chesprocott has been wonderful with their help and (Chesprocott Health District Director) Maura [Epsosito] and her team have really been amazing through all of this.”
At the last Town Council meeting, Chairman Rob Oris, along with a few other Republican members, expressed a desire to hold the next council meeting in person, as long as appropriate social distancing measures can be followed.
“As long as the amount of people at the meeting doesn’t exceed 25, we can ideally have the meeting in person,” said Kimball. “What might be tricky is trying to get the community engaged in the meetings and the public hearings, which has been difficult to get going through the virtual meetings as well.”
Other committees, such as the Library Board and Energy Commission, have been able to meet in person as long as all involved ensure that meeting doesn’t exceed 25 attendees, according to Kimball.