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Three COVID-19 cases reported in Southington, town offices closed to public

Three COVID-19 cases reported in Southington, town offices closed to public

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As new cases of coronavirus are confirmed across the state, three Southington residents — the first in town — have tested positive for the virus.

According to the state Department of Public Health, 223 residents had been confirmed to have contracted the virus, 43 of whom have been hospitalized and five who have died, as of DPH’s Saturday update.

One case concerns a Meriden resident, first announced on Thursday. 

The 48-year-old man was tested at Middlesex Hospital and is in critical condition, according to hospital spokeswoman Amanda Falcone.

Due to patient privacy laws, Falcone couldn't offer additional information about the patient or who he may have come in contact with.

Close contacts were ordered to quarantine for 14 days, the city said in a statement.

Details on the Southington cases were not available from DPH or local officials.

Southington Town Manager Mark Sciota said the town is complying with the executive order Gov. Ned Lamont issued on Friday urging all employers to allow non-essential staffers to work from home. 

Starting Monday, only department heads and a few essential employees will continue working at Southington town offices, with most other employees working remotely. Staffing at the Police Department, Fire Department and Water Pollution Control facility will remain unchanged.

“We’re talking about one or two people in the department,” Sciota said of offices like Planning and Zoning.

The Town Hall and municipal center will remain closed to the public, though departments will continue to operate and residents are asked to communicate through email and phone rather than visiting in person. Sciota said residents with any questions can also utilize the “Ask the Manager” portal on the town website to direct inquiries to him.

Sciota recommended residents heed the advice of Shane Lockwood, director of the Plainville-Southington Regional Health District, and not leave their homes unless necessary. The district has also created an email address residents can direct questions about the virus to,

Any town meetings that aren’t time critical have also been postponed and meetings that are still being held, like the March 25 Board of Finance meeting, will instead be streamed online. Residents who have questions they would like posed to members of the board can email Sciota beforehand or live during the meeting.

Meriden Town Manager Tim Coon said the city is still evaluating the impact of the executive order Lamont issued on March 21 which extends deadlines for municipalities to submit various filings, such as land use records, and which also releases municipalities from obligations to hold public hearings and referendums on budget adoption.