March 9, 2020
To All City Employees:
Over the last few days, the State of Connecticut has seen the first diagnosed cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). While these cases have not directly affected a Norwalk resident, one such person worked at Norwalk Hospital, and another is a Wilton resident. We are focused on ensuring the critical role City government plays in the lives of residents and the public are not severely impacted. Therefore, effective immediately, I am sharing the following directives and policy updates:
- All events on City-owned property, or sponsored by the City of Norwalk with expected attendance of more than 100 people are canceled through April 30. We continue monitoring the situation and will adjust as-necessary. Please let vendors and residents who are making a reservation know of this current policy and inform them events after April 30 may also be canceled.
- All out-of-state travel for employees on official City business is canceled until further notice.
- If you travel out of state, and especially out of country to Level 2 or Level 3 areas, please report this to the Norwalk Health Department. People are being asked to work from home, if possible, and self-quarantine depending on the location of their travel. As this situation is evolving daily, it is imperative to alert the Health Department as they will have the most up-to-date State and Federal guidelines.
- Employees with City-issued technology are to bring those devices home each day to ensure flexibility, and test remote-access login capabilities. Please contact the IT Department for help as-needed.
- If you feel symptomatic, or generally not well, stay home from work. Under no circumstances should employees come to work when they are sick.
- The City’s property management firm Guardian has been directed to increase the use of cleaning supplies at City buildings. We have been in touch with property managers and tenants at other City-owned buildings that we do not clean to let them know the expectation is to increase the frequency of cleaning, especially focusing on common touch points.
- Public meetings will continue, but public participants, volunteers, and elected officials are encouraged to sit within an arm’s length of each other. Members of the public are also encouraged to submit comments electronically and to take advantage of the City’s online permitting services.
While these actions may be disruptive, it is imperative that we all do our part to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the area. Governor Lamont has issued similar guidance to all State employees, and has asked local employers to do the same. Also, at this moment, your supervisors and Department Chiefs are working to update their respective Continuity of Operations Plans. You may be hearing from them directly in the coming days, and please, if you have any questions or concerns, share them with your immediate supervisor.
Please continue taking care of yourselves and your families. Wash your hands well and frequently, avoid touching your face, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and discard it immediately, and avoid shaking hands. My staff is meeting regularly and is in constant contact with the State and Local Health Departments, as well as Norwalk Public Schools. I will continue sharing the latest information with you employees as soon as I have it. Updates will also be posted routinely on our webpage at norwalkct.org/coronavirus.
I thank you all for your commitment to the health and safety of our staff and the public.
Mayor Harry Rilling