Newington working hard to keep employees safe

Published on Thursday, 23 April 2020 20:07
Written by Erica Drzewiecki

@drzewieckinbh

NEWINGTON – As the town’s tally of cases rose over 100 Thursday, careful measures were taken to ensure employees providing essential services remained virus-free.

“COVID-19 has changed the way in which we’re doing business,” town manager Keith Chapman said. “We’ve been very fortunate not to have any employees come down with this particular infection. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.”

Select staff are still reporting to work at Town Hall and the Newington Senior & Disabled Center, including Human Services, the Food Bank and the Parks, Building and Engineering Departments. Parks employees are alternating shifts to prepare Newington’s athletic fields and public recreation areas for a potential re-opening sometime in the near future.

Accounting for those town employees who have been able to transition into work-from-home situations, there are currently about 20-25 people in Newington Town Hall on any given day, according to the town manager. That’s less than half of the typical foot traffic the building sees on a normal basis.

Mayor Beth DelBuono was relieved to see measures being taken to keep air circulating inside the building and surfaces free from germs when she stopped by the facility.

“They are propping open interior doors and there is hand sanitizer in every room,” DelBuono pointed out.

Construction has continued on the new Town Hall/Community Center, still on target for an expected move-in date of July 27, 2020.

“The COVID-19 situation has not adversely impacted the project,” Chapman said, adding that an on-site nurse routinely checks the body temperature of workers before they enter the building to rule out possible illness.

By mid-April, the town had spent $10,500 on supplies, equipment and other measures to address the virus and stop its spread, according to officials.

About 75% of all municipal expenses related to health protocol are expected to be reimbursed by the federal government, through Connecticut’s disaster declaration.

“Overall, under these extreme conditions, I think we’re doing pretty well,” Chapman said. “We’re going to continue doing our best to protect everyone who works for the town and our citizens.”

Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at edrzewiecki@centralctcommunications.com.



Posted in Newington Town Crier, Newington News on Thursday, 23 April 2020 20:07. Updated: Thursday, 23 April 2020 20:09.