Westport library closes indefinitely, town offices for two weeks
WESTPORT — With the coronavirus crisis continuing to evolve rapidly, First Selectman Jim Marpe said town facilities will remain closed through March 31.
“At this time, the town does not intend to impose a mandatory quarantine, but strongly encourages self-isolation for everyone,” Marpe said in a news release on Friday. “For the benefit of all our residents, neighbors and friends, anyone who believes they may have come into contact with COVID-19 must self-isolate.”
A Westport woman tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, on Thursday, according to the Westport-Weston Health District.
Businesses should encourage online interaction, social distancing in their facilities and direct delivery of services, Marpe said.
“It should be assumed that COVID-19 is everywhere,” the news release states. “Please consider contacting and staying in touch with neighbors or friends who may be particularly vulnerable, keeping social-distancing at the forefront of any interaction.”
The Westport Center for Senior Acitvities, the Parks and Recreation office, and town hall are also closed to the public. These town facilities will remain closed and public meetings are canceled at least through March 31.
“During this time, in an effort to maintain essential services during this shutdown, staff will be available during business hours,” the news release states. “While departments will have limited staffing, the public may email or leave voicemail messages with specific town hall deparments. Please allow sufficient time for a response.”
Additionally, the Westport Libary has announced it will remain closed indefinitely.
“The health and well-being of our patrons and staff is the highest priority of the Westport Library,” Executive Director Bill Harmer said in a statement on Friday.
Harmer said the library has hired a cleaning company to do a two-day deep disinfectant of the building.
“All the evidence points to the fact that things are giong to get worse before they get better,” he said. “The virus likely to spread exponentially and our infrastructure, doctor’s offices and hospitals, are woefully unprepared to handle the onslaught that is coming.”
During the closure, Harmer said the library will continue to provide email support.
The Board of Education said in a statement that other school districts in the area have closed to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“We strongly recommend our families practice social distancing while our students and faculty remain out of school,” the BOE said. “We understand the impulse to get together but even small gatherings — even having ‘just a couple of close friends’ over, even with people you and your children have spent a lot of time with — undermine the efficacy of our community-wide effort to slow trnmision of disease.”
The health district also discouraged social gatherings — large and small.
“Those who continue to congregate without appropriate personal protective equipment and do not diligently practice the simple protective measure of washing hands, etc., are the ones who will be getting sick,” the health district said in a statement.