This is a quickly developing situation and this article will be updated as soon as possible with information relevant to West Hartford to reflect changing information.
Compiled by Ronni Newton
This article is designed to be a hub for up-to-date information as well as links to all of the articles published on We-Ha.com regarding COVID-19, the 2019 coronavirus.
News about coronavirus and the ripple effects on our community is coming fast and furious, and we are doing our best to update you as quickly as we receive information. Please feel free to add your own updates in the comments section below.
To help keep you up to speed, we’ve put together a lot of relevant information in this hub, including links to resources. Click on the links for additional information.
We-Ha.com will be co-hosting (along with the Neighbors & Friends in West Hartford Facebook page, West Hartford Community interactive, and West Hartford Political Forum Facebook page) an interactive Facebook Live event on Thursday, March 12, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Panelists include an infectious disease doctor, nurse from the West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District, and a representative of the town’s Office of Emergency Management. Click here for details, and here to join the event.
- West Hartford coronavirus webpage
- John’s Hopkins University Coronavirus Research Center has up-to-date information about the spread of the virus worldwide, including an interactive map.
- COVID-19 information from the Center For Disease Control, and the federal government’s COVID-19 website
- Travel recommendations from the CDC
- Information from the World Health Organization
- Gov. Lamont’s Executive Order issued March 12, 2020
March 13, 2020
At 9:30 p.m. Hartford HealthCare CEO Jeffrey Flaks announced that Hartford Hospital is treating the area’s first confirmed case of COVID-19, a woman from Rocky Hill who is in her 80s.
Earlier in the day, Gov. Ned Lamont announced that there were 11 cases in the state, and the evening announcement brings the total to 12 – double the number of cases from the previous day.
The list of closings and cancellations continues to grow, and while most stores are still open it’s a good idea to call ahead. Toilet paper is fairly hard to find, and hand sanitizer is even more scarce – although many places of business have a supply at the door for customers going in and out to use.
Closures announced today (these are the businesses that have provided details to We-Ha.com) include:
- Mandell JCC, for two weeks.
- West Hartford Yoga closed Friday at 1 p.m.
- Uncle Chow (179 Park Road) is closed until further notice. Owner Hecheng Chen said that his other restaurants – Bonchon (Storrs),Wayback (Granby), Chosen 1 (Bloomfield), and Chosen 1 (Hartford) will be all only serving zero-contact take out.
Cancellations/changes announced today:
- St. James’s Episcopal Church – No services for the next three weeks
- Beth El Temple services
- Festival of Women’s Voices
- Sassafrazz at University of Saint Joseph
- JFact events
- World Series Club event with Al Oliver
- Archbishop of Hartford said that the obligation to attend mass has been dismissed but mass will still be held
- West Hartford Chamber of Commerce events through the end of March, and the Economic Development luncheon scheduled for April 28
- Voices of Hope events through April 26
- The Hartford Rib-Off has been postponed from June 19-20 until Oct. 23
Please email closings and cancellations to [email protected] if you would like them to be included in this article.
Mayor Shari Cantor issued the following Everbridge message through the town’s Community Notification Alert System on Friday evening:
Hello, this is Mayor Shari Cantor. I am calling you today with an update on the Town of West Hartford’s emergency preparedness plan regarding the global pandemic of COVID-19.
This is an unprecedented situation that is changing rapidly, and it will continue to have profound effects on everyone in our community, our state, and our country. I want to assure all residents that your town government is working tirelessly to safeguard the public from COVID-19. In consultation with local, state, and federal health and safety officials, the town has taken the following steps to mitigate community spread of the virus.
West Hartford Public Schools will be closed for two weeks starting on Monday, March 16 through March 27. The reopening of schools will be dependent on events at that time. It is critical that parents make sure their children avoid congregating in large groups during this time.
Town meetings are being cancelled on a case-by-case basis, and we are reviewing options for conducting some business electronically.
Town government will remain open, but a number of our Town facilities will be closed for the next couple of weeks, and some operations will change to encourage social distancing. These closures will allow our much-appreciated custodial staff to deep clean all public spaces.
The Town facilities that are closed are listed on our web site, WestHartfordCT.gov/covid19 or call the West Hartford Library at 860-561-6990, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., as they will be serving as the town’s Communication Center.
We are so pleased to report that starting on Monday WHPS Nutrition Services will be providing grab and go meals to students and sharing community food program information with families.
Follow the link for WHPS Grab and Go.
Please encourage your neighbors and friends to register for our Community Alerts so they can receive messages and updates, like this one, at WestHartfordCT.gov/CANS.
To the extent possible, we are asking all residents to conduct Town business over the phone, internet or mail. There are many resources available to you through the Town web site. We encourage you to find forms, information sheets and phone numbers that you can use to continue your business with the Town of West Hartford.
And, our public library offers an abundance of information with their online services at www.westhartfordlibrary.org.
I am grateful for our engaged and generous community. So many residents have reached out to me to offer their help. The best way to help right now is to make a monetary or food donation. Please visit WestHartfordCT.gov/TownThatCares.
Be prepared as you can in your home with food, prescriptions and other supplies in case it is necessary to remain in your home for a prolonged period.
Finally, I just want to say how proud I am of West Hartford. We are a strong community of neighbors and friends, and we will navigate this crisis together. I thank you for your concern, generosity, support and patience while we do all we can to keep our community safe and healthy. I will be in touch in the coming days or as needed with new information.
Be safe and be well. Thank you for listening.
March 12, 2020 (10 p.m.)
The Town of West Hartford has announced that many facilities will close for two weeks, including libraries, senior centers, and indoor athletic facilities. The complete list and closing dates can be found here.
March 12, 2020 (9:15 p.m.)
The American School for the Deaf announced Thursday evening that the difficult decision has been made to “close the school beginning Monday, March 16, 2020 through at least Friday, March 27, 2020 in a community effort to contain the spread of the virus and mitigate the outcome. ASD’s spring break, which was originally scheduled for April 13-17, will now be March 16-20. ASD hopes to open again on March 30, but administrators will continue to monitor the virus and protocol by other districts to determine the rest of the school year,” spokesperson Rennie Polk said in an email.
“Though we are hoping for the best, we must plan for the worst. ASD understands this closure will be extremely disruptive to all our families but realizes the decision to close is in the best interest of our students, their families, school staff and community. Administrators will work with any and all families who will have difficulty dealing with this closure and will especially work to help those families who depend on our free and reduced lunch program,” said Executive Director Jeff Bravin. “As a community, we must all work together to contain this outbreak.”
March 12, 2020 (2:31 p.m.)
Superintendent of West Hartford Public Schools Tom Moore announced that as of Monday, March 16, classes will be suspended for at least two weeks.
Read the article, which includes the letter sent to all families in the district, here: https://we-ha.com/breaking-west-hartford-public-schools-to-close-for-at-least-2-weeks/
All Catholic schools in West Hartford and Solomon Schechter Day School will be following West Hartford Public Schools’ schedule. Kingswood Oxford students are currently on spring break and will resume classes online on March 24. More details are included in the article link above.
March 12, 2020 (noon)
West Hartford Public Schools and the town’s private schools remain in session, but all events involving more than 100 people have been canceled in accordance with recommendations made by Gov. Ned Lamont, who earlier this week declared a civil preparedness and public health emergency in the state.
Canceled or indefinitely postponed events at the schools include all plays and spring concerts, including but not limited to Conard Performing Arts performance of “The Drowsy Chaperone” and Hall’s Pops ‘n Jazz.
Town of West Hartford-sponsored events involving more than 100 people have been canceled or postponed as well, and many organizations and venues have followed the town’s lead.
In addition to the school events mentioned above, events in West Hartford canceled or postponed include:
- West Hartford’s Cookin’ fundraiser for the Foundation for West Hartford Public Schools
- Johnny’s Jog for Charity
- Children’s Museum annual gala
- Orchid show
- Concerts at St. James’s
- Ben Bronz Academy gala
- West Hartford Symphony Orchestra Spring Classical Concert
- Jewish Film Festival events on March 12-23
- Ballet Theatre Company’s “Ode to Frank” has been rescheduled for Thursday, June 4
- Dignity Grows packing party
- Connecticut Spelling Bee, postponed until Sunday, April 26 at 1 p.m.
The CIAC has canceled all winter sports tournaments, but no formal announcement has yet been made regarding spring sports.
As of mid-day Thursday, Playhouse on Park has not canceled performances, Executive Director Tracy Flater said. The stop/time dance theater performance of “Divas” is scheduled to begin on March 25.
Outside of West Hartford, many large events have been canceled, including the YWCA’s In the Company of Women luncheon, Hartford Marathon Foundation St. Patrick’s Day-themed races, the Hartford and New Haven St. Patrick’s Day parades, and the AAC basketball tournament.
Our recommendation is to check with the event organizers or venues before heading to any event, because schedule changes are happening very quickly. Please add updates as comments and they will be incorporated into the running list.
Most area colleges, and colleges throughout the country, are implementing schedule changes with extended spring breaks as well as distance learning programs to allow students to complete their coursework. Programs differ from school-to-school and for specific details the best option is the visit the college or university’s website.
Central Connecticut State University’s president issued a statement late Thursday morning, closing the campus abruptly after the administration learned that a student had potentially been exposed to someone being tested for COVID-19.
March 11, 2020
West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor issued the following Everbridge message through the town’s Community Notification Alert System.
Hello, this is Mayor Shari Cantor. I am calling you today as part of our emergency preparedness planning regarding the Coronavirus, also known as CoVID-19.
As of today, March 11, there are no confirmed cases in West Hartford.
The Town and West Hartford Public Schools are working in partnership with the West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District to mitigate the impact to our community. We also are connecting daily with the State of Connecticut. Just yesterday, the State declared Public Health and Civil Preparedness Emergencies.
We have a dedicated web page on this virus, at WestHartfordCT.gov/covid19. The best sources of information about the virus continue to be the CT Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We encourage you to visit these websites to get the most up-to-date information.
As I am sure you have heard, the best defense against the spread of this virus include simple precautions of frequent hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds, not shaking hands, avoiding close contact with sick people, and cleaning and disinfecting shared spaces.
If you are not feeling well, stay home. Call your doctor and seek medical advice.
If you don’t know where to begin, dial 2-1-1 from anywhere in Connecticut and you will be connected with a specialist who can locate programs and services in your area. This resource is available 24 hours a day.
The Town of West Hartford and West Hartford Public Schools are following the Governor’s recommendation to cancel gatherings that draw 100 or more people, either indoors or outdoors, until further notice. Avoid events in which people will be in close proximity to each other as another preventative measure to stopping the spread of the virus.
Please tell your neighbors and friends to register for West Hartford Community Alert Notification System so they can receive messages and updates, like this one, at WestHartfordCT.gov/CANS.
Be prepared as you can in your home with food, prescriptions and other supplies you might need in case you or someone in your house is exposed.
I hope West Hartford never has a case of this virus. And, while it feels that we are being overly cautious, the decisions we are making now are being done to protect our community and each and every one of you.
This CoVID-19 situation is fluid and changing rapidly. I will be in touch in the coming days or as needed with new information.
Be safe and be well. Thank you for listening.
Links below are to all of the coverage that has been provided on We-Ha.com thus far:
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