We are all aware of the rapidly evolving nature of COVID-19 and the challenging situation that has been created across our communities, state, country and world. These changes are so dynamic that they are happening daily, hourly and within minutes. As you Mayor, I continue to actively monitor developments and am following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Executive Orders from Governor Lamont. In many cases, we are taking more proactive measures to limit the exposure to our employees and residents while continuing to deliver our core functions remotely.
For many weeks we have been planning and working toward various changing levels of response and daily and hourly changes to our operations. Our town Unified Command Team has been meeting to transition appropriate core functions that can be handled remotely. On Friday March 13th we closed all buildings and cancelled all programing at our Senior Center, Parks & Recreation and the Library. On Monday March 16th we closed our town hall to the public and began providing services to the public via phone, email and mail. Additionally, that day I signed a Declaration of Civil Preparedness and on March 17th we opened our Emergency Operation Center in monitoring mode. That same evening we held the Town Council meeting with public access via call-in number.
The Unified Command Team and our Preparedness Coalition are born from previous town experiences in disaster preparedness and our weeklong FEMA training. As such, these past few weeks have provided us a roadmap for creating our Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) which refines those core functions of town government. As the COVID-19 accelerates, the town will be ready to implement the appropriate phase in the plan in an orderly measure.
While we work to ensure our community can continue to count on services, I continue to actively participate in all areas of government remotely to ensure a continuity of resources for our employees and residents. These include communicating with mayors, state and federal government leaders to ensure funding for emergency assistance, community reinvestment and support for small businesses. Additionally, tackling and ensuring statutory requirements of municipal services are met. There are multiple daily state calls with updates from our Governor and other state and federal partners, and ongoing meetings with our Unified Command Team consisting of administration, including the Health Department, Police Department, Fire Department and the East Hartford Public Schools.
Please visit the town website www.easthartfordct.gov and use it as a centralized resource for updates on COVID-19 and information on town services. Please help our community reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and protect yourself, your family, our residents and especially those most vulnerable by adhering to distance and isolation measures.