Virus brings city business to standstill
SHELTON — The senior center, libraries and community center as well as the school central office and city departments — with the exception of the city clerk — will be closing until further notice.
The announcement came two days after Gov. Ned Lamont ordered that nonessential workers, public and private, stay home to promote social distancing and slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The “Stay Safe, Stay Home” initiative, developed in conjunction with New York State, started at 8 p.m. Monday and will last until April 22, subject to revisions.
“The city will be monitoring the current situation on a daily basis and will make adjustments as necessary,” said Mayor Mark Lauretti.
All city meetings have been canceled, and Lauretti has delayed release of his 2020-21 fiscal year budget for at the least the next couple of weeks as he watches how the pandemic’s effect on the economy impacts the city’s plans moving forward.
Lauretti said the city will provide updates on the coronavirus and its preparation efforts as it relates to the community at www.cityofshelton.org.
Residents can call the city clerk’s office between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday to schedule an appointment.
According to the city website, the Shelton Community Center, Shelton Senior Center, libraries, animal shelter, Richard O. Belden Cultural Center, registrar of voters office and the youth service bureau are also closed until further notice.
All city parks, playgrounds and trails will remain open. The city yard and transfer station will also remain open during regular hours, officials said.
In a Facebook post, Shelton Parks & Recreation officials stated “Please keep in mind when using any of Shelton's public parks, playgrounds, and walking trails to practice social distancing. This involves staying at least 6 feet away from others and not gathering in groups, especially with children on the playgrounds.”
“Public works, emergency services, police, fire and ambulance services are essential services and will remain open and available,” said Lauretti. “Emergency services will continue to respond to 911 and calls for service using enhanced procedures to keep our first responders and community members safe.”
Lauretti said Shelton police will continue to take reports over the telephone for minor issues or incidents which would not require an officer to visit a home or business.
Interim school Superintendent Beth Smith, in an email to parents and staff March 22, stated that all Shelton public schools and central office will be closed beginning March 24.
Employees, including those at the central office, will be working virtually, and all Board of Education and Board of Education committee meetings are postponed until further notice.
“Anyone experiencing technology issues must email Helpdesk@sheltonpublicschools.org,” stated Smith.
Smith asked that parents not call the HelpDesk as there is no call forwarding for that phone. Any parent who was unable to pick up materials on Friday, should email firstname.lastname@example.org and include their child's name, school, and materials desired.
“During this closure, our food distribution at Shelton High School will continue,” said Smith. “I encourage all families to take advantage of this service offered by Whitsons Food Service, which is available to all students enrolled in the Shelton public schools and Holy Trinity Catholic Academy.”