Bethel's HamletHub Thu, 09 Apr 2020 14:04:47 -0400 In Response to COVID-19 ACE ENDICO Offers Home Delivery

During these challenging times, ACE ENDICO wants to help and is offering to deliver directly to your home!

"We want you to stay safe in the comfort of your home. During these uncertain times, let us bring you the service and premium quality food typically served in our restaurants," they say. 

Monday through Friday delivery. Order by 5pm and you will receive your order within 2 business days. There is $200 minimum per order.

ACE ENDICO wants to assure you that their drivers are wearing gloves, and using sanitizing wipes and disinfectant sprays between deliveries. 

To place your order, click HERE.


]]> (HH) Life Thu, 09 Apr 2020 08:17:36 -0400
Ridgefield Playhouse Streams Tedeschi Trucks Live From Swamp Stream

At a time when live events all over the country have been canceled or postponed, The Ridgefield Playhouse remains dedicated to bringing the arts to our community. Now more than ever it is evident how important music and the performing arts are to our lives.  Through The Ridgefield Playhouse Facebook page we are live streaming some of our musician and performer friends who have been so incredible about keeping the arts alive during these uncertain times.

Each Thursday night at 8pm, fans can stream Tedeschi Trucks Band’s new weekly webcast series, dubbed Swamp Family TV, that highlights the band’s archived performances. “We’re digging into the archives and plan to share as much music from TTB (and some from our friends, family and extended musical network) as your eyes and ears can handle,” the band said in a press release.

In addition to streams from Tedeschi Trucks Band, music fans have also been able to tune into performances by Rob Thomas, Gavin Rossdale, Joshua Bell, Phish, Metallica, Melissa Etheridge, Garth Brooks, Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, Kirsten Maxwell, Jewel, The Met Opera and an original live stream show with ACT of CT. Check out our website at or follow our Facebook page for our ever-expanding list of musical events to stream from the comfort of your home. For tickets to upcoming summer shows call the box office, 203-438-5795 or go online at

The Ridgefield Playhouse is a non-profit performing arts center located at 80 East Ridge, parallel to Main Street, Ridgefield, CT. Twitter: @RPlayhouse Facebook: Instagram:


]]> (The Ridgefield Playhouse) Events Wed, 08 Apr 2020 14:03:59 -0400
Community COVID-10 Update from Bethel First Selectman, Matt Knickerbocker

Last night Governor Lamont issued Executive Order number 7V, his 23rd since declaring a public health emergency due to COVID-19. This latest order is primarily directed at business owners with new rules to keep workers in essential businesses safe.

The governor's Safe Workplace Rules for Essential Employers stresses these points:

  • All essential employees who CAN work from home, SHOULD work from home, if they are not already doing so.
  • All non-essential workplace travel should now be eliminated.
  • All businesses should institute strict controls on visitors entering their site, including prohibiting non-essential visitors and using hand sanitizers at entrances.
  • Elimination of all in-person meetings.
  • Provide masks for employees where close contact is unavoidable.
  • In essential manufacturing and assembly businesses, stagger work shifts, lunch breaks, etc. to spread out workers and increase working distances.
  • Increase frequency of cleaning and sanitizing of all high touch surfaces.

There several additional pages of guidance that every owner of an essential business should read. The full list of safe workplace rules is posted on the state website at the Department of Community and Economic Development. Learn more here.

The full text of Governor Lamont's Executive Order 7V and all previous orders can be downloaded here.

Finally, I think that overall, our residents are doing a terrific job of keeping themselves and their families safe. Let's all keep up the good work, and we will get through this. This morning I read a great quote:

For now, we have to stay apart so we can stay together

]]> (Bethel First Selectman, Matt Knickerbocker) Neighbors Wed, 08 Apr 2020 09:05:40 -0400
ACT of Connecticut Announces 2020-2021 Season, Tickets to Broadway Performances Now On Sale

It is with great joy and excitement that ACT (A Contemporary Theatre) of Connecticut is able to announce the theater’s anticipated return with next season’s line-up of productions. After making the very difficult decision to cancel the remaining shows for this season, the ACT team has re-worked next season’s calendar to bring Ridgefield and the surrounding communities three unbelievable productions.

The 2020-2021 season will begin on October 1, 2020. ACT of CT’s Artistic Director, Daniel C. Levine says, “While it is quite possible that ACT would be able to open its doors before next season, we felt as though we wanted to make the most appropriate decision for both the theater and our community. Opening in the fall makes sense. Next season’s line-up is truly the perfect selection of shows after this period of isolation. I can’t wait to begin our work on these three incredible productions and to once again see our friends and neighbors. Our 2020-2021 line-up is entertaining, heartwarming, magical, and inspirational. Freaky Friday is the perfect show to re-open with. And if you are a Wicked fan, then Stephen Schwartz’s Snapshots will be non-stop smiles. Into the Woods remains my all-time favorite musical, and I am beyond excited for our audiences to see what we have in store with this production of Stephen Sondheim’s masterpiece.”

ACT of CT’s 2020-2021 Season Includes:

Freaky Friday

October 1 – 25, 2020
Book by Bridget Carpenter
Music by Tom Kitt
Lyrics by Brian Yorkey
Based on the novel Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers and the Disney films
When an overworked mother and her teenage daughter magically swap bodies, they have just one day to make things right again. Freaky Friday, a new musical based on the hit Disney film, is a heartfelt, comedic, and unexpectedly emotional update on an American classic. By spending a day in each other's shoes, Katherine and Ellie come to appreciate one another's struggles, learn self-acceptance, and realize the immeasurable love and mutual respect that bond a mother and daughter. With music and lyrics by the TONY Award winning team of Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, Freaky Friday has become one of the most popular new musicals of the year!

Snapshots: A Musical Scrapbook

The Presenting Stephen Schwartz Series
January 28 – February 21, 2021
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz

Book by David Stern

Conceived by Michael Scheman and David Stern

Additional Music and Lyrics by David Crane, Seth Friedman, Marta Kauffman, Alan Menken and Charles Strouse

Arrangements and Orchestrations by Steve Orich

Snapshots: A Musical Scrapbook is an original musical by Broadway legend Stephen Schwartz. Snapshots follows a suburban couple on the verge of divorce after 30 years of marriage. A hidden suitcase in their attic containing photographs of their life together reconnects them with their past as younger versions of themselves appear and play out “snapshots” from their relationship. Snapshots incorporates over two dozen of Schwartz's songs, including songs from Wicked, Pippin, Godspell, The Baker’s Wife, Rags, The Magic Show, Working, Children of Eden, and Enchanted. If you are a fan of Wicked (and other Schwartz musicals), this is the show for you!

Into the Woods
May 13 – June 6, 2021
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Book by James Lapine

Originally Directed on Broadway by James Lapine

Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick

A timeless and deeply relevant Tony Award-winning musical, Into The Woods is one of Stephen Sondheim's most inventive works. Directed by ACT’s Artistic Director Daniel C. Levine, this sophisticated fairy-tale mash-up tells the story of a Baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King's Festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch's curse, the two embark on a journey into the woods to change their fate. Many wishes are granted, but as the characters discover, every wish can have far-reaching consequences and “anything can happen in the woods”.

Subscriptions for the 2020-2021 Season are available now through the ACT of CT website at Season packages include a 10% discount on tickets to the 2020-2021 mainstage productions, free ticket exchange per production and advance notification of additional events. Purchase tickets HERE.

For more information about ACT of CT, ticket and annual subscription sales, fall education programs, sponsor/donor opportunities, and other theatre-related news and announcements, visit

About ACT (A Contemporary Theatre) of Connecticut

ACT (A Contemporary Theatre) of Connecticut is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) Equity theatre located in Ridgefield, CT. Founded and led by Katie Diamond, Daniel C. Levine, and Bryan Perri, ACT of CT presents limited engagement runs of well-known Broadway musicals and plays, as well as world-premiere productions by the next generation of writers and composers. ACT of CT was honored with 11 BroadwayWorld Connecticut Awards in 2018-2019, its inaugural season. ACT of CT’s productions have garnered critical acclaim, too; they’ve been listed among the “top ten equity shows of 2019” by Hearst Connecticut Media Group, and have received similar “top ten” accolades from critics Nancy Sasso Janis and Jim Ruocco. The theatre company produces four shows per season, including one show in the “Presenting Stephen Schwartz!” Series (honoring ACT Artistic Advisor, Stephen Schwartz). All shows feature both Broadway stars and local Fairfield and Westchester County talent. In addition to fully produced main stage productions, ACT of CT hosts a New Works Series, The Broadway Unplugged Series, youth education classes, masterclasses, camps, workshops, and a conservatory program for high school students. ACT of CT is located at 36 Old Quarry Road, in the beautiful village of Ridgefield, CT.  Visit for further information.


ACT of Connecticut's 2020/2021 Season Announcement

]]> (ACT of CT) Events Wed, 08 Apr 2020 07:33:19 -0400
COVID-19 Makes RVNAhealth Hospice Nurse Cry, Here's Why

This essay was written by Keri Linardi, RN, BSN, PHN, CHPCA, chief clinical officer at RVNAhealth. In her role, Linardi oversees all of RVNAhealth’s clinical service lines – home health, hospice, rehabilitation, and community health -- as well as the Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement teams. With more than two decades of healthcare experience, Linardi is an accomplished clinical executive and practitioner who has managed multifunctional teams at large home health and hospice organizations, while never losing her dedication and connection to individual patients and their families.

There’s No Crying in Hospice

‘There’s no crying in hospice.’ Everyone I have ever worked with has known that as my mantra. Adapted from Tom Hanks’ famous line, ‘There’s no crying in baseball,’ in the 1992 movie ‘A League of Their Own.”  

I have been a Registered Nurse for 26 years, over 20 of them dedicated to end-of-life care. That mantra has served me well. Until now.

COVID-19 doesn’t play by the rules. That boundary – There’s no crying in hospice -- which I established and have lived by for my two decades in hospice nursing, dissolved within days of witnessing the devastation of the coronavirus. From seeing the suffering it inflicts, as well as the sheer number of people it affects.

I cried in hospice last week when our social worker asked me how I was. Her question was simple, but I cried because she knew. Her kind eyes and gentle question allowed me to remember. To bring pictures in my head of the devastation and suffering, the desperation to breathe, the question that has been haunting me – how could I not have been able to do more? How could I not have made everyone comfortable?

I cried.

Pull yourself together, I told my head. You are the Chief Clinical Officer, and no one can see you like this. ‘There is no crying in hospice,’ I told myself, as I had for two decades, to keep myself together.

So why am I crying?

I am crying because as COVID-19 ravages the country, and the world, it is bringing to the forefront a profound issue. That although death is a known outcome for all of us; and a real and immediate risk right now for the elderly (especially those over 80) and those with underlying health conditions, we are not preparing for it.

Death is coming soon for many, but still, we are not talking about it. In our society, negative words and thoughts often surround the notion of death, so we avoid the conversation. But death comes anyway. And often not comfortably.

We can change our approach.

When speaking with people about advance directives – their wishes for their own end-of-life care -- I often ask them to close their eyes, take a moment and reflect on how they envision their deaths. Open your eyes, did you envision yourself at home, surrounded by the people you love? On a beach or fishing trip, listening to the sound of nature? On your couch with your pet? In an ICU with a feeding tube, ventilator and foley catheter with drips going?

Many people do not anticipate or desire death in an ICU, yet that is what occurs in this country at an alarming rate. We are societally programmed to ‘fight,’ even when the battle will cost us the war.

The truth about COVID-19.

Connecticut has been working hard together to ‘flatten the curve,’ – to reduce the intensity and reach of the inevitable. But it’s coming. Across the country, healthcare systems have algorithms in place already (to determine who is most appropriate for care and equipment if demand exceeds supply); EMS has instructions on who to code and who not to code; laws allow for two physicians to collectively identify a patient as a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate), without family involvement. As Connecticut heads toward its coronavirus peak in the next 2-3 weeks, systems will be over-burgeoned. We are prepared to care for the number of patients who will be infected with COVID-19, the problem is that we are not prepared to care for them all AT ONCE.

We need to be having the conversations.

Coronavirus needs to become personal to all Americans and we need to get serious about goals of care and advance care planning. Home health and hospice providers can, and should, be leading the way.

Our job is to keep the frail and sick out of the hospital system. We should be stepping in, not back. We should be nudging the conversations regarding wishes and what people want if they become infected with COVID-19.

We need to be realistic. For some populations, COVID-19 deaths are almost certain once infection occurs. This is terrible and unfair and deeply sad. But we need to not be afraid to address it, and we need to have direct conversations about the ‘What ifs’ to know wishes in advance of crises and to prepare plans that respect those wishes, whatever they may be.

We need to lead potentially hard conversations that address benefits verses burdens before arrival in an ER and in crisis mode. We need to know in advance if a loved one chooses aggressive treatment, or prefers a natural death at home, wherever they may call home. We need to help families understand the realities of COVID-19 and the realities of these choices. And we need to help families understand that, at times, the decision to allow a natural death, with dignity and supportive care for the whole family, can bring beauty and closure to a very sobering time and can be a very good choice.

RVNAhealth is now offering Advance Care Planning support to all community members – free of charge. The sessions are conducted via tele-health methods (phone, FaceTime, WhatsApp and other video-conferencing methods as needed) and will include the facilitation of discussion on such topics as wishes for care, COVID-19-specific conditions; benefits vs. burdens of particular decisions and more.

To learn more or make an appointment to meet with the RVNAhealth Advance Care Planning team, call 203-894-5014 or write to



]]> (HH) Neighbors Wed, 08 Apr 2020 05:53:12 -0400
Virtual Open House at Immaculate High School -- Join Us!

A Virtual Open House for Immaculate High School will be held on Wednesday, April 15 at 9:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Please visit to register for this or additional virtual open houses on April 23 and April 28. Participants will learn about Immaculate’s college-preparatory program and meet virtually with administrators, faculty and other staff to learn about Immaculate’s academic, faith-based, athletic, fine arts and STEM programs, student life and more. Choosing Immaculate for your student has never been more important!

Despite social distancing mandates, every IHS student is currently following a regular class schedule virtually. In addition to required class attendance and coursework, students engage with counselors, peer tutors, the school therapist and the school nurse. They also participate in weekly physical education challenges and meet with their extra-curricular club advisors. “Our ability for our teachers and staff to provide a continuous engaging educational experience for our students daily exemplifies our school mission and ability to provide exceptional learning opportunities, especially during this time of uncertainty,” said Tom Burns, Director of Admissions. “For over 50 years, Immaculate has provided students with a Catholic education that is innovative and prepares the whole student for college and beyond.” he added.

Immaculate High School encourages students to find success in academics, athletics, fine arts and clubs and is ranked in the top ten of all Catholic high schools in the State of Connecticut by NICHE. One of the more affordable private high schools, Immaculate High School is also among the highest ranked Catholic high schools in the Diocese of Bridgeport and continues to attain the highest SAT scores in the Diocese. Immaculate High School students, a representation of area public, private and Catholic schools, seek academic challenges, discover leadership and engage in progressive learning opportunities and have high success rates: 100% of the Class of 2019 were accepted to colleges and universities of their choice and were awarded college scholarships and grants totaling $27 million. 

In addition to a college-preparatory academic program that offers over 33 Advanced Placement classes and a STEAM curriculum featuring advanced technology, a CISCO certification program, renovated science labs and engineering classes and a Certified Nursing Associate program, Immaculate High School has an award-winning Fine Arts program, a student career internship program, athletic teams that have won SWC and State Championships, 44 clubs and a Campus Ministry and community service program that instills faith, compassion and reverence for others. Immaculate High School, founded in 1962, is a private, non-profit Catholic college-preparatory institution serving students from 28 communities in Connecticut and New York. 


]]> (Immaculate High School) Events Tue, 07 Apr 2020 13:59:22 -0400
Connecticut's COVID-19 Update: 7,781 Cases, 79 in Danbury

As of April 07, 2020, a total of 7,781 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported among Connecticut residents. One thousand three hundred and eight patients are currently hospitalized. There have been 277 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated deaths.

According to the most recent data from the State of Connecticut, Bethel has 79 active COVID-19 cases.

Data Summary

  • Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Case 7781 (+875)
  • Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19-Associated Deaths 277 (+71)
  • Patients Currently Hospitalized with COVID-19 1308 (+87)
  • Patients tested for COVID-19 29036 (+2350)

Counties with most cases of COVID-19

  • Fairfield County 4136 
  • Hartford County 1045 
  • New Haven County 1664 

To view today's complete report, click here.

]]> (State of CT) Neighbors Tue, 07 Apr 2020 13:40:52 -0400
Bethel Residents Can Support Connecticut Food Bank By Participating in Race Against Hunger

Support for Connecticut Food Bank During COVID-19: Race Against Hunger

Connecticut Food Bank needs the town of Bethel to help to support their efforts during the COVID-19 Pandemic! Food Bank volunteers are working tirelessly during this unprecedented time to feed the hungry throughout Connecticut.
One way Bethel can support the Food Bank is by participating in The Race Against Hunger, a virtual 5K run and walk that takes place between April 13th - April 19th. Since it’s virtual, you can participate at the time and place of your choosing! Register at
This virtual event is a way for Connecticut runners to stay connected and motivated while keeping our distance! Let’s come together to support those in need during these critical times. Register now to help the state's largest source of emergency food assistance!
The food bank is still open, but hours are modified. Below is a list of Food Banks within 20 miles of Bethel. Please call because there may be changes.

Date Time City Place
Wednesday, April 8 9:30 AM Danbury New Hope Baptist Church
Wednesday, April 8 4:00 PM Bridgeport Roosevelt School
Wednesday, April 8 5:30 PM Bethel Walnut Hill Church
Thursday, April 9 5:30 PM Naugatuck Naugatuck Convention Center

Keep checking Connecticut Food Bank’s website and social media for updates for the Mobile Pantry schedule.
Should you have questions, the Mobile Pantry Hotline is updated daily. Call (203) 741-9751 for info.




]]> (CT Food Banks) Events Tue, 07 Apr 2020 11:43:32 -0400
Abandon All Viruses .. Ye Who Enter Here

We are all becoming well educated on proper hygiene and handwashing techniques to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.  But one area of uncertainty for many remains around the virus’ ability to live on and spread from various surfaces.  This creates concern for some around handling packages such as mail deliveries, food takeout, and bringing groceries into the home.

On March 17, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study conducted by scientists from the National Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA and Princeton University. The study showed that coronavirus can live on cardboard for 24 hours and on stainless steel and plastic for up to three days. While this finding has not been made an official position from the CDC, this information has spurred many recommendations on sterilization techniques of packages and food items brought to the home.

The FDA and USDA currently say there is no evidence showing that COVID-19 can be passed on through handling of packages.  Specific to food handling, the FDA states, “Currently there is no evidence of food, food containers, or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.  [But] like other viruses, it is possible that the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on surfaces or objects.”  The CDC concurs with this statement but adds that infection spread via air droplets remains the primary mode for spreading.

There will certainly be more information to come on this topic. For now, continued hygiene and handwashing remain as best defenses when handling of any packages entering the home.

For additional precautions, consider the following to minimize surface contact risk.   

  • Minimize trips to the grocery store by planning ahead
  • Consider your re-usable bags to be contaminated and be mindful where you place them in your home 
  • For items in packages, sanitizing wipes may be used if any concerns
  • Continue to wash fruits and vegetables as normal
  • Wash hands when returning home with any packages, and again after putting contents away
  • Continue to wash and disinfect household surfaces such as countertops; handles, knobs, and fronts of doors, cabinets and appliances; light switches and plates; staircase railing; cell phones; keys; computer keyboards and mice; remote controls

We will continue to update you as information becomes available or official.

]]> (RVNAhealth) Life Mon, 06 Apr 2020 17:50:32 -0400
Connecticut COVID-19 Update: 6,906 Cases, 73 Bethel Residents Test Positive

As of April 06, 2020, a total of 6906 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported among Connecticut residents.  One thousand two hundred and twenty-one patients are currently hospitalized. Two hundred and six residents have died. The increase in cases reported today is related to catch up of data entry and does not reflect a change in the trajectory of the outbreak.

According to the latest data, 73 Bethel residents have tested positive for COVID-19.

Total Change Since Yesterday

Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Case 6906 (+1231)

Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19-Associated Deaths 206 (+17)

Patients Currently Hospitalized with COVID-19 1221 (+79)

Patients tested for COVID-19 26686 (+3416)

Fairfield County 3719 cases and 101 deaths

New Haven County 1468 cases and 41 deaths

To view complete data by county and town, click here.

]]> (State of CT) Neighbors Mon, 06 Apr 2020 12:09:10 -0400
United Way of Western Connecticut Launches ALICE Emergency Fund

United Way of Western Connecticut has launched a fund to help people in this region who are financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Called the ALICE Emergency Fund, it will enable struggling families to receive $20 of free, healthy food at grocery stores each week for six weeks. As the pandemic evolves and the needs of those who are struggling continue to shift, this fund will have the flexibility to address additional basic needs beyond food security.
The pandemic is dealing a heavy blow to the hard-working, struggling families that had already been living paycheck to paycheck before COVID-19 struck. United Way of Western Connecticut has been focusing on the needs of that population for the past five years―a population it calls ALICE® (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed).
To alleviate the extreme stressors on their budgets, ALICE families will receive $20 in free, fresh produce weekly through United Way’s Healthy Savings program. On March 30, participants began receiving $20 in food for six weeks (doubling the previous benefit). To get the food, they just need to use their Healthy Savings mobile app or card at a participating grocery store (Stop & Shop, Walmart, or Acme). If a participant purchases $21 of fresh produce, they will only have to pay $1. In addition, through this program, they can receive up to $50 or more in discounts on other healthy food items, such as milk, eggs, and wholegrain breads.
Donations to the ALICE Emergency Fund will help United Way provide this benefit to struggling families impacted by COVID-19. United Way is enrolling new households in the program. Depending on donations, funds will also be available to cover other basic needs like utilities, gas, etc. New participants will be pre-qualified through social service agencies.
More than $130,000 has been raised through the Fund to date. Generous support has been provided through Pitney Bowes, Newtown Savings Bank, and other corporate and private donors.
“Since March 12, I have stopped working,” said one ALICE mother. “These moments are not easy for my family, since I am the main provider for my two children. I am living off my last paycheck. I don’t know what will happen right now. I pray for the people who are in the most difficult situations and for my family.”
“This is a fast, efficient way to get a benefit to people who are struggling with food insecurity right now,” said Isabel Almeida, interim president and chief operating officer at United Way of Western Connecticut. “Some people might be getting unemployment benefits within the next few weeks or months, but most will still be living on extremely tight budgets. By donating to the fund, you’ll be providing free food to people who need it now, to feed their families.”
United Way launched Healthy Savings in May of 2019. It now has over 300 participants in in the region.
The ALICE Emergency Fund will benefit ALICE individuals and families who reside in the 15-town region served by United Way of Western Connecticut, including the City of Stamford, Greater Danbury, and Greater New Milford. Those seeking assistance can call (203) 297-6674.
To donate to the fund, go to or text WCTCOVID19 to 71777.
An additional fund has been set up by Connecticut United Ways to help those in need statewide. If you are interested in supporting the CTUW COVID-19 Response Fund go to
In addition to creating the ALICE Emergency Fund, United Way of Western Connecticut is also responding to community needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic in the following ways:
  • Granting $9,000 to Hillside Food Outreach to expand their ability to provide food to the homebound during the crisis.
  • Administering $20,000 in Mini-Grants to expand the capacity of local food pantries that are members of the Danbury food collaborative to serve additional clients (through the purchase of food, refrigeration, freezers, disposable bags, etc.).  The funding comes from the Eat Well, Age Well Council ($10,000) and United Way of Western Connecticut ($10,000).
  • Providing immediate lump sum payments to all United Way of Western Connecticut funded agencies for remaining 2020 fiscal year grants (rather than monthly payments) to help agencies cover their operating costs.
]]> (Kerry Anne Ducey) Neighbors Mon, 06 Apr 2020 11:40:54 -0400
Town of Bethel COVID-19 Update: Executive Order Includes Safe Stores Rules, Ban on Nonessential Lodging, and More

Pursuant to Governor Lamont's most recent executive order, here are two new important initiatives taking effect this morning that I want to call to your attention:


To maintain effective social distancing, all essential retail stores that remain open for business are required to do the following:

  • Limit access into the store to no more than 50% of the its maximum capacity (as certified by the town fire marshal)
  • Mark checkout lanes to keep shoppers at least 6' apart in checkout lines
  • Make aisles one-way where practicable
  • Install social distancing signage to remind shoppers to stay apart.
  • Install plexiglass shields to further separate workers from shoppers at checkout lanes.


Prohibits all hotels, motels, inns, bed and breakfasts, and short-term residential rentals (including those arrange through online hosting platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo) from renting to customers for leisure or vacation purposes. Instead, lodging at these facilities must be limited to:

  • Health care workers, first responders, and other essential workers;
  • Workers engaged in transporting critical materials to hospitals;
  • Vulnerable populations, including those who are homeless;
  • Connecticut residents who need a place to self-quarantine away from family or roommates;
  • Those receiving long-term care or specialized medical treatment;
  • Connecticut residents in need of housing as a result of property damage, such as a fire;
  • Persons unable to return home because of constraints on travel; and
  • Persons engaged in providing or servicing lodging.


There are many other provisions for public safety contained in the governor's orders. You can view and download all of them at the state website here

Lastly, I wish to remind everyone to take this matter seriously. Stay home, stay safe.

]]> (Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker) Neighbors Fri, 03 Apr 2020 10:36:33 -0400
Lamont Urges Volunteers From the General Public to Participate in Connecticut’s COVID-19 Response Efforts

Volunteers of All Backgrounds Can Register at

Governor Ned Lamont and a large number of state officials and nonprofit providers are urging Connecticut residents to consider taking on a volunteer role in their communities to help respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

While the state already began a campaign seeking out volunteers who have health care experience, today the state is launching a campaign seeking volunteers from the general public who are needed for other services at many different types of providers, such as food banks, deliveries to the elderly, shelters, and more.

The governor stressed that the COVID-19 outbreak is having a wide-ranging impact, and that means a large amount of skill sets are required to ensure that every community in Connecticut has the resources they need to combat this pandemic.

“During times like this, it is critical that we come together as a community – as a family – and support our neighbors in this response effort,” Governor Lamont said. “Connecticut residents and businesses have been incredibly generous in offering to do what they can to meet the needs of our state at this challenging time. Our frontline providers at food banks, meal delivery services, and shelters need extra help right now, and that is why we are asking for more volunteers to step forward. I am grateful to everyone who has already pitched in to support Connecticut families. The way we’ll get through this public health emergency is by working together.”

Volunteers from the general public will be matched with a community provider in need. Here are the basics:

  • Volunteers must be 18 or older, and should not volunteer if at risk or compromised. Those who are immunocompromised, over 60, showing symptoms of COVID-19, or live with or care for someone in any of those categories should avoid being in public, including for volunteer efforts. Please stay safe, stay home.
  • Volunteers do not need to be health care workers. In addition to calling on physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals who may be retired, the state needs community members to help out at food banks, food deliveries to the elderly, and at shelters in a number of ways.
  • For those who do have a background in health care, the state’s medical community has specific needs at this time. Hospitals have advised the state that they have a high need for critical care nurses and repository therapists.
  • Every effort is being made to keep volunteers safe. The state and all of the organizations involved are working hard to make sure that everyone helping out can do so as safely as possible. If any volunteers have concerns, they are strongly urged to ask about the safety protocols of the organization they are volunteering.
  • Volunteers will be sent where they are most needed and feel most comfortable. The volunteer process is centralized so that the state and participating organizations have a clear picture of everyone who can help, and everything that is needed. That way, volunteers can be matched with an opportunity that is most in need of that person’s skillset.

The Lamont administration and the State of Connecticut are grateful to the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD), which has made the Disaster Assistance Response Technology database available to help manage the statewide volunteer effort for this emergency, as well as the Connecticut VOAD chapter for their support.

]]> (Gov. Ned Lamont) Neighbors Fri, 03 Apr 2020 10:15:26 -0400
Bethel Public School Newsletter Addresses COVID-19, Feeding Program, and End of Year Activities

In an e-newsletter to the school community today, Bethel Superintendent of Schools Christine Carver provided information about COVID-19, the District's breakfast and lunch programs, and end of year activities.

COVID-19 Update:

The district continues to work closely with the Department of Public Health, Office of First Selectman and Bethel Emergency Management Operations. We meet at least twice a week to coordinate operations for the residents of Bethel, to ensure implementation of mitigation measures, to coordinate communications and to troubleshoot issues. We participate in a significant amount of conference calls with the Governor, Commissioner of Education, the Department of Public Health, and Centers for Disease Control. All of the experts indicate that it will get worse before it gets better and that we will likely see a surge in the second week of April. This makes it all the more important to follow social distancing guidelines and prevention strategies issued by the CDC. Even after a “surge,” all the experts agree that communities need to be cautious about potential re-exposure by assuming business as usual too quickly.

Distance Learning:

First, we want to recognize the outstanding work that has been implemented by our teachers and support staff in continuing learning for our students. That being said, distance learning is not the same type of learning that occurs in the classroom. It requires a different set of skills from our teachers and students. Many of you have asked, “Why can’t teachers just do virtual lessons like the students are in school?” It is an equity, logistics, and access issue, for both the teachers and the students.

Like many of you, our teachers are working remotely with a family to manage. Just like many parents, they do not have access to childcare, which requires them to adjust their schedules. Being “live” all day is not realistic. It is also highly likely that some of our teachers and staff will contract COVID-19 and be unable to work, that is why you see teachers planning and implementing lessons together. In addition, we know that all of our students do not have access to their devices during the day because of family situations, parent work schedules, and/or child care issues and could not participate in the live lessons. 

Moreover, we understand the impact of social isolation on our students' emotional wellbeing. Many teachers are starting to pull small groups, offer “office hours”, and conduct social check-ins with their class, while at Bethel High School, various teachers are also offering some live classes. We understand that this is not ideal and that students are feeling isolated. We will try to expand those opportunities, but I would also encourage you as families to connect using technology. Set your children up with “virtual play dates”.

If your child is struggling with the academic content, feels overwhelmed, or needs more “face time”, please communicate your concerns to your child’s teacher and we will problem-solve with you to provide additional support for your child.

Feeding Program:

The Bethel Public Schools has taken advantage of a federal grant to provide breakfast and lunch to any student enrolled in our schools. This program is open to any student enrolled in the schools and their siblings (under the age of 18). We operate Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM at Berry School. For each pick up, you can receive meals for 2 days. This will give families meals for 6 days per week. We will continue to implement this program following the Department of Public Health and CDC protocols. Please note, as the health situation evolves our pick up protocols and distribution may be changed and adjusted.

Policy/Regulation Update: 

Graduation Requirements/Graduation - End of Year Activities: The district regulation on graduation requirements has been updated to include distance learning. Regulation 6146, Graduation Requirements. This will ensure that all work in our current distance learning program will be counted towards graduation requirements. A number of people have asked, “What is the status of graduation? End of the year activities?” The honest answer is we do not know.

If school resumes and we are able to hold the ceremony, it likely will be held at Bethel High School. We would not want to enter into a contract with WCSU, potentially losing a significant amount of money, just to cancel the event. The rest of the end of the year activities such as the prom, scholarship night, the military ball, etc. are all dependent on guidance from the Governor’s office. You should anticipate that they likely will need to be cancelled or modified based on Public Health guidelines. We recognize that it is very upsetting to our students, especially our seniors, but it is out of our control and in the best interest of public health. We continue to be hopeful that we will be able to celebrate our seniors.

View the complete newsletter => Bethel Public Schools Newsletter 4-3-20  

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OrthoConnecticut Offers Virtual Medical Visits

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, OrthoConnecticut is now offering telemedicine - virtual visits that enable you to see an orthopedic surgeon from the privacy and safety of your own home or office.

Did you know that many orthopedic issues, including some urgent issues, can be diagnosed using telemedicine appointments? You can get the specialized orthopedic care you need during this period of physical distancing and staying close to home. Telemedicine is simple to use, and the secure video conferencing technology can be used with any device.

Telemedicine Benefits

•          Get a diagnosis on new musculoskeletal issues

•          Follow up on an existing issue

•          Get post-surgical advice from your own physician

•          Practice physical distancing without reducing your quality of care

•          Review diagnostic tests such as x-rays and MRIs during a telemedicine visit

•          Simple and easy scheduling

•          Insurance processing for telemedicine and in-office visits are the same

How it Works

To schedule your telemedicine appointment with a specialist, call the number for the office location of your choice. All Telemedicine appointments must be booked by phone:

Danbury                203-797-1500

Norwalk                 203-845-2200

New Milford           860-355-8000

Pain Center           203-792-7246 

Our staff will help schedule your virtual appointment. A consent form and step-by-step directions will then be sent to you, explaining exactly how to perform a virtual visit with our physicians.  

OrthoConnecticut will continue to provide quality care while keeping our patients and staff safe by limiting unnecessary risk and exposure.  The practice appreciates the community’s patience while we navigate this unprecedented environment.


OrthoConnecticut is the region’s premier, multi-specialty orthopedic practice, helping patients regain mobility, lead active lives, and attain optimal well-being. The practice’s urgent care service, OrthoCare Express, is open 7 days a week for emergencies and is available in Danbury, Darien, New Milford, Norwalk and Westport. To make a telemedicine appointment with any of the practice’s specialists, or to learn more visit or call 1.833.ORTHOCT (1.833.678.4628).

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