Thankfully, we have lost no more residents to the virus, so the number of deaths remains at seven. New infections have plateaued, demonstrating the effectiveness of the measures we all have been taking. We thank you all for your efforts, but remember it’s essential to continue to isolate ourselves. Please, stay home unless absolutely necessary.
The number of new patients and hospital admissions is slowing, another indication that our social distancing efforts are working. As of this writing, we have 154 confirmed cases, but no new information on the number hospitalized. To be accurate, we will only report cases confirmed by our Director of Public Health.
OPENING OUR BUSINESS
This past Wednesday, restaurants were allowed to open outdoors at 50% capacity. Two weeks ago, we issued an executive order suspending many of the zoning regulations to help this happen more quickly. Many of our establishments took advantage of this, and were open the first day. Other businesses will be allowed to open in phases; details are available on the town website.
OPENING TOWN HALL
We will be carefully returning Town Hall to normal operations – 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. -- over the month of June. To bring staff back and keep residents safe, we are reconfiguring our offices and installing sneeze shields in all offices that the public visits. The demand for this equipment is great, so there may be a delay in getting Town Hall up and running. You must make an appointment with the department you are visiting. We encourage everyone to use our online services if possible to conduct business with the town. When you visit Town Hall, you must wear a mask at all times, have your temperature checked and answer the CDC health questions. If you have any concerns about your health, please do not come to Town Hall.
We will be opening our parks and facilities gradually over the coming weeks, balancing our desire to enjoy them with the need to keep everyone safe. We will follow the guidance of our Director of Public Health, the State, and our Emergency Management team. Details will be on the town website. No Parks are open this weekend.
TOWN BUDGET UPDATE
The Board of Finance will meet Wednesday, May 27, for a final review and adoption of the budget for next year. Details to join the meeting are on the town website. The Governor’s Executive Order 7I, paragraph 13, ordered the board to adopt a budget and set a mill rate by June 4. A virtual board special meeting/public hearing was held on May 12 to receive public comment on the proposed Town and School Budget. The proposed FY 2020 - 2021 Town Budget can be viewed on the town website.
These are important links to keep up to date on the Coronavirus:
BEWARE OF SCAMS
Email isn’t the only tool scammers use to steal your information. Vishing, or “voice phishing” attempts, are also being used to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic. These calls vary from scammers asking for donations to a fake charity, giving you fake news updates, and even offering free COVID-19 test kits. The phone number may be recognizable so remember these tips when answering a phone call:
· Never share your personal information over the phone, especially if you did not initiate the call.
· Be cautious of urgent requests, like making an immediate payment or being pressured to provide your information.
· If you’re not sure if a phone call is legitimate, hang up, and try contacting the organization directly using their official phone number or website.
The Brookfield Library is maintaining a current list of grocery store senior hours and deliveries. To get current information, call 203-775-6241 or see the town website.
TOWN IS OFFERING COVID-19 TESTING TO ALL POLICE, FIRE, EMS AND TOWN EMPLOYEES
We have arranged to test all staff for the virus and antibodies, which will help us ensure they are safe. We ask that all employees be tested, which takes five minutes -- results are returned in 24 hours.
PPE FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES AVAILABLE SO PLEASE APPLY IF YOU NEED IT
We’ve received PPE that we promised local businesses would be available. Our Police Department will distribute them to these businesses. If you are a small business and haven’t already ordered, please place an order and we will try to fulfill it. In the last round, 92 firms requested over 2,800 items, all delivered by our police. We thank them for delivering these needed supplies to our businesses.
“BROOKFIELD RECOVERS” FUND NOW OVER $53,000 IN DONATIONS
I am very pleased to tell you that our residents have responded quickly to our request for donations to the BROOKFIELD RECOVERS Fund, which allows the town to help our neighbors who need assistance. This is one of the reasons Brookfield is a great town to live in. Thank you to all who have donated. You can donate by sending a check to the town at 100 Pocono Road -- write Brookfield Recovers on your check -- or donate online electronically on the town website..
The number of those needing assistance has grown tremendously over the past few weeks, and our ability to provide these services is stretched, but thanks to your generous donations, we have been able to meet their needs. Here is where you can donate online via credit card or PayPal
SCHOOLS CLOSED THROUGH THE END OF THE YEAR
The governor has declared that all schools will remain closed for the remainder of the school year. We are meeting with the superintendent and the Board of Education to understand how the town can help open schools safely in the fall.
NEW RULES FOR GOING OUT IN PUBLIC
The governor has issued an executive order requiring that everyone who goes out in public wear a mask. Please follow this rule to keep everyone safe. Studies show that if two people are wearing masks, the chance of transmitting the virus between them drops to 1.5%.
MEMORIAL DAY PARADE CANCELLED
We have cancelled the Memorial Day Parade.