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Chamber’s May 4 Webcast Focuses On Reopening Newtown



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The Newtown Chamber of Commerce is responding to last week’s news of Governor Ned Lamont’s plans to possibly permit some limited business openings beginning May 20 by focusing on what ramping back up may look like around Newtown in its Monday, May 4 “Leaders Forum” webcast.

The live webcast is free and available for viewing on several co-sponsors’ Facebook sites including The Newtown Bee’s. Co-sponsored by the Chamber, The Newtown Bee, eFriend Marketing, and Sachs’ “Around Town Team,” the webcast begins at 5:30 pm.

The series of webcasts was initiated by local Realtor and Police Commissioner Andrew Sachs, and he will be monitoring and passing on any questions or comments posted during the event for anyone viewing on his two Facebook sites. Helen Brickfield of the Chamber will also be monitoring the feed and passing on any comments made by those viewing the Chamber’s Facebook site.

Brickfield is also accepting any questions or comments in advance by e-mail at helenbrickfield@newtown-ct.com.

The webcast will open with updates from First Selectman Dan Rosenthal and Chamber President Scott Anders. Panelists invited to the discussion on reopening include John Woodall MD — A psychiatrist in private practice in Newtown; Debra Sullivan - owner - Newtown MediSpa; Adam Richichi - CEO - Dental Associates of CT; and State Senator Tony Hwang.

The panel will speak via the ZOOM meeting platform, which will be live streamed to Your Connecticut Realtor — Andy Sachs Facebook page and shared/streamed on the following pages: Chamber of Commerce of Newtown, Inc; The Newtown Bee, The Around Town Team - Top 1% Selling Real Estate Team; Your Connecticut Realtor — Andy Sachs; eFriend Marketing; and SHOP — the Sandy Hook Organization for Prosperity.

The panelists are expected to offer perspectives on what business owners need to be doing to make employees feel safe as they return to work — and what businesses should be doing to make customers feel safe. Panelists may also offer some strategies to help viewers be most effective at getting back to business.

Dr Woodall is expected to offer advice on how to manage one’s mental health as business owners and staff begin coping with reopening under new coronavirus restrictions, new frustrations, and uncertainty — as well as any post-traumatic stress staff members and/or customers may be facing.

Business owners will be prompted to relate how they are going to restore the confidence of customers and make them feel safe, and whether they are planning any permanent changes in operations as a result of the virus situation.

According to Lamont, he would need to be comfortable that the following seven criteria are in place before authorizing a phased reopening beginning May 20: a 14-day decline of hospitalizations; increased testing availability; sufficient contact tracing capacity; adequate protections for high-risk populations; adequate institutional healthcare capacity; a robust supply of PPE; and the maintenance of appropriate physical distancing regulations.

CTMirror.org reported that by May 20, the state is aiming to triple the availability of testing and flesh out a new system of tracing the contacts of the newly infected to guard against a resurgence. Without readily available testing, the economic rebound will be slow, Lamont said.

“Testing gives the consumer confidence we are doing everything to keep them safe,” he said. State Reopening Committee Co-Chair Dr Albert Ko said the advisory group is recommending a capacity to do 42,000 COVID-19 tests a week, providing a level of scrutiny necessary to detect a resurgence of the disease.

“That’s about three times what we’re doing now,” Ko said on April 30. He called the 42,000-tests per week “a minimum bar” for making reopening decisions, and the advisory panel would like to see that number continue to increase after May 20. “We’re not stopping at that benchmark.”

But Lamont said that 42,000-tests per week goal “is not an absolute” and that other factors could play into his decisions about whether to slow down the proposed reopening plan. He said that if New York City or Boston were to see a sudden resurgence of the virus, “We’re going to have to recalibrate.”

Sachs initially envisioned the Leaders Forum as a platform for sharing of critical information, best practices, and ideas between key community leaders and subject experts, while providing local business professionals and owners an opportunity to see, hear and interact with these leaders and experts on key areas of concern.

The ultimate goal of these weekly webcasts is to help re-establish communications, connections, and community teamwork to successfully navigate through and beyond the current COVID-19 crisis.

Last week’s webcast about re-employment featured John Barry of ITech Consulting Partners & host of Northern Fairfield Professionals Meeting, and Bill Brimmer, a former Newtown selectman and management consultant with Learning Dynamics.

That webcast opened with brief remarks following up on state and federal COVID-related loan issues from Ken Weinstein, President and CEO of Newtown Savings Bank, and Alan Clavette, CPA of Clavette & Company.

View last week's webcast by CLICKING HERE

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