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Newtown Municipal Center July 1 Reopening Details Announced



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Local officials have announced rules and restrictions around the reopening of Newtown Municipal Center this week.

First Selectman Dan Rosenthal notified The Newtown Bee around noontime June 29 about opening the public facility two days later.

The announcement, also available on the municipal website (newtown-ct.gov), reminds residents that "We strongly believe that it is imperative that our employees and patrons feel safe coming into our buildings. We want staff and patrons to be aware that we will be taking proper precautions based on the guidelines provided by the State of Connecticut."

Among those precautions for patrons are:

*All patrons will be asked to self-check for fever and symptoms before coming into the building. Anyone with a temperature 100.4+ degrees and/or symptoms may not enter.

*Proper signage will be placed in the lobby asking patrons to leave the building if they are sick, contact the appropriate department for service options.

*Protective face coverings will be required for all patrons entering the building. If a patron does not have one, they may be provided one from the staff. If a patron cannot or will not wear a face covering, Town staff will work to serve them in an alternative way (outdoors, electronically or otherwise).

*A Visitor log will be kept for each department.

Only one family member at a time is requested to enter the building for transactions, and patrons will be asked to use their own pens if possible or staff will sanitize after use. In addition, all high touch areas such as doorknobs and counter tops will continue to be sanitized frequently.

All departments working with the public will be protected with partitions, and all staff will be required to continue to wear face coverings. Gloves are optional for staff and will be supplied for sanitizing purposes.

Visitors will find lawn signs on both sides of the building with location indicators for the Tax Collector, who will be offering exterior services from the southern (Newtown Community Center) side of the municipal building. No cash will be accepted at the exterior window.

The Town Clerk will be accepting transactions through a drop box at the top of the stairs, on the north side of the building.

The Land Use, Building and Health departments will only be able to take cash and checks. Cash transactions, while accepted, will need to be handled inside the building. However, officials "respectfully prefer that patrons use check or debit/credit card for payments," according to the June 29 notice from the Town.

Patrons are encouraged to continue to use the Drop Box and other remote and/or electronic means to conduct business as much as possible. Advance appointments are also recommended.

Tape markings will be present in the lobby for patrons waiting for service, and only one person will be allowed at the counter at any time.

To help protect the health of patrons and co-workers, Town staff members are encouraged to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds several times a day and prior to and after using bathroom facilities. And any staff member developing virus or flu-like symptoms is being asked to not report to work.

All bathrooms will be labeled either for Staff or Public, although in an emergency a resident will be allowed to use the staff facility.

Designated staff will clean bathrooms twice per day and will also clean/disinfect high touch areas such as door handles frequently. Staff will also be responsible for cleaning their immediate work stations/area, telephones, and service counters.

Signage for direction of foot traffic in main circulation paths — entries, corridors, and hallways — will be posted, and one way circulation routes will be posted. Lines and markers will also be placed on the floors in hallways to help control traffic in and out of the building.

Visitors and staff will also see socially acceptable social distance signage on the floors where groups might form, and will see markers on the floor in front of the counters to notify patrons of where to stand.

Officials have announced informational guidelines for anyone requiring a pressing, in-person visit to Newtown Municipal Center, which will reopen under these new guidelines July 1. —photo courtesy Town of Newtown
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