To the Editor: Chester’s response to COVID-19

To: Chester Residents
Re: COVID-19

In an effort to keep all of our residents and employees as safe as possible, the following is the Town of Chester’s response to COVID-19. This response will remain in effect until April 6, 2020, at which time we will reassess. Please read this information thoroughly so that you can be well informed.

Town Office:
The Town Office Building will be closed to the public effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Staff will remain working at this time and are available via phone or email to assist you. All departments are allowing visitation by appointment only and for necessary items only.

The Dog licensing deadline of April 1 has been extended to May 1. Water/Sewer payment deadlines have been extended to March 30. All payments can be made via the drop box located at the right hand side door on front porch, online or mailed to P.O. Box 370, Chester, VT, 05143. We are also able to direct debit checking/savings accounts with no additional fee. If interested, please contact the town office at (802) 875-2173 or amie.obrien@chestervt.gov or Deborah.aldrich@chestervt.gov.

Zoning Office:
The Zoning Office will be available via telephone or email, as well as visitation by appointment only. Michael Normyle can be reached at (802) 875-2173 or michael.normyle@chestervt.gov.

Listers Office:
The Lister’s Office will be available via telephone or email. The Listers can be reached at (802) 875-2173 or listers@chestervt.gov.

Police Department:
The Police Department will be available via telephone or email, as well as visitation by appointment only. The office can be reached at (802) 875-2035 or police@chestervt.gov. In case of emergency please call 911 or dispatch at (802) 875-2233.

Recreation Department:
The Recreation Department as of now will go by the State of Vermont Principals Association guidelines and we will not have any formal practices or games at least until April 6th.  You can still sign up your child online at https://www.chestervt.gov/recreation.html. The recreation facilities to include tennis courts, basketball courts, soccer fields, baseball fields, frisbee golf course and hiking trails will remain open. We encourage getting outside for fresh air, but please be mindful of social distancing (maintaining a distance of 6 feet from each other). Matthew McCarthy can be reached at 875-3603 or recreationinchester@yahoo.com.

Water & Sewer Department:
The Water & Sewer Departments will remain in operation at this time. However, there will be no interior visitations to any homes. For emergencies please contact (802) 875-2135 or jeffholden60@yahoo.com.

Highway Department:
The Highway Department will remain in operation. However, due to the number of employees in one location, there will be staggered shifts. We will do our best to ensure that roads are maintained at current standards. We do ask that you be patient as we make these transitions. Kirby Putnam can be reached at (802) 875-2237 or kirby.putnam@chestervt.gov.

Ambulance:
The Ambulance services will still be responding to 911 calls, but public access to our building will be denied. EMS will be responding with protective gear on, we may only initially have one provider enter a residence to gain patient access and assess the situation for decision of further action. This will be in effect until April 6, 2020, but subject to re-evaluation and possible extension at that time. We apologize for any inconvenience, but we need to protect the well being of our responders. The Ambulance Office can be reached at (802) 875-2160 or Dan Cook, Coordinator (802) 289-7216.

Fire Department:
The Fire Department will follow all recommendations being handed down by Vermont Emergency Management, Department of Health, Vermont Fire Academy, President Trump and Governor Scott that do not inhibit our ability to provide emergency service to the citizens. All bi-weekly trainings are being moved to online courses. Fire Department will be closed to the public and limited access to the Firefighters as a As Needed Entry Only. The Fire Department will continue to respond to emergencies in full capacity as it has been. Our response will be a little different and as follows:

a) All Personnel in contact will wear Full Protective Gear to Include Full Face Mask with supplied Air.
b) Initial contact will be one person to conduct the CDC response survey
c) After survey completed full crew will attend to the call wearing full protective gear to include Full Face Mask with supplied Air.
d) Once back at station Gear and Vehicle will be decontaminated outside

There will be an exception to this response. For all life threatening emergencies the CDC Survey will be forgone and life safety efforts will be conducted immediately utilizing full gear and full face mask with supplied air.

As a community, nation and world we are navigating uncharted waters. While we are called to social-distance and self-isolate as appropriate, I encourage each of you to continue reaching out to your neighbors, family and friends. We live in a technology driven world, yet we have many in our community who do not have access to these technologies. Please pick up a phone and check in on those in your life who may be affected. Community is so much more than face to face gatherings. We do not want to be driven by fear or panic, we want to be guided by compassion for each other.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.

Sincerely,

Julie S. Hance
Acting Town Manager
Julie.hance@chestervt.gov
(802) 875-2173
(802) 875-2825 (cell)

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  1. arlene mutschler says:

    So glad you are ‘out there” and carrying on and taking care of things. It is appreciated and I thank you!

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