Coronavirus Updates

This page presents information and updates about directives, closings and cancellations, and other changes related to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. They come from from the town Office of Emergency Management and other sources. “Resources” includes related local, state, federal and other websites and Facebook pages.

Emergency Services: 911
Selectmen’s Office: 860-542-5829
Town Clerk’s Office: 860-542-5679
Transfer Station hours (Questions: 860-542-5829)
Post Office: 860-542-5087

This tab lists the most recent changes made by the local institutions and essential businesses that are still open or have made other arrangements to deliver their services, plus a few notable closings, in alphabetical order by name. For a list and contact information for most Norfolk organizations, institutions and businesses please see the Directory on this website.

 

The Memorial Day 5-mile race was canceled for safety’s sake; the Fire Department would appreciate donations to its scholarship fund, for which the race is the chief fundraiser.
5/2/20

Ackerly Brown LLP
The office is closed to the public at this time, but the law practice remains open for business and continues to serve clients via email, telephone and video conferencing. Call the office at 860-567-0828 and leave a message. Someone will get back to you as soon as possible.
4/20/20

Artisans Guild
The Artisans Guild is now open weekends under state guidelines; hours are Saturday, 10:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m., and Sunday, 12:00 to 4:00 p.m.; starting June 5, it will also be open on Fridays, 10:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m. It is still featuring works on its Facebook page for telephone ordering and either curbside pickup or local home delivery. Any items you see when you look in the window are available too. Call 860-379-4347 to order or inquire.
5/27/20

Berkshire Country Store
The Berkshire Country Store has expanded its regular hours: they are now Monday through Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. It is still limiting purchases of takeout food and groceries to credit card only (service charge if below a $5 minimum) and its register is still inside the front door. An associate will be available to give you a virtual tour of the shelves if need be. Curbside delivery is available, and the store will deliver food free of charge to at-risk Norfolk residents. Call 860-542-5721 or Skype berkshirecountrystore@gmail.com.
5/18/20

Botelle School
Governor Lamont has canceled all in-person K-12 classes at public schools until the end of this academic year. Meals will continue. See the State, Federal tab on this page for more.
5/5/20

The Governor has extended school closings until at least May 20. Phase One of distance learning at Botelle School was put into place on March 16. Teachers prepared and distributed individualized paper packets and devices to be used until the end of March. Phase Two of distance learning will begin on April 1. Teachers and staff are planning short lessons of live, virtual instruction with continued assignments in reading, math and writing in addition to PE, library, art and music. We will be using Google Meet for the live portion of instruction and interactive platforms like Google Classroom (in the intermediate grades) and See Saw (in all grades) for assignments.
3/24/20

The last day of school is still June 12, following Governor Lamont’s decision that school closure dates do not have to be made up. If Botelle opens again before that date, all vacations and holidays on the school calendar will be observed.
3/20/20

Meals for students are being offered during school shutdown by EdAdvance Food Service, which is working in collaboration with Region 7, Torrington and Winchester Public Schools. Meals will be provided at two locations in the area, Vogel-Wetmore School, located at 68 Church Street in Torrington, and Pearson Middle School, located at 2 Wetmore Avenue in Winsted. Meals will be provided in a drive-through fashion at both sites Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Any child 18 or under will be provided a Grab and Go bag lunch for that day and a breakfast for the next morning. Questions may be directed to Becky Tyrrell, Food Service Director, at 860-567-0863 ext. 1148.
3/23/20

Church of Christ Congregational
All activities are canceled, but services are being posted on the church’s Facebook page at 9:45 a.m. each Sunday. People are encouraged to join in at 10:00 a.m. via Facebook and interact with other viewers. Once the video is posted, it may be viewed at any time.
3/21/20

Hours for the NorfolkNet food pantry are 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, at the church. Please call 860-542-5721 when you come and wait in your car for curbside delivery. Donors are asked to follow the same procedure.
3/20/20

Church of the Immaculate Conception
No public masses are being celebrated at the Church of the Immaculate Conception. However, the church sanctuary is open during daylight hours for people to meditate or pray while maintaining social distancing within the sanctuary. Father Dawson is saying mass alone daily and conducting drive-through confessions, rotating through the parish. Call 860-824-7078 and leave a message for more information or to ask about clerical services.
3/21/20

Dandelion Gardening Arts
All Dandelion Cottage‘s live classes, workshops and group meetings are suspended. Online classes begin in April. Go to dandelioncottagedesign.com to sign up for “NOTES from Dandelion Cottage” to receive monthly schedule for all classes, FB Lives, meetings and more. Group meetings will be held on Zoom at the regularly scheduled times.
3/30/20

Husky Meadows Farm
Husky Meadows Farm’s CSA shares are sold out for this year; the farm offers VIP debit cards for use at the farm or at the Norfolk Farmers Market.
5/21/20

Infinity Hall
The state’s prohibition of large gatherings has been extended through June 20. Infinity Hall is continuing to work on rescheduling its events and notifying ticket holders directly. For an overview of events after June 20, see Infinity’s schedule online.
5/21/20

Lost Ruby Farm
Lost Ruby’s full line of chèvres and Black Pearl is now available at the farm. Customers can order cheese in advance and pick it up on one of the scheduled days, Wednesday or Saturday between 12:00 and 1:00 p.m. (subject to change). Order on the farm’s website or send an email to Adair in advance, using the subject line “LRF FARM PICK UP” and including the date you want to pick up.
4/20/20

National Iron Bank
The National Iron Bank is retaining its regular hours but has closed its lobby. Banking services are still available at the drive-in window, the ATM and online. Staff members are available by phone (860-542-5541).
3/20/20

Norbrook Farm Brewery
Norbrook Farm Brewery is maintaining the same tasting room hours but only serving to-go orders. You can order online, by phone or in person.
3/30/20

Norfolk Chamber Music Festival
This summer’s season of the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival–Yale Summer School of Music has been canceled. Plans are in the works for a few programs for the summer that can be streamed online; they will be announced later. Ticket refunds will be issued on request; any unrefunded money will be used to support the festival. For more information, call 860-542-3000 or send an email.
4/19/20

Norfolk Community Association
April is Norfolk Cleanup Month. Instead of gathering for one Cleanup Day, the Community Association asks everyone to participate by themselves for the entire month. Get out and clean up your street or favorite Norfolk places, while keeping a safe distance and enjoying some fresh air. Do what you can, when you can and help keep Norfolk picture perfect!
4/2/20

Norfolk Early Learning Center
The Norfolk Early Learning Center has reopened, operating during normal business hours, 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and using a number of precautions put into place by the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood.
5/26/20

Norfolk Farmers Market
The farmers market is planning to open the 2020 season on June 13th with an E-commerce program.
5/22/20

Norfolk Land Trust
The Norfolk Land Trust has canceled its spring trail cleanup and postponed the bird walk originally scheduled for April 25.
4/2/20

Norfolk Library
Starting June 1, the library is offering a new curbside service, Porch Pickup. The library remains closed to the public, but we will now be able to provide patrons with books, DVDs, audiobooks and magazines from our collection during our new hours: Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. You must have a valid library card. The book drop will be open for returns and wifi is available outside the building. We are not accepting book donations. Online resources such as ebooks, e-audiobooks, movies, music, online learning and links to educational and cultural resources for the family are available on our website. Please call the Library at 860-542-5075 ext. 2 (circulation desk) if you need help accessing our online resources. We will be checking our phone messages once daily Monday through Friday, so please leave your name and clearly state your phone number. We will call you back as soon as possible. You may also email us.
5/29/20

Norfolk Municipal Meetings
Many municipal meetings have been canceled, but others, such as the selectmen’s meeting, will still take place, most likely online. For available updates, see the Meetings page on this website. Videos of some have been posted on the Robin Hood Radio/CATV 6 Vimeo page.
4/2/20

Regional 7 School District
The Regional 7 Board of Education chair and superintendent have issued an update on work being done by the school during the coronavirus pandemic, including distance learning and the lunch and breakfast program (available in Winsted). They also describe several outreach efforts developed by the members of the school community. For example, one student has invited students and families to create cards, picture, poems and small paintings to be sent to residents at local nursing homes; she supplied suggestions and addresses. For the full message, click here. For the most recent posts, click here.
3/31/20

Robinson/Scholastic Objectives
Robinson/Scholastic Objectives is currently offering consulting services by appointment only. Call 860-542-1300 or send us an email.

Weekend in Norfolk
The fifth annual Weekend in Norfolk will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 31, August 1 and 2, modified to respect the realities of Covid-19. Events will be all outdoors or online. For updates, see WIN’s last-minute updates page or its Facebook page.
5/22/20

Wood Creek Bar & Grill
The Wood Creek Bar & Grill is still serving take-out food but now offers dining at outdoor tables. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Call 860-542-1200; curbside delivery available for take-out.
5/22/20

Most events scheduled from now through the end of April have been canceled or rescheduled. Likewise, schools, institutions and businesses other than those considered essential have also closed. Some changes are listed under the Local Changes tab on this page. For more information on individual events or businesses, please visit the websites belonging to each event organizer or business; see the Directory page on this site for links.

Links to videos of the six most recent town committee or board meetings are posted at the bottom of the page under the Just for Fun tab.

 

Governor Lamont’s definition of critical businesses, as set forth in Executive Order 7H (see the state’s coronavirus web page), “shall include, but not be limited to….essential health care operations including hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, elder care and home health care workers, companies and institutions involved in the research and development, manufacture, distribution, warehousing, and supplying of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology therapies, health care data, consumer health products, medical devices, diagnostics, equipment, services and any other healthcare related supplies or services; essential infrastructure, including utilities, wastewater and drinking water, telecommunications, airports and transportation infrastructure; manufacturing, including food processing, pharmaceuticals, and industries supporting the essential services required to meet national security commitments to the federal government and U.S. Military; the defense industrial base, including aerospace, mechanical and software engineers, manufacturing/production workers, aircraft and weapon system mechanics and maintainers; essential retail, including grocery stores and big-box stores or wholesale clubs, provided they also sell groceries; pharmacies, gas stations and convenience stores; food and beverage retailers (including liquor/package stores and manufacturer permittees) and restaurants, provided they comply with previous and future executive orders issued during the existing declared public health and civil preparedness emergency; essential services including trash and recycling collection, hauling, and processing, mail and shipping services; news media; legal and accounting services; banks, insurance companies, check cashing services, and other financial institutions; providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations; construction; vendors of essential services and goods necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences or other essential businesses, including pest control and landscaping services; vendors that provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care and services needed to ensure the continuing operation of government agencies and the provision of goods, services or functions necessary for the health, safety and welfare of the public.”
3/21/20

Messages and information from Norfolk’s Town Hall. Links to videos of the six most recent town committee or board meetings are posted at the bottom of the page under the Just for Fun tab.

 

Tobey Pond tentative opening mid-June

I know everyone is anxious to get out and enjoy summer activities, but we are going to have to wait for Tobey Pond to be open. We will continue to discuss this and review the guidelines established by the state. The earliest we will open Tobey Pond is mid-June. In a May 19 conference call, the Connecticut DEEP informed us that there would be no swimming at inland state parks. I realize Tobey Pond is not a state park, but we have been and will continue to use the state’s Covid-19 guidelines until we get through this. The big concern is making sure it is safe for all, including the lifeguards. We will continue to monitor the DEEP guidelines and prepare Tobey Pond and our staff for an opening. Thank you for your patience.
5/21/20

Free thermometers available for small businesses

Another partnership between ConnStep, CBIA and the State of Connecticut will provide thermometers to small businesses, places of worship and nonprofits with 100 employees or fewer. The thermometers, which can support workplace screening and health checks, are available free for those that are eligible. They will be distributed through the Town of Norfolk similarly to the way masks were distributed last week. To apply for your free business thermometer you can click on the link and fill out the form at https://www.ctcovidresponse.org/thermometer-request or you can visit CTcovidresponse.org for more details.
5/15/20

Interview summarizing state of the town

First Selectman Matt Riiska is interviewed by Mike Cobb in a Norfolk Now podcast.
5/15/20

Where to call for assistance

As a reminder, if any Norfolk citizen needs assistance of any kind the Selectman’s Office and Emergency Management stand ready to assist. You can call the office at 860-542-5829; all calls will be kept confidential.
5/4/20

Long Term Recovery Committee forming

Governor Lamont has urged that all communities create a Long Term Recovery Committee that “will help meet urgent needs, accelerate recovery, and expedite coordination with the state’s emergency management structure in the ongoing response and recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic.” The Town of Norfolk along with Emergency Management and other civic organizations has already taken steps to meet the needs of our local residents and more information about a local committee will be forthcoming. As always, you can find details of state announcements and mandates at https://portal.ct.gov/coronavirus.
5/4/20

Surgical masks available for eligible small businesses; order before April 30

The State of Connecticut has partnered with CBIA-CONNSTEP to assist in the distribution of donated surgical masks to eligible, essential small businesses with 50 employees or less. These eligible, essential small businesses and their employees located within our municipalities are the backbone of our economies and these masks will help to ensure their continuity. Supplies for eligible, essential small businesses will be distributed to the Norfolk EMD Office for pickup by the businesses.

Eligible businesses must place their order for up to 2 masks per employee (limit, 100 per business) by following this link before April 30: https://www.ctcovidresponse.org/ct-smb-surgical-mask-requests

Each municipality in Region 5 will pick up their “community pack” on Thursday, April 30, 2020. This community pack will contain masks for eligible, essential businesses that requested them through the CBIA-CONNSTEP portal. Businesses must not request masks from the Regional Points of Distribution, they will be turned away. The Norfolk EMD office will then deliver the masks to those Norfolk businesses later on Thursday or Friday.

Wonder if your small business is considered essential? Check here.
4/27/20

Sign Up for Emergency Texts, Health Information App

Our Office of Emergency Management wants you to know that Governor Lamont is encouraging folks to sign up for CTAlert, emergency text messages from state officials. To subscribe, text the keyword COVIDCT to 888-777 using your mobile phone. There is also a new app, How We Feel, that can anonymously provide scientists with critical health information needed to understand the spread of Covid-19. You can find it on the Google Play store, as well as the Apple App store. For more details on these and just about everything having to do with the coronavirus, check out http://ct.gov/coronavirus.
4/25/20

Stay Safe on the Roads

With many people getting out of their homes to get some fresh air by taking a walk or going for a bike ride, there are a few things everyone needs to consider. Pedestrians should walk FACING traffic, on the left side of the road. Walk on the side of the road. Do not walk in the middle of the road. Bicyclists should ride WITH traffic on the right side of the road. Bicycles are considered vehicles and are required to obey all the same traffic laws as cars. Bicyclists are allowed to ride two abreast, but are encouraged to ride single file when being overtaken or when overtaking. (There is no law requiring bikes to be ridden single file.)

Vehicles are required to maintain 3 FEET of distance when passing bicyclists. Failure to do so not only endangers bicyclists but can result in the motorist receiving a fine under the motor vehicle code “failure to grant right of way to a bicycle” (CS 14-242). There does not appear to be a law requiring 3 feet of distance from pedestrians…but it seems more than obvious that it is equally good practice.

…And always wear reflective clothing, especially in the early morning or evenings. Click here for more information.

Thanks, be healthy, be safe. Matt Riiska
4/16/20

A Reminder: Help is Available

If you and your family or Norfolk neighbors and friends are in need of assistance during this time…food, shelter, financial, transportation…please contact the Selectmen’s Office at the Town Hall by calling 860-542-5829. We have many resources available to help.
4/6/20

From the Norfolk Office of Emergency Management: How to Volunteer

The Governor has created a link for citizens inquiring about volunteering and/or wishing to apply to volunteer. If you are interested in helping local and state agencies, please click here.

Thankfully, officially Norfolk continues to show only one confirmed case but we believe that number to be higher due to testing irregularities, those in self quarantine, and recent travel.

Norfolk Lions Club Ambulance members, with the assistance of our fire department, continue to protect themselves by obtaining as much personal protective equipment as they can obtain from local and state agencies. Please do not be alarmed if you see them respond to your call for assistance in a mask, gown and face shield. It is for your protection as much as theirs.

Please continue to follow the state directives in terms of isolation and limited travel, and consolidate the family shopping to one person and one trip when you can. Please consider patronizing our local businesses as safely as you can. Working together we can avoid the worst.
4/5/20

Covid-19 Statement from the First Selectman

Having been on numerous conference calls in the past two weeks, a number of Northwest Corner officials are concerned with the influx of people leaving the cities and moving to the Northwest Corner.

I am aware of the number of Norfolk second home and weekend residents who have come to Norfolk to get away from the cities. Governor Lamont has said, “Until you know you’re healthy, you’re not contagious, I’m ordering you to self-quarantine.” If you have traveled from areas where the infection rate is high, such as Italy or NYC, please quarantine yourself in your house for 14 days.

This might sound like I am singling out one group, but we all want to get through this, and we certainly want everyone to be safe and healthy so we can all enjoy what Norfolk has to offer.

Thank you for your cooperation.
3/29/20

Child Care for Essential Workers

From Norfolk’s Office of Emergency Management: For those essential workers who have questions about or are in need of child care during this time, this guidance in the form of two jpg files from the Office of Early Childhood may be helpful: Child Care for Essential Workers during the Coronavirus and Together for Kids.

Message from the First Selectman

As was previously posted, the Town Hall is closed, but we are here and encouraging people to call [860-542-5829] or send us an email.

I also wanted to let everyone know that we have signed a “Declaration of Local State of Emergency.” This was done at the suggestion of our area representative to the Department of Emergency Management & Homeland Security. This will allow Norfolk to apply for any necessary equipment and funds as needed in the future.

Please abide by the Governor’s order to “Stay Safe, Stay Home.” We will get through this. If you can, please support our local businesses and the services they are offering, check on your neighbors and friends via email, text, phone or other method and get out of the house and go for a walk.

Thanks and take care,
Matt Riiska

GOVERNOR LAMONT SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER ASKING CONNECTICUT BUSINESSES AND RESIDENTS: ‘STAY SAFE, STAY HOME’
The governor is calling this his “Stay Safe, Stay Home” initiative. The plan recommends that state residents do the following:

1. Effective at 8PM on Sunday, March 23, all non-essential businesses statewide should close;
2. Non-essential public community gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason should be canceled (e.g. parties, celebrations or other social events) are canceled or postponed at this time;
3. If you must leave your home, do not travel in groups – groups must be limited to workers providing essential services;
4. Everyone should keep at least six feet away from each other whenever possible;
5. Businesses and entities that provide other essential services should implement rules that help facilitate social distancing of at least six feet;
6. Individuals should limit outdoor recreational activities to non-contact and avoid activities where they come in close contact with other people;
7. Individuals should limit use of public transportation to when absolutely necessary and should limit potential exposure by spacing out at least six feet from other riders;
8. Sick individuals should not leave their home except to fill critical needs or to receive medical care, and only after a telehealth visit to determine if leaving the home is in the best interest of their health;
9. Young people should also practice social distancing and avoid contact with vulnerable populations; and
10. Use precautionary sanitizer practices such as using soap and water, hand sanitizer, or isopropyl alcohol wipes. Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds works best.

The businesses for which this order applies shall include, but not be limited to, the 16 critical infrastructure sectors as defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which are available at www.cisa.gov/critical-infrastructure-sectors. [See also the Closings & Cancellations tab on this page.] For more information, refer to the text of the executive order.
3/23/20

Town Hall Access Restricted

At the suggestion of the State of Connecticut, Town Hall is closed to the public. We will be here conducting our regular business, as well as monitoring the Town’s needs in regards to the Covid-19 virus. We are encouraging people to call or email either the Selectmen’s office at 860-542-5829 or the Town Clerk’s Office at 860-542-5679.

For an update on the Town’s preparedness for the COVID-19 virus, please see the EMD Facebook page, Town of Norfolk, CT Emergency Management, or visit them on Twitter: @NorfolkEMD. Please follow all of the suggested precautions and be safe.
3/23/20

Statement from the Norfolk Emergency Management Office

Good afternoon to our Norfolk citizens and beyond. In these uncertain times, please be assured that our town leaders are doing everything within our ability and authority to keep our citizens safe. While we currently do not have any reported cases of Covid-19 in Norfolk, we are operating under the concept of “hope for the best but plan for the worse.” To help lessen the chance of a local outbreak, we urge Norfolk citizens to follow the suggestions of Governor Lamont with social distancing and staying home as much as possible.

Our volunteers on the ambulance and fire department have been given recent refresher training on using proper protection equipment and both departments currently have enough equipment on hand based on current transport volume with more on order. In the spirit of community collaboration, Northwestern Regional 7 High School loaned equipment to New Hartford, Winsted and Norfolk ambulances to use during this emergency. This includes sterilization equipment so that we can safely clean and reuse N-95 masks, face shields and eye protection. They also donated gowns and eye protection that they had in stock from their public health and chemistry classes.

Our emergency management officials, Richard Byrne and Jon Barbagallo, have been meeting with First Selectman Matt Riiska daily and participate in numerous conference calls each day with Governor Lamont and leaders at the Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. We are in contact with our church leaders, philanthropic agencies and Botelle School to ensure that the immediate needs of our families and at-risk citizens are addressed.

We are working with our local businesses with information sharing on legal and financial resources as it becomes available. Working with the Norfolk Foundation, we have created a simple online survey that we are urging all Norfolk businesses and civic organizations to fill out as often as they have changes to their business hours or operations. The information that we receive will be shared so that Norfolk citizens can stay updated as much as possible. We also urge that you follow each business or organization’s social media and websites and shop at those stores that can stay open like the Berkshire Country Store and Wood Creek Bar & Grill.

Lastly and maybe most importantly, we are also working to ensure that basic town services go uninterrupted as much as possible. This includes Town Hall activities which can be done online, via phone or by appointment. Our town crew continues to work on road projects and our transfer station continues to be open as scheduled.

As always, you can reach out to the Selectmen’s Office with any questions, concerns, or offers of assistance that you may have: 860-542-5829.
Good health to everyone!
3/22/20

This tab lists Covid-19-related state and federal regulations, guidelines and programs to assist businesses and individuals affected by the pandemic.

 

The CDC issued detailed guidelines for employers opening offices during the pandemic.
5/29/29

The state has issued the Governor’s Reopen Connecticut Report, setting out steps for reopening Connecticut’s economy and education system. It was written with the aid of recommendations from a panel of local health, business, workforce and education experts.
5/26/20

Governor Lamont’s executive order number 7QQ states that an eligible elector may vote by absentee ballot for the August 11, 2020, primary election if he or she is unable to appear at his or her polling place during voting hours because of Covid-19. A person may lawfully state he or she is unable to appear at a polling place because of Covid-19 if, at the time he or she applies for or casts an absentee ballot for this primary election, there is no federally approved and widely available vaccine for prevention of Covid-19. For an absentee ballot application, click here.
5/21/20

The Centers for Disease Control has issued a 60-page document with recommendations supporting the country’s response to Covid-19 and its reopening.
5/20/20

All insured individuals are eligible for no-cost Covid-19 testing and treatment. All out-of-pocket costs for testing and treatment of Covid-19 have been removed. Employer-based plan sponsors are required to follow suit and remove all cost sharing for testing and treatment for their workers and their families. Public health coverage is also available to Connecticut residents who qualify. The regular Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, together known in Connecticut as HUSKY Health, fully covers Covid-19 testing and treatment without any cost-sharing. HUSKY Health is also covering testing for uninsured Connecticut residents who are U.S. citizens or have a qualifying immigration status, regardless of income, and covering testing for residents without a qualifying immigration status if they meet HUSKY income requirements and have Covid-19 symptoms. For more information, read the press release issued today by the state Insurance Department.
5/19/20

Starting May 20, clubs, bars and establishments that serve food may serve it outdoors; alcoholic beverages must be sold or served in combination with food. The state’s prohibition of indoor dining and indoor consumption of alcohol without food has been extended until June 20. Governor Lamont’s executive order 7PP sets out these rules and others that cover offices, gyms, movie theaters, retail stores, museums and zoos, and other businesses.
5/19/20

The state has established an online Business Reopening and Recovery Center for Connecticut businesses. It is a one-stop resource to help businesses prepare, rebuild and grow during the state’s emergency coronavirus response. Resources include a means of self-certifying that you are following strict safety guidelines to keep your employees and customers safe.
5/15/20

The state Department of Economic and Community Development page on coronavirus business recovery has begun to issue regulations for business sector reopenings on May 20.
5/10/20

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the governor has announced that in-person classes at all K-12 public school facilities in Connecticut are to remain canceled for the rest of the 2019-2020 academic year; schools are to continue providing distance learning during this period. Schools will also be required to continue providing meals to children under the school lunch and breakfast programs for consumption at home, as they have been throughout this emergency. The governor is consulting with state and local education officials regarding whether summer school programming should commence as scheduled.
5/5/20

Governor Lamont urges Connecticut residents to use the How We Feel app to anonymously help give scientists critical health information needed to understand the spread of Covid-19. Versions of the nonprofit-supported app for mobile devices are available free from the Apple App store and the Google Play store, or users can also complete the survey through a web version at howwefeel.app.
4/24/20

The state has launched a “Talk It Out” hotline for families and caretakers to relieve the stress of caring for children during the pandemic, and to receive referrals for additional assistance. Call 1-833-258-5011 or visit www.talkitoutct.com.
4/17/20

Connecticut’s presidential primary has been rescheduled again to August 11, along with the primary for state and federal offices. The Democratic national convention is scheduled for August 17 to 20 in Milwaukee, Wis. The Republican convention will take place August 24 to 27 in Charlotte, N.C.
4/17/20

The White House coronavirus task force has unveiled Guidelines for Opening Up America Again. The document is “a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts. These steps will help state and local officials when reopening their economies, getting people back to work and continuing to protect American lives.” The governors of each state will decide whether their state or area meets the criteria for entering the different stages.
4/16/20

In his Executive Order #7X, Governor Lamont extended school class shutdowns, business closings, distancing and other measures through May 20. He also announced provisions for residential tenants to delay paying April and May rents.
4/10/20

The state of Connecticut has put limits on medical charges related to Covid-19 in uninsured individuals. For more information, see Governor Lamont’s Executive Order #7U.
4/6/20

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed on March 27 includes several important benefits for small businesses and nonprofits in Connecticut. For more information on the following, visit the state’s Business Resource page.

•Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans: Provide cash-flow assistance through federally-guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans will be forgiven.

• Economic Injury Disaster Loans & Emergency Injury Grants: An emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private nonprofits harmed by Covid-19 within three days of applying for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). Grants and loans may be used to keep employees on payroll, pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments.

• Small Business Debt Relief Program: Provides immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans, in particular 7(a), 504, and microloans. Under this program, the SBA will cover all loan payments on previously secured SBA loans, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months.

• Employee Retention Credit for Employers Subject to Closure or Experiencing Economic Hardship: A refundable payroll tax credit for 50% of wages paid by eligible employers to certain employees during the Covid-19 crisis.

• Delay of Payment of Employer Payroll Taxes: Allows taxpayers to defer paying the employer portion of certain payroll taxes through the end of 2020, with all 2020 deferred amounts due in two equal installments, one at the end of 2021, the other at the end of 2022.

• Counseling and Training: Local resource partners can be found here.

Two other programs for small businesses are:

• Federal Emergency Paid Leave Program: Through the end of 2020, employers with fewer than 500 employees must provide 80 hours of paid sick leave and 10 weeks of paid family leave. Note that employers will be reimbursed by the IRS for 100% of the paid leave in 2 weeks or less. They will also be reimbursed for employees’ health care premiums during leave. Click here for the current IRS guidance.

• CT DOL’s Shared Work Program: Allows employers to reduce employees’ hours by up to 60% and DOL will step in to provide unemployment insurance (UI) benefits that help offset the lost wages, as well as the new federal UI supplement. More information about the program can be found here.

Benefits from many of the programs above are also available to self-employed individuals.
3/30/20

President Trump announced that the federal government guidelines for social distancing will be extended until April 30.
3/29/20

To provide emergency cash flow relief to small businesses and nonprofits negatively impacted by the coronavirus, Connecticut’s new Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program is now offering qualifying organizations with 100 or fewer employees access to no-interest loans. Under this program, a qualifying business or nonprofit organization can apply for a loan of up to $75,000 or three months of operating expenses (whichever is lesser). The $25 million short-term emergency loan program will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. It will be administered by the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and expedited with the administrative and underwriting support of Connecticut Innovations.

The state, working with its federal partners, has several programs and initiatives in place to assist businesses during this difficult period. For specific questions related to small business, email the Joint Information Center or call the DECD small business hotline at 860-500-2333. Individuals can call 211 for more information. For the most updated information, check ct.gov/coronavirus.com.
3/26/20

Fishing season starts now! Included in Governor Lamont’s executive order 7L is a provision that says “Notwithstanding Section 26-112 of the Connecticut General Statutes and any associated regulations, effective immediately and through the remainder of the 2020 fishing season, unless earlier modified or terminated by the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection, there is no closed season for fishing in the inland waters of Connecticut. The Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection may extend or modify the open seasons for inland waters fishing without notice and public hearing and issue any implementing orders she deems necessary consistent with this order. All other regulations for fishing, including, but not limited to, licensing, stamps, methods, catch-and-release areas, creel limits and length limits shall remain in effect. Anglers shall practice social distancing measures, such as remaining six feet apart.”
3/25/20

The state Department of Motor Vehicles closed its branch offices on March 18, began offering service on line and by phone only, and extended a variety of deadlines. On March 20, it announced additional extensions and waivers. More announcements about state regulations related to the coronavirus pandemic are available here.
3/23/20

This year’s tax filing deadline for both the state of Connecticut and the federal government has been changed to July 15, 2020.
3/21/20

The federal Department of Education is temporarily waiving all interest on federally held student loans. Secretary Betsy DeVos has also directed federal lenders to allow borrowers to suspend their student loan payments without penalty for at least the next 60 days.
3/21/20

Links to local, state, federal and other Facebook pages and websites with information about the coronavirus pandemic, its effects and sources for help.

 

Basic fabric mask pattern and a video that explains the process, a page of mask-making suggestions from the Centers for Disease Control and a quick and easy shortcut demonstrated by the U.S. Surgeon General.

LOCAL

Town of Norfolk Office of Emergency Management on Facebook

Hartford HealthCare testing centers and policy, plus an online screening questionnaire to help you decide if you should ask for testing

Torrington Area Health District (procedures; office is closed to the public)

Emergency relief funding for practicing artists

Botelle Elementary School

Northwest Regional School District 7

STATE

State of Connecticut Coronavirus Updates

Governor Lamont’s emergency orders and press releases on the latest Covid-19-related health safeguards and state aid for businesses and individuals

State of Connecticut guidance on filing for unemployment benefits

Connecticut’s page for workers and employers: unemployment, job searches, job training and education

State of Connecticut page of Business Resources

Business Reopening and Recovery Center for the State of Connecticut

State Department of Economic and Community Development page on coronavirus business recovery and regulations for business sector reopening

Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program: Emergency cash flow relief to qualifying small businesses and nonprofits negatively affected by the coronavirus

Press release: Covid-19 related testing and treatment is covered without any copayment for insured individuals in the state; testing is similarly available for uninsured people. See also portal.ct.gov/husky and Medicaid Coverage for Uninsured During Covid-19 Emergency.

State of Connecticut Talk It Out hotline for families and those caring for children during the pandemic (or 833-258-5011)

Guidelines for using state parks and boat launches

How to volunteer during this emergency

FEDERAL & OTHER

CDC Activities and Initiatives Supporting the Covid-19 Response

CDC guidelines for employers opening offices during the pandemic

A Practical Guide to Staying Safe During the Coronavirus Pandemic, developed by experts in medicine and infectious diseases at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Mass.

Centers for Disease Control recommendations for what to do if you are sick

Centers for Disease Control Coronavirus Information

Text of White House task force’s three-phase guidelines for “Opening America”

Government Response to Coronavirus

Google coronavirus information page

Mental health resources (png file)

Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress: Fact sheets and other resources to support the health and well-being of communities affected by the pandemic, including more related to mental health.

Information for pet owners and veterinarians from the American Veterinary Medicine Association

Here are some links to interesting sites that should carry you away into other worlds. We will add to them from time to time and, if you have any suggestions for adding to this list, we invite you to email us with the link and a brief note telling us why you enjoy it. Links to videos of the six most recent town committee or board meetings are posted at the bottom of the page.

 

Something for Everyone

Atlas Obscura bills itself as “a global community of explorers, who have together created a comprehensive database of the world’s most wondrous places and foods.” You can travel, learn about foods and watch an extraordinarily eclectic assortment of videos, including this one about hummingbirds. And get a load of this!

Live and Online

Go for a virtual paddle at dawn on Park Pond in Winchester with Gerri Griswold; it’s on Saturday, May 16, from 6:00 to 7:30. Sign up on Facebook here.

For Birders

New Zealand Department of Conservation’s Northern Royal Albatross webcam. An albatross chick grows up on Taiaroa Head; 17 hours ahead (noon EDT is 5 a.m. there).

Explore the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website or go straight to its YouTube channel.

More online bird resources from Cornell’s eBird are here. Watch and record from your house, tracking the birds you find at home to help scientists better understand bird populations where people live. And, if you do go out birding, keep yourself and others safe by following these rules.

Keeping Chickens

Resources for the backyard poultry keeper from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension

For Gardeners

Take virtual tours of two dozen gardens that are part of the American Horticultural Society‘s reciprocal admissions program for members.

Not on the AHS list above, but still wonderful is a March 2020 video tour of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden‘s Japanese garden, complete with cherry blossoms. More BBG videos are available here.

Learn and be inspired by Good Gardening Videos. This website holds more than a thousand short videos on a multitude of gardening topics.

The University of British Columbia Botanical Garden launched Botany Photo of the Day on April 5, 2005. You can browse the photos and sign up to be notified when a new one is published. The collection includes all types of plants, from trees to lichens and each is accompanied by a discussion, complete with links.

Did you know that Britain’s Royal Horticultural Society has a encyclopedic guide to garden plants on line? Anyone can browse bulbs, annuals, perennials, vegetables, trees, shrubs and other categories, and get more details on those of interest. Just remember that information, especially hardiness, is based on British growing conditions.

Planning your own vegetables this year? The Old Farmers Almanac suggests these planting dates for Norfolk.

Connecticut’s own UConn has a Home & Garden Center website that includes a useful factsheet for seed starting and a monthly email newsletter with many links to additional horticultural information.

For Music Lovers

The Norfolk Chamber Music Festival has a YouTube channel you can explore. This selection is Schumann’s Piano Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 44 iii.

The Metropolitan Opera offers a free, daily streaming service of operas from its Live in HD series. Each performance is available for 23 hours, starting at 7:30 p.m. EDT.

For Kids and Families

It’s exciting to discover some of the things our tax dollars have been spent on! The U.S. Forest Service has a wonderful wildflower website that even includes downloadable coloring books to help kids enjoy and learn about nature.

The Beardsley Zoo has free downloadable coloring pages featuring wild animals, plus four daytime zoocams letting you watch red pandas and spider monkeys.

Sign up to receive free science and nature ideas for cooped up kids. Every Friday the Cornell Lab K-12 Education team will be releasing a newsletter with fun and engaging activities to keep your children’s bodies and minds active.

Art-Making Activities Families Can Do at Home (Museum of Modern Art, New York)

The Norfolk Library website has a great page of kids’ activities, many of which (like the virtual tours of Yellowstone National Park and a list of 10 museums with virtual tours) the whole family will enjoy.

NASA would like to bring you the universe. Its NASA at Home page offers kids and families a wealth of material in addition to podcasts, ebooks, virtual tours and videos that will take you out of this world.

The KidsPlay Children’s Museum in Torrington is closed during the pandemic, but you are invited to subscribe to their eblast for educational resources and ideas for fun, hands-on, playful learning activities at home.

Videos for Book Lovers

Videos from Norfolk’s 2018 Haystack Book Talks festival are available on the festival Facebook page, featuring authors like Mark Eisner, Rosa Alcala and Julian Brave NoiseCat.

Arts and Crafts

You can also watch videos taken at the 2019 series of art lectures, the Ethics of Color, presented last year by the Yale Norfolk School of Art with the support of Norfolk Foundation.

For weavers and anyone else interested in textiles, color and design, the Swedish Rug Blog is a fabulous resource. Is author, Anne Whidden, is an architectural designer who lives in New York but has Norfolk roots.

Visit a Museum

The Vatican offers six, 360-degree virtual tours that include the Sistine Chapel in all its glory. No airplane travel needed.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

10 more famous museums with virtual tours (thank you, Norfolk Library)

Dance and Dancing

Although Jacob’s Pillow has canceled its 2020 season, its website is worth exploring, if only for its series of illustrated essays on Women in Dance and other videos under the general heading of Dance Interactive.

More interested in ballet or dances like the waltz, the tango or the turkey trot? YouTube of course!

The Library of Congress

The New York Times clued us in to this: The Library of Congress’s YouTube channel has an eclectic…and amazing…collection of videos, including historical films, talks and interviews, tours, musical performances and past live streams. One fun film is Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor, but there are many, many others to explore and enjoy.

For example: 126 videos from the 2019 National Book Festival, early films of New York and a jam session featuring Duke Ellington

Out of This World

On April 24th, the Hubble Space Telescope celebrated its 30th year in orbit by premiering a never-before-seen view of two beautiful nebulas, NGC 2020 and NGC 2014. Hubble’s senior project scientist, Dr. Jennifer Wiseman, takes us on a tour of this stunning new image, describes the telescope’s current health and summarizes some of Hubble’s contributions to astronomy.

See a selfie taken on Mars

If you liked Mars, you can return via NASA’s Mars mission site. While you follow the 2020 mission, your family can try STEM activities.

And really in outer space, a new planet.

Food

Need cooking ideas? Here are a couple of recipe collections for those times when you’re not ordering takeout from one of our local restaurants.

AllRecipes has a long list of comfort food recipes to try, mostly old-time favorites. The site also offers reader-contributed recipes in other categories, such as quarantine cooking, and can even point you to recipes for various diets. For more upscale recipes, try Bon Appetit.

Town Meetings

Did you know that many of Norfolk’s town meetings are posted on Robin Hood Radio TV’s Vimeo channel? Here is your chance to view the six most recently posted: Board of Finance, 5/12/20; Board of Finance, 5/5/20; Board of Selectmen, 5/5/20; Board of Education, 4/28/20, Board of Education, 4/7/20, and Board of Selectmen, 4/7/20. Work your way backward to find many more Norfolk meetings.

Local Changes

This tab lists the most recent changes made by the local institutions and essential businesses that are still open or have made other arrangements to deliver their services, plus a few notable closings, in alphabetical order by name. For a list and contact information for most Norfolk organizations, institutions and businesses please see the Directory on this website.

 

The Memorial Day 5-mile race was canceled for safety’s sake; the Fire Department would appreciate donations to its scholarship fund, for which the race is the chief fundraiser.
5/2/20

Ackerly Brown LLP
The office is closed to the public at this time, but the law practice remains open for business and continues to serve clients via email, telephone and video conferencing. Call the office at 860-567-0828 and leave a message. Someone will get back to you as soon as possible.
4/20/20

Artisans Guild
The Artisans Guild is now open weekends under state guidelines; hours are Saturday, 10:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m., and Sunday, 12:00 to 4:00 p.m.; starting June 5, it will also be open on Fridays, 10:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m. It is still featuring works on its Facebook page for telephone ordering and either curbside pickup or local home delivery. Any items you see when you look in the window are available too. Call 860-379-4347 to order or inquire.
5/27/20

Berkshire Country Store
The Berkshire Country Store has expanded its regular hours: they are now Monday through Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. It is still limiting purchases of takeout food and groceries to credit card only (service charge if below a $5 minimum) and its register is still inside the front door. An associate will be available to give you a virtual tour of the shelves if need be. Curbside delivery is available, and the store will deliver food free of charge to at-risk Norfolk residents. Call 860-542-5721 or Skype berkshirecountrystore@gmail.com.
5/18/20

Botelle School
Governor Lamont has canceled all in-person K-12 classes at public schools until the end of this academic year. Meals will continue. See the State, Federal tab on this page for more.
5/5/20

The Governor has extended school closings until at least May 20. Phase One of distance learning at Botelle School was put into place on March 16. Teachers prepared and distributed individualized paper packets and devices to be used until the end of March. Phase Two of distance learning will begin on April 1. Teachers and staff are planning short lessons of live, virtual instruction with continued assignments in reading, math and writing in addition to PE, library, art and music. We will be using Google Meet for the live portion of instruction and interactive platforms like Google Classroom (in the intermediate grades) and See Saw (in all grades) for assignments.
3/24/20

The last day of school is still June 12, following Governor Lamont’s decision that school closure dates do not have to be made up. If Botelle opens again before that date, all vacations and holidays on the school calendar will be observed.
3/20/20

Meals for students are being offered during school shutdown by EdAdvance Food Service, which is working in collaboration with Region 7, Torrington and Winchester Public Schools. Meals will be provided at two locations in the area, Vogel-Wetmore School, located at 68 Church Street in Torrington, and Pearson Middle School, located at 2 Wetmore Avenue in Winsted. Meals will be provided in a drive-through fashion at both sites Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Any child 18 or under will be provided a Grab and Go bag lunch for that day and a breakfast for the next morning. Questions may be directed to Becky Tyrrell, Food Service Director, at 860-567-0863 ext. 1148.
3/23/20

Church of Christ Congregational
All activities are canceled, but services are being posted on the church’s Facebook page at 9:45 a.m. each Sunday. People are encouraged to join in at 10:00 a.m. via Facebook and interact with other viewers. Once the video is posted, it may be viewed at any time.
3/21/20

Hours for the NorfolkNet food pantry are 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, at the church. Please call 860-542-5721 when you come and wait in your car for curbside delivery. Donors are asked to follow the same procedure.
3/20/20

Church of the Immaculate Conception
No public masses are being celebrated at the Church of the Immaculate Conception. However, the church sanctuary is open during daylight hours for people to meditate or pray while maintaining social distancing within the sanctuary. Father Dawson is saying mass alone daily and conducting drive-through confessions, rotating through the parish. Call 860-824-7078 and leave a message for more information or to ask about clerical services.
3/21/20

Dandelion Gardening Arts
All Dandelion Cottage‘s live classes, workshops and group meetings are suspended. Online classes begin in April. Go to dandelioncottagedesign.com to sign up for “NOTES from Dandelion Cottage” to receive monthly schedule for all classes, FB Lives, meetings and more. Group meetings will be held on Zoom at the regularly scheduled times.
3/30/20

Husky Meadows Farm
Husky Meadows Farm’s CSA shares are sold out for this year; the farm offers VIP debit cards for use at the farm or at the Norfolk Farmers Market.
5/21/20

Infinity Hall
The state’s prohibition of large gatherings has been extended through June 20. Infinity Hall is continuing to work on rescheduling its events and notifying ticket holders directly. For an overview of events after June 20, see Infinity’s schedule online.
5/21/20

Lost Ruby Farm
Lost Ruby’s full line of chèvres and Black Pearl is now available at the farm. Customers can order cheese in advance and pick it up on one of the scheduled days, Wednesday or Saturday between 12:00 and 1:00 p.m. (subject to change). Order on the farm’s website or send an email to Adair in advance, using the subject line “LRF FARM PICK UP” and including the date you want to pick up.
4/20/20

National Iron Bank
The National Iron Bank is retaining its regular hours but has closed its lobby. Banking services are still available at the drive-in window, the ATM and online. Staff members are available by phone (860-542-5541).
3/20/20

Norbrook Farm Brewery
Norbrook Farm Brewery is maintaining the same tasting room hours but only serving to-go orders. You can order online, by phone or in person.
3/30/20

Norfolk Chamber Music Festival
This summer’s season of the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival–Yale Summer School of Music has been canceled. Plans are in the works for a few programs for the summer that can be streamed online; they will be announced later. Ticket refunds will be issued on request; any unrefunded money will be used to support the festival. For more information, call 860-542-3000 or send an email.
4/19/20

Norfolk Community Association
April is Norfolk Cleanup Month. Instead of gathering for one Cleanup Day, the Community Association asks everyone to participate by themselves for the entire month. Get out and clean up your street or favorite Norfolk places, while keeping a safe distance and enjoying some fresh air. Do what you can, when you can and help keep Norfolk picture perfect!
4/2/20

Norfolk Early Learning Center
The Norfolk Early Learning Center has reopened, operating during normal business hours, 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and using a number of precautions put into place by the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood.
5/26/20

Norfolk Farmers Market
The farmers market is planning to open the 2020 season on June 13th with an E-commerce program.
5/22/20

Norfolk Land Trust
The Norfolk Land Trust has canceled its spring trail cleanup and postponed the bird walk originally scheduled for April 25.
4/2/20

Norfolk Library
Starting June 1, the library is offering a new curbside service, Porch Pickup. The library remains closed to the public, but we will now be able to provide patrons with books, DVDs, audiobooks and magazines from our collection during our new hours: Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. You must have a valid library card. The book drop will be open for returns and wifi is available outside the building. We are not accepting book donations. Online resources such as ebooks, e-audiobooks, movies, music, online learning and links to educational and cultural resources for the family are available on our website. Please call the Library at 860-542-5075 ext. 2 (circulation desk) if you need help accessing our online resources. We will be checking our phone messages once daily Monday through Friday, so please leave your name and clearly state your phone number. We will call you back as soon as possible. You may also email us.
5/29/20

Norfolk Municipal Meetings
Many municipal meetings have been canceled, but others, such as the selectmen’s meeting, will still take place, most likely online. For available updates, see the Meetings page on this website. Videos of some have been posted on the Robin Hood Radio/CATV 6 Vimeo page.
4/2/20

Regional 7 School District
The Regional 7 Board of Education chair and superintendent have issued an update on work being done by the school during the coronavirus pandemic, including distance learning and the lunch and breakfast program (available in Winsted). They also describe several outreach efforts developed by the members of the school community. For example, one student has invited students and families to create cards, picture, poems and small paintings to be sent to residents at local nursing homes; she supplied suggestions and addresses. For the full message, click here. For the most recent posts, click here.
3/31/20

Robinson/Scholastic Objectives
Robinson/Scholastic Objectives is currently offering consulting services by appointment only. Call 860-542-1300 or send us an email.

Weekend in Norfolk
The fifth annual Weekend in Norfolk will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 31, August 1 and 2, modified to respect the realities of Covid-19. Events will be all outdoors or online. For updates, see WIN’s last-minute updates page or its Facebook page.
5/22/20

Wood Creek Bar & Grill
The Wood Creek Bar & Grill is still serving take-out food but now offers dining at outdoor tables. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Call 860-542-1200; curbside delivery available for take-out.
5/22/20

Closings & Cancellations

Most events scheduled from now through the end of April have been canceled or rescheduled. Likewise, schools, institutions and businesses other than those considered essential have also closed. Some changes are listed under the Local Changes tab on this page. For more information on individual events or businesses, please visit the websites belonging to each event organizer or business; see the Directory page on this site for links.

Links to videos of the six most recent town committee or board meetings are posted at the bottom of the page under the Just for Fun tab.

 

Governor Lamont’s definition of critical businesses, as set forth in Executive Order 7H (see the state’s coronavirus web page), “shall include, but not be limited to….essential health care operations including hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, elder care and home health care workers, companies and institutions involved in the research and development, manufacture, distribution, warehousing, and supplying of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology therapies, health care data, consumer health products, medical devices, diagnostics, equipment, services and any other healthcare related supplies or services; essential infrastructure, including utilities, wastewater and drinking water, telecommunications, airports and transportation infrastructure; manufacturing, including food processing, pharmaceuticals, and industries supporting the essential services required to meet national security commitments to the federal government and U.S. Military; the defense industrial base, including aerospace, mechanical and software engineers, manufacturing/production workers, aircraft and weapon system mechanics and maintainers; essential retail, including grocery stores and big-box stores or wholesale clubs, provided they also sell groceries; pharmacies, gas stations and convenience stores; food and beverage retailers (including liquor/package stores and manufacturer permittees) and restaurants, provided they comply with previous and future executive orders issued during the existing declared public health and civil preparedness emergency; essential services including trash and recycling collection, hauling, and processing, mail and shipping services; news media; legal and accounting services; banks, insurance companies, check cashing services, and other financial institutions; providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations; construction; vendors of essential services and goods necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences or other essential businesses, including pest control and landscaping services; vendors that provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care and services needed to ensure the continuing operation of government agencies and the provision of goods, services or functions necessary for the health, safety and welfare of the public.”
3/21/20

Town Hall

Messages and information from Norfolk’s Town Hall. Links to videos of the six most recent town committee or board meetings are posted at the bottom of the page under the Just for Fun tab.

 

Tobey Pond tentative opening mid-June

I know everyone is anxious to get out and enjoy summer activities, but we are going to have to wait for Tobey Pond to be open. We will continue to discuss this and review the guidelines established by the state. The earliest we will open Tobey Pond is mid-June. In a May 19 conference call, the Connecticut DEEP informed us that there would be no swimming at inland state parks. I realize Tobey Pond is not a state park, but we have been and will continue to use the state’s Covid-19 guidelines until we get through this. The big concern is making sure it is safe for all, including the lifeguards. We will continue to monitor the DEEP guidelines and prepare Tobey Pond and our staff for an opening. Thank you for your patience.
5/21/20

Free thermometers available for small businesses

Another partnership between ConnStep, CBIA and the State of Connecticut will provide thermometers to small businesses, places of worship and nonprofits with 100 employees or fewer. The thermometers, which can support workplace screening and health checks, are available free for those that are eligible. They will be distributed through the Town of Norfolk similarly to the way masks were distributed last week. To apply for your free business thermometer you can click on the link and fill out the form at https://www.ctcovidresponse.org/thermometer-request or you can visit CTcovidresponse.org for more details.
5/15/20

Interview summarizing state of the town

First Selectman Matt Riiska is interviewed by Mike Cobb in a Norfolk Now podcast.
5/15/20

Where to call for assistance

As a reminder, if any Norfolk citizen needs assistance of any kind the Selectman’s Office and Emergency Management stand ready to assist. You can call the office at 860-542-5829; all calls will be kept confidential.
5/4/20

Long Term Recovery Committee forming

Governor Lamont has urged that all communities create a Long Term Recovery Committee that “will help meet urgent needs, accelerate recovery, and expedite coordination with the state’s emergency management structure in the ongoing response and recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic.” The Town of Norfolk along with Emergency Management and other civic organizations has already taken steps to meet the needs of our local residents and more information about a local committee will be forthcoming. As always, you can find details of state announcements and mandates at https://portal.ct.gov/coronavirus.
5/4/20

Surgical masks available for eligible small businesses; order before April 30

The State of Connecticut has partnered with CBIA-CONNSTEP to assist in the distribution of donated surgical masks to eligible, essential small businesses with 50 employees or less. These eligible, essential small businesses and their employees located within our municipalities are the backbone of our economies and these masks will help to ensure their continuity. Supplies for eligible, essential small businesses will be distributed to the Norfolk EMD Office for pickup by the businesses.

Eligible businesses must place their order for up to 2 masks per employee (limit, 100 per business) by following this link before April 30: https://www.ctcovidresponse.org/ct-smb-surgical-mask-requests

Each municipality in Region 5 will pick up their “community pack” on Thursday, April 30, 2020. This community pack will contain masks for eligible, essential businesses that requested them through the CBIA-CONNSTEP portal. Businesses must not request masks from the Regional Points of Distribution, they will be turned away. The Norfolk EMD office will then deliver the masks to those Norfolk businesses later on Thursday or Friday.

Wonder if your small business is considered essential? Check here.
4/27/20

Sign Up for Emergency Texts, Health Information App

Our Office of Emergency Management wants you to know that Governor Lamont is encouraging folks to sign up for CTAlert, emergency text messages from state officials. To subscribe, text the keyword COVIDCT to 888-777 using your mobile phone. There is also a new app, How We Feel, that can anonymously provide scientists with critical health information needed to understand the spread of Covid-19. You can find it on the Google Play store, as well as the Apple App store. For more details on these and just about everything having to do with the coronavirus, check out http://ct.gov/coronavirus.
4/25/20

Stay Safe on the Roads

With many people getting out of their homes to get some fresh air by taking a walk or going for a bike ride, there are a few things everyone needs to consider. Pedestrians should walk FACING traffic, on the left side of the road. Walk on the side of the road. Do not walk in the middle of the road. Bicyclists should ride WITH traffic on the right side of the road. Bicycles are considered vehicles and are required to obey all the same traffic laws as cars. Bicyclists are allowed to ride two abreast, but are encouraged to ride single file when being overtaken or when overtaking. (There is no law requiring bikes to be ridden single file.)

Vehicles are required to maintain 3 FEET of distance when passing bicyclists. Failure to do so not only endangers bicyclists but can result in the motorist receiving a fine under the motor vehicle code “failure to grant right of way to a bicycle” (CS 14-242). There does not appear to be a law requiring 3 feet of distance from pedestrians…but it seems more than obvious that it is equally good practice.

…And always wear reflective clothing, especially in the early morning or evenings. Click here for more information.

Thanks, be healthy, be safe. Matt Riiska
4/16/20

A Reminder: Help is Available

If you and your family or Norfolk neighbors and friends are in need of assistance during this time…food, shelter, financial, transportation…please contact the Selectmen’s Office at the Town Hall by calling 860-542-5829. We have many resources available to help.
4/6/20

From the Norfolk Office of Emergency Management: How to Volunteer

The Governor has created a link for citizens inquiring about volunteering and/or wishing to apply to volunteer. If you are interested in helping local and state agencies, please click here.

Thankfully, officially Norfolk continues to show only one confirmed case but we believe that number to be higher due to testing irregularities, those in self quarantine, and recent travel.

Norfolk Lions Club Ambulance members, with the assistance of our fire department, continue to protect themselves by obtaining as much personal protective equipment as they can obtain from local and state agencies. Please do not be alarmed if you see them respond to your call for assistance in a mask, gown and face shield. It is for your protection as much as theirs.

Please continue to follow the state directives in terms of isolation and limited travel, and consolidate the family shopping to one person and one trip when you can. Please consider patronizing our local businesses as safely as you can. Working together we can avoid the worst.
4/5/20

Covid-19 Statement from the First Selectman

Having been on numerous conference calls in the past two weeks, a number of Northwest Corner officials are concerned with the influx of people leaving the cities and moving to the Northwest Corner.

I am aware of the number of Norfolk second home and weekend residents who have come to Norfolk to get away from the cities. Governor Lamont has said, “Until you know you’re healthy, you’re not contagious, I’m ordering you to self-quarantine.” If you have traveled from areas where the infection rate is high, such as Italy or NYC, please quarantine yourself in your house for 14 days.

This might sound like I am singling out one group, but we all want to get through this, and we certainly want everyone to be safe and healthy so we can all enjoy what Norfolk has to offer.

Thank you for your cooperation.
3/29/20

Child Care for Essential Workers

From Norfolk’s Office of Emergency Management: For those essential workers who have questions about or are in need of child care during this time, this guidance in the form of two jpg files from the Office of Early Childhood may be helpful: Child Care for Essential Workers during the Coronavirus and Together for Kids.

Message from the First Selectman

As was previously posted, the Town Hall is closed, but we are here and encouraging people to call [860-542-5829] or send us an email.

I also wanted to let everyone know that we have signed a “Declaration of Local State of Emergency.” This was done at the suggestion of our area representative to the Department of Emergency Management & Homeland Security. This will allow Norfolk to apply for any necessary equipment and funds as needed in the future.

Please abide by the Governor’s order to “Stay Safe, Stay Home.” We will get through this. If you can, please support our local businesses and the services they are offering, check on your neighbors and friends via email, text, phone or other method and get out of the house and go for a walk.

Thanks and take care,
Matt Riiska

GOVERNOR LAMONT SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER ASKING CONNECTICUT BUSINESSES AND RESIDENTS: ‘STAY SAFE, STAY HOME’
The governor is calling this his “Stay Safe, Stay Home” initiative. The plan recommends that state residents do the following:

1. Effective at 8PM on Sunday, March 23, all non-essential businesses statewide should close;
2. Non-essential public community gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason should be canceled (e.g. parties, celebrations or other social events) are canceled or postponed at this time;
3. If you must leave your home, do not travel in groups – groups must be limited to workers providing essential services;
4. Everyone should keep at least six feet away from each other whenever possible;
5. Businesses and entities that provide other essential services should implement rules that help facilitate social distancing of at least six feet;
6. Individuals should limit outdoor recreational activities to non-contact and avoid activities where they come in close contact with other people;
7. Individuals should limit use of public transportation to when absolutely necessary and should limit potential exposure by spacing out at least six feet from other riders;
8. Sick individuals should not leave their home except to fill critical needs or to receive medical care, and only after a telehealth visit to determine if leaving the home is in the best interest of their health;
9. Young people should also practice social distancing and avoid contact with vulnerable populations; and
10. Use precautionary sanitizer practices such as using soap and water, hand sanitizer, or isopropyl alcohol wipes. Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds works best.

The businesses for which this order applies shall include, but not be limited to, the 16 critical infrastructure sectors as defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which are available at www.cisa.gov/critical-infrastructure-sectors. [See also the Closings & Cancellations tab on this page.] For more information, refer to the text of the executive order.
3/23/20

Town Hall Access Restricted

At the suggestion of the State of Connecticut, Town Hall is closed to the public. We will be here conducting our regular business, as well as monitoring the Town’s needs in regards to the Covid-19 virus. We are encouraging people to call or email either the Selectmen’s office at 860-542-5829 or the Town Clerk’s Office at 860-542-5679.

For an update on the Town’s preparedness for the COVID-19 virus, please see the EMD Facebook page, Town of Norfolk, CT Emergency Management, or visit them on Twitter: @NorfolkEMD. Please follow all of the suggested precautions and be safe.
3/23/20

Statement from the Norfolk Emergency Management Office

Good afternoon to our Norfolk citizens and beyond. In these uncertain times, please be assured that our town leaders are doing everything within our ability and authority to keep our citizens safe. While we currently do not have any reported cases of Covid-19 in Norfolk, we are operating under the concept of “hope for the best but plan for the worse.” To help lessen the chance of a local outbreak, we urge Norfolk citizens to follow the suggestions of Governor Lamont with social distancing and staying home as much as possible.

Our volunteers on the ambulance and fire department have been given recent refresher training on using proper protection equipment and both departments currently have enough equipment on hand based on current transport volume with more on order. In the spirit of community collaboration, Northwestern Regional 7 High School loaned equipment to New Hartford, Winsted and Norfolk ambulances to use during this emergency. This includes sterilization equipment so that we can safely clean and reuse N-95 masks, face shields and eye protection. They also donated gowns and eye protection that they had in stock from their public health and chemistry classes.

Our emergency management officials, Richard Byrne and Jon Barbagallo, have been meeting with First Selectman Matt Riiska daily and participate in numerous conference calls each day with Governor Lamont and leaders at the Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. We are in contact with our church leaders, philanthropic agencies and Botelle School to ensure that the immediate needs of our families and at-risk citizens are addressed.

We are working with our local businesses with information sharing on legal and financial resources as it becomes available. Working with the Norfolk Foundation, we have created a simple online survey that we are urging all Norfolk businesses and civic organizations to fill out as often as they have changes to their business hours or operations. The information that we receive will be shared so that Norfolk citizens can stay updated as much as possible. We also urge that you follow each business or organization’s social media and websites and shop at those stores that can stay open like the Berkshire Country Store and Wood Creek Bar & Grill.

Lastly and maybe most importantly, we are also working to ensure that basic town services go uninterrupted as much as possible. This includes Town Hall activities which can be done online, via phone or by appointment. Our town crew continues to work on road projects and our transfer station continues to be open as scheduled.

As always, you can reach out to the Selectmen’s Office with any questions, concerns, or offers of assistance that you may have: 860-542-5829.
Good health to everyone!
3/22/20

State, Federal

This tab lists Covid-19-related state and federal regulations, guidelines and programs to assist businesses and individuals affected by the pandemic.

 

The CDC issued detailed guidelines for employers opening offices during the pandemic.
5/29/29

The state has issued the Governor’s Reopen Connecticut Report, setting out steps for reopening Connecticut’s economy and education system. It was written with the aid of recommendations from a panel of local health, business, workforce and education experts.
5/26/20

Governor Lamont’s executive order number 7QQ states that an eligible elector may vote by absentee ballot for the August 11, 2020, primary election if he or she is unable to appear at his or her polling place during voting hours because of Covid-19. A person may lawfully state he or she is unable to appear at a polling place because of Covid-19 if, at the time he or she applies for or casts an absentee ballot for this primary election, there is no federally approved and widely available vaccine for prevention of Covid-19. For an absentee ballot application, click here.
5/21/20

The Centers for Disease Control has issued a 60-page document with recommendations supporting the country’s response to Covid-19 and its reopening.
5/20/20

All insured individuals are eligible for no-cost Covid-19 testing and treatment. All out-of-pocket costs for testing and treatment of Covid-19 have been removed. Employer-based plan sponsors are required to follow suit and remove all cost sharing for testing and treatment for their workers and their families. Public health coverage is also available to Connecticut residents who qualify. The regular Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, together known in Connecticut as HUSKY Health, fully covers Covid-19 testing and treatment without any cost-sharing. HUSKY Health is also covering testing for uninsured Connecticut residents who are U.S. citizens or have a qualifying immigration status, regardless of income, and covering testing for residents without a qualifying immigration status if they meet HUSKY income requirements and have Covid-19 symptoms. For more information, read the press release issued today by the state Insurance Department.
5/19/20

Starting May 20, clubs, bars and establishments that serve food may serve it outdoors; alcoholic beverages must be sold or served in combination with food. The state’s prohibition of indoor dining and indoor consumption of alcohol without food has been extended until June 20. Governor Lamont’s executive order 7PP sets out these rules and others that cover offices, gyms, movie theaters, retail stores, museums and zoos, and other businesses.
5/19/20

The state has established an online Business Reopening and Recovery Center for Connecticut businesses. It is a one-stop resource to help businesses prepare, rebuild and grow during the state’s emergency coronavirus response. Resources include a means of self-certifying that you are following strict safety guidelines to keep your employees and customers safe.
5/15/20

The state Department of Economic and Community Development page on coronavirus business recovery has begun to issue regulations for business sector reopenings on May 20.
5/10/20

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the governor has announced that in-person classes at all K-12 public school facilities in Connecticut are to remain canceled for the rest of the 2019-2020 academic year; schools are to continue providing distance learning during this period. Schools will also be required to continue providing meals to children under the school lunch and breakfast programs for consumption at home, as they have been throughout this emergency. The governor is consulting with state and local education officials regarding whether summer school programming should commence as scheduled.
5/5/20

Governor Lamont urges Connecticut residents to use the How We Feel app to anonymously help give scientists critical health information needed to understand the spread of Covid-19. Versions of the nonprofit-supported app for mobile devices are available free from the Apple App store and the Google Play store, or users can also complete the survey through a web version at howwefeel.app.
4/24/20

The state has launched a “Talk It Out” hotline for families and caretakers to relieve the stress of caring for children during the pandemic, and to receive referrals for additional assistance. Call 1-833-258-5011 or visit www.talkitoutct.com.
4/17/20

Connecticut’s presidential primary has been rescheduled again to August 11, along with the primary for state and federal offices. The Democratic national convention is scheduled for August 17 to 20 in Milwaukee, Wis. The Republican convention will take place August 24 to 27 in Charlotte, N.C.
4/17/20

The White House coronavirus task force has unveiled Guidelines for Opening Up America Again. The document is “a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts. These steps will help state and local officials when reopening their economies, getting people back to work and continuing to protect American lives.” The governors of each state will decide whether their state or area meets the criteria for entering the different stages.
4/16/20

In his Executive Order #7X, Governor Lamont extended school class shutdowns, business closings, distancing and other measures through May 20. He also announced provisions for residential tenants to delay paying April and May rents.
4/10/20

The state of Connecticut has put limits on medical charges related to Covid-19 in uninsured individuals. For more information, see Governor Lamont’s Executive Order #7U.
4/6/20

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed on March 27 includes several important benefits for small businesses and nonprofits in Connecticut. For more information on the following, visit the state’s Business Resource page.

•Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans: Provide cash-flow assistance through federally-guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans will be forgiven.

• Economic Injury Disaster Loans & Emergency Injury Grants: An emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private nonprofits harmed by Covid-19 within three days of applying for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). Grants and loans may be used to keep employees on payroll, pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments.

• Small Business Debt Relief Program: Provides immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans, in particular 7(a), 504, and microloans. Under this program, the SBA will cover all loan payments on previously secured SBA loans, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months.

• Employee Retention Credit for Employers Subject to Closure or Experiencing Economic Hardship: A refundable payroll tax credit for 50% of wages paid by eligible employers to certain employees during the Covid-19 crisis.

• Delay of Payment of Employer Payroll Taxes: Allows taxpayers to defer paying the employer portion of certain payroll taxes through the end of 2020, with all 2020 deferred amounts due in two equal installments, one at the end of 2021, the other at the end of 2022.

• Counseling and Training: Local resource partners can be found here.

Two other programs for small businesses are:

• Federal Emergency Paid Leave Program: Through the end of 2020, employers with fewer than 500 employees must provide 80 hours of paid sick leave and 10 weeks of paid family leave. Note that employers will be reimbursed by the IRS for 100% of the paid leave in 2 weeks or less. They will also be reimbursed for employees’ health care premiums during leave. Click here for the current IRS guidance.

• CT DOL’s Shared Work Program: Allows employers to reduce employees’ hours by up to 60% and DOL will step in to provide unemployment insurance (UI) benefits that help offset the lost wages, as well as the new federal UI supplement. More information about the program can be found here.

Benefits from many of the programs above are also available to self-employed individuals.
3/30/20

President Trump announced that the federal government guidelines for social distancing will be extended until April 30.
3/29/20

To provide emergency cash flow relief to small businesses and nonprofits negatively impacted by the coronavirus, Connecticut’s new Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program is now offering qualifying organizations with 100 or fewer employees access to no-interest loans. Under this program, a qualifying business or nonprofit organization can apply for a loan of up to $75,000 or three months of operating expenses (whichever is lesser). The $25 million short-term emergency loan program will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. It will be administered by the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and expedited with the administrative and underwriting support of Connecticut Innovations.

The state, working with its federal partners, has several programs and initiatives in place to assist businesses during this difficult period. For specific questions related to small business, email the Joint Information Center or call the DECD small business hotline at 860-500-2333. Individuals can call 211 for more information. For the most updated information, check ct.gov/coronavirus.com.
3/26/20

Fishing season starts now! Included in Governor Lamont’s executive order 7L is a provision that says “Notwithstanding Section 26-112 of the Connecticut General Statutes and any associated regulations, effective immediately and through the remainder of the 2020 fishing season, unless earlier modified or terminated by the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection, there is no closed season for fishing in the inland waters of Connecticut. The Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection may extend or modify the open seasons for inland waters fishing without notice and public hearing and issue any implementing orders she deems necessary consistent with this order. All other regulations for fishing, including, but not limited to, licensing, stamps, methods, catch-and-release areas, creel limits and length limits shall remain in effect. Anglers shall practice social distancing measures, such as remaining six feet apart.”
3/25/20

The state Department of Motor Vehicles closed its branch offices on March 18, began offering service on line and by phone only, and extended a variety of deadlines. On March 20, it announced additional extensions and waivers. More announcements about state regulations related to the coronavirus pandemic are available here.
3/23/20

This year’s tax filing deadline for both the state of Connecticut and the federal government has been changed to July 15, 2020.
3/21/20

The federal Department of Education is temporarily waiving all interest on federally held student loans. Secretary Betsy DeVos has also directed federal lenders to allow borrowers to suspend their student loan payments without penalty for at least the next 60 days.
3/21/20

Resources

Links to local, state, federal and other Facebook pages and websites with information about the coronavirus pandemic, its effects and sources for help.

 

Basic fabric mask pattern and a video that explains the process, a page of mask-making suggestions from the Centers for Disease Control and a quick and easy shortcut demonstrated by the U.S. Surgeon General.

LOCAL

Town of Norfolk Office of Emergency Management on Facebook

Hartford HealthCare testing centers and policy, plus an online screening questionnaire to help you decide if you should ask for testing

Torrington Area Health District (procedures; office is closed to the public)

Emergency relief funding for practicing artists

Botelle Elementary School

Northwest Regional School District 7

STATE

State of Connecticut Coronavirus Updates

Governor Lamont’s emergency orders and press releases on the latest Covid-19-related health safeguards and state aid for businesses and individuals

State of Connecticut guidance on filing for unemployment benefits

Connecticut’s page for workers and employers: unemployment, job searches, job training and education

State of Connecticut page of Business Resources

Business Reopening and Recovery Center for the State of Connecticut

State Department of Economic and Community Development page on coronavirus business recovery and regulations for business sector reopening

Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program: Emergency cash flow relief to qualifying small businesses and nonprofits negatively affected by the coronavirus

Press release: Covid-19 related testing and treatment is covered without any copayment for insured individuals in the state; testing is similarly available for uninsured people. See also portal.ct.gov/husky and Medicaid Coverage for Uninsured During Covid-19 Emergency.

State of Connecticut Talk It Out hotline for families and those caring for children during the pandemic (or 833-258-5011)

Guidelines for using state parks and boat launches

How to volunteer during this emergency

FEDERAL & OTHER

CDC Activities and Initiatives Supporting the Covid-19 Response

CDC guidelines for employers opening offices during the pandemic

A Practical Guide to Staying Safe During the Coronavirus Pandemic, developed by experts in medicine and infectious diseases at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Mass.

Centers for Disease Control recommendations for what to do if you are sick

Centers for Disease Control Coronavirus Information

Text of White House task force’s three-phase guidelines for “Opening America”

Government Response to Coronavirus

Google coronavirus information page

Mental health resources (png file)

Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress: Fact sheets and other resources to support the health and well-being of communities affected by the pandemic, including more related to mental health.

Information for pet owners and veterinarians from the American Veterinary Medicine Association

Just for Fun

Here are some links to interesting sites that should carry you away into other worlds. We will add to them from time to time and, if you have any suggestions for adding to this list, we invite you to email us with the link and a brief note telling us why you enjoy it. Links to videos of the six most recent town committee or board meetings are posted at the bottom of the page.

 

Something for Everyone

Atlas Obscura bills itself as “a global community of explorers, who have together created a comprehensive database of the world’s most wondrous places and foods.” You can travel, learn about foods and watch an extraordinarily eclectic assortment of videos, including this one about hummingbirds. And get a load of this!

Live and Online

Go for a virtual paddle at dawn on Park Pond in Winchester with Gerri Griswold; it’s on Saturday, May 16, from 6:00 to 7:30. Sign up on Facebook here.

For Birders

New Zealand Department of Conservation’s Northern Royal Albatross webcam. An albatross chick grows up on Taiaroa Head; 17 hours ahead (noon EDT is 5 a.m. there).

Explore the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website or go straight to its YouTube channel.

More online bird resources from Cornell’s eBird are here. Watch and record from your house, tracking the birds you find at home to help scientists better understand bird populations where people live. And, if you do go out birding, keep yourself and others safe by following these rules.

Keeping Chickens

Resources for the backyard poultry keeper from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension

For Gardeners

Take virtual tours of two dozen gardens that are part of the American Horticultural Society‘s reciprocal admissions program for members.

Not on the AHS list above, but still wonderful is a March 2020 video tour of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden‘s Japanese garden, complete with cherry blossoms. More BBG videos are available here.

Learn and be inspired by Good Gardening Videos. This website holds more than a thousand short videos on a multitude of gardening topics.

The University of British Columbia Botanical Garden launched Botany Photo of the Day on April 5, 2005. You can browse the photos and sign up to be notified when a new one is published. The collection includes all types of plants, from trees to lichens and each is accompanied by a discussion, complete with links.

Did you know that Britain’s Royal Horticultural Society has a encyclopedic guide to garden plants on line? Anyone can browse bulbs, annuals, perennials, vegetables, trees, shrubs and other categories, and get more details on those of interest. Just remember that information, especially hardiness, is based on British growing conditions.

Planning your own vegetables this year? The Old Farmers Almanac suggests these planting dates for Norfolk.

Connecticut’s own UConn has a Home & Garden Center website that includes a useful factsheet for seed starting and a monthly email newsletter with many links to additional horticultural information.

For Music Lovers

The Norfolk Chamber Music Festival has a YouTube channel you can explore. This selection is Schumann’s Piano Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 44 iii.

The Metropolitan Opera offers a free, daily streaming service of operas from its Live in HD series. Each performance is available for 23 hours, starting at 7:30 p.m. EDT.

For Kids and Families

It’s exciting to discover some of the things our tax dollars have been spent on! The U.S. Forest Service has a wonderful wildflower website that even includes downloadable coloring books to help kids enjoy and learn about nature.

The Beardsley Zoo has free downloadable coloring pages featuring wild animals, plus four daytime zoocams letting you watch red pandas and spider monkeys.

Sign up to receive free science and nature ideas for cooped up kids. Every Friday the Cornell Lab K-12 Education team will be releasing a newsletter with fun and engaging activities to keep your children’s bodies and minds active.

Art-Making Activities Families Can Do at Home (Museum of Modern Art, New York)

The Norfolk Library website has a great page of kids’ activities, many of which (like the virtual tours of Yellowstone National Park and a list of 10 museums with virtual tours) the whole family will enjoy.

NASA would like to bring you the universe. Its NASA at Home page offers kids and families a wealth of material in addition to podcasts, ebooks, virtual tours and videos that will take you out of this world.

The KidsPlay Children’s Museum in Torrington is closed during the pandemic, but you are invited to subscribe to their eblast for educational resources and ideas for fun, hands-on, playful learning activities at home.

Videos for Book Lovers

Videos from Norfolk’s 2018 Haystack Book Talks festival are available on the festival Facebook page, featuring authors like Mark Eisner, Rosa Alcala and Julian Brave NoiseCat.

Arts and Crafts

You can also watch videos taken at the 2019 series of art lectures, the Ethics of Color, presented last year by the Yale Norfolk School of Art with the support of Norfolk Foundation.

For weavers and anyone else interested in textiles, color and design, the Swedish Rug Blog is a fabulous resource. Is author, Anne Whidden, is an architectural designer who lives in New York but has Norfolk roots.

Visit a Museum

The Vatican offers six, 360-degree virtual tours that include the Sistine Chapel in all its glory. No airplane travel needed.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

10 more famous museums with virtual tours (thank you, Norfolk Library)

Dance and Dancing

Although Jacob’s Pillow has canceled its 2020 season, its website is worth exploring, if only for its series of illustrated essays on Women in Dance and other videos under the general heading of Dance Interactive.

More interested in ballet or dances like the waltz, the tango or the turkey trot? YouTube of course!

The Library of Congress

The New York Times clued us in to this: The Library of Congress’s YouTube channel has an eclectic…and amazing…collection of videos, including historical films, talks and interviews, tours, musical performances and past live streams. One fun film is Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor, but there are many, many others to explore and enjoy.

For example: 126 videos from the 2019 National Book Festival, early films of New York and a jam session featuring Duke Ellington

Out of This World

On April 24th, the Hubble Space Telescope celebrated its 30th year in orbit by premiering a never-before-seen view of two beautiful nebulas, NGC 2020 and NGC 2014. Hubble’s senior project scientist, Dr. Jennifer Wiseman, takes us on a tour of this stunning new image, describes the telescope’s current health and summarizes some of Hubble’s contributions to astronomy.

See a selfie taken on Mars

If you liked Mars, you can return via NASA’s Mars mission site. While you follow the 2020 mission, your family can try STEM activities.

And really in outer space, a new planet.

Food

Need cooking ideas? Here are a couple of recipe collections for those times when you’re not ordering takeout from one of our local restaurants.

AllRecipes has a long list of comfort food recipes to try, mostly old-time favorites. The site also offers reader-contributed recipes in other categories, such as quarantine cooking, and can even point you to recipes for various diets. For more upscale recipes, try Bon Appetit.

Town Meetings

Did you know that many of Norfolk’s town meetings are posted on Robin Hood Radio TV’s Vimeo channel? Here is your chance to view the six most recently posted: Board of Finance, 5/12/20; Board of Finance, 5/5/20; Board of Selectmen, 5/5/20; Board of Education, 4/28/20, Board of Education, 4/7/20, and Board of Selectmen, 4/7/20. Work your way backward to find many more Norfolk meetings.