MANSFIELD, CT May 20, 2021– The Town of Mansfield will fully reopen the Audrey P. Beck Municipal Building (Town Hall) to the public on Monday, May 24. Official Town Hall hours will resume: Monday-Wednesday 8:15 AM to 4:30 PM, Thursday 8:15 AM to 6:30 PM and Friday 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM (noon).
The Town Manager and department leadership have been making preparations for the reopening over the course of recent weeks and are reinforcing protocols to ensure employee and visitors stay safe. Visitors and staff will be required to wear face masks when occupying common areas or working in close proximity to others in all town buildings, including the Town Hall, Public Library, and Senior Center. Masks may be removed, however, if employees and visitors meeting together are vaccinated adults and are comfortable removing them. Signage at the entries will remind visitors and staff to access hand sanitizer available throughout the workplace.
Other considerations include remaining socially distanced when passing through common areas and in meetings. Residents and businesses who require services from Town Hall staff are encouraged to still call, email, and videoconference when an in-person meeting is not necessary. Scheduling an appointment to visit Town Hall will help departments plan for safe interactions. A locked drop box will still be available outside of the building for residents who are not comfortable to enter.
“We know that after 15 months of being closed and participating in many virtual meetings, a shift back to pre-COVID work practices signals a change for residents, employees and organizations,” says Town Manager Ryan Aylesworth. “The safety of our Town employees and residents of Mansfield of course remains a top priority, and, even though the situation is fortunately continuing to improve, ongoing adherence to many of the basic public health-recommended protocols that were adopted this past year is prudent.”
Mansfield Public Library has been rolling out its opening plan over the past month increasing hours and access to services. The library intends to return to full pre-COVID hours of operation on June 1. The Mansfield Senior Center has also reinstated many of its services, although many programs remain virtual. “Our leaders at individual facilities have a sense of how to best move toward normalcy, and how to serve their publics safely. The library, for example, hosts many families with young children who are not yet vaccinated. For now, requiring visitors to wear masks seems to be in everyone’s interest to maintain a safe community,” says Mr. Aylesworth.
“Above all else we are asking visitors and staff to please be patient through this process. The Governor’s office and CT Department of Health continue to refine state-level guidance to all sectors with the goal of resuming ‘business as usual’. I believe, however, that this is the time to move forward with returning to full in-person services to our public,” adds Aylesworth.
The Town Council is scheduled to meet virtually on Monday, May 24, and will be addressing the timelines for resuming in-person meetings for elected boards/committees.