The largest city in Litchfield County has declared a state of emergency in the wake of the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The city of Torrington's Mayor Elinor Carbone declared the emergency on Thursday, March 19, even though the area does not have any reported cases of the virus.
Eight COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Litchfield County in the latest numbers released Friday afternoon, March 20. The state has 194 cases, with 122 in Fairfield County.
While the city has been preparing for weeks and has adequate funding, the declaration will allow the city increased flexibility to ease regulatory requirements and to coordinate with local and state agencies.
"Our first priority is the health and well being of our residents and our business community," Carbone said. "This emergency declaration will ensure that we can continue to prepare for, appropriately respond to and began implementation of plans for the recovery phase of this ever-evolving crisis."
Torrington Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director Peter Towey said although there are no cases locally, the city must be prepared for the "Inevitable."
"I encourage all residents to follow the guidance from the Torrington Area Health District, Department of Public Health and the CDC to help slow the spread of this pandemic virus," Towey said.
Both officials are also asking residents to follow social distancing measures and to help fellow residents by purchasing only the food and supplies needed.
Currently, city parks are open, but playground are closed as well as schools. The city's municipal officers are open but by appointment only.
Additional information can be found on the city's Fire Department Facebook page or website.
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