The town of Warren has been active in its adaptation to pandemic life. At a select board meeting on May 5, the select board met for another coronavirus update. Highlights were reports of the Warren Public Library’s success during COVID-19, as well as talk of a modified Fourth of July parade.
At the Warren Public Library, curbside options and online events have been well received. The library’s Zoom Star Wars Trivia Night on May 4 attracted all sorts of people. When library director Marie Schmukal looked at who attended the trivia night, she found that a quarter of the people who attended had not been to the library before, suggesting that virtual events are even attracting new people to the library.
Additionally, Schmukal has been studying other libraries’ approaches to curbside service in an effort to create the best service at her own. She found that other libraries are collecting returned books in giant garbage bags and then dating the bags and putting them aside for 14 days. Schmukal plans to implement this book return system at the Warren Public Library.
THE FOURTH OF JULY
With Warren’s annual Fourth of July parade in mind, the select board is anxiously awaiting Governor Phil Scott’s Friday morning press conference for guidance on summer gatherings. However, as of now, “Things are not looking cheery for the Fourth of July,” said select board chair Andrew Cunningham.
The board floated around some ideas about how to hold the Fourth of July parade in a way that allows for social distancing. For instance, one idea is to host a parade that stretches from Rochester to Moretown, a parade which nobody could actually watch. In order to attend you have to be in it. This is one way to celebrate while social distancing. “If that’s how it goes, I’m in,” said Cunningham.
“My concern is that the parade has such a broad drawing. How are you going to prevent out-of-staters from coming into the town?” asked select board member Bob Ackland.
After the meeting, The Valley Reporter caught up with assistant fire chief and emergency management director Jeff Campbell about the town’s new fire department policy. Last week, The Valley Reporter mentioned the policy, which involves firefighters being split up into A and B teams and reporting to different stations.
That policy has just been canceled. “We’re going to go back to the way we were doing things before. There was some confusion about when teams were supposed to be on and when they weren’t supposed to be on,” said Campbell.
Instead of dividing up into teams, Warren firefighters are now focusing on individual sanitation practices as much as possible while on the job. This means when responding to calls all firefighters must wear masks and latex gloves. In the case of a structure fire, a maximum of two firefighters will be allowed inside the building. “That way, if somebody in that home did have the virus, only one or two people has to quarantine when they get out, not five or six,” said Campbell.