Middletown city buildings to close through Jan. 4 after several staff members test positive for COVID-19

Zach Murdock, Hartford Courant

All City of Middletown buildings will be closed to the public for two weeks and staff required to work from home after several COVID-19 cases among city employees threatened to turn into a widespread outbreak.

All of those who tested positive for the virus work in non-public-facing roles outside of city hall, but it forced a “large number” of staff to quarantine as Mayor Ben Florsheim and city officials try to prevent any further spread.

“In the past 24 hours, as more information came to light suggesting a widespread outbreak would be possible without immediate action to restrict the spread of disease, we came to the decision that the best option for the safety of our staff and the public is to work fully remotely until after New Year’s,” Florsheim said.

Now City Hall, the senior center and the Water and Sewer Department will be closed from Wednesday through Jan. 4, Florsheim said.

Local health officials do not believe any member of the public who visited any of those facilities over the past few days are at any risk because the outbreak began in a separate work location, Florsheim said.

Many city services will continue and residents can continue to pay bills, such as city taxes, online or at the secure drop boxes at city hall.

Any resident in need of assistance can either leave a message with the department they need or the mayor’s office and will have their call returned, he added.

Zach Murdock can be reached at zmurdock@courant.com.