November 20, 2020
To All City Employees:
It is truly disappointing that more than eight months since COVID-19 hit the Norwalk community, we find ourselves in an eerily similar place. Cases are rising, emotions are running high, and people are scared. We’ve been at this every day since March, and we have all been challenged in new ways and pushed to the brink of exhaustion. It’s safe to say that virtually all of us know someone who has contracted COVID-19, and it breaks my heart to add that many of us have personally experienced the loss of a loved one due to this terrible virus.
Please know how deeply proud I am of the graciousness, patience, dedication, and resiliency you have all shown over the course of this pandemic. This has not been easy for any of us, and you continue to shine and excel in your work. Please remember we have a free and confidential Employee Assistance Program to support employees and their family members during these hard times.
Most of you are aware that we have had recent cases of COVID-19 in City Departments. I ask that you do not assume if someone is not in the office that they have COVID-19 or are quarantining. With so much going on, the last thing we need is to allow fear and gossip run wild. Please reach out to me directly, to Human Resources, or your immediate supervisor if you have questions or concerns.
We clearly cannot have entire departments sidelined, but most importantly, we do not want to see people getting sick. The decisions I make will always be focused on the health and safety of you and your families. That is why as we head into these winter months, we will be reinstating rotating staffing schedules and implementing work from home wherever possible. That means some people will be working remotely virtually every day. Remember, the expectation is that all employees – regardless of work location – will meet the responsibilities of their job functions. Your supervisor will be in touch with details if they have not already.
While there seems to be promising news about a COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon, a timeline remains unclear. Sadly, I fear we are in for a long, hard winter, but I know you will continue to be here for the Norwalk community every day, as you have been since this pandemic began. I am humbled and honored to be Mayor of this great City, and I am profoundly grateful for all you do. Keep up the great work.
From my family to yours, please stay safe, stay healthy, and have a Happy Thanksgiving,
Mayor Harry Rilling