COVID-19: NPD, the Maritime Aquarium and Troupe429

Sharks and their cousins, the rays, will be the topic of the daily live Facebook Q&A planned for March 19 by The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. Aside from live Facebook connections at 3 p.m. daily, the Aquarium is making several online STEM-based educational programs available to schools’ virtual classrooms during the COVID-19 closures. (Contributed)

NORWALK, Conn. — Some more COVID-19 updates:

  • Norwalk Police announce ‘precautions’
  • Troupe429 posts petition, asking for bars to be allowed to sell liquor as takeout
  • Maritime Aquarium offers online engagement
  • Home Depot changes hours



NPD asks that you call, suspends some services

Norwalk Police have issued this announcement:

The Norwalk Police Department is committed to providing quality service to the community. Due to COVID-19, we will be taking the following precautions:

  • Please call the routine number, 203-854-3000 instead of coming to the Police Department in person if it is safe to do so.
  • When calling the Police Department for any reason, please advise the call taker if you are sick or experiencing any symptoms such as: FEVER, COUGH or DIFFICULTY BREATHING.
  • Officers will maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet or make contact via phone rather than in person when appropriate.
  • Public Fingerprinting and car seat installations are postponed until further notice

The police department lobby remains open for emergency purposes. We are limiting access to routine service non-police services to appointment only. Please call the following numbers for instruction on those services:

  • Records Unit: 203-854-3009
  • Property Unit: 203-854-3063
  • Animal Control: 203-854-3240

Please keep the safety of everyone in mind when requesting service and help limit the spread of COVID-19. We appreciate your anticipated patience and cooperation as we navigate through this together.


“Things are running smoothly thus far,” Chief Thomas Kulhawik said in an email. “Our call volume is down, so we are thankful for that.  We have and continue to have an excellent working relationship with Norwalk Fire, Norwalk EMS, Norwalk Hospital and the Norwalk Health Department, as well as all other city agencies. We are all working together to continue providing an excellent level of service to the community.”



‘Let bars and restaurants sell liquor as takeout’

More than 7,000 people have signed a petition posted by Troupe429, asking that bars and restaurants be allowed to sell alcohol during the closures prompted by COVID-19.

The tally was less than 5,000 when NancyOnNorwalk first looked at the petition Wednesday afternoon. So 2,000 people signed it within 12 hours.

The petition states:

“Thousands of bars, restaurants, and service workers in Connecticut will be severely impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic. Many of these small businesses will not have the financial ability to reopen once the mandated closing has been lifted.

“New York Governor Cuomo has already enacted a temporary measure allowing bars to sell alcohol via takeout and delivery during the closure. Despite the fact that the Tri-State Governors have claimed a unified ‘Joint Regional Action,’ – CT has not followed suit.”


“While I fully support the mandated closing of bars and restaurants – I ask that Connecticut enact a temporary law allowing bars and restaurants to sell beer and liquor during this time,” Troupe429 owner Casey Fitzpatrick writes in the petition.

Responses include one from Stephanie Pelletier, who wrote, “I support small businesses and want to see them continue to operate after this pandemic is over.”

“I spend 5 nights a week bartending and not only is this hurting me and my income but my bar family too….. a few days ok but now they are talking 3 weeks +…..most of these bars will surely not survive ……it’s not fair to those who worked hard building a business,” Kristina Lenzo wrote.

“It’s ridiculous that you can’t go into a restaurant or bar for a drink. I can understand huge gatherings but a beer at the local bar isn’t going to spread the virus anymore than the dude walking down the street blowing snot rockets all over the sidewalk,” John DiBianco wrote.

Troupe429 closed before being told to by the government, Fitzpatrick said.

“I agree with closing bars to maintain social distance, which is why we closed our bar on Sunday before the state mandated it,” he wrote.

Health officials have asked everyone to maintain a six-foot distance from others. Gov. Ned Lamont has asked that gatherings be limited to 50 people. All of this is an effort to “flatten the curve,” to slow the rate of infection so that hospitals are not overwhelmed.

Fitzpatrick said he’s gotten “zero response” from the Governor and local politicians.

His petition states:

“Bar owners with fully stocked inventory will now have that inventory sit for many weeks or months with no revenue. They should have the right to sell this inventory to pay their rent, mortgage, utilities, and ongoing bills.

“People are stocking up on liquor, beer and wine, anticipating an 8+ week quarantine without their favorite bars/restaurants. Liquor stores have seen a large spike in sales. Why should liquor stores have a monopoly on alcohol sales when under normal circumstances, they are only a piece of the market?”


Ask Maritime team questions, stream an IMAX movie

The Maritime Aquarium is closed but is “offering special online ways for guests and educators to still connect and learn during the current COVID-19 time of closure,” a press release said.

The Aquarium began offering live Q&As with members of its Animal-Husbandry team at 3 p.m. each day on its Facebook page, the release said.

“Each session will mainly focus on an animal or topic shown via recorded video, but questions can be about any related Aquarium subject,” it states. “Questions can be submitted any time between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. via the Aquarium’s social-media pages – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – and then live on Facebook during the 3 p.m. ‘Watch Party’ webcast.”

“We very strongly feel the need to make our resources available to our guests, members and schools, even though we are required to be apart,” said Aquarium spokesman Dave Sigworth in the release. “The Q&A sessions will assure viewers that our operations remain robust, while also re-establishing the close community we are so proud to be part of and to support.”

The South Norwalk family attraction has been closed since March 12 but “the complex system of caring for the Aquarium’s 3,000+ animals – all with varying needs for water conditions and food – continues on a normal daily schedule,” the release said.

Staff is “teaming with the Norwalk Public Schools for a series of online multidisciplinary modules on marine animals and the environment to be available to city schoolteachers beginning later this month. Other single STEM-based, standards-fulfilling educational programs should be available online to any teacher anywhere next week,” the release said. “Details will be posted soon at www.maritimeaquarium.org/experience.”

The website also lets you stream IMAX movies, including “The Living Sea,” “Humpback Whales” and “Dream Big: Engineering Our World,” it states.

“Obviously, watching one of our IMAX movies on your laptop or desktop is not as thrilling as seeing it on our six-story screen, but the educational content of these movies is enormous no matter how you view them,” Sigworth said.



Home Depot cuts back

The Home Depot is closing at 6 p.m., starting today, Thursday March 19.

The company announced in an email:

“We’re keeping our stores open during these uncertain times to give businesses and homeowners access to urgently needed items such as hot water heaters, refrigerators, batteries, as well as electrical and plumbing repair needs.
“The adjusted hours will give us the ability to restock and perform additional cleaning and sanitizing of our stores.
“If you’ve been in our stores recently, you may notice that we’ve experienced increased demand for certain items like face masks, hand sanitizers, and cleaning supplies. Understandably, manufacturers have prioritized some of these items for health care providers. Our merchants and supply chain teams are working to replenish available product as quickly as possible, but you may see purchase limits on some items and availability may vary at times.”

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