MINUTES OF COMMUNITY ADVISORY RESPONSE TEAM May 12, 2020
Next Meeting Tuesday May 19 at 2 pm.
Committee Attendees: Bev Johnson, Mary Holt, Donna Damon, David Hill, Leila Bisharat, Eliza Jane Adams, at large; Ann Kirkpatrick, School; Denise Hamilton, Library; Marjorie Stratton, Town; Carol Sabasteanski, CTC; Polly Wentworth, CBL; Erika Neumann, Communications; Kim Venkataraman, Tennis.
Public Attendees: John Holt, Chip Emery, Donna Colbeth, Marcia Howell, Stacie Webb, Nancy Hill, Dr. Kip Webb consultant, Dr. Jim Cox-Chapman consultant, Dr. Sharon MacDonald working with Yarmouth/Maine CDC “elite detective”
Minutes: Minutes of May 5 moved by David and seconded by Leila: Unanimous. When Carol joined the meeting the minutes were amended to remove the phrase “financial Crisis” from the CTC report.
Community Testing Discussion:
Leila introduced Jim, Kip and Sharon. They are all doctors and are willing to help Chebeague create a community-testing program. They also discussed the issues around contact tracing and the associated issues related to confidentiality. Sharon stated that there was no one definition for community testing. Identification of potentially exposed individuals is key so that they can be quarantined. Kip stated that they were hoping to collect specimens on the island and then transport the specimens to the mainland. Sharon mentioned that she would send Leila a link to a weekly Zoom “Ask an epidemiologist”.
David Hill stated that he had been in contact with Christine Jenkins from Maine CDC on behalf of the BOS to discuss on island testing.
GCGC: Jim Gallagher was unable to attend today. He hopes to join in next week.
CBL: Polly reported that CBL was increasing its schedule and separating Peaks from the rest of the islands as before.
Mary mentioned that May Hall was brave to tell folks that she had Covid 19. Leila stressed the importance of transparency.
CRC: Eliza Jane reported that Kids Place might open in July based on CDC guidelines. They hope to open the tennis and basketball courts mid June. The Soccer program is cancelled. Other camps will depend on CDC Guideline. She reported that CRC is applying for an Island Fellow and needs year-round housing. Laura Hamilton is working with CRC on organizing programing. She reported that the Kids Place needs a washer and dryer to be able to clean materials to protect the children. Erika asked if they planned to be certified for reopening. Eliza Jane confirmed that they would.
CTC: Carol reported that CTC is still running on a reduced schedule. They may allow passengers on the upper deck and the bow to avoid making extra trips. Non-Maine residents may ride the boat to get to the island. Carol contacted the Power Company to see if RT. 1 folks can park at the top of Wharf Rd. She announced that there was going to be a $50 discount for a round trip barge for RT. 1 passengers who came to the island and quarantined for 14 days if the car returned to the mainland at the end of the quarantine. The barge can only take 6 passengers, but if space is available more than one person can ride in a car being barged. CTC is working on a plan for the bus. Capacity will be reduced and only Maine residents and those from out of state who have quarantined for 14 days will be allowed to ride the bus. The bus will be filled back to front. The driver is the last to board. CTC staff will not handle freight. Carol is waiting for the State to approve plan. Not sure when it will start. Bikes will not be allowed on the bus/boat.
A discussion ensued regarding whom if anyone should be discouraging people from coming to Chebeague. Carol said that was the role of the Town. CTC’s role was to provide transportation and look out for the well being of its employees. Polly agreed and stated that CTC was not the enforcer. Carol mentioned that when she gets calls about who should /can come to the island, she refers them to the Town for answers and guidance. Melissa stated that it is important to stick to a core message.
Food Pantry: Polly reported that the Food Pantry had 36 families last week! Only 2 people can come to the table at once. No visiting! They have ordered some supplies to create a Covid kit based on CDC’s guidelines. (In case someone in a home gets sick). The Council is working on getting a Pulse oxygen monitor.
Town: Marjorie reported that the Town Office will open to the public on June 1. People will wait outside. 1 person at a time will be let in and there will be a Plexiglas shield between the customer and the clerk.
Masks: Polly mentioned that demand is exceeding supply! 40 masks are given out each week. It was agreed that some could be left at the Town Office when it reopened.
School: Ann announced that June 12 was the last day of school for the students and the teachers’ last day was June 17. She is hoping that mainland staff will be able to come to the island to close up their rooms. She asked folks that if they saw kids on the playground to tell them that it is closed. Nancy Earnest will be planting the school garden with the help of students and parents. It will be structured and safe. May 21 is virtual step up day. Virtual field trips have been occurring. Parents have taken on a big responsibility supporting their kids with work completion and learning. Reading Buddies on Thursday keeps the older and younger kids connected and the younger kids learn by example.
Selectmen: David announced that the BOS were back to two meetings a month. He has been working with the CDC. The BOS meets next on May 20 and the School Board meets on May 19.
Church: Melissa reported that the Church is still meeting on Zoom.
Š Bev appreciated the organization at Chandler’s Wharf when the fright arrives. Marjorie mentioned that Genaro’s presence makes a difference. The store, mail, Commons, and Billy St. Cyr have priority because they have the most freight.
Š Erika mentioned that it is important that the people who deal with the public know the facts. It was agreed that clear messages are important. There was discussion re: the definition of “quarantine”, “shelter in place”, and “isolation” in the pandemic. The Communications Committee will work on this. Erika stated that the next update would have these definitions. There was some discussion about “Dos and Don’ts”. Erika pointed out that humor might reinforce.
Š Leila wondered if the Boatyard bathrooms were open to the public. Marjorie will call and find out.
Š Donna suggested that a list of cancelled events be compiled and published. Bev noted that there was one in the last update. Erika suggested it be reprinted with new cancellations highlighted.
Š Marjorie suggested that we have a new document: “Can I come to Chebeague?”
Š Erika suggested the following answer: “Yes, you may come but be kind, safe, and prepared. Please know what you are coming into. Please be super thoughtful and careful.”
Š Eliza Jane suggested that the update needs to be protective of CTC employees and that all of the risks associated with the ferry be noted. Carol will review communications with that lens.
Š 3:50 pm Melissa had to leave the meeting.
Š Kip will be on Zoom at the next meeting. Jim will not be available, but noted how much the Chebeague community meant to him.
Š Chip noted that he wished all could see the professionalism shown by this committee in addressing the needs of this “fragile ecosystem”. Perhaps a video could be made. Erika suggested that maybe Marjorie could deliver the message.
Next Meeting Tuesday May 19 at 2 pm