Skip to content

First Selectman Messages

Town of Canton >> Boards and Commissions >> Board of Selectmen >> First Selectman >> First Selectman Messages

3/25/2020 - 03/25/2020


Dear Residents,

COVID-19 changed this week from something that happens elsewhere to something that’s happening here. The Farmington Valley Health District (FVHD) has confirmed 14 cases in the Farmington Valley as of March 24. Rapid escalation is our future. For each confirmed case, the FVHD estimates 100-1000 yet-to-be-confirmed cases. 
Because the virus is present and spreading, we must assume that anyone suffering from a fever, cough or difficulty breathing has COVID-19. Social distancing, hand-washing, frequent cleaning of commonly touched surfaces and prohibitions against face-touching are critical.

If you suspect symptoms, self-quarantine. If you have trouble breathing, call your doctor. If you have questions about self-quarantine procedures, please visit this page on the CDC website – it’s very informative.  Above all, be safe. This is real.  

Live From New York!
With 60% of the known COVID-19 cases in the United States, New York City has become the nation’s  virus hotspot. It’s not going away any time soon. Please reassess any in-person plans in the Big Apple. If you have visited or are traveling from the New York metro area, you must self-quarantine for 14 days per orders of the FVHD. 

On-Line Schooling
In response to Governor Lamont’s order to close all CT schools through April 30, 2020, Canton Schools activated the district distance learning plan on Wednesday, March 25th. Schools have distributed Chromebooks to students who need a device in grades 4-12. For details about distance learning programs available by school, please use the following links:

Cherry Brook Primary School

Canton Intermediate School
Canton Middle School
Canton High School

Toilet Paper 
There’s no shortage of irony around toilet paper. But in spite of factories pumping out millions of rolls a day, store shelves are always bare when I shop. This is not a request for donations! Rather, it’s an appeal for more rational buying. 
Why? Because every shopping trip is an opportunity for the shopper to catch (or spread!) the virus. Shelves stripped bare of toilet paper guarantee more shopping trips and more virus spread. Please buy what you need and let others do the same. We need everyone to be healthy!

How Long?
Much as we would like this crisis to be over, wishing will not stop the spread of COVID-19. We know what to do to slow, even halt the spread. It starts with seeing ourselves as “at risk” regardless of age, health or pre-existing conditions.  Take preventative measures now and encourage others to do the same. We all have a part to play.

Stay safe, 
Bob Bessel
First Selectman




Kevin Witkos
First Selectman
Phone: (860) 693-7847

Office Hours:
 click here to make an appointment

Canton Town Hall
P.O. Box 168
4 Market Street
Collinsville, CT 06022