At-Home Learning from Stepping Stones Museum

At-Home Learning from Stepping Stones Museum

Playful learning opportunities abound on Stepping Stones Museum for Children’s social media, now more than ever. Follow their channels for daily videos and activities that your child can do offline. Then, share your at-home learning with Stepping Stones to Facebook or Instagram, with the hashtag #mysteppingstones, for a chance to be featured!

Stepping Stones content is diverse and engaging, ranging from step-by-step craft project instructions to instructor-led reading lessons. What makes it possible for them to share this quality of content for free? Membership. ALL memberships – first time and renewals – will be extended for the duration of time the museum is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their team is currently working remotely and can answer any questions you have by emailing membership@steppingstonesmuseum.org or by calling 203-899-0606, ext. 264 and leaving a voicemail. Become a member today to support free at-home learning content for all families!

Professor James on Penguins: Penguins can’t fly – but they sure can swim and, even, travel on their bellies! Professor James shares a fun friction experiment and teaches us how penguins get around in their habitats.

Capri’s Cuisine Open Under Safe Conditions

Capri’s Cuisine Open Under Safe Conditions

From the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, Capri’s Cuisine has followed the best practices for food pickup/delivery services, and was an early adopter of the takeout only model, enabling them to continue providing the Norwalk community with nonessential (but highly desirable) pastries and coffee.

We will continue to serve in a clean, safe, and sanitary manner as always, to ensure the healthy and safety of our customers and staff.

—Sandra Salazar, Owner

Capri’s boasts 56 flavors of empanadas! These are listed on a photo of the menu in the gallery below. In addition, they have a variety of sweet biscuits, including a weekly Saturday “special” biscuit. These have been especially popular, selling out two weeks in a row!

To guarantee your order, place it in advance. There are many ways you can place an order, including:

  • In Store (limited capacity)
  • Call for pick up
  • Call for curbside pickup
  • Uber for delivery
  • Grubhub for pickup or delivery

Get their contact info at the GNHCC Business Directory HERE.

If you don’t have an appetite for pastries right now, you may also support Capri’s by purchasing a locally made face mask ($5) or a gift card (any amount).

Romanacci Provides Free Meals to Essential Workers

Romanacci Provides Free Meals to Essential Workers

Romanacci Pizza Bar is collecting $5 donations for each person on the “Front Lines” that you would like to send a pizza and bottled water to. Either add it onto your online order at checkout or call in (to any of their locations) and order/donate via credit card over the phone. Once they receive $25+, they contact Food For the Front Lines, which coordinates a delivery to an essential workplace,  such as a hospital, police station or fire departments. Some recipients of Romanacci pizza thus far include Westport EMS, Westport Police Department, and Norwalk Hospital.

“We pay to have meals delivered to the first responders and the hospital workers, so the chefs are getting dollars for every delivery. We’re not asking [restaurants] for discounts or donations. We want to pay these chefs and restaurant owners, so they can support themselves and their staff.”

– Stephanie Webster, CT Bites

Food for the Front Lines was founded by Nicole Straight, former Food Rescue US – Fairfield County Site Director, and mother of Westport EMT Emma Straight. Their mission is to feed health care and other essential workers, while simultaneously bolstering business for restaurants. In the first week, they raised $15K and delivered over 750 meals. Then, in partnership with CT Bites, a Go Fund Me was created. As of April 4, the campaign contained over $45K, from over 450 donors. If you would like to make a donation, click the button below.

Best Practices for Food Services During COVID-19

Best Practices for Food Services During COVID-19

The FDA recently held a call to discuss and set the best practices for food services during COVID-19. Listen to a recording of the call below. This addresses key considerations for how foods offered at retail can be safely handled and delivered to the public, as well as key best practices for employee health, cleaning and sanitizing, and personal protective equipment (PPE).

Reposted from FDA.gov. Download summary version (infographic) HERE.

Managing Employee Health (Including Contracted Workers)

Personal Hygiene for Employees

  • Emphasize effective hand hygiene including washing hands for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Always wash hands with soap and water. If soap and water are not readily available, then use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and avoid working with unwrapped or exposed foods. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Use gloves to avoid direct bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods.
  • Before preparing or eating food, always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash hands after.

Managing Operations in a Foodservice Establishment or Retail Food Store

Continue to follow established food safety protocols and best practices for retail food establishments and important COVID-19 recommendations, including the following:   

  • Follow the 4 key steps to food safety: Always — Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill.
  • Wash, rinse, and sanitize food contact surfaces dishware, utensils, food preparation surfaces, and beverage equipment after use.
  • Frequently disinfect surfaces repeatedly touched by employees or customers such as door knobs, equipment handles, check-out counters, and grocery cart handles, etc.
  • Frequently clean and disinfect floors, counters, and other facility access areas using EPA-registered disinfectants.
  • Prepare and use sanitizers according to label instructions.  
  • When changing your normal food preparation procedures, service, delivery functions, or making staffing changes, apply procedures that ensure:
    • Cooked foods reach the proper internal temperatures prior to service or cooling.
    • Hot foods are cooled rapidly for later use – check temperatures of foods being cooled in refrigerators or by rapid cooling techniques such as ice baths and cooling wands.
    • The time foods being stored, displayed, or delivered are held in the danger zone (between 41°F and 135°F) is minimized.
    • Proper training for food employees with new or altered duties and that they apply the training according to established procedures.
  • Help customers maintain good infection control and social distancing by:
    • Discontinuing operations, such as salad bars, buffets, and beverage service stations that require customers to use common utensils or dispensers.   
    • Finding ways to encourage spacing between customers while in line for service or check out in accordance with the applicable State or local requirements.
    • Discouraging customers from bringing pets — except service animals — into stores or waiting areas.
  • Continue to use sanitizers and disinfectants for their designed purposes.
  • Verify that your ware-washing machines are operating at the required wash and rinse temperatures and with the appropriate detergents and sanitizers.
  • Remember that hot water can be used in place of chemicals to sanitize equipment and utensils in manual ware-washing machines.
  • If you donate food to food recovery or charitable organizations, check for State and local guidelines. You can also find further information at Conference for Food ProtectionExternal Link Disclaimer.

Managing Food Pick-Up and Delivery

  • Observe established food safety practices for time/temp control, preventing cross contamination, cleaning hands, no sick workers, and storage of food, etc.
  • Have employees wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, after blowing their nose, coughing or sneezing, or after touching high touch surfaces, e.g., doorknobs, and doorbells.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.  See, CDC’s How to Protect Yourself & Others.
  • Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces such as counter tops and touch pads and within the vehicle, by wiping down surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
    • Make sure to read the label and follow manufacturer’s instructions on use.
  • Establish designated pick-up zones for customers to help maintain social distancing.
  • Practice social distancing when delivering food, e.g., offering “no touch” deliveries and sending text alerts or calling when deliveries have arrived.
  • Conduct an evaluation of your facility to identify and apply operational changes in order to maintain social distancing if offering take-out/carry-out option by maintaining a 6-foot distance from others, when possible.
  • Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold by storing in appropriate transport vessels.
    • Keep cold foods cold by keeping enough coolant materials, e.g., gel packs.
    • Keep hot foods hot by ensuring insulated cases are properly functioning.
  • Keep foods separated to avoid cross contamination, e.g., keeping raw foods separated from cooked and ready-to-eat foods.
  • Ensure that any wrapping and packaging used for food transport is done so that contamination of the food is prevented.
  • Routinely clean and sanitize coolers and insulated bags used to deliver foods.
Announcing Telemedicine at AFC Urgent Care Norwalk

Announcing Telemedicine at AFC Urgent Care Norwalk

AFC Urgent Care Norwalk is launching telemedicine. You will be able to meet with their providers via video call. Use the check-in online button on their website, fill out the required information, and call 203-845-9100.

What if I am experiencing symptoms of COVID-19?

First, check your symptoms HERE. If you have been experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or have been exposed to COVID-19 through travel or direct contact, AFC Urgent Care Norwalk can provide guidance, and direct you to a location for testing. AFC Urgent Care Norwalk is not currently providing testing. 

Are there changes to In-Person services?

AFC Urgent Care Norwalk is temporarily changing their hours. They will be open from 8am – 4pm, with hours subject to change. For questions, call 203-845-9100.

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