Many of you are aware that I contracted COVID 19 in March. Recent testing has confirmed that I have completely recovered, and I feel very fortunate. I mention this because I understand firsthand how debilitating this virus is and the news that confirmed cases in Madison County have more than doubled over the past few days is alarming.
We are all quarantine fatigued, but I urge you to continue social distancing procedures and to wear facemasks. At this time there are two confirmed active cases in the Village, and it is most important that we do all that is possible to keep our community safe.
After much deliberation, The Village of Hamilton Board of Trustees has decided to continue a long-honored Hamilton tradition and open the Hamilton Farmers’ Market on a limited basis. We believe we play an important role in continuing to bring fresh, local foods to our residents for as long as possible during this difficult period. Local farmers and food systems are critical to our local economy, and farmers’ markets, as a source of food supply, are within the State of New York’s definition of “essential businesses”. Therefore, we will open Saturday May 16, 2020, with food vendors only and will continue to review the situation weekly.
Everyone’s safety is paramount, so we are implementing the following social distancing and hygiene measures. We cannot stress enough how important it is to follow these guidelines, in order to ensure the continuation of the market:
- Stay home if you are sick, please.
- Wear a face mask covering both your nose and mouth – this is mandatory.
- Send only one person from your household to reduce crowding.
- Move quickly through the market and leave as soon as you have made your purchases.
- Contact the vendor directly with pre-orders and pre-payment if possible. Your items will then be packaged and waiting for you at the market, avoiding further handling of products and money. A directory is posted on our website: www.hamilton-ny.gov to assist you.
- Refrain from touching others and ensure that at least 6 feet is between you and the next person. If you can both reach out and touch each other’s hands, then you are too close.
- Extra spacing between the vendor booths will reduce crowding and signs will direct the traffic flow.
- Only vendors and their staffs may handle products; customers may not touch any produce or products until after they have been purchased.
- Prepared food vendors will be limited and will not provide utensils; there will be no sampling of products or eating on the premises.
- Vendors will be directed to follow best practices: changing gloves frequently throughout the day, sanitizing surfaces often, separating cash handling and product bagging when possible, and more
- The port-a-potty located in the Village parking lot will be fully stocked and available for handwashing.
If we all take personal responsibility and follow these guidelines, we will be able to enjoy the Farmers’ Market during this challenging time. Thank you very much for your cooperation and stay safe.
Unfortunately, the outlook for other traditional summer activities in Hamilton is not very promising. At this time, the Village cannot commit to the opening of fields for summer softball or other recreational leagues. The Symphor!a concert has been canceled, and final decisions will be made soon regarding Fourth of July celebrations and other events, so please stay tuned! And on a final note, just a reminder to help Village businesses in any way possible. Thank you for your continued support of our special community.
All the best,
RuthAnn Speer Loveless