In partnership with the Maine CDC, the Town of Scarborough will develop and implement a COVID-19 educational program to help prevent the spread of the virus. Funded by a $69,000 State grant, the Town will be working with businesses, residents and visitors, reminding all of us about measures that can keep our community safe.

As required by the grant, we will be looking at three main concepts: public education, public health support and business assistance.

We have established a multidisciplinary working group for the grant composed of staff from Public Safety, Planning (commercial code enforcement and sustainability coordinator), Community Services and Economic Development (SEDCO).

Our public education program will focus on reminding all of us about social distancing and wearing a mask. We plan to engage the community with appreciation for their willingness to follow these two important strategies for reducing the spread of the virus. Washing hands is clearly a part of the strategy for reducing the spread, but social distancing and wearing masks are new to most of us. It’s easy to forget when you are out and about, so a friendly reminder is useful. The information will also include new developments and tools at the state level that are being developed in contact tracing, testing and other ideas and tools.

For our visitors, we want to provide them easy access to clear information as to what is expected — from wearing a mask, to quarantining, to finding a COVID-19 test. For our businesses, we want to make sure they have the latest information regarding state guidance to protect their customers and employees.

You will soon see messaging on our website, social media and in signage.

Our second task involves direct public health support such as additional cleanings of public restrooms and other high touch areas. We have grant funding to hire additional assistance with cleaning activities and for purchasing equipment and supplies.

Our public health support will also include the hiring of what we are calling Community Ambassadors. The ambassadors will be supervised by our Police Department, but they won’t be in police uniform. They are not there to enforce, but to remind people about how to keep safe. They will be walking the beaches and other areas of potential crowding.

Our third task under the grant focuses on local business. We are here to answer questions about the state guidance and any other questions that come up related to COVID-19 measures. Under this third task, we will check in with public facing businesses regarding their successes and their struggles.

We will be the contact for the state, when they receive public complaints regarding compliance with state guidelines. We know the folks on the ground, and we are better able to work with local businesses on their efforts to protect their customers and their staff.

From a procedural standpoint, Karen Martin, the Scarborough Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO) Executive Director, will reach out to the business to make them aware of the details of the complaint including the timing and the specific concerns.

Should there be local complaints, you can call Karen directly at 883-4893 or email [email protected] As always, if there is an emergency situation, that call should go to public safety.

From there, if it appears there are difficulties with complying with state guidelines, our commercial code officer will make a visit to work with the business on ideas that move them toward compliance.

Under this third task, we will implement a voluntary registration program for businesses that want to promote their COVID-19 prevention strategies. We are in the process of developing our own branding for a business sticker that can be displayed to the public indicating that their business is in compliance with federal and state guidelines.

In this third task, we will also be reaching out to the Scarborough Chamber of Commerce and Scarborough Buy Local to review the new registry program, to review our outreach program on business complaints and to enlist their help in getting the word out.

If you have ideas about areas where signage is needed or where you think crowding occurs, please let us know. Those ideas should be sent to [email protected]

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: