CDC Considerations & Guidance
Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses. There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween.
Public access to City facilities is restricted including the library, recreation center, City Hall, police & fire departments, playgrounds and sports facilities. Please use online services or call ahead.
October 6th, 2020
Mayor's Halloween Message - Trick-or-treating will take place this year on Saturday, October 31st, from 5:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M.; however, I am encouraging residents to take precautions in light of the ongoing pandemic. Please consider the following recommendations and follow the CDC’s Halloween guidelines which can be found on the NotifyKeene.com website.
- Limit interactions with others and avoid congregating in groups.
- If you choose to participate in trick-or-treating, please consider staying in your home neighborhood to help limit spontaneous, large gatherings and social interactions.
- Do not participate in group activities such as trick-or-treating (whether giving or receiving) if you are ill, if you have been exposed to someone who is ill, or if you have a high risk for complications if you become ill.
- Practice social distancing, wash and sanitize hands, and wear masks. Halloween is one of the best times of year to wear a mask, and I expect to see some creativity, but a costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose.
Please do check the CDC website (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html) for suggested activities that will both protect you and your family and still provide for some fun quality time.
Have a fun and spooky Halloween, and thank you for helping us to keep Keene safe!
September 14th, 2020
Reporting at Keene State College - This site allows you to make reports and share important information regarding incidents or concerning behavior in order to foster a community of inclusion and mutual respect.
August 7th, 2020
Face Mask Ordinance - The City Council has passed Ordinance O-2020-09-A requiring the wearing of face coverings in certain circumstances. Please read the ordinance in detail. Click this link to view Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
June 30th, 2020
Keene Public Library Announces Phase Two Reopening Schedule - The library will reopen its doors to the public for limited hours starting Monday, July 6. Based on health and safety guidelines, up to 60 people at a time will be welcomed to research, browse collections and make one-hour appointments for computers. Hours will be limited to two-hour increments so that staff can sanitize public areas regularly. Visitors over the age of 5 must wear a face mask beyond the designated area of the Library Foyer.
All programs, including the summer reading program, will continue online and through kits available for pickup. Patrons may continue to download books, stream videos and participate in programs online. Curbside pickup of materials will still be available. Meeting rooms are not available. Please see our FAQ page for further details.
Library hours during the phase two reopening will be:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 10 am - 12 pm and 2 pm - 4 pm
Tuesday & Thursday: 10 am - 12 pm; 2 pm - 4 pm; 5 pm - 7 pm
Saturday: 11 am - 1 pm
May 4th, 2020
Parking at the on-street meters in downtown Keene continues to be complimentary now until May 31st to allow for curbside pickup and other downtown business activities. The 2-hour limit continues to be relaxed to a 3-hour limit and will be enforced. Fees and time limits in the garages and lots have not changed and will continue to be enforced for the benefit of employees working in or near downtown. Parking staff will continue to monitor meters and write tickets only when necessary in fairness to all downtown businesses and visitors.
April 16, 2020
Access to City facilities will continue to be restricted beyond the original end date of May 4th until further notice. This is in keeping with actions taken by the State of NH to limit the spread and impact of the COVID-19 virus.
April 9, 2020
Mayor Hansel's COVID-19 Update Memo to City Council - Complimentary parking clarification, Transfer Station fire (operating hours not affected), creation of Governor's Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery, local economic relief efforts, resources for nonprofits and Senator Jay Kahn to be guest attendee at 4/13 virtual town hall meeting. Full Text
April 7, 2020
Mayor Hansel's COVID-19 Update Memo to City Council - Boards and Commissions meetings canceled until at least May 4th for all but time-sensitive business, trails/courts/playgrounds remain closed until further notice, and complimentary parking in downtown is extended. The memo reviews and provides links to the CARES act including student loan payment relief as well as expected Economic Income Payments, and provides information about reimbursement for paid sick and family leave. Full Text
April 3, 2020
Don't think COVID-19 is a big deal? Think it will just blow over? Don't be fooled. It starts slow, and then it multiplies very quickly. There are positive cases of the coronavirus in Cheshire County and, likely, many more cases that we are not aware of. Our healthcare workers and first responders are very concerned about how they will be able to keep up with the virus when it spreads quickly like it has in other communities. You can help FLATTEN THE CURVE for Cheshire County by avoiding public gatherings, staying home when you can, and keeping as much distance from others as possible. This is a very contagious virus. Please help us spread the word - share this with others, especially those who are slow to accept the reality of COVID-19.
CDC.gov: "Public health and healthcare systems may become overloaded... Other critical infrastructure, such as law enforcement, emergency medical services, and sectors of the transportation industry may also be affected. Healthcare providers and hospitals may be overwhelmed. At this time, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19 and no medications approved to treat it. Nonpharmaceutical interventions will be the most important response strategy to try to delay the spread of the virus and reduce the impact of disease." https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/…/cases-updates/summary.html
April 2, 2020
Mayor Hansel's COVID-19 Update Memo to City Council regarding the status of the alternative care facility on Keene State College's campus in the KSC Recreation Center to be activated only if it becomes necessary in the future. Registration of new vehicles can continue to be done by appointment and in person, and renewals may be completed online. City infrastructure construction projects are moving forward as Essential Services. Friday's Virtual Town Hall meeting at 8 A.M. with the Mayor will include representatives of MEDC, NH BEA, and the SBA to discuss small business loans and relieve programs. Full Text
March 31, 2020
Mayor Hansel's COVID-19 Update Memo to City Council regarding NH National Guard assistance in setting up an alternative care facility on the Keene State College campus as a precaution for the purpose of creating capacity to treat sick people as necessary and to house first responders and healthcare workers in need of isolation. Also included in the memo is an update on State of NH information and recommendations, changes in City operations, public utilities initiatives, and public outreach. Full Text
March 30, 2020
City Closes Outdoor Sports and Playground Facilities
With the health and safety of the community in mind, the City has closed outdoor sports and playground facilities, effective immediately. Open spaces such as Keene parks and trails remain open to the public as places to explore with proper social distancing. Full Text
March 26, 2020
STATEMENT FROM MAYOR GEORGE HANSEL ON STAY AT HOME ORDER FOR NEW HAMPSHIRE
"I'm glad that the governor is utilizing all of the tools he has to keep New Hampshire citizens safe," Mayor George Hansel said. "Locally, we have been preparing for such an order for several days and are ready to keep the public informed while continuing to provide essential city services," he continued. Full Text
March 25, 2020
Mayor Hansel has released a memo to the City Council regarding potential "shelter in place" or "stay at home" orders. "There has been a lot of interest in Governor Sununu issuing a “shelter in place” or “stay at home” order for the State of New Hampshire. Considering this public interest, I thought it would be helpful to explain what such an order could look like, how we are preparing for such an order locally, and what similar actions have been taken in surrounding states." Full Text
March 24, 2020 (2 of 2)
Mayor Hansel's COVID-19 Update Memo to City Council regarding new Emergency Orders from the Governor's office regarding limiting gatherings no more than 10 people and regarding virtual meetings in compliance with RSA-91A. A summary of actions being taken by City departments is included in the memo.
March 24, 2020 (1 of 2)
Today Mayor George Hansel announced he will be hosting virtual town halls each weekday morning at 8AM to answer questions from citizens on the COVID-19 emergency. The calls may include City staff members and representatives from Cheshire Medical Center and Keene State College. "I've heard from many in the community that they want to hear what we are doing to keep them safe. These virtual town halls are one way we are keeping people informed with the latest information," Mayor George Hansel said.
Those interested in participating in the virtual town hall can follow @mayorhansel on Facebook. Additionally, they can go to www.notifykeene.com for links to join the video conference. Those without Internet access, can dial (603) 766-JOIN (5646) and use the participant code 981441.
March 19, 2020
City Meetings and COVID-19 Update on City Operations - A memo from Mayor Hansel encouraging WebEx video conferencing for City Council and standing committee meetings and public viewing of meetings via the City website and Cheshire TV as well as a summary of most recent COVID-19 actions including business outreach, public engagement, intergovernmental cooperation, public facilities and parking services.
March 18, 2020
NOTE: Public access to City buildings including Police and Fire is now restricted until further notice. Please contact the City to make appointments for required services that cannot be done online or over the phone.
Departments adjust services to limit exposure to COVID-19. Public access to City buildings including Police and Fire facilities is now restrited. The City continues to be committed to providing a high level of services to the community. In an effort to prevent the potential spread of the Coronavirus, the following steps are being taken to protect both personnel and the public. Full Text
March 17, 2020
COVID-19 Update On City Operations - A memo from Mayor Hansel to the City Council beginning, "Last Friday, the Governor issued an Executive Order declaring a state of emergency in the State of New Hampshire. Additionally, City Manager Elizabeth Dragon has declared a local state of emergency due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This week has also seen a ramp up in the collaborative efforts between the City’s emergency management team and our valuable community partners. Several new actions are being taken to protect our employees and ensure the delivery of vital services to our citizens under any circumstances. Overall, the City has taken and continues to take a very measured approach." Full Memo
March 16, 2020
NOTE: The Keene Public Library and Recreation Center will now be closed until April 6th.
+Press Release - The City of Keene has initiated several emergency management planning sessions with various community partners. On Monday afternoon, the Mayor, City Manager and the City’s Emergency Management Team held discussions to coordinate the local emergency response to the COVID-19 virus. Full Text
March 14, 2020 (2 of 2)
Press Release - City of Keene Takes Proactive Steps to Protect Public and Minimize Risk of COVID-19, Public Library and Recreation Center To Close To The Public Beginning Monday While Other City Services Remain Operational
March 14, 2020 (1 of 2)
Mayor George Hansel Memo To City Council - COVID-19 Virus Update