As the Department of Public Health and other agencies and organizations provide updates on COVID-19, I wanted to share with you the new information being reported:
- In Massachusetts, there is a total of 777 cases of COVID-19 and a total of 8922 tests have been performed. https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-cases-quarantine-and-monitoring
- Governor Baker issued an emergency “stay at home” order requiring all businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” to close their physical workplaces and facilities beginning Tuesday, March 24th at 12:00 pm. These businesses are encouraged to continue operations remotely. This order also updates the limit on gatherings to 10 individuals in confined spaces. Restaurants, bars, and other establishments that sell food and beverage products to the public are encouraged to continue to offer food for take-out and by delivery, if they follow the social distancing protocols set forth in the Department of Public Health guidance. On-premises consumption of food or drink is prohibited. Click here for more information on the order: https://www.mass.gov/news/governor-charlie-baker-orders-all-non-essential-businesses-to-cease-in-person-operation. Please see this link for a full list of “COVID-19 Essential Services” https://www.mass.gov/doc/covid-19-essential-services
- Today, the House of Representatives and the Senate passed legislation to help protect public health by providing cities and towns the authority to postpone and reschedule certain municipal elections and related activities. Municipal governments will be able to postpone elections initially schedule before May 30 to a date prior to June 30. It will also allow any eligible voter to vote early by mail for elections occurring before June 30, 2020. These pieces of legislation protect voters and minimize the disruption of democracy in the Commonwealth despite the unprecedented challenged of COVID-19.
- This week the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and the Department of Unemployment Assistance will be hosting town halls to take you through the process of filing a successful unemployment claim. To sign up visit: http://www.mass.gov/unemployment/townhall
- The Massachusetts Department of Agriculture has created a dedicated COVID-19 website with information on farmers’ markets, food safety, and animal health: https://www.mass.gov/guides/covid-19-resources-for-agriculture.
- To file an unemployment claim, visit https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-unemployment-and-coronavirus-covid-19.
- Anyone feeling overwhelmed with sadness, anxiety or stress, or who wants to harm themselves or others, can access the mental health, emotional support, and suicide prevention program Call2Talk by dialing 2-1-1. Call2Talk is also available by calling 508-532-2255 or by texting C2T to 741741.
- The Needham Community Council will be pre-packing boxes of groceries and asking Food Pantry customers to come to the Council for curbside pickup. To make an appointment for curb-side pick up call the council at (781) 444-2415. Additionally, the Council is asking for support through financial donations so they are able to directly purchase the products they need to continue working.
- The Needham Select Board will be having a meeting on Tuesday, March 24 at 7:00 PM. This meeting will be closed to the public but you will be able to watch through your Cable TV. Comcast 99, RCN 13, Verizon 30, and HD Verizon 2129. To see what is on the agenda for this meeting visit: https://www.needhamma.gov/Archive.aspx?ADID=7789
- In Dover, the Town has created online forms as a way to streamline and consolidate requests for service and offers of assistance related to COVID-19. Volunteer form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeCiTC0LQfPNncrAsnlZ6RgSQPz8Idpc0RtwWcdcIDXtIK-9A/viewform. Assistance request form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScnkRAzhJdxVhAWzlcbtLnuNvmRoIyLXoXFQnJkau-cYZjA7A/viewform.
- In Medfield, there is a Medfield COVID-19 Updates & Support Facebook group to provide town-specific information: https://www.facebook.com/groups/510749132974385/.
In addition to these updates, my office is still accessible so please continue to reach out and we will get back to you.
Our local boards of health, the Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control are continuing to maintain websites with the most updated information regarding COVID-19 that you can access here:
Needham Health Department Updates: http://www.needhamma.gov/85/Public-Health
Medfield Updates: http://www.town.medfield.net/1860/Coronavirus-Info-COVID-19
Dover Updates: http://doverma.org/
Department of Public Health: https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19 Or call 2-1-1.
Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html