As we continue to move through Massachusetts phased reopening, I wanted to share with you the new information from Needham, Dover, Medfield, and across the Commonwealth:
- In Massachusetts, there are a total of 121,759 cases of COVID-19 and a total of 1,906,212 individual tests (molecular testing) have been performed. You can access a summary of case details and lab testing and cases by hospital facility and additional COVID-19 response reporting on the dashboard here.
- This week is Suicide Prevention Week. 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. Click here for more resources from the Department of Mental Health.
- On Wednesday, the Department of Unemployment Assistance announced that they have received a grant to pay a limited additional weekly unemployment benefits to claimants. Eligible Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claimants have already received the first three weeks of payments and the additional weeks will be processed. To learn more, click here.
- Today, Governor Baker signed an Executive Order that will allow municipalities to extend the timeframe for outdoor dining permits. Additionally, he announced $5 million in funding to support the creation of areas for shopping, dining, and walking that are socially distant.
- The Department of Public Health is monitoring the presence of mosquito-borne diseases in Massachusetts, including West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). Currently, Massachusetts has found positive mosquito samples of WNV and EEE and there are 4 known human cases of EEE and 3 known human cases of WNV. To learn more, click here.
- In Needham, the Needham Community Council and Needham Council on Aging have partnered to provide tablets to seniors and others in need in our communities. Together, they are helping seniors in our community get connected with friends, families, and doctors. For more information, contact the Council on Aging here.
- In Dover, the Town of Dover has recently contracted with CODE RED to handle the emergency notification system for the Town. This will provide an additional way for the Town to provide urgent alters to residents. To learn more and sign up, click here.
- In Medfield, the Mass Department of Transportation will begin projects to rehabilitate the West Street Bridge and the Route 109 Bridge on the Medfield/Millis line. The project will begin on September 14, 2020, and continue through the fall. For more information, click here.
- The Charles River Center 5K Run/1 Mile Walk will be taking place virtually this year. Individuals and teams can sign up and run or walk and submit their time during the week of Sunday, September 20 to Sunday, September 27. For more information and to register, click here.
Reopening Updates – Phase 3: Vigilant
- As of August 11, Massachusetts began a series of steps aimed at curbing the recent increase in COVID-19 cases:
- Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 50 people in a single space and 25% capacity in smaller areas;
- Masks are still required when people are unable to socially distance and must be worn for any gathering of more than 10 people from more than a single household;
- Alcoholic beverages can only be served at restaurants if accompanied by food prepared on-site; and
- The Department of Public health, local boards of health, and now state and municipal police are authorized to enforce the new order. Violations can result in a fine up to $500 per violation, or a cease and desist order.
- The Department of Public Health released additional data on the average daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, average percent positivity, and total case counts, for all 351 Massachusetts cities and towns over the last two weeks – the map can be found here. Each city or town has been designated as a higher risk, moderate risk, or lower risk community. This information will now be included in the Department of Public Health’s weekly dashboard.
- On Monday, July 7, the state entered into the first step of Phase 3 in Massachusetts Reopening. This includes: casino gaming floors, horse racing tracks, indoor recreational and athletic fields, fitness centers and gyms, museums, indoor historic spaces, aquariums, outdoor theaters and performance venues, outdoor event space, indoor event space, indoor non-athletic instructional classes, indoor recreational businesses, movie and TV production, sightseeing and other organized tours, movie theaters, and post-secondary, higher ed, vocational tech, and occupational schools regular operations.
- If you have questions, input, or comments regarding the Reopening Massachusetts plan, you can submit comments online. These comments can be used by the Administration to support efforts to methodically reopen the economy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for the form.
Resources and Additional Information
- 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.
- If you or someone you know is at risk for sexual and domestic violence, service providers are still accessible. You can find local services by clicking here. You can also call SafeLink, the statewide domestic violence hotline, at 1-877-785-2020. SafeLink can provide resources and support services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
- To file an unemployment claim, visit here. If you have trouble filing a claim, please contact my office for assistance.
- If you do not qualify for traditional unemployment benefits but have lost your job due to COVID-19, you may qualify for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance under the federal CARES Act. To learn more, click here.
- To apply for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)benefits call Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline at 1-800-645-8333 (M-F from 8 AM-7 PM & Saturday from 10 AM-2 PM.)
- The WIC (Women, Infants, & Children Nutrition) program provides families with healthy foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and referrals to healthcare and other services for families. To check your eligibility and apply for WIC, click here.
- A recent survey by The ROX Institute for Research and Training found that nearly 80% of adolescent girls reported feeling more lonely since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you, or someone you know, are interested in becoming a mentor for a girl ages 7-15 the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston.
- The Needham Community Council continues to support friends and neighbors of our community, but they need your help. Click here to learn more about volunteer opportunities and donation options!
Please remember social distancing is the most effective tool to contain the spread of COVID-19.
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: https://stories.opengov.com/needhamma/published/lP3WUJtv_
Medfield Updates: http://www.town.medfield.net/1860/Coronavirus-Info-COVID-19
Dover Updates: http://doverma.org/AlertCenter.aspx?AID=Dover-COVID19-Updates-Information-3
Department of Public Health: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-updates-and-information, call 2-1-1, or text COVIDMA to 888-777.
Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html