Emergency Alerts

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March 20, 2020 1:43 PM

COVID-19

View the latest update from the Town of Acton at http://www.actonma.gov/covid19

Acton COVID-19 Update
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Latest Update:

May 28, 2020 10:35 PM

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases
It has been reported to Acton Public Health that at this time there are 167 cumulative cases of COVID-19 in Acton with 45 individuals in isolation, 101 recovered and 21 fatalities (many of these at congregate care facilities). Here is a chart showing the cumulative number of cases in Acton over the last 10 weeks.
The Town of Acton will continue to announce positive cases, active cases, recovered cases and fatalities. Daily case reports and cumulative data on Massachusetts COVID-19 cases and testing, and weekly data on confirmed cases by city/town can be found online here.
Residential Rental Assistance Program
The Board of Selectmen approved a rental relief program to be administered through our Regional Housing Services Office to help households impacted by COVID-19. The program will provide temporary rental assistance in the form of a grant for the purpose of supporting eligible households to maintain housing. Funding is limited to a period between June 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. Follow actonma.gov for more details which will be available soon.

Local Business Relief Programs
The Board of Selectmen approved two additional measures to help support local businesses:

Acton Small Business Relief Program. This program will provide grants to small businesses impacted by COVID-19 based on certain eligibility requirements. Follow actonma.gov for more details which will be available soon.
Temporary Outdoor Dining and Retail Program. This program is a temporary change in how regulations are enforced related to outside dining and outside retail. The purpose of these changes is to give businesses mechanisms to increase dining and retail opportunities as they operate under restricted occupancy rules as part of the Commonwealth’s reopening phases. More details will be provided shortly.
Limited Reopening of NARA Park
Effective 5/27/2020 NARA Park will reopen with following restrictions

One-way direction on walking paths
Athletic fields for use by the same household and only non‐contact sports allowed
Face coverings or masks are required in compliance with COVID‐19 Order 31: Order Requiring face coverings in public places where social distancing is not possible
Visitors should always practice social distancing by remaining 6 feet away from others and adhering to all site specific rules, regulations, and posted signage regarding permitted uses.
On walking trails, walker and hikers, should move aside and leave room for others to pass, and runners should alert other users when approaching and wait for others to step aside before passing.
Please stay home if you are sick
Latest Board of Health Orders
Household Hazardous Waste Day scheduled for June 27, 2020 has been postponed due to safety concerns and to minimize the risk of residents and staff related to COVID-19. Tentatively, the next date will be Saturday, September 19, 2020.

The Board voted to allow both private and public tennis courts to open in compliance with https://www.mass.gov/doc/parks-open-space-and-outdoor-education-best-practices-5-18-20/download. Please be patient as both Community Education and Acton Recreation are in the process of complying with these best practices prior to announcing an official opening date.

The Board of Health voted to amend several existing orders to align with the current multi-phase reopening plan announced by Governor Baker. Use the following link to view the amended orders. https://www.acton-ma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/6384/2020-5-21-Amendments-to-Existing-Board-of-Health-Orders-Related-to-COVID-19

Annual Town Meeting Scheduled for June 29, 2020
The Board of Selectmen voted to set the postponed Annual Town Meeting to a new date of June 29, 2020. The meeting will be held in the ABRHS Gymnasium. More details about the meeting will be provided in future updates.

Governor Baker’s Reopening Plan
Governor Baker announced full details of the reopening plan: Reopening Massachusetts: Baker-Polito Administration Initiates Transition to First Phase of Four-Phase Approach. Additional information about the plan may be found at the links below:
Reopening Massachusetts Report
Four-Phase Approach
Safer at Home Advisory
The Mass Department of Public Health also updated the Stay at Home Advisory, replacing it with a new, “Safer at Home” Advisory. The new Safer at Home Advisory instructs everyone to stay home unless they are headed to a newly opened facility or activity. It also advises those over the age of 65 and those with underlying health conditions to stay home with the exception of trips required for health care, groceries, or that are otherwise absolutely necessary. All residents must continue to wear a face covering in public when social distancing is not possible, and individuals are advised to wash their hands frequently and be vigilant in monitoring for symptoms. Restrictions on gatherings of more than 10 people remain in effect.

Information about Testing Facilities
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts provides comprehensive information about COVID-19 testing including an updated list of testing locations. More information is available here. An interactive map showing testing locations is also available at the following link: https://memamaps.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=eba3f0395451430b9f631cb095febf13

Information Related to Congregate Care Facilities
Acton recently recorded a significant jump in the most recent reporting of COVID-19 cases due to extensive testing at the Life Care Center of Acton. As of May 13th there were 59 cases of residents in isolation and 17 staff members overall that tested positive and were placed in isolation in their respective towns. The facility continues to work with the epidemiologist assigned to the building to move recovered residents out of this unit. Testing is only being conducted as residents begin to show symptoms of COVID-19 now. Director York has been in regular communication with management at Life Care Center of Acton, their epidemiologist assigned to their building and the State Department of Health. The Town of Acton is confident that the facility is doing everything it can to manage this dangerous and often unpredictable pandemic.

Additionally, at the assisted living facility Benchmark at Robbins Brook there have been staff members and residents with confirmed positive cases of COVID-19. As of May 19th Benchmark will be having the National Guard come in to do additional testing of all residents and staff. They previously have tested resident and staff 14 days and 30 days ago,

All residents are currently quarantined to their rooms and have had no visitors other than staff and outside private care if they have it. Anyone entering the building is assessed for symptoms as they come in. Staff also has to self-identify if they have symptoms and stay home if they are sick.

Emergency Orders Requiring Face Coverings
The Acton Board of Health Emergency Public Health Order of May 5, 2020 requires that face coverings be worn in public. View the order here: https://actonma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/6367/Board-of-Health-Emergency-Public-Health-Order-of-May-5

As of Wednesday, May 6, Massachusetts requires everyone over the age of 2 to wear a face covering in public when social distancing is not possible. View the full details of this order at: https://www.mass.gov/doc/may-1-2020-masks-and-face-coverings/download
View a MassDPH message called How to Safely Cover Your Face Outside of Home at the following link: https://youtu.be/HtUJPizQVPI
COVID-19 Emergency Grants for Residents
The Acton Boxborough United Way has announced further details on the COVID-19 Emergency funding now available for Acton and Boxborough residents. Frequently Asked Questions about the A-B United Way COVID-19 Emergency Grants for Residents. How to Donate to the COVID-19 Impact Fund from Acton-Boxborough United Way
Acton Town Services Hotline 978-929-6619
We have established a central customer service hotline called the Acton Town Services hotline to provide one number to call that can provide answers to various questions related COVID-19 and also connect callers to resources about questions about town services in general. The Acton Town Services hotline number is 978-929-6619.
Update on Voting for June 2nd Elections
The polls will be open from 7AM to 8PM for the town election and the special state representative election (Precincts 3, 4 and 5) on June 2nd and all six precincts will vote at the RJ Grey Junior High School. Please consider the vote early by mail option. The link to the vote by mail application is here: https://www.acton-ma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/6288/2020-Municipal-Early-Ballot-Application. In addition, the vote by mail application will also appear on the last page of the Town’s Municipal Monthly newsletter which will be mailed to all households later this week.
Tax Bill Deadline Extended
In accordance with the Act to Address Challenges Faced by Municipalities and State Authorities Resulting from COVID-19, signed on Friday, April 3, the Town is exercising the option made available by the legislation to extend the due date of tax payments. The Board of Selectmen voted to extend the tax bill deadline from May 1, 2020 to June 1, 2020. If such tax bills are unpaid after June 1, 2020, all fees and interest shall be waived as long as the amount due is paid by June 30, 2020. Residents who have questions regarding their bill can email collector@actonma.gov.

Restaurants Temporarily Allowed to Sell Groceries in Acton
The Board of Selectmen and Board of Health approved an emergency order allowing restaurants to sell groceries during the local state of emergency. This action is one of several small business relief measures being considered. Additional details will be posted online tomorrow at http://www.actonma.gov/covid19.
Town Offices, Facilities and Recreation Spaces
All town buildings, playgrounds, recreation fields, NARA Park, and the skate park remain closed to the public while Massachusetts’s State of Emergency is in effect. The closures are being ordered out of an abundance of caution in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and promote social distancing. Rail trails and conservation trails remain open, but residents are encouraged to practice social distancing and not congregate in groups if they are using the trails. Town Hall services are still operational and staff is available during normal hours throughout the work week. Please call 978-929-6619 or use www.actonma.gov to contact staff.

Transfer Station Hours
The Acton Transfer Station has adjusted operating hours and is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. This adds Monday as a new day of service for residents. The first hour of operation (7-8 a.m. of each day) is designated for seniors only. For more information on the Transfer Station and Recycling Center, please call 978-929-7742.

Reminder from Acton Memorial Library about Online Offerings
Digital Resources: We have great content you can access digitally. In most cases you use your Library Card Number and Password to access these resources. If you have lost your library card number or forgotten your password, please click HERE.
E-Cards: If you do not already have a Minuteman library card, you can apply for a temporary e-card here. This will allow you to check out digital titles.
View archives of previously posted COVID19 updates:
March/April Archive
May Archive
Acton’s COVID-19 Information Center: http://www.actonma.gov/covid19

Prior Updates

View All Updates
May 20, 2020 9:25 PM

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases
It has been reported to Acton Public Health that at this time there are 158 cumulative cases of COVID-19 in Acton with 59 individuals in isolation, 80 recovered and nineteen fatalities (many of these at congregate care facilities).
The Town of Acton will continue to announce positive cases, active cases, recovered cases and fatalities. Daily case reports and cumulative data on Massachusetts COVID-19 cases and testing, and weekly data on confirmed cases by city/town can be found online here.

May 15, 2020 5:22 PM

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases
At this time there are 145 cumulative cases of COVID-19 in Acton with 74 individuals in isolation, 62 recovered and nine fatalities (seven from congregate care facilities).
The Town of Acton will continue to announce positive cases, active cases, recovered cases and fatalities. Daily case reports and cumulative data on Massachusetts COVID-19 cases and testing, and weekly data on confirmed cases by city/town can be found online here.
Testing Locations
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts provides comprehensive information about COVID-19 testing including an updated list of testing locations. More information is available here. An interactive map showing testing locations is also available at the following link: https://memamaps.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=eba3f0395451430b9f631cb095febf13
Governor Baker’s Reopening Plan
On Monday, May 18, Governor Baker will announce full details of the reopening plan. Per Governor Baker’s orders, the Massachusetts economy will be reopened using a four-phase approach, based on public health guidance.
Phase 1 will be “Start” - Limited industries resume operations with severe restrictions
Phase 2 will be “Cautious” - Additional industries resume operations with restrictions and capacity limits
Phase 3 will be “Vigilant” - Additional industries resume operations with guidance
Phase 4 will be the “New Normal” - Development of vaccine and/or therapy enables resumption of new normal
Public health metrics will determine when the first phase of reopening begins, as well as when it is safe to move into later phases. Residents should be aware of the possibility of a potential reversal of phases if public health worsens.

Information Related to Congregate Care Facilities
Acton recently recorded a significant jump in the most recent reporting of COVID-19 cases due to extensive testing at the Life Care Center of Acton. As of May 13th there were 59 cases of residents in isolation and 17 staff members overall that tested positive and were placed in isolation in their respective towns. The facility continues to work with the epidemiologist assigned to the building to move recovered residents out of this unit. Testing is only being conducted as residents begin to show symptoms of COVID-19 now. Director York Has been in regular communication with management at Life Care Center of Acton, their epidemiologist assigned to their building and the State Department of Health. The Town of Acton is confident that the facility is doing everything it can to manage this dangerous and often unpredictable pandemic.

Additionally, at the assisted living facility Benchmark at Robbins Brook there are four staff members and five residents with confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 as of May 13th. All residents are currently quarantined to their rooms and have had no visitors other than staff and outside private care if they have it. Anyone entering the building is assessed for symptoms as they come in. Staff also has to self-identify if they have symptoms and stay home if they are sick.

Java with John Program
Every Friday at 10am on 94.9 FM and youtube live. To view previous recordings go to: Java with John programs go to ActonTV youtube channel.

Check out new feature "Acton at a Glance"
This weekly video produced by the Acton’s Social Media Working group highlights the latest news and focuses on social media content you may have missed from our various social media channels. View the video here: https://www.facebook.com/ActonMAGov/videos/924559194625034/

Emergency Orders Requiring Face Coverings
The Acton Board of Health Emergency Public Health Order of May 5, 2020 requires that face coverings be worn in public. View the order here: https://actonma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/6367/Board-of-Health-Emergency-Public-Health-Order-of-May-5

As of Wednesday, May 6, Massachusetts requires everyone over the age of 2 to wear a face covering in public when social distancing is not possible. View the full details of this order at: https://www.mass.gov/doc/may-1-2020-masks-and-face-coverings/download
View a MassDPH message called How to Safely Cover Your Face Outside of Home at the following link: https://youtu.be/HtUJPizQVPI
COVID-19 Emergency Grants for Residents
The Acton Boxborough United Way has announced further details on the COVID-19 Emergency funding now available for Acton and Boxborough residents. Frequently Asked Questions about the A-B United Way COVID-19 Emergency Grants for Residents. How to Donate to the COVID-19 Impact Fund from Acton-Boxborough United Way
Acton Town Services Hotline 978-929-6619
We have established a central customer service hotline called the Acton Town Services hotline to provide one number to call that can provide answers to various questions related COVID-19 and also connect callers to resources about questions about town services in general. The Acton Town Services hotline number is 978-929-6619.
Update on Voting for June 2nd Elections
The polls will be open from 7AM to 8PM for the town election and the special state representative election (Precincts 3, 4 and 5) on June 2nd and all six precincts will vote at the RJ Grey Junior High School. Please consider the vote early by mail option. The link to the vote by mail application is here: https://www.acton-ma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/6288/2020-Municipal-Early-Ballot-Application. In addition, the vote by mail application will also appear on the last page of the Town’s Municipal Monthly newsletter which will be mailed to all households later this week.
Tax Bill Deadline Extended
In accordance with the Act to Address Challenges Faced by Municipalities and State Authorities Resulting from COVID-19, signed on Friday, April 3, the Town is exercising the option made available by the legislation to extend the due date of tax payments. The Board of Selectmen voted to extend the tax bill deadline from May 1, 2020 to June 1, 2020. If such tax bills are unpaid after June 1, 2020, all fees and interest shall be waived as long as the amount due is paid by June 30, 2020

Bills can be paid:

Online at https://epay.cityhallsystems.com/selection
By using the drop box at Town Hall, located at 472 Main St. Payments dropped in the drop boxes should be in the form of check or money order; please do not put cash in the drop boxes.
By mailing the payment directly to Acton Town Hall, 472 Main St., Acton, MA 01720.
Residents who have questions regarding their bill can email collector@actonma.gov.
Restaurants Temporarily Allowed to Sell Groceries in Acton
The Board of Selectmen and Board of Health approved an emergency order allowing restaurants to sell groceries during the local state of emergency. This action is one of several small business relief measures being considered. Additional details will be posted online tomorrow at http://www.actonma.gov/covid19.
Town Offices, Facilities and Recreation Spaces
All town buildings, playgrounds, recreation fields, NARA Park, and the skate park remain closed to the public while Massachusetts’s State of Emergency is in effect. The closures are being ordered out of an abundance of caution in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and promote social distancing. Rail trails and conservation trails remain open, but residents are encouraged to practice social distancing and not congregate in groups if they are using the trails. Town Hall services are still operational and staff is available during normal hours throughout the work week. Please call 978-929-6620 or use www.actonma.gov to contact staff.

Transfer Station Hours
The Acton Transfer Station has adjusted operating hours and is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. This adds Monday as a new day of service for residents. The first hour of operation (7-8 a.m. of each day) is designated for seniors only. For more information on the Transfer Station and Recycling Center, please call 978-929-7742.

Donations of Personal Protective Equipment
Town officials would like to express their gratitude for residents and local businesses who have donated masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to the Town.
Acton’s Public Safety Facility, 371 Main St., is ready to serve as a central drop-off point for PPE including home-made masks. Those looking to make a donation should call 978-929-7711 to coordinate a drop-off. The Public Safety Facility remains closed to the public for all non-emergency business until further notice. Residents should continue to call 911 during any emergency and first responders will respond as always.

Reminder from Acton Memorial Library about Online Offerings
Digital Resources: We have a lot of great content you can access digitally. In most cases you use your Library Card Number and Password to access these resources. If you have lost your library card number or forgotten your password, please click HERE.
E-Cards: If you do not already have a Minuteman library card, you can apply for a temporary e-card here. This will allow you to check out digital titles.
Acton Fourth of July Celebration and other NARA Park Events Cancelled
Due to public health concerns all concerts and special events scheduled through July 15th have been postponed or cancelled. The following events are cancelled: Chinese Music and Dance Night, June 12th; Classical Concert, June 17th; Beach Party Blast, June 20th; and Foreigners Journey, June 26th; Independence Day Celebration, 4th of July.

View archive of previously posted daily COVID19 updates here
Acton’s COVID-19 Information Center: http://www.actonma.gov/covid19