News Flash

Acton Town News

Posted on: March 17, 2020

COVID-19 Update - March 17, 2020 10:00PM

Acton COVID-19 Update

A daily update on the Town of Acton's response to the COVID-19 situation

Executive Summary for March 17, 2020 10:00 PM:

  • Number of confirmed or presumptive cases in Acton: 0

  • Annual Town Meeting has been postponed

  • Selectmen voted to seek a court order to delay the Town Election and State Special Election scheduled March 31st 

  • Selectmen voted to declare a local state of emergency and the Board of Health will be considering declaration Thursday

  • Public building closures extended until further notice

  • Practice social distancing of 6 feet between yourself and others to help decrease the transmission of COVID-19.  This includes limiting social gatherings to no more than 10 people in one location.

Public Health

  • The Board of Health banned the use of cold bars, hot bars, buffets or self-service type foods at all grocery and convenience stores. Health Division staff notified all establishments of this change on March 17. 
  • The Board of Health wants to remind our residents to wash reusable bags after each use as the virus can live within the bag.
  • COVID-19, the illness associated with the novel coronavirus, was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. Additionally,President Trump declared a National Emergency on March 13th and Governor Baker declared a State of Emergency on March 10th. 
  • If anyone displays symptoms of COVID-19, including a fever, cough or shortness of breath, they should not come to work or school and they are advised to contact their primary care physician.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people where COVID-19 has been  confirmed in the surrounding communities.  This is especially important for anyone over 60 years old and anyone with an underlying disease process that puts them at higher risk of getting COVID-19.
  • There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.  The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus.  The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person:
    • Between people who are in close contact with others (within about 6 feet)
    • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person sneezes or coughs.

General Government

  • Acton’s Annual Town Meeting scheduled for April 6th has been postponed and a new date will be determined by the Board of Selectmen.

  • The Board of Selectmen voted to seek a court order to delay the Town Election and State Special Election currently scheduled for March 31st 

  • The Board of Selectmen voted to declare a local state of emergency in Acton effective March 10, 2020 and the Board of Health will be considering voting on this declaration at its meeting this Thursday.

  • Human Services and Senior Center Facility, Acton Memorial Library, West Acton Citizens Library, Recreation Offices and Town Hall will be closed to the public until further notice.

  • Government operations for the Town of Acton will continue while all offices in the above mentioned buildings will be closed to the public.  Residents are encouraged to utilize the Town of Acton’s website, http://www.actonma.gov, to access Town services. 

  • Board and Committee meetings other than Selectmen and Board of Health are cancelled or postponed until further notice.

  • Building inspections will continue on a limited basis.  More information: https://www.acton-ma.gov/114/Building

Community Resources

  • A new guide to available food resources is available here

  • Questions around fuel assistance eligibility & utility shut-off prevention please contact the Community Resources Office at (978) 929-6651 or lducharme@acton-ma.gov.

Acton Nursing Services

  • Appointments within the Acton Nursing Services office will be rescheduled for a later date as information and the COVID-19 situation continues to update.  For concerns or questions please call 978-929-6650

  • Home Health Care visits will continue with current clients as well as new clients who are referred to Acton Nursing Services. Be advised that per guidance for Home Health Agencies all clients will receive a call prior to a home visit to assess their and any household members health status related to COVID-19.  If you are a current client of Acton Nursing Services or if anyone within your household has a fever, cough or shortness of breath please call our office number at 978-929-6650 to report these or other concerning symptoms.  

Libraries

  • While the Acton Memorial Library remains temporarily closed to the public, all fines will be waived for items that become due while the building is closed. Please do not return items until the library reopens.

  • All physical items, including museum passes, will not be available to check out while the facility is closed. Residents are encouraged to explore the digital content available through the library. Visit actonmemoriallibrary.org/eresources for more information on borrowing e-books, audiobooks, video, and more.

  • If you have any questions about these services contact a library representative on Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 978-929-6655 or by emailing reference@actonma.gov    

Public Safety

  • We are actively practicing social distancing at the Public Safety Facility.  While the building will remain open for emergencies, we ask that you please call our business line 978-929-7711 for all police matters.  For general questions regarding Covid-19 please call the state’s hotline 211.

  • We are taking more reports over the phone and if we do respond to your home we will try and  keep our distance for everyone’s safety

  • The MedReturn bin has been temporarily removed from the lobby of the PSF 

Public Works

  • The Transfer Station facility will remain open, but residents are encouraged to practice appropriate social distancing at the facility, as the virus is believed to spread when those who have the virus come into close contact, within six feet, of other people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

  • The Transfer Station office building will be open for staff only as one measure to ensure appropriate social distancing. 

  • We would like to ask residents to delay bringing their bulky items and other materials that will require monetary transactions.  We want to limit potential exposure to the public and staff that would normally have to handle these items. 

Recreation

  • All municipal playgrounds are closed until further notice.  Walking trails and open space areas remain open.

Schools

  • AB closed until April 7th

  • AB Schools will offer bag lunches to individuals and families Tuesday 3/17, Thursday 3/19, and Friday 3/20 for pick-up outside the main entrance at the High School. Pick up times will be from 11:30am-1:00pm. Individuals picking up bag lunches should not enter the school and practice appropriate social distancing measures. All residents are welcome to pick up a meal regardless if you have a child enrolled in the school system.

Senior Center

  • Senior Center will remain closed to the public, until further notice

  • Meals on Wheels operations will continue along with limited meal take out service call 781-221-7085 to reserve a meal.

  • Seniors in need of assistance with food, grocery shopping … Please call the Senior Center at 978-929-6652

Transportation

  • All of Acton’s fixed-route services, including the Rail Shuttle and Cross-Acton Transit (CAT), will be suspended until further notice.

  • Door-to-door services remain in operation, however, riders are encouraged to utilize alternative modes of transportation if possible. To schedule rides, continue using CrossTown Connect dispatch by calling (978) 844-6809 during normal business hours.

  • Any additional questions can be forwarded to Austin Cyganiewicz by phone (978)-929-6513 or email acyganiewicz@actonma.gov.

  • The MBTA and Keolis Commuter Services (Keolis), the agency’s operating partner for Commuter Rail, announced today a Reduced Service Schedule effective Tuesday, March 17. The Commuter Rail Reduced Service Schedule is available at www.MBTA.com/coronavirus 

Veterans Services Office

  • Urgent/emergency issues will be addressed on a case by case basis by calling James MacRae at  978-929- 6614

More Resources about the COVID-19

  • Take steps to protect yourself

    • Clean hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.

    • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains 60% alcohol for 20 seconds.

    • Avoid touching your eye, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

    • Practice social distancing between yourself and other people of at least 6 feet.  Avoid social gatherings of greater than 10 people within a closed space.

    • Cover your sneezes and coughs with a tissue or using the inside of your elbow, discard tissue and wash your hands.

    • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.

    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.  This includes doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.

  • DPH website:  https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19#-overview-

  • CDC’s website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts: http://www.Mass.gov

Additional updates will be published regularly on the Town of Acton website and residents are encouraged to sign up to receive notifications directly to their email inbox at the following link: http://actonma.gov/subscribe

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