New Process for COVID Updates
We hope you find this new format for COVID-19 updates useful. We intend to continue providing newsflash style updates like this weekly or more frequently as required. Additionally we are publishing a new data dashboard with current case numbers updated once per day. A new dashboard with daily data updates will be published in Acton's Covid-19 Information Center: http://www.actonma.gov/covid19
It has been reported to Acton Public Health that at this time there are 334 cumulative cases of COVID-19 in Acton with 44 individuals in isolation, 268 recovered and 22 fatalities (many of these at congregate care facilities). Above is a chart showing the cumulative number of cases in Acton in blue and the daily trend in current cases in red. The chart below shows the daily trend in current cases as red bars.
Town of Acton Designated as "Medium Risk" Community
According to the statewide public health data released from MassDPH on Nov. 19, the Town’s designation is now “yellow,” indicating a “medium risk” in the community.
According to the state data, Acton's average daily incidence rate, which the state uses to calculate risk determinations, has risen to 10.5 per 100,000 residents, up from the previous week’s rate of 7.2.
As cases continue to rise not just in our community, but throughout the entire state, it is vital that we all take the necessary precautions to prevent any further spread of COVID-19. This includes following CDC guidance regarding celebrating holidays this year. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation, working together toward a common goal is essential for stopping the spread of this disease in our town.
Residents are urged to continue to practice social distancing, wear face coverings in public and limit their interactions with anyone who lives outside of their household.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traveling increases one’s potential to be exposed to COVID-19 and of potentially spreading it to others. Staying home and observing the holidays with those in your household or hosting a virtual celebration are the best ways to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
COVID-19 prevention tips from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health include:
- Remember that an infected individual can spread COVID-19 before they have symptoms, which is why social distancing, maintaining a minimum of 6 feet from others, is critical.
- Those who must go out are urged to:
- Avoid gathering in groups
- Maintain 6 feet from people outside your household
- Do not shake hands or hug
- Wash your hands often
- Those who are at a high risk for COVID-19, including those over the age of 65 and with underlying health conditions, are advised to stay home and avoid non-essential tasks and errands
- Wear a mask in all public indoor and outdoor spaces. This does not apply to those with underlying health conditions.
- Face coverings should:
- Cover the nose and mouth
- Fit snugly and comfortably against the side of the face
- Be secured with either ties or ear loops
- Permit breathing without difficulty
- Be able to be washed and machine dried without damage. Face masks should be washed regularly depending on the amount of use.
For more information about COVID-19 prevention and symptoms, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health website.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts provides comprehensive information about COVID-19 testing including an updated list of testing locations. More information is available at https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-testing. An interactive map showing testing locations is also available using the link on the left.
Town Services Hotline (978) 929-6600
The Acton Town Services Hotline is available to connect residents with a live worker to receive information and answers to their questions about the latest government news, COVID-19, and Town services in general. Hotline workers also help answer questions related to the topics such as town meetings, financial relief programs for residents and business owners, and Town reopening plans. The Acton Town Services hotline number is 978-929-6600 and is open on Monday through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Housing Assistance Programs Available for Residents
Applications are being accepted for:
Emergency Rental Assistance and Mortgage Assistance Programs. These programs will provide temporary financial assistance in the form of a grant and will be administered through a collaboration with the Regional Housing Services Office (RHSO). Acton Residents who are at or below 100% of the area median income (AMI), which is $119,000 for a family of four, are eligible to apply. Application assistance such as printing, copying and scanning will be available through the Community Resources Office. Mortgage assistance applicants must be up-to-date with their property taxes and sewer betterment, and must live in single-family homes or condominiums that are owner occupied.
For additional information on these programs or to request application
assistance please visit rhsohousing.org or contact Laura Ducharme by e-mail:
MORTGAGE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (MAP)
The Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP) is now available to help residents financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will provide up to $3,000 in a one-time grant for mortgage relief to eligible Acton residents. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis up until Friday, Dec. 18. For additional information or to request an application, please contact Laura Ducharme at the Community Services Office at (978) 929-6651 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact the Regional Housing Services Office at INFO@RHSOhousing.org
Java with John Program
For the latest COVID information other updates from Acton Town Manager John Mangiaratti and guests tune into the Java with John program Fridays at 10am. View previous episodes using the link shown to the left. This program is produced by the Acton Council on Aging in collaboration with ActonTV. The weekly program is also broadcast live on local FM radio at Acton's station WAEM 94.9 FM.
Make an Appointment for Curbside or Window Service
Due to the increase in COVID cases all Town Hall services are now by appointment only. Appointments can be made to meet at a service window or in the rear Town Hall parking lot for curbside. All town buildings 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. Town Hall services are still operational and staff is available during normal hours throughout the work week. Please use www.actonma.gov to use the numbers below to contact staff.Finance Department
Residents may call or email to make an appointment.
Land Use Department
- Assessor’s Office: 978-929-6621, email@example.com
- Collector’s Office: 978-929-6622, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Town Clerk's Office: 978-929-6620, email@example.com
In-person customer service by appointment only. Call or email to make an appointment.
Town Manager's Office
- Building Division: 978-929-6633, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Conservation Division: 978-929-6634, email@example.com
- Health Division: 978-929-6632, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Planning Division: 978-929-6631, email@example.com
Town Services Hotline
- 978-929-6611, firstname.lastname@example.org
Library Curbside Service
Due to a recent rise in COVID-19 cases, Acton Memorial Library is temporarily suspending all in-person browsing appointments. The good news is we are able to add more on demand curbside hours this week and next week!
Come to the library during curbside hours and call 978-929-6655, option 2. A library staff member will bring your holds outside.
For further updates on library hours and services, please go to our website at actonmemoriallibrary.org
The Acton Transfer Station will continue operating with the adjusted schedule for the initial reopening. The facility is currently open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The first hour (7-8 a.m.) is designated for Seniors (65+). The Transfer Station will also begin to accept payments (checks only) at the office for bulky items by early June. Staff are continuing to look at how to re-introduce some recycling streams such as polystyrene in later phases.
The purchase of Transfer Station and Recycling Facility vehicle stickers are now available online.
For more information on the Transfer Station and Recycling Center, please call 978-929-7742.
Board of Health Guidance Regarding New Orders Effective Friday 11/6/2020
The Acton Board of Health is advising residents of the gathering order, face covering, early closure and stay at home advisory issued by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in order to safeguard our residents against COVID-19. Currently, Acton is identified as a shaded green community which means that the virus is very active in our community. We understand that a lot of you have COVID “fatigue” but now is not the time to let your guard down and resume normal activities. At this point we should all be familiar with the measures to help reduce the transmission and all do our part to help.
Effective, Friday, November 6, 2020 at 12:01 PM the Governor has issued the following orders:
- Stay at Home Advisory: All residents are advised to stay at home between the hours of 10pm – 5am. You should only leave your home for work or school or for essential needs such as seeking emergency medical care, going to the grocery store, or picking up medications.
- Face Coverings - are now required at all times when in public places (leaving your home) or while you are at work/school regardless of whether or not you can socially distance. All persons over the age of 5 must wear a face covering whenever in public, indoors or outdoors. Face Coverings are required when carpooling with non-household members. The exclusion for social distancing has been removed, if you’re beyond 6 ft. of a person, you will now be required to wear a face covering at all times. Children between ages 2-5 years are encouraged, but not required to wear the face coverings. Medical and other exemptions still apply, but there are some changes. Employers can now require employees to provide proof of exempted conditions and schools may require that students participating in in-person learning provide proof of such medical or disabling condition. For a copy of the full order please see https://www.mass.gov/doc/covid-19-order-55/download
- Early Closing – Most businesses must now close at 9:30 PM and may not reopen until 5:00 AM.
- Gatherings- Gathering limits and requiring social distancing of at least 6 ft. at all events (except between members of the same household).
- Private residents -Limited to 10 people for indoor and 25 people for outdoor gathering
- Public Spaces/Event Venues must end by 930 PM:
- Limited to 25 people indoors
- Lower Risk Communities: 100 people (Acton is currently identified as lower risk but subject to change)
- All other communities: 50 people
- Host and event venues must notify LBOH if they learn an attendee or worker tests positive, must cooperate with contact tracing, including addresses and providing lists of attendees upon request.
- For a copy of the order please see https://www.mass.gov/doc/covid-19-order-54/download
Additional Statewide Guidance
To read the updated restaurant protocols, click here.
Reminder from Board of Health Regarding Face Coverings
The State of Massachusetts provides weekly metrics (https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-response-reporting#covid-19-weekly-public-health-report) and Acton’s numbers have been increasing over the last few weeks which is very concerning. The State identifies Cities and Towns as gray, green, yellow or red, with gray being the lowest and red being highest risk for COVID-19. Currently, Acton is green but approaching yellow and it is time that we all step back and do our part to keep our community low risk. I know it is tempting to get together with your friends and family but please remember to wear your face covering and understand that we recommend that you limit contact to people that you live with. As you know, social distancing is required of at least 6’and that includes family (unless they live with you, coworkers and friends). Just to reference that distance for you, it’s about the height of a door, the length of a mattress, two shopping carts or the width of a car.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that wearing Face Coverings help stop the spread of COVID-19 to others. The CDC also suggests the following:
- Wear masks with two or more layers to stop the spread of COVID-19
- Wear the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
- Masks should be worn by people two years and older
- Masks should NOT be worn by children younger than two, people who have trouble breathing, or people who cannot remove the mask without assistance
- Do NOT wear masks intended for healthcare workers, for example, N95 respirators
- CDC does not recommend the use of gaiters or face shields. Evaluation of these face covers is on-going but effectiveness is unknown at this time.
See diagrams taken from the CDC website below:
We are in this together - Please help us do your part in stopping the spread of COVID-19.
2021 Annual Town Meeting
At its meeting on October 5th the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to delay the 2021 Annual Town Meeting scheduled for Monday, April 5 to a date to be determined, but not later than June 30, 2021.
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