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The original item was published from 11/25/2020 7:22:00 PM to 11/30/2020 6:03:46 PM.

News Flash

Acton Town News

Posted on: April 9, 2020

[ARCHIVED] COVID-19 Update November 25, 2020 7:30 PM

Acton COVID-19 Update

Current information about the Town of Acton's response to the COVID-19 situation

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases

It has been reported to Acton Public Health that at this time there are 317 cumulative cases of COVID-19 in Acton with 36 individuals in isolation, 260 recovered and 21 fatalities (many of these at congregate care facilities).  Here is a chart showing the cumulative number of cases in Acton.

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Board of Selectmen and Board of Health Emergency Meeting November 23rd

The Board of Selectmen and Board of Health held an emergency meeting to discuss the recent increase in COVID-19 infections in Acton as 20 new cases were reported on Saturday and Sunday.  The boards discussed measures underway and planned by staff to continue to respond to the pandemic.  Included in the recent cases is a report of 11 positive cases at a long-term care facility in Acton.  All positive cases have been isolated and all direct contacts isolated.  As outlined further below, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health had designated Acton as “yellow” on November 19th due to the case volume over the previous 14-day period. Given the increase in cases reported since November 19th, we are preparing response activities and have started communicating with businesses actions that may be necessary in the event that we become designated as “red”.

Residents are reminded of Mask Order #55 and the guidance regarding how to safely celebrate Thanksgiving this year.

Guidance on Thanksgiving

Town of Acton Designated as "Medium Risk" Community for COVID-19

According to the statewide public health data released from MassDPH on Thursday, Nov. 19, the Town’s designation is now “yellow,” indicating a “medium risk” in the community.

According to Thursday's state data, there have been 35 new confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Acton over the past two weeks. 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 last 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 Thanksgiving 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.

 For further guidance for celebrating Thanksgiving amid COVID-19 from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, go to: https://www.mass.gov/news/thanksgiving-during-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.

For the latest updates regarding COVID-19 in Acton, visit the Town's COVID-19 information center at http://www.actoma.gov/covid19.

Changes to Acton Memorial Library Services

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.

Pick up any holds that have a "Ready to Pickup" status on the following days:

  • Saturday, 11/28: 10:30 am - 5:30 pm
  • Sunday, 11/29: 2 - 5 p.m.
  • Monday, 11/30: 10:30 a.m. -5:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, 12/1: 10:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, 12/2: 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, 12/3: 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Friday, 12/4: 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, 12/5: 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, 12/6: 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Monday, 12/7: 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

For further updates on library hours and services, please go to our website at actonmemoriallibrary.org or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/reopening-massachusetts

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.

Town Hall Take-Out Window Service Available

Contactless town services for the Land Use Department and Collector’s Office will now be available for residents. The window service is now available at the front of Town Hall, 472 Main St. Staff will be available Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1pm, rain or shine. Also available from 9-11 on Friday. A face mask or cloth face covering will be required for all who wish to use these services.

Sample of services available are:

  • Applying for and picking up building permits and septic records
  • Submitting payments and requests for inspections
  • Getting answers to questions regarding Building, Natural Resources, Planning and Health Divisions
  • Making real estate, motor vehicle excise and sewer payments, and receiving a paid stamp.
  • Purchasing a resident commuter lot sticker.
  • Receiving a copy of your property assessment card.

Emergency Rental Assistance and Mortgage Assistance Programs 

For more information please contact lducharme@actonma.gov  for more information.

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

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

Acton 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 elections, 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, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Town Offices and Facilities 

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 call 978-929-6600 or use www.actonma.gov to contact staff.

Transfer Station Hours

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.

Acton’s COVID-19 Information Center: http://www.actonma.gov/covid19

Acton's COVID-19 Information Center
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