COVID-19 Updates & Precautions April 13, 2020 PM update

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Previous updates and additional information and resources can be found here: www.hopkintonma.gov/covid-19
While Town Hall and municipal buildings are physically closed to the public, we are open for business. Many transactions can be completed online, and we are available via phone and email to assist during regular business hours. A full Town Directory can be found here. A box at the front door of Town Hall may be used to drop off correspondence, applications, etc., and they may also be mailed or emailed. Parks, Playgrounds and Playing Fields are closed.

As of 11:00 a.m. on 4/13/20, Hopkinton’s Health Department is reporting 20 total confirmed COVID-19 cases; 6 of those cases are active, with 14 recoveries and zero deaths. We are now within the beginning of the anticipated “surge” in the Commonwealth (April 10 - April 20) and based on the latest models referenced by Governor Baker on Friday April 10th, it’s looking more like the peak will be closer to April 20th. Cases are expected to continue to climb during this time, and local case numbers may not accurately reflect the infections in our community. The next two weeks will be critical in stopping the spread. Please stay home, and if you must go out, wear a mask, go out only for what you need and practice social distancing. If you are asymptomatic and positive with COVID-19, the use of the mask will reduce the risk that you spread the disease to others.

Masks - NEW UPDATE In response to the CDC’s recommendation for mask use, the members of SEWA International and Hop Town Legacy Volunteers have been assembling cloth masks for donation to the senior residents of Hopkinton, the Fire Department, the Police Department and Department of Public Works. The Health Department is grateful for their efforts and the contributions they have made to keep the community safe.

Real Estate Tax Extensions: The Town has elected to extend fourth quarter real estate taxes and tax exemption application due dates to 6/1/2020, in addition to waiving certain fees and interest on late payments. Click here for more info.

Hopkinton Public Library - NEW UPDATE The Children's staff have added another regular online storytime. On Wednesdays at noon, join us for "Big-Kid Lunch Legends" for grades K-5. To view storytimes and see the full weekly schedule, join the "Hopkinton Public Library Storytime Online" Facebook group.
Staff have also created a new online program for teens. Join our "YA Lit Bits" Facebook group to hear librarians Anne and Danielle discuss new Young Adult releases and other topics. The first episode will be posted on Tuesday, April 14 at 1 pm. We are accepting questions or topic suggestions for upcoming episodes at (https://www.facebook.com/groups/HopkintonPublicLibraryStorytimeLivestream/).

Looking for something to do while you're stuck at home? Take a look at our new Pinterest boards with suggestions for ebooks and streaming video that you can access using Overdrive or Libby.

Library staff are still available to answer questions and offer help by e-mail ([email protected]), phone (508-497-9777), or our new chat-a-librarian service (click the blue "speech bubble" icon near the top of our webpage between 10 am and 5 pm weekdays).

Hopkinton Public Schools: The Hopkinton School Committee voted on Thursday evening, April 9th, at their regularly scheduled meeting, to eliminate April Vacation (April 21-24). The last day of school is now scheduled for June 17, 2020.

Centralized Job Hub: Massachusetts needs health care and human services professionals to staff healthcare sites that are being created for COVID-19 patients. You can make a difference by providing aid and comfort to those in need. There are employment opportunities for a variety of roles at temporary care sites across the state. There are many paid positions available in both healthcare and non-healthcare related fields. Find out more at https://www.mass.gov/joincovidteam

Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Resources: Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito announced expanded services for anyone not safe at home during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order. SafeLink, the Commonwealth’s statewide, 24/7, toll-free and confidential domestic violence hotline, is now also providing support to survivors of sexual assault. Call the SafeLink hotline at (877) 785-2020 to get help and advocacy. Judges are also available 24 hours a day to process restraining orders. Advocates are available in English and Spanish and can provide translation in more than 130 languages. If you are experiencing violence within your home or concerned about a loved one that may be experiencing violence, please call the SafeLink hotline for support and resources. If you are in immediate danger, please call 9-1-1.

Grocery Stores Social Distancing: The Department of Public Health released further guidance to promote social distancing at grocery stores. The new guidance requires that each grocery store limit occupancy to 40% of its maximum permitted occupancy level (except stores with a maximum occupancy of less than 25 people). It also sets out procedures by which staff should monitor occupancy levels. The guidance builds on a previous March 23 order for grocery stores, which set out policies for ensuring access to hand-washing facilities and protecting employees in higher-risk populations, among other requirements.

Click here to read the new guidance: https://www.mass.gov/doc/order-grocery-stores-40-percent/download
Mental Health Help: The Coronavirus can cause feelings of stress, loneliness and despair and severely impact mental health. There are many resources for help. The Centers for Disease Control has comprehensive information on Stress and Coping. Hopkinton Youth & Family Services has a resource page for behavioral health, substance use recovery, and other resources to get help during the crisis that is regularly updated with new resources. Y&FS Basic Needs Resource Sheet for COVID19 Can’t find what you need? Contact us. Our office is available to help.

Hopkinton Senior Center staff continue to be available if you have questions, concerns, need assistance obtaining food or have any other need during this time. Please contact us at 508-497-9730. Leave a message and your call will be returned promptly.

Stay Updated & More Resources: You can find many resources and more information at www.hopkintonma.gov/covid-19 Hopkinton also posts frequently on social media. Our Twitter is the best place to keep up with all happenings Hopkinton. You don’t need an account to see our twitter feed: https://twitter.com/HopkintonMA

Complete list of Emergency Orders and Guidance from Mass.gov https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-state-of-emergency

Please note - Hopkinton briefings for this week are next scheduled for Wednesday and Friday afternoons. Follow us on twitter for interim updates: https://twitter.com/HopkintonMA