COVID-19 Updates & Precautions April 8, 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. Parks, Playgrounds and Playing Fields are closed.

As of 11:00 a.m. on 4/8/20, Hopkinton’s Health Department is reporting 16 total confirmed COVID-19 cases; 8 of those cases are active, with 8 recoveries and zero deaths. We are close to the beginning of the anticipated “surge” in the Commonwealth (April 10 - April 20). During this time, local case numbers may not accurately reflect the infections in our community. The next two weeks will be critical in stopping the spread. Please review the newly released CDC recommendations for masks posted below. Remember that Hopkinton has established a Covid-19 Community Impact Dashboard with tracking information updated daily. https://arcg.is/PyP0S *note that the locations on the map are town buildings, schools, and parks with information on closures and impacted areas. Hopkinton is not, and will not, be reporting geographic locations of confirmed cases within town.

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. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-str...)

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.

Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund - NEW UPDATE On April 6th, 2020, Governor Baker announced the launch of the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund, which will help support essential frontline workers and vulnerable populations across the state, including Massachusetts residents and immigrants facing homelessness, food insecurity, and loss of critical services as a result of the COVID-19 public health crisis. Donations raised through the Fund will be distributed in partnership with the state’s community foundations that cover counties statewide and other critical non-profits, ensuring that Massachusetts communities can benefit from access to this much-needed pool of resources.

EL Harvey Bulk Pick Up - NEW UPDATE EL Harvey is suspending its bulk pickup collections through May 4th out of an abundance of caution. Please hold on to your bulk pick up item until that time when you may call EL Harvey to schedule to have that collected at the curb. EL Harvey’s telephone number is 800-321-3002.

CDC Updated Guidance on Wearing Cloth Masks in Public: On April 3, CDC issued a recommendation about wearing cloth face coverings in public settings. This recommendation was made after considering recent studies that have shown individuals with the virus who lack symptoms can transmit the virus to others. CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings including places where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (such as grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

It is critical to emphasize that the mask recommendation does not replace social distancing, stay at home measures, and hand washing recommendations that remain in effect. Social distancing, staying at home except for essential travel, and hand hygiene remain vitally important to slowing the spread of the virus. Learn more at the CDC website.

Restaurants May Sell Beer and Wine with Food for Take-out: Governor Baker and the Alcohol Beverages Control Commission have approved an act allowing restaurants with liquor licenses to sell beer and wine with food for take-out, effective immediately and until the state of emergency is lifted. The effort is intended to help support local restaurants including those in Hopkinton. Take-out customers may order up to 192 ounces of malt beverages (about a 12-pack of 16 oz. bottles of beer) or up to 1.5 liters of wine (about one bottle). Alcohol may only be sold with food, in sealed original containers, and both the buyer and the recipient must be at least 21 years old. Read more.

Municipal Governance Bill Signed: The State Legislature signed an act to address the challenges faced by municipalities and state authorities presented by COVID-19. The act addresses Town Meeting delays, emergency liabilities in case COVID-19 prevents the adoption of annual budgets, due dates for real estate and property tax bills, appeals and extensions, and other provisions. Read a summary.

As a reminder, The Select Board voted at its March 17 meeting to delay Hopkinton’s Annual Town Meeting to June 22, 2020. Additionally the Board consulted with the Town Manager and Town Clerk at their meeting held on April 7 and has voted to delay the Annual Town Election to Monday, June 29, 2020 in accordance with the emergency legislation passed by the Massachusetts General Court and signed by the Governor. The Town Clerk is advising voters to vote by absentee or early ballot by mail to decrease the number of voters that will be physically at the polls on election day.

Hopkinton Public Schools: The Hopkinton School Committee will vote on Thursday evening, April 9th, at their regularly scheduled meeting whether to eliminate April Vacation (April 21-24). For details, check the Web Meeting Calendar on the homepage of www.hopkintonma.gov

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 - the next Hopkinton briefing for the week is scheduled for Friday (4/10/2020) afternoon. Follow us on twitter for interim updates: https://twitter.com/HopkintonMA *****************************************************************