COVID-19 Updates & Precautions March 23, 2020 PM update

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The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has confirmed that COVID-19 is spreading throughout the Commonwealth. There are presently five positive cases in Hopkinton; as testing increases, more cases may be identified in our Town.

Governor Charlie Baker issued an emergency order requiring all businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” to close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public as of Tuesday, March 24th at noon until Tuesday, April 7th at noon. These businesses are encouraged to continue operations remotely. To that end, essential services provided by the Department of Public Works, Facilities, Health Services, Youth and Family Services, Hopkinton Police Department and Hopkinton Fire Department will continue. The rest of the Town Departments, will continue to provide services as in prior weeks, albeit employees will be working remotely.

A list of essential Covid-19 services, can be found here: https://www.mass.gov/doc/covid-19-essential-services
Town Officials and Emergency Management personnel continue to monitor the rapidly evolving COVID-19 public health emergency. As of 12:00 p.m. on 3/23/20, Hopkinton’s Health Department has 5 confirmed COVID-19 cases. We now have cases within the community that cannot be linked to either travel or known contact with a COVID-19 case. We intend to implement further action necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community. We will require that all businesses that are deemed essential, comply with social distancing recommendations. Additionally, we will now require and enforce social distancing guidelines if necessary. The Health Department will begin compliance inspections this week. Families and individuals are being asked to stay home, only have contact with immediate family members and to limit unnecessary trips to stores that will remain open. You should only participate in activities in which the recommended space of 6ft between parties is possible. Our mitigation strategy continues to focus on protecting the most vulnerable population and to preserve our public safety personnel and health care workforce.

At this time, all town buildings are closed to the public.

Parks, Playgrounds and Playing Fields ARE CLOSED.

Public Safety - NEW UPDATE Pursuant to Governor Baker’s order, Hopkinton Fire Department will be suspending all residential and commercial inspections, until further notice. Please visit the attached link for more information. https://www.mass.gov/doc/march-20-2020-smoke-alarm-inspections-order/dow...

Daycare information - NEW UPDATE
The EED has permitted one Exempt Emergency Child Care facility to operate in Hopkinton. The facility will provide assistance to the families of public safety, health care and other essential employees, that can not otherwise provide daycare for their children. A directory of Exempt Emergency Child Care facilities in the region is available here - https://eeclead.force.com/apex/EEC_ChildCareEmergencyProcedure

Health Department: Please make sure you are obtaining information from trusted sources; such as mass.gov/orgs/governors-press-office, http://www.mass.gov/2019coronavirus, http://www.cdc.gov/COVID19. For information relating to the Commonwealth’s response to COVID-19, go to the Mass.gov website or call the Massachusetts 2-1-1 line for information, resources and referrals. Operators are staffing a 24/7 hotline to answer questions and translators are available in multiple languages.

Hopkinton Public Schools - Food Services Director Michelle Babin is prepared to provide lunches for students who qualify for free and reduced lunch. Students and families requiring lunches should reach out to Ms. Babin directly at [email protected] . Or, if you have another trusted adult in the School System, you may also ask that person to connect you to our Food Services Director. The Hopkinton Food Service Department will also be working closely with Project Just Because.

All fields located on Hopkinton Public Schools are closed.
Library - NEW UPDATE Our recent holds pickup pilot program will be discontinued and the book drop will be closed until further notice. Please DO NOT return any library materials at this time! We cannot be responsible for items left outside of the library, which may be damaged by weather or stolen. Item due dates will be extended until the library reopens, and we will forgive fines that may have accrued due to the pandemic. If you do not have an active library card and want to access the Overdrive digital book/audiobook collection, you can now sign up for the Overdrive Instant Digital Card for temporary access.
Instructions are available at https://www.cwmars.org/News.

Youth and Family Services - Please call us if we can be of assistance at 508-497-9781 or email at [email protected] and [email protected]

Our facebook page is routinely updated with resources for coping with the crisis. Check us out at https://www.facebook.com/hopkintonyouthandfamilyservices/

HELPERS: If you wish to offer assistance during this crisis, we are forming a database of helpers. If you can email us your information (name, address, phone number, and assistance offered) we can add you to the database and will contact you if we can match you to a need.

See below for more resources to aid in coping with this crisis:
Massachusetts 2-1-1 Massachusetts residents are urged to use 2-1-1 for information, resources, and referrals regarding COVID-19. Operators are staffing this hotline 24/7 and translators are available in multiple languages. Residents with questions can dial 2-1-1 from any landline or cellphone, or use the live chat option on the Mass 2-1-1 website. There are 17 staff now answering calls, including staff from United Way and 7 staff members from DPH.

Mental Health Support: A variety of mental health resources can be found on the Mental Health Resource/INTERFACE card found here: http://bit.ly/2wmSFEP
Substance Abuse Support: https://helplinema.org/ 1.800.327.5050 Helpline for treatment information and support.

Food Resources: Project Just Because is the central location for residents who have limited access to food. More information can be found at https://projectjustbecause.org/ or by calling 508-435-6511. Hours of operation for food distribution 9:30am to 3:30pm Monday - Thursday.

Unemployment due to COVID19: If you have become unemployed due to the closing of your workplace, reduction in the workforce, or short term because of the illness itself (sick, quarantined, etc.) this link has the online application for unemployment assistance. https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-unemployment-and-coronaviru...

Resources for parental stress https://www.parentshelpingparents.org/parental-stress-line https://www.nationalparenthelpline.org/find-support Mommying is Hard facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2180286238744260/
Feeling extremely stressed or desperate? Call and text lines for 24/7 support https://www.uwotc.org/call2talk https://samaritanshope.org/