April 6, 2020 Update
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The Town of Needham and Needham Public Health today provided the following update regarding COVID-19
April 6, 2020 – The Town of Needham and Needham Public Health today provided the following update regarding COVID-19.
State DPH COVID-19 Numbers
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is reporting that as of April 6, 2020 there are
• 13,837 Cases statewide
• 1,382 Norfolk County
• 260 Deaths
• *Note* This is NOT new information. As of 3/31/20: Needham has had a total of 35 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and nine community members have recovered from the virus. Two public safety employees have confirmed cases. Town data is updated Tuesdays at 5 pm.
It’s important to remember that most people who are confirmed to have COVID-19 recover. For more state data, visit www.mass.gov/coronavirus
UPDATED: Your Question: Should I Be Wearing a Mask?
Last Friday, we sent an update providing you with information that the CDC had issued to date on the necessity of wearing masks in public. At that time, the CDC was not recommending that people who were well and not showing symptoms of COVID-19 wear a mask to protect themselves from the disease.
Shortly after we sent that update, the CDC issued NEW guidance on face masks/coverings.
Today, the CDC is advising people to wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.
We’ve prepared an FAQ document with more information here https://www.needhamma.gov/4860/38627/CDC-Face-MaskCovering-Guidance
Deadline Extended for 4th Quarter Personal Property & Real Estate Tax Payments
Due to the COVID-19 Health Emergency and the Declaration of Emergency made by Governor Baker, the fourth quarter fiscal year 2020 personal property tax and real estate tax payments that were due May 1, 2020 have been extended until Monday, June 1, 2020. This means that the FY2020 fourth quarter tax payment will be accepted without penalty or interest through June 1, 2020. In addition, the deadline for submitting applications to the Property Tax Relief for the Elderly and Disabled and Property Tax Assistance funds has been extended until May 15. Applications are available on the Town’s website. Applications can be filled out and emailed to Nancy Martin at email@example.com or Evelyn Poness at Eviep@needhamma.gov
Update on Building Inspections
To continue important construction work and in accordance with the Governor’s determination that construction activity is considered an essential service, the Building Department will continue to inspect on-going permit activity. However, given reduced staffing levels and social distancing, the Department will not issue demolition permits or new building permits for the time being. Emergency inspections will occur on a case-by-case basis.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Donations at Rosemary Recreation Complex
Thank you to everyone who has donated PPE for front-line workers. There is now a donation bin will be available for donation of PPE outside at the Rosemary Recreation Complex. Deliveries can be made between 10 am and 5 pm Monday through Friday.
Library Offers Harry Potter EBook and Audiobook Free to Patrons
Throughout the month of April, Needham Free Public Library patrons have unlimited access to the ebook and audiobook editions of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, courtesy of Pottermore & OverDrive. The copies are currently displaying as the second collection on the OverDrive/Libby homepage, and will replace the current Big Library Read promotion after April 13.
What's exciting about this promotion:
-Now includes the audiobook edition
-Includes over 20 languages (Great for language learners & multilingual families)
-Includes accompanying activities at harrypotterathome.com
-.....It's Harry Potter!
April is also National Poetry Month. Head of Reference, Stefanie Claydon, is posting library staff members reading poetry all month on Facebook.
Keeping the town running during COVID-19
The Needham Channel sits with Town Manager Kate Fitzpatrick, PIO Cyndi Roy Gonzalez and school superintendent Dan Gutekanst to discuss what the town has been doing to stay running during this crisis.
NEW RTS Changes effect 4/4/2020
Many services have been impacted as the Town follows social distancing guidelines and reduces staff at Town facilities to essential workers only. To continue to provide critical services under these conditions and protect the health and safety of our workers and patrons, the Needham Recycling and Transfer Station is implementing a series of changes effective Saturday, April 4, 2020.
- The number of vehicles that may enter the RTS at any one time will be limited. No more than 18 vehicles will be allowed in the trash/recycling area at once. No more than 6 vehicles will be allowed in the yard waste area at once.
- There will be two lanes of traffic to enter the RTS – one lane to the left will be for vehicles going straight to yard waste. The right lane will be for residents disposing of trash and recyclables.
- Bulky waste will no longer be accepted until resumption of normal business. Bulky waste are objects too big to fit in the yellow Pay As You Throw bags (items cleaned out from basements and garages for example).
- No trash can be disposed of without being placed first in a yellow bag.
- Contractors will not be allowed to utilize the RTS on Saturdays until the resumption of normal business. There are no exceptions to this.
- Residents are encouraged to visit the RTS during non-peak hours. Saturdays continue to be very busy, making social distancing a challenge. If you can deliver your waste on other days, that would be appreciated.
- In addition, the Swap Shop, donation bins, Goodwill Trailer and drop-off area for scrap metal, tires, refrigerators/air conditioners, and TVs and computers remain CLOSED.
CDC Face Mask/Covering Guidance
As of April 3, 2020, the CDC is advising people to wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.
We’re prepared an FAQ document with more information here
- Center at the Heights: 781-855-3629
Updates and Information on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
As the concern about the COVID-19 virus develops, we understand there will continue to be questions about how Town services could be affected. The Town's most important responsibility is to protect the public. To that end preparedness plays a key role.
The Town of Needham has taken measures to ensure that we will continue to:
- Provide sewer, electric, and clean, safe water to our residents
- Ensure that public safety officers have the resources that they need to respond to emergencies
- Provide reliable and accurate information to residents, employers, employees and visitors.
The Needham Public Health Division works together with our national, state, and regional partners to protect the public when there are public health concerns in our area. Please refer to those agencies for updates not related to Town services.