April 8, 2020 Update
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Update on COVID-19 From the Town of Needham and Needham Public Health
April 8, 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 8, 2020 there are:
• 16,790 cases statewide
• 1,778 Norfolk County
• 433 deaths statewide
• *Note: This is not new information. As of April 7, 2020: Needham has had a total of 61 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 31 community members have recovered from the virus. Two public safety employees have had confirmed cases. Those two employees are recovered. 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.
Substance Prevention Alliance of Needham Offers Stress Reduction Toolkit:
The Substance Prevention Alliance of Needham (SPAN) is pleased to present a free, virtual event, “Stress Reduction Toolkit during COVID 19,” on Wednesday, April 15 at 3pm. Guest presenter, Jon Wortmann will share 9 tools for helping manage stress during this uncertain time. There will be time for questions and answers following his presentation. Jon Wortmann is a leadership trainer for the Town of Needham in addition to municipalities and school districts throughout New England. He has trained thousands of leaders in the non-profit and for-profit world on effective communication and resilience.
Register here for this event: https://bit.ly/2RbSyTZ. Registrants will receive a separate email with Zoom event link.
MEMA and the MA National Guard Deliver PPE to Needham First Responders
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and the MA National Guard rolled into Needham today to distribute personal protective equipment to Needham’s Fire and Police Departments. Supplies included surgical masks, N95 masks, gloves, caps and gowns. Thank you to our first responders for keeping Needham safe and to MEMA and the Guard for keeping them safe.
State Launches Nursing Home Family Resource Line - 617-660-5399
The state has launched a new phone line to provide one central contact for families and community members who have questions about the nursing home or rest home care their loved one is receiving during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Nursing Home Family Resource Line is 617-660-5399 and is staffed from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, seven days a week. Staff will field questions on a range of topics and coordinate across state agencies to help provide answers.
Volunteers and Donations
We’re lucky to have such a generous and thoughtful community. Residents, businesses and organizations have found so many creative ways to support each other during this time and many of you have asked how else you can help. We’re particularly focused on our older population in Needham who need many services during this time. Thank you to Trader Joe’s, Sudbury Farms, Café Fresh, and Wegmans for helping feed our seniors. If you’re looking to volunteer to help our older adults, please fill out this form. You can also sign up for other volunteer duties by joining the Medical Reserve Corps here.
If you’re looking to make a financial contribution, please consider sending a check to the Gift of Warmth. The Gift of Warmth helps families in need during challenging times like these. You can make a tax-deductible donation by sending a check to Town of Needham – Gift of Warmth. Checks may be dropped off in the locked dropboxes outside of Town Hall, the Public Services Administration Building or the Rosemary Complex. They can also be mailed to Needham Town Hall, 1471 Highland Ave., Needham, MA 02492.
Voting Options for Social Distancing
The Annual Town Election scheduled for Tuesday, April 14, 2020 has been rescheduled to May 26, 2020. Those who need to register to vote have until 8:00 p.m. Friday, May 15, 2020 to do so.
To continue efforts to social distance, a new law provides for two alternatives to voting in person:
- First, the law allows any person taking precaution related to COVID-19 to vote by absentee ballot by reason of physical disability. All applications for an absentee ballot must be received by the Town Clerk before noon on Monday, May 25, 2020, the last business day before the election. Any person may apply for an absentee ballot by sending a signed request to the Town Clerk’s office or filling out the absentee ballot application available here. The ballot must be received by the Town Clerk before the polls close 8:00 PM on Election Day (May 26, 2020)
- Second, the law provides for early voting by mail. All applications for early voting ballots must be received before noon on Monday, May 25, 2020, the last business day before the election. Any person may obtain an early voting ballot by sending a signed request to the Town Clerk’s office or by filling out and returning the early voting application available here. The early voting ballot must be received by the Town Clerk before the polls close 8:00 PM on Election Day (May 26, 2020).
Frequently Asked Questions
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.