April 3, 2020 Update
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The Town of Needham and Needham Public Health today provided the following update regarding COVID-19
April 3, 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 3, 2020 there are
• 10,402 Cases statewide
• 1,045 Norfolk County
• 192 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
Your Question: Should I Be Wearing a Mask?
Our public health staff is working hard to answer your important questions. With so much conflicting guidance, you asked, “Should I be wearing a mask in public?”
Currently, the CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected.
Medical masks are a barrier protection against exposure to droplets from an infected person.
Civilians should NOT be wearing N95 masks or other medical masks in public, unless explicitly instructed by their own medical professional. PPE is in low supply and must be available for use by the medical professionals and first responders who are at a much higher risk of exposure.
Here is a helpful chart from the CDC.
We understand you may be anxious and want to protect yourself and your family. Homemade masks create a barrier, but are not guaranteed to stop the spread of the disease. The best thing you can do is wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer when touching high-contact surfaces. Avoid touching your face.
The best thing you can do is practice social distancing.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Donations
Thank you to everyone who has donated PPE for front-line workers. Needham Public Health has received donations of masks and gloves from residents, The Chinese Friends of Needham, Needham Public Schools and others that have been shared with first responders and healthcare workers. Beginning Monday, 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.
Application Deadline Extended for Needham Property Tax Relief for Elderly and Disabled
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
Chalk Your Walk This Weekend
We’ve loved seeing all your chalk messages spreading positivity and hope across the community. Let’s keep it going! This Sunday, Park and Recreation is offering free bags of chalk to residents from 10 am to 12 pm at the Rosemary Recreation Complex. Come pick up a bag and help us chalk every walk in Needham!
Select Board Sets Fall Town Meeting Dates, Next Board Meeting
The Select Board voted Friday to hold Fall Town Meeting on Monday, October 5, 2020 with the possibility of a second night Wednesday, October 7. The Select Board will meet again virtually Thursday, April 9, 2020 at 4 pm. More details on how to join that meeting via Zoom will be provided next week. The Needham Channel will also stream the meeting on its channels.
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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.
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- 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.