News Flash

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Posted on: March 30, 2020

Town of Weston COVID-19 Updates and Precautions

townseal

Monday, March 30 - 5:00 p.m.

Updates will continue to be posted to the Town’s website at Weston.org/COVID19 and will be issued via email/text, as well as through the Town’s social media channels. Subscribe to receive these “News Flash” email/text messages at Weston.org/StayInformed by entering your email or cell phone number, clicking “sign in” and selecting Latest Town News and/or Public Safety News. Be sure to verify the subscription(s) so you receive them.


In This Update:

  • Foreign and Domestic Travel Advisory: self-quarantine if you have recently arrived to town
  • COVID-19 Diagnosis without a test? Call 781-786-5030 to report
  • Social Distancing: Stay at Home Advisory in Place
  • Social Isolation: Maintaining Emotional Health & Helping Neighbors
  • Weston’s cases
  • Limited Town Government services
  • STOP outdoor gatherings on School Grounds and Recreation Fields: THIS IS BEING ENFORCED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER


Travel Advisory: U.S. and Out of Country

Any resident who has recently arrived from another state, especially New York, please self-quarantine and call Weston’s Health Department at 781-786-5030. Similarly, if you have recently arrived to town from another country, self-quarantine and call the Board of Health.

The CDC has travel guidance available on its website for those who are considering travel to another state.


COVID-19 Diagnosis without a Test

Weston’s Health Department is notified by the Commonwealth of pending and finalized lab results but currently there is no mechanism in place for us to know about a diagnosis made on symptoms alone.

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 by your doctor based upon the symptoms you are experiencing, then Weston’s Board of Health is likely not aware of your diagnosis. Please isolate yourself from others and call Weston’s Health Department at 781-786-5030 and leave a message. You will get a call back from a Board of Health Nurse. You and the entire community will benefit from assistance and follow up by the Board of Health. Our nurses can help this make sense and answer all your questions.


Social Distancing: YOU MAY NOT FEEL SICK BUT YOU COULD BE CONTAGIOUS

MassDPH issued a Public Health Advisory urging Massachusetts residents to stay at home.
Every child and adult needs to maintain at least a 6-foot physical distance from someone outside their household and to stay away from enclosed public spaces, unless it is absolutely necessary (such as the grocery store or pharmacy).

IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND:

  • that most people who contract COVID-19 may have very mild symptoms initially but are still contagious and can infect another person
  • that someone’s life could be put at risk if they contract COVID-19
  • Social Distancing reduces the spread of the virus
  • Minimizing the spread of COVID-19 helps our first responders and hospitals

If you’re feeling run down, watch for a low-grade fever, a minor cough, or shortness of breath:

If you begin to exhibit symptoms, quarantine yourself and CALL your healthcare provider for instructions.


Social Isolation: Maintaining Emotional Health & Helping Neighbors

Taking care of your emotional health and well-being during this time is important. Stress, isolation and loneliness can worsen some mental health symptoms, as well as weaken your immune system. Social Distancing measures are also taking a toll on our older residents who often depend upon social interaction.

MassDPH has guidelines and suggestions on its website on how to maintain emotional health and how you can reach out to your older neighbors safely while providing a social connection. This can take the form of visiting through an open window, a phone call, a walk in the neighborhood, or picking up some groceries or take-out.


Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Donations

If you have N95 masks, construction masks, or other unused PPE that you want to donate to Newton Wellesley Hospital, you can drop them off at Weston’s Fire Department Headquarters in the Town Center (394 Boston Post Road). Please leave them outside by the front lobby and they will be collected. Thank you in advance for your donation.


Cases in Weston

With the assistance of the Weston Emergency Reserve Corps and the Weston School nurses, Weston’s Health Department is following:

  • 27 individuals positive for COVID-19
  • 111 individuals are monitored daily
  • All individuals are under a mandatory 14-day quarantine
  • Please report if you have a doctor diagnosis of COVID-19 without being tested to 781-786-5030

COVID-19 infections and deaths continue to rise in Massachusetts and across the country. We all need to work together and be even more vigilant about staying at home and practicing physical distancing and proper hygiene in order to reduce the spread. We understand the frustration and are greatly appreciative of the cooperation for the greater good.


Mental, Health and Human Services

During this uncertain time, anxiety may be on the rise or other issues may be surfacing that create even more uncertainty and questions. Massachusetts residents are urged to use Mass 211 for information, resources, referrals, and questions 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. This free resource is always confidential and maintains the integrity of the 9-1-1 system, saving that vital community resource for life and death emergencies.


Additional COVID-19 Information

AlertsMA is a new messaging too that allows residents to subscribe to real-time notifications by texting the keyword COVIDMA to 888-777. After signing up, state and public health officials can send short messages and links to information directly to a resident’s cell phone or other mobile device.
 
The following websites are also recommended for additional information: 


Weston’s Response to COVID-19 Developments

Fire Chief David Soar, Weston’s Emergency Management Director, sent out a WestonAlert today with the following message regarding Town Government Services as it relates to the growing COVID-19 public health crisis. Because of the serious nature and rapid spread of the disease, Weston’s government has been scaled back to only essential services so that we can focus on the severity of the situation for the well-being of all who live and work here. We realize this may come as an inconvenience, but town officials are working hard to meet the needs of the town while balancing the health and safety of residents, themselves, and their families. We greatly appreciate all residents working together for the greater good of our community during this difficult time. 

Additionally:

  • Town Officials and Emergency Management meet frequently throughout the week
  • The next two weeks allow for only emergency government operations, with the exception of two Town projects that are continuing under approved conditions. This will continue to be monitored
  • The Select Board voted to postpone May Annual Town Election and the May Annual Town Meeting. New dates to be determined 
  • updates will continue to be posted to Weston.org/Covid19 and sent via email/text through Town News and Public Safety News. Current schedule is Mon., Wed. & Fri.
  • We recommend residents take a few moments to review their notification options for WestonAlerts, the Town’s official emergency notification system. Please visit Weston.org/WestonAlerts to sign into your account and set your preferences for notifications


Status of Weston’s Municipal Buildings and Grounds (including Regis College)

Town Hall

  • the building is closed to the public, only essential staff is on site and as necessary
  • email is the best method to reach a department, see the Staff Directory for assistance
  • certain government board/committee meetings have moved to an online meeting platform and instructions are detailed at Weston.org/Meetings as to how residents can participate
  • Weston Media Center is working with Town Hall administration to provide recordings of online meetings
  • the Land Use/Building Department is closed except for emergency building inspections
  • the Health Department is essential staff focused solely on COVID-19 and is closed to non-emergency inspections
  • the Town Clerk is available for limited services, email davenport.d@westonmass.org
  • Visit Online Services on the Town’s website to view bill paying options
  • call 781-786-5000 to reach a department to leave a voicemail message but keep in mind that email is best

Weston Public Schools

  • are currently closed through April and have successfully moved to online classes
  • all School grounds and courts are CLOSED to public access, this will be enforced
  • School updates will be posted to WestonSchools.org and sent out through the Weston Public Schools’ email notification system

Transfer Station: only open on Tuesdays and Saturdays

  • Hours are from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Brush Dump opens April 11th
  • the Swap Shed and other donation bins are closed to reduce contamination
  • if too many vehicles are on site, cars will be held at the entrance until numbers clear
  • these precautions are being taken to reduce the potential of community spread and to protect the health of staff and residents

Department of Public Works

  • the DPW building is closed to the public and emergency response teams are in place, call 781-786-5100 to leave a voicemail, call 781-786-6201 for after hour emergencies
  • the Water Division will continue weekly sampling, meter reading, and DigSafe mark-outs
  • MWRA drinking water continues to be safe and will continue to be reliably provided, see MWRA press release
  • the Highway Division will operate for specific necessities
  • the Annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection held in April has been postponed until later in the year 

Fire and Police stations

  • buildings are staffed and doors are locked. Residents are encouraged to minimize physical visits to only essential business
  • DO NOT visit if you are exhibiting flu-like symptoms or are feeling run-down, please call in advance. This is to protect the health of the town’s first-responders

The Council on Aging at the Community Center

  • The Community Center is closed
  • Essential COA staff and social workers are checking voicemail and email regularly throughout the business day. Call 781-786-6280 or email westoncoa@westonmass.org for assistance
  • The Emergency Reserve Corps is working with COA staff to help residents with groceries or pharmacy
  • Meals on Wheels delivery will continue for now, as usual
  • Please visit the COA status web page at Weston.org/COA for further information and updates

The Recreation Department at the Community Center

  • The Community Center is closed
  • all spring programs that begin prior to June 1 have been cancelled, see the latest Recreation Happenings for further details
  • the Annual Egg Hunt has been cancelled
  •  summer programs are currently being planned; however, registration has been suspended. See the latest Recreation Happenings for further details

Weston Public Library and AIC

  • are closed until further notice in keeping with local/federal directives
  • Do not return borrowed materials to the Library 
  • the digital library is always available and Librarians are offering support to patrons who need help using digital resources. Visit the Library website WestonLibrary.org for details
  • The Weston AIC is working with professionals in the medical and tech communities to offer our services and equipment. We will provide assistance as able and directed. If we need assistance from the public, we will send out word. Thank you to those who have reached out asking how to help

Brook School Apartments

  • All social gatherings and events within the buildings are cancelled and until further notice
  • Outside visitors and being asked to limit in-person visits to only necessity
  • tennis courts are closed

Municipal, Recreation, School, and Regis College playgrounds, parks and fields

  • All playgrounds in Weston are closed until further notice
  • All Weston Public School fields and grounds are closed to the public and trespassing will be enforced
  • All Regis College athletics facilities—indoor and outdoor, including the track, fields, and tennis courts – are closed and the campus and all buildings are closed to the public
  • Municipal and Recreation parks and fields may be accessed by individuals and people from the same household to get fresh air and general exercise. Maintain at minimum a 6-foot distance when others are present and follow recommended public hygiene of hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes. 
  • Group activities are prohibited, including but not limited to practices, games, clinics or informal "pickup" activities, even if less than 10 in number

Outdoor Group Activities Are Prohibited

This includes sports practices, games, clinics or informal "pickup" activities, even if less than 10 in number. Despite School Grounds being closed to the public and Recreational Fields limited to household family exercise only, prohibited group activities continue in Weston’s parks and fields. Following Sec. 5 of Gov. Baker’s Executive Order issued this week, Weston Police Department is authorized to begin issuing fines up to $300 per infraction. We are asking residents to please help keep these activities from occurring. If you SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING - call 781-786-6201.


Volunteers Needed for the Emergency Reserve Corps

Weston’s Emergency Reserve Corps (WERC) is seeking volunteers to help the community respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Find more information and a downloadable application on the Town’s website. WERC reports to Weston’s Board of Health and is the town’s chapter of the Medical Reserve Corps, a nationwide network of medical and non-medical volunteers who are alerted to opportunities to help in their communities and beyond.
Assistance could take many forms, from participating in virtual call centers, to picking up medications for those who shouldn’t leave their house, to supporting drive-through testing centers or other initiatives. That said, there is never a requirement to assist or to fill a role beyond one’s capabilities, and no previous experience or training is necessary. Contact Rudy Ruggles, WERC Chair, with any questions.  


If You Need to Physically Visit a Public Building

  • DO NOT leave your house if you are feeling ill or are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms
  • frequently wash your hands (at least 20 second with soapy hot water)
  • use hand sanitizer as alternative
  • cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, which should be disposed of in a sanitary manner as soon as possible
  • maintain personal space of 6-feet or more
  • DO NOT touch your face, eyes, or mouth

Visit Weston.org/Health for additional information and facts on how the virus spreads, personal precautions you can take, and what is considered high and low risk

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