Update: Wednesday, April 8th – 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
- Social Distance = Physical Distance, and it can save lives
- Resources for mental health, family members in nursing homes, and social isolation
- Weston’s cases (these numbers represent town residents only)
- Scams, because we don’t have enough to worry about apparently
- Update on Town Departments: Leo J. Martin is closed (stop golfing folks), get ready for the "I Spy" egg hunt this Saturday, and AIC-at-home while you read poetry
Weston Fire Chief David Soar, Director of Emergency Management, delivered an alert on Monday regarding an anticipated surge in the number of COVID-19 cases over the next few weeks. Weston’s Emergency Management team is asking all residents to continue staying at home as much as possible, unless it is for essential items such as food or medicine. If you need to venture out, please wear a mask, wash your hands before leaving, maintain a 6-foot distance, and wash your hands immediately upon returning home. If you are going outside for fresh air and exercise, please do so with your own immediate family and maintain a 6-foot distance from others. We know staying at home is becoming increasingly difficult but do know you are doing your part to keep the community safe and healthy. Lastly, if you have arrived to town from any out of state travel or if you have been advised by your physician that you may have Covid-19 but are not going to be tested, please call 781-786-5030 and report to the Board of Health for assistance.
Social Distancing = PHYSICAL Distancing, and it can save lives
We understand that staying at home is becoming increasingly difficult, but this helps keep the community safe and healthy. If you are not observing a 6-foot physical distance when in public, indoors or out, then do so. It’s not about your convenience, it’s about other people’s lives. Every child and adult needs to maintain at least a 6-foot physical distance from someone outside their household, especially now as we face a surge of cases. Weston does not have a large population. Stay away from enclosed public spaces, unless it is absolutely necessary (such as the grocery store or pharmacy), and avoid close encounters in an outdoor setting.
The CDC is reporting that people can be contagious 48-hours in advance of exhibiting symptoms. It is also recommending the use of face masks when out in public. Here is an easy-sew tutorial for a homemade mask, if you are looking for one, or if you cannot sew the Surgeon General demonstrates how to make one with items from around the house.
IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND: YOU MAY NOT FEEL SICK BUT YOU COULD BE CONTAGIOUS.
- most people who contract COVID-19 may have very mild symptoms or none at all initially but are still contagious and can infect another person
- someone’s life could be put at risk if they contract COVID-19 (over 12,754 Americans have lost their life to this disease in only five weeks)
- Social Distancing is the 6-foot physical space that is recommended because it reduces the spread of the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease
- Minimizing the spread of COVID-19 not only keeps our community safe, it 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 - and isolate yourself:
If you begin to exhibit symptoms, CALL your healthcare provider for instructions.
Social Isolation, Maintaining Emotional Health & Helping Neighbors, Nursing Home Help
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.
Riverside Emergency Services has clinicians that provide support over the phone for those who may be struggling with sadness, worry, parental or caregiver stress, etc. Call 781-769-8674 if you need support during this anxious time.
The state has set up a Nursing Home Family Resource Line, which will connect family members of nursing home and rest home residents with the information and resources they need. This resource was created so that family and community members have one central contact that they can reach out to if they have questions or concerns about the care their loved one is receiving during the COVID-19 outbreak. The line is staffed from 9:00 – 5:00 p.m. seven days a week. Staff will coordinate across state agencies to help callers find answers to their questions. Call 617-660-5399.
Updated COVID-19 Info & Guidance Resources
Weston's Board of Health web page has been updated to include additional information for residents to better understand and deal with the COVID-19 public health emergency. Please visit Weston.org/Health to access these resources.
Additional COVID-19 Resources, include:
Cases in Weston
With the assistance of the Weston Emergency Reserve Corps and the Weston School nurses, Weston’s Health Department is following:
- 45 Weston residents positive for COVID-19
- 165 Weston residents who are being monitored daily
- All individuals are under a mandatory 14-day quarantine
- Call 781-786-5030 if you have a doctor diagnosis of COVID-19 without being tested
- Call 781-786-5030 if you have arrived to town from foreign or domestic travel
A surge in cases is anticipated over the next few weeks in Massachusetts and across the country. Weston is not a big town, so we all need to work together and be even more vigilant about staying at home and practicing physical distancing and increased hygiene in order to reduce the spread. We understand the frustration and are greatly appreciative of the cooperation for the greater good.
If You Need to Leave Your House to Visit a Public Space
- DO NOT leave your house if you are feeling ill or are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms
- wear a mask - even a handmade one will work (be sure to remove it safely and wash it so as not to contaminate yourself)
- 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.
Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Donations
If you have N95 masks, construction masks, or other unused PPE that you want to donate to area hospitals, please drop them off at Weston’s Fire Department Headquarters in the Town Center (394 Boston Post Road).Leave them outside in the plastic bin by the front lobby and they will be collected. Thank you in advance for your donation.
Scams Amid COVID-19
The Weston Police Department is warning residents to be wary of scams related to COVID-19 and recommends reading this article regarding the IRS stimulus check scam and the FTC’s avoiding scams advice on its website.
Key Points of a Public Health Emergency
Due to the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus that causes the highly contagious and potentially fatal COVID-19 respiratory disease, Weston is in a State of Emergency as of March 17th
, following the Massachusetts declaration on March 10th
, and the Federal declaration on March 13th. So, what does this mean for Weston? It means the health and safety of the Weston community is of utmost importance and a lot of time and energy is being spent to ensure it.
To find the latest information on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the CDC’s website
or the state’s website
- Both agencies update their websites daily. COVID-19 Facts
- know the facts to stop the rumors.
You can also help prevent the spread by washing your hands frequently, avoid touching your face, maintaining a 6-foot personal space, cover coughs/sneezes, and to stay at home as much as you can.
Weston’s Response to COVID-19 Developments
Including Updates on Town Departments and Regis College
- Town Officials and Emergency Management meet frequently throughout the week and updates will be posted to Weston.org/Covid19 and sent via email/text through Town News and Public Safety News on Mon., Wed., and Fri.
- only essential government operations are in place and two major Town projects that are continuing under approved conditions. This will continue to be monitored and many employees are working remotely and via email
- 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 notification
- the building is closed to the public, only essential staff is on site and only 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 on the meeting agendas as to how residents can participate
- Weston Media Center is working with Town Hall administration to provide recordings of certain 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 email@example.com
- 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 & Saturdays, Brush Dump Opens April 11th
- Transfer Station Hours are from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- Brush Dump for yard waste is open April 11, 18, 25 and May 2 from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
- the Swap Shed and other donation bins are closed to reduce contamination
- if too many vehicles are on site at the transfer station, cars will be held at the entrance until numbers clear. Tuesdays currently have fewer visitors whereas Saturdays are busy
- Reduced days has been implemented to reduce the potential of community spread and to protect the health of staff and residents
Conservation Land/Trails - Mandatory Leashing in Effect & Cat Rock is Closed to out-of-town Visitors
- People walking with dogs on Weston’s trails must keep their dogs leashed in order to avoid coming into close physical space with another trail user. This is for EVERYONE’S protection from potential infection from a close encounter with others
- If a parking lot is full, that most likely means the trails are busy. Find an alternate trail to help maintain safe physical space or visit when the trails are less busy. Visit Weston.org/Trails or WestonForestTrail.org for maps
- Observe No Parking signs - No parking signs have been placed along roadways and portions of some parking lots have been cordoned off to limit the total number of visitors. This is for everyone’s safety.
- Leave No Trace - pick up and properly dispose of your dog’s waste and anything else you bring with you. If there is no trash barrel at the trailhead or if the barrel is full, please take it home.
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 but 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance
- Check out the virtual programming offerings
- 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
Weston Public Library and AIC
- are closed until further notice in keeping with local/federal directives; however, 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
- Have you seen our Librarians online? Check out the virtual storytimes and Poetry Month selections at Facebook.com/WestonLibrary
- Do not return borrowed materials to the Library
- The Weston AIC is offering AIC-at-Home, #keepcalmandmakeart
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, and MassDCR playgrounds, parks, and fields
- All playgrounds in Weston are closed until further notice
- the Leo J. Martin public golf course is closed until further notice
- All Weston Public School fields and grounds are closed to the public and trespassing will be enforced by fines
- 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.
- Dogs must be leashed at all times (this bit has not changed)
Outdoor Group Activities Are Prohibited - Thank You for Your Cooperation
The order 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, we were seeing prohibited group activities continue in Weston’s parks and fields. Thank you for your continued cooperation as we head into the anticipated surge.
We are all a part of this community and we are asking for everyone’s help and cooperation so we can keep our treasured trails open and safe for everyone.
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. There is never a requirement to assist or to fill a role beyond one’s capabilities, and no previous experience or training is necessary. Find more information and a downloadable application on the Town’s website. Contact Rudy Ruggles, WERC Chair, with any questions.
Please consider sharing this email with others in the community. We are all in this together.