Coronavirus: 3/13/20 Town Update

TO: Residents
FROM: Board of Selectman, Board of Health, Emergency Management
DATE: March 13, 2020

The Board of Selectman, Board of Health and Emergency Management team are committed to working with the public by providing information, guidelines as well as guidance during the Covid-19 virus outbreak.

Our goal is to put procedures in place to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. This will be an ongoing effort as information comes to us daily and sometimes hours. We respectfully encourage you to carefully read and practice these guidelines.

TOWN HALL
At this time, we encourage town residents to call ahead of time before going to the Town Hall.

  • Town Hall Phone Number is: (413) 848-4279 and extensions are as follows:
  • Board of Health – 401; Town Administrator – 502; Board of Selectman – 206; Assessor’s – 200; Building Inspector – 305; Dog Officer – 308; Highway – 301; Library – 700; Planning Board – 207; Police Dept. – 302; Tax Collector – 101; Town Clerk – 203; Treasurer – 102; Water Dept. – 304; Zoning Board – 204

Note that if you are going to the Town Hall to pay taxes, you will be directed to drop payments in the drop box outside the building.

There will be no public access through the purple doors WITHOUT prior authorization from the department you are doing business with.

  • Call ahead of time to confirm the department personnel is available – most situations can be handled over the phone or via email.
  • You will be required to sign in.

BOARD & COMMITTEE MEETINGS

  • Call ahead of time to confirm that meeting is being held
  • Refer to our website for up to date cancellations
  • Instead of attending a meeting, consider addressing the board/committee by emailing your questions, concerns or complaints so that they can be addressed during the meeting. The board/committee will respond with a follow up email or phone call.

There will be no usage of the gym for public use at this time.

COA transportation for residents who have cold/flu like symptoms cannot be transported, including doctor’s appointments.

SCHOOLS
In an attempt to keep our community ‘in the loop’ regarding responses to the Coronavirus threat, School Superintendent David Hopson, Ed.D., will be informing parents with updates.

  • While we have cancelled school for students
  • At this time, we have no verification that anyone in our schools has been directly exposed to Coronavirus so no quarantine is currently justified.

PROTECTING YOURSELF
There is currently no vaccine to prevent the Covid-19 virus. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person:

  • People who are in close contact with one another – within 6 ft.
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • Older adults and people with underlying chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or diabetes seem to be at higher risk and develop a more serious complication. We urge you to speak with your health care provider with concerns you may have.
  • Protect yourself:
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 30 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands, rub in between your fingers, hands, wrists.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick – put distance between you and other people especially if Covid-19 comes to the community.
    • Stay home if you are sick.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow; throw away the tissues in the trash; immediately wash your hands and/or sanitize your hands.
    • If you are sick, wear a face mask when you are out with other people and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office.
    • If you are not able to wear a facemask because it causes trouble breathing, then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter the room.
    • If you are not sick you do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick.

CLEAN & DISINFECT
Clean and disinfect touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets faucets, and sinks.

  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them – use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • Most common household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface.
  • Diluting your household bleach: 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water (follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation.
  • DO NOT MIX household BLEACH with AMNONIA or any other cleaner.
  • Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronavirus when properly diluted.
  • Use alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol.

ASSISTANCE
Should you have a medical emergency, DIAL 911.

Should you become isolated and need assistance, DIAL 211. Millions of people contact 211 every year for help with food, housing, healthcare expenses and more. 211 conversations are confidential and can be made anonymous.

Again, these goals and guidelines are implemented to help safe guard you from the Covid-19 virus. Our plan is to provide public awareness and by working together in building a strong community. If you have any questions, concerns, or ideas, contact the Board of Health at by email here or by phone at (413) 848-4279, extension 401. We thank you for your ongoing support during this time.

Coronavirus: 3/5/20 CDC Health Risk Update

TO: Travelers
FROM: Blandford Board of Health
DATE: March 5, 2020
RE: Traveler’s Health Risk – Covid-19

CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to:
• South Korea
• People’s Republic of China (this does not include Hong Kong, Macau, or the island of Taiwan)
• Italy
• Venezuela: The country is experiencing outbreaks of infectious diseases, and adequate health care is currently not available in most of the country.
• Iran

KEY POINTS
• There is a widespread community transmission of respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in these areas.
• Older adults and people with chronic medical conditions may be at increased risk for severe disease.
• Travelers should avoid contact with sick people and clean their hands often by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%–95% alcohol.
• Travelers should stay home for 14 days after returning to the United States and practice social distancing.
• Travelers that are sick with fever, cough, or have trouble breathing should call ahead before seeking medical care

CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) recommends travelers practice enhanced precautions traveling to:
• Japan is experiencing sustained community spread of respiratory illness caused by the novel (new) coronavirus. Older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel.

CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) recommends travelers practice usual precautions:
• The ongoing outbreak of respiratory illness has spread to Hong Kong.

Small Bridge Replacement Schedule on Gore Road and North Blandford Road – EXPECT CLOSURE AND DELAYS

Construction for the super structure replacement of two small bridges (Gore Rd. Bridge and North Blandford Rd. Bridge – both over the Tiffany Brook) in town is scheduled to begin in April 2020. We ask residents and other commuters that often travel these roads to expect closure and delays, therefore we urge the public to plan your commute ahead.

This project is made possible through the Commonwealth’s Municipal Small Bridge grant program that provides aid to municipalities for the replacement and preservation of municipally-owned small bridges.

The following is an approximate timeline of tasks we can expect in the coming months:
Read More →