Coronavirus Guidance - May 29, 2020

Coronavirus Guidance - May 29, 2020COVID-19

 

New Announcement(s)

May 27, 2020

Halifax has been informed that there are now 73 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19, up 12 from a week ago. This includes 61 recovered, 7 in isolation, and 5 deaths.

May 20, 2020

Halifax has been informed that there are now 61 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19. This includes 33 recovered, 23 in isolation, and 5 deaths.

May 15, 2020

Halifax has been informed that there are now 44 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19. This includes 31 recovered, 8 in isolation, and 5 deaths. The fifth death occurred on May 14 with a resident in their 80s. The Town is not providing the name of the deceased as it feels that it is up to the family to decide when and if to release this information.

May 11, 2020

Halifax has been informed that there are now 38 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19. This includes 30 recovered, 4 in isolation, and 4 deaths. The fourth death occurred on May 10 with a resident in their 80s. The Town is not providing the name of the deceased as it feels that it is up to the family to decide when and if to release this information.

May 3, 2020

More information about the Massachusetts COVID-19 Contact Tracing program is available

April 30, 2020

Halifax has been informed that there are now 34 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19. This includes 24 recovered, 7 in isolation, and 3 deaths. The third death occurred on April 27 with a resident in their 70s. The Town is not providing the name of the deceased as it feels that it is up to the family to decide when and if to release this information.

April 28, 2020

Halifax has been informed that there are now 30 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19. The Town's totals are now 30 positive including 24 recovered, 4 in isolation, and 2 deaths.

April 27, 2020

Halifax has been informed that there are now 29 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19. Unfortunately, this count now includes a second death. A resident of Halifax, age in the 60s, who was at a hospital in another community, died due to COVID-19 and other factors on Friday, April 24. That is the second reported fatality for Halifax due to COVID-19. The Town is not providing the name of the deceased as it feels that it is up to the family to decide when and if to release this information. The Town's total are now 29 positive, 13 recovered, 14 in isolation, and 2 deaths.

April 24, 2020

Halifax has been informed that there are now 27 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19. Of those, 13 are listed as recovered, 13 remain in isolation, and there has been one death.

April 23, 2020

Halifax has been informed that there are now 26 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19. Of those, 13 are listed as recovered, 12 remain in isolation, and there has been one death.

April 21, 2020

All public schools, including those in the Silver Lake Regional School District, are closed for the rest of the school year.

April 17, 2020

Halifax has been informed that there are now 24 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19. Of those, 13 are listed as recovered, 10 remain in isolation, and there has been one death.

April 15, 2020

Halifax has been informed that there are now 23 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Overview

Recently, a new coronavirus—2019 Novel (New) Coronavirus—was detected in Wuhan, China. This novel coronavirus causes a respiratory (lung) infection.

There are a number of presumptive and/or confirmed positive cases of this novel coronavirus, now called COVID-19, in Massachusetts. According to the Department of Public Health, these cases occurred in a variety of settings and locations.

According to the Center of Disease Control, current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. 

Halifax Response

Town of Halifax - COVID-19 FAQ

Town of Halifax - Isolation and Quarantine

The due date for the property tax bill is now June 1, 2020. There is a temporary waiver of penalties and interest on late payments. Detailed announcement.

Public schools in the Silver Lake Regional School District including Halifax Elementary School, Silver Lake Middle School, and Silver Lake High School are closed for the rest of the school year.

Pope's Tavern, the Council on Aging center, will be closed indefinitely to the public. Services will continue to be provided. The Halifax Council on Aging announced that if anyone would like to donate non-perishable food items and toiletries for the seniors they can be dropped off in the bins on the porch of the Council on Aging/Pope's Tavern. Our hope is that we won’t need an abundance of these items but if we do we want to be prepared. If these items that we are collecting do not get used and things get back to normal they will be donated to the Food Pantry in Halifax.

The Holmes Public Library is now providing curbside pickup service and the book drop is now open.

The Halifax Town Hall and Water Department will be closed to the public indefinitely. Services will be provided as possible via e-mail, telephone, and drop box, as much as possible. Meetings will continue to be held (the public will be able to attend via electronic means if the meetings are not being held in an actual physical venue).

The date of the Annual Town Meeting has been changed from Monday, May 11, 2020 to Monday, June 15, 2020 and the date of the Annual Town Election has been changed from Saturday, May 16, 2020 to Saturday, June 20, 2020.

The Recycling Center will be open starting on May 20 with modified hours and specific protocols for employees and residents to follow.  Curbside trash and recycling collection continue on their normal schedules. The next bulky waste pickup on Thursday, May 21 with a registration deadline of Thursday, May 7 at 2pm. The re-start of the "pink bag" pick-up service through Simple Recycling has been delayed. When a new re-start date has been determined it will be posted. Waste Management, the company that provides the Town's curbside trash collection service, has requested that you properly tie-up your Town trash bags. As we continue to protect the workers who provide vital trash collection service in Halifax during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are kindly asking that you ensure that all trash bags are properly sealed to prevent contents from spilling.

The Town has organized a Halifax COVID-19 Task Force including the Board of Selectmen and department heads and representatives including public health, public safety, public works, social and resident services, schools, and administration. It has and will continue to meet on an as-needed basis. The Town continues to monitor information sent out by the Centers for Disease Control and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Custodial staff in municipal buildings have increased the frequency of cleaning the buildings, common areas, and surfaces and objects used by the public and the Town’s employees. The Silver Lake Regional School District, including the Halifax Elementary School, has taken a number of measures to prevent infections. The District is working with its building principals, school nurses, the school physician, local boards of health and government agencies on a daily basis to provide guidance and to implement safeguards.  

The Silver Lake Regional School District has taken measures such as:

  • Custodial and school staff have increased cleaning and disinfecting of common surfaces, including desktops, door handles, counter-tops, and railings.
  • The District’s buses and vans are cleaned and disinfected on a daily basis following the department of health guidance

School lunches -

Silver Lake Regional School District Food Services is pleased to be offering FREE meals Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays during the school closure. We will be providing TWO lunches and TWO breakfasts per child on Mondays and Wednesdays, and ONE lunch and ONE BREAKFAST per child on Fridays. ANY child ages 0-21 may receive meals. Meals will be available for pick up at Silver Lake Regional Middle School and Halifax Elementary School between 11:30 am-12:30 pm.

If you would like to start picking up meals, please contact Megan Ahrenholz, Food Service Director, at 781-582-3556 or [email protected] so we can make sure to prepare enough for everyone!

You may also place an order on the NutriSlice app or online at https://slrsd.nutrislice.com/menu .

All lunches and breakfasts include fresh fruit & milk, and all lunches include fresh veggies

To pick up a meal, simply arrive at the school during the designated pick up times and tell the worker how many children you have.You can then open the trunk or a side door from inside your vehicle, or roll down a window of an unoccupied seat in your vehicle and the worker will place the meals inside.

Thank you and we look forward to serving you!

*Menu subject to change without notice

The Town recommends that residents and visitors not use the HOPS Playground, the playground by the tennis courts, or the playground at the intersection of Holmes Street and Annawon Drive as with the number of participants involved, these areas are places where the virus could be transmitted from person to person, including those in vulnerable populations. Similarly, the various sports programs, including basketball, baseball, soccer, and softball, are not in operation at this time.

While the public has limited access to the Fire Department and Fire Station, the Department continues to accept applications for burn permits.

If you need copies of records or reports from the Police Department, the Department has the necessary forms in the lobby at the Station and a receiving box in which to leave them. Until further notice residents cannot drop off prescription drugs at the Halifax Police Department Prescription Drugs drop off kiosk. This is being done out of an abundance of caution as the Police Department is trying to minimize foot traffic at the Station.

Septic systems - Even if the sanitary wipes you are using indicate that they are "flushable", the recommendation is not to flush them, even into septic systems, as they tend to clog them up, later or sooner. Now is not the time to have a septic system back up into your house, or to need an emergency visit from a plumber or septic tank pumping company.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/20/us/wipes-flush-toilet-pipes-wellness-trnd/index.html

Building/wiring/plumbing/gas inspections - Procedures have changed.

Cemetery and Highway Department offices closed - services being provided

Positive Cases in Halifax - 73 as of May 27, 2020

Halifax has been informed that there are now 73 residents (as of May 27) who have tested positive for COVID-19, up 12 from a week ago (as of May 20). This includes 61 recovered, 7 in isolation, and 5 deaths. The fifth death occurred on May 14 with a resident in their 80s. The Town is not providing the name of the deceased as it feels that it is up to the family to decide when and if to release this information. The five deaths are:

1) A resident, age in the 70s, who was living in a senior care facility in another community, who died on Wednesday, April 8

2) A resident, age in the 60s, who was at a hospital in another community, who died on Friday, April 24 due to COVID-19 and other factors

3) A resident, age in the 70s, who was at a hospital in another community, who died on Monday, April 27 due to COVID-19 and other factors

4) A resident, age in the 80s, who died on Sunday, May 10 due to COVID-19

5) A resident, age in the 80s, who died on Thursday, May 14 due to COVID-19

Due top privacy requirements, the demographics of these cases will remain anonymous. The close contacts of the positive case have been notified and are following CDC guidelines for self-quarantine. Other contacts are still being investigated. With increased testing capabilities and community spread of COVID-19, having positive cases in Town was inevitable. This is a crucial time in infection control. Maintaining social distancing, limiting exposure to others, avoiding crowded places, and vigilant handwashing are vital steps in slowing the spread of this disease.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) continues to work closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), other Federal agencies and our local Board of Health to share the most up to date information available. The DPH website is updated constantly with the latest guidance, including printable fact sheets in multiple languages at www.mass.gov/2019coronavirus. Information about coronavirus, the virus that causes COVID-19 can be found at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health website, by calling 2-1-1 or visiting https://mass211.org/ where citizens are able to live chat with a person.

The CDC website is https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

The Town will continue to share information to ensure you are updated as broadly and quickly as possible. Please continue social distancing and personal hygiene efforts.
 

Massachusetts’ Response

Report from COVID-19 Response Command Center - May 28, 2020

More information about the Massachusetts COVID-19 Contact Tracing program is available.

On April 17th, the Baker-Polito administration published a press release outlining the Commonwealth’s strategy to address homelessness during the COVID-19 outbreak. For individuals outside Boston, please NOTE THAT THIS NUMBER HAS CHANGED: call 617-367-5150. More information about these initiatives is available on the State's COVID web site.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is working closely with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide updated information as it becomes available.

Massachusetts is prepared for this potential outbreak. Massachusetts public health departments and our world-class health care providers are well-versed in emergency preparedness and our healthcare workers, institutions and public health partners across the Commonwealth are constantly training for the possible emergence of diseases.

On Tuesday, March 10, Governor Charlie Baker declared a State of Emergency. This declaration allows the State government to take quick actions to alleviate and respond to this situation. Other orders have been proclaimed since then.

Buoy Health Care Tool - check your symptoms and connect with the next appropriate health care resource

Guidance on boat ramps

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, local Boards of Health, and Partners in Health, a Boston-based international medical charity with more than 30 years of experience in global health, are running a "contact tracing" program in Massachusetts. In this program, staff reaches out to everyone who tested positive for the coronavirus and people who have been in contact with anyone who tests positive for the coronavirus.

The staff will NOT ask for the following information:

Social security number or Health insurance information

If someone claims to be a contact tracer and asks for this information, do not provide it.

For more information about the program, visit: https://www.mass.gov/lists/covid-19-contact-tracing-resources-and-information

Recommendations

Residents are advised to take many of the same steps they do to help prevent colds and the flu, including:

  • Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes and face.
  • Clean things that are frequently touched (like doorknobs and countertops) with household cleaning spray or wipes.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
  • Stay home when feeling sick.
  • Stay informed.

At-risk populations including older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease should follow the additional recommendations from the CDC concerning what actions they should take.

Clinicians who have patients they think may have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 must contact DPH via the 24/7 EPI line (617-983-6800).

The State Lab has an adequate supply of test kits from the CDC for testing. The anticipated turnaround of test results from the State Lab is 24 hours but may be more, depending on testing volume.

Individuals who are in voluntary self-quarantine continue to be monitored by their local boards of health. As of Thursday, March 12, 2020, there are none so far in Halifax

People who have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19 and who have symptoms of the disease (fever, cough, shortness of breath) should reach out to their healthcare provider and call ahead before going to a healthcare facility.

Federal Resources

For the most up to date information, please see the information below:

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has created a website updated constantly with the latest guidance, including printable fact sheets in multiple languages. Visit: http://www.mass.gov/2019coronavirus

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has an interim guidance for employers: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

Contact the Town of Halifax

If you need to contact the Town about the Town's programs and services and COVID-19 here are phone numbers:

Board of Health    781-293-6768
Board of Selectmen    781-294-1316
Building Inspector    781-293-6557
Collector (pay bills)    781-294-8381
Fire Department    781-293-1751
Highway Department    791-293-1761
Holmes Public Library    781-293-2271
Police Department    781-294-8713
Town Clerk    781-293-1727
Water Department    781-293-1733

You can also check the listing of all departments and boards and committees.