Town of Upton COVID-19 Updates and Precautions

COVID 19 Updates, Precautions, and Resources for Residents and Employees
covid

March 28, 2020

The hub for all Town of Upton Covid-19 news, updates and resources -  www.uptonma.gov/covid-19

COVID 19 Updates, Precautions, and Resources for Residents and Employees 

March 26, 2020  

Town’s First Positive Case of COVID-19 Reported

The Town of Upton has been notified by the Department of Public Health of the Town’s first positive case of COVID-19. Press Release.

Virtual Meetings

All committee and board virtual meetings are recorded.  A link to the recording will be posted to the respective webpage under minutes as soon as possible to be viewed publicly. The virtual meetings of the ZBA, Board of Selectmen, Finance Committee, Planning Board and Conservation Commission held during the past week have been posted to each Board or Committee webpage.

If, despite our best efforts, our technological capabilities do not adequately support public access to virtual or remote meetings, the Town of Upton will ensure that an audio or video recording, transcript, or other comprehensive record of the proceedings at the meeting is posted on the Town's website as soon as possible after the meeting.

March 23, 2020  

ESSENTIAL SERVICES

Businesses that are NOT covered under current guidance can submit an online request to be designated as essential for the purposes of the Emergency Order: Essential Service Designation request.

TOWN OPERATIONS

As of Tuesday, March 24th at noon until Tuesday, April 7th at noon all Town buildings are closed to the public; all Town offices that do not provide “Essential Services” will continue operations remotely.  

Town Hall

Closed  to the public

Closed - will continue operations remotely 

Council on Aging - 508.529.4558

Closed - will continue operations remotely

  • Staff is available via phone to provide assistance with heat and SHINE/Health Insurance; grocery shopping and picking up prescriptions, transportation for medical appointments and grocery shopping by appointment only
  • AARP Tax Aide Program canceled indefinitely
  • Accepting donations for the food pantry: peanut butter, crackers, multigrain cereals, canned meats, powdered milk, canned vegetables, tissues, paper towels, toilet paper, pull up briefs, trash bags, hand soap, body wipes, bottled water. Contact the Center and leave a message to arrange a drop off time
  • Emotional support for anyone struggling during these difficult times 

Public Library

Closed - will continue operations remotely

Public Safety Buildings and DPW

Closed to the public

DPW: 508.529.3067; Police: 508.529.3200; Fire: 508.529.3421

Emergency 911

Inspections 

Code Enforcement - Inspections have been suspended thru April 7.

Fire Department - Smoke – Co Inspections have been suspended for the next 90 days.

Stay-at-Home Advisory effective until Tuesday, April 7

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and state health officials will issue a stay-at-home advisory effective until Tuesday, April 7.

Baker also ordered the closure of non-essential businesses, starting at noon Tuesday. This order will also expire on April 7. Examples of essential organizations and employees include healthcare, law enforcement, food manufacturers, grocers, utilities, transportation and public works.

March 20, 2020  

Public Works - 508.529.3067

Don’t Flush “Flushable” WipesItems marketed as “flushable” do not degrade like toilet paper and eventually clog pipes.This includes paper towels, tissues and any other paper product. These can cause the sewer system to back up. There have been reports of wipes clogging sewer pumps, so please refrain from flushing wipes – wipes clog pipes!

Fire Department - 508.529.3200

Smoke – Co Inspections have been suspended for the next 90 days.

Council on Aging - 508.529.4558

Staff is available for grocery shopping and picking up prescriptions, transportation for medical appointments and grocery shopping by appointment only.

Staff is available to provide emotional support for anyone struggling during these difficult times.

March 19, 2020    

Milford Hospital  COVID-19 Screening Tool

Milford Hospital Medical Center has developed a screening tool that allows a person to receive a call from a health professional who will direct the person to the proper evaluation and/or testing site if appropriate.

Inspections - Code Enforcement

Code Enforcement will continue to do inspections on unoccupied construction projects. Video inspections will be allowed per 780 CMR R104.4 and 780 CMR 104.4. 

No final inspections except on an unoccupied building. Open hole, footing, foundation wall and foundation drains inspections will be handled as usual. We will accept pictures via email for small projects. Officials will process permits either online or by way of USPS.

All inspections will be up to the discretion of the Patrick Roche, Building Commissioner. Kindly direct all calls to the main number (508) 529-2633. Office is staffed M-F only.

AFTER HOURS EMERGENCIES call the Commissioner @ 508-250-3124. Please refrain from using this number for any routine questions or requests for inspections.

Thank you for your patience in these trying times of this pandemic.

March 18, 2020  

Steps the Town is Taking

Daily news about the novel coronavirus pandemic is concerning to many, the well-being of our residents and our employees is a priority. Health and safety are the top urgencies and at the heart of every decision the Town makes. Here are some of the steps the Town is taking to protect everyone in this ever-evolving situation.

The Board of Selectmen in consultation with the Board of Health declared a local state of emergency to maintain continuity of government and ensure that the Town can meet the needs of the public.

During this emergency all boards and committees are now authorized the use of remote participation to ensure all group members can directly and productively participate in meetings.

Buildings are closed to the public, but our dedicated teams are available to answer any questions about our daily operations and services during normal working hours. 

We are diligently following guidance and best practices from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

We have increased our daily cleaning routines, including more frequent handwashing, use of sanitizer, and cleaning of equipment in all of buildings.

We are equally committed to taking care of our employees.

We are providing emergency paid time off to enable team members who are not feeling well to stay home without losing pay.

We are providing resources to help employees modify how they work, including flex scheduling and remote work wherever possible.

We are creating forums to keep residents and employees connected and up to date with information to help them stay healthy and informed. Follow us on twitter @Uptontown.

While the environment around us is uncertain, we take comfort in the fact that we have a dedicated team and a compassionate community. We all need to play our part in helping to minimize the risks associated with the spread of COVID-19.

BOARD OF HEALTH TRANSACTIONS AT TOWN HALL

The BOH will still be operational behind the closed doors as we continue to ensure the safety of all our residents. Trash bags can be purchased at Honey Farms, Liquor Plus, and Country Club Sooper.  Bulk stickers can be purchased either on-line or through the mail.  Our phone lines will be still be open to all questions and concerns that you may have, whether they are related to the COVID-19 virus or normal business matters.  We ask for your continued patience during this unusual and challenging time and will continue to evaluate the situation as it evolves. to determine when it will be appropriate to return to our normal business hours.

BOH – Administrative – 508-529-6813

BOH – Town Nurse – 508-529-3110

March 17, 2020  

Message to Senior Residents - Services Remain Available

It's important for senior citizens to know and trust anyone they accept assistance from during this difficult time. People with wonderful intentions are offering to volunteer and assist others with shopping and other errands. Unfortunately, scammers often prey on people during their most vulnerable times. Coronavirus-related scams targeting the elderly have been reported throughout the country. Some scammers claim to be from medical organizations with a COVID-19 vaccination and require over-the-phone payments to reserve a dose. Currently, there is no vaccine for the virus. Do not click on pop-ups or links from any sources you don't recognize. Additionally, avoid charity scams or investment schemes involving research.

The Town is urging you to not accept help from anyone you don't know. Local volunteers, not associated with the Senior Center, are offering to assist with banking, shopping, prescription pick-ups and in-home assistance.

DO NOT provide your banking or prescription information to anyone you don’t personally know, and don’t let them in your home. If you’re approached by such a volunteer, politely say “thank you for thinking of me, however, the Upton Senior Center has provided assistance for those of us in need.”

If you’re concerned about a local senior, are a senior in need, please call the Director, Janice Nowicki at 508-529-4558. The building is closed to the public but services remain available.

March 16, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                      CONTACT: Derek S. Brindisi, Town Manager

March 16, 2020                                                                                                             (508) 529- 6901

     Board of Selectmen Declare Local State of Emergency

UPTON, MA: In response to national and state declarations of emergency to the public health threat of COVID-19, the Board of Selectmen in consultation with the Board of Health today have declared a local state of emergency. The Board of Selectmen at an emergency meeting held this evening, announced that Town Hall, Library and Senior Center will be closed to the public for the same amount of time that schools are closed; effective Tuesday March, 17 2020. With staff working, practicing social distancing and the like, all residents are requested to “call ahead” for any matter for which they need assistance as staff will be available during normal working hours. 

This decision will allow the Town to  maintain continuity of government and ensure that the Town can meet the needs of the public in the most protective manner for the Town employee and the public generally. Additionally, the Board of Selectmen have authorized the use of remote participation in accordance with the requirements of 940 CMR 29.10 for all boards and committees; and approved all boards and committees to utilize remote participation in the manner authorized by the Governor in the March 12, 2020 Executive Order Suspending Certain Provisions of the Open Meeting Law.

As a reminder, to protect individuals and families from the spread of the virus, residents must  practice caution: wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol; avoid shaking hands; cover your coughs and sneezes; clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces; and avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you think you might be symptomatic, call your doctor. Residents are also reminded to practice social distancing: keep your distance from others (six feet apart); do not take public transportation, taxis or ride-shares during this period; avoid crowded places. 

Please review the town website at www.uptonma.gov for current and previous announcements regarding COVID-19.

Contacts:

Town Manager Office  508.529.6901  dbrindisi@uptonma.gov

Board of Health Office  508.529.6813  dtiernan@uptonma.gov

Emergencies Police/Fire/EMS  911

Police 508.529.3200  General Business and non-emergency calls

Fire 508.529.3421  General Business and non-emergency calls

DPW 508.529.3067  dwestgate@uptonma.gov

Code Enforcement  508.529.2633  code@uptonma.gov

Library  508.529.6272  mbachtold@uptonma.gov

Recreation  774.216.1438  astgeorge@uptonma.gov

Senior Center  508.529.4558  jnowicki@uptonma.gov

Town Clerk Office  508.529.3565  kmcelreath@uptonma.gov

Mendon/Upton Regional  School District   508.634.1585             

Blackstone Valley Tech 508.529.7758   https://www.valleytech.k12.ma.us/Page/1472 

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March 15, 2020

Town Officials and Emergency Management personnel continue monitoring the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation. 

Municipal and Government Services are taking precautions to minimize the potential for person-to-person spread of the virus, also referred to as “community spread.” As such, Town Officials are:

  • in the process of canceling or postponing non-essential meetings and programs scheduled within its public buildings
  • is reducing public access to buildings for non-essential business (details below).

Updates will continue to be posted to the Town’s website and will be issued via email through Town News. Subscribe to receive these email messages at uptonma.gov/subscribe or follow us on Twitter 

Please also visit the following websites for additional information:

Understand Community Spread

Minimizing personal contact can help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus infections, which will help decrease the impacts to our healthcare systems. Knowing the symptoms and understanding the virus also helps.

Status of Upton’s Municipal Buildings

The Council on Aging at the Upton Center

  • Staff will be on site and is available via phone 508.529.4558 or email jnowicki@uptonma.gov
  • public spaces, classes and programs, are temporarily suspended
  • essential transportation to medical appointments and necessary grocery shopping, pharmacy pickups, etc. upon request
  • Meals on Wheels delivery will continue for now, congregate meals are canceled
  • food pantry, AARP tax preparation program and Social Services, by appointment only
  • please visit the COA web page for further information and updates.

Recreation Commission

  • Spring programming (Yoga and Volleyball) is suspended until further notice
  • contact Recreation at 774.216.1438 for assistance.

Upton Public Library

  • All library programs for all ages are suspended until further notice, effective March 17, 2020
  • library operations and services will continue.

Town Hall

  • Will remain open but residents are encouraged to minimize physical visits to only essential business
  • updates will be posted to the various departments’ web pages this week outlining details of what additional services can be offered online and what may be suspended.

Public Safety Buildings and DPW

  • Will remain open but residents are encouraged to minimize physical visits to only essential business
  • Town Administration is asking all visitors to minimize personal visits to Town buildings, particularly if you are exhibiting flu-like symptoms or are feeling run-down
  • please be reminded that most of the services the Town provides to its residents and other constituents can be conducted over the phone, via email, or through the website at Uptonma.gov
  • DPW: 508.529.3067; Police: 508.529.3200; Fire: 508.529.3421

Schools

  • MURSD and Blackstone Valley Technical High School will be closed during the next two weeks (March 16-27).

If you need to physically visit a Town building:

or in any public place for that matter

  • DO NOT leave your house if you are feeling ill or are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, contact the Town Nurse at 508.529.6813.
  • 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 uptonma.gov/board-health for additional information and facts on how the virus spreads, personal precautions you can take, and what is considered high and low risk - 508.529.6813

Updates Concerning Upton's Response to COVID-19 Developments:

  • Will be posted to Uptonma.gov and sent via email through Town Alerts and Town News
  • government meetings or community event cancellations will be posted at uptonma.gov
  • some government meetings have legislative details that are currently being considered and the Town Manager will issue updates as those details are being worked through
  • UCTV records all BoS meetings, which can be viewed online and questions regarding those meeting discussions can be directed to staff
  • please visit the MassDPH for updates, FAQs, and additional information.

Additional Steps: Town Alerts

We appreciate your patience as we continue to monitor the situation. During this time, we recommend taking a few moments to review your notification options for Smart911 Emergency Notification the Town’s official emergency notification system. Please visit Smart911 Emergency Notification to register and set your preferences for notifications

March 13, 2020 Update - Upton Recreation spring programming (Yoga and Volleyball) will be suspended until further notice.

March 13, 2020 Update - The Council on Aging/Senior Center services will continue to be available, however the Center’s group programs such as exercise classes, bingo and other special group events will be temporarily suspended.  The Center will be providing essential transportation to medical appointments and shopping trips upon request.  Tri Valley is cancelling all congregate meals until further notice but will continue to deliver Meals on Wheels.  The Center’s food pantry, AARP tax preparation program and Social Services  will be by appointment only. Please refer to our website and Facebook page for updated information. 

March 12, 2020 Update All library programs for all ages are suspended until further notice, effective March 17, 2020. Library operations and services will continue.

The Town of Upton, through the Board of Health, Public Safety, and Emergency Management departments, are working closely to monitor and prepare for COVID-19. Town officials continue to discuss protective measures in accordance with Massachusetts Department of Public Health and CDC guidelines.

For more information, please call the Board of Health at 508-529-6813.