Certain Senior Programming Modified or Cancelled
ACTON — Town Manager John Mangiaratti and Health Director Sheryl Ball wish to provide the community with consistent updates on the town of Acton’s response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
At this time, there are no confirmed or presumptive cases of the virus in Acton.
Over the coming days, the Town of Acton will be modifying or canceling programming in accordance with guidelines from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control, which indicate that seniors and those with chronic health conditions are at higher risk for serious illness due to COVID-19.
- The St. Patrick’s Day Luncheon scheduled for Sunday, March 15, is cancelled.
- All activities are cancelled until at least March 23.
- Beginning Friday, March 13, the Acton Senior Center will begin offering daily take-out lunches in lieu of the standard sit-down congregate lunches. To sign up for a take-out lunch, seniors should call 781-221-7085.
- Meals on Wheels will continue to be delivered.
- The senior center is undergoing enhanced cleaning on a regular basis to ensure that common surfaces are disinfected often in order to curtail the spread of germs.
- The offices at the Human Services Building and Senior Center will remain open.
- Acton-Boxborough Regional School District will be closed starting Friday, March 13 through Friday, March 20. Click here for more details.
- All programs and activities at the Acton Memorial Library and the West Acton Citizens Library are cancelled until at least Monday, March 23.
- Both libraries will remain open, though patrons are advised to take precautions and practice social distancing whenever possible.
- Acton Memorial Library would also like to remind residents of resources that can be enjoyed from home, including e-books, audio books and video streaming. Find more information about it here or by calling the library at 978-929-6655.
- All programs and events are cancelled until at least March 23.
“These steps are being taken out an extraordinary level of caution to ensure that our most vulnerable residents are protected from the risk of this illness,” Town Manager Mangiaratti said. “We are working with our public health resources at the local, state and federal levels to ensure we’re acting in line with their guidance and doing the best we can to keep everyone safe and healthy.”
Earlier this week, Gov. Charlie Baker declared a State of Emergency in Massachusetts due to COVID-19, formally activating the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. As part of the emergency declaration, Gov. Baker emphasized that seniors and those with chronic health issues should avoid large public gatherings as a precaution to prevent infection.
If anyone displays symptoms of COVID-19, including a fever, cough or shortness of breath, they should not come to work or school and they are advised to contact their primary care physician. According to the CDC, symptoms of the virus appear 2-14 days of exposure.
The DPH recommends that residents continue with good hygiene practices including:
- Practice good hand hygiene! Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds including under your fingernails. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol content) can be used when soap and water are not available.
- Keep your hands away from your face.
- Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing with a tissue and discard it immediately. Cough into the sleeve over your elbow instead of your hand. Wash your hands often when coughing and sneezing.
- Stay away from people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.
If residents are concerned they may have the virus and are experiencing symptoms, the Town of Acton wishes to share the following information from the CDC:
- Stay home. Avoid public areas and transportation, and monitor your symptoms
- Stay away from other people and limit contact with pets and animals.
- Call ahead before visiting your healthcare provider and inform them if you believe you may have contracted COVID-19.
- If you are sick, wear a face mask when around others.
- The CDC does not advise those who are not sick to wear a face mask unless they are caring for a sick individual.
- Notify your public health department if you are placed under active monitoring or facilitated self-monitoring.
For more information, click here.
The Town of Acton additionally wishes to remind residents that, while there is a lot of concern surrounding the spread of COVID-19, the virus does not discriminate and it is important to be wary of social stigma in connection with the illness. For more information about stigma and resilience in connection to COVID-19 from the CDC, click here.
Additional updates will be released if additional relevant information becomes available from the Town of Acton.