ACTON — Town Manager John Mangiaratti reports that, effective at 5 p.m. today, Acton’s Human Services and Senior Center Facility, Acton Memorial Library, West Acton Citizens Library, Recreation Offices and Town Hall will be closed to the public until at least March 23 in an effort to reduce the risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus for residents and employees alike.
COVID-19, the illness associated with the novel coronavirus, was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization this week.
At this time, there are no confirmed or presumptive cases of the virus in Acton.
Government operations for the Town of Acton will continue, however, and all offices will aggressively utilize phone and email communication to provide services during business hours while the Town’s facilities are closed to the public. Additionally, residents are encouraged to utilize the Town of Acton’s website, actonma.gov, to access Town services.
The Town’s Human Services and Senior Center will remain closed to the public, with the exception of the Meals on Wheels operations, limited meal take out service and certain medical appointments at Acton Nursing.
The Food Pantry located at 235 Summer Road in Boxborough will also be open on Wednesday during regularly scheduled hours from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Any resident who has an immediate need for food resources before Wednesday is encouraged to call the Town’s Community Resources Office at 978-929-6651. Additional information on resources and supports for residents will also be provided in future updates.
Town officials are working with the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District and several community organizations to coordinate an increase in the availability of food and other means of support for individuals and families impacted by the closure of schools and interruptions in other services.
“This is a challenging and evolving situation, and we want residents to know we have made the decision to close facilities and cancel certain events in an effort to reduce the risk of this virus spreading,” Town Manager Mangiaratti said. “As always, it is crucial for residents to continue washing their hands, practice social distancing, cover your coughs and sneezes, and, if you feel sick, stay home. If you feel you may have this virus, contact your health care provider.”
During this period, Town of Acton board and committee meetings will only be held if remote and virtual public participation is available, and otherwise all meetings will be postponed. Residents may refer to the Town’s calendar for meeting schedules. The Board of Health and Board of Selectmen are both scheduled to meet on Monday, and this meeting will be broadcast live on Acton TV and streamed on YouTube on Acton TV’s channel.
The Town’s transfer station will remain open, but residents are encouraged to practice appropriate social distancing at the facility, as the virus is believed to spread when those who have the virus come into close contact, within six feet, of other people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
While the Acton Memorial Library remains temporarily closed to the public, all fines will be waived for items that become due while the building is closed. All physical items, including museum passes, will not be available to check out while the facility is closed, and residents are encouraged to explore the digital content available through the library. Those with questions about those services can still contact a library representative on Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 978-929-6655.
Town leaders continue to monitor information provided by the state, and advise residents to practice social distancing and avoid large group activities and events.
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.
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.
Additional updates will be released if additional relevant information becomes available from the Town of Acton.