ARLINGTON — The Town of Arlington seeks to continuously update its residents on local preparedness efforts and impacts from the ongoing nationwide novel coronavirus situation.
Beginning today, Arlington’s Town administrative offices are operating on a minimal staffing plan until further notice. Essential services, such as food and transportation for seniors continue to be available. Trash pickup throughout the town is not affected.
All town offices will remain open to the public, but residents are asked to either complete transactions online or reach out by phone during regular business hours, if possible, for any services they may need to complete.
Private businesses and private schools in Arlington will make their own decision regarding their operations, and residents are encouraged to contact a business if they would like to inquire about their operations.
“We’re lucky in Arlington to have community services and organizations that are willing to do whatever they can to help make this unique situation easier for our residents,” Health and Human Services Director Christine Bongiorno said. “We’d like to stress that although many town services have been temporarily adjusted, our residents will still have access to the services they need, such as food delivery, transportation to vital appointments and counseling.”
Health and Human Services
- Arlington Public Schools will be distributing lunches to students beginning Monday, March 16. Meals will be distributed “to-go” in the lobby of the Thompson School, 187 Everett St., from 11 a.m. to noon.
- Arlington EATS Market at St. John’s Church, located at 75 Pleasant St., expects to be open for their normal pantry distribution times on Wednesday, March 18. Their regular hours are 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and 5:50 p.m. to 7 p.m. They are receiving extra deliveries from the Greater Boston Food Bank in anticipation of need. Attendees must be Arlington residents and need to provide photo ID and proof of residency. If residents do not have transportation, they can call the Council on Aging at 781-316-3400 to arrange a ride. If residents are not feeling well or are in quarantine and need food, they should call Arlington Eats to explore their options. Measures such as social distancing will be instituted at the market as a precaution.
- Meals on Wheels, through Minuteman Senior Services, will continue to operate and additional volunteers are on hand to help the program meet needs during the current COVID-19 situation. Residents should call 781-272-7177 to inquire about Meals on Wheels service.
- Food Link is still making normal deliveries to housing locations within Arlington.
Arlington Youth Counseling Center
While normal face-to-face visits with clients are suspended, in accordance with the town mandate, AYCC clinicians will continue to offer their regular counseling and mental health sessions to current clients and client families via phone calls and telemedicine services.
Board and Committee Meetings
Town Administration is reviewing the Governor’s Executive Order aimed at providing temporary relief for meetings conducted under the Open Meeting Law that were scheduled to be conducted during the closure, but have since been canceled. The executive order now allows for remote participation for all members of a public body. The town is determining whether this relief can be effective to conduct upcoming meetings, including the Select Board’s meeting which was originally scheduled on Monday, March 23. The town aims to make a decision regarding the use of remote public body meetings next week.
Town Administration is also evaluating the potential impacts of the coronavirus situation on the Town Election scheduled for Saturday, April 4. As of now, the election cannot be canceled or postponed without a court order, but Town Counsel has been working with the Secretary of State’s Office to determine potential avenues for relief. The Secretary of State has filed a request for emergency legislation, which would permit canceling or postponing a local election upon consultation with local officials and expand electronic voting options and other measures in cases of emergency. As the coronavirus situation remains fluid, the town will continue to analyze effects on the election and will provide an update by Wednesday, March 18.
Arlington Police Department
- Residents are encouraged to use the online report writing system for non-emergency incidents to file police reports. A police officer or detective will follow up regarding the submission by phone or email.
- Residents who would like to request a record or copy of an incident report should call 781-316-3943 or email [email protected]. The record will be left for pickup at the APD front desk or sent via email.
- Voluntary fingerprinting services are suspended until further notice. Call 781-316-3938 for assistance.
- The processing of Firearms Applications/Renewals, Hackney Licenses and Solicitor Permits are suspended until further notice. Call 781-316-3943 for immediate assistance.
Town leaders continue to monitor information provided by the state as well as monitor local individuals who may be dealing with symptoms of the virus. The town continues to advise residents to practice social distancing and avoid group activities and events.
“We want to encourage residents to stay safe by avoiding large events and practicing good hygiene, but that doesn’t mean you can’t continue many of your daily activities. You can go to the grocery store, order takeout or get a cup of coffee,” Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine said.
The town has staffed a call center from 8 a.m to midnight for the past two days. That service will end on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m., but the town will re-evaluate the need for after-hours call center services on a periodic basis.
Additional updates will be provided as information becomes available.