Town Hall and Town Offices Remain Closed to Public
DIGHTON — Town Administrator Mallory Aronstein, the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Health report that Dighton Town Hall and all other Town offices remain closed to the public in an effort to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Per Governor Charlie Baker’s executive order, the Town has dropped staffing to essential personnel only. The Town will not hold any non-essential meetings until further notice.
Most Town workers have the ability to maintain operations through remote means, and will do so unless they absolutely need to report to the office. If they do report to the office, they will practice proper social distancing.
All non-essential board and committee meetings in Town are cancelled, and:
- Town playgrounds are closed.
- Council on Aging activities are cancelled.
- Recreation activities and events are cancelled.
- The Dighton Public Library is closed. Library content will be available digitally.
- The Dighton Water District is closed to the public, but will continue to operate with essential personnel only.
- The Veterans Agent has suspended trips to the VA for the foreseeable future.
- Prime Time, Dighton’s Adult Day Care program, is closed.
- Dighton Public Schools are closed through at least April 7.
Mail and other correspondence can also be placed in the drop box located outside of Town Hall, including tax payments. Please do not deposit cash into the drop box.
Curbside trash pick up will continue on a normal schedule.
The Town is also evaluating the potential impacts of the coronavirus situation on the Town Election scheduled for Saturday, April 11 at Dighton Elementary School. The Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate passed a bill today granting municipalities the ability to postpone 2020 local elections and increase voting options while Massachusetts is in a state of emergency. The Town has identified Saturday, May 9 as a potential alternative date for the election.
Children and COVID-19
Parents should be sure to talk to their children about proper hygiene and prevention methods as well as the importance of social distancing until further guidelines are provided by state officials about the status of the virus.
Families should practice social distancing with their children and follow these guidelines from the state and local health officials:
- Families should not hold “play dates” and those in need of childcare should limit the number of families involved as much as possible.
- Practice social distancing techniques with children and have them practice among themselves.
- Clean and sanitize toys, video game controllers and all touch surfaces regularly.
- All city and school playgrounds have been closed and are off-limits to the public.
Social distancing will help to minimize exposure among people, especially given that COVID-19 is highly contagious and people may be contagious prior to exhibiting symptoms.
Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Crisis Resources
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers a Disaster Distress Helpline to provide 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people.
- Call 800-985-5990 to connect with trained crisis counselors, 24/7
- Text with a live counselor via SMS, text ‘TalkWithUs” to 66746.
- Text “Hablanos” for Spanish at 66746.
- To learn more on how to cope with stress and anxiety, go to the CDC website, or the SAMHSA website.
The COVID-19 situation is very fluid, and new information and guidelines are being posted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on a regular basis. The CDC offers the following guidance for how COVID-19 spreads.
If anyone displays symptoms of COVID-19, including a fever, cough or shortness of breath, they should not go to work or school and are advised to contact their primary care physician. According to the CDC, symptoms of the virus appear within 2-14 days of exposure.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (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.