ACTON — Town Manager John Mangiaratti, Emergency Management Director Mark Hald, Acton Nursing Director Heather York and Health Director Sheryl Ball would like to provide an update on the town’s response to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
At this time, there have been 167 cumulative cases of COVID-19 in Acton with 45 individuals in isolation, 101 recovered and 21 fatalities since March. Acton Public Health Nurses are working closely with the residents, and are conducting contact tracing to identify and provide guidelines to anyone who has been in close contact with these patients.
Going forward, the Town of Acton will continue to announce positive cases, active cases, recovered cases and fatalities. Daily case reports and cumulative data on Massachusetts COVID-19 cases and testing, and weekly data on confirmed cases by city/town can be found online here.
Acton recently recorded a significant jump in the most recent reporting of COVID-19 cases due to extensive testing at the Life Care Center of Acton. Director York reports that there have been 63 cases of residents and 21 staff members overall that have tested positive. Twenty residents have recovered from the virus, as of Friday, March 29.
Director York has been in regular communication with management at Life Care Center of Acton, their epidemiologist assigned to their building and the State Department of Health. The Town of Acton is confident that the facility is doing everything it can to manage this dangerous and often unpredictable pandemic.
Additionally, at the assisted living facility Benchmark at Robbins Brook there are seven staff members and 10 residents with confirmed positive cases of COVID-19. All residents are currently quarantined to their rooms and have had no visitors other than staff and outside private care if they have it. Anyone entering the building is assessed for symptoms as they come in. Staff also has to self-identify if they have symptoms and stay home if they are sick.
Town Election & Special State Election to be Held on June 2
The Town Election for all residents and Special State Representative Election for those in Precincts 3, 4 and 5 will be held on June 2. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. All six precincts will vote at the RJ Grey Junior High School, 16 Charter Road. Poll workers and voters will be required to follow state safety guidelines, such as maintaining a social distance of at least six feet from each other and wearing a face mask or covering when a social distance cannot be maintained. Voters are encouraged to bring their own pen to mark ballots.
Annual Town Meeting
Th Annual Town own Meeting will be held on Monday, June 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the Acton-Boxborough Regional High School upper gymnasium (also referred to as the Field House). The total number of warrant articles have been reduced to complete the meeting’s business in one session. The state and local safety guidelines will be in effect including restricted occupancy, masks and social distancing. There will be contactless check-in and a minimum six feet separation between attendees. Article presentations will be limited, distance microphones will be utilized and clickers for voting will not be used. Town officials plan to have article presentations pre-recorded and posted online ahead of the meeting. The Warrant will be posted no later than Monday, June 15 on the town website, and will printed and mailed to residents.
Emergency Rental Assistance Program
The Emergency Rental Assistance Program will provide temporary rental assistance in the form of a grant and will be administered through a collaboration with the Regional Housing Services Office (RHSO).
The application window for the program will open on Monday, June 1.
More information about the program can be found here.
Please contact please the Town Services Hotline at (978) 929-6619 or the Regional Housing Services Office at [email protected] for additional information.
COVID-19 Small Business Grant
The Town of Acton has established the COVID-19 Small Business Grant to assist existing small businesses that have had significant business disruption due to the COVID-19 closures. This competitive grant program will provide up to $4,000 in funds to assist small businesses in Acton cover wages, rent, loss of inventory, and other fixed costs not already paid for by other federal COVID-19 financial assistance or relief programs.
Application will be available starting Monday, June 1 and the initial deadline for complete application is Monday, June 15. Applications received after that day may be considered if funding is available.
More information about the program can be found here.
Acton Town Services Hotline
The Acton Town Services Hotline is available to connect residents with a live worker to receive information and answers to their questions about the latest government news, COVID-19, and Town services in general. Hotline workers also help answer questions related to the topics such as elections, town meetings, financial relief programs for residents and business owners, and Town reopening plans.
The Acton Town Services hotline number is 978-929-6619 and is open on Monday, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; and Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon.
Board of Health Update
On Wednesday, May 27, the Board of Health took the following actions:
- Household Hazardous Waste Day scheduled for June 27, 2020 has been postponed due to safety concerns and to minimize the risk of residents and staff related to COVID-19. Tentatively, the next date will be Saturday, September 19, 2020.
- The Board voted to allow both private and public tennis courts to open in compliance with state guidance. The Community Education and Acton Recreation are in the process of complying with these best practices prior to announcing an official opening date.
Recreation Updates and NARA Park Reopening Plan
Municipal tennis courts will be open by appointment only starting Saturday, May 30. Please contact [email protected] to book a time to play.
The following restriction and guidance is in place for those using NARA Park:
- NARA’s walking trail is open. The trail is one-way, walking counter-clockwise from the Bathhouse.
- The NARA fields, such as the Upper Field and softball field, are open for play within your household. No organizations and leagues are permitted to play, in order to prevent any gatherings large than 10.
- Those using the space are asked to follow social distancing guidelines and wear a face mask or covering when you cannot social distance.
- The picnic pavilion remains closed, per state guidance for Phase 1 of the reopening plan.
- No portable toilets will be provided until Board of Health permits.
Construction on the Sports Pavilion scheduled to begin in June. Residents are asked to avoid the area while construction is occurring.
During Phase II, town officials do plan on opening the beach and more amenities within the park. Updates will be shared when information becomes available.
Staff from the Acton Recreation Department are working with the Health Department and town staff to provide a safe summer camp experience at NARA this summer. More information and guidance on this will be shared when it becomes available.
Transfer Station Updates
The Acton Transfer Station will continue operating with the adjusted schedule for the initial reopening. The facility is currently open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The first hour (7-8 a.m.) is designated for Seniors (65+). The Transfer Station will also begin to accept payments (checks only) at the office for bulky items by early June. Staff are continuing to look at how to re-introduce some recycling streams such as polystyrene in later phases.
The purchase of Transfer Station and Recycling Facility vehicle stickers are now available online.
For more information on the Transfer Station and Recycling Center, please call 978-929-7742.