PUBLIC HEALTH UPDATE
March 20, 2020
PLEASE FLATTEN THE CURVE
Below is a summary of updates related to the Town of Belmont’s response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. The Town of Belmont is committed to providing regular updates on the COVID-19 situation as they become available.
There are currently 6 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Belmont residents, with a total of 19 residents who have been directly exposed to the virus and must remain in quarantine at their homes.
The most up to date info on COVID-19 and local cases will be posted at on the Town of Belmont’s COVID-19 webpage.
Belmont Public Schools
The Superintendent will post regular updates for parents and students in the Belmont Public Schools News section of its webpage.
Belmont Food Pantry
The Belmont Food Pantry (BFP) will be open to all Belmont residents to distribute food on Saturday, March 21st starting at 8:30 a.m. with special limitations. Food donations can also be dropped off at the Belmont Food Pantry on Saturday from 10:00-11:00 am. In honoring the social distance mandate BFP set up distribution as a drive-thru with everyone remaining in their car, pulling up to the volunteer to check in and another volunteer will put the two pre-packed bags, per family, into the car. Walkers are asked to not line up and to keep a distance from each other in the School Administration Building area. The Food Pantry will be closed Sunday, March 22nd and Tuesday, March 24th, we will assess the situation and let everyone know the continued distribution process. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, know anyone who is in need or you are in need of food. Monetary donations can be sent to the Belmont Food Pantry, PO Box 291, Belmont.
Belmont COVID-19 Informational Call Center and Email
For general COVID-19 questions not specific to the Town of Belmont, all Massachusetts residents encouraged to call the state’s 2-1-1 hotline that is staffed by operators 24/7 and with translators available in multiple languages. Residents with questions can dial 2-1-1 from any landline or cellphone or use the live chat option on the on the Mass 2-1-1 website.
The Town of Belmont has also established a COVID-19 Informational Call Center to allow residents to ask non-medical questions specific to COVID-19 in Belmont. The call center will be staffed Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm and the number for the call center is (617) 993-2222. Questions can also be emailed to: email@example.com .
Please call 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency. Calls should not be made to 9-1-1 to obtain information about COVID-19
All public and private elementary and secondary schools throughout the Commonwealth will be closed through April 6th.
Effective March 23rd, all public and private daycare providers will be closed. The Commonwealth will establish Exempt Emergency Child Care Programs to provide priority service for families of emergency personnel, medical staff, and others critical to confronting COVID-19.
All restaurants and bars are prohibited from on-premise consumption of food. However, these food establishments may remain open for now to provide food through take-out or delivery service. These restrictions will extend through April 17th, but may be extended based on the spread of COVID-19.
All Town of Belmont public playgrounds and fields (including all playground equipment, basketball, tennis, and pickleball courts) are closed.
Effective Saturday, March 21st all fields at the Belmont Hill School will be closed to the public.
Public meetings and hearings will be limited to those that are considered necessary for the purposes of maintaining essential Town of Belmont government functions and that are mandated under federal, state, or local law/regulation. Check the Town’s website for board and committee updates.
Town Hall Offices, the Belmont Public Library, and the Beech Street Center are closed to the public until further notice. Residents in need of assistance are encouraged to contact respective Town departments by phone and/or email www.belmont-ma.gov .
Important updates about COVID-19 and its impact on the Town will be posted at www.belmont-ma.gov .
Flatten the Curve
We have reached a critical moment in the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts. As of March 19th, there were 328 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts (with Middlesex County responsible for 119 of these cases). Each positive case of COVID-19 contributes to the spread of the virus in at least two or three other individuals. If we do not take immediate action as a community to “flatten the curve”, and work together to prevent the exponential rate of infection from peaking too quickly, we will overwhelm our healthcare system, put healthcare workers at risk for infection, and put our loved ones and the most vulnerable in our community at great risk for serious infection that may lead to prolonged hospitalization and/or death. The Belmont Health Department is pleading with residents to more seriously engage in the practice of social distancing* for at least the next two weeks, and possibly longer. We understand that this will be a trying time for everyone, but it is important that we slow down the exponential rate of infection of COVID-19.
Please do not gather in large groups with people that are not part of your household. This is your chance to potentially help save your life or the life of someone you know. We can all do this together!
·NO small gatherings (resist the urge to gather with friends to play cards, sports, have dinner, etc.).
·NO play dates (for individuals of any age).
·NO sharing of childcare responsibilities with other families.
Essential workers should make every attempt to stagger their schedules with partners to allow for coverage of childcare.
·Stay at home.
·Minimize the number of trips you take to the store for food and medicine.
·Avoid contact with people who do not live with you in your household.
·Show compassion for your neighbors.
Make a plan with your elderly neighbors to check in with them on a daily basis via phone or email to help monitor their health and to see if you can help them obtain any food, prescriptions, or other basic needs.