Town of Pepperell and COVID-19

Town Administrator Messages

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Board of Health update (5/4/2020)

Starting on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 the State of Massachusetts will require any person over age 2 who is in a place open to the public, whether inside or outside, and is unable or cannot maintain a social distance of 6 feet from every other person, shall cover their mouth and nose with a mask or face covering; except when a medical condition precludes you from doing so.  For more information about masks and face coverings you can visit the town of Pepperell website Covid19 banner at the top of the page or call the Board of Health Agent at 978-772-3335, Ext 308.  If you are unable to obtain a mask or face covering the BOH is able to assist you.  Please note the town does not have N95 masks to disperse.  Thank you.

Nashoba Associated Boards of Health Update (4/27/2020)

  • Please click this link to view the 4-27-2020 press releases.
  • The information regarding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) is evolving and you can expect guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) will be updated as these agencies receive new information.
  • It is important to get you information from reliable sources and the links to CDC and DPH are provided as part of this message; visiting these sites will keep you informed and will provide you with the most up to date information on the situation.
  • First notice of local positive case

MA Department of Public Health (4/16/2020)

Massachusetts Department of Public Health Massachusetts Department of Public Health has an extensive resource website including data about Massachusetts statewide and community specific information. The are available here:  

Other helpful resources:

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Commonwealth of Massachusetts 

  • Text    COVID   to 888-777 to receive alerts from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Call 211 from land line or cell phone for statewide information

Executive Order - (5/1/2020)

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COVID Resources for businesses

Massachusetts Attorney General Office

  •  online assistance page for small businesses, including information on available grants and loans, guidance on insurance coverage, rent abatements, options to cut expenses, mortgage relief, and access to free legal assistance. 
  •  COVID Relief Coalition, a group of Massachusetts non-profits, law firms, and governmental agencies of which the Attorney General’s Office is a part. The Coalition will also provide you with free pro bono legal advice from an attorney and should respond to your request for help within 24 hours. Complete a form at this link to receive this service.


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Pepperell Recreation Areas - 4/6/2020 - Effective IMMEDIATELY

COVID-19 is impacting all of us and the health and safety of all park users is our top priority. Effective immediately, general park usages are restricted until further notice

Areas that are CLOSED until further notice: 

  • Town Field
    • Playground structures and equipment (slides, swings, climbing structures) 
    • Basketball court and skatepark 
    • Gazebo
  • Peter Fitzpatrick Playground 
  • Varnum Brook Playground 
  • Sports fields for organized activities – soccer, lacrosse, baseball, softball, football, etc. 
  • Sports activities on all fields: baseball, softball, football, rugby, cricket, and soccer – whether league or pickup activities.

Areas that are OPEN provided users are practicing physical distancing : 

  • Parks remain open for passive use, such as walking or jogging
  • All Town of Pepperell Conservation areas
  • The Nashua River Rail Trail (unless DCR determines otherwise) is open for walking, cycling, etc. 

Park users are advised to follow social distancing guidelines. 

  • Remain at least six feet away from other people.
  • Wash hands, utilize hand sanitizer, and cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your inner elbow.
  • Limit time in public areas and avoid congregating in groups.
  • Stay home if you feel sick.
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Town of Pepperell Services Info (3/30/2020)

For general questions regarding COVID-19 please call the state hotline: 211

All town buildings and offices are closed to the public until April 7th. Services are being provided remotely, via email and phone; some services may be delayed. If you leave a voicemail, please include your name and a number where you can be reached.See departmental updates and details below:

Town Administrator’s Office

Emergency Management

  • Emergency Management is working closely with the Local Emergency Planning Council (LEPC), in particular with Police, Fire and BOH. All MEMA Region 1 EMD twice weekly meetings are being attended by the Director, and daily updates from MEMA are being shared with commentary to help understand the application to Pepperell. The Auxiliary Police have been removed from the full time cruiser ride-alongs to follow the safe practice of one person cars, and all Auxiliary and CERT meetings/training have been suspended for the time being. Both groups can be brought to bear though if their resources are needed.

Public Safety Communications

  • Communications is running at 100% at this time. There is a contingency plan in place with the Ashby Police. If multiple dispatchers are unavailable we will consolidate in Pepperell and run both Town’s Call Centers.

Police

  • Although town buildings in Pepperell are currently closed to the public, the police department remains open for emergencies and other police related matters that can’t be handled over the phone or via email.  If you are unsure if you should come to the police station, call us at 978-433-2424. For more information, please visit the PPD website.

Board of Health

  • The Pepperell Board of Health, under the guidance of Nashoba Associated Boards of Health (NABH), will continue to provide all services, with some limitations. Though the NABH office is closed to the public at this time, they are available via email at kgendron@nashoba.org or via phone at 978-772-3335. Dial “0” and the support staff can guide you.

Fire/EMS

  • The Fire Department remains committed to providing Emergency Medical Services (EMS) including Advanced Life Support (ALS) transports along with fire protection to the citizens of Pepperell.
  • We are monitoring guidance from CDC, State Department of Public Health, Department of Fire Services, and Office of Emergency Medical Services and incorporating best practices to respond to all calls for services while protecting our employees. We are working closely with the LEPC as this situation develops.  

Department of Public Works

  • The Town Engineer/DPW Director can be reached via email at kkalinowski@town.pepperell.ma.us, or phone at 978-433-0327.
  • The Highway Department can be reached at 978-433-5735.
  • The Cemetery & Parks Department can be reached at 978-433-0323.
  • During this period of remote operations and limited staffing, the Pepperell DPW is committed to providing the residents and our customers with a basic level of services and amenities such as clean water, sewage collection and treatment, snow and ice removal from public ways, trash disposal and recycling, and interment of the deceased in town cemeteries. Normal and customary maintenance activities on our infrastructure will be performed as time and staffing allows. All DPW construction/capital projects are deferred indefinitely until such time as all restrictions are lifted and full staffing in resumed.
  • DPW administrative staff work remotely. Operational staff will not enter private homes/businesses/institutions for non-emergency work. Inspections, final meter reads, etc., will be considered on a case by case basis and will require additional lead time. Sidewalk clearing may be delayed based on available staff. These precautions will undoubtedly impact our ability to provide usual and customary services until such time as all restrictions are lifted, and we appreciate everyone’s patience and cooperation.

Water and Sewer

Council on Aging

Lawrence Library

  • Library staff can assist you via email at dspratt@cwmars.org or tmcevoy@cwmars.org, or you can leave a message at 978-433-0330 (press “0”). Phone messages will be checked once a day. All items due will automatically be renewed and any fines during this closure will be waived. Please do not return library materials or drop off donations at this time.
  • We encourage our patrons and residents to use our eBook and eAudiobook collections, our other online resources, and our streaming TV, movie, and music service. 
  • Free WiFi is available 24/7 outside the library, within a limited perimeter (no password needed).
  • We will use the library newsletter, our website, Facebook page, and Instagram to communicate any additional changes in services, as well as to post informative, educational, and fun links.

Recreation

  • The Recreation Department can be reached via email at recreation@town.pepperell.ma.us, or phone at 978-433-0324. Some instructors are running classes via Live on FaceBook.

Town Hall

Town Clerk

  • The Town Clerk’s Office is committed to providing services as much as possible during this pandemic. For all questions, email bmontesanti@town.pepperell.ma.us, or call 978-433-0339. For detailed information about available services, visit the Town Clerk website.

Assessors

  • The Assessors’ Office will be accepting exemption applications, excise abatements, forms of list, I & E forms and any other requests by email, mbolger@town.pepperell.ma.us, mail, or the drop box outside the lower level of Town Hall. Most inspections are temporarily on hold. Call 978-433-0332 or email for questions.

Building Department

  • The Pepperell Building Department can be contacted via email, lnspector@town.pepperell.ma.us, or phone 978- 433-0329. Permit applications and fee schedules are available on the town website and may be mailed or emailed, or left in the drop box at the Town Hall.
  • Inspections will be done on any new construction or work being done outside of a residence.
  • Inspections of occupied residences are not being at this time.
  • Contractors are asked to contact our office to make arrangements for taking pictures or videos of residential work.

Conservation Commission

  • Contact the Conservation Administrator via email at pterrasi@town.pepperell.ma.us, or phone at 978 433-0325. There will be no in-person meetings, other than site visits where social distancing is possible. Filings for work within Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act jurisdictional areas can be submitted electronically and payment for filings can be arranged by emailing or leaving a message with the Conservation Administrator. Please contact the Conservation Administrator prior to submitting all filings until further notice.

Planning Department 

  • The Planning Department can be reached via email at planning@town.pepperell.ma.us. All applications are being accepted, but scheduling of meetings / public hearings may be delayed.

Treasurer

Veteran’s Services

  • The Veteran’s Services Office can be contacted at 978-433-0342. 

Zoning Board of Appeals


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Food Assistance for Seniors (3/24/2020)

Any Pepperell resident, age 60+ who is self-isolating at home, is eligible to receive Meals on Wheels at this time. To sign up for Meals on Wheels contact the Pepperell Senior Center at 978 - 433 - 0326. Any Ashby resident, age 60+ who is self-isolating and needs assistance getting basic groceries and supplies, can contact the Pepperell Senior Center.

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COVID-19 Information Update (3/20/2020)

The information regarding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) is evolving and you can expect guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) will be updated as these agencies receive new information.

It is important to get you information from reliable sources and the links to CDC and DPH are provided as part of this message; visiting these sites will keep you informed and will provide you with the most up to date information on the situation.

INFORMATION

Citizens can access the Massachusetts 211 system:  Dial 211 and follow the prompts.

PREPAREDNESS

As more case of COVID-19 are being reported there are actions you and your family can take to prepare; the information below is from the CDC website.

Here is what you can do to prepare your family in case COVID-19 spreads in your community.

•    Know where to find local information on COVID-19 and local trends of COVID-19 cases.

•    Know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if symptomatic:

o    Stay home when you are sick

o    Call your health care provider’s office in advance of a visit

o    Limit movement in the community

o    Limit visitors

•    Know what additional measures those at higher risk and who are vulnerable should take.

•    Implement steps to prevent illness (e.g., stay home when sick, handwashing, respiratory etiquette, clean frequently touched surfaces daily).

•    Create a household plan of action in case of illness in the household or disruption of daily activities due to COVID-19 in the community.

o    Consider 2-week supply of prescription and over the counter medications, food and other essentials. Know how to get food delivered if possible.

o    Establish ways to communicate with others (e.g., family, friends, co-workers).

o    Establish plans to telework, what to do about childcare needs, how to adapt to cancellation of events.

•    Know about emergency operations plans for schools/workplaces of household members.

Additional preparedness information is located at the link below.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/index.html

PREVENTION

Individuals should follow the CDC’s prevention actions listed below in order to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

•    Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

•    Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

•    Stay home when you are sick.

•    Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

•    Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

•    Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask. 

o    CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.

o    Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

•    Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. 

o    If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

There has been public inquiry about the use of masks or respirators and currently the CDC and DPH don’t recommend the widespread use of masks or respirators.  Listed below is the recommendation from the DPH.

Should I wear a respirator in public? 

CDC does not recommend the routine use of respirators outside of workplace settings (in the community). Most often, spread of respiratory viruses from person-to-person happens among close contacts (within 6 feet). CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, such as avoiding people who are sick, avoiding touching your eyes or nose, and covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue. People who are sick should stay home and not go into crowded public places or visit people in hospitals. Workers who are sick should follow CDC guidelines and stay home when they are sick.