Current information about the Town of Acton's response to the COVID-19 situation
The Board of Selectmen approved a rental relief program to be administered through our Regional Housing Services Office to help households impacted by COVID-19. The program will provide temporary rental assistance in the form of a grant for the purpose of supporting eligible households to maintain housing. Funding is limited to a period between June 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. Follow actonma.gov for more details which will be available soon.
The Board of Selectmen approved two additional measures to help support local businesses:
Effective 5/27/2020 NARA Park will reopen with following restrictions
The Board of Health voted last night to amend several existing orders to align with the current multi-phase reopening plan announced by Governor Baker earlier this week. Use the following link to view the amended orders. https://www.acton-ma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/6384/2020-5-21-Amendments-to-Existing-Board-of-Health-Orders-Related-to-COVID-19
The Board of Selectmen voted to set the postponed Annual Town Meeting to a new date of June 29, 2020. The meeting will be held in the ABRHS Gymnasium. More details about the meeting will be provided in future updates.
The Mass Department of Public Health also updated the Stay at Home Advisory, replacing it with a new, “Safer at Home” Advisory. The new Safer at Home Advisory instructs everyone to stay home unless they are headed to a newly opened facility or activity. It also advises those over the age of 65 and those with underlying health conditions to stay home with the exception of trips required for health care, groceries, or that are otherwise absolutely necessary. All residents must continue to wear a face covering in public when social distancing is not possible, and individuals are advised to wash their hands frequently and be vigilant in monitoring for symptoms. Restrictions on gatherings of more than 10 people remain in effect.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts provides comprehensive information about COVID-19 testing including an updated list of testing locations. More information is available here. An interactive map showing testing locations is also available at the following link: https://memamaps.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=eba3f0395451430b9f631cb095febf13
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. As of May 13th there were 59 cases of residents in isolation and 17 staff members overall that tested positive and were placed in isolation in their respective towns. The facility continues to work with the epidemiologist assigned to the building to move recovered residents out of this unit. Testing is only being conducted as residents begin to show symptoms of COVID-19 now. 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 have been staff members and residents with confirmed positive cases of COVID-19. As of May 19th Benchmark will be having the National Guard come in to do additional testing of all residents and staff. They previously have tested resident and staff 14 days and 30 days ago,
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.
The Acton Board of Health Emergency Public Health Order of May 5, 2020 requires that face coverings be worn in public. View the order here: https://actonma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/6367/Board-of-Health-Emergency-Public-Health-Order-of-May-5
In accordance with the Act to Address Challenges Faced by Municipalities and State Authorities Resulting from COVID-19, signed on Friday, April 3, the Town is exercising the option made available by the legislation to extend the due date of tax payments. The Board of Selectmen voted to extend the tax bill deadline from May 1, 2020 to June 1, 2020. If such tax bills are unpaid after June 1, 2020, all fees and interest shall be waived as long as the amount due is paid by June 30, 2020. Residents who have questions regarding their bill can email email@example.com.
All town buildings, playgrounds, recreation fields, NARA Park, and the skate park remain closed to the public while Massachusetts’s State of Emergency is in effect. The closures are being ordered out of an abundance of caution in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and promote social distancing. Rail trails and conservation trails remain open, but residents are encouraged to practice social distancing and not congregate in groups if they are using the trails. Town Hall services are still operational and staff is available during normal hours throughout the work week. Please call 978-929-6619 or use www.actonma.gov to contact staff.
The Acton Transfer Station has adjusted operating hours and is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. This adds Monday as a new day of service for residents. The first hour of operation (7-8 a.m. of each day) is designated for seniors only. For more information on the Transfer Station and Recycling Center, please call 978-929-7742.