Hopkinton COVID-19 update for Nov. 19: Town has 16 active cases, highest total since May

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Editor’s note: This is the town of Hopkinton’s COVID-19 update for Nov. 19.

COVID-19 Updates and Precautions
Nov. 19 update

Previous updates and additional information and resources can be found here:
coronavirus-hopkintonma.hub.arcgis.com/

Hopkinton Town Hall reopened to the public as of Aug. 10. Appointments are required ​due to the state’s COVID-19 limits on building occupancy​: ​Click here for more information​. All town departments are open for business and many transactions can be completed online. We are available via phone and email to assist during regular business hours. A full Town Directory can be ​found here​. A box at the front door of Town Hall may be used to drop off correspondence, applications, etc., and they may also be mailed or emailed.

As of Nov. 19, Hopkinton’s Health Department is reporting 210 total ​confirmed COVID-19 cases; 16 of those cases are active, with 181 recoveries and 13 deaths. You can see historical tracking and updates on ​Hopkinton’s Community Impact Dashboard, which is updated frequently. Hopkinton’s 16 active cases represent the highest level our community has seen since May. Unfortunately, this is a similar trend across Massachusetts, the Northeast, and in general across the United States. Please remember to practice social distancing, wear a face covering, wash your hands often, and be safe.

Massachusetts Department of Public Health COVID-19 Weekly Public Health Report — ​NEW UPDATE
The Weekly COVID-19 Public Health Report includes enhanced, more granular information to be updated on a weekly or biweekly basis, including town-by-town case and testing information, cases and deaths in long-term care facilities, updates on nursing facility audit results and more. mass.gov/doc/weekly-covid-19-public-health-report-november-19-2020/download​

Town Hall and Municipal Offices Will Be Closed Nov. 26-27 — ​NEW UPDATE
Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, Town Hall and municipal offices will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 26, and Friday, Nov. 27.

Library Hours During Thanksgiving Week — ​NEW UPDATE
On ​Wednesday, Nov. 25​, the library’s in-building browsing hours will be from ​10 a.m.-12:30 p.m​. The library will be closed on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 26-27.

To help safely manage demand for browsing and checkout of library materials, we encourage residents to plan ahead and visit during normal hours on Monday and Tuesday (1-4 p.m. for browsing, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. for curbside pickup) to check out items ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Massachusetts Announces Higher Education Holiday Travel Guidance — ​NEW UPDATE
The Baker-Polito Administration released ​updated travel guidance​ to colleges and universities in advance of the approaching holiday season. These updated guidelines are focused on a robust testing initiative to reduce the risk of college students bringing COVID-19 home to their families and communities before Thanksgiving. Students who leave campuses for the holidays should first receive a negative COVID-19 test administered by the college within 72 hours of their planned departure. Residential colleges should also offer COVID-19 tests to students living off campus who plan on returning home for the holidays. Prior to sending students home for Thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday season, colleges and universities are urged to inform all students of the serious risks associated with going home before first receiving a negative COVID-19 test result.

Residential colleges across the Northeast should provide testing for students before they leave for Thanksgiving break and ensure students are aware of quarantine rules. ​Click here for more information​.

Thanksgiving Guidance — ​NEW UPDATE
As Massachusetts residents plan for the Thanksgiving holiday, we offer the following considerations to help keep our friends, families and communities safe during COVID-19. If you host a holiday celebration, keep it small. If you are considering travel, be aware of Massachusetts ​travel orders​. If you participate in a celebration, follow public health guidance. ​Click here for more information​.

Any time you’re near people you don’t live with:

● Wear a mask​ when not eating or drinking.
● Wash your hands often with soap and water.
● Stay at least 6 feet apart from others.
● Consider if those around you may be at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, such as older adults or those with certain medical conditions, and take extra precautions.
● If gathering indoors, improve ventilation by opening windows and doors.

Governor Baker Announces Targeted Measures To Curb Rising COVID-19 Cases
The Baker-Polito Administration announced a series of targeted measures to disrupt the increasing ​trend of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Governor Charlie Baker announced these changes at a time when public health data has indicated that cases are rising, with cases up by 278% and hospitalizations up by 145% since Labor Day. These measures are meant to disrupt rising trends now, so the commonwealth can keep the economy and schools open for residents and to prevent the need to roll back to Phase 1 or Phase 2 of the reopening plan. These New Orders & Advisories were issued Nov. 2 and went into effect Nov. 6.

More information can be found ​here.

Hopkinton Freedom Team
During COVID-19, individuals may be experiencing much more anxiety inside and outside of their homes. Signs of the divisiveness of the country have been felt here in Hopkinton. The recently formed Hopkinton Freedom Team’s mission is “preserving freedom through unity in the community.” Its members meet monthly to explore ways of offering dialogue and support to individuals and the entire community with a goal of promoting love, inclusion and trust — “LIT” — and moving beyond tolerance to embracing, celebrating and sharing our community’s diversity. Anyone who has witnessed or experienced bias-motivated threats, harassment or violence may call the Town of Hopkinton hotline at 774-278-4455 or contact the Freedom Team at info@hopkintonfreedomteam.org​. The hotline will be monitored by the Hopkinton Police Department. While not every incident will be appropriate for legal action, the Hopkinton Police will work closely with the Hopkinton Freedom Team to support victims and educate where appropriate. For more information about the Freedom Team, go to​ ​hopkintonfreedomteam.org​ or Facebook ​@hopkintonfreedomteam​.

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Hopkinton also posts frequently on social media. Our Twitter is the best place to keep up with all happenings Hopkinton. You don’t need an account to see our twitter feed: https://twitter.com/HopkintonMA

Complete list of Emergency Orders and Guidance from Mass.gov
https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-state-of-emergency

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