Editor’s note: This is the town of Hopkinton’s COVID-19 update for Nov. 5.
COVID-19 Updates and Precautions
Nov. 5 update
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. 4, Hopkinton’s Health Department is reporting 178 total confirmed COVID-19 cases; five of those cases are active, with 160 recoveries and 13 deaths. You can see historical tracking and updates on Hopkinton’s Community Impact Dashboard.
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-5-2020/download
** According to a tweet from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health posted on Thursday, Nov. 5, at 4:05 p.m., “The COVID-19 Weekly Public Health Report to be published today (Thursday, November 5) does not include the town by town information, including the weekly listing of city and town risk levels. We will publish updated data on Friday, November 6.”
Hopkinton Freedom Team — NEW UPDATE
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
Town of Hopkinton COVID-19 Rent and Mortgage Relief Program — REMINDER
The Town of Hopkinton is announcing a program to provide partial, temporary support for certain housing costs for qualified residents who have experienced income loss due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Funding for the program comes from the town’s federal CARES Act emergency relief allocation. Click here for more information and the application form.
COVID-19 Housing Assistance
Hopkinton renters and homeowners facing eviction, foreclosure, loss of utilities or other housing emergencies caused by loss of income, increase in expenses or both due to the COVID-19 pandemic may call the Massachusetts 2-1-1 information hotline for information on state housing assistance programs. Operators for 2-1-1 are trained to answer questions and connect residents to the state agencies that administer COVID-19 housing assistance programs. Information is also available on the state’s website: mass.gov/CovidHousingHelp.
Governor Baker Announces Targeted Measures To Curb Rising COVID-19 Cases
Earlier this week 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. Additional details and links can be found below, under New Orders and Advisories.
New Orders & Advisories (issued Monday, Nov. 2, go into effect Friday, Nov. 6, at 12:01 a.m.)
- Stay At Home Advisory: The commonwealth issued a revised Stay At Home Advisory to ensure residents avoid unnecessary activities that can lead to increased COVID-19 transmission. The revised Stay At Home Advisory instructs residents to stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. The advisory allows for activities such as going to work, running critical errands to get groceries and address health needs, and taking a walk. Click here to read the revised Stay At Home Advisory.
- Early Closure of Businesses and Activities: Governor Baker issued a new executive order that requires the early closure of certain businesses and activities each night at 9:30 p.m. The 9:30 p.m. closure requirement is aligned with the Stay At Home Advisory and together the two new initiatives are designed to further limit activities that could lead to COVID-19 transmission. Click here to read the new executive order (including full list of businesses required to close at 9:30 p.m.).
- Face Covering Order: Governor Baker also signed an updated order related to face coverings. The revised order requires all persons to wear face coverings in all public places, even where they are able to maintain 6 feet of distance from others. The revised order still allows for an exception for residents who cannot wear a face covering due to a medical or disabling condition, but it allows employers to require employees to provide proof of such a condition. It also allows schools to require that students participating in in-person learning provide proof of such a medical or disabling condition. Click here to read the revised face coverings order.
- Gatherings Order: Governor Baker also signed an updated order restricting gatherings. The new gatherings order reduces the gathering size limit for gatherings at private residences. Indoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 10 people and outdoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 25 people. The limit on gatherings held in public spaces and at event venues (e.g. wedding venues) remains the same. The new order also requires that all gatherings (regardless of size or location) must end and disperse by 9:30 p.m. Click here to read the revised gatherings order.
Small Business Grants Now Open
Massachusetts is offering $50.8 million in grants to small businesses experiencing income loss and hardship due to COVID-19. Applications are being accepted now through Nov. 12.
There could be more to the story … You don’t have to be an expert to support a friend in a time of need. Knowing how to recognize signs that something is wrong and start a conversation can make a huge difference to our loved ones. We can all Ask, Listen, Encourage and Check in. Click here for more info. Sometimes it may seem like more immediate help is needed. If a situation is potentially life threatening, call 9-1-1. If a friend or family member is experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis, the Emergency Services Program is available to everyone 24/7. Call 877-382-1609.
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