Hopkinton has first death from COVID-19: Town update for April 17

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Editor’s note: This is the town of Hopkinton’s COVID-19 update for April 17, with the town reporting its first death from COVID-19. Click here for an updated story with more details.

COVID-19 Updates & Precautions
April 17, 2020, PM update

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

While Town Hall and municipal buildings are physically closed to the public, ​we are open for business.​ Many transactions can be completed online, and 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. Parks, playgrounds and playing fields are closed.

As of 11 a.m. on April 17, Hopkinton’s Health Department is reporting 25 total confirmed COVID-19 cases; eight of those cases are active, with 16 recoveries and one death. You can see historical tracking and updates on Hopkinton’s Community Impact Dashboard: https://arcg.is/15Wj8C

Health officials report that the commonwealth is in the middle of the surge phase of the COVID-19 virus. This surge is expected to continue for at least another 10 days, if not longer.

During this time, ​local case numbers may not accurately reflect the infections in our community. There is no way to accurately determine the number of infected but asymptomatic individuals, i.e., you may be a “carrier” without knowing you are sick. ​This is a critical time to help stop the spread​. Please stay home, and if you must go out, wear a mask, go out only for what you need and practice social distancing.

Hopkinton Urges Runners to Stay Home on Patriots Day – ​NEW UPDATE
With the announcement of the postponement of the 2020 Boston Marathon to Monday, Sept. 14, the Hopkinton Select Board is strongly urging runners to refrain from coming to the start line in Hopkinton or attempting to run the marathon course on Monday, April 20.
Click here for more info
Click here to see a video message from Tedy Bruschi

Virtual Town Hall Office Hours – ​NEW UPDATE
Hopkinton continues to explore options for ways to best serve our residents during this unique time. To that end, we are pleased to offer a pilot program that will begin on Tuesday, April 20. Click here for more information.

Hopkinton Public Schools – ​NEW UPDATE
Although it is more challenging in our remote learning environment, prioritizing the safety and health of all of our students remains foremost in our thinking. As such, when a student has not been in “virtual contact” with teachers, the Hopkinton Public Schools may request a wellness check to be conducted by one of our School Resource Officers.

As always, students and families with food needs should reach out to Food Services Director Michelle Babin at ​mbabin@hopkinton.k12.ma.us.

Surveys regarding remote instruction will be coming out to families early next week.

Expanded reporting – ​NEW UPDATE
Expanded Data Reporting Secretary Sudders announced that, for the first time, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health will release a breakdown of novel coronavirus cases by city and town, as the state takes additional steps to assess and report the burden of infection across the commonwealth. The town-level data, which will be updated each Wednesday, marks the latest in a series of new data reports and information that the Command Center and DPH have made publicly available. These new reports augment the COVID-19 dashboard which is published each day at 4 p.m. See the links below to find the reports.

●  Daily dashboard data are published her​e

●  Cases, city/town, & hospital facility data are published here

●  PPE distribution data are published here

●  Hospital capacity published data are published here

**Hopkinton will continue to update our Community Impact Dashboard on a daily basis (Monday-Friday). ​Click here to be taken to the Dashboard.

Update on Contact Tracing – ​NEW UPDATE
On April 3, the Baker-Polito Administration ​announced an initiative​ to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts through contact tracing. Working with Partners in Health, Massachusetts was the first state in the nation to develop a program to trace individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 as well as their immediate contacts who may have been exposed to the virus. Through a team of leading medical experts working with the Department of Public Health, this program has already hired 176 employees to do contact tracing by phone, and hundreds of additional staff will be trained and onboarded in the coming weeks. Residents who receive a phone call from the Contact Tracing Collaborative are urged to take the call and provide the relevant information.

Updates to Essential Services Guidance – ​NEW UPDATE
The state announced significant updates to previous guidelines for COVID-19 Essential Services that are allowed under Governor Baker’s state of emergency order. This information is important for Hopkinton businesses as it specifically clarifies questions related to brick-and-mortar operations, e-commerce, and curbside pick-up. ​Read the updated guidelines and FAQs here​.

Senior Services and Senior Center
Hopkinton Senior Center staff continue to be available if you have questions or concerns, need assistance obtaining food or have any other need during this time. Please contact us at 508-497-9730. Leave a message and your call will be returned promptly.

“Senior Center Without Walls” — Check out the Senior Center website and Facebook page to see what virtual programs are available. New programs are being added weekly that cover exercise, language study, cooking and more! There is even a virtual coffee hours every week to catch up with old and new friends. If you need assistance accessing these programs, please call 508-497-9730 and we can help you connect.

Youth & Family Services
New resources have been added to our the extensive resource list for COVID19: Y&FS Basic Needs Resource Sheet for COVID19​.
Most recently MindWise has created a comprehensive page dedicated to strengthening mental health during this crisis including mental health support for businesses, identifying and managing anxiety, selfcare and other behavioral health support . Check it out here: https://www.mindwise.org/covid-19/

Stay Updated & More Resources
You can find many resources and more information at
https://coronavirus-hopkintonma.hub.arcgis.com.
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

Please note: Hopkinton briefings for next week are scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. Follow us on twitter for interim updates: ​https://twitter.com/HopkintonMA

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