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News Briefs: Town, BAA combine to help hospital

by | Apr 9, 2020 | News

John Coutinho-Carolyn Jackson poncho donation 3-31-20

Select Board member John Coutinho (left) delivers a box of rain ponchos to St. Vincent’s Hospital CEO (and Hopkinton resident) Carolyn Jackson.

While the Boston Marathon won’t be held until September, the town and race organizers continue to work together to benefit the region.

Hopkinton resident Carolyn Jackson is the CEO of St. Vincent’s Hospital in Worcester, and she reached out to the Select Board to see if the town could help acquire some emergency personal protective equipment for her staff.

Select Board member John Coutinho in turn contacted the Boston Athletic Association, which oversees the Boston Marathon, and the Hopkinton-based 26.2 Foundation.

As a result, on March 31 Select Board members loaded approximately 3,000 rain ponchos — which originally were to be distributed on race day — into a pickup truck, and Coutinho delivered the makeshift protective gear to the hospital himself.

“Facilitating the arrival of more safety equipment for medical professionals who are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic is another wonderful example of how we work together,” Coutinho said, via a town press release. “It’s just what we do; we take care of each other.”

Town warns of COVID-19 scams

The Hopkinton Police issued a warning about a COVID-19 scam in which individuals are going door to door claiming to test people for the virus. The individuals reportedly are driving a white van and wearing hazmat suits.

According to the police notice: “While inside the houses taking fake vitals they are stealing items out in the open. Please be aware there are no organizations going door to door testing people. If you see these individuals please call the police immediately.”

Officials also warned people to be wary of anyone offering COVID-19 testing in exchange for a Medicare number or money.

“Never accept a COVID-19 test from someone who comes to your door; approaches you at the grocery store or other community venue; calls offering you a mail-in test in exchange for money or Medicare number; who calls to request your bank card or account information to pay for a test,” the warning stated.

Senior Center staff available

While the Senior Center has been closed, staff remains on call. Seniors are advised to call 508-497-9730 if they have any questions or concerns, including needing assistance getting food or medical equipment.

Area stores have been providing reserved shopping times for seniors. At the Price Chopper in Hopkinton, seniors have the store to themselves from 6-7 a.m. each day.

Milford Regional establishes hotline

Milford Regional Medical Center has established a COVID-19 information hotline staffed by a healthcare professional from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.: 508-717-3702. Alternatively, anyone can submit an online assessment form via the MRMC website at milfordregional.org.

Milford Regional announced late last month that its urgent care center in Hopkinton will be closed temporarily. This includes the lab location and radiology services offered at this urgent care site.

Meanwhile, the hospital is in need of medical supplies due to shortages caused by the pandemic. The greatest needs are for surgical procedure masks with elastic ear loops, NIOSH-approved N95 masks and face shields, impervious isolation gowns and nasopharyngeal swabs.

Anyone who has items to donate should reach out to the MRMC Foundation Office at foundation@milreg.org or 508-422-2228.

Library partners with Mass. Audubon

The Hopkinton Public Library announced that it is participating in Mass. Audubon’s Library Partners program, which will allow library patrons to explore and enjoy the nature of Massachusetts.

Individuals can use their Hopkinton Public Library pass to visit Mass. Audubon’s statewide network of more than 50 wildlife sanctuaries at the discounted rate of $2 per person (for up to four people per pass). Explore Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, where more than a thousand acres of salt marsh attract a wide array of birds and other wildlife, or Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, where spring means bluebirds and baby farm animals, or Pleasant Valley in the Berkshires, with beautiful landscapes that have inspired artists for centuries.

While Mass. Audubon is engaged in many different environmental activities, the roots of the organization are in bird conservation. Bird watching is one of the fastest-growing outdoor activities in America, and patrons of the Hopkinton Public Library can connect with this nationally renowned birding resource. Mass. Audubon offers programs for beginning to expert birders, and many opportunities to volunteer and participate in citizen science to help protect wildlife and wild lands.

Editor’s note: This story appears in the April 8 print edition of the Hopkinton Independent.

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