Editor’s note: This is the town of Hopkinton’s COVID-19 update for April 6.
COVID-19 Updates & Precautions
April 6, 2020 PM update
Previous updates and additional information and resources can be found here:
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. Parks, Playgrounds and Playing Fields are closed.
As of 11:00 a.m. on 4/6/20, Hopkinton’s Health Department has 15 total confirmed COVID-19 cases; 7 of those cases are active, with 8 recoveries and zero deaths. We are currently 4-10 days away from the anticipated “surge” in the Commonwealth (April 10-April 20) and are experiencing an increase in both traceable and community spread cases. Hopkinton’s most recent cases fall within the 20-39 age range and relate to contact at work, travel and undetermined exposures. Please review the newly released CDC recommendations for masks posted below.
Mental Health Help – NEW UPDATE
The coronavirus can cause feelings of stress, loneliness and despair and severely impact mental health. There are many resources for help. The Centers for Disease Control has comprehensive information on stress and coping.
Hopkinton Youth & Family Services has a resource page for behavioral health, substance use recovery, and other resources to get help during the crisis that is regularly updated with new resources. Y&FS Basic Needs Resource Sheet for COVID19. Can’t find what you need? Contact us. Our office is available to help.
Hopkinton Senior Center staff continue to be available if you have questions or concerns, need assistance obtaining food or have any other need while we are closed. Please contact us at 508-497-9730. Leave a message and your call will be returned promptly.
CDC Updated Guidance on Wearing Cloth Masks in Public – NEW UPDATE
On April 3, CDC issued a recommendation about wearing cloth face coverings in public settings. This recommendation was made after considering recent studies that have shown individuals with the virus who lack symptoms can transmit the virus to others. CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings including places where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (such as grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
It is critical to emphasize that the mask recommendation does not replace social distancing, stay at home measures, and hand washing recommendations that remain in effect. Social distancing, staying at home except for essential travel, and hand hygiene remain vitally important to slowing the spread of the virus. Learn more at the CDC website.
Restaurants May Sell Beer and Wine with Food for Takeout – NEW UPDATE
Gov. Baker and the Alcohol Beverages Control Commission have approved an act allowing restaurants with liquor licenses to sell beer and wine with food for takeout, effective immediately and until the state of emergency is lifted. The effort is intended to help support local restaurants including those in Hopkinton. Takeout customers may order up to 192 ounces of malt beverages (about a 12-pack of 16 oz. bottles of beer) or up to 1.5 liters of wine (about one bottle). Alcohol may only be sold with food, in sealed original containers, and both the buyer and the recipient must be at least 21 years old. Read more.
Municipal Governance Bill Signed – NEW UPDATE
The state legislature signed an act to address the challenges faced by municipalities and state authorities presented by COVID-19. The act addresses town meeting delays, emergency liabilities in case COVID-19 prevents the adoption of annual budgets, due dates for real estate and property tax bills, appeals and extensions, and other provisions. Read a summary.
As a reminder, The Select Board voted at its March 17 meeting to delay Hopkinton’s Annual Town Meeting to June 22, 2020. Additionally the board authorized the Town Manager and Town Counsel to draft proposed special legislation to delay the Town election currently scheduled for Monday, May 18, 2020, to a later date.
Hopkinton Public Schools – NEW UPDATE
The Hopkinton School Committee will vote on Thursday evening, April 9, at their regularly scheduled meeting whether to eliminate April Vacation (April 21-24). For details, check the Web Meeting Calendar on the homepage of www.hopkintonma.gov.
2020 Boston Marathon Refunds
The Boston Athletic Association is offering refunds to any runners who are not able to participate in the rescheduled race on September 14, 2020. This is the first time refunds have ever been offered. Read more from the BAA.
Cybersecurity for Remote Meetings
The FBI’s Boston Division has issued a warning about video-teleconferencing (VTC) hijacking or “Zoom-bombing.” This is when video meetings, online classrooms, and other remote activities are hijacked by somebody attempting to show pornographic and/or hate images, or threatening language or background noise so as to disturb the meeting. The FBI is recommending cybersecurity efforts such as: not making meetings or classrooms public; not sharing meeting links on social media; managing screensharing options; ensuring users have updated software.
For any future public meeting, Hopkinton has enabled a “waiting room” feature, and the meeting host will explicitly allow each participant into the meeting. Hopkinton Boards and committees that do not have applications which are subject to regulatory or statutory time limitations should not meet.
Massachusetts Beaches Closed
Governor Baker issued an emergency order to close all coastal beaches and parking areas managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation on Friday, April 3, at noon. State beaches will remain open for activities such as walking, jogging, biking and solitary fishing. Seasonal state parks will open early this year; visitors are reminded to keep physical and social distance when in parks.
RMV Extends Registration Deadline for 60 Days
The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has extended registration deadlines for 60 days. All passenger and dealer plate registrations that expired in March have been extended until May 31. Registrations that expire in April have been extended until June 30. A limited number of RMV locations remain open for appointment only services, no walk-ins. All services can be accessed online at Mass.Gov/RMV.
Stay Updated & More Resources:
You can find many resources and more information at www.hopkintonma.gov/covid-19
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
Note: Briefings for the remainder of the week will be scheduled for Wednesday and Friday afternoon. Follow us on twitter for interim updates: https://twitter.com/HopkintonMA