Subject: Tyngsborough COVID-19 Response March 12, 2020
Although the threat remains low in Massachusetts, and there are no confirmed cases in Tyngsborough, we continue to closely monitor the emergence of the 2019 novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). At this time, no one knows how severe this outbreak will be. In order to protect our residents, employees and participants of public events, and in accordance with the Governor’s State of Emergency, the Town’s Emergency Management Team has recommended canceling all non-essential gatherings and events. This includes the following:
Events canceled effective Friday, March 13th at 12:00 noon
- All events and activities at the Tyngsborough Senior Center are canceled indefinitely after 12:00 noon on Friday, March 13, 2020. Please note that the Meals on Wheels, AARP Tax Prep Appointments, Medical Equipment Loaning program and Senior bus program will continue to run and the Center will be staffed for the foreseeable future.
- All events and activities at the Tyngsborough Public Library are canceled indefinitely. Please note that there is no plans for a library closing at this time.
- Town-wide Recreation events, including the Shamrock Ball and other events have been canceled
Other events scheduled in May and beyond have not been canceled or rescheduled yet. We are waiting for further guidance from the CDC, Massachusetts Department of Health, and local public health and safety officials before making these decisions. The following events have NOT been canceled or rescheduled:
Events not canceled at this time
- Memorial Day Parade (5/25/2020)
- Town Meeting (5/19/2020)
- Regular meetings of elected or appointed boards and committees (i.e. Board of Selectmen, Conservation Commission, etc.)
Steps taken to limit exposure and transmission at the Municipal level
The Town of Tyngsborough has taken further steps to reduce transmission of the Coronavirus, and has implemented the following policies within local government:
- All work-related travel, both foreign and domestic, is to be discontinued until further notice. Municipal employees are also strongly encouraged to avoid any personal international travel.
- Conferences, seminars and other discretionary gatherings, scheduled and hosted by Municipal departments involving external parties, are to be held virtually or canceled.
- Regular internal business shall continue, including mandated public hearings and board meetings. Meeting organizers are strongly encouraged to utilize alternatives like conference calls, online meetings, and other group communication tools where possible.
- Additionally, Municipal employees should not attend external work-related conferences, seminars or events in person but seek out remote participation where possible.
- Municipal employees feeling sick with fever or flu symptoms should not come into work. Information available to date regarding COVID-19 indicates that the highest risk population includes older adults and individuals with serious chronic medical conditions. Employees in this risk group are encouraged to talk with their supervisors to review possible alternative work assignments.
These actions complement additional precautions that have been undertaken in recent days including encouraging proper self-care and hygiene such as washing hands, ensuring bathrooms are stocked with hand washing materials and paper products, frequently cleaning touch points such as doorknobs, handles, elevator buttons and common area surfaces, and making cleaning products and sanitizers available in all Municipal workspaces.
We urge older adults and those with health issues to avoid large crowds and events. Individuals who live in households with vulnerable people, like elderly parents, should also consider avoiding crowds.
The public is also reminded of steps to take to limit the spread of COVID-19:
- Cover your mouth – when you cough or sneeze use a tissue or your inner elbow, not your hands.
- Wash your hands – with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) if soap and water are not readily available.
- Stay home if you are sick – and avoid close contact with others.
The Tyngsborough Emergency Management Team is meeting multiple times per week and continues to plan for all contingencies surrounding this public health crisis. The Team will continue to update the public on further municipal developments through official announcements posted on the Town’s website.
This post has been edited to include reference to the Tyngsborough Public Library