You will find a great deal of new information in today's update, including information about the Governor's order to extend the current school closure until May 4. I know this is an important part of the social distancing we all need to follow to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Doing so helps to protect our students, staff, and faculty; our neighbors and family members; and our first responders. It is critical to our public safety, and it will be critical to our economic recovery.
However I also know that these actions have consequences for our educators, our students and caregivers, and our community, and likely create added pressure and uncertainty for many of us at an already challenging time. I've visited classrooms in our school district, and have witnessed the bond that exists among educators and their students; I know that many teachers have reached out to stay connected with their classes and with school families right now, and I am grateful to them for their efforts.
I know that being away from school is hard on everyone, and that people are eager to get back to school, back to learning, and back to familiar routines and rhythms. We're not there yet, but I know Superintendent Malkas and her team are determining the best and most equitably accessible ways to support our students, staff members, and families in maintaining academic mindset and skill development during this unprecedented disruption, and as we look with hope to a strong finish to our school year. We also learned today that MASS MoCA will be making deep cuts to its workforce and laying off most of its employees in the coming weeks. You can read the statement from MASS MoCA here.
This is bitter news at a difficult time, as the people who work at the museum are friends, neighbors, and family members to many of us in North Adams. This also is an indication of the challenges being faced by businesses and organizations throughout Berkshire County, and across Massachusetts, and not just in the cultural sector that plays such a powerful role in our regional economy. This news demonstrates that what affects one business or organization has the potential to affect us all, and reminds us of the need to rally in support our students, our friends, and our neighbors, and to provide comfort in the face of dislocation and disconnection.
Mayor Tom Bernard
NEW! COVID-19 CASES IN MASSACHUSETTS AS OF MARCH 25, 2020
Cases: 7 (+2 from March 24); 4 released from isolation
Deaths: 0 (+0 from March 24)
NEW! NORTH ADAMS PUBLIC SCHOOLS UPDATE
Governor Charlie Baker issued an emergency order extending the closure of all public and private schools, and all non-emergency childcare programs, until May 4 in an effort to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth.
The governor's order extends school closures in Massachusetts, including in North Adams, one week beyond scheduled spring vacation week on most school district calendars.
Superintendent Malkas will share more information with the school community about the effect of the extended school closure on our district. The superintendent and the North Adams Public Schools district leadership team continues to work on developing remote learning resources and delivery methods that will ensure that our students and educators can work together on high-quality educational materials that are equally and equitably accessible to all learners.
The daily Grab and Go meals program will continue during the extended closure according to the schedule and at the distribution sites currently in place:
Peter W. Foote Vietnam Veterans Memorial Skating Rink
City parks and playgrounds are open for "passive recreation" only; basketball courts and playground equipment are CLOSED.
LOCAL BUSINESSES AND SERVICES
Businesses and other organizations that provide essential services and workforces related to COVID-19 that shall continue to operate brick and mortar facilities during this two-week time period. This list is based on federal guidance and amended to reflect the needs of Massachusetts’ unique economy. While these businesses are designated as essential, they are urged to follow social distancing protocols for workers in accordance with guidance from the Department of Public Health.
Businesses and organizations not on the list of essential services are encouraged to continue operations through remote means that do not require workers, customers, or the public to enter or appear at the brick-and-mortar premises closed by the order.
Restaurants, bars, and other establishments that sell food and beverage products to the public are encouraged to continue to offer food for take-out and by delivery if they follow the social distancing protocols set forth in Department of Public Health guidance continue operations. On-premises consumption of food or drink is prohibited.
Most branch lobbies closed; drive up, ATM, and online banking available. Check with your financial institution for details.
Bars and Restaurants
Closed except for take out and delivery where offered.
Open; offering reserved service hours for customers 60+ daily at Big Y (7:00-8:00 a.m.) and Stop & Shop (6:00 - 7:30 a.m.); Walmart (6:00 - 7:00 a.m. Tuesdays).
Personal Care Services
Closed; includes hairdressers and barbers, nail salons, massage services, bodywork services, and body art (tattoo and piercing) businesses which cannot be conducted while ensuring 6 feet of social distancing. Does not apply to licensed health care providers such as, but not limited to, the practice of medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and mental health care providers.
Other retail and services
Essential Services only; contact business for information
SERVICES AND SUPPORT FOR INDIVIDUALS, BUSINESSES, AND ORGANIZATIONS
About COVID-19 Current information about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Source: The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH)
COVID-19 is a new respiratory disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Symptoms of this infection may appear 2-14 days after exposure and include:
Cough and shortness of breath, and
In severe cases, pneumonia (fluid in the lungs).
Call your healthcare professional if you develop symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19. See DPH's travel information related to COVID-19.
You can also call 2-1-1 to learn more about:
COVID-19 prevention, symptoms, and treatment
Information about testing
Guidance for people planning or returning from travel
Guidance for preventing the spread of germs and infectious diseases
Guidance for social distancing
NEW! COVID-19 Resource Guides
CITY OF NORTH ADAMS CONTACTS
CODE RED NOTIFICATIONS
City Hall: (413) 662-3000
North Adams Police Department: (413) 664-4944
North Adams Fire Department: (413) 664-4922
Public Services: (413) 662-3047
North Adams Public Schools: (413) 776-1458