Mayor Charles C. Kokoros wishes to provide the community with important information and updates on COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, including the Town’s Emergency Response Plan.
Town Hall, Services and Meetings
Mayor Kokoros announced last week that all events in town buildings and properties will be postponed until further notice.
Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, all Town buildings will close to the public. Residents are encouraged to utilize online resources at braintreema.gov for services such as permitting, summer camp registration, request of vital records, dog registration and payment of bills, including taxes, water and sewer and trash bills. Additionally, residents can utilize the existing drop boxes located outside of Town Hall for payment of bills. Any documents directed to the Town Clerk’s Office can be left in the “Treasurer/Collector” drop box. Staff will be on site at all locations and available by phone to provide information and answer questions regarding continued operations. General questions about ongoing operations should be directed to the Mayor’s Office at 781-794-8100.
- Assessors: 781-794-8050
- Building Division: 781-794-8070
- Elder Affairs: 781-848-1963
- Planning & Community Development: 781-794-8230
- Public Works: 781-794-8254
- Recreation and Community Events: 781-794-8900
- Retirement Board: 781-794-8210
- School Department: 781-380-0130
- Thayer Public Library: 781-848-0405
- Town Clerk: 781-794-8240
- Town Hall: 781-794-8000
- Treasurer/Collector: 781-794-8130
- Veterans Services: 781-794-8217
Mayor Kokoros and representatives from the Health Department have met with representatives from local nursing homes, long term care facilities, assisted and independent living facilities, adult day care centers, including the Marge Crispin Center, the Braintree Housing Authority and the Department of Elder Affairs to discuss their emergency response plans and share best practices and policies to protect our elderly and high risk community. Steps being taken include, in some cases, prohibiting visitors to these facilities, conducting health assessments of vendors and employees, increasing cleaning protocols and restricting the use of social spaces. Residents are encouraged to contact these facilities directly to confirm current emergency protocols.
Scheduled transportation for medical appointments will continue pending further notice.
Questions should be directed to Elder Affairs at 781-848-1963. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The library will be staffed during normal hours to continue providing services to the community.
Understanding the inconvenience this causes to patrons, the Library has implemented measures to allow for the continued use of services during this time. This includes:
- Extending the loan period for items up to four weeks with a waiver of all fines.
- Curbside Pick Up and Drop Off will be available Monday through Thursday from 9 am to 6 pm and Friday and Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm
- On-Line services will remain available at thayerpubliclibrary.org.
Independent Grocery Stores
In light of reports of empty shelves in grocery stores around the nation, Mayor Kokoros and representatives from the Health Department met with several local grocers. These organizations have established emergency response plans to ensure they are able to continue providing services, including food and merchandise available for purchase. As demand for certain items increases, these organizations are working with suppliers and making efforts to replenish their inventory as soon as possible. Consumers may begin to see limits on quantities of purchases of paper goods and other supplies in high demand to ensure that everyone has access to these items. We urge everyone to respect these quantity limits to help ensure that all residents can find the products they need. Stores will be refilling high-demand products as quickly as they can. Residents are also urged to take advantage of delivery and in-store pick up services where available.
Superintendent Frank Hackett announced Friday that all Braintree Public Schools will be closed from March 16, 2020 through March 27, 2020. The closure of schools is a proactive step by the school district to limit the potential spread of COVID-19.School officials are working to create grab and go food options for students, Monday through Friday for breakfast and lunch. More information is forthcoming from the Superintendent’s Office.Residents with questions are asked to contact the Superintendent’s Office at 781-380-0130.
The Braintree Police and Fire departments will continue to run operations as usual. In conjunction with our public safety partners at Brewster Ambulance, dispatcher procedures have been updated to include travel and symptom related questions and our first responders will continue to provide residents with all necessary public safety services while taking precautions to limit the spread of the virus.
The Mayor, Town and School officials are continuing to closely follow guidance from the Braintree Health Division, Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding the virus, as well as steps that can be taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In the coming week, Mayor Kokoros and members of the Health Department plan to meet with a number of local service providers including day care centers, faith based organizations, social clubs, pharmacies, transportation providers and health clubs to share best practices as the situation continues to evolve.
Mayor Kokoros has met with representatives from the South Shore Plaza to discuss their enhanced sanitation measures including providing hand sanitizers and educational signage at every entrance and increasing resources dedicated to sanitizing high touch points on the property. Additionally, Mayor Kokoros andmembers of the Health Department will be meeting with the Chamber of Commerce to determine ways to strengthen and support our local business community.
“It is essential that we proactively collaborate with our local service providers to allow them to continue meeting the needs of our community while taking necessary precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19,” said Mayor Kokoros. “I am thankful to these organizations for partnering with the Town in its proactive approach to limiting the exposure of COVID-19 within our community.”
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath and respiratory illness, including pneumonia in severe cases.
Local, state and federal health officials are encouraging residents to take the following precautions to prevent infectious diseases, such as the flu and COVID-19, from spreading:
- Washing hands with soap and water, scrubbing hands for at least 20 seconds before rinsing or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%-95% alcohol.
- Frequently clean commonly touched surfaces, including phones, tablets, keyboards, doorknobs, light switches, faucet handles, toilet flushers, countertops.
- Avoid sharing personal items such as ChapStick, water bottles, eating utensils, etc.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing and then wash hands.
- Community members should stay home and avoid contact with others when experiencing flu-like symptoms, including a fever of 100.4 and should remain home until symptom-free and/or fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.
- High-risk residents should consider not attending social gatherings with large groups, particularly if you are over the age of 60, have underlying health conditions, a weakened immune system or are pregnant.
Additionally, all residents should be practicing social distancing. Social distancing is the practice of reducing close contact between people to slow the spread of infections or diseases. Social distancing measures include maintaining a 6 feet distance from each other, limiting large groups of people coming together, closing buildings and cancelling events.
The DPH is in regular communication with local boards of health, healthcare providers, hospitals, long-term care facilities, schools and local government officials. COVID-19 information is posted on the DPH website and updated regularly. In addition, the DPH has created a Public Health Fact Sheet.
The CDC also provides up-to-date information regarding confirmed cases and travel advisories on its website.
“The continued efforts of all town departments and our staff, especially the health department, is essential to all components of our ongoing efforts during this public health emergency,” said Mayor Kokoros.
Mayor Kokoros and the Health Department will continue to closely monitor this situation and will provide new updates and information when it becomes available.
For questions relating to COVID-19, residents may contact the Braintree Health Division at 781-794-8090.