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The original item was published from 3/16/2020 6:19:22 PM to 4/1/2020 12:00:04 AM.

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Coronavirus - COVID-19

Posted on: March 16, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Town of Whitman Closes Town Hall Offices as Precaution Against Coronavirus

State of Emergency - Coronavirus

Town Hall and Town Offices Closed to Public Effective Today

Town Administrator Frank Lynam announces that all Town of Whitman public buildings and town offices are closed until further notice. These actions have been taken to advance social distancing measures and as a precaution against coronavirus. 

As a precautionary measure, effective today at noon, all town offices and buildings have been closed to the public until further notice. Town offices will continue to be staffed and residents who need to conduct town business can call 781-447-7600. Departments will schedule appointments on a case by case basis. 

The town has also begun to take the necessary steps to cancel non-essential government meetings. For now, town staff will continue to report to work as scheduled and provide services to residents via phone, email and online. 

“The decision to close all public business and offices was made in an effort to enhance social distancing, and to emphasize the importance of taking precautionary measures during the COVID-19 situation,” Town Administrator Lynam said. “This remains a fluid situation, and we will keep residents informed as decisions are made.”

Active Town Closures and Cancellations

The following will be closed until further notice:

  • Town Hall
  • Whitman Public Library
  • Council on Aging
  • All town offices, including the Department of Public Works
  • All town fields, parks and recreational areas

The Whitman Police and Fire Departments will respond to emergency calls for service as normal, but will temporarily suspend walk-in, non emergency services. Residents are asked to contact the police business line at 781-447-1212 and the fire business line at 781-447-7626 or send an e-mail for non-emergencies.

On Sunday, March 15, Governor Charlie Baker announced new guidelines for all Massachusetts residents to promote social distancing and help to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • No gatherings of any kind of more than 25 people at one time, in one place.
  • All public and private schools in Massachusetts will close on Tuesday, March 17 until at least April 7.
  • All bars and restaurants will only be able to serve takeout customers.
  • Whitman residents, business owners and community members are asked to abide by these guidelines from the Governor’s office.

In accordance with the most recent guidelines outlined at the state level, Whitman’s closures are a proactive step to limit the potential spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Prevention
The COVID-19 situation is very fluid, and new information and guidelines are being posted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on a regular basis. The CDC offers the following guidance for how COVID-19 spreads

If anyone displays symptoms of COVID-19, including a fever, cough or shortness of breath, they should not go to work or school and are advised to contact their primary care physician. According to the CDC, symptoms of the virus appear within 2-14 days of exposure.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) recommends that residents continue with good hygiene practices including:

  • Practice good hand hygiene! Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds including under your fingernails. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol content) can be used when soap and water are not available.
  • Keep your hands away from your face.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing with a tissue and discard it immediately. Cough into the sleeve over your elbow instead of your hand. Wash your hands often when coughing and sneezing.
  • Stay away from people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.

For more information, visit the DPH website by clicking here and the CDC’s website by clicking here.

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