COVID-19 Past Updates
COVID-19 UPDATE AS OF MAY 11TH
Text from this evenings’ robocall from Town Manager Stephen Crane:
Good Evening. This is Town Manager Stephen Crane calling once again to give you an update on the Town’s response to the COVID 19 pandemic. Governor Baker has issued new orders including the extension of the closure of nonessential businesses until May 18 as well as a new requirement that face coverings that cover your nose and mouth must be worn in public when social distancing cannot be maintained, when inside certain businesses, and while using public transit. The Concord Board of Health also adopted an order on face coverings that incorporates the Governor’s order and further clarifies its application in town. Both orders are posted on the Town’s website.
The Governor also made several changes to non-essential businesses allowing for some remote purchases and has announced a four phase plan to reopen the state’s economy. The Town will closely monitor the development of the plan and incorporate it into local efforts to reopen including Town offices. Information on the Governor’s plan is also on the Town’s website.
Town Moderator Carmin Reiss has also announced that the Annual Town Meeting continued to June 22 will be further continued, at least until late July, and ideally until late September. The Moderator’s decisions on Town Meeting are made in consultation with the Select Board and Town public health and safety officials, and based upon local public health conditions, restrictions ordered by the Governor, the Town’s ability to ensure everyone’s safety, and the Town’s ability to continue operations while delaying town meeting appropriations.
The Town Election remains scheduled for June 11. Any voter wishing to vote by mail needs to send to the Town Clerk by mail, email, or in the drop box outside the Town House, a signed and dated request for an early ballot, including their name, address and where the ballot should be sent. We strongly encourage voting by mail for the health of both voters and election workers.
Finally, I want to thank Concord residents for your continued patience in this difficult and uncertain time. The pandemic has already impacted all of us and will continue to do so for months to come. It’s more important than ever to fight the spread of the virus, treat each other with kindness and respect, and support local businesses whenever possible. Stay safe and be well.
The above Four-Phase Approach to Reopening Massachusetts was announced May 11th, the details provided about the phased reopening can be found on mass.gov.
UPDATE AS OF MAY 5TH
On Monday, May 4th, Governor Baker made changes to non-essential business restrictions. The changes can be seen in the Essential Services FAQ, the text of which is available on the Massachusetts State Government website.
UPDATE AS OF MAY 4TH
Answering the Phone to Help the MA COVID Team Trace & Slow the Spread of COVID-19
If someone tests positive for COVID-19, staff from the state’s new Community Tracing Collaborative will reach out by phone to that person, and their close contacts, to slow the spread of the virus. Contact Tracers will make sure residents are getting the medical attention and support they need during isolation and quarantine.
The caller ID will show the call is coming from “MA COVID Team”. If you receive a call with this ID, please answer the call. Information shared during the call is strictly confidential and is treated as private medical information. Learn More about the Community Tracing Collaborative: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/learn-about-the-community-tracing-collaborative
UPDATE AS OF MAY 1ST
Earlier today, Governor Maker issued an order to help slow the spread of COVID-19 by requiring face masks to be worn in public. This order goes into effect Wednesday May 6th and will remain in effect until further notice. For information on the order, please read the official language which can be found here.
In response to the good weather which is being forecasted for this weekend the Concord Police Department has issued some precautions which will be taken in order to assist with keeping our community safe during the time of COVID-19 social distancing necessity. Please view the memo from Police Chief Joseph F. O’Connor to Town Manager Stephen Crane below or by clicking the link here.
CONCORD POLICE DEPARTMENT
As a result of the Governor Baker’s issuance of the State of Emergency declaration on March 10, 2020; and the local declaration by the Select Board on March 19, 2020 due to the COVID-19 situation, the Police Department has continued to ensure the safety of the community while collaborating with key stakeholders to assist with public health issues.
Social distancing is vital for reducing risk of transmission of COVID-19. The Concord community overall has been compliant with the Governor’s order; however, we have seen increased usage of conservation areas, the Bruce Freeman Trail and other locations. Although the areas are thought of as open spaces people sometimes come within close proximity of each other. The risk in these open spaces is low; however, some people experience some anxiety especially when masks are not being worn.
This Sunday, May 3, 2020 the weather is expected to sunny and approximately 70 degrees. It is anticipated that people will feel the need get outside and enjoy the weather. It is expected that an increase of people in the fore mention locations will increase and the Police Department will be putting the following in place to assist with safety
The Finance Committee Public Hearings have been rescheduled for Monday May 4th and Wednesday May 6th. The article information and more can be found in the agendas below.
Concord Public Works (CPW) is pleased to inform you that throughout this COVID-19 response period, curbside trash and recycling continues to be picked up reliably and on schedule.
As you may recall, because Town offices had been forced to close un-expectedly during the regular subscription renewal period, accommodations were made to allow for on-line procurement of barrel stickers and disposal tags. While many customers have successfully been able to renew their subscriptions online and by mail and obtain updated barrel stickers and disposal tags, we wish to remind those who have not yet been able to do so of the following:
There are two payment steps required to ensure uninterrupted service of municipal curbside trash and recycling. This involves (1) payment of your 6-month subscription fee and (2) purchase of barrel sticker or disposal tags.
Barrel stickers and disposal tags may continue to be purchased locally at Concord Lumber, Crosby’s Market, CVS, West Concord Pharmacy or West Concord 5&10. (Cumberland Farms sells tags only).
You can also now purchase your Barrel Sticker and Disposal Tags online. Those residents who cannot get to one of our vendor locations can purchase a barrel sticker ($46.80) which covers April 1 – Sept. 30 or single use disposal tags ($1.80), by clicking here. Please allow two weeks for these to be received in the mail.
You can also renew your subscription for that same time period online via the same link. You will need to enter your bill number (six digits preceded by “0”s) and enter the year 20211. If you cannot locate your bill you may use the “search option” on the online application.
Another method of renewal subscription can be achieved by sending your check payable to “Town of Concord” for $141.00 along with a note indicating you are paying your curbside subscription – stating your address and mail to “Treasurer’s Office, Town of Concord, 22 Monument Square, Concord, MA 01742”. If you have already sent this to the PO Box listed on the bill, that is okay, it just takes a little longer to be processed.
If you have, any questions feel free to contact us via email at email@example.com or by leaving us a voicemail message at 978-318-3240. We will respond as soon as possible.
We appreciate your patience and understanding and hope you and your family stay well.
Please visit the program webpage at any time for the most up-to-date information at www.concordma.gov/recycle.
UPDATE AS OF APRIL 15TH
The Town Moderator, Carmin Reiss, has issued a declaration of recess and continuance for Concord’s Annual Town Meeting. Please see the notice here.
The Town of Concord’s Fire/EMS Department has donated six PAPRs (powered, air-purifying respirator) and accessories (batteries and chargers) to Emerson Hospital to aid in their fight against COVID-19. The Department’s PAPR is compatible with Emerson’s machines and filters and will provide additional support to the hospital. The Town is working to provide what we can to Emerson Hospital as one of our community’s critical stakeholders and partners.
A Select Board Meeting will be held tomorrow at 4:00PM; the meeting can be watched live by visiting minuteman.media/govt or on channel 9 on cable.
We want to thank our community for your efforts to stop the spread of this virus which has taken hold of all of our lives. Please continue to do your part and social distance, wear a cloth mask as recommended by the CDC when out of your home, and practice good hygiene.
As a reminder, please be responsible when visiting our conservation lands and trails. Help us keep our community healthy by following the guidelines below when visiting our shared open spaces.
UPDATE AS OF APRIL 10TH
A message from Town Manager Stephen Crane:
Hi, this is Town Manager Stephen Crane with an update for you on the coronavirus impacts in Concord. I hope this message finds you well. To begin, I want to help everyone understand how the Town is evaluating conditions and making decisions about modifications to services including access to Town facilities. Our only goal is to limit the community spread of COVID-19 so we can keep our community healthy and return to normal as soon as possible.
While most people are doing a good job with social distancing, there are some who are not taking these precautions seriously and are placing others at risk. Unfortunately, decisions will need to be made to address the few who are not doing their part that will have an impact everyone else.
As many of you already know, we have closed all sport courts and playground equipment and will be strictly enforcing parking limits at Town schools, parks, trails and other outdoor amenities. The Town may be forced to take further action for the sake of public health if people continue to ignore the guidance to remain at home except for essential errands and keep disregarding the social distancing measures when outside.
Some simple things you can do during this crisis to minimize risk of exposing yourself and others, as well as help manage the anxiety many of us are feeling, include avoiding a site if the parking lot is full and staying at least six to ten feet from others, stepping aside as needed to allow others to pass. Additionally, please keep dogs leashed so they do not run at others. A dog bite would be an unnecessary and avoidable burden on our health care system during this pandemic. The better we do at these things, the faster this crisis will end.
I also want to update you on a few new policies that can reduce the financial impact of the pandemic on individuals and businesses. First, the Select Board has voted to waive interest and other penalties in the event of a late payment of taxes. Second, resources for local businesses are now posted on the Town website and Town staff are available to assist with the process. Finally, the State is now allowing beer and wine sales with takeout orders from licensed restaurants.
The Annual Town Meeting will be postponed until Monday, June 22. The Town Election will be on Thursday, June 11.
Finally, we want to remind everyone to sign up for News and Notices to receive email updates from the Town. Directions to sign up are on the front page of the Town’s website: concordma.gov
Please take care during these trying times and help our first responders and health care workers by doing your part to keep yourself and others safe and well.
UPDATE AS OF APRIL 7TH
The Town of Concord, like many communities across the country, has made the difficult decision to close all sports courts and play equipment within the Town of Concord beginning tomorrow, April 8th. This decision was made with the community’s best interest in mind as the nation continues to struggle containing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Over the past several weeks, the Town (though the Police, Public Health and Town Manager’s Department) have received a number of complaints from residents about the use of parks and the lack of social distancing measures being properly followed. Therefore, effective immediately all basketball courts, tennis courts, batting cages, and other park amenities will be closed until further notice. Open spaces within the parks will be open for community use as long as proper social distancing measures are followed. As a reminder, the virus can spread on objects and surfaces making playing games such as frisbee (where an object is passed between people) an unsafe social distancing activity.
We encourage you to continue to practice healthy habits and to recreate outside. The Town will continue to evaluate what we are able to safely keep open but these decisions will be based on if social distancing measures are being followed. These measures will help us stop the spread of the virus. Remember, even if someone looks healthy, they could be an asymmtomatic carrier or you could be a carrier and unintentionally pass it to someone else. Please act as though all people you meet outside of your home are infectious and keep a safe distance. For more information and updates related to the Town’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including up-to-date information regarding office closures, business information all other health-related announcements, please visit the Town’s website at concordma.gov/coronavirus2019 or you can follow up on social media @TownofConcordMA
UPDATE FOR APRIL 6TH
The novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of us in different ways. The Town of Concord has been working tirelessly to try and keep the community safe which in large part means working with our State Government to provide the best service and information to our community. At the suggestion of the State, the Town took the “case counter” off of the COVID-19 webpage several weeks ago as it was found to be incomplete and suggested that COVID19 was not significantly present in Concord, which could create a false sense of security.
After hearing from our community that they would prefer to have the case counter posted with the understanding of our concerns with the completeness of the information, the Select Board indicated to the Town Manager that the counter should be placed back on the website to be updated once a week with the latest available number. The counter has been replaced on the website with a warning message explaining the need for social distancing and provides the number of cases who have been tested and reported by the State. There has been widespread community transmission throughout Massachusetts and we ask that you please assume that everyone you come into contact with may be infected with the virus.
Most departments, including the Concord Municipal Light Plant, are working with minimal staffing during limited hours. Concord Municipal Utilities is committed to delivering reliable electric, water/sewer, and broadband service, and we are adapting to support our residential and business customers during this difficult time.
We have scaled back our operations and adjusted how we handle essential services, to learn how things may have changed, please see our page here: https://concordma.gov/2577/COVID-19-Important-Utilities-Information
UPDATE FOR APRIL 4TH
Please note that as we begin to settle into our temporary "normal," the COVID-19 updates from the Town may be less frequent but will continue to be sent as needed.
Updates from the State
The following is a summary provided by the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA) of the key sections of An Act to Address Challenges Faced by Municipalities and State Authorities Resulting from COVID-19. The text of the bill can be seen by clicking here:
- Town Meeting Delay Beyond June 30. Allows Town Meetings to be delayed beyond June 30 if Governor has declared a state of emergency related to public health or safety. (Section 1).
- Recess and Continuance of Town Meeting. Allows the Moderator to recess and continue an already-called Town Meeting during (and until 5 days after) a public health, safety or weather emergency for up to 30 days, renewable for up to 30 days at time during the emergency, but not to a date more than 30 days following the rescission of the state of emergency. If a town does not have a moderator, the Select Board may recess and continue Town Meeting accordingly. A public safety or public health official designated by the Select Board shall submit a report to the Attorney General providing justification for the recess and continuance. These changes are effective as of March 10, 2020. (Sections 2, 3 and 4).
- Adoption of Temporary Fiscal 2021 Budgets. If Town Meeting is unable to adopt an annual budget by June 30 due to a declared emergency, the Select Board shall notify the Director of Accounts at DLS, and the Director may approve expenditures from any appropriate fund or account of an amount sufficient for the operations of the Town during the month of July of not less than 1/12 of the total budget approved in the most recent fiscal year, pursuant to a plan approved by the Select Board, with such authority continuing for each successive month that the emergency prevents the adoption of a budget by Town Meeting. (Section 5).
- Use of Free Cash and Undesignated Fund Balances. If a Town is delayed from adopting an annual budget due to the COVID-19 emergency, the Director of Accounts may authorize the Town to appropriate (for use in fiscal 2021) from the available undesignated fund balance or free cash certified by DLS as of July 1, 2019, including undesignated fund balances in enterprise funds or special revenue accounts. (Section 6).
- Amortization of Fiscal 2020 Deficits. Allows cities and towns to amortize its fiscal 2020 deficit resulting from the COVID-19 emergency over fiscal years 2021 to 2023, to be funded in equal or more rapid installments, such amortization to be adopted prior to setting the fiscal 2021 tax rate. (Section 7).
- Use of Revolving Funds. Allows cities and towns that are unable to adopt their fiscal 2021 annual budget due to the COVID-19 emergency to expend amounts from revolving funds not to exceed the authorized expenditure in fiscal 2020. The legislative body shall vote on the total amount to be expended from each revolving fund when the annual budget is adopted. (Section 8).
- Tolling Required Action on “Chapter” Lands. Suspends the time period that municipalities are required to act, respond, effectuate or exercise an option to purchase Chapter 61 forest land, Chapter 61A agricultural land, or Chapter 61B recreational land until 90 days after the governor’s March 10, 2020 emergency declaration is terminated. (Section 9).
- Option to Delay Property Tax Due Date to June 1. Allows the municipal chief executive to delay the due date for municipal property tax bills to June 1. (Section 10).
- Option to Waive Interest and Penalties for Late Payments. Allows the municipal chief executive to waive the payment of interest and other penalties on late payments that were due after March 10, 2020 and paid before June 30, 2020, for any excise, tax, betterment assessment, water or sewer bill, or other charge added to a tax. (Section 11).
- Non-Termination of Services to Residents Due to Late Payment. Cities and towns shall not terminate an essential service of a resident, including water, trash collection or electricity, for nonpayment of taxes or fees due on or after March 10, 2020 and paid after the due date but before June 30, 2020, if the nonpayment resulted from a demonstrated inability to pay due to the COVID-19 outbreak or the March 10, 2020 emergency declaration by the governor, provided that the inability to pay shall include a demonstrated financial hardship of a resident, including but not limited to loss of employment, serious illness or death of someone within the home. (Section 11).
- State Income Tax Deadline Delayed. Postpones the deadline for filing Massachusetts state income tax returns and payments from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020. (Section 12).
- Sale of Alcohol by Take-Out Restaurants. Allows restaurants licensed to sell alcoholic beverages on-premises may sell sealed containers of alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption as part of take-out food transactions. (Section 13).
- Facilitating Return to Service by Retirees. Allows state and municipal employees to return to work for the state or a municipality regardless of mandatory retirement ages or a statutory limit on hours worked and earnings received, to help with workforce needs. Those on disability retirement are not eligible. (Section 14).
- Remote Meetings for Shareholder Corporations. Allows public corporations (private shareholder entities) to hold annual or special meetings of shareholders remotely for up to 60 days after the termination of the March 10, 2020 state of emergency. (Section 15).
- Provisions for Nonprofit Corporations. Allows nonprofit entities (incorporated under Chapter 180) to conduct or postpone necessary business and meet remotely for up to 60 days after the termination of the March 10, 2020 state of emergency. (Section 16).
- Tolling Municipal Requirements on Permits and Quasi-Judicial Public Meetings and Hearings (the “constructive approval” issue). Tolls required municipal actions on permits until 45 days after the termination of the COVID-19 emergency, and no permit shall be considered granted, approved or denied, constructively or otherwise due to the failure of a permit granting authority to act within timelines that would otherwise be in effect. This section also clarifies that permit granting authorities may conduct meetings and public hearings remotely during the COVID-19 emergency, consistent with the Governor’s March 12 Executive Order regarding the Open Meeting Law. This section also applies to the conduct of public meetings, public hearings or other actions taken in a quasi-judicial capacity by all local boards and commissions during the emergency declaration by the governor. (Section 17).
UPDATE AS OF MARCH 30TH
Annual Town Meeting will be postponed due to the COVID-19 public health and safety emergency until at least May 18, with further postponement possible. A formal Declaration on April 24, 2020 to Recess and Continue Annual Town Meeting to a date in May will be made on April 24, 2020. The press release can be viewed here.
With schools and many businesses now closed, we’re experiencing an unprecedented number of people using our treasured conservation lands, parks, and recreational areas. We understand the solace that people find being outdoors, and want to encourage your safe and responsible use of our community’s properties.
We ask your help to maintain the safety of our visitors and stewardship of our conservation lands and parks. Please, if a parking area for one property is full, choose another place or time to visit. If you bring your dog, bring your baggies and carry any waste out. And remember that your dog should also be physically distancing from other trail users.
We have temporarily suspended distribution of trail guides at trail heads, in an effort to minimize transmission of the virus. Trail guides can be viewed online at concordma.gov, under the Natural Resources Division webpage. All playscapes are closed until further notice.
Thank you for helping to steward our community space and keeping each other safe.
We understand that this is an extremely difficult time for our community members and we want you to know that you are not alone, if you find yourself in need of mental health and/or addiction help, we hope that these resources may be of assistance.
Is there a list of places where I can get tested for COVID-19 if I think I have symptoms?
If you think you may have symptoms, first call your health care provider. If your clinician thinks you should be tested but they are unable to offer a test at their own health care facility, they will provide a referral and you can be tested at test site near you. A physician’s Order is required for testing at all sites. An appointment is necessary at all sites; call ahead to make your appointment before you go.
Link to list of current Massachusetts Covid-19 Testing sites.
UPDATE AS OF MARCH 28TH
Have you been wondering if you should seek testing for COVID-19? Try using the symptom checker from Buoy to help you decide if it’s time to call your physician: https://www.buoyhealth.com/symptom-checker/
For general information for residents about the coronavirus, see the "What you need to know" page here: https://www.buoyhealth.com/diagnoses-a-z/coronavirus/
As we as a community continue to deal with the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. You may be left with many questions and wanting as much information as possible. We recommend signing up for updates from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health text alerts by texting COVIDMA to 888-777 to get updates directly from the State.
UPDATE AS OF MARCH 27TH
We understand that we are in a time of unknowns and that our normal food handling practices may not seem like enough these days. This PSA video on bringing groceries and takeout into your home can help you answer some of these questions. The PSA can also be seen below.
Due to the ongoing concerns over COVID-19, the Spring Drop Off Swap Off has been cancelled. We look forward to seeing everyone in the Fall. In the meantime, please visit the program webpage https://concordma.gov/412/DropOff-SwapOff-Days for disposal resources.
We are asking that residents do their part to help keep Waste Management workers safe and healthy during the COVID-19 virus response by putting all household trash in bags before setting it out for curbside collection. Thank you for helping to keep our workers safe.
UPDATE AS OF MARCH 26th
A message from the Town Manager, Stephen Crane:
Good evening. This is Town Manager Stephen Crane calling you with another update on the Town’s response to the COVID19 outbreak. Since last week, there have been several major policy changes at federal, state, and local levels intended to limit the spread of the virus. Despite these changes, the number of cases continues to grow quickly and it is more important than ever to maintain hygiene and social distancing best practices.
Governor Baker has ordered all nonessential businesses to close and has asked for people to stay home unless absolutely necessary. A list of local essential businesses any special hours they may have is being prepared and will be posted on the Town’s website shortly. A state of emergency has been declared in the Commonwealth and in the town of Concord. The Governor has also prohibited the use of reusable shopping bags and imposed limitations on construction. Schools will also remain closed until at least May 4.
The Annual Town Election planned for Tuesday, March 31 has been postponed until Thursday, June 11. Election materials from the original date will remain on the ballot and absentee ballots already cast will be counted on June 11.
Voters wishing to cast an absentee or early ballot may submit a written request either with an application that is available online through the Town Clerk’s webpage or any form of written communication that is signed and dated. The voter registration deadline for the June 11 postponed Annual Town Election will be Monday, June 1 at 8:00pm.
Also, given the projected public health situation, the Moderator expects to recess and continue Annual Town Meeting, currently scheduled to begin April 27. The Moderator will announce a determination on Monday, March 30. If the determination is to postpone Town Meeting, a formal Declaration will follow later in April with the new date.
Please know that town officials are closely monitoring this situation and doing all we can to keep essential services going without disruption. Town staff regularly check email, phone messages, and social media so please let us know if you have questions or needs. Please continue to check the Town’s website for updates on COVID19.
To end on a positive note, neighbors are really stepping up to help other neighbors throughout the community. These efforts will help us get through this crisis stronger than ever. Thank you and good night.
For a list of food and pharmacy locations in and around Concord, which were deemed COVID-19 Essential Businesses allowed to continue to be open, please see the COVID-19 page or click here.
UPDATE AS OF MARCH 25th
The Concord Public Health Division has received notification from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health that a resident in Concord has tested positive for the novel coronavirus COVID-19. Following standard protocol from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Town is working with the resident to ensure precautions are taken for themselves, their family, and the community. They will be monitored by the Public Health Division.
“We are taking every precaution to ensure that the community is safe” said Susan Rask, Director of Public Health for Concord, “We want to remind everyone to practice physical distancing, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds regularly and to use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if hand washing is not an option. Please, limit your time outside the home to help us limit community spread.”
The Town has taken the COVID-19 virus very seriously and has limited Government functions to only essential services and closed all Town buildings to help stop the spread of the virus. Please remember that information on COVID-19 updates specific for Concord, community services, virtual entertainment services, and more are all available on the Town’s website by visiting concordma.gov/coronavirus2019.
UPDATE AS OF MARCH 24TH
As the COVID-19 virus continues to disrupt our daily lives, we hope that these resources can provide some much needed information and perhaps some virtual entertainment options.
Conservation Land Guidelines
While we are all physically distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus, we will have more time for each other and the outdoors. Getting outside can help boost you and your family’s resilience, too. Remember also that wildlife always need distancing from humans in order to carry out their normal life functions.
Our town conservation areas are currently open to provide much needed solace. We need you to help make sure that all visitors can experience a sense of calm and stress relief. And since the health, safety, and well-being of our visitors is our top priority, we have placed the following restrictions on the use of town conservation lands, based upon Governor Baker’s Emergency Order and the Department of Health’s and CDC’s guidance.
UPDATE AS OF MARCH 23RD
CDC Coronavirus self-checker
An interactive tool to help you make decisions about whether you may have COVID-19 and whether you should seek medical care.
Governor Charlie Baker issued an emergency order requiring all businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” to close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public as of Tuesday, March 24th at noon until Tuesday, April 7th at noon. These businesses are encouraged to continue operations remotely.
To see the full text of the order and see the list of COVID-19 essential services, please click here.
We would like to remind residents both who are connected to municipal sewer and those on septic systems, that only toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet. Wipes of any type, even those that say they are "flushable", paper towels, cleaning rags, dental floss or other personal care items SHOULD NOT BE FLUSHED down the toilet. These items do not dissolve quickly, or at all, in water and can clog your household plumbing, the pipes in the street, and critical equipment at our wastewater treatment plant. They can also cause problems with your private septic system.
Please dispose of non-flushable items and other household waste properly.
UPDATE AS OF MARCH 22ND
A reminder that information on essential services can be found through the COVID-19 webpage.
Trash and recycling services will continue operate on the regular schedule. Concord Public Works is committed to picking up trash and recycling of all new and existing curbside subscribers no matter what color disposal tag or barrel sticker you use through the end of the month of April.
We understand that not all subscribers are able to leave their homes during the COVID response. CPW and the Town are working on alternative methods for purchasing and distributing disposal tags and barrel stickers (i.e. online payment and mailing of tags/stickers).
Thanks for your patience as we evaluate alternatives.
As we continue to see a need for supplies in health care, we are sharing what Emerson Hospital here in Concord is looking for to help fight COVID-19.
CURRENT NEEDS INCLUDE:
- Masks-surgical and n95
- Gowns-Tyvek suits or similar
- Eye protection-face shields of any kind
- Hand sanitizer
- We will accept home made mask donations to use in the event our mask supply is depleted. Download instructions here.
UPDATE AS OF MARCH 21ST
We want to thank our community for continuing to support one another during this difficult time.
One of the best ways you can help your community is to stay home to stop the spread of COVID-19. Practice social distancing and stay home if you feel unwell. For more tips, please visit the CDC website and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
From our community partners at Emerson Hospital, "We stay at work for you, please stay home for us!"
UPDATE AS OF MARCH 19TH
Please see below a list of area grocery stores offering special senior shopping hours, as well as others that do not offer special hours for seniors but continue to be options for grocery shopping for the community.
- Stop & Shop, 100 Powder Mill Rd., Acton, senior special hours: 6 AM – 7:30 AM (7 days/wk).
- Crosby’s Market, Concord, Still working on times. Early AM is best: store is less crowed, cleanest. Currently store is less crowded than at start of crisis.
- Roche Bros., (all locations), seniors over 60 special hours: 7 AM – 8 AM (7days/wk).
- Whole Foods, 170 Great Rd., Bedford, senior special hours: 8 AM – 9 AM (7 days/wk).
- Wegmans, 53 3rd Ave., Burlington, no special senior hrs at this time Hours: 7 AM – 10 PM, (7days/wk).
- Market Basket, 110 Market Place Dr., Waltham, senior special hours: Tues., Wed., Thurs., 5:30 AM – 7 AM.
- Market Basket, 6A Cornerstone Squ., Westford, senior special hours: Tues., Wed., Thurs., 5:30 AM - 7 AM.
- Trader Joes, 145 Great Rd., Acton, no special senior hours; hours: 9 AM – 7 PM (7days/wk).
- Donelans, 248 Great Rd., Acton, no special senior hours, but considering it; best times are mornings.
- Debra’s Natural Gourmet, 98 Commonwealth Ave., Concord, no special senior hours, but AMs best to shop; hours: Mon. - Sat. 8:30 AM - 6:30 PM; Sun. 10:30 AM – 6 PM.
Please click here to view a press release from the Concord Police Department regarding online mental health and substance misuse support services.
Text of Town Manager robo-call:
Good evening. This is Concord Town Manager Stephen Crane. I am calling this evening with several important updates to the previous message regarding the Town’s response to the COVID19 outbreak. Several things have changed since the last time I called and the situation continues to evolve quickly.
As of this call, there are no confirmed cases of COVID in Concord. However, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health now believes that there is community wide transmission of COVID in Massachusetts and it is likely we will start seeing positive cases in Concord. The best way to protect your friends, your family, our community, and our healthcare system from being overwhelmed is by protecting yourself. Please keep 6-10 feet of distance between yourself and others. Stay home, other than doing necessary errands or spending time outdoors while keeping a safe distance. Social distancing is the best hope right now for slowing down the spread of this disease.
Earlier this week, the Governor and the President both instituted restrictions on gatherings as well certain businesses including childcare centers and restaurants. Tonight, the Concord Select Board declared a local state of emergency to provide additional flexibility to manage this crisis. This declaration, which will be posted on the Town’s webpage www.concordma.gov, does not supersede the federal and state emergency declarations. The local state of emergency will not impact essential services, which include police, fire, public works, public health, and social services. Trash and recycling collection should continue without interruption and stickers are available at the locations shown on the Town website. If you are unable to get stickers at a store, please call Concord Public Works at (978) 318-3240.
We know residents are concerned about the upcoming Town Election and Town Meeting. The Governor and legislature are working on bills that would give the Select Board the authority to delay Town Meeting and the Town Election. Action on both bills is expected in the coming days and notifications to the community about delays will be made by the Select Board
Unfortunately, this crisis has required us to cancel many public events including the Honored Citizen and Patriots Day celebrations. Again, these measures have only one goal: preventing the spread of COVID and returning our lives to normal. Until then, however, do everything you can to stay safe and healthy and, if you can, check on your neighbors to ensure that they are OK and receiving these calls. If they aren’t receiving these calls, they can sign up on the Town’s website under the Residents tab or by calling the Concord Police at (978) 318-3400. Thank you and good night.
UPDATE AS OF MARCH 18TH
As of March 18th, the number of confirmed or presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Concord is 0.
The Select Board will be having an emergency meeting on Thursday March 19th at 5:00PM by conference call. This will be broadcast live on TV channel 9 as well as on minuteman.media. Questions and comments for the meeting can be sent in to firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATE AS OF MARCH 17TH
In the ongoing efforts to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Concord’s playgrounds and play structures will be closed until further notice. Athletic fields are closed to group gatherings and sporting activities/events. Town parks will remain open and residents are encouraged to continue using public, open spaces with their facilities while practicing the CDC guidelines for social distancing and hygiene.
Playgrounds Closed in Town Include:
- Rideout Playscape & Swings, Lawsbrook Rd.
- Rideout Ninja Fitness Equip., Lawsbrook Rd.
- Emerson Playground & Swings, Stow St.
- The Playscape at Ripley, Merriam Rd.
- Concord Integrated Preschool Playground, Merriam Rd.
- Alcott Elementary School Playground, Laurel St.
- Thoreau Elementary School Playground, Prairie St.
- Willard Elementary School Playground, Powder Mill Rd.
- Harvey Wheeler playground, Church St.
Questions have been raised regarding recycling and solid waste, please see the "Essential Services" Page for an update regarding stickers, tags, and other frequently asked questions.
UPDATE AS OF MARCH 16TH
As a reminder, sign up for code-red for phone call updates on COVID-19 and any emergency situations going forward.
The State has issued an order that prohibits gatherings of more than 25 people and on-premises consumption of food or drink, see the language of the order here.
Drop boxes have been installed outside of the Town House, 55 Church Street, the Harvey Wheeler Community Center, and the 141 Keyes Road Planning and Land Management building for paying of bills and submission of paperwork. Please email the departments if you have any questions.
UPDATE AS OF MARCH 15TH
Message from School Superintendent Laurie Hunter:
A Notice from the Food Service Team:
Beginning Monday 3/16/2020 our food services team will be serving bagged breakfasts & lunches centrally for K-12 at our Concord-Carlisle High School for PICK-UP ONLY.
We are asking that students/families arrive between 8:30am-11am and line up in their cars. PLEASE DO NOT ENTER THE BUILDING. One of our attendants will ask you to pop your trunk or rear door and an attendant from our staff will place a bag in your vehicle and if needed close the door once placed inside. We will be making as kid friendly meals as possible and will be updated through our CPS website, twitter @CPS_CCHSFOOD @CPS_CCHS and emails from Superintendent Laurie Hunter
This is in service to the community and open to anyone who is need during this closure. We are not able to accept food donations but fiscal donations are welcome. Please send checks to CPS/CCRSD Food Service, 120 Meriam Road, Concord, MA 01742.
Please answer this survey so we know how many meals to prepare. Please note, this survey is ANONYMOUS.
Text of March 13th Robocall, a message from Town Manager Stephen Crane:
Good evening. This is Town Manager Stephen Crane and I’m calling with some important information regarding Town services. Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, the Town will be suspending nonessential services. This decision is being made help to minimize the spread of the virus through the community and to protect both our employees and our residents. The Town will reevaluate the provision of our services and overall operations on a daily basis to ensure that our community’s needs are being met while protecting our residents and employees. I don’t know how long we will have service disruptions in place for but please know that as soon as we can return to full operations we will do so. We will be using our website as well as social media and phone calls like this to update the community on the status of operations generally. If you have questions, you can submit them to the Town through our website or reach out to the departments from whom you rely on for service. We only ask that you be patient with us because due to the quickly changing nature of this situation, there may not be answers at present for the questions that you may have. I hope this message finds you safe and healthy and thank you.
UPDATE AS OF MARCH 14TH
Concord Public Schools, Concord-Carlisle High School, and Ripley Preschool and Administration Building will be closed at least until March 27, 2020
UPDATE AS OF MARCH 13TH
The Town of Concord is working around the clock to stay current on the COVID-19 situation and to take any measures within our ability to protect residents, employees, and visitors. We understand how impactful this has been and want to assure you that minimizing the spread of the illness is our top priority.
To that end, the Town has put the following measures in place:
- At the close of business today, March 12, 2020, Town departments will be temporarily suspending all non-essential services to the public. The services that are deemed to be essential will vary by department and evaluated in an ongoing basis but public safety, public health, and public works will not be impacted.
- The Town will be evaluating the status of department operations on a daily basis and may change what is operating on a day to day or weekly basis.
- Following the lead of the Concord Public Schools, Beede and all youth Recreation programs will be postponed for one week effective Monday, March 16, 2020. Future decisions will align with the Concord Public School closing procedures. All adult Recreation Department sponsored programs are cancelled indefinitely, effective today, Friday, March 13, 2020.
- Effective immediately, Friday, March 13, 2020, the Council on Aging, and the Concord Free Public Library, are closed until further notice. The Town Social Worker and Geriatric Nurse will be available via phone, the number to reach the Social Services is 978-318-3034 or email email@example.com. If you are age 60 or older, please contact the Concord Council on Aging at 978-318-3020 to reach the geriatric nurse and other Senior Services staff.
- All scheduled events, programs, and building rentals within municipal buildings are cancelled indefinitely. This plan excludes Open Table who the Town will be working with to staff.
- Any person over the age of 60 with concerns or questions related to COVID-19 including sheltering in place or voluntary quarantine, should contact Concord’s Council on Aging at (978) 318-3020.
- COA staff are able to discuss a variety of topics including social service needs, assistance in gathering supplies, potential grocery delivery desires and any other personal or family needs one may have.
An emergency Select Board Meeting has been announced for today, March 13th, 2020, at 4:30PM to address the COVID-19 concerns. You can watch live on Facebook, minuteman.media, or on channel 9. (Please note, the video can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97_0AsymRo8)
The meeting is open to the public however due to the public health emergency created by COVID-19, we do not advise the public to attend in person as we are following recommendations on social distancing. We welcome your participation virtually by watching LIVE on Facebook, minuteman.media, or on channel 9. The Town of Concord is closely monitoring the situation and following the advice of the State and CDC.
The Concord Town House is closed as of 12:00 PM for deep cleaning.
The Rabies Clinic scheduled for Saturday March 14th has been cancelled, please stay tuned for a rescheduled date!
UPDATE AS OF MARCH 12TH
Precautionary Steps We Are Taking
Concord has measures in place to support continued operations during unusual events such as this. We are taking steps to continue to serve our community to the best of our ability and without major service interruptions.
We have taken the following precautionary measures that are consistent with those recommended by the CDC:
- In order to help prevent the spread of any illness to the public or our employees, Town employees who are feeling ill or exhibiting symptoms of illness (including respiratory illness or fever), or have a family member who is ill, are directed to stay home. We will also be following the guidance of the Massachusetts Department of Health regarding the removal of any employees from the workplace and having them self-quarantine should they become exposed to the virus.
- In accordance with CDC guidance, we are asking that anyone who is experiencing a fever or respiratory illness or those that have recently returned from CDC Level 3 or Level 2 countries postpone their visit to any Concord Town Buildings, municipal facility, or other public spaces for the appropriate amount of time as determined in coordination with the Health Department and your physician. Adherence to this guidance will help minimize the potential spread of the virus while protecting our employees and community.
- We encourage you to utilize our online payment systems and to call rather than visit for information. Please also continue to monitor the concordma.gov website for updates and sign up for news and notices under “Notify Me” for updates from Town Officials regarding COVID-19 and other Town related information. Updates will also continue to be posted on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram from @TownofConcordMA using #HealthyConcordMA
- Steps are being taken to sanitize surfaces and common areas to mitigate the spread of germs.
To view questions asked by our community and answered by the Health Department, please view the PDF here.
Update on Concord Public Schools: Out of concern for public safety, PreK-8 Concord Public Schools and CCHS will be closed from Friday, March 13 through Friday, March 20.
Update on Beede Center:
Due to concerns for public safety, the Beede Swim and Fitness Center will be closedFriday, March 13, through Friday, March 20, 2020. All classes and activities within this time frame are cancelled and we will be evaluating how to best move forward with refunds, credits or makeup dates. We will work closely with the Town Manager’s office to make decisions regarding our re-open date and will provide anupdate on Thursday, March 19, 2020 by 5:00pm.In the meantime, we are working with the Town Facilities Director and our Center’s cleaning company to schedule a deep cleaning.Our member’s health and safety will continue to be our priority. We encourage you to continue focusing on your health and fitness goals and we look forward to seeing you again in the near future.
UPDATE AS OF MARCH 5TH
Updated Guidance for Travelers Returning from Italy, South Korea, and Japan
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on March 4 announced revised guidance regarding travelers to Level 2 and 3 countries returning to the US and recommended procedures for reducing the risk of transmission of the virus associated with COVID-19. The CDC link for more information is: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers (click on the travel notice beside each country).
Travelers returning from Italy and South Korea are asked to self-quarantine (“stay home") for 14 days since the date of entry to the United States and self-monitor for symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
Travelers returning from Japan are asked to limit contact with others and self-monitor for symptoms.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough or shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
If you have spent time in Italy or South Korea during the past 14 days:
- Stay home for 14 days from the time you return to the US and practice social distancing.
- If you get sick with fever, cough, or have trouble breathing seek medical advice. Call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
- Do not travel while sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60%–95% alcohol immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
Persons who have returned from travel to any of these countries are requested to notify the Concord Health Division at 978-318-3275 or Public Health Director Susan Rask at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Public Health Nurse will check in with you periodically to assess your health and if you begin to have symptoms you will be prioritized for COVID-19 testing.
CDC recommends everyone avoid all non-essential travel to Level 3 countries (currently China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea) and that older individuals and those with chronic health conditions avoid non-essential travel to Level 2 countries (currently Japan).
Travelers with questions may call the Concord Health Division at 978-318-3275 or the Massachusetts Department of Public Health 24/7 Epidemiology Line at 617-983-6800. If you plan to travel, please check the CDC guidance for travelers which is being updated frequently: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers
UPDATE AS OF MARCH 3RD
The Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a virus which is rapidly changing and all information on this page is what is available at the time of posting March 3rd, 2020.
The virus is thought to spread similarly to the flu and we encourage people to follow the same precautions. The Concord Public Health Department and Board of Health is working closely with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in monitoring the virus outbreak. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is closely monitoring people returning from travel that may have been in contact with the virus; the State and individual Towns are taking the necessary precautions as laid out by the CDC and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and following up with those who have recently returned to ensure they are monitored for the virus. For information on quarantine, please check the CDC webpages. The Town is following the Department of Public Health’s guidance and will continue to stay vigilant.
A reminder, it is still flu season! Please help us to prevent the spread of the flu by washing your hands frequently with soap for at least 20 seconds, stay home when you are sick, and cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. Remember, it’s not too late to get a flu shot!
Please continue to check back for further information and updates. Please note, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has to most up to date information on COVID-19 and can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Those who have recently traveled to any countries of high level transmission (China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Japan as of March 2nd, 2020) and who have symptoms of respiratory illness and/or fever or individuals who have come in contact with someone who meets these criteria should contact their local board of health, health care provider, or our Massachusetts State Epidemiology line at (617) 983-6800.
General Information on COVID-19
CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID19): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
What you Should Know About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): how it spreads, symptoms, prevention and treatment, what to do if you are sick, FAQs https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html
MDPH Information on the Outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): https://www.mass.gov/guides/information-on-the-outbreak-of-2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19
Schools and Community Safety Information:
CDC Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities (Home, School and Work): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html
CDC Information on COVID-19 and Pregnant Women and Children: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/pregnant-women.html
CDC Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-for-schools.html
CDC travel health notice and guidance: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel
CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), February 2020: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html
Should I wear a mask when I go out in public?
The health risk to Massachusetts residents remains low and at this time we are not recommending that people wear masks when they are in public. Masks can be useful in some settings, such as a clinic waiting room, to prevent someone who has a respiratory illness from spreading it to others. There is no hard evidence that wearing a mask protects the wearer outside of the healthcare setting.
Should public events be cancelled?
No, not at this time. The health risk to the general public in Massachusetts remains low. Massachusetts state and local health officials are actively working to help protect the health of our residents and we have no indications that COVID-19 is spreading in our communities at this time.
At this time there is no specific treatment for this novel coronavirus. Antiviral medications used to treat other types of viruses are being used but their efficacy is not known at this time.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms are fever, coughing, and shortness of breath.