Town Administrator Tom Mayo and Assistant Town Administrator Michelle Monsegur gave the following updates at the April 21, 2020 Board of Selectmen meeting.
- Governor Baker announced today that all public and private schools in the Commonwealth will remain closed for the remainder of the school year to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We are anticipating further guidance from the Governor with respect to essential services in the Commonwealth and will reevaluate Town operations at that time.
- As of today, the Department of Public Health (DPH) is reporting 3,043 COVID-19 cases in Plymouth county. DPH is now releasing COVID-19 case data by city/town once a week on Wednesdays, which is a new development from last week. As of last Wednesday, DPH was reporting 49 confirmed cases in Hingham. Please keep in mind that the numbers reported by the state are lower than the actual number of cases, as they do not include clinical diagnoses of COVID-19 by medical professionals or people who self-diagnose and stay at home.
- The state has launched a Community Tracing Collaborative with Partners In Health. This program focuses on using volunteers to reach out via phone and text to confirmed positive COVID-19 patients and anyone they’ve been in contact with to trace and contain the onward spread of the virus by arranging testing, as well as medical and quarantine support. This program has been welcomed by our local Health Department.
- The Hingham Health Department issued an order over the weekend that went into effect Sunday morning requiring all essential workers to wear protective face coverings while interacting with the public or when they are within six feet of a coworker. That order applies to employees in all grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies, and all essential businesses included in Governor Baker’s COVID-19 Essential Services Order. The order also requires businesses to enforce social distancing of 6 ft. between members of the public in their establishments and to post signage on the door advising on social distancing.
- If residents see that a food establishment, grocery store, or other essential business is not complying with this order, please report it directly to the Hingham Health Department by emailing HealthDirector@hingham-ma.gov. Residents serve as our eyes and ears of the town. Reporting incidents directly to the Health Department rather than through social media is much more effective and will allow staff to address the situation more efficiently.
- In line with CDC’s recommendation, we continue to encourage all residents to wear cloth face coverings in situations where social distancing is difficult to maintain.
Hingham Public Schools Update
- Hingham Public Schools will remain closed for the remainder of this academic year per the Governor’s order earlier today.
- In a letter sent out to the community today, the School Department stated it will begin planning for revisions to its Remote Learning Plan. It expects to receive new, revised guidance for the extension to the Remote Learning Plan from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education later this week. The current plan will remain in effect through Friday, May 1, 2020.
- The School is also planning to conduct a districtwide survey of students, faculty, and families to solicit feedback about the Remote Learning Plan.
- The School has been sending our great community letters conveying this information. Those communications can be found on the School’s COVID-19 Resource and Communication page at https://hinghamschools.com/
Public Works Updates
- Recycling operations at the Transfer Station remain open. Residents may continue to drop off recyclable materials while maintaining a safe social distance (at least six feet) from others. Residents should continue to move through the Transfer Station efficiently, and should not congregate in groups or linger for conversations. We thank everyone for following these guidelines thus far.
- Street sweeping and tree cleanup operations as a result of last week’s storm are ongoing. DPW is also expecting there to be debris from the 30-50 MPH wind gusts tonight, so staff will be on call to address any issues.
- DPW is currently working on the 2020 street reconstruction/paving schedule with the Town Engineer.
- The National Grid gas main replacement project on Route 228 is ongoing. The gas company is moving fairly quickly and is past Collins Road (heading in the direction of 3A) as of today.
Recreation Department Updates
- Our Recreation Department is working hard to operate as many live remote classes as possible. They are running 12 dance classes and about five fitness classes all via Zoom at this time. Residents interested in participating in the fitness classes can find information on the Recreation Department’s website.
- Recreation staff continue to work with the Town’s consultant on the athletic field and outdoor court study and expect to have a draft report completed soon.
- Staff are also scheduling and planning for fall and winter Recreation programs.