CORONAVIRUS ANNOUNCEMENTS CANCELLATIONS IN OUR AREA – March 28 , 2020

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Robin Hood Radio, the smallest NPR station in the nation, needs your help now more than ever! With most of the Tri-State Region’s  businesses  have either shut down or on restricted hours and changed their operating  parameters, we have decided to help our underwriting  businesses  on Robin Hood Radio by airing FREE additional announcements to publicize their local business! We need your help and donations to make this possible! The Coronavirus  will curtail our underwriting income by at least $10,000.00 a month..money we count on to keep operating. As of now we have not had to furlough or lay off any employees at Robin Hood Radio, but we have had to close the Bargain Barn in Sharon by state orders  which raises a large portion of our operating costs. We need your help NOW as we are applying for a SBA low interest loan, but that process will take a month or more to finalize and see if we even qualify!  Thank you in advance….please click here to donate  https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/help-robin-hood-radio-during-the-covid-19-virus

CORONAVIRUS CANCELLATIONS IN OUR AREA March 28 UPDATE

PLEASE SCROLL DOWN TO SEE ALL ANNOUNCEMENTS, NEWEST ANNOUNCEMENTS ON TOP

President Donald Trump said Saturday that he’s considering a short-term quarantine of New York state, New Jersey, and parts of Connecticut, as cases of coronavirus continue to rise.”We’re thinking about certain things. Some people would like to see New York quarantined because it’s a hotspot. … We might not have to do it, but there’s a possibility that sometime today we’ll do a quarantine, short-term, two weeks on New York. Probably New Jersey, certain parts of Connecticut,” he told reporters as he departed the White House.”I’d rather not do it, but we may need it,” the President said.Trump said that the possible quarantine would be “enforceable” and “restrict travel” from those parts of the tri-state area.”Restrict travel, because they’re having problems down in Florida, a lot of New Yorkers going down. We don’t want that,” he said.New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that he spoke with Trump on Saturday morning, but that the two had not discussed a quarantine for the state.”I don’t even know what that means. I don’t know how that could be legally enforceable,” the Democratic governor said during in a news conference in Albany. “And from a medical point view, I don’t know what you would be accomplishing.””But I can tell you, I don’t even like the sound of it,” he added.As of Saturday morning, New York had 519 reported deaths due to coronavirus and 4,635 reported cases — making it the state with the most reported cases in the US, according to CNN Health’s tally.

The number of confirmed cases in Connecticut stood at 1,291 as of Friday afternoon, according to Gov. Ned Lamont. Twenty-seven deaths were also reported. A breakdown of the state’s cases from the Dept. of Public Health can be seen here. For updates from the state, and a town-by-town list where cases are, click here. THe nube of cases confirmed in the Northwest Corner: Cornwall 1, Norfolk 1, Kent 1, Sharon 2, Salisbury 3. The Torrington Area Health District confirmed the first coronavirus-related death of a Torrington resident. The health district said the patient was an elderly adult, but did not release any additional information. A third member of the Dept. of Corrections has tested positive for COVID-19. The custody staff employee who is assigned to the Hartford Correctional Center last entered the Hartford facility on Thursday, March 19. On Monday, March 23, 2020 the staff member was assigned to a hospital detail at Manchester Memorial Hospital and worked both the second and third shifts. On March 24, the staff member developed a fever and was sent home. Positive test results were reported on Friday

Saturday, March 28, 2020
From: Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell
COUNTY RECOGNIZES WORK OF THOSE ON FRONT LINES

With the increasing threat of the coronavirus bearing down on Columbia County by the day, county officials including Department of Health Director Jack Mabb, Sheriff David Bartlett, Director of Emergency Management David W. Harrison, Jr., and Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell meet daily via conference call to assess the situation and to share information. With that, officials recognize the tremendous work being done on the front lines of this crisis in such areas as emergency services, health care, and those who are working to staff essential businesses. “People are doing amazing work under the most trying of circumstances,” said Murell on Saturday. “We thank them for their dedication and efforts.” With calls coming into the county regarding the donation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as N95 masks, face shields, and gowns, county officials advise those wishing to make a donation to contact the Emergency Management Office at 518-828-1212. If no one answers, please leave a message and someone will return the call.” Due to the unavailability of PPE from the usual suppliers, we are working with emergency services and health care providers to obtain medical PPE from the New York State stockpile, but currently the process is limited, with only minimum amounts coming in delayed deliveries,” said Harrison. Food donations should be directed to the county Office for the Aging (518-828-4258) and local pantries. The county is also currently at work establishing a mechanism for accepting financial donations to assist with various needs in the fight against the coronavirus. Information on how to contribute will appear in a future press release. Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell continues to urge people migrating from New York City to Columbia County to self-quarantine for 14 days. It remains the county’s intention to issue accurate information regarding the coronavirus situation under conditions that can change by the minute. For the most up-to-date, accurate information, visit the county Department of Health’s website at

https://www.columbiacountynyhealth.com/home/coronavirus-covid-19 or https://www.facebook.com/Columbia-County-Department-of-Health-469399129790791/

FROM: Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell

COUNTY EMPLOYEE TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19
Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell announced late Thursday that a county employee has tested positive for COVID-19.
“Be assured that our county facilities’ staff has been working daily and evening hours to clean and sanitize county buildings,” Murell said. “In the event that you or your family should experience symptoms and suspect it may be COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider and follow their advice.”
All county buildings remain closed to the Public, with the exception of the Department of Social Services.
NURSING HOME – 4 POSITIVE CASES
On Friday, the county Department of Health confirmed that four residents of the Pine Haven Nursing & Rehabilitation facility in Philmont had tested positive for COVID-19. Each of the four individuals are isolated at the facility. None of the four confirmed cases are hospitalized — their symptoms are being treated and managed by the facility. The families of the patients have been notified and the facility reports the patients’ symptoms are improving.
“All nursing homes within the county have a plan to handle these types of contingencies,” said county Emergency Management Director David W. Harrison, Jr.
A story that has circulated in social media that a person that came to Columbia County from New York City recently died of COVID-19 contains erroneous information, according to county Department of Health Director Jack Mabb. “There was no testing done on this individual,” Mabb said. “It was never confirmed that he had COVID-19.”
REQUEST FOR MIGRATING FOLKS
Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell reiterated an earlier request urging people who migrate from New York City to Columbia County to self-quarantine for 14 days.
“We understand that people are coming here to escape the disease, but everyone should consider they are a carrier of the coronavirus,” said Murell.
On a similar note, health officials have observed that people are congregating or stopping to chat in places like the grocery store and the post office. Again, everyone is asked to conduct their business and move along, as we need to respect the space of others.
County officials advised those confronted with a situation that involves people not following the governor’s guidelines on social distancing to contact law enforcement.
DISCLAIMER
It remains the county’s intention to issue accurate information regarding the coronavirus situation under conditions that can change by the minute. For the most up-to-date, accurate information on numbers please, visit the county Department of Health’s website at: https://www.columbiacountynyhealth.com/…/coronavirus-covid-….
The county will issue a daily press release on the coronavirus situation every afternoon at 4. The releases can be found on the Columbia County website and the Facebook pages of the Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Health, and the Emergency Operations Center.

In a message on its website Friday, the Wappingers Central School District announced two employees tested positive for COVID-19, the novel strain of coronavirus. The district, which said it was notified of the diagnosis Friday, said the two employees were working at Wappingers Junior High School, during the newly rescheduled spring break. One employee was sent home immediately, while the other has not been at work this week.Governor Cuomo closed New York schools until at least April 15. The district said all buildings will remain closed, including for teachers and administrators, on Monday and Tuesday. Breakfast and lunch distribution will continue as scheduled. Economic fallout from the global coronavirus pandemic could close the Beacon-based Clearwater environmental organization.

An email the organization sent Friday night to the “Clearwater Community” said, “We are writing to share some difficult news. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has shaken Clearwater’s fragile financial situation beyond our means, and with no classroom programs, events, or sailing season, Clearwater may be faced with closure.” With hopes of saving the organization, officials are laying off more than half the staff, including several members of its office staff and much of the crew for the organization’s iconic sloop. Clearwater officials will focus on “maintaining the sloop, our membership and pursuing any and all options for financial relief and stabilization for a more sustainable organization.”
Riverkeeper, a Westchester-based organization that operates throughout the Hudson Valley, recently postponed its annual gala, the Fishermen’s Ball. The event generates roughly a quarter of the group’s $4 million budget. And for Clearwater, the pandemic came at a time when it was already dealing with hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses, much of it stemming from the restoration of its sloop, which now will be moored to a dock as restrictions on public gatherings continue.

A Sheffield factory operates around the clock during a pandemic or not, turning plastic pellets into sheets for making things like fighter jet canopies and vending machine fronts. But amid the novel coronavirus crisis, the 113 employees at the Plaskolite plant off Salisbury Road are mostly focused on churning out the polycarbonate sheets that will be sold to make protective barriers for a multitude of industries suddenly faced with trying to stop the spread of the virus. The Sheffield plant has manufactured plastics since 1949, and seen a number of owners. In 2018, Columbus, Ohio-based Plaskolite, LLC purchased the plant from Covestro, a spinoff of Bayer MaterialScience. Plaskolite runs 10 factories worldwide that make a variety of thermoplastic sheets.

Stockbridge town leaders are urging travelers from outside Berkshire County to stay out of Stockbridge and, if they have recently arrived, to self-quarantine for 14 days to help combat further spread of the coronavirus outbreak. In a statement at Thursday night’s meeting, the three members of the Select Board strongly endorsed a Tri-Town Health Department advisory issued earlier in the day, urging lodging hosts in Lee, Lenox and Stockbridge to postpone any reservations from visitors who have been in COVID-19 “hot spots,” such as the New York metro area. The Select Board addressed its message to visitors, weekenders, second-home owners and short-term rental owners.

 New York will keep all schools closed until at least April 15 as the state continues to battle the spread of the novel coronavirus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday. During his daily briefing, Cuomo said keeping the schools closed is the prudent decision as the number of coronavirus cases continues to increase in New York. Previously, Cuomo had shuttered schools until April 1. Now, that closure will be extended for another two weeks, at which time the state will reassess, he said.

The number of confirmed cases in Connecticut stood at 1,291 as of Friday afternoon, according to Gov. Ned Lamont. Twenty-seven deaths were also reported. A breakdown of the state’s cases from the Dept. of Public Health can be seen here.

Coronavirus cases have risen to 105 in Berkshire County, including two deaths in the Berkshires, as of Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. A man from the Berkshires who died was in his 60s and had been hospitalized with preexisting conditions, while a woman who died was in her 90s, also with an unknown preexisting condition; she also had been hospitalized. Prior to Friday, two Berkshire County residents had  died since the pandemic began; the total is now four. The death toll statewide has risen to 35, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

The COVID19 pandemic has forced the Goshen Board of Selectmen to postpone the usually routine action of approving permits for events expected to draw large crowds to the Goshen Fairgrounds this summer. The board held a special meeting by conference call Tuesday and tabled a request for a permit by Sean O’Neill, organizer of the Goshen Stampede, due to uncertainty over the virus and how long it will pose a risk. Under town ordinance, the board is required to issue permits for events expected to attract crowds of at least 1,500 to the fairgrounds. The Goshen Stampede is scheduled for June 19-21. After a discussion with O’Neill, the board decided to table his request until after Gov. Ned Lamont’s executive order prohibiting large gatherings expires April 30. Waiting not only for the order to expire but also to see what course the virus takes over the next five weeks would be a prudent move, First Selectman Robert P. Valentine said. “I’m not sure we can approve something with so much being unknown,” Selectman Mark Harris agreed. Valentine recommended tabling the permit request, and Harris and Selectman Dexter S. Kinsella approved the recommendation.

Serevan in Amenia Open everyday from 4pm – 730pm. Current menu available for PICK UP ONLY.845-373-9800 (after 3pm) http://serevan.com

In response to COVID-19 guidelines set forth by the state of Connecticut as well as the CDC, The Hotchkiss School’s schedule of arts events for spring 2020 has been canceled until further notice. This includes all concerts, recitals, plays, and exhibits in the Tremaine Art Gallery.

A note from The Sharon Package Store-CURBSIDE ORDERS ONLY! Please call ahead to place your order and again upon arrival to purchase & pick up. Credit cards only!!! 860-364-5760  

The Food of Life/Comida de Vida Food Pantry at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Amenia Union is in need of volunteers to help serve our neighbors. Please go to stthomasamenia.com for more information and to sign up. Please volunteer to assist if you are able.

Cardinal Hayes Home is in need of masks for use in Millbrook and at its five community homes in parts areas of Dutchess County.The contact person at Hayes is Anna Evans. She is asking for donations of cotton or flannel material and 3/8” elastic to make masks. If you have any questions you can email Anna at aevans@cardinalhayeshome.org or call 677-6363, ext. 140.

The number of confirmed cases in Connecticut stood at 1,012 as of Thursday afternoon, according to the Dept. of Public Health. Twenty-one deaths were also reported.A breakdown of the state’s cases from the Dept. of Public Health can be seen here. For updates from the state, click here. Gov. Lamont said there are now 21 deaths. There have been 6,500 tests performed, but that will decline as tests will be reserved for those with serious symptoms. This is due to a lack of medical equipment needed to keep healthcare staff members safe. He said “if you’re coming to Connecticut, self quarantine for 14 days.” Lamont also says people should not gather in groups more than 5 people. The Governor also has submited a request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for a presidential major disaster declaration resulting from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the state of Connecticut.

In response to shortages of surgical masks at local hospitals, the Department of Correction has mobilized and retooled its manufacturing equipment to produce cotton masks. The masks are in mass production at Department of Correction facilities to aid in the COVID-19 outbreak. The masks aren’t the N95 respirators that are in critical need by doctors and nurses tending to COVID-19 patients, but can be used as a last resort when no other option is available. A specialized unit of the DOC developed a “prototype” of the mask for mass production and cranked out 3,300 of them in two days. Production of the masks began Monday and, with streamlining of the process, the DOC estimates that 1,200 to 1,400 could be produced each day. The production, part of the Correctional Enterprises of Connecticut, is ongoing in five DOC manufacturing shops and the prisons recently received 28,000 yards of elastic to use in the manufacturing process.

Governor Ned Lamont has announced that Connecticut small businesses and nonprofits that have been negatively impacted by the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic can now apply for one-year, no-interest loans of up to $75,000 under the launch of a new program administered by the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). The Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program will make $25 million available to Connecticut businesses and nonprofits that have 100 or fewer employees to assist with cash flow. Loan amounts are up to the lesser of either three months operating expenses and/or $75,000.
Provisions and eligibility requirements include:
· Zero percent interest rate;
· 12-month term with 6-month extension per request;
· Personal guaranty and credit score required;
· Approval contingent upon business being profitable prior to March 10, 2020 and no adverse personal credit reports 60 days past due for the last 6 months; and
· Ineligible companies include those involved in real estate, multi-level marketing, adult entertainment, cannabis, and firearms. All eligibility and application information can be found on the state’s COVID-19 website at https://ct.gov/coronavirus

A 71-year-old man became the second known Dutchess County resident to die of complications related to COVID-19, the county announced. The man died Wednesday, after he was admitted to St. Luke’s Cornwall hospital in Orange County Wednesday for cardiac arrest and respiratory distress. The man tested positive for the novel strain of coronavirus, and had not previously been identified by the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health. Dutchess County had 190 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Thursday. As New York hospitals race to create enough beds to serve the projected need required by the spread of coronavirus, Dutchess County is going back to college to find its solution. Dutchess Community College’s Conklin Hall will be the county’s first dormitory converted to be used as a facility for COVID-19 patients. Falcon Hall on campus, and Vassar and Marist colleges may be enlisted in the future if needed, according to the county. The measures are part of the efforts by Nuvance Health and Westchester Medical Center Health Network to meet a state mandate to increase hospital capacity by 50%, and make a plan to increase by 100%.

A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM CLAIRE PARDE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE HEALTHCARE CONSORTIUM
I would like to advise the members of the Ancramemail distribution list that the Navigator Program of the Healthcare Consortium remains ready to assist individuals with enrolling in health insurance—including the public health insurance options, Medicaid, the Essential Plan, Child Health Plus, and the commercial, self-pay products, collectively called “Qualified Health Plans”—on the NY State of Health. Consumers should call 518-822-8820—the Healthcare Consortium’s main phone number—which is currently redirected to the cell phone of Lisa Thomas, Director of our Consumer Assistance Programs of which the Navigator Program is one. Lisa will assist consumers with scheduling a telephone appointment with a Navigator. Our four Navigators are all working safely from home offices and remain deeply committed to providing assistance to the residents of Columbia and Greene Counties during this difficult time.

There is currently no authorized treatment for those who test positive for COVID-19, Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb said Thursday.  Mabb said there was one positive test for COVID-19 in the county on Wednesday, bringing the official count to 19 in-county.  At this time, Columbia Memorial Hospital has some tests on-hand, but they are being reserved for medical providers, emergency responders, and the very ill. “The Health Department does expect a big bump in positives this weekend,” he added. County emergency medical services, Columbia Memorial Hospital, and fire and police remain “not even close to what they need in terms of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE),” said county Director of Emergency Management David W. Harrison, Jr. “We are expecting a small delivery soon – that will be going to emergency medical services and the hospital.” Several incidents of price gouging have been received in the City of Hudson, said Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett. Those who encounter a price gouging situation are advised to visit the website of the New York State Attorney General and fill out the complaint form found there.

Novel coronavirus cases inched up to 73 on Thursday, up from 71 on Wednesday afternoon in Berkshire County. Statewide, there are now 2,417 cases, according to the state Department of Public Health, up from 1,838 on Wednesday. On Wednesday, Berkshire coronavirus cases nearly doubled from the day before, which was attributed partly to a slew of tests results arriving at the same time. The county had 37 cases Tuesday; a death Tuesday in the Berkshires attributed to COVID-19 was the second such death of a county resident since the pandemic began. These deaths bring to 25 the total number of deaths from the novel coronavirus in Massachusetts. As of 4 p.m. Thursday, Massachusetts has 579 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, 2,417 cases total. There have been 23,621 Massachusetts residents tested for COVID-19 by the State Public Health Laboratory, commercial and clinical labs, up by 3,827 since Wednesday.

With no guests coming in doors at Berkshires cultural destinations, employees are going out. The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, Hancock Shaker Village and the Norman Rockwell Museum all plan layoffs in bids to ensure their financial survival. Other nonprofits are resorting to furloughs and deep cuts in salaries and expenses in an attempt to ride out financial losses during the coronavirus threat. Those still on board plan to rebuild shattered program schedules, dig in on fundraising and prepare their institutions to reopen when possible. At Mass MoCA, 120 of 165 employees will be out of work by April 10. Hancock Shaker Village has laid off 10 of its 22 employees and will not hire the two dozen seasonal staff members who normally begin work next week. And the Norman Rockwell Museum on Thursday told its staff of 75 that it will be cutting positions and curtailing operations after April 11, with details on its new financial plan coming by April 7.

Yesterday the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development sent a statement to the Canaan Country Club that Connecticut golf courses can open/reopen as long as they follow CDC guidelines. That means restaurants associated with the golf courses will remain closed and golfers must abide by the new rules of conduct in a coronavirus world. Just this morning New York State informed the New York State Golf Association that New York State golf courses can reopen, again, subject to CDC guidelines.

Connecticut State police announced that there are four positive cases of COVID-19 within the agency. The four cases consist of a trooper from Troop G in Bridgeport, Troop L in Litchfield, the training academy in Meriden, and a recruit from the 129th Training Troop which has been training remotely. All are doing well and are expected to make a full recovery. The second Department of Correction employee has tested positive for COVID-19. The custody staff employee was assigned to the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center in Uncasville. The employee last entered the facility on March 21. No other staff members or offenders at the facility have tested positive. The employee’s assigned post for the last five days worked was in areas of the building which required minimal interaction with the offender population.

The number of novel coronavirus cases reported in Berkshire County on Wednesday nearly doubled as a slew of test results returned from the lab at the same time. As of Wednesday, the county has 71 cases, up from 37 on Tuesday, when the state Department of Public Health announced the second death of a county resident who was hospitalized for other health problems.
There’s a reason for the swift jump, said Michael Leary, media relations director for Berkshire Health Systems, which is performing nearly all of the county’s testing. It’s due to both a lag in results from earlier patient samples sent to the state’s lab in Boston, and a faster turnaround from another lab that was authorized last week to start processing. BHS, which runs Berkshire Medical Center, is now able to send test swabs to Quest Diagnostics, which it typically uses. Of the more than 400 people tested so far, the positive rate for COVID-19 is 15.8 percent, Leary added. A total of 393 people have been tested in the hospital’s drive-thru, and more as inpatients. And as of Wednesday afternoon, the hospital network had 10 patients who have tested positive, and 28 additional people with virus symptoms who were awaiting results. Cases also rose statewide since Tuesday’s tally, with an increase of 679 for a total of 1,838, and four new deaths for a total of 15 since the outbreak started.

Where can you find a listing of food delivery services? Places where students can pick up daily lunches? How about information on how to volunteer with the coronavirus relief efforts? And a link to donate funds? Dutchess County Government has launched a webpage called “Dutchess Responds,” as a portal to connect those in need with services, and those in position to help to do so. The site includes lists of resources, contact information for volunteering and various other tools.What Dutchess law enforcement is doing to limit the spread How state-mandated coronavirus restrictions are enforced in Dutchess Dutchess Schools scramble to plan for closures, devise distance learning plans The Dutchess Responds Fund, organized through the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, will raise money for residents experiencing hardships or quarantine restrictions from an evolving health emergency, said the county. From the Copake Supervisor’s Desk

Guide to Small Business administration Loans

The New York Small Business Development Council has created a website designed to help businesses navigate the Economic Injury Disaster Loan process. It can be found HERE.

The University of Connecticut announced that it will be giving refunds to students who board and who were part of its Education Abroad program.

 Metro-North will begin reducing train service Friday as stay-at-home measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus hit the commuter rail and its sister agencies with unprecedented weekly losses of $125 million. The railroad will run hourly service on the Harlem, Hudson and New Haven lines, which have seen a 94 percent dip in ridership since the start of the pandemic. Extra trains will be added during peak commuting hours to deliver first responders, health care workers and others deemed essential to the region’s response to work.

Eversource Continues Essential Work to Ensure Reliability During COVID-19 Pandemic
As Eversource operates under its COVID-19 pandemic plan to safeguard the health and well-being of its employees and the communities it serves, the energy company continues to prepare for emergencies and perform essential work to ensure reliability for its four million customers across Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Recognizing the importance of this work, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security included electric, gas and water utility workers in its recently published list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.” Under Eversource’s COVID-19 pandemic plan, essential work includes any work that maintains or improves the condition of the energy company’s electric and gas systems and supports its foundational mission of safe, reliable energy service. Examples of essential work include, but are not limited to:
replacement of electrical lines, poles, and other equipment needed to keep the systems operating;
installation of automated switches that speed restoration of customers following an outage;
new utility connections to provide service to homes and other facilities;
vegetation management along electric lines, as trees remain the biggest threat to our system in New England;
repair of natural gas leaks;
replacement and upgrades of natural gas lines and other equipment; and work mandated by law or regulation.

Essential work is not the same as emergency work, which is in response to a specific and unexpected outage or other need. Eversource has integrated its social distancing, hygiene and enhanced sanitation measures to safeguard health and well-being into its emergency response planning while continuing to prepare for and respond to potential emergencies. Following the storm that brought heavy, wet snow into the region earlier this week, the energy company restored power to more than 56,000 customers in New Hampshire in 24 hours while operating under its COVID-19 pandemic plan. Work that Eversource is not currently performing includes any non-critical field work that requires access to homes or businesses like energy efficiency in-house visits, customer-requested meter relocations and exchanges, and natural gas sales appointments. The energy company also postponed all business travel, large meetings and employee gatherings and continues to require any employee whose job can be done remotely to work from home. While this pandemic continues to evolve, Eversource will continue to take all necessary precautions to maintain reliable service for its customers and to ensure the safety and health of its employees and the public. For more information on Eversource’s preparedness efforts and response to COVID-19, including FAQs for customers, ways to save, and more please visit hrrps://eversource.com

The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system announced that students who were kicked off campus and moved to online classes would be eligible for a credit.

The Department of Labor also announced that it is taking steps to address its overloaded system. It said the system became bogged down due to a spike in applications for unemployment benefits. It could take up to three weeks for payments to be dispersed

Tuesday, March 24, 2020           FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:FROM: Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell                         


COLUMBIA COUNTY NOWHERE NEAR PEAK                                                   
“We haven’t reached anywhere near the peak of the COVID-19 cases we expect in the county,” said Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb on Tuesday. The lack of testing kits is hamstringing public health officials and medical providers who rely on accurate information, Mabb said. He had expected more kits to come Monday, but had seen nothing as of Tuesday morning. With that, no new positive results of COVID-19 affecting county residents were added to those already identified as of Monday. “We do plan to be overwhelmed at some point,” Mabb added. “We don’t know how many are out there that may already have the disease. As you can see in New York City, the number of cases rise as more tests are given. When we do get more kits, it’s just going to get busier.” Director of Emergency Management Director David Harrison, Jr., said that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requests had gone out from county emergency service providers, but that the agencies are not receiving their full requests. Adding another dimension to procurement issues is the rise of fraudulent equipment hitting the market. “We have to be very careful where we make our purchases,” he said. Housing for quarantined individuals has been established, while county officials are seeking more locations, Mabb said. “Once the Department of Health quarantines someone, we are responsible for them.” In addition, large buildings that could serve as temporary hospitals for as many as 1,000 patients are being identified. There are a lot of rumors out there,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell. “Much of it is not true. I recommend relying on the county Board of Health for the accurate, most up-to-date information.” Reliable sources of information locally, according to Murell, are the Columbia County website and the Facebook pages of the Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Health, and the Emergency Operations Center. The telephone number for the county Emergency Operations Center is 518-828-1212. The EOC is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. 

Mountainside is offering Virtual First Responders and Healthcare Workers Support Group In response to growing concerns about Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), our First Responders and Healthcare Workers Support Groups are now virtual. This service is free and open to the public. Starting March 26th, first responders and healthcare workers (including nurses, doctors, and anyone responding to the current public health crisis) can attend these special virtual support groups via Microsoft Teams from any computer/ laptop or smartphone. Mountainside clinicians and staffers will be moderating each event. This service is free and open to all first responders and healthcare workers, who are working tirelessly to help our community through this public health crisis. Thank you for your continued efforts.Every Second and Fourth Thursday of the month at 6:30 PM EST – 7:30 PM EST
Join the March 26th Meeting at 6:30 PM ESTClick https://teams.microsoft.com/dl/launcher/launcher.html?url=%2f_%23%2fl%2fmeetup-join%2f19%3ameeting_MzI1ZGVlZjMtZmUwMS00ZGQwLTg5MTgtOGI0NjYyZTJjODNm%40thread.v2%2f0%3fcontext%3d%257B%2522Tid%2522%3a%2522b78d25b1-934c-433c-8534-477f0b8978f8%2522%2c%2522Oid%2522%3a%252241bd4cb0-2666-4191-976c-94be725724bc%2522%257D%26anon%3dtrue&type=meetup-join&deeplinkId=13f0704a-7a71-4b4c-9e68-0f98fbe6d1cc&directDl=true&msLaunch=true&enableMobilePage=true&suppressPrompt=true to join our First Responders and Healthcare Workers Support Group.Join the Meeting
April 9, 2020 at 6:30 PM | Kristin Hankins, LPCJoin the April 9th MeetingClick https://teams.microsoft.com/dl/launcher/launcher.html?url=%2f_%23%2fl%2fmeetup-join%2f19%3ameeting_ZDY3YjAwYTUtOGE0My00NmQ0LWE4ZWEtYTgwYjNmMWExNjc1%40thread.v2%2f0%3fcontext%3d%257B%2522Tid%2522%3a%2522b78d25b1-934c-433c-8534-477f0b8978f8%2522%2c%2522Oid%2522%3a%252241bd4cb0-2666-4191-976c-94be725724bc%2522%257D%26anon%3dtrue&type=meetup-join&deeplinkId=254c50a4-a07f-47a2-9806-d21e1feac503&directDl=true&msLaunch=true&enableMobilePage=true&suppressPrompt=true to join our First Responders and Healthcare Workers Support Group.Join the Meeting
April 23, 2020 at 6:30 PM | Erin O’Neil, LCSWJoin the April 23rd MeetingClick https://teams.microsoft.com/dl/launcher/launcher.html?url=%2f_%23%2fl%2fmeetup-join%2f19%3ameeting_YzA3NmUwNTctNmQ5NC00YmYwLWI3YmMtOTliOGE4MDg0ZWQ4%40thread.v2%2f0%3fcontext%3d%257B%2522Tid%2522%3a%2522b78d25b1-934c-433c-8534-477f0b8978f8%2522%2c%2522Oid%2522%3a%252241bd4cb0-2666-4191-976c-94be725724bc%2522%257D%26anon%3dtrue&type=meetup-join&deeplinkId=ad3bd941-78b5-48f3-b276-b5638e11f960&directDl=true&msLaunch=true&enableMobilePage=true&suppressPrompt=trueto join our First Responders and Healthcare Workers Support Group.Join the Meeting
Mountainside Cafe will be opening for curbside takeout starting tomorrow! Hours will be 11-6. Please call 860-824-7876 to place your order.

The Stagecoach Tavern is doing delivery and takeout! As you might know restaurants and bars have been limited to delivery and takeout only at this time. The good news is that you can now enjoy Chef Andreas dishes from the safety and comfort of your home. We’re open for dinner service Thursday – Sunday 5-9 pm For more information or to order visit our website rblodge.com or call (413) 229-8585.Here’s the link to order online: https://rblodge.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=eb70496bcaa3bc29bfb11b85b&id=b33673d541&e=b1d617d756

Four Brothers Drive In Theatre has been deemed a non-essential business by the state and is closed. The state, as of Sunday, required all non-essential businesses to close their doors amid the spread of coronavirus. The Amenia movie site, after the regulations were announced Friday, claimed they were not included in the action. However, a post on its website Tuesday said otherwise:
Precautions being taken by Four Brothers include reducing, if not eliminating, human-to-human contact by offering online ordering and payments over the phone, a car hop service that delivers phone-ordered food, takeout from the side of the building, and vehicles parking at a set distance from each other.

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the annual town meeting and election slated for May 18 and 19 in Stockbridge will be pushed back as Stockbridge appears to be the first Berkshire County town to announce a change in its meeting and voting schedule because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The election will be a two-way race for a three-year Select Board term between incumbent Terry Flynn, currently the board chairman, and challenger Patrick White, a member of the Conservation Commission and the Stockbridge Bowl Association. The annual town meeting is now set for June 15, with the election the following day.

The Archdiocese of Hartford has extended the cancellation of public masses from April 3 until April 30 at churches throughout Hartford, Litchfield, and New Haven counties. This includes the liturgies of Holy Week and Easter.

The Connecticut Judicial Branch says a staff member tests positive for COVID-19. The employee is a Judicial Marshal assigned to the Litchfield Judicial District courthouse located at 50 Field St., Torrington. The marshal hasn’t been to work since Friday and had been assigned to the control room, which is located in the basement of the building, where there is no public access.

Great Barrington DPW halts their projects and reminds residents not to flush wipes. The department also is giving town buildings a double dose of cleaning and sanitizing, while still removing garbage around town and being ready for a collapsing culvert or downed tree. With business as usual coming to a halt across the U.S. so have projects that rural towns in the Berkshires had in flow.
These include repairs to bridges, roads, culverts, town buildings and the repaving of the Triplex parking lot.

Local police agencies will be taking the lead in ensuring restrictions placed upon Dutchess County residents and businesses amid the spread of coronavirus.
Any party who fails to comply with regulations issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo could be ticketed or subject to arrest, said Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Capt. John Watterson said. All nonessential businesses have been ordered closed until April 19, and residents have been recommended to stay inside, state police said. He noted the department, as of Tuesday, had not had any issues with compliance, and have made no arrests regarding state regulations.
Cuomo ordered nonessential businesses to close and have employees work from home. He also advised citizens to stay home except for tasks such as getting food, medicine or solitary exercise. He cautioned New Yorkers to stay 6 feet apart in public.

The Town of Great Barrington has implemented an e mail account till further notice that will be dedicated to non-emergency questions and concerns during this public health emergency. Log on to COVID-19@townofgb.org. Selectboard Vice-Chair Ed Abrams has volunteered to answer e mails and provide essential information on a variety of issues.

Read More: Local Cancellations Due to Coronavirus Threat | https://wsbs.com/local-cancellations-due-to-coronavirus-threat/?utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referral

From Rumsey Hall School: March 22, 2020

Dear Parents,

This letter is to inform you that Matthew Hoeniger, our headmaster, tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus late last night.

Matt was last on campus on Friday, March 13 and experienced an onset of flu-like symptoms on Wednesday, March 18. At that time he was advised by his physician to wait 72 hours before going to the hospital. His symptoms persisted, and late last night he was advised to go to the hospital, where he tested positive for COVID-19. In accordance with CDC (Center for Disease Control) guidelines, he is now in self-quarantine at his off campus home in Colechester, CT. He will not return to campus until cleared by his physician. He is currently feeling very ill. We will keep you updated on the status of his recovery. At this time we are not aware of any other potential cases of COVID-19 within the Rumsey community. Our priority is the safety and health of your children, particularly those who remain on campus. We are carefully monitoring and are following CDC protocols for social distancing and campus cleaning. We are also working closely with our health professionals to develop appropriate contingency plans in case we have any further COVID-19 cases on campus. We have a nurse and doctor on call 24 hours a day to assess and treat any student who develops a health issue, including potential COVID-19 symptoms. We understand that this unfortunate news will likely cause many of you additional angst and concern during this difficult time. Please rest assured that our full administrative team is at work to provide the best possible care for your child. We are also working on plans for the remainder of the school year and will be communicating these in the next few days. As new information about the virus becomes available, we will adjust our systems and protocols to ensure the health and safety of our students and community. Please don’t hesitate to contact Assistant Head of School, Brooke Giese, with any questions or concerns. bgiese@rumseyhall.org 860-868-0535 x114.

The number of confirmed cases in Connecticut stood at 618 as of Tuesday afternoon, according to state leaders.  A breakdown of the state’s cases can be seen here. There are now confirmed cases in Salisbury, Sharon and Kent. In a radio interview with WCBS, Gov. Lamont said Connecticut schools will likely be closed until the fall. On Monday, he said schools would be closed until at least April 20.

A statement from his office said “The Governor is looking at this public health crisis as potentially lasting a longer period of time than initially thought, which he has said publicly before and is consistent with federal CDC suggestions of class cancellations for up to 6-8 weeks. The goal is to have frank discussions with superintendents and the education community as this situation unfolds. Governor Lamont is telling school systems they must be prepared for a potentially unprecedented break from classes being held in schools as a result of the coronavirus to ensure students, teachers, staff, and parents are safe.”

URGENT: The Dutchess Business Notification Network: We Need The Supplies You Have In Stock Or Can Manufacture
This is an urgent request of the greater Dutchess County Community. We are asking all manufacturers, businesses and individuals to check your inventories to see if you can assist with preparation for this crisis.The following items are needed for hospital operations:
Masks
Face Shields
Respirators
Gowns
Gloves
Hand-Sanitizer
Disinfectant Wipes
Sanitizing Equipment

At this time we are taking an inventory of what you have in stock and what you can manufacture. If you can supply any of these items or additional types of personal protection equipment, PLEASE FILL OUT THE DATA COLLECTION FORM HERE:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/T2GSVPC

We know our county can get through this troubling time and we want to thank all of you for being so generous and helpful in advance. And please, share this email to all your contacts! The further we can get the word out, the greater we can come together to overcome this terrible situation.

Please stay off the Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail, given its ever-increasing popularity over the past weeks, is no longer a viable space to practice social distancing.

In these unprecedented times, I am making an unprecedented request: please stay away from the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Whether your hike is for a couple of hours or a couple of days. Staying away from the Trail minimizes the spread or contraction of COVID-19.

In a time when social distancing is necessary to minimize the spread and contraction of a dangerous virus, many have escaped to nature seeking isolation and unpopulated spaces. On the Appalachian Trail, however, what they’ve found are trailhead parking lots exceeding their maximum capacities, shelters full of overnight hikers, day hikers using picnic tables and privies, and group trips continuing as planned. Popular spots along the Trail like Blood Mountain in Georgia, the McAfee Knob area in Virginia, and Annapolis Rocks in Maryland have seen day use reach record-breaking levels. Cars line the highways leading to popular day-hiking spots on the Trail. Hiking the A.T. has become, in other words, the opposite of social distancing.

These same crowds accessing the A.T. may not know how a simple half-day hike can spread COVID-19. While hiking, they may have eaten lunch at a picnic table, taken a break in a shelter, used a privy, or shared a map or food with someone unknowingly infected with COVID-19 and carried this highly contagious virus back to their communities at the end of the day. They may not have realized that ATC staff and Trail volunteers have been recalled from the A.T. and cannot maintain the footpath, trailheads, shelters and privies that may be heavily (or permanently) impacted by increased visitor use. And, they may not be aware of the rural communities adjacent to the Trail that may not have the healthcare resources to help a sick hiker or volunteer or manage a COVID-19 outbreak should a hiker transport the virus in from the Trail.

Many day hikers see the outdoors as an escape from the stresses of these difficult times. But with crowding from day hikers reaching unmanageable levels and the lack of any staff or volunteers to manage this traffic, it is necessary that all hikers avoid accessing the Trail. The A.T. is not a separate reality from the communities in which hikers live – so, until the risk of spreading COVID-19 has reduced significantly, hiking on a heavily-trafficked trail like the A.T. potentially increases rather than reduces harm.

The ATC does not want to do too little, too late. We cannot close the Trail. We cannot physically bar access to trailheads or connecting trails. We can and do, however, urge everyone to please stay away from the Appalachian Trail until further notice.

There is an unfortunate truth about this virus: unless everyone is safe, no one is safe. So, take a walk around the block. Spend time with your loved ones. And, please, stay home.

Sincerely,
Sandra Marra
President & CEO
Appalachian Trail Conservancy

County Executive Molinaro to Host COVID-19 Facebook Live Town Hall

Marc Molinaro to Host COVID-19
Facebook Live Town Hall WednesdayOn Wednesday, March 25th, at 2 p.m., Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro will host an online COVID-19 Town Hall, which will be streamed live on Dutchess County Government’s Facebook page, to provide the latest information about the evolving health situation, the County’s response including the ‘Dutchess Respond’ relief efforts, and to answer residents’ questions.During the live event, residents can ask questions via Facebook comments.More information about Dutchess County’s efforts, as well as the latest, vetted information about Coronavirus, are available at http://www.dutchessny.gov/coronavirus, and residents can call the County’s Coronavirus hotline, (845) 486-3555. Updates are also available through Dutchess County Government’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Great Barrington will conduct a test of the CodeRED emergency alert system at noon Wednesday, March 25. Residents who have signed up for the CodeRED alert system can expect test emails, texts and/or an automated phone call on Wednesday. The test is intended to make sure that the system is operating properly and that residents who are signed up receive messages during this period of COVID-19. If town-wide communications are required, CodeRED will be used. Anyone signed up for CodeRED who does not receive an alert is asked to contact the town’s email inbox for COVID-19 information, at ksmith@townofgb.org, or call the Town Hall at 413-528-1619, ext. 3.To sign up for CodeRED, visit https://townofgb.org

Message for Covd-19 in Salisbury

As this situation unfolds in our town it seems appropriate for a brief message to help residents and guests navigate the next few weeks. These are personal thoughts only and don’t represent any official procedures – details of town business, services and permits may be found on this website as well.

A few thoughts about our local economy. This is a very challenging time for our local businesses; one retail store informed us that its temporary closing has put 7 people out of work. Please make every effort to support these local businesses when they reopen. Can’t find exactly what you need, or a bit more expensive than buying it on-line; please remember that dollars spent locally indirectly support our schools, tax base, town services, and all other aspects of what makes Salisbury a great place to live. These are things that on-line sellers can never provide.

While I’m not in the habit of shouting-out individual businesses, the White Hart Inn and LaBonne’s Market have been selfless and generous in offering their kitchens, food deliveries and other help as we get through this period. Please offer your sincere thanks to the employees at our stores, our ambulance and fire volunteers, our medical workforce, and countless others that I have probably left out by mistake. These people are risking infection to provide help for all of us and they deserve a big hand.

We live in a wonderful place for outdoor recreation, including our Town Grove, the Appalachian Trail, and many other hikes and waterways. At this time there is no plan to close these areas to public use, but in order to keep these open please exercise caution and adhere to current CDC guidelines about social distancing. For our new residents, please note that our local emergency responders are almost 100% volunteer and our hospital may not be equipped to handle on-site visits for those who feel sick – please see a doctor first or at least call before arriving at the hospital.

With a little faith, relaxation and love we will get through this chapter intact; please stay healthy and respect others as we find new ways to go about our daily lives.

Thank you.

Curtis Rand, First Selectman
March 24, 2020

Coronavirus: ShopRite employee in LaGrangeville tests positive

Watch New Movies and Support the Millerton Moviehouse!!! We’re thrilled to be able to bring you two new movies this week (it felt a little bit more normal in all this turmoil) as part of our initiative with film distributors to present new theatrical releases, not yet available on any other platform, for you to enjoy in the comfort of your own home while we wait out this thing. #Bacurau from @kinolorber & #saintfrancesmovie from @oscopelabs. Buy tickets to access these great new films at themoviehouse.net 🎫
You’ll be supporting us with your purchase too! 🥰
.#ittakesavillage #flatteningthecurve #cantstopwontstop #movies #arthousecinema #millertonny

Japanese PM and IOC chief agree to postpone 2020 Olympics

Connecticut Gov. Lamont said there are now 415 positive COVID-19 cases in the state, and 10 deaths, and 54 are hospitalized. As of Monday afternoon, 4,500 tests have been conducted statewide

  • See a town-by-town breakdown as of Monday afternoon, here.

Connecticut Legislative leaders have announced that legislative business, including committee meetings and public hearings, will be postponed until April 13. The Legislative Office Building, State Capitol, and the Old State House will be closed during that time. The Department of Labor received more than 72,000 new unemployment claims from Friday, March 13 to Friday, March 20. Over the weekend, the DOL received approximately 17,000 new claims. On Monday, March 23, the DOL received approximately 10,000 new unemployment claims.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced he would sign an executive order on Monday requiring hospitals to put plans in place to increase their capacity by at least 50%, and asked them to set a goal of doubling their available beds. John Nelson, a spokesperson for Nuvance Health, which operates Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie and Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck; and Lynn Nichols, a spokesperson for Westchesters Medical Center Health Network, which operates MidHudson Regional Hospital in Poughkeepsie and Health Alliance hospitals in Kingston, each said plans are in development to meet the order. Vassar Brothers is in the midst of a $545 million expansion, in which it is creating a patient pavilion with nearly 300 rooms. While the pavilion is not slated to be open until the fall, “it could come into play with capacity utilization if that becomes necessary as we are exploring many opportunities,” Nelson said.

Four more people in Massachusetts have died from COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. State health officials said Monday the total number of COVID-19 deaths now stands at nine. The number of confirmed cases is 777 out of more than 8,900 tests that have been administered. Nearly 80 people have been hospitalized since the start of the outbreak.

Dutchess County announced it is closing all Department of Motor Vehicles offices indefinitely in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Offices in Beacon, Pawling, Millbrook, Wappingers Falls and Poughkeepsie are closed. The county clerk’s office will remain open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Transactions for passport applications and assumed name applications are suspended. More than 60 online transactions remain available, DMV said, including registration and license renewal, as well as the ability to plead or pay New York City traffic tickets.

Gov. Lamont said schools in the state could be reopening on April 20, at the earliest, but this is not a firm date

The UConn Health Center began testing for COVID-19. Patients need to bring an order from their doctor. More locations can be found here. The facility also became the state’s first approved triage site in case there is a surge in patients.

White Hart Inn *UPDATEProvisions is open daily from 11am-5pm. Offering a pre-order menu available on www.whitehartinn.com . Order and pay by phone and pick up in Provisions or we’ll deliver it to your car! White Hart Inn-offering take out 7 nights a week 5pm-8pm. Order via phone or do online ordering on our website at www.whitehartinn.com Menu available on our website. Offering a take out dinner menu and a bottled wine list! We have a page to donate to for helping make meals for local kids and to help our employees: https://www.gofundme.com/f/white-hart-community-meals

Gov. Baker declares state of emergency in response to coronavirus; non-essential businesses, groups ordered to close by Tuesday

BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday issued an emergency order requiring all businesses and organizations that do not provide essential services to close by noon on Tuesday. All of these must close workplaces and buildings to workers, customers and the public until April 7 at noon, according to a statement from the governor’s office. These businesses are encouraged to continue operations remotely, the governor’s office said. Baker’s administration also issued a list of designated businesses and other organizations that provide essential services and workforces related to the COVID-19 outbreak that will be permotted to continue operations in their own buildings during this two-week time period. This list is based on federal guidance and the needs of the state’s economy, Baker’s office said.These essential businesses and organizations are urged to follow social distancing protocols for workers, per the state Department of Public Health. Restaurants, bars and other establishments that sell food and beverage products to the public are encouraged to continue to offer food for takeout and by delivery, with social distancing practices in use. Dine-in food or drink is prohibited, Baker’s office said. Baker also directed the state Department of Public Health to issue a stay at home advisory outlining self-isolation and social distancing protocols; this is not a home confinement order.The DPH advises residents to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel and other unnecessary activities until the two-week order is lifted. Residents who are 70 or older or who have underlying health conditions should limit social interactions, the state recommends.

CT State officials released a guide explaining which businesses are considered essential and non-essential on the “Stay Safe, Stay Home” Executive Order. The order goes into effect Monday at 8 p.m. and orders all non-essential businesses to close. To see the full breakdown of what is considered essential and non-essential, click here.

Nuvance Health opens COVID-19 collection sites in Dutchess and Ulster counties for pre-screened people
Appointment-only sites to collect samples for testing from people with physician’s order
Nuvance Health, in cooperation with Dutchess and Ulster counties, will open two COVID-19 (coronavirus) drive-through collection sites on Monday, March 23. The sites are the Intermodal Center at Dutchess Stadium on Route 9D in Fishkill and Tech City at 300 Enterprise Drive in Kingston. Enterprise Drive is easily accessible from either Route 209 or Route 9W via Boice Lane. The Dutchess Stadium site will open at noon and Tech City at 8:30 a.m. These sites are used to collect samples from people who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. The samples will be sent offsite for testing. A person must have a physician’s order before entering these locations. Both collection sites will be available for pre-screened people suspected of having COVID-19 to give a specimen sample for a test. This is not a testing site. Testing is done offsite and results are not immediately available. The collection site is ONLY for people who meet ALL of the following criteria: You called your doctor’s office and had a consultation.
Based on your symptoms and other information you provided, your doctor determined you meet criteria for COVID-19 testing and ordered a test for you.
You have a scheduled appointment at the collection site. Your doctor will give you the phone number to call to schedule an appointment at the collection site. Healthcare providers from Nuvance Health and law enforcement will work at the two sites. Three additional providers from Ellenville Hospital will assist at the Tech City site. At both locations, a trained provider will use a swab to collect a nasal sample. That sample will then be sent to a lab for testing. This is not a blood test. It may take up to six days to get the test results back. Your doctor will notify you of the results. Only call your doctor if you have not heard back in seven days. Hours of operation at both sites are Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and are subject to change.
For more information including the criteria and the process for scheduling an appointment at the drive-through sites, visit https://Nuvancehealth.org/NYCollectionSites

Dutchess County Executive Molinaro has confirmed there is one case of Covid-19 in Pine Plains and to expect more. This is mainly because testing has begun in earnest. Tomorrow, testing “tents” will be operational at Dutchess Stadium and in Poughkeepsie

A very important message from the Sharon Health Care center: Sunday morning, we learned that a long-term resident of Sharon Health Care Center tested positive for Covid-19. The female resident resides on one of our long-term care units and remains in our center under the caring hands of our staff. We have notified the Connecticut Department of Public Health and its division of Epidemiology and we are acting on all guidance they provide. We have also reached out to our families, by phone, individually contacting our families and responsible parties to bring them up to date. We have taken other immediate steps to protect the health and safety of our residents and staff. We are undertaking a deep cleaning of the entire building. Based on CDC and DPH guidance, no other residents and staff have been tested, at this point, as no one else is displaying any signs and symptoms that would indicate the need for testing. We have taken other immediate steps to protect the health and safety of our residents and staff, including quarantining the resident to a private room. The patient’s roommate has also been placed in a private room and is being monitored as well, with added precautions in place. At the start of this pandemic, we initiated a series of protections aimed at mitigating the threat of coronavirus at our center. These include restricting visitors from Sharon, taking the temperature of anyone who enters the facility, requiring anyone who enters the facility to complete a health questionnaire, and increasing monitoring of all residents every day. We also have been taking the temperatures of every patient at every shift since this weekend. We also began taking temperatures and requiring completion of a health questionnaire for all staff at the beginning of each shift last week. We are now taking temps halfway through their shifts and reviewing and documenting their Oxygen saturation, per new recommendations of the CDC. There is no greater priority for us than the health and safety of our residents and staff. Our thoughts are with our patient. We understand this is a difficult time for our patients and their families, and we want them to know that we are doing everything in our control to provide a safe environment. We also want to thank our many staff for their unflinching commitment to the health of all our residents. We will continue to provide all updates as they become available here on Facebook. We encourage our families to contact us directly with questions specific to their loved ones. We appreciate the support of our community during this time.

Columbia County Department of Health Update·
As of 12 pm, March 22, 2020, Columbia County has 13 positive cases of COVID-19. We have received a total of 203 test results completed for Columbia County residents. There are several residents under mandatory and precautionary quarantine. Please note that If you are sick with any symptoms, stay home for 14 DAYS. Even if a person is sick with any other virus or mild respiratory illness, staying home protects them and their community. We all have the power to slow down the spread. Essential services will continue. Governor Cuomo’s list of essential services can be found on our website. For those forced to be in public whether to obtain supplies or essential services workforce, you can continue to practice social distancing by keeping as much distance as possible from others (ideally 6 ft), wash hands frequently, don’t touch your face, avoid frequently touched surfaces (door handles, counter tops, sinks, sanitize your cell phone, light switches, remote controls, toilets, tables, chairs, etc.). When forced to touch these surfaces use a barrier when appropriate. SOME LATE BREAKING NEWS: As of late afternoon today, March 22, Columbia County has 17 positive cases of COVID-19. AND THE TOWN OF ANCRAM HAS ONE REPORTED CASE

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Berkshire County rise to 21

By Larry Parnass, The Berkshire Eagle

THE NUMBERS: As of Saturday, one new confirmed case of COVID-19 was reported in Berkshire County, bringing the total to 21, according to the state Department of Public Health. A CALL FOR GEAR: As his crews run low on personal protective equipment, the director of operations of Southern Berkshire Ambulance is appealing for donations.

Officials confirmed there are 5 patients at the Evergreen Health Center in Stafford Springs that tested positive for COVID-19. Four patients are in the center and one is in the hospital. 

Many have been asking about local to-go options. Morgan’s is doing to-go dinners four nights a week ( Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday) with 2 & 4 person options. They’re located at the Interlaken Inn in Lakeville.

This is Governor Ned Lamont. I’m calling to urge you personally to stay safe, stay home. I’m not ordering you to stay home, I’m strongly urging you to stay home to make sure that you and your neighbors are much less likely to be infected by the highly contagious COVID-19 virus. If you must head out to the grocery store, or pharmacy, pick up takeout from your favorite restaurant, that’s fine. I’ll be taking a long walk with Annie to get some fresh air, but remember to keep your distance from passers by. 70 years or older? Stay home. And for those of you who can work from home, that’s best but check with your boss, first. For the latest updates, follow me on Twitter or Facebook. We will get through this crisis by working together

Jam food Shop., 10 Gay Street, Sharon Plaza, Sharon. Starting Monday, March 23rd. we will be closing at 6PM Monday thru Saturday and 5PM on Sunday. 860-364-2004 On the web: jam food shop dot com

Tracking the Coronavirus Contagion: Confirmed Cases

(click on link above) This map is your interactive guide to confirmed cases, recoveries and deaths from the coronavirus around the state, nation and world. It combines data from the World Health Organization, U.S. and European CDCs, and the National Health Commission of China.

Connecticut. The number of confirmed cases stood at 223 as of Saturday evening, according to state leaders. 

List of COVID-19 cases by Town in Connecticut (click on for link)

Mobile screening sites for coronavirus in Connecticut are in Waterbury and Torrington. The protocol for each is similar, such as requiring a driver’s license or other photo identification and an order from doctor, but the details vary. After every test, the person tested is asked to self-quarantine while awaiting results.
Charlotte Hungerford Hospital
Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, 540 Litchfield St., Torrington, is only testing patients who have a referral from a Hartford HealthCare Medical Group primary care provider. Those providers should call 203-972-8100 to request a test for their patients. People experiencing symptoms who do not have a Hartford HealthCare Medical Group provider may call the Hartford HealthCare Clinical Command Center at 860-972-8100 for a virtual health visit with a physician who will order the test if they feel it necessary. The hospital’s tests are processed by a private lab and results should be available in 48-72 hours.
The doctor who ordered the test will inform him or her about the results. The results will also be posted for Hartford Health Care patients in their “MyChart” online account. The hospital’s testing center is open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the hospital’s outpatient entrance parking area at 540 Litchfield Street, Torrington.

Waterbury Hospital
Waterbury Hospital, 64 Robbins St., Waterbury, requires a medical doctor’s order for a coronavirus test at its drive-thru testing station, located in the parking lot outside the hospital’s emergency room. Patients may either bring a doctor’s order for the test with them or have the doctors fax it to: 203 575-5251 (The fax number is for providers only.) Waterbury is accepting all patients for screening, not just those from its network. A spokeswoman said the hospital will not turn people away if they lack insurance. The hospital then sends samples to a private lab and results are expected between 3 to 5 days.
Waterbury Hospital will call the patient’s provider with the results and the provider will relay that information to the patient.
Patients and providers who need more information can call Waterbury Hospital’s Coronavirus Sampling Station:, 68 Robbins Street (Emergency Department entrance) at 203-575-5250. The hospital’s testing station is closed Sunday but will reopen at 8 a.m. Monday and run until to 4 p.m.

Saint Mary’s Hospital
Saint Mary’s mobile screening at 15 Cole St., Waterbury, is available between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. To be screened, patients must have a doctor’s note, which is obtained by paper, fax or electronically to the hospital. The fax number for providers is: 203-709-8789. Patients’ doctors do not need to be part of the hospital’s health care network to be screened. Saint Mary’s sends test samples to a private lab. That private lab will read the test and notify the patient.

The Falls Village Transfer Station will remain open normal business hours, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 8-3. Thank you.

Connecticut taxpayers have until July 15 to file personal income tax

The state Department of Revenue Services extended the filing and payment deadlines for 90 days after the Trump administration on Friday pushed back the deadline for the federal income tax from April 15 to July 15. The extension also applies to estimated income tax payments for the first and second quarters of 2020. The filing dates were scheduled for April 15 and June 15. The third quarter payments are due Sept. 15. Tax officials said Connecticut taxpayers who are owed a refund may still file with DRS. The tax department is advising the easiest way to file, and the fastest way to receive a refund, is through online filing, including via the DRS online Taxpayer Service Center. Because Connecticut’s personal income tax return begins with federal adjusted gross income, it is often beneficial to complete one’s federal income tax return first.

Last Updated: March 21, 2020 4:15PM
What You Need to KnowNew York State on PAUSE:
In New York we know that Policies Assure Uniform Safety for Everyone.100% of the workforce must stay home beginning Sunday, March 22 at 8PM, excluding essential services. (For a list of essential services, click on the Interim Guidance link below and go to page 2)
All non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason are temporarily banned.New York State has identified two million N95 masks for purchase and will send one million to New York City and 500,000 to Long Island.Department of Motor Vehicles offices are temporarily closed for in-office visits. Online transactions, including for license renewals, are still be available. License and permit expirations will be extended.
Governor Cuomo is visiting four sites that have been identified by the Army Corps of Engineers for temporary hospitals.Enacting Matilda’s Law to protect New Yorkers age 70+ and those with compromised immune systems Remain indoors
Can go outside for solitary exercisePre-screen all visitors by taking their temperature
Wear a mask in the company of others
Stay at least 6 feet from others
Do not take public transportation unless urgent and absolutely necessary
All barbershops, hair salons, tattoo or piercing salons, nail salons, hair removal services and related personal care services will be closed to the public effective Saturday, March 21 at 8:00PM.
Casinos, gyms, theaters, retail shopping malls, amusement parks and bowling alleys are closed until further notice. 
Bars and restaurants are closed, but takeout can be ordered during the period of closure.
Testing is free for all eligible New Yorkers as ordered by a health care provider.Your local health department is your community contact for COVID-19 concerns.  
Interim Guidance on Executive Orders Issued for Gatherings, Public Spaces, and Public and Private Sector Entities During the COVID-19 Outbreak Revised March 19, 2020

Kent Food Bank has making changes in its distribution method and seeking donations to beef up shortages in food and supplies. Those picking up food had to drive through cones in the parking lot of Kent Community House and step out of their vehicle to pick up a bag of food and a bag with toilet paper and paper towels, along with a $50 or $75 voucher for Davis IGA depending on the size of the family.People are now asked to make financial donations by sending checks to Kent Community Fund. The nonprofit partners with Kent Food Bank and the town’s social services department to provide financial support. Anyone interested in helping should mail a check to Kent Community Fund, PO Box 262, Kent, CT 06757 with a memo directing the donation to support Kent Food Bank. Meals for seniors are being provided and shelf-stable packs are being delivered to town each week from Torrington. Meals on Wheels also continues to deliver food to housebound seniors.

Lime Rock Park Donates Protective Supplies To Local First Responders

MARCH 21, 2020—Responding to health officials’ urgent request for emergency supplies, Lime Rock Park Emergency Services Manager Zach Sawicki has donated all the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that the Park had in stock to local first responders. Since Lime Rock Park is closed to the public through April 30, 2020, due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus crisis, the Park had no immediate need for these supplies, Sawicki said. “The majority of supplies donated were N95 respirator face masks. Lime Rock delivered these crucial protective supplies to local first responders in Litchfield County, Conn., who were reporting to us that their supplies were completely depleted. We knew it was the right thing to do in order to help our neighbors on the front line of this crisis.” The State of Connecticut and neighboring states are making a desperate call to members of the public, businesses and philanthropic organizations requesting that they donate these vital materials to health officials responding to COVID-19 patients. United Way 2-1-1 of Connecticut is currently working with state officials to collect these products.

The specific items being requested by the state of Connecticut at this time include:  
• N95 Respirator Masks
• Face Masks/Surgical Masks
• Face Shields
• Surgical Gowns
• Gloves (nitrile, or non-latex)
• Thermometers
• Thermometer Covers (if applicable to type of thermometer)
• Hand Sanitizer
• Other Medical Items
 Anyone in Connecticut with these PPEs are asked to fill out the online form at 211ct.org/DonationsCOVID19.

Kent residents encouraged to ring bells for 2 minutes every night as First Selectman Jean Speck issued a proclamation Friday that the bells will sound during the current state of emergency. “All citizens of Kent shall, between the hour of 8 p.m. and 8:02 p.m., sound a bell, chime, cymbal, carillon, gong, ringer, tocsin or similar device as a symbol of the community of our citizens and a reminder to all that although the community may be physically separated, our citizens remain united in their support for one another and dedicated to overcoming the present peril,” the proclamation states.
All churches and houses of worship are encouraged to sound their bells at the same time.

There were be a Special Board of Education Meeting Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. in the Superintendent’s Office.  This meeting will be via teleconference and the public is welcome to call in by using the
Dial-in number:   (605) 313-5590 /  Access code:   615639*

Attention Webutuck Central School District Community:
Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro declared a State of Emergency in Dutchess County regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.  Effective March 13, 2020 all schools in Dutchess County are closed. This closure will remain in effect for a minimum of two weeks.  There is no classroom or extracurricular activities during this closure.  Superintendent Raymond Castellani, administrators, teachers, and bus drivers have organized food pick up/delivery and iPad pick-up/delivery that is currently underway.  He has been communicating with staff, parents and guardians via phone and text.  If you have any questions please call the school at 845-373-4100 X5506 or email Superintendent Castellani at raymond.castellani@webutuck.org.  Superintendent Castellani will continue to update the Webutuck Community as new information comes to him.  

Taconic Hills Regarding Coronavirus [COVID-19]

As a result of this Executive Order, going forward, we ask that parents use email as the preferred method of communication with school staff. We will still have access to phone systems, but some personnel will be working from home during this period. 

We will also be consolidating our meal deliveries to Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Each child will receive 2 Breakfast and 2 Lunches on both Monday and Wednesday and 1 on Friday. Teachers, parents, and students should take advantage of these delivery times to send work between school and home.

If you would like to pick up your child’s medication or equipment from the School Nurse, please come to the entrance to your child’s school from 10:00AM-Noon on Friday March 19th. School nurses will be available to help during this timeframe. If you are not available during this time please email Kathy Keyser (Elementary) or Cory Leggett (Jr/Sr HS) to arrange pick up.

Pine Plains Schools closed until March 31

Dover Union Free School District. As stated in communications sent out by the superintendent’s office, the district is exhausting all remaining eligible 2019-2020 vacation days and unused snow days to accommodate for the New York State mandated school closings for the period between March 16th and March 30th. Distance learning will tentatively begin for all Dover students on Tuesday, March 31st. Further information will be provided by principals in the next few days regarding how distance learning will be implemented at each building. Please continue to check the website for updates.

Governor Ned Lamont is asking residents to consider signing up for the CTAlert system for phone and text message update about emergency alerts in the state. Find out more information here.

Governor Lamont has announced another coronavirus-related death. This brings the total to five in the state. 

The person who died is a man in his 80s who was a resident of a nursing home in Stafford Springs. He had been receiving treatment at Johnson Memorial Hospital.

The number of positive cases has risen to 223: 140 in Fairfield County; 35 in Hartford County; 11 in Litchfield County; 24 in New Haven County; 6 in Middlesex County; 5 in Tolland County; 1 in New London County, 1 in Windham County.

Of those cases, 43 people are hospitalized. 

From Sharon First Selectman Brent Colley: Just spoke to the Transfer Station about recycling bottles & cans. Stores and Package Stores can’t take them but the Transfer Station can.So if people ask, that’s where they can take them.

If you see a post about donating masks or fabric for Sharon Hospital, please read this message we received from NUVANCE HEALTH….Nuvance Health hospitals cannot use fabric masks. They are seeking sterile, surgical and/or equivalent construction-type masks with the proper ratings. The Facebook post circulating about mask donations to Sharon Hospital is not an official request from our facility or health system. While we are very appreciative of this kind gesture, we cannot use fabric masks. We are seeking sterile, surgical and/or equivalent construction-type masks. We are directing any calls and emails from individuals/organizations looking to assist us with monetary gifts or in-kind donations (such as supplies) to the system’s Foundation office at (845) 790-9360. The Foundation will verify with the right people that each in-kind donation is acceptable and will also ensure all gifts are properly acknowledged.

Those profiting from virus scams will be prosecuted Federal authorities said Friday they would prioritize the prosecution of people who are profiting from schemes and scams related to the COVID-19 crisis. U.S. Attorney John Durham urged people to report suspected fraud schemes related to the virus by calling the National Center for Disaster Fraud at 1-866-720-5721 “The Department of Justice and our law enforcement partners stand ready to bring the full weight of federal law upon anyone who would seek to prey upon people’s fears or sympathy and profit from this unprecedented international emergency,” Durham said. Federal authorities said the schemes include people selling fake cures for COVID19 online; phishing emails that appear to be from World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; malicious websites and apps that lock computers until a ransom is paid; and medical providers who obtain patient information and use it to bill for other services. For information, visit justice.gov/coronavirus.

Latest supermarkets, restaurants, libraries and other sites in Berkshire County that have changed hours of operation and/or services during the coronavirus outbreak.

Supermarkets
● All 24-hour Price Chopper, Market 32 and Market Bistro stores will close at 10 p.m. and reopen at 7 a.m. to facilitate the restocking of product and to perform additional preventative sanitation. All stores will pre-open exclusively to seniors from 6 to 7 a.m. every day, beginning Thursday, March 19.
● Adams Market Hometown Market hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.. An exclusive shopping window from 7 to 8 a.m. daily for elders, those with autoimmune disorders and first responders.
● Stop & Shop limiting to 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Every Stop and Shop store will be open from 6 to 7:30 a.m. daily to service customers who are age 60 and older, with a designated entrance. Pickup services temporarily suspended. Expect delays with home delivery.
● Big Y is adjusting hours to 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. until further notice.

Restaurants
● 20 Railroad Public House is open for takeout and delivery.
● Aegean Breeze is open for takeout and delivery.
● Baba Louie’s Woodfired Organic Sourdough Pizza is offering takeout, curbside pick up and delivery within 20-minute radius of Great Barrington location, noon to 9 p.m.
● Berkshire Food Co-Op is offering curbside pick up.
● Bizen Gourmet Japanese Cuisine & Sushi Bar, Railroad Street, Great Barrington, offers takeout and delivery from noon to 2 p.m. and 5 to 8.30 p.m. seven days a week, 413-528-4343.
● Fiesta Bar & Grill is open for takeout and delivery.
● Firefly in Lenox will be closed until further notice.
● Four Brothers Pizza is offering takeout, curbside pickup.
● Morgan House Inn & Restaurant is offering takeout, Wednesday through Saturday, 4:30-7 p.m.
● Number 10 is offering their menu to patrons via take out only, 5 to 8 p.m., 413-528-5244.
● Stagecoach Tavern at Race Brook Lodge is doing delivery and takeout; call 413-229-8585.
● The Egremont Barn is offering take-out/delivery and live streaming entertainment. Visit theegremontbarn.com for information.

Stores
● Berkshire Bike and Board is moving to a to-go platform, call 413-528-5555 Great Barrington / 413-445-8888 Pittsfield to speak to an employee, pay over the phone and schedule a pick up time.

Libraries
● Berkshire Athenaeum is closed temporarily.
● Chatham (N.Y.) Public Library will remain open but has canceled all programs effective through March 31.
● Clarksburg closed its school, town hall, senior center and library through Friday to be cleaned and sanitized.
● Lanesborough Library closed through March 28.
● Lee Library is closed until further notice. Fines for overdue books will be waived during this time. The Quilt Show scheduled for April, will be postponed until November.
● Mason and Ramsdell Libraries in Great Barrington will provide a drive-through pickup system Staff will assist patrons by phone and email at Mason, 413-528-2403. Residents may check the gblibraries.org for more information.
● New Lebanon Library has canceled all March programming and will be closed to the public for the remainder of the month.
● Richmond Free Public Library is closed to the public until further notice. Items may be returned to the outside box and and currently checked out items can be renewed by phone at 413-553-7795 or richmondfreepubliclibrary.org.
● Roeliff Jansen Community Library (N.Y.) has suspended all library events through the end of March.
● The Bushnell Sage Library in Sheffield will be closed through at least March 30.
● The Lenox Library will be closed to the public until further notice. Renewals on library items by phone, no overdue fines will be charged.
● The Stockbridge Library is closed through March 30.

Businesses
● All Construct Inc. offices are closed effective March 18. Staff is working remotely to meet the affordable housing needs of South Berkshire neighbors. Access to housing, assistance with application processes, financial support for housing-related crises and financial guidance is available by phone. Permanent Housing: Kathy Wiggins kwiggins@constructberkshire.org or 413-42-4348. Transitional Housing and Financial Assistance: Courtney Kimball at ckimball@constructberkshire.org or 413-429-4143. Housing Navigation: Joshua Mack at jmack@constructberkshire.org or 413-429-4430. After hours support: 413-528-1985.
● All Salisbury Bank and Riverside Division locations will offer banking services through drive-up windows, at locations where they are available. All branch lobbies will be temporarily closed to the public.
● Berkshire Paint and Sip is canceling events through April 7.
● Crandell Theatre in Chatham, N.Y., is closed through Thursday, April 16.
● Elder Services of Berkshire County Inc. will continue its essential functions including accepting new referrals for meals, in home services and other programs; Meals on Wheels; home care providers; information and referral services; making SHINE contacts via telephone and mailing documents to consumers; ombudsman calls to area nursing homes; ensuring that Money Management consumers have their cash allotments and, if necessary, establishing online banking or auto pay options.
● The Berkshire Regional Transit Authority has limited public use of the Intermodal Transportation Center to those utilizing BRTA’s bus service, Peter Pan, Greyhound, Amtrak, or buying food at the coffee shop. BRTA has instituted social distancing within the ITC, by removing tables and spacing out the remaining chairs. There have been no changes to any routes or times at this time. Information: berkshirerta.com.

Government
● The town of Stockbridge has canceled town meetings until April 1 and Council on Aging is closed until further notice.
● Sheffield Town Hall will be closed to the public Tuesday, March 1, through at least March 30. Employees will be available by phone or by appointment if needed by calling 413-229-7000.
● All Great Barrington town buildings and parks equipment will be closed to the public until further notice. All non-essential meetings of town board and committees have been suspended until further notice, Employees will remain working and providing services to residents electronically and by phone during normal operating hours. The town clerk’s office will provide all services online, by email, and by regular mail, including dog license renewals, transfer station bag tags, vital records, etc. To obtain or submit nomination papers for the upcoming town election in May, contact Town Clerk Jennifer Messina at Jmessina@townofgb.org or call 413-528-1619, ext..3, to arrange for drop-off/pickup. The Treasurer/Collector’s office has installed a drop-box for tax payments, located in front of Town Hall. Payments are also accepted online using a checking account or credit or debit cards. Contact Treasurer/Collector Karen Fink, Kfink@townofgb.org or call 413-528-1619, ext. 4. The Senior Center is closed but many services are still available. A daily pre-packaged meal will be provided to elderly residents in need. To register, contact the center one day in advance to arrange for pickup, 413-528-1881.
● The Copake (N.Y.) Town Hall and Highway Garage are closed until further notice. The public can communicate with staff at 518-329-1234, via email and US mail. Letters or documents can be left in the outside drop box. Voicemail and email will be checked regularly. Building permits will be issued remotely. The Transfer Station is open as normal. Visit townofcopake.org for email contacts, updates and cancellations.
● Egremont Town Hall is closed to public traffic. Drop boxes are located by the outside doors. Staff is available by phone and email: Select Board/Office Administrator, 413-528-0182, ext. 10; Office Clerk, 413-528-0182, ext. 17; Board of Health, 413-528-0182, ext. 22; Building Inspector, 413-528-0182, ext. 13; Assessors, 413-528-0182, ext. 14; Treasurer/Tax Collector, 413-528-0182, ext. 12; Town Clerk, 413-528-0182, ext. 11.

Governor Lamont signs ninth executive order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

On Friday afternoon, Governor Lamont signed another executive order – the ninth since he enacted the civic preparedness and public health emergency declarations – that builds upon his efforts to encourage mitigation strategies that slow down transmission of the virus.

Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7H enacts the following provisions:

  • Restrictions on workplaces for non-essential business: The order directs all non-essential businesses and not-for-profit entities in Connecticut to prohibit all in-person functions if they are able to, effective Monday, March 23, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. The governor is encouraging all businesses to employ, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work-from-home procedures that they can safely implement. The governor’s order excludes any essential business or entity providing essential services or functions, such as healthcare, food service, law enforcement, and similar critical services.
  • Requires a coordinated effort between the State of Connecticut and its municipalities when responding to this emergency: Consistency and uniformity are an absolute necessity during a public health emergency, and it is critical that the state has consistent guidelines in place across our cities and towns. This order prohibits municipalities from issuing shelter-in-place orders or prohibitions on travel without permission from the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP). It also prospectively prohibits city and town leaders from enacting or enforcing any order that conflicts with any order issued by the governor or a state agency pursuant to his March 10 emergency declaration without permission from DESPP.
**DownloadGovernor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7H

State launches framework for the donation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

At the direction of Governor Lamont and the Connecticut Department of Public Health, the state has activated a framework for donations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – protective clothing, helmets, goggles, or other garments or equipment designed to protect the wearer’s body from injury or infection that are utilized by people providing healthcare services.

Members of the public, businesses, and philanthropic organizations that wish to donate these vital materials should fill out the online form located at www.211ct.org/DonationsCOVID19.

United Way 2-1-1 of Connecticut will be working with DPH to collect the input of donation requests and will ensure that donated items are appropriate for the needs of hospitals and long-term care facilities.

The specific items being requested by the state at this time include

  • N95 Respirators
  • Face Masks/Surgical Masks
  • Face Shields
  • Surgical Gowns
  • Gloves (nitrile, or non-latex)
  • Thermometers
  • Thermometer Covers (if applicable to type of thermometer)
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Other Medical Items

This donation framework will remain in place to support additional donation efforts in the future.

Connecticut National Guard continues delivery of PPE to locations statewide

The Connecticut National Guard has been continuing to distribute PPE to locations throughout the state, including at Connecticut Health Centers. The Guard will continue to assist DPH with deliveries throughout the pandemic.

Department of Public Health taking over responsibilities from the FDA for approval of all COVID-19 testing at commercial laboratories

Yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) informed every state that effective immediately, the states are now responsible for approving COVID-19 testing for all commercial laboratories within their respective states. As DPH will begin assuming these responsibilities for Connecticut, Commissioner Renée D. Coleman-Mitchell has met with key staff to develop a plan based on the FDA order. The following steps are in process:

  • Drafting lab protocols per guidance from FDA
  • Establishing a timeline for DPH to roll out the approval process and go live
  • Goal is to have all these ready by Wednesday, March 23
  • DPH is developing a staffing plan to survey the commercial laboratory facilities

St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport adds drive-through testing, bringing statewide total to 16

St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport has enacted a drive-through testing site at its facility, bringing the statewide number of these alternative testing locations to 16. This is in addition to the testing that is being done at the DPH State Laboratory.

The latest list of alternative, drive-through testing locations include:

  • Bridgeport Hospital
  • Bristol Hospital
  • Charlotte Hungerford Hospital (Torrington)
  • Danbury Hospital
  • Greenwich Hospital
  • Hartford Hospital
  • Johnson Memorial Hospital (Stafford Springs)
  • Lawrence Memorial Hospital (New London)
  • Manchester Memorial Hospital
  • Mid-State Medical Center (Meriden)
  • Stamford Hospital
  • Saint Francis Hospital (Hartford)
  • Saint Mary’s Hospital (Waterbury)
  • Saint Vincent Hospital (Bridgeport)
  • Waterbury Hospital
  • Yale-New Haven Hospital

As a reminder, no one should arrive at any of these locations and ask to be tested. Anyone experiencing symptoms should consult with their medical provider, who will then refer them for testing.

DMV announces series of additional extensions and waivers for vehicle registrations, emissions testing, and other credentials

The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) today announced that it is adding vehicle registrations, emissions testing, and several other items to the extension period for Connecticut residents with expiring credentials. In addition to extending the expiration date of DMV credentials, late fees associated with eligible expired credentials and compliance issues will also be waived during this extension period.

The extensions announced today apply to vehicle and boat registrations, emissions testing, new residents, disabled parking placards, business licenses, suspension-related matters, inspections, school bus proficiency tests, and flashing light permits.

For specific information on today’s announcements and details about each of these extension periods, click here.

Department of Revenue Services extends filing and payment deadlines for personal income tax returns to July 15, 2020

At the direction of Governor Ned Lamont, the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) is extending the filing and payment deadline for personal income tax returns 90 days, to July 15, 2020. The extension also applies to Connecticut estimated income tax payments for the first and second quarters of 2020.

This extension for Connecticut personal income tax return filing and payment aligns with the U.S. Treasury’s announcement earlier Friday, where it indicated federal income tax filings and payments would be extended until July 15, 2020.

Connecticut taxpayers who are owed a refund may still file with DRS. The easiest way to file – and the fastest way to receive a refund – is through online filing, including via the DRS online Taxpayer Service Center, which is easy, secure, and free to use. Since Connecticut’s personal income tax return begins with federal Adjusted Gross Income, it is often beneficial to complete one’s federal income tax return first.

Taxpayers are encouraged to visit the DRS website, where additional updates will be posted.

Businesses experiencing issues regarding supply chains, delivery of goods, or business continuity should contact FEMA’s emergency operations center

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection is encouraging businesses in the state that are experiencing issues regarding supply chains, delivery of goods, or business continuity to contact the FEMA National Business Emergency Operations Center by emailing NBEOC@fema.dhs.gov. This is a 24/7 operation and they can assist in directing the inquiry to the proper contact.

Providing information to Connecticut residents

For the most up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on COVID-19, including guidance and other resources, all residents in the state are encouraged to visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

Individuals who have general questions that are not answered on the website can also call 2-1-1 for assistance. The information line is available 24 hours a day and has multilingual assistance and TDD/TTY access for those with a hearing impairment. The hotline only intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider to seek treatment.Twitter: @GovNedLamontFacebook: Office of Governor Ned Lamont

All New York residents

  • All New York residents must stay home “to the maximum extent possible,” effective 8 p.m. Sunday, March 22, according to Cuomo.
  • New Yorkers can leave their homes for solitary exercise or to obtain essential services or items, including trips to the grocery stores. When in public, they must keep a six-foot distance from others.
  • All dine-in areas at restaurants and bars have been ordered to close.
  • Takeout and delivery services remain available.
  • Restaurants and bars can temporarily offer alcoholic beverages with to-go or delivery ordersso long as the customer is also ordering food.
  • All indoor areas of shopping malls with at least 100,000 square feet of retail space have been ordered to close.
  • All gyms, movie theaters and casinos are closed.
  • All barbershops, hair salons, nail salons and tattoo parlors have to close effective 8 p.m. Saturday, March 21.
  • All “places of public amusement” have been ordered to close.
  • That includes “locations with amusement rides, carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, aquariums, zoos, arcades, fairs, children’s play centers, funplexes, theme parks, bowling alleys, family and children’s attractions,” according to Cuomo’s order.
  • The closure order DOES NOT apply to public parks and open recreation areas. The state has waived all fees at public parks while the order remains in effect.

Other businesses and nonprofits

  • All “nonessential” businesses and nonprofits may not require their employeesto report to work on site, as of the evening of Sunday, March 22.
  • “Essential” businesses and nonprofits — including many health care operations, banks, infrastructure including utilities and public transit, media outlets, grocery stores and pharmacies — are not covered under the reduced-workforce directive.
  • An extensive list of “essential” businesses can be found on Empire State Development’s website. Other businesses can apply for a waiver from t ESD, the state’s economic-development branch.
  • The state directed mortgage services to allow a borrower to push off mortgage payments without penalty for 90 days if they have a coronavirus-related financial hardship.
  • State-chartered banks will be directed by the state Department of Financial Services to waive ATM fees, overdraft fees, late fees and credit-card fees for 90 days from March 19.
  • The state will prevent all residential or commercial evictions for the next 90 days, as well.

Schools

  • All New York schools have been ordered closed until at least April 1, though some individual districts have already announced lengthier closures.
  • Cuomo will revisit the statewide closure order by April 1, when he can easily extend it.
  • New York has canceled its grade 3-8 standardized tests, the state Education Department announced Friday.

Lime Rock Park closed to public due to outbreak Lime Rock Park announced Friday it has closed to the public as part of Gov. Ned Lamont’s executive orders related to the COVID-19 outbreak. This closure will remain in effect through April 30. Lime Rock staff will continue to work within the “Stay Safe, Stay Home” policy, and be available to answer calls and concerns during this time. It is the park’s intention to run all major events for the 2020 season. For information, call 860-435-5000 or visit limerock. com.

The Bargain Barn in Sharon is now CLOSED until further notice

The Berkshire Eagle
These Berkshire community groups have cancelled events because of the potential spread of COVID-19.

● The Adams Visitors Center and all programs of the Council on Aging, including van transporting services, will be closed through Wednesday to be cleaned and sanitized. Council on Aging daily lunch program suspended temporarily.
● At Pittsfield Christian Center, all meals will be served at the table, staff will load items from the food pantry into bags for you and we are not accepting donations except for money. Also the boutique will be closed for the week as well as all special events.
● Sugar Hill Assisted Living in Dalton is canceling programs open to the public, including support groups.
● OLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College, is canceling or postponing events through March 22.
● Pittsfield Public School District is canceling or postponing all after-hours activities such as dances, concerts, game nights, fundraisers, academic competitions, etc. through the month of March and revisited for the rest of the year, excepting athletic practices, 21st Century After School Programs or other co-curricular events. All Pittsfield Public Schools will reopen April 7
● Berkshire Botanical Garden all programs and has closed its Visitor Center through May 31. All buildings closed to the public.
● Clark Art Institute: Events canceled from March 14 through April 30, 2020. Galleries closed. The Clark’s 140-acre campus and walking trails remain open to the public.
● Crescendo is postponing its upcoming March and April concerts.
● Norman Rockwell Museum is closing to the public, and will reevaluate on April 1.
● Hevreh of Southern Berkshire is suspending all gatherings, worship, classes, outside groups, committee meetings, etc.
● Pembury Bridge Club, games suspended until further notice.
● Boston Symphony Orchestra is canceling all performances at Symphony Hall in Boston and the Linde Center at Tanglewood Friday, March 13 – Saturday, March 28.
● Berkshire Theatre Group is canceling scheduled performances at The Colonial Theatre on March 12 and March 13. Rehearsals for “The Little Mermaid” are canceled through March 16 and The Colonial Theatre will be closed through March 16.
● Berkshire Museum will close its doors for two weeks effective Saturday, March 14, through May 3. All events and programming will be suspended during this time.
● Bennington (Vt.) Museum has closed its galleries through April 6. All public programming is canceled through April 30.
● All Massachusetts 4-H programs, activities, and club meetings are canceled until further notice.
● The 2020 Western District Junior Festival has been canceled.
● Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center has canceled all events from Friday, March 13 through May 15.
● Hubbard Hall is suspending large group events from now until Monday, May 11.
● Berkshire Immigrant Center has begun conducting client appointments by phone. The Center will postpone appointments that must be conducted in person until some time in April. BIC’s Wednesday Walk-In Clinics will be canceled for the rest of March.
● Mass Audubon has canceled March programs.
● Family Center Playgroups canceled through March.
● Hudson (N.Y.) Hall is suspending all activities involving large gatherings including performances, opening receptions, and youth and community workshops. Current and scheduled exhibitions will be open as planned.
● All Episcopal Churches in Berkshire County are suspending all public services and events from Monday March 16, through Saturday March 28.
● Community Access to the Arts is suspending all CATA workshops until April 1.
● Boys and Girls Club of the Berkshires canceling all non-licensed EEC programs and activities until April 6, 2020.
● The Williamstown Council on Aging has canceled the majority of programs at the Harper Center. Activities requiring an appointment (foot care, taxes, SHINE) and transportation for medical appointments and food shopping will continue to be available.
● Mount Greylock State Reservation Visitor Center is closed through April 1.
● Western Gateway Heritage State Park Visitor Center is closed through April 1.
● Beartown State Forest Campground is closed through April 1.
● MASS MoCA museum galleries will close from March 16 to March 31.
● Berkshire SuperGenarians Hall Walking is suspended until further notice.
● Dewey Hall and its partners have canceled events through April 9.
● The Trustees of Reservations have canceled all indoor programs and historic house tours until March 31. Many outdoor programs are still happening. Outdoor properties with gates now open for free admission to minimize contact with our staff. Self-pay parking kiosks at Monument Mountain, Appleton Farms Grass Rides, Rocky Woods, Ward Reservation, Noanet Woodlands, and the Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate will still be in effect and operational and your fee will help during this time of lost revenue.
● Peter W. Foote Vietnam Veterans Memorial Rink in North Adams has closed.
● Eagles Community Band has suspended rehearsals and concerts for the next 30 days effective March 15.
● Blue Rider Stables in South Egremont closing until further notice.
● The Jewish Federation of the Berkshires has suspended all public programs and events through the end of March.
● The Town of Lenox will provide one meal per day to any resident in need beginning Monday, March 16.
● The ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance at Williams College will be canceling performances until further notice.
● Williams College Department of Music is canceling concerts for the rest of the season.
● Berkshire Paint and Sip is canceling events through April 7.
● Williamstown Youth Center closed for two weeks.
● All South Berkshire Kids/CFCE programs are canceled for two weeks as of March 14.
● Old Stone Store in Sheffield will remain closed until Saturday, April 4.
● PCTV is suspending all member activity at the PCTV and WTBR facility, including studio production, editing, live radio shows, radio production, equipment sign-out, and mobile production. Notwithstanding this restriction, PCTV will allow certain member activity on a limited basis for the purpose of providing the public programming that serves the vital public interest. Inquiries should be directed electronically.
● Dalton Community Recreation Association is closed and all programming suspended. The anticipated reopening date is Monday, April 6. The CRA campus includes the Community House, The Youth Center, and Mill + Main.
● Columbia Land Conservancy has closed its office and canceled all events through March 31. To contact a staff member, visit clctrust.org, email info@clctrust.org, or call 518-392-5252 and leave a voicemail. Public Conservation Areas and trails remain open, dawn to dusk, seven days a week.
● Northern Berkshire Community Coalition has made the following changes to open hours and programs: The nbCC office will remain open, by appointment only, 413-663-7588 to schedule an appointment. All nbCC events and group programs have been temporarily suspended. The UNO Community Center open hours, programs, and rentals have been temporarily suspended. ● The Beacon Recovery Community Center program has been temporarily suspended. If you or someone you know needs support, call 413-663-7588. nbCC’s Bike Collective open hours have been temporarily suspended.
● Berkshire Pulse in Housatonic has canceled classes until further notice.
● Guthrie Center canceled Wednesday Community Lunches, Thursday night Hootenanny, and Praise Sunday (at least on April 5) until further notice.
● Autism Collaborative of Berkshire County is cancelling/postponing all Autism Awareness Events.
● As of March 16, services at Lenox Town Hall and all public buildings will be by appointment-only.
● Richmond Consolidated School is preparing lunches for anyone who would like to stop by between the hours of 8:30-9:30 a.m. You can drive behind the school to where the kitchen is for a “grab and go” lunch. If you think you will want lunch, email Tammy at tjervas@richmondconsolidated.org or call her at 698-2207 ext. 124 the night before. Be sure to tell her how many lunches you will need. Bartlett’s Orchard has opened a food pantry with non- perishables for any RCS family. It will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
● Barrington Stage Company has canceled the first production of the season, “The Great Leap.”
● Darrow School’s campus will remain closed until April 26, 2020.
● The Berkshire International Film Festival has postponed its 15th annual festival to Sept. 10-13.
● Shakespeare & Company’s in-person auditions have been canceled. In lieu of in-person auditions this year, thwy are accepting video submissions from actors on or by March 24, for all of the same roles as listed at shakespeare.org/jobs-and-volunteering/auditions.
● Community Television for the Southern Berkshires has closed studios to the public.
● The Brien Center announced temporary modifications: Client visits will take place by phone. All outreach home visits will be done by phone. All group sessions have been suspended until further notice. The Adult Day Health Program has been suspended until further notice.
● Concerts in the Village in Kinderhook has postponed its three remaining 10th anniversary season concerts.
● All private tours at Arrowhead are suspended until March 30.
● First Congregational Church in Lee has canceled worship through March 29, Men’s Palm Sunday service and breakfast on April 5, Wednesday community meals, Weight Watchers, Sing for Joy, Al-Anon, and SOS group. The following groups are still meeting: AA and Happy, Joyous & Free. Berkshire AA Intergroup Office: 413-448-2382, berkshireaaintergroup.org, telephone meetings at aa-intergroup.org.
● Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity construction sites are closed to outside volunteer groups. The main office at 314 Columbus Ave., Pittsfield, and ReStore at 399 Hubbard Ave., Pittsfield, are closed to the public until further notice.
● The VITA Tax Program at Habitat for Humanity is currently suspended. Free online filing services are available at myfreetaxes.com.
● Ventfort Hall has postponed all events through April 15 with the exception of two egg decorating workshops on April 4.
● HRC Showcase Theatre is suspending all activity for the remainder of the 29th season.
● Central Berkshire Regional School District: For families who access our Free and Reduced Lunch Program, Grab-and-Go Bags will be available beginning Monday, March 23. Grab-and-Go Bags will be available Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11:30-12:30 with lunch and breakfast. A total of five breakfasts and five lunches will be sent out each week. Families will drive up and the bags will be brought to their cars. The locations are as follows:
Nessacus Regional Middle School Cafeteria entrance (there will be signs), Kittredge Elementary School front lobby, Becket Washington Cafeteria (there will be a sign). Families who access the Backpack Program will be able to pick these up on Wednesdays from 11:30-12:30. Please note the pick-up locations will be changing to align to the locations where the Grab-and-Go Bags will be provided: Becket Fire House will move to the Becket Washington Elementary School, Kittredge Fire House will move to the Kittredge Elementary School, Dalton Congregational Church will remain the pickup for families who attend school in Dalton.
● The Lee Sportmen’s Club is closed and all matches are canceled.
● In the wake of the closure of Pittsfield public schools, the school district is providing “grab-and-go” breakfast and lunch packages for children. Packages will be available from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the following sites: Conte Community School at 200 West Union St.; Morningside Community School at 100 Burbank St.; Dower Square Housing Village at 253 Wahconah St.; Berkshire Family YMCA at 292 North St.; Gladys Allen Brigham Center at 165 East St.; The Boys & Girls Club at 16 Melville St.; and The Brattlebrook Apartments on April Lane.

LIME ROCK PARK CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC UNTIL APRIL 30 DUE TO COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS CRISIS
LAKEVILLE, Conn. (March 20, 2020)—Lime Rock Park announced today that they have closed to the public as part of Governor Lamont’s Executive Orders related to the COVID-19 outbreak. This closure will remain in effect through April 30, 2020, unless earlier modified, extended, or terminated by Governor Lamont.
This closure will affect all daily track rentals and events previously scheduled at the facility. Lime Rock staff will continue to work within the “Stay Safe, Stay Home” policy and will be available to answer calls and concerns during this time.
The decision to reschedule any major events will be made at a future time. Our current intention is to run all major events for the 2020 season.

The New York State Education Department on Friday suspended its annual standardized tests for grades 3 to 8 for the rest of the school year because of disruptions caused by the coronavirus. Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa and Interim Education Commissioner Shannon Tahoe announced the move shortly after U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said the federal government would approve testing waivers for states that need them.

The Falls Village Transfer Station has closed the swap tables. Please DO NOT bring in any items to share including books. Also, please hold on to electronics, furniture and paint until further notice. Thank you.

The Gallery at Kent Art Association in Kent, CT is closed until further notice

NOTICE FROM REGION ONE

We have a number of families who have started to receive meals this week.We would like to provide food to all families to help with this time of uncertainty, so we hope that all families contact their school principal to let them know to add students’ names to the list.

New Information:

Any student enrolled in our school can receive food and also for siblings under the age of 18.  This is for children, regardless if the children are of school age. This program is for “Emergency School Closures”, for all students and at no cost to families. We need to keep the delivery lists updated, so that our Food Service Staff knows how many meals to prepare and we can be sure the bus routes are correct. Five of our seven school districts are a part of the Federal School Lunch Program: HVRHS, North Canaan, Salisbury, Sharon, and Kent. Falls Village and Cornwall are not a part of the Federal School Lunch Program. Still, we want to ensure that food delivery is made to all families. If a sibling of a student who attends either LHK or CCS attends the High School, then those families can receive breakfast and lunches for all children in the family under the age of 18, including young children not yet of school age. Here are some different scenarios to help understand. Please see which one is for your family:

Example 1: A High School student has siblings who are not in school; there are infants or toddlers in the home. All children in the home should be counted and included in the breakfast and lunch program. The High School staff will box up food for those families. These meals will be prepared at the High School and delivered on the bus route for the home school.

Example 2: A High School student has siblings at Cornwall or at LHK. All of the children in the home will be counted and included in the in the breakfast and lunch program. These meals will be prepared at the High School and delivered on the CCS or LHK route. If you are a family whose child(ren) attends LHK or CCS, please contact your school principal or school secretary and they will add your name to the list. We need to know the family name and the number of children in the family. We do not need individual children’s names; only the family name and the number of children to be included.

Example 3: Children at CCS or LHK do not have siblings at the High School. Food will be prepared through other community resources. A very generous offer from White Hart in Salisbury was made recently to us and they will be preparing food for families who would like to receive meals in our schools. Cornwall is working with Heather Dineen, Director of Social Services, who has organized meals for CCS families. Cornwall students who do not have siblings at the High School will receive meals from the community agencies and they will run their own delivery system. White Hart will be making food for the LHK students who do not have a sibling at the High School. White Hart plans to start this on Monday, March 23 and the meals will be delivered to LHK students by All-Star buses. Regarding all deliveries by All-Star buses, please understand the following information. We want to reinforce the importance of keeping the delivered meals wholesome and safe.  Meals cannot be left out in front of homes, food needs to be left at the bus stop or placed outside the front door.  

  1. A school bus will pull up in front of your home or at the bus stop on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday between the hours of 9 AM and 11 AM with packaged breakfast and lunch meals for your children. 
  2. A school staff member will come out of the bus, but cannot come into your home or ring your doorbell. Please be prepared to come out and pick up your children’s meals. 
  3. On Monday and Wednesday, you will receive breakfast and lunch foods for 2 days. On Friday, you will receive breakfast and lunch foods for 1 day.  
  4. Many of these foods need to be refrigerated. Please store milk, cheese, sandwiches, etc. in your refrigerator until ready to serve to your child(ren). 
  5. If you will not be able to receive the food in the delivery time frame, please leave a cooler with a secure lid outside your door, labeled with the student’s last name. We want your food to stay safe!  

This past Monday, our first delivery day, some drivers went door to door to homes and to regular bus stops, and families did not know that the food was there. It is important for the drivers to have an organized list of student names with their address, and the number of meals that are to be left at each home. We need families to also be ready to pick up their food. Unless the bus driver or bus company has communicated otherwise with the school, delivery will be to the student’s normal bus stop area. For some, this is at the end of an intersection or their road. Because of the difficulty some buses have to reach some homes, we ask for these families to place a cooler with their name on it at the end of their intersection or road. Please make arrangements for this on Monday. Thank you for carefully reading this information. We do hope that every family considers using this opportunity, as we recognize that there are expected to be hard times in the weeks ahead. If you have questions, please contact your school principal. Please be safe, take care of yourself and others, and stay healthy.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered all non-essential workers in the state to stay home in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Central Connecticut State University announced that it moved its 2020 spring commencement and joined it with the winter 2020 commencement. This comes after the CSCU system announced earlier this week that all commencements were canceled.

Greylock Federal Credit Union’s branch and lobby in Lee, Great Barrington, West Street and Kellogg Street lobbies in Pittsfield will be closed . Insurance agents can be reached at the West Street and Allendale Shopping Center offices in Pittsfield on Friday during regular business hours by calling (413) 443-5943 or log on to http://www.greylockinsurance.com

Read More: Local Cancellations Due to Coronavirus Threat | https://wsbs.com/local-cancellations-due-to-coronavirus-threat/?utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referral

Hey everyone thank you for ordering lunch and getting takeout!! www.greencafelakeville.com
Leslie will be in the kitchen again today and doing takeout and delivery! Please consider buying breakfast, lunch or dinner for someone less fortunate or home bound and we will deliver! Also Leslie is always available for Skype personal training and is working on Virtual classes for the weekend! 2 Free Classes Being released today stay tuned!!

Dutchess’ household waste disposal event canceled Dutchess County’s Household Hazardous Waste Disposal and Electronics Recycling upcoming event was canceled. The cancellation was made in response to the State of Emergency limiting social gatherings in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus, according to the Town of Poughkeepsie in a press release. An alternative date cannot be scheduled. The event, which reached capacity, was planned for March 28

Sheffield Kiwanis ham roll at the Great Barrington VFW on April 3rd has been cancelled. The benefit concert featuring Laura Pellegrino scheduled for April 18th at Monument Mountain Regional High School has also been cancelled and will be rescheduled at a later date.

The Berkshire Humane Society on Barker Road in Pittsfield has scaled back operations until further notice. You can adopt or surrender pets by making an appointment to set up a time. For more information, call (413) 447-7878.

Southern Berkshire elderly transportation corporation is not running until further notice.

The Sheffield Senior center is closed to the public until further notice. The van and Meals On Wheels are still in operation. For more details, call (413) 229-7037.

Compassionate Friends of The Berkshires 1st Friday meetings in Sheffield for the months of April and May have been cancelled.

Davis IGA in Kent will be suspending our online ordering, deliveries, and curbside pick up until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause but our primary concern is for the health and safety of our customers and employees. Also, due to the ever-changing availability of our products, our Davis Deal coupon this week will only be the $5.00 Off $50.00 Order. Coupons will be available at the cash registers when providing your name and phone number. Because of the spread and nature of this virus and to limit contact as much as possible, our kiosk will be closed until further notice.
Thank you for your patience and understanding while we navigate this process.

Smittys Barber Shop in Sharon will be closed effective immediately for at least the next two weeks. As much as this will hurt me and my family, I know in my heart it is for the best. Online booking will not be available at this time. However I can be reached at 845-233-8484. During this closure I will be selling gift certificates buy 3 haircuts get 1 free.

March 19, 2020
Dear Friend of Women’s Support Services and Supporter of Trade Secrets,
As you know, because of Covid-19, everyone is grappling with new realities and adjusting accordingly. We do not know how long this period will last, but the mission of Women’s Support Services is more needed than ever, especially as social distancing increases relationship violence with people spending more time in their homes together. We are here 24/7 regardless of Covid-19. With your help and support, we will continue to be here for those in need.
We know our mission will out-last this pandemic: We create social change to end interpersonal, relationship violence by challenging attitudes and beliefs about power, control and gender norms, and by advocating for victims and survivors.
We are writing to you to let you know that we are unable to host Trade Secrets this year due to the pandemic. This makes us sad. Trade Secrets is an amazingly beautiful event that expresses the hope of every gardener as spring settles in and possibilities bloom. We enjoy seeing old friends and new visitors and we revel in the good cheer of all. The event lifts the communities in which our agency does its work and provides the WSS staff with much needed encouragement to face the hard work we do. All of this will be sorely missed.
Cancelling Trade Secrets also deprives the agency of one-third of the operating income needed annually to fulfill our mission. More than ever, we need your generous help. Please consider this an opportunity to help those in need, especially in these precarious times. You can donate online at wssdv.org or by clicking the button below.
Together, we can work toward the vision of a world in which everyone can be themselves, have healthy relationships and live free of interpersonal, relationship violence.
We are sorry to miss celebrating the 20th anniversary of Trade Secrets. However, we are already planning Trade Secrets 2021 and are excited for how those plans are taking shape as it coincides with the 40th anniversary of Women’s Support Services. We look forward to our reunion in 2021! 
Until then, our best wishes for good health and safety are with each and every one of you.

Scoville Memorial Library in Salisbury is currently closed until further notice.  During this time, you may call the Library Tuesday through Friday from 2-4, at 860-435-2838 to arrange for home delivery in Sharon, Salisbury or Lakeville, get help using streaming services or to ask questions.   Our streaming services are listed on our website under catalogs, elibraries. If you don’t have a card, apply online at the How Can I section of our website. We will also offer curbside pickup service during these hours or by appointment. Streaming services are available only to Scoville Library cardholders. Information on Library services during this time are available on the website, social media or by signing up for our eNews in the How Can I section of our website, .  Also on our website are links to reliable information sources on COVID19, under the Helpful Links menu. All in-person library programs are canceled or postponed until  the beginning of May.  Some programs will be offered on-line. Please check our website for on-line offerings  as it is updated with the most current information. If you have an interest in particular program being virtually presented please let the library know which ones you would like to attend by emailing scovilleadultprograms@gmail.com We are doing our best to provide services during this challenging time.   

Sharon Town Hall is closed to the public during regular business hours. Staff will be available and calls and emails will be answered, after hours meetings will still be held if necessary. Information on all department, boards, commissions, committees is available at our website:

Connecticut stores have announced temporary hours and changes in services during the coronavirus outbreak.

Aldi’s

Aldi’s announced some stores may have limited hours to clean and restock products. Check with your local store for details.

Big Y

Big Y announced that starting Thursday, March 19 all locations will be reserving 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. for customers who are 60 and older or have compromised immune systems.
Big Y locations will be open 7:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. until further notice starting Monday, March 16.
Store officials say the temporary hours will help them conduct additional sanitation and restock products.

Dollar General

Dollar General announced that starting on March 17, the first hour of operations each day will be dedicated to senior customers. Stores will also plan to close an hour earlier to help with cleaning and re-stocking products.

Price Chopper/ Market 32
All Price Chopper and Market 32 stores will be open from 7:00 a.m. – 10 p.m., beginning March 18
The store says the temporary hours will help with the restocking of products and performing preventative sanitation. Officials say there is no timeline when the chain will return to normal hours.
For senior citizens, the store will be open from 6 a.m. – 7 a.m. every day beginning March 19.

Shop Rite
Shop Rite has not announced a change to hours, but said quantities of some products will be limited. The list can be found here.

Stop & Shop
All Stop & Shop locations will be open 7:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. at most stores beginning Monday, March 16. Store officials said there may be some exceptions.
Effective March 19, Stop and Shop will create hours specifically geared to accommodate customers 60 or older, allowing them to shop from 6-7:30 a.m. Store officials also said pickup services will be temporarily suspended until further notice.The chain also said customers should expect delays in home deliveries due to high demand.

Trader Joe’s

All Trader Joe’s locations will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. starting March 16.

Walmart

All Walmart stores will change hours of operation to 6:00 a.m. – 11 p.m. starting Sunday, March 15.

“This will help ensure associates are able to stock the products our customers are looking for and to perform cleaning and sanitizing,” store officials said.

Stores that operate under more reduced hours will stay the same.

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE:SALISBURY TOWN HALL CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC,FRONT FOYER OPEN, 9am-4pm Monday-Friday

In order to reduce the risk of community transmission of the coronavirus and to keep our staff and residents safe, the Salisbury Town Hall will close to the public for an indefinite period beginning at noon on Wednesday March 18 th . We will be holding public meetings remotely. We will keep the entrance to the Town Hall open from 9 am to 4 pm and residents will have access in the foyer to fill out most permit forms; please follow the instructions carefully. The inner doors to the Town Hall will remain closed and residents who need assistance
from staff may call into the building using the phone in the foyer; it is possible that these meetings with staff may need an appointment. We are sorry for this inconvenience and hope that this procedure will be able to be reversed in the near future. Please see below for additional information about Town functions.
Region One Schools will be CLOSED, starting Monday, March 16 for 2 weeks or TBD.
Salisbury Activities at the Grove: All programs are CANCELLED until further notice.
(Ex. Tai Chi, Exercise, Pot Lucks, Ping-pong, Tap)
AARP Tax-Aide: AARP has cancelled all programs until May 1, 2020 so our tax aid program at the grove has
been suspended until further notice. Free-File software is available at https://www.irs.gov/e-file-
providers/about-the-free-file-program
Senior Nutrition program: at the Town Grove has been suspended and lunch will not be served until further notice due to the Corona 19 virus. If you are in need or would like meals during this time please contact the
Western CT Area on Aging at 203-757-5449 to set up meals on wheels home delivery. They will provide 2 meals 1 hot and 1 cold daily Monday – Friday. The suggested donation is $5.00 per day. If you need assistance,
call Lisa McAuliffe at 860-435-5186.
Social/Family Services: OFFICE CLOSED TO PUBLIC – Call Patrice McGrath, for assistance, 860-435-5187 or email pmcgrath@salisburyct.us
Transfer Station: Will remain open, but the Swap/Shop will be CLOSED. NO CASH ACCEPTED. PLEASE NOTE: CONSTRUCTION AND DEMO MAY CLOSE IN THE FUTURE
Recreation: All Salisbury Recreation activities are cancelled until further notice.
Town Office Phone Numbers:
First Selectman’s Office: 860-435-5170
Town Clerk: 860-435-5182
Tax Collector: 860-435-5189
Assessor: 860-435-5176
Transfer Station: 860-435-5178
Senior Services/Recreation: 860-435-5186
Building Department: 860-435-5177
Resident Trooper: 860-435-2938. IN THE CASE OF AN EMERGENCY, CALL: 9-1-1
Family Services, Patrice McGrath: 860-435-5187
Planning & Zoning: 860-435-5190
TAHD: 860-435-0806/860-489-0436
Registrars: 860-435-5175…. You can register to vote online: voterregistration.ct.gov.

For GENERAL questions please call 860-435-5170 or you can email: townhall@salisburyct.us

Connecticut Gov. Lamont said he will issue an executive order on Thursday directing the closure of establishments like nail salons, barber shops, and hair salons

The Kent Pharmacy switched to curbside pick-up or delivery only. We are still here, business as usual, and you can still purchase items from the Pharmacy and front store. Either call us ahead of time, and we can put your order together for you, or be prepared to give us your order at the door and we will ring you up. Please note, we will only be using the north-side door for pickups and orders. Our delivery fees will be $2.00 for folks living in and around town. For anyone living outside of town we can send out your small package items,via Priority mail ,and they should arrive in 1-2 days. The fee for this service will be $8.30. We are trying very hard to limit exposure to our staff,as well as our townspeople,in order to contain this virus.

Berkshire County groups have cancelled events because of the potential spread of COVID-19.

Council on Aging daily lunch program suspended temporarily.
At Pittsfield Christian Center, all meals will be served at the table, staff will load items from the food pantry into bags for you and we are not accepting donations except for money. Also the boutique will be closed for the week as well as all special events.

Sugar Hill Assisted Living in Dalton is canceling programs open to the public, including support groups.

OLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College, is canceling or postponing events through March 22.

Berkshire Botanical Garden all programs and has closed its Visitor Center through May 31.

Clark Art Institute: Events canceled from March 14 through April 30, 2020. Galleries closed. The Clark’s 140-acre campus and walking trails remain open to the public.

Crescendo is postponing its upcoming March and April concerts.

Norman Rockwell Museum is closing to the public, and will reevaluate on April 1.

Hevreh of Southern Berkshire is suspending all gatherings, worship, classes, outside groups, committee meetings, etc.


Boston Symphony Orchestra is canceling all performances at Symphony Hall in Boston and the Linde Center at Tanglewood thru Saturday, March 28.

All Massachusetts 4-H programs, activities, and club meetings are canceled until further notice.

The 2020 Western District Junior Festival has been canceled.

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center has canceled all events from Friday, March 13 through Friday, April 10.

Berkshire Immigrant Center has begun conducting client appointments by phone. The Center will postpone appointments that must be conducted in person until some time in April. BIC’s Wednesday Walk-In Clinics will be canceled for the rest of March.

Mass Audubon has canceled March programs.

Family Center Playgroups canceled through March.

All Episcopal Churches in Berkshire County are suspending all public services and events from Monday March 16, through Saturday March 28.

Community Access to the Arts is suspending all CATA workshops until April 1.

Boys and Girls Club of the Berkshires canceling all non-licensed EEC programs and activities until April 6, 2020.

Mount Greylock State Reservation Visitor Center is closed through April 1.

Western Gateway Heritage State Park Visitor Center is closed through April 1.

Beartown State Forest Campground is closed through April 1.
MASS MoCA museum galleries will close from March 16 to March 31.

Dewey Hall and its partners have canceled events through April 9.

The Trustees of Reservations have canceled all indoor programs and historic house tours until March 31. Many outdoor programs are still happening. Outdoor properties with gates now open for free admission to minimize contact with our staff. Self-pay parking kiosks at Monument Mountain, Appleton Farms Grass Rides, Rocky Woods, Ward Reservation, Noanet Woodlands, and the Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate will still be in effect and operational and your fee will help during this time of lost revenue.

Blue Rider Stables in South Egremont closing until further notice.

The Jewish Federation of the Berkshires has suspended all public programs and events through the end of March.

The Town of Lenox will provide one meal per day to any resident in need beginning Monday, March 16.

Berkshire Paint and Sip is canceling events through April 7.

All South Berkshire Kids/CFCE programs are canceled for two weeks as of March 14.

Old Stone Store in Sheffield will remain closed until Saturday, April 4.

Dalton Community Recreation Association is closed and all programming suspended. The anticipated reopening date is Monday, April 6. The CRA campus includes the Community House, The Youth Center, and Mill + Main.

Columbia Land Conservancy has closed its office and canceled all events through March 31. To contact a staff member, visit clctrust.org, email info@clctrust.org, or call 518-392-5252 and leave a voicemail. Public Conservation Areas and trails remain open, dawn to dusk, seven days a week.

Guthrie Center canceled Wednesday Community Lunches, Thursday night Hootenanny, and Praise Sunday (at least on April 5) until further notice.

Autism Collaborative of Berkshire County is cancelling/postponing all Autism Awareness Events.

The Berkshire International Film Festival has postponed its 15th annual festival to Sept. 10-13.

Shakespeare & Company’s in-person auditions have been canceled. In lieu of in-person auditions this year, thwy are accepting video submissions from actors on or by March 24, for all of the same roles as listed at shakespeare.org/jobs-and-volunteering/auditions.

The Brien Center announced temporary modifications: Client visits will take place by phone. All outreach home visits will be done by phone. All group sessions have been suspended until further notice. The Adult Day Health Program has been suspended until further notice.
Concerts in the Village in Kinderhook has postponed its three remaining 10th anniversary season concerts.
All private tours at Arrowhead are suspended until March 30.

Webster Update: Because your safety and banking needs are our top priority, we have made the decision to restrict lobby service at all our locations to appointment only. Appointments can be made by calling your local banking center (Kent 860-927-7183)Locations that offer drive-thru service will continue to do so until further notice and ATMs will remain available anytime. We are constantly monitoring during this unprecedented time and thank you for your patience and understanding. We encourage you to use Webster’s online banking platform WebsterBank.com or the mobile app, whenever possible, where you can view transactions,pay bills and more. For additional help, Our Customer Care Center is available 24 hours a day,7 days a week, at 1-800-325-2424

Some Berkshire supermarkets are adjusting their schedules, giving elderly, immuno-compromised customers and emergency responders first crack at their goods during early morning hours of operation. Stop & Shop will open earlier, from 6 to 7:30 a.m., to serve patrons age 60 and over, effective Thursday. Stop & Shop has stores in Pittsfield and North Adams. Adams Hometown Market in Adams also set aside special shopping time for first responders, in addition to the elderly and immuno-compromised. That market is open from 7 to 8 a.m. for these groups, and new regular hours for remainder of customers. Price Chopper and Market 32 responded in kind, both reducing hours to allow for restocking and sanitizing, and also to set aside special hours for the elderly. Normally open 24 hours, Market 32 in Pittsfield will close 10 p.m. and reopen at 7 a.m. to facilitate the restocking of product and to perform additional preventative sanitation.

During this uncertain time of ever-changing facts and policies facing our community and families as a result of the Covid-19 virus, many of our neighbors will face the reality of furloughed jobs, financial hardships and social isolation. Ancramdale Neighbors Helping Neighbors stands ready to help in any way we can. We have made necessary changes to our weekly (Monday) food pantry program following CDC guidelines to provide more protection to our volunteers and recipients. We are working closely with the Regional Food Bank to ensure that our supplies remain adequate. If additional families need to come onto the program during the weeks and months ahead, we extend our hand. We can also provide counsel and direction in getting families newly in need of social services to the right local agencies.

The Poughkeepsie Galleria will officially close Thursday amid the spread of coronavirus. But then, the “interior portions” of every mall in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania will close by 8 p.m. Thursday, as well. So will all bowling alleys and amusement parks in those states. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the action, along with the governors of the three neighboring states, Wednesday. The steps expand on the ban on movie theaters, gyms and casinos instituted Monday. The wording of the proclamation leaves open the possibility that anchor stores or others with a direct exit to the outside could remain open; Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Best Buy had previously announced reduced hours. At least two of the Galleria’s anchors, J.C. Penney and Macy’s, have already closed their stores across the country.

All emergency medical issues should be referred to 911 or your personal doctor. The NYS Department of Health Hotline is 1-888-364-3065. If you are elderly and in need of transportation or shopping assistance or simply need to discuss your situation and how we can help, please let us know.

We are fortunate to live in a community of kind, caring neighbors who look out for each other. But like many communities, our volunteer population is aging. In fact, almost all of our volunteers who make the weekly food program happen are in the 60+ category—the age group most vulnerable to Covid-19.

If you are able-bodied, under 60 and can spare an hour or two each week, please let us know. We would welcome your help during this tough time.

For assistance or more information, please call

Jack Lindsey 518-329-7306
Hila Richardson 917-414-8270

Co-Chairs of Ancramdale Neighbors Helping Neighbors

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY State Police facilities will close to the public. State Police HQ, Middletown will allow the services of:Fingerprinting for screened, long-term care providers, Sex offenders, & Deadly weapon offenders. 11 Troops will open for walk in concerns & emergencies. The 11 state police barracks across the state will be open to the public only for walk-in concerns and emergencies. Some licenses will receive a 90-day extension, including pawn broker and second-hand dealer licenses, bail enforcement agents, private investigators, bondsmen, security service licenses and security guard instructors.

Kent First Selectman Jean Speck has declared a state of emergency Wednesday morning to help the town address the novel coronavirus outbreak. The declaration allows the first selectman to “assume and exercise the powers, functions and duties prescribed and provided by law”

COVID-19 Update: Mobile Pantries

Connecticut Food Bank is committed to providing nutritious food to people in need. The current situation with COVID-19 is challenging for many organizations, including ours. We are monitoring the latest information from the CDC and State Government as we work to keep our food distribution safe and active. But day-to-day changes and disruptions are unavoidable. Please click here for the latest delivery schedule

CT DMV announces all branch offices will be closed until further notice. Employees can continue to report to their work locations, unless otherwise instructed, and will assist with transactions that are completed online, through the mail and by phone through Interactive Voice Recognition.

Here is a terrific message we at Robin Hood Radio received today:

Hi Marshall I work in the intensive care unit at Sharon Hospital. Yesterday we received flowers, tea and cards from the Oakhurst diner Harney Teas and co
Country gardeners in Millerton. Not sure if it’s possible to do a thank you shout out but if so that would be awesome. They made one for every unit in the hospital. Many of us are anxious with everything that’s going on This brought a lot of joy and happiness. It’s helping us to focus on the good people in our world.

Letter from Webutuck School District https://www.webutuckschools.org/cms/lib/NY02205715/Centricity/Domain/113/County%20Exec%20Update.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1XjbE56Dy9e6GhGkIRlZkCY-UypG_JWPMFdc8S4epFM_wjiiX14ONEEYc

Please note: SVNA HOME ASSISTANCE will remain open and is waving their 3 hour minimum to help the elderly with the following services: Grocery Shopping, help Facetimimg, Laundry, meal prep. 860-435-1266

Rhinebeck
Center for Performing Arts in Rhinebeck: The stage performance of “Shakespeare In Love” has been cancelled.

Amenia Free Library in Amenia – Closed until March 30

NorthEast-Millerton Library in Millerton – Closed for two weeks

Pawling Free Library in Pawling – Closed until March 29

Red Hook Public Library in Red Hook – Closed until March 29

Staar Institute in Rhinebeck – Closed until March 31

Tivoli Free Library – Closed until March 29

Berkshire Medical Center and Fairview Hospital have announced additional changes to visitation policies following new guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to further lower the risk of transmission of infectious disease, including the coronavirus (COVID-19).The additional changes go into effect immediately and include:

— Hospitals must urge potential visitors to defer visitation until further notice— Hospitals must require all approved visitors to perform hand hygiene before visiting any patient— Visitors must remain at least 6 feet from the patient at all times— Visits are limited to no more than 15 minutes (with some exceptions)— Hospitals must screen all visitors for symptoms of a respiratory infection (fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat) and those who are symptomatic cannot be permitted to visit— Maintain social distancing in common areas, such as CafeteriasThese guidelines from the DPH are in addition to visitation changes already enacted by BMC and Fairview, which include:— No visitors under the age of 18

Salisbury Bank- Scammers are taking advantage of Coronavirus scare to hack email accounts. As if we didn’t have enough to worry about with the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading quickly around the world and pushing into states as close as Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York, scammers are now using people’s fears to infiltrate their email accounts. According to The Wall Street Journal and computer security giant Norton, hackers are sending out malicious emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or other credible organizations, offering the latest information and/or preventatives for the virus.

Businesses are being hit with emails doctored to look like the recipient’s company purchase order for hard-to-come-by items like face masks and sanitizer, and the target is tricked into wiring payments to a fraudulent account. Others may promise information about a company’s remote-work plan, only to load malware onto the user’s computer.

Individuals are more likely to be targeted by official-looking phishing emails with purported links to the latest information about COVID-19. In one example cited by Norton, “an email carrying a forged logo of the CDC Health Alert Network claimed to provide a list of local active infections. In order to access the ‘information,’ recipients were instructed to click on a link and enter their email login credentials, which were then hijacked”.

Shoppers desperate for items like masks, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes have encountered empty shelves in stores and price-gouging online (including hundreds to thousands of dollars in delivery fees). The online marketer eBay banned sellers of these items from its site after USA Today reported inflated prices on them. Amazon has vowed to strictly monitor the prices of personal protective equipment (PPE) from third-party sellers.

What you should do

  1. If you are looking for information on COVID-19, stick to reputable websites such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cdc.gov or the World Health Organization (WHO) who.int.
  2. Be hyper-aware of phishing emails that can look completely legitimate. Check out the email address after the @ sign to see if it looks right. Even better, type the URL of a trusted source (see #1) directly into your browser.
  3. Exercise the same caution you would with any other unexpected email. Don’t click on or follow links unless you’re sure of the source and that it’s legitimate.
  4. Be suspicious of unsolicited offers for hand sanitizer, masks and other PPE items, especially if the price seems low. The sender may be looking to hijack your banking or email credentials.
  5. Beware of online ads or articles promoting ‘cures,’ or conspiracy theories about the virus. Social media platforms are attempting to curtail these malicious postings.
  6. As always, keep all your devices updated with the latest anti-spam, anti-virus and anti-malware programs, and exercise safe “online hygiene”.

Nuvance Health Network has instituted a “No Visitors” policy at all of it’s healthcare facilities in NY & Ct. Nuvance Health hospitals in the area include: Northern Dutchess Hospital, Putnam Hospital, Vassar Brothers Medical Center in New York; Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital, Norwalk Hospital, Sharon Hospital in Connecticut. The company issued the following statement via email a short time ago: “To continuously ensure a healthy and safe environment for patients and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, effectively immediately, no visitors are allowed at any Nuvance Health hospital or facility until further notice. Exceptions apply. Please see the attached visitor policy with the full and accurate information.”

An Update From Rhinebeck Bank About Our COVID-19

We continue to monitor the latest COVID-19 developments and are following guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control, as well as federal, state and local agencies.  We have enhanced our sanitizing procedures at all of our branch locations, including regular disinfecting of our ATM terminals.  While our branch locations are still fully open, we encourage customers to utilize our Mobile BankingOnline Banking and EasyLink Telephone Banking services whenever possible. Additionally, consider using our convenient drive-up banking offered at nearly all of our offices.  Also, when visiting a branch, please practice “social-distancing” wherever possible to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Internally, we’ve enabled many employees to work from home in several back-office departments which allows us to adhere to the most recent “social distancing” recommendations while preventing any interruption in service to our many customers.  It also helps our employees who may be dealing with unexpected school and daycare closures. As we all experience and struggle with this crisis, it has become clear that the effect of this virus has truly been multi-faceted.  In addition to one’s physical and mental health, it presents significant financial challenges to all of our customers.  Please remember, this is not a “financial crisis” and Rhinebeck Bank stands ready to assist customers in dealing with the financial impact and uncertainty over the next several weeks of our shared situation. If you experience or anticipate disruption in your employment and are uncertain about making payments or need access to additional financing to help you and your family survive this crisis, please call us at (845) 454-8555, Option #3 so that we can work with you based on your specific situation and needs.

Berkshire Botanical Garden, Events and Classes cancelled through April 15

The Kent Memorial Library is now totally closed. No staff will be in the building and our book drop is closed until March 31. We will not be receiving book donations until April at the earliest. We can be reached via email. We will reassess the possibility of staff covering the phones and doing curbside drop off in April.

Important COVID-19 Information from Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce

Small Business Emergency Loans : Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced economic support for small businesses with a $10 million loan fund to provide financial relief to those that have been affected by COVID-19.
The $10 million Small Business Recovery Loan Fund will provide emergency capital up to $75,000 to Massachusetts-based businesses impacted by COVID-19 with under 50 full- and part-time employees, including nonprofits. Loans are immediately available to eligible businesses with no payments due for the first 6 months. Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) has capitalized the fund and will administer it.
How to Apply:
Please complete the application found on MGCC’s website EmpoweringSmallBusiness.org.
Completed applications can be sent via email to mgcc@massgcc.com with the subject line “2020 Small Business Recovery Loan Fund”.
MGCC can be reached by email: mgcc@massgcc.com
Loan Fund Details:
Who Qualifies: Open to Massachusetts-based businesses impacted by COVID-19 with under 50 full- and part-time employees, including nonprofits (negative impact must be verifiable).Terms and Conditions: This fund is being offered with no payments due for the first 6 months, then 30-months of principal and interest payments and no prepayment penalties.Businesses can apply for loans up to $75,000.

To read the full press release, please click here.
Unemployment Assistance:
Unemployment Assistance: This is a brief summary of changes to Unemployment Assistance requirements in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.
For current unemployment claims:All requirements regarding attending seminars at the MassHire career centers have been suspended.Missing deadlines due to effects of COVID-19 will be considered good cause, and lateness will be excused.All appeal hearings will be held by telephone only.
DUA may now pay unemployment benefits if a worker is quarantined, leaves employment due to reasonable risk of exposure, or leaves to care for a family member and does not intend to or is not allowed to return to work. The worker need not provide medical documentation and need only be available for work when and as able.
The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) and the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) are also filing emergency regulations that will allow people impacted by COVID-19 to collect unemployment in the following circumstances:The workplace is shut down and expects to reopen in four or fewer weeks. Workers must remain in contact with their employer and be available for any work their employer may have for them that they are able to do, but do not otherwise need to be looking for work.An employer may extend the period of the shut-down to eight weeks, and the employees will remain eligible for the longer period under the same conditions described above.If necessary, DUA may extend these time periods.
Employers who are impacted by COVID-19 may request up to a 60-day grace period to file quarterly reports and pay contributions.
Read the full announcement here.

52 Main is offering TO-GO meals & drinks. View menus on Facebook & Instagram, call 518-789-0252 to place your order and pick up between 4-8 pm.

 
Effective immediately, the Ancram Town Hall, Town Court and Town Garage will be closed to the public until further notice. Town employees will continue to be working normal hours at the Town Hall or from home, so can you reach them by email, phone or mail. Our Highway Department is working a regular schedule. If you have something to drop off with a town official, please just put it in the mail box on the far edge of the parking lot. Email addresses and phone numbers are below. Call the Town number at 518-329-6512 and leave a message if no one is available to talk when you call.

The Town of Copake has announced that the Rapid Care Center on Mountain View Rd is now able to test for the Corona virus. This is only for people exhibiting symptoms. You must call the center at 518-329-5902 to make arrangements

New York State Parks are open. All year-round parks, trails and grounds of historic sites are currently open for outdoor recreation and enjoyment.
In an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19 and to encourage social distancing, all public programs and events are suspended indefinitely. This means that the Mansion, including house tours, and the Visitor Center at Clermont State Historic Site will not be opening for the seasonas previously scheduled on April 9th. The Chancellor’s Sheep and Wool Showcase has been cancelled, originally scheduled for April 18, 2020. Our historic grounds and trails remain open daily, from 8:30 am to sunset, and Governor Cuomo has waived all parking fees during the current COVID-19 public health crisis.

Sharon Optical is presently maintaining it’s regular hours. We are doing our best to maintain a healthy environment, washing hands and wiping down surfaces. I do ask if you have the following symptoms, fever, sore throat, coughing or difficulty breathing please stay home until you recover. Stay well, Carl

Small Businesses in Dutchess County
Now Eligible for Disaster ReliefPoughkeepsie … The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). SBA acted under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, to declare a disaster following a request received from Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont on March 15, 2020.The disaster declaration made SBA assistance available in Connecticut, as well as the contiguous counties of Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester in New York.“SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist small businesses with federal disaster loans. We will be swift in our efforts to help these small businesses recover from the financial impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19),” said Administrator Carranza.Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro said, “Our small businesses are the lifeblood of our community. This first wave of assistance from the federal government is essential to provide some stability to our businesses and not-for-profits struggling with cash flow. I am grateful to the SBA for including Dutchess in this declaration.”SBA Customer Service Representatives will be available to answer questions about SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and explain the application process.“Small businesses, private non-profit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) since Jan. 31, 2020, may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred,” said Carranza.“These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Disaster loans can provide vital economic assistance to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing,” Carranza added.Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Frank Castella, Jr. said, “Access to EIDL funds will help businesses cover basic essentials, such as payroll and fixed costs, in the short term and will bring much needed certainty and stability at a time when it’s needed most. The Chamber and Mid-Hudson Small Business Development Center is here to assist organizations with navigating this program and gaining access to low interest capital. We remain hopeful consumer confidence and demand will be steady supportive drivers for local businesses and nonprofit organizations — as this is essential, now more than ever, in moving the economy forward.”“We know the impacts that the Covid19 situation is causing and look forward to doing all we can to help our small businesses here in Dutchess County get through this challenge,” said SBA Regional Administrator Steve Bulger.Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private non-profit organizations is 2.75 percent. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 16, 2020.For more information about Coronavirus, please visit: http://www.Coronavirus.gov.For more information about available SBA resources and services, please visit: http://www.SBA.gov/coronavirus.

The Stagecoach Tavern, 864 S. Undermountain Road, Sheffield.  Our dining area is closed, but  we will continue to offer take out and delivery service.  413-229-2916.  On the web; stagecoach tavern dot net.

With the COVID-19 pandemic spreading rapidly and AA meetings shutting down or becoming harder to access, High Watch will be providing a remote access online meeting every day of the week. This way friends and alumni can still get the recovery they need from the comfort of their own home. It is important to stay connected despite social isolation, and we must work together to protect our sobriety. One of the biggest parts of any recovery program is the sense of community and togetherness. “I” drink, “we” recover. So, despite the pandemic closing down most public spaces, I implore you to please still stay connected. Use of the telephone is becoming of the utmost importance for those of us in recovery. If you aren’t comfortable making phone calls, consider using text messaging or private messaging through Facebook or any other various social media platforms. Addiction is a disease of isolation, and we must stand strong together to get through this trying time. As always, if you need help please do not hesitate to call us at High Watch, or reach out via email – jworthington@highwatchrecovery.org To attend a virtual meeting, you can select from one of the two times listed in the green buttons on this page (12:00pm or 7:30pm daily).If this is your first time joining a zoom meeting, you can follow instructions at this link:
https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-Joining-a-Meeting

From: “Stop & Shop”
Subject: Caring for Our Neighbors: New Store Hours for Customers 60 and Older
Date: March 16, 2020 at 7:40:32 PM EDT

Dear customers,

Now, more than ever, it’s important we come together as a community to support each other during challenging times. Part of that is showing compassion and care for some of our neighbors who are most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus. According to the CDC, that is members of the population who are age 60 and older.

To support this group, beginning Thursday, March 19th, all Stop & Shop stores will open earlier in order to service only customers who are age 60 and over from 6:00a.m.-7:30a.m. daily.

We’re making the decision to offer this every day of the week to allow for community members in this age category to shop in a less crowded environment, which better enables social distancing. They’ll also be shopping prior to any other customers entering.

Beginning Thursday, people ages 60 and up can use a designated entrance, which will be marked at their local store, from 6:00a.m.-7:30a.m. Although we will not be requesting ID for entry, we ask that you please respect the purpose of the early opening – and do the right thing for your neighbors. Store associates do reserve the right to ask customers to leave if they are not a member of this age group.

As previously announced, most stores have adjusted their hours to 7:30a.m. to 8:00p.m. to enable our associates to spend more time unloading deliveries, stocking shelves – and to take some time for rest. Please note that our stores receive deliveries throughout the day, so our shelves will be replenished for shoppers at all hours. And, we have implemented added cleaning and sanitation efforts, which will continue throughout the day at all stores.

Our home delivery service will remain available to all customers as well. If you have a grandparent, parent, friend, or neighbor in this age group, remember you can place an order on their behalf with our new “Contact-Free” delivery option. With this service, we’ll notify you by text or email when the driver arrives, and they will simply leave the bags on the doorstep or building entry and return to their vehicle. We recognize there may be some delays with this service due to unprecedented demand, and we are continuing to work hard to meet your needs.

We hope you will join us in our efforts to care for the older members of our community at this time, and we are very grateful for your continued support.
If you have questions, please contact Consumer Affairs.
Copyright Information
This message and its contents are copyrighted and are proprietary to Stop & Shop LLC. 1385 Hancock St. Quincy, MA, 02169.

CT Business Assistance
Response to COVID-19
Updated: March 17, 2020

Additional Berkshire businesses with changes to hours operation, services

Supermarkets
All 24-hour Price Chopper, Market 32 and Market Bistro stores will close at 1:00 a.m. and reopen at 6:00 a.m. to facilitate the restocking of product and to perform additional preventative sanitation.
Adams Market Hometown Market hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., effective as of March 15.
Stop & Shop limiting to 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Pickup services temporarily suspended. Expect delays with home delivery.
Big Y is adjusting hours to 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. until further notice.
Restaurants
Gedney Farm is closing its restaurant and hotel until Monday, April 6.
Firefly in Lenox will be closed until further notice.
The Lenox Library will be closed to the public until further notice.
The Stockbridge Library is open but all programs are canceled until further notice.
Lanesborough Library closed through March 28.
The Bushnell Sage Library in Sheffield will be closed through at least March 30.
Businesses
Berkshire Paint and Sip is canceling events through April 7.

The state of Connecticut is working on a comprehensive Economic Recovery package with the legislature to help our Connecticut families and businesses, particularly small businesses. There have been a lot of people asking the specifics of this plan. State and Legislative leaders are ironing out the details and should be ready to brief the public very soon. In the meantime, here’s an update on action the state has taken to help our businesses so far.For the most updated information check ct.gov/coronavirus.com.

Coronavirus Update urgent information Temporary closure of all Branch Lobbies – Drive-Ups to Remain Open  all Salisbury Bank and Riverside Division locations will offer banking services through drive-up windows, at locations where they are available. All branch lobbies will be temporarily closed to the public until further notice as a proactive measure to help mitigate the spread of illness. In addition, our e-Banking, Mobile Banking, ATMs, Bank-by-Phone, and Night Depositories are available for many banking functions. We are closely monitoring the rapidly developing and unprecedented circumstances surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19), while evolving our response plans to ensure continuity of service as the situation progresses. We remain focused on supporting our customers and community members through this time of uncertainty in a manner that is prudent and safe for all. At this time, we are taking these additional measures based on new information and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), recommendations provided by State Officials, and our unwavering commitment to the health and well-being of our customers, employees and community. Banking regulators have recognized the extraordinary nature of the pandemic and have authorized banks to take actions of this nature. For a full list of Branch locations, adjustments to operations, and direct contact information please click here.

Re: Upcoming Town of Amenia Planning Board and ZBA Meetings

By order of Dutchess County Executive, Marcus Molinaro to cancel all public meetings of 20 or more people, The Town of Amenia Planning Board has postponed the Public Hearing for The Amenia Library and Regular Meeting of the Planning Board for Wednesday, March 25 th 2020 until Wednesday, May 27, 2020. There will be no meetings between now and then.The Town of Amenia ZBA will not meet until Monday, May 18, 2020.

Oblong has closed their doors to the public . Our staff will continue “behind the scenes,” fulfilling online orders (oblongbooks.com) and phone orders, recommending books online and by phone, and brainstorming creative ways to safely have our community access the books and book knowledge of Oblong and its staff. Going forward—while our doors are closed temporarily—we plan to staff our phones, email, and oblongbooks.com web order services from 10am to 4pm Monday-Saturday. Shop our shelves from home at oblongbooks.com. All orders will ship for free via USPS Media Mail. Limited delivery to local addresses is also available. Gift certificates are a great way to support us during this difficult time.

American Red Cross faces severe blood shortage as coronavirus outbreak threatens availability of nation’s supply Nearly 2,700 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled across the country due to coronavirus concerns, resulting in some 86,000 fewer blood donations.
FARMINGTON, Conn (March 17, 2020) – The American Red Cross now faces a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Healthy individuals are needed now to donate to help patients counting on lifesaving blood.
Individuals can schedule an appointment to give blood with the Red Cross by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.
As the coronavirus pandemic has grown here in the U.S., blood drive cancellations have grown at an alarming rate. To date, nearly 2,700 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled across the country due to concerns about congregating at workplaces, college campuses and schools amidst the coronavirus outbreak. These cancellations have resulted in some 86,000 fewer blood donations. More than 80% of the blood the Red Cross collects comes from drives held at locations of this type. Here in the Connecticut Region, 46 blood drives have been canceled, resulting in 1299 fewer blood donations. The Red Cross is adding appointment slots at donation centers and expanding
capacity at many community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks to ensure ample opportunities for donors to give. Volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need The Red Cross expects the number of cancellations to continue to increase, which is causing heightened concern for blood collection organizations and hospitals across the country. This blood shortage could impact patients who need surgery, victims of car accidents and other emergencies, or patients suffering from cancer. “I am looking at the refrigerator that contains only one day’s supply of blood for the hospital,”
said Dr. Robertson Davenport, director of transfusion medicine at Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor. “The hospital is full. There are patients who need blood and cannot wait.” “In our experience, the American public comes together to support those in need during times of shortage and that support is needed now more than ever during this unprecedented public health crisis,” said Chris Hrouda, president, Red Cross Biomedical Services. “Unfortunately,
when people stop donating blood, it forces doctors to make hard choices about patient care, which is why we need those who are healthy and well to roll up a sleeve and give the gift of life.” The Red Cross is committed to blood drive safety “We know that people want to help, but they may be hesitant to visit a blood drive during this time. We want to assure the public that blood donation is a safe process, and we have put additional precautions in place at our blood drives and donation centers to protect all who come out,” said Hrouda.
The Red Cross has implemented new measures to ensure blood drives and donation centers are even safer for our donors and staff, including:
 Checking the temperature of staff and donors before entering a drive to make sure they
are healthy.
 Providing hand sanitizer for use before the drive, as well as throughout the donation
process.
 Spacing beds, where possible, to follow social distancing practices between blood
donors.
 Increasing enhanced disinfecting of surfaces and equipment.
At each blood drive and donation center, Red Cross employees already follow thorough safety
protocols to help prevent the spread of any type of infection, including:
 Wearing gloves and changing gloves with each donor.
 Routinely wiping down donor-touched areas.
 Using sterile collection sets for every donation.
 Preparing the arm for donation with an aseptic scrub.
There is no data or evidence that this coronavirus can be transmitted by blood transfusion, and
there have been no reported cases of transfusion transmission for any respiratory virus
including this coronavirus worldwide.
“Volunteer donors are the unsung heroes for patients in need of lifesaving blood transfusions. If
you are healthy, feeling well and eligible to give, please schedule an appointment to give now,”
added Hrouda.
Blood donation process
To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other
forms of identification that are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most
states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are
in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors
18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.
Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass®. With
RapidPass®, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online,
on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass®, follow
the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters;
supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international
humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-
profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to
perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or
visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Four Brothers Drive In, 4957 Route 22, Amenia. Due to the nature of our business, and the circumstances we have opted to stay open in this time to provide a sense of entertainment for the family and friends to enjoy. We have reduced our prices and understand that everyone should be in their vehicles at this time. Pick up will be available by the patio porch during this time.

Deano’s Pizza, 24 Millerton Road, Lakeville. open and delivering. Will add lunch deliveries if the need arises. 860-435-2299 on the web: deanos pizza menu dot com

Thorn hill Flower & Garden Shop, 15 Academy Street, Salisbury. Open and still doing deliveries. Will call customers before delivering and leave delivery outside. Observing all safety precautions during covid-19. 860-435-2348

John Andrews Farmhouse Restaurant, 224 Hillsdale Road, South Egremont. Offering takeout Sunday, Monday and Thursday, 5-7PM and Friday and Saturday 5-8 PM 413-528-3469 See menu on Facebook. On the web: john andrews restaurant dot com

Berkshire Mountain Distillery, 356 South Main Street, Sheffield. will be canceling all tours and tastings for the foreseeable future. However,BMD will be taking online and phone orders for curbside pick up at the distillery from 12-5pm, 7 days a week. To order from the online store visit berkshiremountaindistillers.com or call 413-229-0219.

At this time, the North Canaan Town Hall will be closed to the general public effective Tuesday March
17 th . We will assess the guidelines from Health officials and update on March 30th Please access the Town website for forms and applications. Employees will be in their offices to accept phone calls and emails during regular business hours. All contacts are on the website, https://northcanaan.org or call 860-824-7313 and follow the prompts.

Due the government’s emergency,Mizza’s dining is going to be closed.we are still doing pick up orders and delivery as well, (hopefully this ends soon:)

NOTICE FROM FISHES AND LOAVES

In view of the Coronavirus crisis we have instituted a change in how we distribute food and would appreciate if you could help us get the word out. I suggest the following:
Fishes and Loaves Pantry will remain open but effective immediately clients will not be permitted to enter Pilgrim House until further notice. Our staff and volunteers will have boxes of food for pick-up at the door. We ask for everyone’s understanding during this health emergency as we take this step to protect clients and staff from transmission of the Coronavirus. Our hours will remain the same: Tuesday’  5-7 pm and Wednesday 9-11 am. Anyone in need of food who is not able to visit the pantry should call 860-824-7232 to make other arrangements.

Hylton Hundt Salon Closed
In an effort to flatten the curve, Hylton Hundt Salon will be closed until March 31st. You can expect a call, text or email soon to reschedule existing appointments. Stay safe. Go outside to play. See you soon!

Great Falls Brewery , 1 Railroad Street, North Canaan.We here at Great Falls Brewing Company are all about community. As a responsible member of any community, we are relied upon to make the right decision, always. While the world and country struggle to handle the outbreak of COVID-19, we want both our customers and staff to be safe. Following the advice of the CDC and state authorities, effective immediately, Great Falls Brewing Company taproom will be closed to the public. We will be open from 4-7pm everyday for To Go sales ONLY. We appreciate all the love and support we have received from our fans and customers, and we will be here for you when we open up the taproom again. Be safe and be well everyone. 860-453-4076

Massachusetts Emergency Measures to Address COVID-19(This is a summary of the full announcement, which can be found here.)
On Sunday, March 15, the Baker-Polito Administration announced emergency measures in response to the outbreak of Coronavirus.
Elementary and Secondary Schools: suspend educational operations from March 17 until April 6.
Full order available here.
During this period it is critical that students and their families, as well as school staff, stay home as much as possible. If an individual needs to leave home, it is essential to strictly follow social distancing guidelines by avoiding crowds, canceling social gatherings, and maintaining a safe separation of at least 6 feet from others.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) will work in partnership with schools and districts to develop strategies and resources to sustain learning and vital services. Already, DESE has received a partial waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture providing greater flexibility regarding food service in certain districts with higher concentrations of low-income students and is actively pursuing additional waivers for the remaining schools and districts.
Early Education and Care:  Although childcare programs have not been ordered to close, childcare providers are urged to strictly observe guidelines that call for temporary closures based on actual direct or indirect exposures to individuals with COVID-19. 
The EEC’s page on COVID-19 can be found here.
Higher Education: continue to move towards remote learning. Colleges and universities, both public and private, should continue to reduce the need for students to be on campus by suspending in-person classes and shifting to remote learning. Institutions should also reduce the need for faculty and staff to be on campus while maintaining essential services, especially for residential students who cannot safely return home. 
Gatherings & Restaurants: Governor Baker issued an emergency order limiting gatherings to 25 individuals and prohibiting on-premises consumption of food or drink at bars and restaurants, beginning on March 17 and effective until April 6.
The full order is available here.
Health Care: The Department of Public Health issued guidance today that includes the following:
All commercial insurers, self-insured plans, and the Group Insurance Commission are required to cover medically necessary telehealth services related to COVID-19 testing and treatment. The full order is available here.
All assisted living residences are to ban visitors to protect the health of residents and staff. This is in addition to the federal guidance issued on Friday that bans visitors to nursing homes and rest homes.
All hospitals operated by the Department of Public Health or the Department of Mental Health are to screen all visitors and restrict visitation if individuals show any indication of illness.
Hospitals must cancel non-essential elective procedures.
Licensed pharmacies may create and sell hand sanitizer over the counter.
Registry of Motor Vehicles: The Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) will extend the renewal timeline of certain credentials to reduce the need for customers to physically visit an RMV service center for in-person transactions. This extension does not apply to vehicle registrations. Most vehicle registrations can be renewed online at Mass.Gov/RMV.
Unemployment Assistance: For current unemployment claims, all requirements regarding attending seminars at the MassHire career centers have been suspended. Missing deadlines due to effects of COVID-19 will be excused under DUA’s good cause provision. All appeal hearings will be held by telephone only.
To assist individuals who cannot work due to the impact of COVID-19, the administration is filing emergency legislation that will allow new claims to be paid more quickly by waiving the one week waiting period for unemployment benefits.
EOLWD and DUA are also filing emergency regulations that will allow people impacted by COVID-19 to collect unemployment if their workplace is shut down and expects to reopen in four or fewer weeks.The following conditions apply:
Workers must remain in contact with their employer during the shutdown.
Workers must be available for any work their employer may have for them that they are able to do.
An employer may request to extend the period of the covered shut-down to eight weeks, and workers will remain eligible for the longer period under the same conditions described above.If necessary, DUA may extend these time periods for workers and employers.
Employers who are impacted by COVID-19 may request up to a 60-day grace period to file quarterly reports and pay contributions.
Please read the full press release for more details.
Municipal Governance Legislation: Governor Baker announced a package of legislation to help address challenges to municipal governance resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, including potential delays in holding Town Meetings and adopting Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) municipal budgets. Provisions in the proposed legislation include (among other measures): amending existing statute authorizing Moderators to postpone Town Meetings by thirty days; permitting local Select Boards to postpone Town Meetings beyond the statutory June 30 deadline; permitting local Select Boards to temporarily adopt lower quorum rules; and authorizing a three-year amortization period for deficit spending incurred as a result of COVID-19 crisis.
The latest information and guidance regarding COVID-19 is available here.
Press releases on the developing situation are collected here.

Update from Salisbury VNA

Notice from SVNA: Joining in the effort of containing the Coronavirus, all of our scheduled wellness clinics & balance classes will be canceled for the month of March.. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, but we want to be proactive in keeping our community safe and healthy! If you have any questions, please call us at 860-435-0816 

HARTFORD, Conn.— Governor Ned Lamont has announced Connecticut’s bars and restaurants are shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak. Officials say the establishments will only offer takeout service. All public events, including movie theaters and gyms, will also be closed . Some services will be available with a max occupancy of 50 people as long as they adhere to social distancing. Restaurants have been closed until further notice and are coordinating an open date.

The Moviehouse in Millerton is CLOSED

Pursuant to the direction of the Chief Administrative Judge, Town of North East Court has postponed court cases for the rest of March and all of April. Letters will be sent with new dates.

A message from the first selectman of the Town of Canaan (Falls Village):

To The Community of the Town of Canaan: In order to protect those in Town Hall who work so diligently for the community, we are closing Town Hall to all visitors for the next two weeks. All staff can be reached by phone at the office to assist with any needs or problems that you might have during this period. After this initial two weeks, we will reassess the situation. We know that this is an inconvenience to our citizens but we must keep our staff healthy and safe to enable us to continue to serve you.

Henry W. Todd
First Selectman
Town of Canaan

The Hunt Library is temporarily closed due to the current public health emergency. They are, however, offering curbside service on Tues and Sat from 10am to noon. Read here for information.

The Douglas Library will be closed until further notice due to health concerns of the Covid19 virus. We will be happy to offer curbside pickup of any requested items if you call us at 860-824-7863 or email us at douglaslibrary@comcast.net, Monday, Wednesday or Friday between the hours of 10AM and 2PM. You can access the library’s catalog at www.douglaslibrarycanaan.org

Schools in Massachusetts will close for at least three weeks, and all gatherings of more than 25 people will be banned in the latest attempt to arrest the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Charlie Baker announced Sunday. The governor also ordered all dine-in restaurants and bars to close for three weeks. Take-away and delivery services won’t be affected by the rules, nor will grocery stores or pharmacies.

● Roeliff Jansen Community Library (N.Y.) has decided to suspend all library events through the end of March.

Falls Village Senior Center & Senior Nutritional Program 

The Senior Nutrition Program at the Falls Village Senior Center has been suspended and lunch will not be served as well as all senior activities and outings have been suspended until further notice due to the Corona 19 Virus.  If you are in need or would like meals during this time, please contact the Western CT Area on Aging at 203.757.5449 to set up Meals on Wheels home delivery. They will provide 2 meals 1 hot & 1 cold daily Monday-Friday. The suggested donation is $5.00 per day. For updates on when the Nutrition Center & Senior Center may reopen, please check the Town website at canaanfallsvillage.org or call Falls Village Senior Center @ 860.824.9855.

KENT HISTORICAL SOCIETY
We want to check in with all
our supporters, neighbors and friends
and send you all good wishes.
In midst of the outbreak of this virus we have chosen to close the doors of KHS until further notice.
We of course will be here working and will be available
via email for any inquiries you may have.
Thank you and stay well and safe!

Webutuck Teachers’ Association
Dear Webutuck families,
We will be available to distribute homework packets, iPads for grades one and up, as well as breakfast and lunch. If you need access to schoolwork or food, please let us know if you can pick up or if you need these items delivered. Write an email to Raymond.castellani@webutuck.org In the email let us know what you need, the name of your child/children and your address if you need things delivered.

More COVID-19 info fo Millerton community

This notice is on behalf of both the Town of North East and the Village of Millerton.

Mayor Debbie Middlebrook and I have been, and will continue to be, in close touch with Dutchess County’s Emergency Response Center. Yesterday we participated in a conference call held by County Executive Marc Molinaro with other Dutchess County Mayors and Supervisors. Dutchess County, along with Orange and Ulster Counties, have each issued a State of Emergency declaration as of Friday March 13. Residents of Millerton & North East are encouraged to visit Dutchess County’s website www.dutchessny.gov/coronavirus for additional information and updates, but here are a few of the most important takeaways:

In the interests of slowing the spread of this virus, and to the maximum extent possible, residents of Millerton and North East are urged to minimize social interaction. Anyone who feels ill is asked to stay at home. Public gatherings and meetings of more than 20 people are being suspended or cancelled. Restaurants and theaters are being asked to limit the number of patrons to not more than half of their stated capacity.

People who feel they might be symptomatic for COVID-19 should contact their doctor or health care provider first. It is important to make the call before going to a doctor’s office or hospital. If you are unable to reach your health care provider, call 9-1-1 for further instructions.

All schools in Dutchess County, both public and private, and including extra-curricular activities, will be closed for two weeks, starting on Monday. This does not include private daycare facilities, Head Start or other daycare programs

At least four mobile sites are being organized to administer COVID-19 tests. The location of those sites will be identified on the Dutchess County website, when they are operational.

Town of North East and Village of Millerton offices will be open next week for Town and Village employees to conduct essential business. Anyone with urgent business with either the Town or the Village is asked to reach out to the appropriate person before entering our facilities. We will try to post further information on our respective websites.

Chris Kennan

Supervisor, Town of North East

Email: ne.supervisor@taconic.net

Mobile: 518-466-3898

Debbie Middlebrook

Mayor, Village of Millerton

Email: dmiddlebrook.villagemillerton@gmail.com

Mobile: 518-915-0596

Canaan United Methodist Church, Canaan, CT
will not be holding Sunday worship service
March 22nd Per the order of the Bishop

St Joseph church in Canaan,CT is closed and Bingo at Bitterman
Center closed thru 23 March 2020

The Bishop and Standing Committee of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut (ECCT) have strongly urged parishes to suspend worship for two weeks to help with mitigation of the coronavirus in the state.
Accordingly, after consultation, and because so many of our members are at risk, we are suspending all gatherings at St. Andrew’s in Kent.
We will monitor the situation as we go. The Parish Office will be open as usual, but parishioners are encouraged to contact us as needed by phone or email.

Sharon Historical Society and Museum will be closed to the public through March 28. Staff will be available via phone at 860-364-5688 and director@sharonhist.org during regular hours, Wednesday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The gallery’s opening reception for Northlight Art Center’s 10th annual student show scheduled for today has been canceled.

Litchfield Hills Probate District offices in Litchfield and Canaan have suspended the processing of applications for passports until at least April 30 due to the coronavirus threat.

Our Lady of the Valley on Maple Avenue in Sheffield has cancelled Sunday masses and all church activities until further notice.

Berkshire South Regional Community Center will be cancelling larger community group gatherings for 2 weeks starting Monday, March 16th. There will be no Community Supper, Berkshire Ukulele Band or Berkshire Sings program from March 16-March 27.

Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust has canceled its March events. The hiking trails will remain open. Call 860-860-927-1927 for trail recommendations. Also, Kent Memorial Library has postponed or canceled all programs through Tuesday. The library will remain open, however, until further notice.

Webster Bank has decided to temporarily halt our March Food Drive. We understand that the current status of our footprint may be experiencing hardships of their own. However please keep in mind the less fortunate

The Kent Art Associations Members Show scheduled to open March 21 has been cancelled

The Little Guild in West Cornwall in the face of the CCOVID-10 pandemic will be closed to visitors until further notice

BMC, Fairview and all other BHS facilities and personnel are adhering to Centers for Disease Control and Department of Public Health guidelines to control the spread and manage the consequences of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). If you are not experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, cough) and have not either been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus or been to an area where the virus is prevalent, you should feel free to keep your scheduled doctors’ appointments. However, if you are feeling sick, especially with cold or flu-like symptoms, please call your doctor or other provider’s office before coming in so that appropriate arrangements can be made for your visit. If you are feeling cold or flu-like symptoms and would like advice, please call our Hotline at 855-262-5465.

The Dover Plains library will be closed for the safety of our patrons and staff.

The budget presentations from the North Canaan Board of Selectmen and Board of Education scheduled for next week have been postponed. The new tentative date has been set for April 7th at 7pm. We will be doing both on the same night. This date is tentative depending on the COVID-19 situation. Thank you for understanding

To continuously ensure a healthy and safe environment for patients, staff and visitors amid coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns, Nuvance Health has updated the visitation policies for all of our hospital locations, including Sharon Hospital.

Out of an abundance of caution, we are limiting visitation to the following:

– No children under 15
– Inpatient, outpatient, emergency departments: 1 visitor per 1 patient per day
– Family birth center, pediatric units, NICU: 2 visitors per 1 patient per day

Additionally, we’re asking our community to please only visit the hospital if you feel it is absolutely necessary because you have a close relationship with the patient and visiting them can’t wait until they are home. We encourage virtual visits by using video messaging on mobile devices.
Please be advised that groups that visit the hospital to see a patient will be kindly asked to return home, and only have one person from the group stay to visit the patient. This temporary policy change does not apply if extenuating circumstances exist, such as visiting patients who are receiving end-of-life care. Patients and families should discuss other special circumstances for visiting with a member of their care team. All visitors are being screened for symptoms such as cough, runny nose, fever, difficulty breathing/shortness of breath. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause you and your family. For updates, check https://bit.ly/2TVqkgQ. We thank you for your cooperation.

The Pine Plains FFA Toy March 21 Toy show postponed for now

Cabin Fever at the Grove is canceled this year. Hopefully we can gather at some point when the current state of affairs resolves. Stay safe and well.

Infinity in Norfolk is closed

Dewey Hall all events are canceled

Dear Tri-State Chamber Sponsors & Members-
In light of the current state of affairs surrounding the Coronavirus, it seems to only make sense for TSC to follow suit in regard to trying to manage the potential spread of the virus by postponing events such as Business After Hours. For now we will only say that the BAH scheduled for March 19 at Great Falls Brewery will be postponed to a future date, to be determined.

Important Information About Essential Kent Businesses/Organizations:

TIGA is stocked up on essentials like toilet paper and cleaning supplies. The store has implemented regular disinfecting procedures multiple times each day to ensure surfaces stay clean.

ACE Hardware of Kent—Open for normal business hours. Provides door-to-car service. Shop online and enjoy free delivery on all orders over $50. ACE has implemented regular disinfecting procedures multiple times each day to ensure surfaces stay clean. The store stocks products such as Clorox bleach and cleaning products, masks, nitrile and latex gloves, toilet paper, paper towels, disinfecting cleaners, isopropyl alcohol, etc.Kent Memorial Library—Closed until further notice. All programs are cancelled. Patrons encouraged to use online services by visiting their website. Staff will be available to answer emails and phone calls. The free WiFi signal is strong and can be picked up while sitting outside near the library. A list of babysitters for childcare is available upon request.

The fundraiser for Peggy Ackerman scheduled for April 4 has been cancelled due to public health concerns. The Fire Company will be accepting donations with checks being sent in with the memo Peggy Fund, as for another date its unknown, but donations are being accepted.

After much thought and deliberation we have decided to cancel all programs at the Scoville Library through the end of March. We are not sure when or if some programs will get rescheduled. The library will remain open at its usual hours. This may change and if so, we will communicate via email and social media. We are going to try an experiment with virtual programming, starting with the Clutter Workshop scheduled for March 21. We will be using a free teleconferencing program called Zoom. To participate, you will need a computer, tablet or phone and Zoom. We will contact those of you who have signed up. One or two other programs may get presented in the same manner Mark Scarbrough will finish his multi-part series on Toni Morisson in May, assuming no further impediments. White Hart Speaker Series, “The Earth Is In Her Hands” will be presented as scheduled. Please see below,
The library is continually sanitizing high touch surfaces throughout the building and hand sanitizer is available. We request that you use common sense when visiting the library. If you are coughing or sneezing for whatever reason please stay home. We are asking people to wash their hands when they enter the Library. If you have any doubts about where you have been or contacts you have had please err on the side of caution. As always we love to see you but we all want to be safe. For those of you in self quarantine or just reducing your library visits we do deliver. We also have a wonderful array of on-line movies, ebooks, and eaudios.
Using Hoopla and Kanopy you could watch a movie a day for the rest of the month. Even more amazing are the Great Courses. You can watch as many episodes of them as you like, there is no limit to the number of views.

The Hotchkiss Library of Sharon will be closed until further notice. We encourage our patrons to access our digital collections while we are closed. Updated information will be posted on our website.

Both The Mahaiwe Theatre in Great Barrington and The Warner Theatre in Torrington are cancelling all shows until furthur notice

The Swap Shop is closed at the Salisbury Sharon Transfer Station until further notice.

The retreat at Camp Isabella Freeman in Falls Village has been cancelled for going forward until the threat of the Coronaviris is lessened

14th Colony Art Show at Noble Horizons is cancelled

Due to concerns regarding COVID-19, Berkshire Grown has cancelled the indoor farmers market scheduled for Saturday, March 21.

The Jane Lloyd Fund
After much consideration we have made the decision to postpone The Harlem Line Dance at the White Hart on March 28th. We will rebook for a later date and will keep you posted! Please stay healthy and take good care!

Crescendo is postponing its upcoming March and April concerts.

Due to concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the following events have been canceled at the Sharon Audubon Center, located on Route 4 in Sharon, Connecticut. Bats: Earth’s Allies – Friday, March 27, 2020
For other event, program, and center hour updates, please visit the center’s website an our Facebook page at and/or call the center at 860-364-0520.

In response to the Massachusetts State of Emergency announced this week Great Barrington has stepped up preventive actions to help reduce residents’ risk of exposure to, or transmission of, the COVID-19 virus.
The town has taken the following steps, effective immediately:
Suspending non-essential meetings of town board and committees until further notice.· Suspending SELECT classes and fitness activities at the Claire Teague Senior, but the Center remains open for community meals and routine appointments with Center staff. Call ahead to see if your class is still happening: (413) 528-1881. Lifting the town’s ban on the sale of single-use plastic water bottles until April 30, 2020, at which time the measure will be reviewed.· Discouraging residents from hosting or attending larger public or private gatherings. The town will make efforts to ensure that essential town meetings will be televised by CTSB-TV, so that residents can remain informed without attending in person. Town Hall will remain open to provide essential services to residents at this time. However, the town encourages residents to make payments for taxes or other town bills at the town website. The town will continue to update residents with information on the town website, social media and traditional media outlets.

Sugar Hill Assisted Living in Dalton is canceling programs open to the public, including support groups.

Thursday night Breaking Bread in Sheffield is suspended until further notice due to the coronavirus

The organizers of the Dewey Sessions Lenox (March 21) and Sheffield (March 28) Contra Dances have cancelled the March Social Dances

Berkshire Housing has canceled the March First Time Home Buyers course. It will be rescheduled for sometime in May. The June class (which they were hosting) will likely be postponed

OLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College, is canceling or postponing events through March 22.

Clark Art Institute: Events canceled from March 14 through April 30, 2020, but museum galleries remain open.

Norman Rockwell Museum is suspending public programs for the present time through March 31, though galleries remain open.

Hevreh of Southern Berkshire is suspending all gatherings ● worship, classes, outside groups, committee meetings, etc.

The Stissing Center in Pine Plains announced that it would postpone its spring series of events, which were scheduled to be announced this week and performances set to start in late April.

To the Residents of the Village and Town of Rhinebeck-
Our department is asking you to please follow these precautions during the COVID-19 outbreak: If you are quarantined (mandatory or self imposed) in your home due to possible or confirmed COVID-19 exposure, PLEASE notify 911 when you call and advise the dispatcher. We also ask that you place a sign/note on your front door to alert our personnel to take infection-prevention precautions before entering your home or business.
We need to protect our crews so that they will be able to continue to meet the emergency needs of the community. Elsewhere, there have been entire fire companies quarantined after they have responded to quarantined homes and were not alerted before entering. Those first responders are now unavailable to help anyone for at least 14 days.
In our small department we cannot afford to have this happen and being VOLUNTEERS we do not want to have to take it home to our families.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding

The coronavirus is forcing the Bardavon 1869 Opera House in Poughkeepsie and UPAC in Kingston to close for at least 30 days.

Town of Otis
The Otis Council on Aging has decided to close the Senior Center through March 30, 2020. The potluck luncheon on March 18th is also cancelled. With people over 60 in the highest risk category and the Governor’s declaration of a State of Emergency, they felt it prudent to close for this period of time. We support their decision.The Otis Rec Center has closed the exercise room and equipment and cancelled their drop-in classes. The exercise equipment in particular can not be monitored for cleaning after hours and at this time it seems not in the public’s interest for it to remain in use. Please see the Rec Center page for specific details. We support their decision.
The Rescue Squad is short staffed but in service.
We continue to monitor closely information from Mass DPH, CDC and local officials to gather the most current information to pass on.
Visit the website for more information

Town of Monterey
The Regional Council on Aging Meeting on Monday, March 16 at 10 a.m. at the Community Center has been canceled.The Monterey Council on Aging meeting on Monday , March 16 at 9 a.m. at the Community Center has been canceled.The Monterey Community Potluck Dinner on March 18th at the Meetinghouse at 6 p.m. has been canceled.The Peter Poirier Concert at the Community Center at 1 p.m. on March 18th has been canceled.
No rescheduling at this time. Visit the website for more information

Sheffield, MA
Get your flu shot. Although the flu shot will not protect you from
COVID-19, it will help prevent the flu, which has similar symptoms
to this coronavirus, including fever, coughing, and trouble with
breathing.or If you have any of these symptoms, please see your healthcare
provider immediately; if you come into contact with someone
exhibiting these symptoms, politely suggest that they see their
health care provider immediately.
 Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when sneezing or
coughing, or sneeze or cough into your inner elbow area — do not
use your hands.
 Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds,
or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
 Do not touch your face (mouth, eyes, nose) with unwashed hands.
 Stay at home if you do not feel well. If you have flu-like symptoms,
contact your health care provider immediately.
 Avoid close contact with people who are sick, particularly those
exhibiting flu-like symptoms such as fever, coughing, and difficulty
with breathing.
 Clean (disinfect) frequently-touched objects and surfaces such as
door handles, phones, cell phones, keyboards.
 Face masks are only recommended if directed by a health care provider.
For additional information and updates go to:
www.mass.gov/2019coronavirus
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

COLUMBIA COUNTY PREPARES FOR CORONAVIRUS
HUDSON — “The Columbia County Board of Supervisors and county personnel are taking all precautions in the fight against the coronavirus, or COVID-19. This includes protecting our residents to the extent possible and making plans for the county to continue carrying out its business in the event a major outbreak occurs here,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell said today. The county is monitoring the situation and following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), NYS departments of Health and Education, and the Columbia County Department of Health.
At the county Department of Health, Public Health Director Jack Mabb called COVID-19 an “incredibly fluid situation. The CDC is screening people as they come into the country if they have a fever, or if they have a travel history” involving one of the countries with people who have been infected.
If a county resident tests positive in that situation, or if they have traveled to a country with people who have tested positive, county DoH is notified. Its job is to then make sure that the resident is able to effectively self-quarantine.Mabb said the county is also working closely with leadership of the six county school districts on COVID-19 response.To keep-up-to date on announcements pertaining to COVID-19, the county Department of Health website can be found at columbiacountynyhealth.com.
Director of Emergency Management David Harrison said that county leaders “have been involved in insuring that all county departments and services can continue” in the event of a widespread outbreak here.Repeating the words of Emergency Management’s Harrison, McDonald added, “The last thing we want to do is panic people.” As a best practice for overall health in cold and influenza season, the CDC recommends that individuals receive the influenza vaccination and engage in everyday, preventative measures to prevent the spread of germs and avoid illness, such as:

· Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
· Avoid touching eyes, mouth and nose with unwashed hands.
· Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick.
· Stay home when you are sick.
· Cover your cough or sneeze with the crease of your elbow.
· Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
· Take any anti-viral medication prescribed to you as instructed by your physician.



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