FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – MARCH 13, 2020 DAILY BRIEFING

WELLESLEY MUNICIPAL BUILDINGS WILL OPERATE WITH LIMITED PUBLIC ACCESS

The Town of Wellesley continues to undertake all possible measures to protect the health and safety of our community and help slow the spread of Coronavirus. The Wellesley Health Department (WHD) is currently monitoring six cases of COVID-19 among Wellesley residents – one confirmed case and five presumptive positive cases.

All of these individuals are isolated at home according to Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) protocol and in daily contact with WHD. We recognize the anxiety in the community surrounding COVID-19 and are committed to full transparency in updating this information every day. Detailed guidance on Isolation due to COVID-19 and Quarantine due to COVID-19 is provided by MDPH.

In addition, guidance and information about COVID-19 is available on the MDPH COVID-19 Quarantine and Monitoring website. The State is also providing detailed information and support, available in many languages, through the Massachusetts emergency 211 line.

Following direction from Governor Charlie Baker and State officials, the Town of Wellesley will be making a number of changes to Town programs, activities, and access to municipal buildings in an effort to keep residents and Town employees healthy and safe.

Effective on Saturday, March 14, all Wellesley Free Library (WFL) buildings will be closed to the public for two weeks. At this time, the buildings are expected to reopen on Monday, March 30 (this date may change.) The Hills and Fells Branch Libraries will be completely closed. Main Library staff will be providing the following services:

  • Phone service on Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Curbside pick-up on Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The Virtual Branch (all website resources including e-books, databases, streaming, etc.) will continue to be available 24/7
  • The Library Wakelin Room will be open for voting on March 17

Please hold on to any Library donations; these will not be accepted during the closure. Please check the WFL website for information and updates. https://www.wellesleyfreelibrary.org/

Effective on Saturday, March 14, the Wellesley Recreation Department will postpone all programs, classes, rentals and events until further notice. https://wellesleyma.gov/Recreation

Due to COVID-19 concerns, the Wellesley Recycling and Disposal Facility (RDF) will be making the following changes in policies and schedules, effective on Saturday, March 14:

  • Walk-in services to the Scale House office are limited; please mail in permit applications, email rdf@wellesleyma.gov; or call 781-235-7600 ext. 3345
  • Reusables Area (“Take and Leave”) opening day is postponed until further notice
  • A portable toilet is provided for public use; the Scale House restroom will be closed to the public
  • Hours of Operation:
    Residential Hours remain unchanged
    Commercial Scale Hours are:
    Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and Saturday, 7:00 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Until further notice, all residents are encouraged to not congregate at the RDF while recycling and use proper hygiene to help protect the health and safety of all users.

As Wellesley’s first responders are critical to protecting our community, effective immediately the Wellesley Police Department will be suspending certain services and changing policies to help keep officers safe and healthy. Detailed information about these changes is available on the Wellesley Police Department website. https://wellesleyma.gov/892/Police

Also, when responding to calls at homes and buildings, the Wellesley Fire and Rescue Department may ask residents pre-screened questions regarding potential illnesses before entering. These questions are not invasive and are intended to keep both residents and first responders safe.

As a reminder, the Health Department is urging residents to be honest about any health status with anyone who may need to enter a residence, including Town Building Inspectors, Public Works personnel, postal workers, delivery service providers (UPS, Amazon, grocery delivery services, etc.) and others.

Wellesley Police Officers and Fire Department Officers will continue to respond to emergency calls for service without delay. If you have an emergency, dial 911 and officers will respond as always!

Wellesley Town Hall will remain open to the public through Tuesday, March 17, 2020, to allow for absentee ballot voting and daily business. Local town elections will take place on Tuesday, March 17 as scheduled. Beginning on Wednesday, March 18, there will be no public access to Town Hall until Monday, March 30 or later. All Town Hall staff will continue to report to work and will be available to respond to any questions, offer assistance and provide services by email and phone by calling 781-431-1019, and following the prompts.

We are urging all residents, contractors, retailers and others to conduct Town business through our online platforms. Wellesley offers online payment options for parking tickets, real estate taxes, personal property taxes, excise taxes, utility bills, dog licensing, building permits, and licensing fees. Yard/garage/event sale permits are suspended at this time to prevent large groups of individuals congregating in our community.

A locked drop-box is also located in front of Town Hall (at the entrance facing Washington Street) where payments, absentee ballots, and other Town Hall correspondence may be dropped off. This box is checked regularly throughout each business day.

The Governor has modified the State’s Open Meeting Law. As such, Town officials are working to implement remote meeting platforms and participation beginning as early as Monday, March 16. Please check meeting agendas on the Town of Wellesley website for meeting information, remote access and participation guidelines.

Wellesley Public Schools remain closed for the next two weeks. Please click to see the message from Superintendent of Public Schools Dr. David Lussier.

Please continue to visit our Coronavirus Information website for updated information: www.wellesleyma.gov/coronavirusinfo


Town of Wellesley • Massachusetts

Town Hall • 525 Washington St • Wellesley, MA 02482-5992

www.wellesleyma.gov

Town of Wellesley COVID-19 Update 3/13/2020
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