MARCH 16, 2020 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TOWN ELECTIONS POSTPONED, TOWN BUILDINGS, PARKS, PLAYGROUNDS AND PLAYING FIELDS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC, SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES AND MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES
The Wellesley Health Department, Town, and School officials continue to implement Governor Charlie Baker’s strict orders for all Massachusetts communities to slow the spread of Coronavirus.
- Restricting all gatherings to 25 people or fewer (this includes civic, public, leisure, faith-based events, sporting events with spectators, concerts, and venues like fitness centers, private clubs, and theatres) from now until April 17
- Temporarily eliminating all on-premises dining at bars, restaurants, cafes and other eating establishments until April 17 and allowing take-out options ONLY (grocery stores are exempt from this order to allow people to purchase food and supplies)
- Closing all public and private schools until Tuesday, April 7. Complete information is available on the Mass.gov website.
Wellesley currently has seven identified cases of COVID-19: one case confirmed by CDC testing and six presumed positive cases (which means positive tests that have not yet been confirmed by the CDC).
Town Elections Postponed: Local elections that were scheduled for Tuesday, March 17 have been postponed following an emergency Court order. Effective immediately, this order gives the Board of Selectmen, Town Clerk and Town Executive Director of Government Services the authority to reschedule Town Elections for a future date prior to June 30, 2020.
Municipal Buildings Closed: Beginning on Tuesday, March 17, Town Hall will join the list of municipal buildings closed to the public (Wellesley Public Schools, Wellesley Free Library buildings, the Tolles Parsons Center /Council on Aging, and the Warren Building/Recreation and Health Department.) Following the Governor’s orders, these closures remain in place according to the dates set by the State.
The Recycling and Disposal Facility remains open with restricted commercial hours and new recycling guidance. The Reusables area remains closed until further notice.
Essential public safety services provided by the Wellesley Police Department and Wellesley Fire Department will continue.
Individuals needing assistance or services may email or call Town departments. Staff will respond as soon as possible during normal business hours. However, as many staff will be working from home, there will be limited access to public records and limited ability to process requests. Therefore, the Town will also be moving to close the Records Access Office.
Financial transactions may be conducted online at: https://wellesleyma.gov/597/Online-Payments or by mail or dropped in the drop-box in front of Town Hall.
For Town of Wellesley Assistance Call: 781-431-1019
- Assessor’s Office ex: 2275
- Building Dept. ex: 2226 or 2228
- NRC ex: 2294
- Parking Clerk (parking tickets) ex: 2264
- Planning Dept. ex: 2232
- Select Board’s Office ex: 2201
- Town Clerk’s Office (dog licenses) ex:2252
- Treasurer’s Office (tax, excise payment questions) ex: 2266
Visit the Services or Directory tabs on the Town of Wellesley website to learn more or see additional information for individual Departments.
Parks, Playgrounds and Playing Fields Closed: All Town open space areas are closed for activities until further notice. Playground equipment is not cleaned and may harbor viral material for many days. Residents are asked to exercise, walk dogs and enjoy other activities individually and not congregate. Fields and parks should not be used for pickup games of any kind. Families and children should not use play equipment.Wellesley’s trail system and larger reservations remain open, but when encountering others, please respect social distancing guidelines (6 feet).
Water Meter Upgrade Program Suspended: The Department of Public Works, Water and Sewer Division has suspended the Water Meter Upgrade Program. Residents who have received notices from Baystate Winsupply please put this information aside until further updates are provided. Contact the Water Division with any questions at 781-235-7600 ext. 3355.
Inspection Services Suspended: Interior home inspection services (Assessor, Building, Non-emergency water and sewer) will be suspended as we continue to evaluate this situation. Until further notice, the Wellesley Fire Department will continue to provide smoke detector inspections related to home sales, pending approval from the Fire Inspector.
Wellesley Housing Authority: The Wellesley Housing Authority administrative office is closed to the public. Staff will be conducting business by email and phone. Residents are encouraged to call the WHA office for work orders; maintenance staff will be evaluating and processing emergency orders.
Guidance on Social Distancing and Mental Health Resources: The Wellesley Health Department continues to remind residents to adhere to strict social distancing protocol and has provided specific information to address common questions. A list of local and national mental health resources is also available.
Questions may also be submitted online though the Wellesley Health Department website.
We appreciate the cooperation and understanding from everyone in our community as we all work together to continue to work to keep everyone in Wellesley healthy and safe.
COVID-19 briefing for March 16_FINAL.pdf