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Town of Wrentham Issues Local Emergency Declaration as Precaution Against Coronavirus

Local Emergency Declaration Meant to Enhance Social Distancing Efforts

WRENTHAM — Town Administrator and Emergency Management Director Kevin Sweet and the Board of Selectmen announce that the Town of Wrentham has issued a Local Emergency Declaration to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 to staff and the public.

With this decision the Town now has the ability to expend funds without budget allocation, request state resources as necessary and to address emergency conditions as they come up.

As a result of the decision, effective at 4 p.m. today, Monday, March 16, all Town buildings, including the Police and Fire Departments, will be closed to the public until further notice.

“Our decision to close Town buildings to the public is being made out of an abundance of caution in order to limit in-person contact while also continuing to provide core services to our residents and business owners,” Town Administrator Sweet said. “We also ask that residents check on their elderly neighbors, given that this is the most vulnerable population in terms of contracting this virus.”

The Town has also begun to take the necessary steps to cancel non-essential government meetings. For now, Town staff will continue to report to work as scheduled and provide services to residents via phone, email and online services.

The Town is also advocating, in keeping with the recommendations of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that residents of all ages practice proper social distancing precautions.

The Town is seeking to continuously update its residents on any local preparedness efforts and impacts relating to COVID-19 through a specific COVID-19 page that has been added to the Town of Wrentham website.

The Wrentham Emergency Management Agency reminds residents to stay informed about important alerts and advisories by signing up for Nixle, the town’s free emergency notification system. To sign up, visit the Town of Wrentham homepage and click the “Town Alert Notification Sign Up” link. Residents will enter their contact information into the “sign up” boxes.

“We will work to keep our residents as informed as possible as this situation continues to unfold,” said Board of Selectmen Chair Joseph F. Botaish, II. “This is a very fluid situation, and we encourage all residents to sign up for updates through Nixle and visit the COVID-19 page on our Town’s website for the latest news.”

On Sunday, March 15, Gov. Charlie Baker announced new guidelines for all Massachusetts residents to promote social distancing and help to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • No gatherings of any kind of more than 25 people at one time, in one place.
  • All public and private schools in Massachusetts will close on Tuesday, March 17 until at least April 7.
  • All bars and restaurants will only be able to serve takeout customers.

Residents, business owners and community members are asked to abide by these newest guidelines from the Governor’s office.

According to the CDC, symptoms of the virus appear 2-14 days after exposure. The DPH reports that symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath and pneumonia in severe cases.

The DPH recommends that residents continue with good hygiene practices including:

  • Practice good hand hygiene. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, including under your fingernails. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol content) can be used when soap and water are not available.
  • Keep your hands away from your face.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing with a tissue and discard it immediately. Cough into the sleeve over your elbow instead of your hand. Wash your hands often when coughing and sneezing.
  • Stay away from people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.