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Along with the Governor’s emergency orders, Wellesley has implemented many restrictions to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. The situation is serious and demands a serious response. Everyone in our community must adhere to these restrictions to help keep all of us safe and healthy!We are urging the community to remain at home. All parks, playgrounds, playing fields, the Wellesley High School athletic complex and track are closed. The Wellesley College Campus is entirely closed to the public. All municipal buildings and schools are closed until May 4, 2020 or later. All meetings are taking place remotely and employees are working from home. Non-essential businesses are temporarily closed. Restaurants are open for take-out or delivery options ONLY. While grocery stores and pharmacies remain open for shoppers, many are limiting hours and offering early entrance time for senior citizens. Roche Bros. is asking residents to limit shoppers to one person per family if possible.The RDF has implemented new procedures for recycling and is limiting the numbers of users at a time. Residents are urged to plan RDF trips during non-peak days/times (M-F between 7 am and 10 am). Please keep trips as short as possible.
First and foremost, remain calm. PLEASE adhere to Town restrictions and encourage friends, family members - especially teens and young adults - to do the same. In order to protect our community, we all need to do our part!
All community events have been canceled or postponed. The Town Elections are postponed, Annual Town Meeting and the Special Town Meeting with Annual Town Meeting are postponed. Gatherings of ten or more people are prohibited, and the Town is urging residents to limit groups to family members only.All brick and mortar businesses are closed to customers and employees until May 4, 2020. Restaurants are open only for take-out or delivery.
The Health Department concurs with CDC recommendations that residents wear masks when they go out, no matter where they are going, and especially in areas and spaces where social distancing is difficult. Wearing a mask will help prevent spread of the disease as you or someone else may be carriers of infection without having symptoms or feeling ill.
If you choose not to wear a mask when walking in neighborhoods or while taking walks or running in permissible areas, then social distancing protocols should be followed: maintain a distance of at least six feet between you and the person nearest to you. If you are able to quickly and safely move to the side of the road or path while someone is passing close to you, please do so. The virus is spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms. This is why the CDC is recommending wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain - especially grocery stores and pharmacies - and especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
The cloth face coverings can be made from household items such as scarves, bandanas, and even t-shirts. The CDC is not recommending surgical masks or N-95 respirators, as these critical supplies must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.
For more information on masks please visit:
Staying home as much as possible is the best way to stay safe and protect your health! If you must go out for essentials, you should cover your nose and face with a mask or cloth face covering. These can be made from household items such as scarves, bandanas, and even t-shirts. Links on how to make and wear a mask are on the CDC website. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover.html The Town of Wellesley is compiling a list of mask resources for residents that will be updated frequently as more information becomes available. Find this information under the Orders and Advisories pages on the Health Department website.
The Health Department is advising the community that the spread of COVID-19 is higher than what is reflected by the reported number of cases. Restrictions and efforts currently in place in Wellesley are intended to slow the spread of Coronavirus AS LONG AS ALL RESIDENTS ADHERE TO THESE RESTRICTIONS. The Health Department and Town officials continue to work with State officials to monitor anyone who may have been exposed or had close contact with any cases of COVID-19.
Your healthcare provider can order a test for COVID-19. If you are feeling ill, contact your provider by phone, email, text, or video platform to determine next steps. You may also contact local urgent care clinics that may provide testing, or local hospitals can direct you to testing sites.
If people are experiencing symptoms (i.e. fever, cough), they should contact their primary care provider by phone, email or text for further guidance. People should not go directly to the Emergency Department (ED). If your medical provider directs you to the ED based on their assessment, please call ahead to the ED. If they do not have a healthcare provider, they may contact a local urgent care clinic for further guidance. And for any medical emergency, they should call 911.
Several people in Wellesley have now received positive COVID-19 antibody tests. Some are cases where individuals may have been ill a few weeks ago and recovered but were never tested, or are cases where individuals are asymptomatic (without symptoms). There is still very little known about antibody testing. For that reason, if an individual tests positive for the antibody, that person is advised to get a COVID-19 test (nasopharyngeal (NP) swab) and will be asked to isolate until the results of that test are known. While antibody testing may indicate a past infection, in the absence of a COVID-19 nasopharyngeal (NP) swab, a positive antibody test is treated like a positive case and that person will be asked to isolate for 10 days and close contacts will be asked to quarantine for 14 days.
Antibody tests are available from health care providers and laboratories.
Please note: Health Department offcials are not recommending antibody testing since it is not a definite COVID-19 case confirmation. At this time, antibody testing should not be used to guide release from isolation or for return to work purposes and are not indicated for diagnostic purposes. (Massachusetts Department of Public Health, May 13, 2020)
Those who may have come in contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 should contact their medical provider (primary care physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner) or the Wellesley Health Department for guidance. Each day the Mass. Department of Public Health updates a dedicated COVID-19 website, which provides information on the COVID-19 status and provides resources including facts sheets in multiple languages: www.mass.gov/2019coronavirus.
Yes, it is possible for someone to be infected with a very mild case and show few or no symptoms at all. They may not even realize they are infected. Therefore, everyone is encouraged to take precautions and stay at home, to help prevent spreading the disease unknowingly.
COVID-19 is a virus that causes a respiratory illness. Foodborne exposure to this virus is not known to be a route of transmission.There is currently no evidence to support the transmission of COVID-19 is associated with food or food packaging. Additionally, facilities are required to control any risks that might be associated with workers who are ill, regardless of the type of virus or bacteria. For example, facilities are required to maintain clean and sanitized facilities and food contact surfaces.According to the FDA, we do not anticipate that food products would need to be recalled or be withdrawn from the market because of COVID-19 since there is no evidence to support the transmission to be associated with food.As a precautionary measure, and generally, you should wash your hands after handling any packages, cans, take out containers, etc. prior to food preparation.
The March 23 emergency order assures continued operation of essential services. All non-essential workplaces are closed until May 4 or later. Examples of essential services and answers to frequently asked questions are available from the State at https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-essential-services-faqs.
The access gate to Morses Pond from Turner Road is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, however the pond, beach and swimming area, picnic area, and playground remain closed. Therre are NO lifeguards on duty. The area is open ONLY for outdoor recreation along the Morses Pond trails and North 40 trails. The access road and pond lot is available for parking to help alleviate congregating along Turner Road. Town officials are monitoring this situation and expect voluntary compliance from residents. Report any issues to the Wellesley Police Department at 781-235-1212.
Due to the State of Emergency and the Emergency Orders declared and issued by Governor Baker, the Wellesley Building Department will be following new protocols to protect the health of the Town’s staff, residents, contractors, and their families. Effective immediately, ALL building inspections will be conducted remotely via FaceTime or Skype, or through submission and review of photographs until in person, on-site inspections can resume in a safe manner. These protocols shall remain in place until the State of Emergency is lifted and may be modified over time. It is the responsibility of the licensed individual to check for updates.
Town officials have defined specific criteria for allowable construction projects as related to the Governor’s Essential Services order. The definitions and detials are explained in the Essential Construction Services document on the Building Department homepage. Compliance will be enforced by third-party inspectors at a cost to project owners.
The Town has two construction projects in progress - Sprague Field turf replacement and Lee Field renovation. These projects have been deemed essential and received exempt designation from the State. The Sprague Field project is nearly complete, and the Lee Field contractors are finishing the critical pieces of that project.
At this time, the Governor’s Order does not prohibit landscaping or pest control services, but these businesses must adhere to social distancing restrictions. See the Town of Wellesley Guidelines for Landsape Services and Businesses. Enforcement is currently the responsibility of the homeowner or individual hiring this service. The Wellesley Police Department and Wellesley Department of Public Works are helping to monitor businesses and explain these guidelines to individuals and companies working in Town. Refer to the Letter to Landscapers from the Wellesley Health Department.
At this time, exterior house painting (and interior painting) is not considered an essential service according to the Governor’s orders and is therefore prohibited. Should a business belive that is is essential, or it is an entity providing essential services or functions, you may request designation from the State as an essential business.
To request designation as an essential business, please click here.
Any questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Animal Control officer Sue Webb and the Natural Resources Commission have issued a strict message to dog owners and all visitors to Town conservation areas and trails.
No, Lake Waban and the entire Wellesley College campus, all buildings, parking lots, and facilities (indoor and outdoor) are completely closed to the public.
The Wellesley Fire Department continues to pick up PPE donations. To donate, please call the Fire Department at 781-235-1300. This is for PICK-UP ONLY; no drop-offs are permitted.Newton Wellesley Hospital donation link: https://www.nwh.org/home/covid-19-donations.The State has also launched a PPE donation portal. Learn more here: https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-ppe-procurement-and-donation-program.