ASHBY — Ashby Police Chief Fred Alden and Fire Chief Michael Bussell announce several closures and cancellations of Town facilities designed to mitigate the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on the community. The new regulations come following guidelines outlined at the state and federal level.
Federal officials advised the public to avoid group gatherings of 10 people or more on Monday. On Sunday, Governor Charlie Baker announced that all public and private schools in Massachusetts will close on Tuesday, March 17 until at least April 7, and 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 office to limit the potential spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
“This is a challenging and complex situation for us all, and we want to remind residents that the Town is putting these closures and cancellations in place in an effort to reduce the risk of this virus spreading and in the interest of the health and well-being of all Ashby residents,” Chief Alden said. “We will continue to update residents and monitor this evolving situation as new information is put forth by local, state and federal officials.”
Active Town Closures/Cancellations
- In an effort to continue practicing social distancing strategies, effective
immediately, the Ashby Police and Fire Departments are temporarily suspending all non-emergency walk-in services.
- All residents are being asked to make all non-emergency reports and inquiries to the Ashby Police and Fire Departments by telephone or email, rather than in person.
- Ashby Police Department can be reached on their business line at 978-386-5652.
- Ashby Fire Department can reached on their business line at 978-386-5522.
- As always, please call 911 for any emergency. Both departments will continue to respond as they normally would.
- Ashby Police and Fire Departments request that if you are calling for emergency services, please notify dispatch if you or a household member is experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or have been ordered to quarantine so that first responders can take proper precautions. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
- The Ashby Police Department is additionally postponing in-person appointments for license to carry applications, which would normally be held on the first and third Thursday evening of each month. All license to carry and firearm identification card applications will be processed by mail pending further guidance relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- All public parks, playgrounds and facilities, including all public open recreational areas, are closed. Recreation activities and events are cancelled until further notice.
- Ashby Public Schools are closed through at least April 7.
- Ashby Town Hall is closed to the public, but will be staffed during regular business hours. Residents should conduct their business with Town Hall over the phone by calling 978-386-2424 or by emailing Town staff. Email addresses and phone numbers for specific departments can be found in the Town Hall directory. Any payments due may be made at the box in front of Town Hall, online or by mail.
- Board and Commission meetings are being moved to teleconference meetings. Visit the Town of Ashby website for information about how to attend these meetings electronically or by telephone. For more information, call the Ashby Town Hall at 978-386-2424.
- The Ashby Town Library is closed to the public until further notice. As always, residents may access online services, such as e-books, e-audiobooks and other electronic materials through the library website. For more information, please call the library at 978-386-5377 or visit their website https://www.ashbylibrary.org/.
- Council on Aging activities are cancelled until further notice.
The COVID-19 situation is very fluid, and new information and guidelines are being posted by the CDC on a regular basis. The CDC offers the following guidance for how COVID-19 spreads.
If anyone displays symptoms of COVID-19, including a fever, cough or shortness of breath, they should not go to work or school and are advised to contact their primary care physician. According to the CDC, symptoms of the virus appear within 2-14 days of exposure.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (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.