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The original item was published from 3/13/2020 3:13:00 PM to 3/13/2020 4:42:55 PM.

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amherstma.gov - News & Announcements

Posted on: March 9, 2020

[ARCHIVED] COVID-19: Town of Amherst Preparedness Update

corona news item

The Town of Amherst is responding to the rising risk of COVID-19, also called novel coronavirus, in Massachusetts. As of March 12, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our community and there is no “community-level spread” of the disease in Amherst.

The Town has strong systems in place to address this dynamic situation.  We have experienced local experts who are actively monitoring and managing the situation in Town. All Town departments are reviewing and implementing their emergency response plans.

The Town is the local point of contact and source for information for residents and businesses of Amherst. We are in continuous contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Massachusetts Department of Public Health, with our local institutions of higher education, with our local hospital, and we are working very closely with the Amherst Regional Public Schools (ARPS).

Town Policy Updates Effective March 12th:

  • Public meetings - all non-essential Town of Amherst meetings will be canceled through April 3, 2020, at which time we will reevaluate this policy.
  • Town Hall – will remain open during regular hours. However, we highly encourage conducting any business that can be done online or via phone/email. www.amherstma.gov or click here for online bill pay (payments cannot be made over the phone) | Phone: (413) 259-3002
  • Senior Center – all regular programming will be cancelled except for individual appointments for emergent social work needs such as: food distribution program, health insurance, medical assistance & critical housing assistance. AARP and SHINE appointments will continue, as well as home delivered meals. (413) 259-3060
  • Jones Library & branches – all programming and meetings at the libraries are cancelled. All libraries remain open with hours and borrowing rules remaining unchanged at this time www.joneslibrary.org
  • LSSE- all adult and youth indoor programs are cancelled. The LSSE office (located in the Middle School) will be closed to the public, learn more here: www.lsse.org
  • Bangs Community Center- all programming is cancelled.
  • Amherst Public Schools - Starting on Monday, March 16th all schools will be closed with a tentative return date of Monday, March 30 - www.arps.org or click here for ARPS Closure FAQ’s

Amherst Town Manager Paul Bockelman stated, “These are necessary steps for the Town to take to address the spread of COVID-19. As a resilient community, we must be proactive in adopting new policies and procedures in the best interests of the public’s health.”

Amherst Public Health Director, Julie Federman stated “Our experienced public safety team is working closely with all State and local entities to ensure the safety of all members of our community. Minimizing social gatherings and practicing strong social distancing and personal hygiene are key elements in this effort.”

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Updated on March 13, 2020 | Contact: Brianna Sunryd sunrydb@amherstma.gov 

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