COVID-19 community updates

  • Laurie Nivison, who is the director of marketing at Historic Deerfield, demonstrates how to make a sprig by using a mold and clay, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019 in the Apprentice's Workshop at Dwight House. Sprig molding was a technique used to add relief decoration to the surface of ceramics. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Published: 3/17/2020 8:38:09 PM
Cancellations, closures

The Old Apples of New England seminar, scheduled for April 18 at Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield, has been canceled. The event may be held in the fall if conditions allow.
The Affordable Homeownership Information Sessions scheduled for April 16 at The Bangs Community Center, Boltwood Walk, Amherst, and May 2 at Jones Library, 43 Amity St., Amherst, have been postponed. Information is available and applications for a homeownership subsidy may be submitted at

Historic Deerfield, 84B Old Main St., Deerfield, has made changes to its public programs and operations. Effective immediately, Open Hearth Cooking Classes are canceled and the final class of the museum course, “Finding Your Chair’s Roots,” is postponed. The Patriots’ Day Revolutionary Muster scheduled for Saturday, April 18, and the winter lecture scheduled for March 29 are canceled, and the spring forum, scheduled for April 4, is postponed.

The museum is delaying its opening day of daily operation to Friday, May 15. The Flynt Center of Early New England Life and The Memorial Libraries will also open on May 15.

The museum store is closed to the public until further notice; people may shop online at More information available at

Holyoke Community College, 303 Homestead Ave., Holyoke, was closed on Tuesday, March 17, for cleaning and disinfecting, and will provide limited in-person services for the remainder of the week, March 18-22, to continue cleaning and to begin maximizing efforts to accomplish remote work, teaching, and learning opportunities for the foreseeable future, in accordance with Governor Baker’s recommendations for higher education.

Effective Tuesday, March 17, UMassFive College Federal Credit Union branch locations at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Murray D. Lincoln Campus Center, Room 224, and Northampton VAF, at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Central Western Massachusetts Health Care Systems in Northampton, will be closed until further notice. The VAF branch video teller machine will still be accessible during normal business hours for remote transactions.

Members are strongly encouraged to use the bank’s remote services whenever possible, and prioritize video tellers and drive-thru services before entering a branch. If an appointment is required, all meetings will be scheduled and held by phone until further notice.

Members may reach out to the contact center by phone or email.

The 53rd annual business meeting on Wednesday, March 18, will be held as scheduled. This in-person meeting is required by Credit Union bylaws and the Federal Credit Union Act. In the interest of the health and safety of all, attendance is discouraged. The meeting will be live-streamed. To tune in, please “like” the bank’s page on Facebook, and you will be notified when the live stream begins. The meeting is expected to begin promptly at 6 p.m.

Mass Audubon is actively monitoring the COVID-19 situation and has made the decision to close headquarters, nature centers, museums, and shops, as well as cancel all programs, including those at Arcadia Wildlife Nature Center, 127 Combs Road, Easthampton, beginning last Friday and through March 31.

Mass Audubon will issue full refunds for any program or events canceled. If you are registered for a program through the end of March, you will receive an email from the organization.

The public may visit the trails at many of the wildlife sanctuaries. Connecticut River Valley sanctuaries’ trails are open as well, including: Conway Hills, Conway; Graves Farm, Williamsburg; High Ledges, Shelburne; Laughing Brook, Hampden; Lynes Woods, Westhampton; Richardson Brook, Tolland; Road’s End, Worthington; and West Mountain, Plainfield. We do ask that if you visit, you practice social distancing.

In accordance with citywide policy, the Holyoke Council on Aging and Senior Center will be closed until further notice beginning Thursday, March 19. All services will be suspended. Seniors in need of assistance during this time are encouraged to leave a message at 413-322-5625, and a council on aging staff member will return your call as soon as possible. Wednesday, March 18, will be the final day of the to-go lunch program. Seniors are encouraged to contact WestMass ElderCare, at 413-538-9020, to sign up for the Meal on Wheels program. Please call 413-322-5625 for more information.

Changes and new events

While Amtrak continues to operate across the nation, it has adjusted some services due to significantly reduced demand in key markets. Impacted services include the Valley Flyer Service, which is operating on a Saturday schedule on a daily basis. To learn about what scheduled services continue to operate, go to, and on the home page, select “book tickets” and then enter your trip origin and destination in the “from” and “to” fields and your date of travel in the “depart” field and then click on “find trains.”

Herrell’s Ice Cream in Northampton will be open for take-out service only, through its Old South Street entrance while Thornes Marketplace is closed for business. Hours will be from noon to 8 p.m. daily. Customers are advised to keep a distance of 6 feet from other customers and no more than 25 people, including Herrell’s staff, may be on the premise at the same time. Judy Herrell is available to answer questions at 586-9700.

River Valley Co-op, 330 North King St., Northampton will temporarily adjust its store hours to open at 10 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. until further notice. This change is to accommodate needs for extra staff time off, later deliveries and the time needed to clean and restock. While some items are in short supply, they are receiving daily deliveries from a wide range of vendors to keep the store as well-stocked as possible.

Amherst Books, 8 Main St., Amherst, is closed to the public as of Tuesday, March 17, but will still work to provide readers with books.

You may contact the store by email at, or call 413-256-1547 between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Free shipping or delivery of books is available in Amherst only. A bookseller will be in touch with you about your order and take payment over the phone. Orders for books that are in stock can be filled quickly; special orders can still be processed, but shipments to the store will be less frequent.

Little Roots Music Studio, 46 Maple St., Florence, has paused its spring session until schools reopen. They have introduced Little Roots at Home, virtual music classes via Zoom. This week, the classes are free of charge and will be held Wednesday and Friday at 10 a.m. and Thursday at 4 p.m.

Next week they will offer six classes at $10/class per family — the schedule is available at

Upon registration and payment, a Zoom link will be sent for each class that you plan to participate in.

Jam Bags, with everything you will need to participate in at-home classes (eggs, scarves, rainbow streamers and wrist bells in a cotton drawstring bag) are recommended, but not required. They are available for purchase for $25 via the registration form, and may be shipped or picked up at the studio.

The LAVA Center, 324 Main St., Greenfield, will host an online open mic on Wednesday, March 25, at 2 p.m. The open mic will stream on their YouTube channel and be announced to Facebook event followers. Submission deadline is Monday, March 23.

To participate, take a video of yourself performing a song, reading, or whatever you’d like. You can also send creative short video projects. Send it via Dropbox or Google Drive. Please keep the video to 5 minutes or less, and be sure it’s family-friendly. In the filename, please include your name and any other information you wish to share with the public (short bio, link, etc.).

To send via Dropbox, share the file with Alternately, you can upload directly to their Dropbox account. Please email for login info.

To send via Google Drive, share the file with

Alternatively, you can send a YouTube link, if you’ve uploaded the video publicly on your own YouTube account. Email the link to

If you have trouble sending the file, please email for assistance.

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