COVID-19 community updates

  • A reflection of Salmon Falls Artisans Showroom in Shelburne Falls. Contributed photo/Albyn Davis

Published: 3/25/2020 6:55:31 PM

Salmon Falls Gallery, 1 Ashfield St., Shelburne Falls, is not open for regularly scheduled hours, but by appointment only. Text or call Donna at 413-325-7664 or email SalmonFalls@megaplanet.com to schedule a time to visit the gallery. They hope to return to regular hours once this emergency is over.

Please make an appointment to visit the gallery, one or two healthy people at a time only. Slow Art Practice is available on the company website, and their online store is always open for business. Gift certificates are available online for use in the brick and mortar gallery once it re-opens. They are good for 7 years from the date of purchase by state law. There are many of your favorite items in the online shop, and orders ship out promptly.

AmherstWorks, 11 Amity St., Amherst, will close temporarily until at least April 7 in response to Governor Baker’s order for all nonessential businesses to cease in-person operation. Membership assistants will continue to be available via email at info@amherstworks.io. They will continue to monitor the situation closely and will reopen as soon as permitted.

The Massachusetts Bankers Association announced that banks throughout the commonwealth will remain open while keeping their customers and employees safe. According to Gov. Charlie Baker’s order, financial institutions such as banks are considered essential services and will not be subject to the closure.

Consumers needing access to banking services should check with their institution, as many banks have closed branch lobbies, reduced hours or shifted to drive-through only at some locations in an effort to protect their customers and employees. However, bank staff are available to serve customers and answer questions. In addition, access to funds through online and mobile banking, ATMs and at Point of Sale transactions remains available during this time.

Behavioral Health Network has introduced BHN-TeleCare in response to the COVID-19 crisis. It will allow individuals to continue counseling sessions with their therapists from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

To respond to the need for social distancing as well as the increase in stress and behavioral health challenges, BHN is transitioning service at its 10 counseling and outpatient clinics to remote therapy, providing services via virtual sessions, seven days a week.

For those without access to phone or video technology, BHN’s physical outpatient clinics are operating limited hours to continue providing in-person services during this crisis.

Local offices include Holyoke, 413-532-0389. BHN also has two crisis lines open 24 hours per day, seven days per week: Springfield at 413-733-6661; and Westfield at 413-568-6386.

Amherst Copy & Designworks/Valley Signworks is closed except for essential orders and work they can do remotely. For assistance, email happiness@amherstcopy.com, with directions attached to your file(s) if possible, and a telephone number. Please be as detailed as possible about your job, including why you believe your order is essential. Email is monitored and you will generally get a response within a few hours or less.

Responding to an urgent call for supplies, Springfield Technical Community College’s School of Health and Patient Simulation is donating personal protective equipment to area hospitals and medical centers.

The equipment, which includes surgical masks, isolation gowns and exam gloves, will serve as a first line of defense for health care professionals and reduce their risk of contracting COVID-19 while treating patients.

The equipment will be donated to Baystate Health, Mercy/Trinity Health, Holyoke Medical Center and Cooley Dickinson Hospital. In addition, STCC will donate supplies to West Springfield Fire Department, which provides emergency medical services.

The Department of Conservation and Recreation has temporarily closed athletic fields and courts, such as basketball, tennis, handball, pickleball and bocce throughout the state parks system until April 7, at which time the closure will be reassessed. Importantly, all state parks across the commonwealth remain open and available for the public to visit. DCR reminds residents and visitors to avoid gathering in groups of 10 or more people, maintain social distancing, and practice healthy personal hygiene to stop the spread of the virus.

Similarly, DCR has extended the closure of agency-owned ice rinks, visitor centers, campgrounds, playgrounds, fitness areas, and bathroom facilities until April 7, which will also be reassessed at that time. The temporary extension of the closure of these facilities is consistent with the governor’s emergency order.

Furthermore, the agency will be removing trash receptacles throughout the state parks system to aid in the prevention of spreading COVID-19. DCR asks that all visitors of state parks adhere to a “carry in, carry out” trash policy during this public health emergency, and urges visitors do their part to help protect our shared natural resources by leaving no trace and taking any trash with them.

Additionally, in an effort to better inform state park visitors during the COVID-19 state of emergency, the agency has developed a Massachusetts State Parks COVID-19 webpage, which centralizes COVID-19 updates that impact the state parks system.

For information about the Baker-Polito administration’s ongoing efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, please visit the Department of Public Health’s (DPH) website.

AT&T has raised the pay of frontline employees. As a communications company they are dedicated to keeping essential services running, knowing health care providers, FirstNet first responders, businesses and consumers depend on them to stay connected.

Until further notice, they will pay a 20% bonus above the regular hourly base rate of pay to their union employees, whether they are working from home or at their regular job location.

For more details on this and other COVID-19 efforts at AT&T: about.att.com/pages/COVID-19.html.

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles is utilizing an appointment-only online reservation system for certain necessary and required in-person transactions at the RMV’s eight open and operating service centers. These essential transactions include certain commercial driving license (CDL) transactions and some new registrations. Appointment reservation times will be available on a rolling basis up to two business days in advance on www.Mass.Gov/RMV in the myRMV Online Service Center under “Make or Cancel a Reservation.”

Customers who make an appointment will be sent a confirmation email that they should be prepared to show on arrival.

The Milford and Wilmington RMV Service Centers will remain open to exclusively perform walk-in commercial transactions for CDLs and permits (CLPs), and CDL road tests continue to be administered.




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