Cancellations, closures and community updates

Published: 3/27/2020 7:17:48 PM

COVID-19 UPDATES

The TikkunOlam Committee of the Jewish Community of Amherst is sponsoring a collection effort to help both people in need of food and area restaurants. Donations will support the Amherst Survival Center, Not Bread Alone and Craig’s Doors.

These agencies will use the money collected to purchase take-out food from area restaurants and then distribute that to their clients, supporting small businesses while responding to needs of vulnerable citizens. The Amherst Board of Health has trained local restaurants in safe food preparation procedures for the current situation. Some of the funds collected will be used to purchase take-out food for JCA members in need of similar support.

Click to jcamherst.org, then to payments and donations. After you put in your personal information on this page, scroll down to the box marked “Other Designation” which you will find under the box “Please direct my donation to” – and type in your other designation as $$ Food.

If you have any questions, please call Judith Souweine 413-256-0493 or send an email to souweine@comcast.net.

Valley Medical Team  now has the ability to conduct phone and virtual visits to address medical needs, and encourages patients to use this service as a way to address both acute and chronic medical needs.

The VMG team has been rolling out this program over the last week and has been able to manage the vast majority of medical needs in this manner.

The arrangement avoids unnecessary potential exposure to Covid – 19 while allowing patients to keep in touch with their health care team to stay as healthy as possible during this pandemic.

Please call Valley Medical Group to schedule your phone or virtual visit. Please note that not all medical concerns can be addressed remotely and if that is the case you may be asked to come in for a visit.

VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System has announced that the all Community Based Outpatient Clinics will be temporarily closed, effective March 28, due to COVID-19.

All CBOC providers and staff have been converted to virtual care at this time and it is  recommended you use  telehealth (phone or video) for your scheduled appointments. To help address the most urgent needs first, please use the online tools for routine or non-urgent concerns. You can:

Use secure messaging. You can send a secure message to your provider about any health concern or question.

Download VA Video Connect. Your provider may ask you to consider telehealth for an upcoming appointment. By downloading and learning about the VA Video Connect app now, you can prepare yourself. 

Because this is a rapidly changing situation, the best way to get the most up-to-date facility information is to check your local VA health facility’s website.

VA continues to strongly encourage Veterans, staff members and their families to take everyday precautions to protect against respiratory illnesses caused by COVID-19, the flu and the common cold.

For more information, questions, or concerns please contact the call center at 1-800-893-1522. The Veterans Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day for urgent issues: 1-800-273-8255, Press 1.

 All Out Adventures,  297 Pleasant St., Northampton, is suspending operations until the health emergency caused by the COVID-19 virus has passed. They will not schedule or plan community-based outdoor recreation programs until the state of emergency and restrictions impacting their programs are lifted.

Dakin Humane Society is still conducting adoptions, surrenders and pet owner-requested euthanasia by appointment only, at their Springfield location. The Leverett facility is temporarily closed. Parties may call 413-781-4000 to schedule these services.  

Many of their pets are in foster care to lessen the burden of in-house staff.  The humane society is concerned about the possibility of an uptick in surrenders as more people are being economically impacted in this crisis, and says it is important that the adoption rate stays high. 

The Massachusetts Bankers Association urges consumers who are facing financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic to contact their financial institution for assistance.  Local banks throughout the Commonwealth have pledged to work with their customers – individuals and businesses – to mitigate the financial impact of the current health crisis.

Daniel J. Forte, MBA President & CEO, strongly encourages anyone who is unable to make a payment on their loan, needs access to funds in a certificate of deposit or other relief to contact their financial institution.  He says local banks are ready and willing to help during these challenging times, but that it is important that customers reach out as soon as possible.

MBA has created a COVID-19 resource page with additional information. Please visit www.massbankers.org.

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles  will be enforcing a strict no walk-in policy at its eight service centers open to the general public. The only transactions that will be processed at service centers are those that require an in-person transaction, including Commercial Driving Licenses or Permits, some new registrations, out of state conversions and new Mass IDs. Customers who need to complete these transactions will be required to make an online appointment reservation, and customers arriving without an appointment will be asked to leave and make an appointment online to return at a future date.

Appointment reservations can be made online at 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 at their designated time at a specific Service Center.

The RMV offers many services online, including renewing motor vehicle registrations, and customers needing these services will only be serviced online at this time. If the service can be completed online, the RMV will not process the transaction in a service center. Renewals for standard driver’s license and ID credentials can be performed online at www.Mass.Gov/RMV along with more than 40 other transactions that can be conducted online, over the phone, or by mail.

As a reminder, the RMV has already suspended knowledge/written exams and road tests for non-commercial (Class D and Class M) learner’s permits. In addition, the federal government’s REAL ID compliance deadline has been postponed, and is now next year, in October 2021.  For this reason, the RMV has suspended at this time the issuance of new REAL IDs.

The 2019 state individual income tax filing and payment deadline has been extended from April 15 to July 15 due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. This income tax relief is automatic and taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms to qualify.

Max Cares Foundation, Inc. announced a deadline extension for the charitable organization's scholarships for students looking to attend or who currently attend a culinary arts or hospitality school. The application is available online at maxcaresfoundation.org/scholarships/. The deadline for application, originally announced for April 1, has been extended to May 1.

Up to $20,000 in scholarships are awarded annually. In 2019, four students from the Greater Hartford and Greater Springfield communities were provided scholarships. Applicants must be a Greater Hartford or Greater Springfield high school senior in good standing, eligible for graduation the same year as the scholarship application and seeking to earn a secondary degree in culinary arts or hospitality oriented program. 

Online events

An Online Open Mic series is being offered by The LAVA Center, an arts incubator, black box theater, and community space at 324 Main St., Greenfield. The next events are April 14 and 28. For details on submitting to the next events, visit localaccess.org/submit-to-our-online-open-mic.

Submission guidelines say you should take a video of yourself performing a song, reading, or whatever you’d like, or send creative short video projects. Submissions should be 5 minutes or less, family-friendly, and include your name and any other information you wish to share with the public (short bio, introduction, link, etc.).

For more details, visit localaccess.org or the LAVA Center’s Facebook page, facebook.com/theLAVAcenter/.

Girl Scouts of Central & Western Massachusetts have begun offering digital opportunities normally offered at their leadership centers and camps, a perfect solution for families wanting to stay connected to Girl Scouts and continue their badge work. Each week, GSCWM program specialists will be releasing digital activities, one focusing on a badge and the other will be a fun activity or patch program. There will be activities available across all six Girl Scout age levels. Additional virtual resources will be available for Girl Scouts and their families, including content from other councils across the country. To learn more visit gscwm.org/virtual.

Watermelon Wednesdays concerts, professionally recorded by FCATMedia, are available online. Visit the website watermelonwednesdays.com and click on Videos on the menu bar to enjoy some previously recorded shows.  

 

 


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