October 22, 2020 – The Town of Needham and Needham Public Health today provided the following update regarding COVID-19.
State DPH COVID-19 Numbers
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reports the number of positive cases and deaths daily on the state's COVID-19 dashboard.
Town-specific case numbers are published by the state every Wednesday.
- 417 Needham cases to date (10/22/2020) Needham is back in the GREEN category this week with 2.2 cases per 100,000 people. This is Needham’s first week back as GREEN community. See the most recent COVID-19 community map. The state has issued a list of communities not designated as low-risk. Needham is not currently on that list.
- 77 Coronavirus deaths in Needham to date (10/15/20). No new deaths have been reported since 6/25.
Additional Flu Clinics Available
Needham Public Health has scheduled three flu clinics to offer flu vaccine for seniors and children. The clinics will be held Friday, October 30th (seniors only) at the Center at the Heights; Wednesday, November 4th (Ages 8-18 only) at the Rosemary Recreation Complex; and Wednesday, November 18th (Ages 8-18 only) at the Rosemary Recreation Complex. All clinics will be held at noon and must be registered for in advance. Interested individuals may sign up here.
Celebrate Halloween Safely – Guidance from Needham Public Health
The Town of Needham and Needham Public Health have issued guidance informed by the CDC around Halloween activities during the current pandemic. While the Town will not host the annual Spooky Walk, there are many other ways families can celebrate the holiday. Trick-or-Treating is allowed in Needham, but it is not without risk. Families should consider limiting their Trick-or-Treat groups to immediate members only, while those passing out candy should consider offering to-go bags on porches or driveways to maintain social distancing. Find other ideas and information here. More guidance here.
Thanks to Park and Recreation for hosting Fall Family Fun Day this Saturday to help families celebrate the holiday safely. Carve or decorate pumpkins, participate in a Halloween-themed story walk and view community-carved Jack-o’-lanterns Saturday evening. Sign up to participate.
Funds Available to Assist Families in Need
Funded by the tremendous generosity of community partners, faith-based organizations, and individual residents, the Gift of Warmth fund is available to help Needham residents with overdue utility bills and/or individuals or families at risk of having a utility shut off. The Needham Community Council has recently made a generous donation of $10,000 to expand the number of residents who can be served by this program.
The Gift of Warmth program is administered by the Needham Health & Human Services Department and is available to any Needham resident in need. Documentation of that need in the form of a final shut-off notice or an overdue utility bill in paper copy is required. To speak with a staff member about the Gift of Warmth program please call the Public Health Division at 781-455-7940 and speak to one of the Public Health Nurses or call the Aging Services Division at 781-855-3629 and speak with one of the Social Workers. To donate to the Gift of Warmth, visit our website.
Help for Those Facing Eviction
Are you or someone you know struggling to pay your rent or mortgage due to COVID-19? There are eviction programs and financial assistance available to help. Visit www.mass.gov/CovidHousingHelp to learn more about state financial aid programs for eligible households. You can also call 2-1-1 to connect with housing resources. Be sure to talk to your landlord as soon as possible to create a plan. Learn more at frequently asked questions, and www.mass.gov/CovidHousingHelp . Information is available in multiple languages: Russian, Chinese & Spanish
Need a Test? Find a Testing Location Through Stop the Spread
If you have symptoms of COVID (please see CDC website for more info, or complete the CDC’s symptom checker), you should consult with your primary care physician. Depending upon your symptoms and your circumstances, your physician may recommend that you get tested for COVID-19. Likewise, if you are a close contact of an individual with confirmed COVID-19, public health authorities recommend that you get a PCR test (PCR test, not rapid anti-gen test, because the PCR is MUCH more accurate).
The state’s Stop the Spread program has locations in Framingham (as well as Marlborough, Randolph, and other communities) and is offered at no cost. There are other options nearby, which may be appealing based upon your insurance (with most insurance, a COVID test costs you nothing) or your medical provider network. For example, testing is available at a number of Carewell Urgent Care sites and also at CVS Minute Clinic testing locations on Centre Street in West Roxbury, Washington Street in Roslindale, Market Street in Brighton, and Brighton Ave in Allston. Testing is also available at nearby hospitals including Newton-Wellesley Hospital. Please check with facility regarding any testing fees as some companies may charge an individual depending on the type they receive.
Early Voting Continues Through October 30th
Early voting will continue through Friday, October 30th. Voters are reminded that when voting by mail or Early Voting you must sign your name on the brown envelope that you insert your ballot into. Otherwise the ballot will be rejected under State Election Laws. If you have questions, please call the Needham Town Clerk’s Office at 781-455-7500. Visit the Town Clerk’s webpage for complete Election 2020 information.