State Sen. Brownsberger Polling People About State’s Response to Coronavirus

State Sen. Will Brownsberger

State Sen. Will Brownsberger is taking an anonymous poll of constituents about Massachusetts’ response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), so far. (See the results here: http://www.watertownmanews.com/2020/03/24/see-the-results-of-sen-brownsbergers-poll-on-the-states-coronavirus-response/)

The short questionnaire (four questions) asks people what they think about the steps taken by the State of Massachusetts, including closing schools, potentially sheltering in place and how it has impacted them. To take the poll go here: https://willbrownsberger.com/covid-19-response-questions/

Brownsberger represents Watertown, Belmont and parts of Boston.

Gov. Baker Closing Non-Essential Businesses, Issues Stay-at-Home Advisory

NEW: Gov. Charlie Baker orders all non-essential businesses in Massachusetts to close Tuesday at noon https://t.co/7FtmrZJiUi #Breaking— WBZ | CBS Boston News (@wbz) March 23, 2020

Gov. Charlie Baker announced an order closing non-essential businesses for two weeks, and put out a stay-at-home advisory to state residents, due to the Coronavirus outbreak. The order begins at noon on Tuesday, March 24 and runs through April 7. It closes physical workspaces and facilities to all workers, customers, and the public, Baker said, according to a report by WBZ Channel 4. This list of essential businesses include medical facilities, grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, restaurants open for delivery and take out and companies working on a vaccine for COVID-19, according to WBZ. Also medical equipment and pharmaceutical manufacturers, and the MBTA are exempted.

RMV Extends Deadlines for Vehicle Inspections, Commercial Licenses & Permits

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is announcing today that it will be implementing a 60-day extension to Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs) and Commercial Learner’s Permits (CLPs) expired or expiring in March and April, and that the Service Centers in Milford and Wilmington are reopened to exclusively perform commercial license/permit transactions. These initiatives recognize the importance of commercial vehicle drivers to the supply chain during the State of Emergency declaration, and will continue to prioritize reducing customer volumes in physical locations. All commercial licenses or permits with an expiration date between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020, will have the 60-day extension applied to that customer’s credential. The RMV implemented a similar extension for residents with Class D, Class M and Class DM driver’s licenses, ID cards, and Learner’s Permits on March 16 with the exception of customers whose end of stay in the United States is the same as the expiration date on their driver’s license, ID card, or Learner’s Permit. Customers eligible for these extensions should wait to visit an RMV Service Center to renew until after the State of Emergency has concluded.

Council President Discusses Watertown’s Response to the Coronavirus, Steps You Can Take

Town Council President Mark Siders at the inauguration in 2018. To the Watertown community:

I want to take this opportunity to give you a brief update with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic and how Watertown is managing our response to it. The Town Manager and Administration along with myself and the Town Council are staying on top of all measures being put in place at the state level, in addition to those regulations we have put in place locally. The Town Manager is meeting daily with the Director of Public Health, the Police and Fire Chiefs, and other Department heads to assess the effectiveness of recent state and local regulations, and to determine if other actions may be needed to best protect our community. Communications from the Town Manager are available on the Town’s website and are updated frequently.

Gov. Baker Orders Most Day Care to Close During Coronavirus Crisis

Most childcare providers will be closed beginning Monday in an effort to stop the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Gov. Charlie Baker announced Wednesday. Baker said that most child care providers would be closed, but added the state was also looking to create “a process for opening exempt emergency child care programs,” according to a Boston Globe article. The emergency child care programs will be for families of medical staff, emergency personnel and “others critical to fighting the COVID-19 outbreak,” Baker said. These programs will be the only ones allowed to operate during this state of emergency, Baker added. The state will continue to give childcare providers subsidy payments to help them through the Coronavirus crisis.

Town Cancelling Meetings, Town Hall & DPW Closed to Visitors, Parking Passes Valid

Watertown Town Hall

(CORRECTION: It was incorrectly stated in a previous version of the story that the March 23 School Committee meeting will be cancelled. It will be held remotely.)

The Town of Watertown will not be holding meetings for the next few weeks as a precaution against the Coronavirus, and Town Hall and the Department of Public Works Facility are the latest to close to public visitors. Town Council President Mark Sideris said all meetings through April 6. Town Manager Michael Driscoll also announced that Town Hall and the Department of Public Works will be closed through April 6, and asked residents to call or email if they need to contact town officials. Town Meetings

On Monday, Sideris informed the Town Council that he was cancelling meetings.

Watertown Library Closed for 3 Weeks, Online Services Available

Watertown Free Public Library

The following announcement was provided by the Watertown Free Public Library:

The Watertown Free Public Library will be closed to the public from March 14 – April 6 to help minimize the spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19.) The Library is currently scheduled to reopen on April 7. This date is subject to change. During the Library’s closure, patrons are encouraged to keep borrowed items at home, even if they are overdue. The Minuteman Library Network (MLN) is extending all due dates until at least mid-April. Fines will be waived while the Library is closed.

Watertown Closing Playgrounds, Fields, Dog Parks as Coronavirus Precaution

The tot lot installed at the 552 Main Street Park is one of the Watertown Recreation facilities that have been closed due to the Coronavirus. The Watertown Recreation Department has closed its facilities around town, including fields, courts, tot lots and dog parks, as a precaution during the outbreak of the Coronavirus. Recreation Director Peter Centola sent out the following announcement:

Please be advised that all fields, courts, track, tot lots and dog parks in Watertown are closed immediately due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Please adhere to this request and follow all guidelines by the Watertown Health Department and all governmental agencies. On Friday, the Town announced that all Recreation activities and permits had been cancelled through the end of March.