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:

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:

Brownsberger represents Watertown, Belmont and parts of Boston.

State Hosting Virtual Town Halls on Unemployment Assistance

The Mass. Department of Unemployment Assistance will host a series of town hall meetings which people can join by phone or online. The sessions will help people file unemployment claims and get other questions answered. Those joining by computer can do so that day, but people joining by phone need to register by 5:30 p.m. the day before. The Mass.

Watertown Markets Offering Alternatives to In-Store Shopping During Coronavirus Outbreak

People who cannot go to a store, or do not want to in a social distancing effort during the Coronavirus outbreak, have some alternatives at two Watertown markets. At Russo’s, 560 Pleasant St., customers can order delivery through the Mercato website (click here), or they can order a Russo’s Box and pick it up in the market’s parking lot. There are two Box options, one for $50 and the larger size for $100. Each includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, bread, milk, eggs and more. See details by clicking here.

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.

$1 Million Available for Programs Helping Older Residents Affected by Coronavirus

The following information was provided by the Tufts Health Plan Foundation:

Tufts Health Plan Foundation announced today it is making an additional $1 million available to efforts driven by community and to nonprofit organizations supporting older people affected by the coronavirus outbreak in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Connecticut. Tufts Health Plan Foundation will continue to support healthy aging by funding organizations assisting with access to food, at-home support, housing, transportation, medical supplies and other services, especially for older people and those most vulnerable.  Those with underlying health conditions and people over 60 have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. It is especially important to ensure resources are available to provide these supports and services. “We are grateful to the local, state and federal public health agencies, first responders, and the many community organizations who are stepping up to respond to this challenge,” said Tom Croswell, president and CEO of Tufts Health Plan.

Watertown Food Pantry Changing Hours, Opening One Day a Week

Items collected for the Watertown Community Foundation’s food drive in January. The Foundation is organizing another one in the month of October. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 (the Coronavirus) the Watertown Food Pantry will be consolidating hours and will be open one day a week. Beginning March 24, the Watertown Food Pantry will be open for extended hours on Tuesdays, but will not be open on Thursdays. The Pantry, located at the rear of the Belmont-Watertown United Methodist Church at 80 Mt.

Lane Closing on Mass. Pike for Overnight Bridge Repair

The following information was provided by MassDOT:

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing that it will be conducting overnight bridge deck repairs on I-90 westbound at exit 15 in Newton. This work is scheduled to take place from 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, through 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 22.  

The bridge repair operations will require the temporary closures of right travel lanes on I-90 westbound. At 8:00 p.m., one right travel lane westbound will be temporarily closed.  At 11:00 p.m., two right travel lanes westbound will be temporarily closed.

More Supermarkets in & Around Watertown Offering Hours for Seniors, 1 Market Offering Delivery

Stop & Shop is not the only supermarket in the area offering special shopping hours for seniors in an effort to provide extra social distancing for those who could be more at risk if they got the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Some of Watertown’s local markets have added time for seniors to shop, or other ways for residents to access food and produce. Russo’s Market, 560 Pleasant St., has special hours for seniors from 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.

Arax Market announced on its Facebook page: We are offering delivery for Watertown residents ONLY ($25 minimum). We will also do your shopping for you and you can come and pick it up. You can call (617-924-3399) or message us on Facebook or Instagram.We have been working round the clock to ensure all of our customers have fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, bread, dairy, and homemade prepared meals. Massis Bakery said on its Facebook page that its shelves are stocked, and it is open Monday through Saturday.