The Watertown Free Public Library may have closed during the Coronavirus outbreak, but that does not mean people can’t access books, videos and music. The Library has a number of ways to access ebooks, audiobooks, videos and more, and the staff has added more copies of popular titles. There is also content for kids, access to newspapers and magazines and information to medical information. The following announcement came from the Watertown Library:
Here’s what we’re doing at the Watertown Free Public Library to keep you digitally connected to books and media while we’re closed. We’ve increased our digital collections.
State and federal officials sent out the following information about assistance for small businesses during the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), including information on loans, layoff prevention and emergency contacts. Massachusetts state officials sent out the following information:
1 – Resources for the Business Community: COVID-1 MEMA’s Emergency Operations Center’s Private Sector Hotline
The hotline will be staffed Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.The number for the hotline is 508-820-2094. 2 – Small Business Recovery Loan Fund – https://www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org/what-we-offer/emergency-loan-funds/covid-19-loan-fund
$10 million Small Business Recovery Loan Fund, administered by Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC), to provide emergency capital up to $75,000 to Massachusetts-based businesses impacted by COVID-19 with under 50 full- and part-time employees, including nonprofits.This fund is being offered with no payments due for the first 6 months, then 30-months of principal and interest payments and no prepayment penalties (annual interest rate of 3.0%). 3 – Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program – https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-resources-and-guidance-for-businesses
EIDL offers Massachusetts businesses who are experiencing hardships resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak access up to $2M in emergency loan capital with rates capped at 3.75%.We are currently working with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to activate the EIDL program. We will update this group when the program formally opens.Businesses can learn more about the SBA’s response to COVID-19 here: https://www.sba.gov/page/guidance-businesses-employers-plan-respond-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19
3 – Governor Baker’s Emergency Order (3/15) limiting gatherings to 25 individuals and prohibiting on-premises consumption of food or drink at bars and restaurants, beginning on March 17 and effective until April 6.
The following announcement was provided by Watertown-based CatholicTV Network:
On Tuesday, March 17, the CatholicTV Network will air Mass for the Feast of Saint Patrick, the principal patron of the Archdiocese of Boston, celebrated by Cardinal Seán O’Malley, O.F.M., from the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston.
During Mass, Cardinal O’Malley will offer prayers for all those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Reverend Monsignor Liam Bergin will be the homilist. Ciarán Nagle, world-renowned Irish tenor, will provide music. There will be no congregants present at the Mass. The Mass will air live on CatholicTV at 12pm ET and will be rebroadcast at 8pm ET.
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.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced some sweeping steps to try to control the outbreak of Coronavirus in Massachusetts Sunday evening, including limiting the size of gatherings, allowing restaurants only to serve take out meals and closing all the schools in the state. During the press conference he said there are no plans currently to have residents shelter in place to stop the spread of COVID-19. He did stress that people should only gather in small groups, according to a report on WCVB Channel 5. “These gatherings include all community, civic, public, leisure, faith-based events, sporting events with spectators, concerts, conventions and any similar event or activity that brings together 25 or more people in single room or a single space at the same time. This includes venues like fitness centers, private clubs and theaters,” Baker said.
The Watertown Boys & Girls Club announced it will follow the lead of the Watertown Public Schools and will close temporarily as a precaution after the outbreak of the Coronavirus in the area. Executive Director Renee Gaudette said: “At this point in time, WBGC will remain closed in sync with Watertown Public Schools. We are working closely with all town departments to ensure the safety of our members, families and community.” She added that updates about Club operations will be posted to the WBGC website (http://www.watertownbgc.org/) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/WatertownBoysandGirlsClub/). Originally, the Club planned to close for deep cleaning and reopen on Monday, but that was before the Watertown School’s decision to close through March 27.
The winter parking ban in Watertown has been lifted a few weeks early, due to the mild weather. At Tuesday’s Town Council Meeting, Town Council President Mark Sideris requested that Town officials consider lifting the on-street parking ban due to run through the end of March because of the warm weather, which was forecast to continue. On Friday, Watertown Police Chief Michael Lawn announced the suspension of enforcement of the parking ban. He released the following statement:
Police Chief Michael Lawn would like to inform you that Watertown will lift enforcement of the all night parking ban effective Saturday, March 14, 2020. The Department of Public Works, Police Department and Fire Department would like to remind motorists that keeping the streets clear allows for road repairs, street cleaning and easy access for public safety vehicles.
The Watertown Health Department is investigating a case of Coronavirus in Watertown, and the Watertown Public Schools will be closed temporarily beginning Friday. The update on the Town of Watertown website reads:
We have been advised that there is a presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in Watertown. The case is not associated with the schools and has no children in the school system. The Health Department case investigation is ongoing and we will provide additional information tomorrow. Watertown Superintendent Dede Galdston confirmed that the Watertown Public Schools will be closed for two weeks beginning Friday.