December 10, 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 Thursday.
- 640 Needham cases to date (12/10/2020). This is an increase of 69 cases since the 12/3/20 report. Needham is in the YELLOW category this week. Read the state’s Weekly Public Health Report here.
- 86 Coronavirus deaths in Needham to date (12/3/20).
State Rolls Back Reopening to Phase 3, Step 1 Effective Sunday
As COVID cases surge across Massachusetts and the country, Governor Baker this week announced that beginning Sunday, December 13th, the state will roll back to Phase 3, Step 1 of the Reopening Plan. In addition, the Governor has reduced gathering limits for indoor and outdoor gatherings.
- Outdoor gatherings at event venues will be limited to no more than 50 people
- Hosts of outdoor gatherings of greater than 25 people will be required to provide advance notice of the gathering their local board of health
In all communities, capacity will be reduced from 50% to 40% for most businesses including:
- Gyms/Health Clubs
- Places of Worship
- Lodging (common areas)
- Golf facilities
- Movie Theaters (Maximum 50 people per theater)
The Administration also announced new guidelines for restaurants and other venues with seated dining, including:
- Patrons must wear masks at all times except when eating and drinking
- Restaurants must seat no more than six patrons per table
- Restaurants must impose a 90-minute time limit on tables
- Musical performances at restaurants will no longer be permitted
- Food court seating must be closed in malls
Customers are encouraged to dine only with members of the same household.
Finally, the Administration announced new guidelines for workplaces and gyms, including:
- In offices, employees must wear masks at their place of work when not in their own workspace and alone
- Employers are encouraged to close or limit the use of break rooms
- Patrons must wear masks at all times in gyms
The Administration continues to encourage all employers to offer teleworking to their employees when possible.
State Announces Phased Vaccine Plan
The Governor this week outlined plans for distributing the Covid vaccine in Massachusetts. Vaccines will be distributed in phases, starting with those in health care settings and congregate care facilities. Learn more about the state's vaccine plans and when you may be eligible here: https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine-in-massachusetts. Needham Public Health is also working on plans for vaccine distribution.
Needham Public Library Offering Access to Technology Including Chromebooks, Printing, Wi-Fi
The Needham Free Public Library is looking to close the town’s technology gap for those patrons who used to come into the library building for their computing needs. To help those without computers at home stay safe and get the information they need, the library is now offering Chromebooks for checkout. Thanks to funding from the Library Foundation, in an effort to meet the needs of many library users that are working and learning at home, you can now start checking out a Chromebook laptop, by calling the library’s reference department at 781-455-7559, ext. 502. The five available Chromebook laptops can be checked out for five days. They must be picked up between 12pm and 2pm on a Monday and returned to the library on Friday of the same week by no later than 3pm. (The Chromebooks can then be requested after another week, as we will quarantine them for seven days in between check-outs.) All of these Chromebooks can be connected to any Wi-fi network and have a video camera.
Need to print something? The Needham Free Public Library will print it for free (20 page max)! Email your print job to the Reference department at email@example.com. Then call us at 781-455-7559 ext. 502 to arrange curbside pickup.
Need to get online? You can use the library's WiFi from the parking lot. Just park close to the building in the Highland Ave. parking lot! Available 24/7.
Curbside Pickup Now Available for Shopping, Takeout
Just in time for the holiday season, shoppers in the downtown Needham area will be able to do their shopping and pick up take-out without searching for parking. In an effort to support Needham’s small businesses and protect the health and safety of the public, employers and employees, the Town has worked with area business owners to create 12 designated “curbside pickup zones.” The zones are marked by red and white signs that say “10 minute parking. Reserved. Curbside Pickup. Support Local Needham Businesses,” and are located in front of retail stores and restaurants on Highland Ave.. Great Plain Ave., Chapel St., and Dedham Ave. The curbside pickup spaces will remain indefinitely to support the local economy while during the Covid-19 pandemic. Free 2-hour parking is also available throughout Needham through the remainder of the year. In addition, the picnic tables the Town placed earlier this year on the Town Common and on the Heights Common will remain available to the public throughout the winter season.