COVID-19 Information & Bulletins
City of Westfield Confirmed Cases: 164
Case count updated Once Daily at approximately 10:00 AM - Last Updated: April 9, 2020
Watch the City’s April 1st Press Conference: www.youtube.com/watch?v=onIYQK-ON0c&feature=youtu.be
Public Health Updates
- If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and other symptoms, like coughing or difficulty breathing, please call your healthcare provider/primary care doctor for medical advice.
- PLEASE STAY HOME! Limit your trips outside of the home to only those most necessary. Practice good hygiene, washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Regularly disinfect hard surfaces like counters, table tops, and doorknobs.
- The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has indicated guidance relative to grocery store maximum capacity is forthcoming. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito indicated that they will be limited to 40% of their occupancy limits.
- For more information on symptoms, go to: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/index.html
- 10 Ways to Manage Respiratory Symptoms at Home: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/10Things.pdf
Online & Telephone Resources
- To sign up for State of MA COVID-19 text alerts, text COVIDMA to 888-777.
- Call 211 for reliable information on coronavirus and resources available for Massachusetts citizens. This service is also available online at: www.mass211.org.
- World Health Organization: www.who.int
- Westfield Health Department: www.facebook.com/westfieldpublichealth/
- Westfield Emergency Management: www.facebook.com/Westfield-Emergency-Management-125571944219310/
- Westfield Information Technology: Please be diligent in exercising caution when reading emails and responding to telephone inquiries from unfamiliar or unusual callers. Do not click on unfamiliar weblinks or attachments or provide personal information to unknown callers.
Updates From the Commonwealth
- The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is maintaining a website aggregating the most up-to-date information relative to COVID-19. It can be found online at: www.mass.gov/covid19.
- Governor Charlie Baker updated an earlier emergency order requiring all businesses and organizations that do no provide "COVID-19 Essential Services" to close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, extending the closure requirement to Monday, May 4th at noon. These businesses are encouraged to continue operations remotely. He also updated the list of designated essential service businesses: www.mass.gov/doc/covid-19-essential-services/download
- State agencies have been issuing Emergency Orders, Updates, Advisories and Guidance on matters as diverse as prescription writing to senior hours at grocery stores to professional licensure in response to our current state of operations. For a list of these orders, check this website: www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-state-of-emergency
- The state has created an online portal where individuals can easily donate or sell personal protective equipment (PPE) and volunteer to support the COVID-19 outbreak response in Massachusetts. Information can be found here: www.mass.gov/covid-19-ppe-procurement-and-donation-program
- Travel Guidance: Beginning March 27, all travelers arriving to Massachusetts are instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days. This guidance will be displayed as posters at service plazas along Interstate-90 eastbound, distributed as flyers at major transportation hubs and on posted on highway message boards. Visitors are instructed not to travel to Massachusetts if they are displaying symptoms. Health care workers, public health workers, public safety workers, transportation workers and designated essential workers are exempt from this requirement.
- Trial Courts: For information on the status of trial courts in Massachusetts, visit this website: www.mass.gov/guides/court-system-response-to-covid-19
- COVID-19 Relief Fund: Governor Baker announced on April 6th the creation of the MA COVID-19 Relief Fund to assist local foundations and community agencies support front line workers and families who have been disproportionately affected by the impact of COVID-19 through monetary and equipment donations. To learn more or donate visit: www.macovid19relieffund.org.
For School-Age Youth: The Westfield Public Schools are offering free curbside lunch and breakfast pickup services at the following locations:
- ABNER GIBBS SCHOOL, 50 WEST SILVER ST 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
- FRANKLIN AVE SCHOOL, 22 FRANKLIN ST 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
- POWDERMILL VILLAGE APARTMENTS 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
- COLONIAL PINE ACRES APARTMENTS 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
For more information call the Food Services Department at (413) 572-6493.
For Youth Age 2-18: The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Westfield is offering free curbside dinner pickup services at the following locations:
- BOYS & GIRLS CLUB, 28 WEST SILVER ST 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM
- FRANKLIN AVE SCHOOL, 22 FRANKLIN ST 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
- COLONIAL PINE ACRES APARTMENTS 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
- EDGEWOOD APARTMENTS, UNION ST 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
- POWDERMILL VILLAGE APARTMENTS 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
For more information, visit: www.bgcwestfield.org
For Senior Citizens: Take-out meals, prepared by the Senior Center kitchen staff, are available for $3, Monday through Friday with curbside pick-up. Those who wish to purchase a meal should call the Senior Center at (413) 562-6435 in the morning between 8:30 AM and 10 AM and provide a name and phone number. Their meal will be available for a drive-by pick-up near the Senior Center front patio between the hours of 11 AM and 12:00 NOON that day. Please note that meals will be cooked but will have to be heated at home. Please enter the Senior Center parking lot via Murphy Circle, which is the entrance farthest from the Senior Center building, for meal pick-up.
Bagged lunches are offered for seniors at no charge at Westfield Middle School (30 West Silver Street) and Franklin Elementary School (22 Franklin Avenue) from 11 AM to 1 PM, Monday through Friday.
Senior meals are also available at Colonial Pines and Powdermill Village from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM, Monday through Friday.
The Westfield Food Pantry is periodically offering grab-an-go dinners for individuals and families in need. They are communicating primarily through their webpage at: www.facebook.com/Westfield-Food-Pantry-510416725651902/
The Westfield Soup Kitchen, at 101 Meadow Street, is providing limited grab-and go meals Sunday-Friday each week from 5:00 pm – 5:45 pm. Appropriate social distancing will be practiced and expected. The organization is accepting monetary donations at its mailing address, Our Community Table, PO Box 2017, Westfield, MA 01086.
Municipal Operation Update
- Westfield City Hall remains CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC.
- Municipal departments have been directed to enact Contingency Plans to allow for essential work functions to continue at this time.
- Police/Fire/Emergency Management/Dispatch: Normal operations; Smoke & Carbon Monoxide inspections suspended in compliance with state order until 90 days following the lifting of the State of Emergency.
- Schools: Westfield Public Schools are closed until May 4th. Parents and students are instructed to visit their School’s website, which can be accessed from sites.google.com/schoolsofwestfield.org/wps-school-closure-plan/home to connect with their teacher and keep up-to-date with enrichment opportunities and assignments.
- Schools (continued): If your family does not have a web-capable device (other than a cell phone) at home, please complete the following form if you would like to request a loaner device for academic purposes to assist your child in accessing online resources and enrichment opportunities and continued learning. To request a device for loan, please go to:
docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfFTNIQgoeJcgtO6PkKhsP8naWbC3GfiTLo7axWijZWAwO33A/viewform or call Westfield Public Schools at (413) 572-6403.
- Airport: Regular operations Phone: (413) 572-6275
- Assessor’s Office: Staff serving staggered schedules. Phone: (413) 572-6223.
- Auditor’s Office: Staff serving staggered schedules. Can be reached by phone at 572-6371
- Building: Staff serving staggered schedules. Inspections being performed compliant with applicable codes. Invoking right to accept alternate methods of inspection when warranted. Phone: (413) 572-6251
- City Clerk: Staff serving staggered schedules. One staff member in office each day.
- Phone: (413) 642-9306
- City Council: Meetings will be posted on city website at www.cityofwestfield.org; Remote participation instructions will be available.
- Collectors’ Office: Collectors’ Office is still accepting payments by mail using the envelopes enclosed with the bills or by mail to City Hall at: City of Westfield, 59 Court Street, Westfield, MA 01085 Payments can also be made online via the Collectors’ Department website link: www.cityofwestfield.org/330/Online-Pay. Payment methods available online include credit cards and debit cards subject to the fee schedule found on the website. The City accepts online payments by electronic check for a fee of $0.25. Payment fees are charged by the payment processing company, not the City of Westfield. Payments can be made by check or money order using the dropbox at the handicapped access entrance. If residents or businesses want a receipt, they should include a self-addressed stamp envelope and the Collectors’ Office will mail a receipt. If you have any questions or need assistance, please call 572-6229 or 572-6237
- Community Development: Office staffed daily. Most staff working remotely, performing essential duties. Phone: (413) 572-6246
- Conservation: Staff working remotely. Voicemails and emails being checked regularly throughout the day. Active construction sites being inspected regularly, conducting pre-construction visits, and acting on enforcement matters. Staff working to enact remote meeting participation for its April 14th meeting. Phone: (413) 572-6281
- Public Works: Remains active. Staff has been separated, working flexible hours with smaller crews. Water and wastewater monitoring continuing at normal operations. Phone: (413) 572-6226
- Engineering: Staff serving staggered schedules. Construction monitoring on active projects continuing. Phone: (413) 572-6219
- Health Department: Office operating at full-strength. Phone: (413) 572-6210
- Law Department: Staff serving staggered schedules. Department consulting on all matters of legal importance to both ongoing concerns and emergency concerns. Phone: (413) 572-6260
- Off-Street Parking: Permits active in March have been extended until April 30, 2020. Phone: (413) 572-6246
- Personnel/Payroll/Benefits: Staff serving staggered schedules. Essential functions for employee support and communications operating fully. Phone: (413) 572-6207
- Purchasing: Staff working remotely with full capabilities; Regularly visiting office to perform only essential functions. Phone: (413) 572-6254
- Retirement: Staff serving staggered schedules; Retirement Board operating meetings remotely; Essential functions being performed per normal Phone: (413) 572-6239
- Technology Center: Team working staggered and flexible hours schedule to maintain systems functionality and support essential and emergency functions. Phone: (413) 572-6565
- Treasurer & Collector: Staff serving rotating/flexible staff scheduling. Both offices staffed daily. Payments being accepted via drop-box in City Hall parking lot entrance area. Essential duties being performed normally. Phone: (413) 572-6228
- Veterans’ Affairs: Office staffed daily; Staff working a staggered schedule. Essential functions being performed normally. Phone: (413) 572-6247
- The City of Westfield Office of Community Development is offering its Microenterprise Grant Program to qualified businesses with less than 5 employees to assist with working capital or other needs. The program is currently capitalized for $20,000 through the Community Development Block Grant program. For additional information, visit our website at: www.cityofwestfield.org/701/Community-Development-Block-Grant-CDBG
- The federal CARES Act, passed by Congress and signed by the President on March 27th and includes several provisions to help businesses and their employees. Among those was a supplemental appropriation to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which will allow the City of Westfield to provide additional assistance to small businesses who commit to retaining employees and to public services agencies who are feeding low-and-moderate income families, among others. The City will publish a plan for spending this $216,737 in federal funding.
- The Massachusetts Growth Capital Fund has created a $10 million loan fund to provide financial relief to businesses of 50 or less employees impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis. Loans are immediately available with no payments due for the first six months. More information on this program can be found here: www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org/what-we-offer/emergency-loan-funds/covid-19-loan-fund
- The U.S. Small Business Administration is also offering federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses impacted by COVID-19 disruptions. For additional information on this program, visit here: www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19#section-header-1
The Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce shared the following information for small businesses on Friday, April 3rd:
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a loan program designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep workers on the payroll. Loans are up to $10M, with a 0.5% interest rate and a 2-year maturity; there are no payments for the first six months.
- Who can apply? Businesses, non-profits, Veterans organizations, Tribal concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors, with 500 or fewer employees.
- When can I apply? The Paycheck Protection Program will be available beginning on Friday, April 3rd. Applications must be submitted by June 30, 2020.
- How do I apply? You can apply for the Paycheck Protection Program through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any participating federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, or Farm Credit institution. Ask your local lender if it is participating in the program.
- What else should I know? The SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. The program will be available retroactive from February 15, 2020, so employers can rehire their recently laid-off employees through June 30, 2020.
- Read more here: www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/paycheck-protection-program-ppp#section-header-4
The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance is a Loan Advance of $10,000 that is available to applicants who have been approved for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan; it does not need to be repaid, so you can think of the Advance as a grant for business expenses.
- Who can apply? If you have applied or intend to apply to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, you can also apply for a Loan Advance.
- When can I apply? The Loan Advance is available now.
- How do I apply? Visit the SBA’s website to submit an application for the Economic Disaster Injury Loan and Loan Advance.
- What else should I know? Please note that you should submit an application at the above link, even if you’ve previously submitted an EIDL application prior to the Loan Advance being available.
- Read more here: www.sba.gov/page/disaster-loan-applications#section-header-0
The SBA is also offering Debt Relief to small businesses. Under this relief, the SBA will pay the principal and interest for six months beginning March 27th, 2020 for qualifying new and current holders of 7(a) loans.
- Who can apply? Businesses who already have a covered 7(a) SBA loan or receive a 7(a) SBA loan prior to September 27, 2020.
- When can I apply? This relief is applied for covered loans beginning with payments due after March 27, 2020.
- How do I apply? Reach out to your SBA lender to discuss how this debt relief applies to your SBA loan.
- What else should I know? This debt relief is available only to 7(a) loans and not to loans made under the Paycheck Protection Program, 504 loans, or microloans.
- Read more here: www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources#section-header-4
Don’t forget that you can still apply for two other Small Business Administration loan programs:
- Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available through the SBA website; apply here. EIDL loans can be up to $2M, with interest rates of 3.75%, and are for businesses whose revenues were adversely impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
- The Express Bridge Loan Program is available to businesses that have an existing business relationship with an SBA-approved lender; speak to your lender about accessing this option while you await a decision on long-term financing.