By Max Bowenfirstname.lastname@example.org
As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise globally, North Attleborough employees are working to ensure town services continue.
At a meeting of the Town Council on Monday, April 13, Town Manager Michael Borg said that he is meeting regularly with department heads. Town Hall remains closed to the public, but departments are available by phone and e-mail, and staffed with minimal personnel to reduce the possibility of infection. Borg said he is asking any town employees to wear masks when working outside.
At this time, the town has 73 confirmed cases of Coronavirus, and it’s expected that Massachusetts will see a peak around April 20. The town launched the North Nurses Care line, which is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m.-Noon on Friday. The line can be reached at 508-699-2404 and takes questions regarding COVID-19. Borg said the line has received more than 120 calls and e-mails. They are also assisting the Council on Aging and making calls to 95 seniors to make sure they are OK.
In recent days, residents have posted to social media about getting town trash bags, which are required for pickup. Borg said that he has gone to all locations where they are sold and they are in supply, as are the bag tags and bulky tags. For the time being, however, both types of tags can be purchased online and delivered to residents. This is limited to 10 of each tag. The Recycling Center is closed until further notice, and curbside trash and recycling collection is following normal schedule. Curbside Yard waste is running through May 1.
The town continues to track expenses related to the pandemic, most of which is related to overtime at the fire department. The town’s budget will be submitted in June instead of May, to allow time to ascertain the full financial impact. A hiring freeze is in effect for all municipal positions, but the town is currently 95 percent staffed.
Borg has submitted a request for Personal Protective Equipment and received 150 surgical masks. He added that first responders can now get COVID-19 testing done at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. He said the town has enough PPE on hand at this time.
“It gives me confidence that the system is working,” said Borg.