Virus Update: All playgrounds closed; Essential meetings defined; Curtailing non-emergency Fire Dept services

This morning, the Town issued an update. Much of the news had already been shared in previous posts. But there were some important new details.

The widest impacting change I spotted was under Recreation. The new language states that all playgrounds are closed (whether on school or Town grounds). It also clarifies that all fields “are closed for large public gatherings such as practices and games.” It included another reminder about physical distance when enjoying the outdoors:

We encourage people to go outside but please continue to practice social distancing and keeping at least 6 feet apart from people outside of your household.

The latest message specifies which Town committee/board meetings are currently considered essential and provides information on virtual access to them:

IT Manager Tom Laflamme has implemented a virtual meeting solution that is consistent with the Governor’s Emergency Order on March 12, 2020, so that essential government meetings can be held while maintaining the desired social distancing. At this time, “essential” is defined as follows:
1. Board of Selectmen
2. Board of Health
3. School Committee
4. Any permitting board that needs to meet in order to avoid a constructive approval on a project.

Residents or other interested parties can view the meetings live or taped at the Town’s YouTube page here: Should the State of Emergency continue for an extended period of time, the Selectmen will revisit extending the use of virtual meetings to more boards and committees.

The notice also gave new details on how public safety is curtailing some of its regular services. That includes a change going into effect on Monday:

Fire Prevention and Inspection Inquiries: Beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, the Southborough Fire Department will be suspending any non-emergency, commercial and residential inspections including smoke detector, oil burning equipment, and fire alarm systems for two (2) weeks. Underground and above ground propane inspections will still take place during this time. Please call or email Lieutenant Christian Dano at (508) 485-3235 x 2 or if you have any questions or concerns.

The memo explains:

Public safety is our primary responsibility, and we will always respond immediately to 911 emergencies and urgent calls for service. In order to continue providing the best public safety services in the Town of Southborough and its citizens, the Police & Fire Departments will be limiting our face-to-face interactions when possible.

You can read the full message here. And again, for the Town’s website page dedicated to these updates, click here. (And click here to get their email updates.)

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