CoVid-19 FAQ

March 27, 2020

Question: Can the Health Department help me get unemployment benefits quicker? 

Answer: The Health Department can not get unemployment benefits to kick in more quickly. Continue to contact the Council on Aging for essentials such as food and personal care items and contact us if there are any further questions. 


Question: What is the Council on Aging doing to keep people protected from those who deliver meals on wheels?

Answer: The Council on Aging has asked all volunteers to take their temperature prior to coming into work and if they are sick, they should stay home. However, the Council on Aging can not get thermometers at this time to do on site checks. 


Question: I am new to town, how do I get a recycling bin?

Answer: Call the Health Department at 413-525-5400 x 1108 and we will be happy to drop one off for you.


Question:  Is the transfer station open on Saturdays still?

Answer: Yes, they are still open on Saturdays. You must have a 2020 sticker. To get a dump sticker, contact the DPW at 413-525-5400 x 1200. 


Question: Can people still use reusable bags at the grocery store? 

Answer: Reusable bags are not allowed to be used. Please do not bring reusable bags into stores. If you bring them in, they will not be used by staff at the register. 

March 26, 2020

Question: Can I continue to run my landscaping business?

Answer: Landscaping is not listed as an essential business, but you may receive exempt status from the Governor if you complete an exemption form. 


Question: Can a law office continue to operate? 

Answer: Law offices are not listed as an essential business. It is possible that local law offices can receive clearance from Governor Baker, so check your local law office to see if they have received clearance. Lawyers may continue to work from home, but should not be operating out of a business office without clearance. 


Question: Can the Health Department release information on who has tested positive for COVID-19 in East Longmeadow?

Answer: The Health Department can not release any identifying information, however, we have completed close contact investigations and anyone who has been in direct contact with a positive person will be or has been notified.


Question: Can I be tested just in case without symptoms? 

Answer: Only certain people can qualify to be tested, which includes; having symptoms, coming in direct contact with a person who has tested positive, or if you’ve traveled recently

March 25, 2020

Question: Why are certain places allowed to be open and what can be done to stop people from congregating outside of certain businesses in town? 

Answer: Certain businesses that were designated under Governor Baker’s orders as essential are allowed to continue to operate. The Health Department is happy to go and discuss social distancing protocols with any businesses to prevent people from congregating outside. 


Question: Why are businesses like American Saw and Stanley Black and Decker still operating? 

Answer: These businesses are considered essential under Governor Baker’s order. 

March 24, 2020

Question: Can a cleaning business or other similar businesses stay in operation during this time?

Answer: Businesses are allowed to complete an exemption form with the state and if granted, they can continue to operate. However, the business must close in the meantime until the exemption is granted. 


Question: I have Covid-19 symptoms, where can I get tested?

Answer: Call a medical professional. If you are having a hard time getting tested, call mass 211. 


Question: For the people who have tested positive in town, will the Health Department complete a trace back and advertise all the places the people may have been during the incubation period? 

Answer: Yes, the Health Department completes a trace back on all confirmed East Longmeadow residents. People who have come in direct contact will be notified. 

March 23, 2020

Question: Can private cleaning companies still come to your home and complete services? 

Answer: The Health Department recommends to hold off on these types of services at this time. 


Question: Is construction work allowed? 

Answer: All construction is allowed to continue per Governor Baker’s order. 


Question: Are vet offices allowed to continue to operate?

Answer: Yes, they are designated as essential under Governor Baker’s order. 

March 20, 2020

Question: Can the Health Department close down hair salons, nail salons, and other businesses where it isn’t possible for staff and customers to maintain a 6’ distance from each other?

Answer: The Board of Health will be holding an emergency Board of Health meeting on Sunday, March 22, 2020 to address this issue and temporarily close all businesses where customers and staff are not able to maintain a 6’ distance from each other to perform a service. This will also include all fitness centers in East Longmeadow. *UPDATE All nonessential businesses are closed under Governor Baker’s orders. For a complete list of businesses considered essential, visit mass.gov. 


Question: Are businesses still allowed to operate in town if there is no way for customers and staff to be 6’ apart?

Answer: Businesses have been asked if they want to stay operational, social distancing standards set forth by Mass DPH must be practiced. The Health Dept. will visit any establishment in town to help them meet these requirements and make everyone feel safe and protected during this time. *UPDATE All nonessential businesses are closed under Governor Baker’s orders. For a complete list of businesses considered essential, visit mass.gov. 

March 19, 2020

Question: Are companies that provide in-home child services, such as therapy, being asked to stop services after Governor Baker’s closing of all non-essential child care facilities?

Answer: Please contact Mass DPH through their 2-1-1 call system. We have not received any direction on in-home services at this time. *UPDATE All nonessential businesses are closed under Governor Baker’s orders. For a complete list of businesses considered essential, visit mass.gov. 


Question: People standing in line at CVS were not 6’ apart while waiting for their prescription. What can the Health Department do to enforce this if the pharmacy is not?

Answer: The Health Department is happy to send a staff member to any facility to help them work out a system that allows people to stand in line and maintain 6’ from each other.

March 18, 2020

Question: Should I be concerned about bringing in the newspaper and other mail?

Answer: Be careful not to touch your nose or eyes while reading and wash your hands when you are done reading the paper and touching the mail. 


Question: Is washing fruits and vegetables under water enough?

Answer: There are no official recommendations for fruits and vegetables, but for fruits with edible skin, you can peel it away until we know more information about how COVID19 is spread. As we learn more about this "new" or "novel" virus, guidelines from the CDC or DPH will be updated and once information is released, we will update our recommendation. 


Question: Does the 10 person limit on gatherings include child care facilities?

Answers: Daycares and child care facilities are considered an essential service, therefore, they are exempt from Governor Baker’s declaration of gatherings restricted to no more than 25 people. *UPDATE Per Governor Baker March 18th, all daycares that are not designated essential will be closed.


Question: Is it safe to use reusable bags?

Answer: The CDC said using reusable bags does not present a concern. *UPDATE 3/27/2020: Grocery stores are not allowing the use of reusable bags. Please leave them at home and stores will provide bags at check out.  


Question: What are the rules for church gatherings?

Answer: As of March 16th, Governor Baker has restricted gatherings to no more than 25 people. Churches are not exempt.

March 17, 2020

Question: Is the Board of Health asking nail and hair salons to close?

Answer: Businesses are not being asked to close at this time, however, they must follow Governor Baker’s declaration effective March 16, 2020, that no more than 25 people can be in a facility at a time and people should remain 6’ away from each other. *UPDATE All nonessential businesses are closed under Governor Baker’s orders. For a complete list of businesses considered essential, visit mass.gov. 


Question: Are daycares still allowed to serve food and drink on-site?

Answer: Daycares and child care centers are exempt from Governor Baker’s order. *UPDATE Per Governor Baker March 18th, all daycares that are not designated essential will be closed.


Question: An employee was hospitalized and tested for COVID-19. This employee did not reside in East Longmeadow. Will my work close and what should we do as employees?

Answer: If there is a confirmed COVID-19 case, the town’s Public Health Nurse where the individual resides will be notified. The Public Health Nurse will do a traceback to figure out anyone who might have been exposed, which includes the person’s work. If you haven’t heard anything, the test results have either not come back yet as they take 3-4 days to come back or the person tested negative. The Board of Health where the person being tested resides will give you further directions. 

March 16, 2020 

Question: Does the Board of Health recommend closing daycares and child care facilities?

Answer: According to the Mass Department of Epidemiology, child care facilities are considered a critical resource and there are no recommendations from the state to close. Continue to follow cleaning guidelines and have staff and children wash their hands regularly. *UPDATE Per Governor Baker March 18th, all daycares that are not designated essential will be closed.


Question: An employee at a local daycare center was hospitalized over the weekend for respiratory symptoms. She last worked on Friday. She was released from the hospital and not tested for COVID-19 because she did not meet testing criteria. What are the recommendations to the child care facility?

Answer: According to the Mass Department of Epidemiology, with no direct contact to a confirmed COVID-19 case and not having a pre-existing condition, it is not likely to be COVID-19 and likely another respiratory illness. Increase hand washing and cleaning at the facility. There are no recommendations to close as child care facilities are considered a critical resource. *UPDATE Per Governor Baker March 18th, all daycares that are not designated essential will be closed.


Question: Should large factories remain open as they often have more than 25 people in one room at a given time?

Answer: As long as workers are able to remain more than 6’ away from each other while working, this type of facility is able to remain open and in working order.