March 27,2020
Municipal Leader COVID-19 Update #2
Timely updates on the public health crisis for Boards of Health, Selectboards, Town Administrators, First Responders and Emergency Managers
Regional COVID Coordination Center Coming Online Monday
Franklin County’s Multi-Agency Coordination Center (MACC) will stand up operations for COVID-19 on Monday, March 30. A MACC is a place (virtual in this case) to bring together representatives of the primary agencies managing any emergency, across the county, to coordinate response and provide situational awareness. For this public health emergency the MACC will bring together current information from a broad spectrum of involved public health, healthcare and emergency response agencies, sectors, and institutions. The MACC will maintain a county-wide overview, encourage a coordinated response to this crisis, and disseminate situational awareness. You will receive an email from the MACC with more information once it is operational. Contact: Tracy Rogers at Emergencyprep@frcog.org .


State Emergency Response Funds for Local Public Health
During an infectious disease pandemic the local public health system has a vital role to play in containing the spread of the disease.  To support this work, the Baker-Polito Administration has made funding available for all local health departments and districts. In Franklin County the FRCOG is managing those funds. A survey about needs was sent to towns, and letters are going out with information on how to access these funds. More information by clicking here .

First Responder Notification and COVID-19
Recently the Governor clarified that local public health must share the home addresses of those with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis with the official in charge of emergency dispatch for that community. COG staff have been in touch with the dispatch centers and those monitoring the MA Virtual Epidemiological Network, and have confirmed that this will happen in each community moving forward. Note: local health departments are forbidden from sharing more than the address, and from sharing the address with anyone other than emergency dispatchers, who will ensure that first responders are notified when needed.  Link to the Governor’s Order .

Resources to Share with Your Residents: Messages for the Public from the MAPHCO Joint Information System:

  • Maintaining Connection and Well-Being Health While Social/Physical Distancing: A Tip Sheet for maintaining mental health and emotional well-being while settling into physical distancing practices can be found here.  Further resources for managing stress and anxiety can be found here.

  • What to Do if You Feel Sick: An easy to read tip sheet that presents what to do if you feel sick, and includes guidance on how to end home isolation once you feel better can be found here.

  • Recommendations for Household Members Caring for Sick People in Their Household: can be found here.

CPHS Public Health Nurses Monitoring, Supporting People with COVID-19 in Franklin County

Thanks to the emergency funds from the state, Lisa White, Regional Public Health Nurse for the FRCOG’s health district, the Cooperative Public Health Service , has added two new hourly public health nurses. Helping Lisa with the case management surge for COVID-19 quarantine and isolation orders Meg Burch and Melanie Zamojski.  This team is currently covering 17 towns, with the addition of Northfield, Leverett, and Wendell to the District’s 14 member towns.
Pictured: the Public Health Nursing Team from CPHS.
Everybody needs it, how do we get it? A PPE Process Primer
In an infectious disease outbreak, protecting frontline responders and healthcare workers who come into contact with the virus is a major priority. Everyone in our region is concerned about how to get enough masks, gowns, face shields, and gloves. There have been some changes in how the state has organized the flow of personal protective equipment (PPE) but for now, here is the summary:
  • Police, fire, emergency management, and town officials should request through their town’s emergency management director, who will request from MEMA on WebEOC.
  • Emergency medical services (unless they are fire-based), nursing homes, public health, and other healthcare entities should request through www.region1hmcc.org.
Note: All regional caches of PPE have been exhausted and the State does not have a stockpile. Requests flowing through MEMA or the HMCC are forwarded up to the MA Dept. of Public Health, which then requests items from the Strategic National Stockpile. Here is a link to a list of the priorities that are being used to distribute PPE.
More Resources to Share with Your Residents
Help for families during the Stay at Home Order
This is a particularly difficult time for many people in our region, with the stressors of unemployment, school cancellation, and social distancing piling up. Some important resources you can share with residents include:


  • The Greenfield Safe Schools Safe Streets Coalition (4SC) and Gill-Montague Community School Partnership have shared resources for families on: talking with children about COVID-19, stress and anxiety, educational resources for kids while schools are closed, volunteer opportunities, and more!


Resources for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19:
While the health crisis is a major challenge to Franklin County, the economic impacts of this outbreak are also already severe. Click here to learn more about resources for businesses.