Town of Winthrop Provides Latest Update on Coronavirus Situation 03/20/2020

The Town of Winthrop is deeply saddened to announce that a Winthrop resident has died as a result of his contracting COVID-19, the illness associated with the novel coronavirus. This terrible virus has taken a life in our community, and that loss of life gives each of us pause and fills us with sorrow. We are aware that our resident is the first patient to die from COVID-19 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

We have been in contact with the family, they would like to relay that they are deeply saddened and have requested privacy during this most difficult time, and we ask that everyone respect their wishes.

 Public Health Updates

There is one resident who was diagnosed last week and continues to recover at home.  There are no new cases reported.  The Town of Winthrop Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is streamlining the COVID-19 response effort and ensuring the continued delivery of services to residents. The EOC will remain operational until further notice.  The EOC can be reached at 617-539-5848, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., or by emailing COVID19info@town.winthrop.ma.us.

If any resident is currently under self-quarantine for symptoms or travel history, please contact the EOC at 617-539-5848 or COVID19info@town.winthrop.ma.us. All information will be confidential.

Assistance for Small Businesses

The Baker-Polito Administration announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will offer low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Massachusetts small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Small businesses, private non-profit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) since Jan. 31, 2020, may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred. Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private non-profit organizations is 2.75 percent. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years, and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.  The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 18, 2020.

On March 16,, 2020, the Baker-Polito Administration announced a $10 Million Small Business Recovery Loan Fund, and the administration remains in ongoing discussions across state government and with federal partners to determine what resources can be made available to small businesses and non-profits as they contend with the negative effects of this public health emergency.

Local Winthrop Updates

  • All Parks and Playgrounds will remain are closed.
  • No gatherings of any kind of more than 10 people at one time, in one place.
  • All public schools in Massachusetts are closed until at least April 7.
  • All bars and restaurants will only be able to serve takeout customers.
  • COVID-19 Tip Hotline available on the Winthrop Public Safety website for those self-reporting or for a concerned member of the community. The hotline can also be https://winthroppublicsafety.com/covid-19-tip-hotline/.
  • Winthrop Community Food Bank will be accepting donations Mondays and Wednesdays  from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Arthur T. Cummings Elementary School, at 40 Hermon St. Drop offs will take place on School Street (the back road that leads to the parking lot). The Food Bank is looking specifically for canned goods, pasta, non-perishables, sealed baby formula, toiletries and paper products including toilet paper, tissues, napkins, and paper towels. Food will be distributed on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11am-1pm. If you are elderly, or homebound, please contact the Emergency Operations Center at 617-539-5848 so delivery arrangements can be made. Please note the distribution will be on a first come, first serve basis. We appreciate your cooperation in helping to make this process orderly and efficient. For more information about the Food Bank or volunteer opportunities, please contact Matt Rodes at mrodes@town.winthrop.ma.us.
  • Municipal offices will remain closed to walk in foot traffic at this time. Residents can pay taxes, parking tickets and apply for resident parking stickers online or by dropping payments and applications in the drop box located at the Town Hall front door.  Motor Vehicle Excise Taxes are due March 25th. The Town is not currently extending this deadline. Contact the Treasurer/Collector’s Office with any questions at 617-846-1750, Monday through Thursday, from 9 to 11 a.m.  Residents can pay all bills at:  www.town.winthrop.ma.us/treasurer-collector/pages/pay-your-bills-online
  • Residents can report DPW safety issues online here.

Winthrop Public School Updates

  • Winthrop Public Schools will be distributing Grab-and-Go Meals through Friday, March 27. These meals are available for any WPS student in need. Pick up will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the rear loading dock area of Winthrop High School. There is no cost for any student.
  • Online educational opportunities will be posted for students on the Winthrop Public Schools website, as well as each school home page. Families are encouraged to review and begin the process of having your student remain connected to learning experiences during this time of school closure.
  • Listed below are links to the Parent Guide to the Massachusetts State Standards provided by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  These guides to the Massachusetts learning standards will help families understand what students are expected to know and be able to do by the end of each grade. It is designed to help families and students work together to support learning. The guide is available in English, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and simple Chinese.  Included in this guide are some great videos to watch that provide an overview of how educators are approaching the standards-based learning process in different content areas and grades.

Health Guidance

  • As always, if anyone displays symptoms of COVID-19, including a fever, cough or shortness of breath, they should not go to work or school and are advised to contact their primary care physician.
  • For residents that may be self-quarantined and require outside assistance or meal delivery, please email the EOC at COVID19info@town.winthrop.ma.us.
  • The Town is also advising residents to practice social distancing by keeping six feet between people to prevent the spread of infection, which includes handshaking and hugging. Residents are also encouraged to avoid group activities and events.
  • Residents are advised to practice social distancing by keeping 6 feet between people to prevent the spread of infection which includes handshaking and hugging. Residents are also encouraged to avoid group activities and events.

Other Guidelines Include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, including under your fingernails. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol content) can be used when soap and water are not available.
  • Keep your hands away from your face.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing with a tissue and discard it immediately. Cough into the sleeve over your elbow instead of your hand. Wash your hands often when coughing and sneezing.
  • Stay away from people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.

Stay well Winthrop!