Additional confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 have been identified in South Hadley. Public Health Director/Emergency Management Director Sharon Hart estimates as of Thursday, April 2 there are approximately 30 cases in various stages - including confirmed, probable and waiting for results. For more information on how Hart and the public health department are managing these cases and the daily rise, please watch the April 2 Selectboard meeting for an update from Hart.
In keeping with guidelines from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, infectious disease preparedness training and best practices, the confirmed positive individuals are in self-isolation and their close contacts have been located and self-quarantined, according to Hart.
These documented cases in our community bring home the need for every resident to be vigilant with social distancing and hand washing.
The town’s first confirmed case was identified on Wednesday, March 25. More confirmed cases are likely to follow due to the nature of this outbreak and an increase in testing. The best way to fight this is for residents to stay home as much as possible and practice social distancing.
Utilizing state and federal guidelines, town officials are working to ensure they are doing everything possible to make South Hadley a safe community. To reduce your risk of catching or spreading COVID-19, stay home - particularly if you are feeling sick, and if your symptoms are mild.
It will take each community member, working together, to bring this pandemic under control.
What’s new as of Wednesday, April 1
- Parks / playgrounds / fields / trails closed: All South Hadley parks, playgrounds and their playscapes, hiking trails, playing fields, and other recreational areas are closed until May 4. This action is consistent with Governor Baker’s order prohibiting gatherings of 10 or more, his directive to implement social distancing and his advisory to remain at home. The public is prohibited from using these South Hadley facilities, which include Ledges Golf Club, Beachgrounds Park, Buttery Brook Park, Town Farm Field, school field/playgrounds and town hiking trails. All playground playscapes are closed as the cleanliness level of the structures cannot be ensured.
- Mount Holyoke closed to the public: The Mount Holyoke College campus is closed to the public, in alignment with the Town of South Hadley’s decision to close its recreational areas. Campus buildings and grounds are open only to Mount Holyoke students residing on campus and faculty and staff with essential on-campus work. All athletics facilities are closed. Members of the Mount Holyoke community should carry their College-issued identification cards ("One Card") at all times. For more information, please visit the College’s COVID-19 FAQ page. The public’s assistance to comply with these actions is appreciated.
- Upcoming Virtual Selectboard Meeting: Tuesday, April 7 at 6 p.m. See the agenda, here, and watch the meeting live, here. The meeting will be played the following day on public access channel 15 and uploaded to its website.
Service updates already in place:
- Leaf-pickup / Household Hazardous Waste Day: Republic Services, the company with whom the town contracts to provide curbside pick-up, has deemed yard waste pick-up non-essential during this COVID crisis and time for social distancing. Therefore the spring yard waste collection scheduled for April/May in South Hadley has been cancelled. Administration is working on a possible alternative. The South Hadley Household Hazardous Waste Day scheduled for May 9 has been postponed until further notice.
- Police Services: In order to reduce the number of walk-ins to the police department and maintain the safety of both officers and the public, please call ahead to see if officers can assist you without coming in to the station. Requests for police reports can be made over the phone or by e-mail to records@southhadley police.org. Services including child safety seat installations, firearms licensing, community outreach programs, courtesy transports and the lobby drug collection are temporarily suspended. Emergency situations and crimes in progress will continue to receive a prioritized response. Other calls will be assessed to determine whether a response will be made in person, by telephone, or by e-mail. Response decisions will be made in accordance with department guidelines with supervisory oversight. In-person responses may require our officers to don personal protective equipment.
- Transfer Station: The South Hadley Transfer Station and the compost area are closed until further notice to comply with the state social distancing order and to minimize possible contamination/exposure to both residents and staff. Please DO NOT leave green bags or other items at the gate. Curbside pick-up by Republic Services will continue as scheduled. Contact Republic Services directly to coordinate an additional weekly pick-up and subsequent subscription fee, if needed. Green bags are still required for trash pick-up.
- Libraries: The South Hadley Public Library and Gaylord Memorial Library are closed until further notice. All library programs and public meetings are canceled. Staff are available by email or Facebook messenger from 9 - 5, Monday to Friday for help with online resources. Visit the library website to access digital eBooks, eAudio, magazines, videos, streaming music and movies. As a courtesy to library patrons:
- Items on loan will be renewed with no limits.
- Fines will not be charged for overdue items.
- Materials may be returned in the library book drop.
- Patron holds will be kept on the shelf until buildings re-open.
- Council on Aging: The Council on Aging, located within St. Theresa’s Church, is closed until further notice. Please call 538-5042 for more information. Transportation services have been suspended. WestMassElderCare will deliver a daily, hot HMOW meal to any South Hadley senior who is 60 years old and over. Please call WestMass ElderCare directly at 413-538-9020.
For all COVID-19 impacts to South Hadley and its services, please visit southhadleyma.gov/covid19.
Sign up to receive the latest information with our “News & Announcements” section on the town website. Subscribe for automatic notifications, here: https://www.southhadley.org/list.aspx.
Sign up for CivicReady “robo” calls and emails, here: https://ma-southhadley.regroup.com/signup. Choose the "COVID-19" group.