COVID-19 Update 5/14/20

Franklin County Multi-Agency Coordination Center

Common Operating Picture

Thursday May 14, 2020

Please note that this document is intended For Official Use Only to further cooperation and coordination across Franklin County towns.

From the FC-MACC Manager:

It seems we are moving into the next phase of response to this pandemic with the release of Governor Baker's reopening guidelines. We still do not know which businesses will be able to open until the Governor releases more information next Monday but we do know what will be expected of them to keep their workers safe. You can find those requirements by Clicking Here.

The cost for the response is adding up. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency is working hard to give local governments the information they need to be able to submit their applications to FEMA correctly. Following the guidelines is the best way forward to ensure your municipal reimbursement is not delayed. Check the section below titled Financial Matters to learn more.

The FC-MACC is still working to assist with your needs. This past week we were able to match up a facility which needed PPE with one that had extra via this report. The end result was that the facility in need was able to get the resource quickly and take a request off the plate of MEMA or DPH.

ABOUT THE MACC

The primary goal of the MACC is to create a common operating picture across the 26 towns in Franklin County and the healthcare facilities that serve us all, as information sharing is so critical.

PLEASE NOTE: The MACC does not have any personal protective equipment on hand.

If you need further assistance feel free to send us an email at FranklinCountyMACC@frcog.org or call us at (413) 768-7518 or (413) 768-4127. Visit our webpage at https://tinyurl.com/FCMACC.

Town Information

Emergency Management | Public Health | Police | Fire

Latest City and Town EOC information

The entries listed in green include information from this week's situation report request. The entries in grey are from last week's request.

Financial Matters

We have been fielding questions lately about the many financial resources that are here, or are coming, to help with COVID expenses. For a brief description of each program and how you can find more information on each, click here.

Franklin County Sheriff’s Office

The same service and programming changes as reported last week continue. The FCSO has sufficient PPE for the next month and has secured a supply chain to acquire more in the future. FCSO has sufficient testing kits. There are 0 confirmed cases of COVID-19 amongst inmates. There remain three confirmed cases of COVID-19 amongst staff. At least 15 other staff have been tested and all were negative.

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Service changes include:

  • Behavioral health groups within the jail have stopped due to social distancing
  • Incarcerated clients are completing individual work on their recovery with workbooks which are reviewed by staff
  • Post-release reentry support occurs over the phone
  • Staff continue to support clients in navigating resources and finding shelter
  • Regional lockup is on hold
  • House of Correction is accepting new inmates through courts only

Franklin County MACC - COVID-19 Dashboard

The FC-MACC Dashboard, created by FRCOG, is meant to provide important information at your fingertips. It contains a map of COVID-19 cases in the County and other COVID statistics. It is updated throughout the week so check back for updated information.

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE DASHBOARD

In the corner of each square there are buttons to add or remove the layers of data you are interested in and one to see the legend. You can also click directly on the map to get information about any particular community.

COVID-19 Case Reporting?

COVID Case Report for Franklin County

Data for this week followed trends from the last few weeks. Total cumulative numbers increase as the disease spreads slowly, thanks to the social distancing sacrifices made by our residents. Many people have been exposed, quarantined, and released without becoming ill, and many who were ill have recovered. For instance, in the CPHS Health District towns, 75 people who were quarantined after exposure to a sick person have been released, and there have been only three reported deaths. Similarly, in Greenfield, 136 of the total of 186 cases of COVID-19 have recovered so far.

Healthcare

Primary care practices report an increasing number of their patients with COVID-19, as anticipated. All practices are open for business, both online and in person for urgent care. Some specialty care is currently unavailable (dental hygiene, optometry). The Community Health Center currently is doing an increased amount of emergency dental procedures to divert patients from the ER, addressing pain and infection. This will expand when they have additional PPE and have made structural changes to the buildings. All Birthplace patients are offered testing prior to having their babies. Healthcare staffing is stable. Providers believe that the peak numbers may be behind us, and we are now in a long, steady, plateau of cases. All providers are actively planning for how to protect staff and patients when the state begins to re-open. As they did last week, the healthcare sector asks for your help to get the word out that safe emergency care is possible and people experiencing a health crisis are urged to come in.

Baystate Franklin Medical Center reports that they are preparing for the eventual opening of other hospital operations and outpatient procedure facilities for non-urgent care. The process requires appropriate spacing in waiting rooms, scheduling that minimizes interactions between potentially symptomatic patients and the general population and testing of all patients undergoing aerosolized procedures preoperatively. BFMC will get some Remdesivir from the state in the near future. The amount will get is based on historical volume of COVID-19 patients who meet criteria.

The general trend for COVID positive patients admitted to the hospital has been trending down. See graph below which shows counts for the entire Baystate system. As of 5/13 there are no positive patients at BFMC.

PPE

Urgently needed this week:

  • The Health Care Resource Center in Greenfield urgently needs masks to hand out to methadone patients who are entering the building daily for medicating. The Center has 60 patients daily medicating and estimates half of those patients do not have masks.
  • The Community Health Center of Franklin County needs N95s, Level III masks, and body suits.

Testing Information

Access to testing for Franklin County residents continues to expand. Drive-through testing is available every Friday at the Community Health Center of Franklin County’s 450 West River Street site in Orange to anyone, regardless of insurance status or primary care provider, however, you must pre-register. Click here to pre-register. This new facility did 40 tests last week and has 80 on the schedule for Friday. It will expand if there is demand.

The Baystate Franklin Medical Center drive-through site is available to anyone (including children) who has symptoms, from any medical practice, including first responders. Tests must be ordered by medical practices. Click here for more information. Overall, as testing has increased, the percent of positive diagnoses in the Baystate system has gone down, from 24.4% to 15.4%, which is good news for our region.

Human Services

Prepared by Debra L. McLaughlin, Coordinator, Opioid Task Force of Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region

1) Increased distribution of Narcan to first responders by Tapestry in collaboration with the Opioid Task Force.

  • Email narcan@opioidtaskforce.org to obtain Narcan. Calls or texts can also be made to Tapestry’s Mobile Outreach Line at 413-221-7722 between 10 AM - 2 PM, Monday through Friday.

2) Temporary quarters for Emergency Court Hearings set up at the FCSO, 160 Elm Street, Greenfield, MA.

3) Continued reports of fatal and non-fatal opioid and other drug overdoses in the region, especially in the North Quabbin remains a significant concern.

4) Continued reports of deaths by suicide and suicide attempts.

5) Continued reports of individuals in mental health crisis. Crisis services calls are down but have capacity to respond to calls. Reports of people feeling “fatalistic” that they will get COVID-19, no matter what they do.

6) Access to services for the most vulnerable and those who are unhoused continues to be a challenge across the region, especially in Greenfield where a minimum of 40 individuals are seen by Tapestry’s mobile outreach team.

NOTE: OTF has sharps containers in our office, with their inserts, that we could distribute for free to any municipality.

7) Uneven access to PPE, telephonic and telehealth services due to lack of phones, SIM cards, other technology (e.g. computers) and Wi-Fi for program participants and patients remain an issue.

  • OTF created a resource sheet of available public Wi-Fi hotspots to share broadly in the community, which can be found here.

8) Detoxes, residential treatment, and supportive sober housing facilities remain generally open, with increased COVID-19 screening procedures for staff and residents. Separate areas are being set-aside to isolate individuals, as needed.

9) DCF continues to report the removal of children due to opioid and substance misuse and overdoses.

10) Coalitions/family resource centers serving families report increased family stress, especially for parents in early recovery.

11) PPE for non-medical human service providers continue to be an issue.

  • OTF continues to track PPE needs as part of its work with three agencies saying they will run out of masks within 1-3 weeks (7-21 days) depending on use.

12) One agency reported two resolved COVID-19 cases, with them back to work.

CLICK HERE for the full OTF report.

Announcements | Webinars | Open Source Information | Useful Links

APPLICATION PERIOD OPENS NEXT WEEK FOR $100 MILLION in Assistance to Firefighters Grant - COVID-19 Supplemental Program

The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is available for $100 million in funding for the Fiscal Year 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant – COVID-19 Supplemental Program (AFG-S) to help provide personal protective equipment to firefighters and first responders who are managing emergencies during the Coronavirus pandemic.

FEMA will begin accepting AFG-S applications at 8 a.m. ET on Tuesday April 28, 2020. The application period will close at 5 p.m. ET on Friday, May 15, 2020, so start planning your application now by reviewing the NOFO and technical assistance tools below. These tools were produced to help potential applicants begin to plan their AFG-S applications ahead of the application period. These documents can be viewed on the AFGP website at FY 2020 AFG-S COVID-19 Guidance Documents and/or downloaded to your computer.

AFG Grants Help Desk: If you have questions about the technical assistance tools listed above, call or e-mail the AFG Grants Help Desk at 1-866-274-0960; or firegrants@fema.dhs.gov. The AFG Help Desk is open Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

From the

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency

Dear Applicants:

On May 5,2020, the FEMA Simplified Application Process within Grants Portal went live, allowing applicants with approved Requests for Public Assistance (RPAs) to complete the application, upload required documentation, and submit applications for eligible costs incurred for the COVID-19 response. FEMA has issued revised guidance on the application process. As such, a summary of process changes are as follows:

1. Grants Portal Application: FEMA will no longer accept the PDF form of the application for project development. Applicants who have not yet submitted their application must do so through the electronic form available in Grants Portal. The applicant should log onto Grants Portal, go to the Applicant Event Profile for DR 4496, and start an application using the “Submit Project Application” button.

2. Expedited Projects: Applicants will be able to apply for an Expedited Project directly through the application on Grants Portal. With this new functionality, MEMA will no longer require the submission of an Expedited Project Form, available on the MEMA website. As such, MEMA will be removing this form from its website. Applicants should log onto Grants Portal and complete the “Expedited Projects” section of the application.

3. Exploratory Call: With FEMA’s new streamlined application process, FEMA will not host Exploratory Calls, as they have in other disasters. MEMA Project Coordinators will start to engage applicants to set up a State-Led Exploratory Call to gather information, such as cost estimates, and to provide direct technical assistance to applicants regarding eligibility and process. If applicants do not feel as though they need to engage in this call, however, they are encouraged to start the application process in Grants Portal and reach out to MEMA if they encounter any difficulties.

4. Preparer’s Role: Applicants may now designate a consultant to prepare a project on behalf of the applicant as a “preparer.” To manage your entity’s personnel listed in the Portal, you can review a FEMA tutorial for step-by-step instruction here.

5. Documentation Requirements: As always, for work completed, FEMA will require 100% documentation to be submitted into Grants Portal for large projects. Once the application is submitted, FEMA will validate a sampling of the documentation for completeness and accuracy. After FEMA’s sampling, MEMA will reconcile 100% of documentation and costs.

For work that is not yet completed, where the applicant must estimate costs, FEMA will require the applicant to provide a narrative methodology for how the applicant estimated those costs. MEMA will not validate estimated costs prior to obligation; however, 100% of documentation will be required before MEMA provides reimbursement for large projects.

If your entity has any question on the process changes, please let us know by submitting your questions through MEMA’s question portal available on our website or through this link: Submit Question to the MEMA Recovery Team

Franklin County Multi-Agency Coordination Page

Visit FRCOG's COVID-19 Municipal Resource Page

MA COVID Command Center Daily Situation Reports

MA DPH - Information on the Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Federal Aid Information for Cities, Towns, and some Non-Profits

Calendar of Events
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The Town Office gardens are looking good, thanks to the crew at Lanoue's!
The Selectboard Recently approved the Fiscal Year 25 ATM Warrant. Town Meeting is on June 4Th.
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