DIGHTON — Town Administrator Mallory Aronstein, the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Health would like provide residents with an update on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in Dighton.
There have been 20 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Dighton to date.
These individuals are currently in isolation per Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) orders. Close contacts (defined as someone who has spent more than 15 minutes within six feet of a positive case) have been identified, contacted by health officials, and are adhering to DPH orders for quarantine. Those who are quarantined will be monitored by Dighton health officials on a regular basis to limit the risk of spread.
In order to protect the residents’ medical privacy rights, no additional information can be disclosed.
To assist the Dighton Town Nurse and the town’s COVID-19 response efforts, the Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School District’s school nursing staff members have been appointed as temporary health agents.
To subsidize the costs associated with COVID-19, such as salaries, consultants and supplies, the Town of Dighton has received the first two payments of the three-payment Public Health Emergency Response grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The grant is implemented through the Massachusetts Association of Health Boards (MAHB). The $13,500 grant is dispersed over three payments of $4,500.
Town buildings remain closed to the general public and offices continue to operate on an essential staffing plan. Workers inside town offices are required to wear face coverings when interacting with one another.
The town continues to work on projects while remaining compliant with the Governor’s essential workers order and social distancing guidelines. Projects include various grants that have been ongoing in the 2020 fiscal year, scheduled improvements to the Cable Committee’s work area, Open Meeting Law requirement training, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance training, National Incident Management System (NIMS) training and more.
The Planning Board has completed its search for a Peer Review Engineer after conducting applicant interviews using Zoom.
The Dighton Public Library has progressed with creating additional online resources, including an electronic library card filing, for Dighton residents.
Roadwork, which includes moving the scheduled work for Dighton’s Complete Streets projects up sooner, is actively being conducted at this time as well.
- The pink bag textile recycling program resumes today, Monday, April 27.
- The Annual Town Election is scheduled for Saturday, June 6.
- The Town Meeting is currently scheduled for Monday, June 15 at 7 p.m.
- Hazardous Waste Day is still scheduled for Tuesday, June 23 unless otherwise announced.
- The Rabies Vaccination Clinic is rescheduled to Saturday, June 27
The Board of Selectmen voted to extend the due date for property tax bills to June 1, 2020. Interest and penalties will be waived until June 29, 2020.
Those who wish to drop off their payments can do so at the drop box located in the parking lot at the beginning of the ramp at the town hall, 979 Somerset Ave. The drop box is checked daily.
Tax payments can also be paid online.
The Dighton Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee meetings have resumed for the fiscal year 2021 (FY21) budget process and other business. The meetings are conducted via the Zoom teleconferencing platform and all meetings are recorded and uploaded to YouTube, the Cable Channel and the town’s website.
Town officials continue to monitor the state’s financial forecast and remains confident in the town’s stabilization of funds and frugality, but will remain cautious. As a course of action, the Board of Selectmen implemented a spending freeze at the end of March which prohibits all discretionary spending. Only purchases of critical need are allowed.
The Board of Selectmen has also voted to lay off the part-time employees of Prime Time, the town’s adult day care program until further notice.
The Town of Dighton would like to remind residents that outdoor recreation is still allowed as long as there are no groups and people continue to practice social distancing.
While trails are still open and residents are encouraged to get outside for fresh air, it is vitally important for people to not congregate outside. Outdoor activities such as walking, running, biking and hiking, with members of the same household, are options for exercise and fresh air that minimize contact and maximize social distancing.
All residents are also encouraged to continue to practice aggressive social distancing — maintaining a distance of approximately six feet from other people — and appropriate personal hygiene.
COVID-19 Information Resources
Residents are encouraged to stay informed regarding COVID-19. The following websites are recommended for the most updated information:
- Town of Dighton Official Website: https://www.dighton-ma.gov/
- Town of Dighton News Portal: https://dightonportal.com/
- Massachusetts Department of Public Health: www.mass.gov/covid-19
- Massachusetts 2-1-1 general COVID-19 information: Click here or dial 2-1-1 (24/7)
- Sign up for the Massachusetts COVID-19 Text Message Notification System to receive important updates: text “COVIDMA” to 888-777
- United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov
Additional updates will be provided as information becomes available.