For Immediate Release – March 13, 2020: 5:00pm
message from Provincetown Town Manager, Robin Craver
The Town of Provincetown’s local government has been monitoring the increased severity of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and worked diligently to put in place protocols to keep our residents, staff and visitors safe and informed. We understand we can best serve our residents and business community by engaging in open dialogue; sharing information; and planning so that we might reduce spreading the virus in Provincetown, and the Cape in general.
the past weeks, we used precautionary, preventative measures to avoid
an outbreak. We’ve increased sanitation in all buildings; provided
up to date information on the Town’s website and Facebook page; met
with first responders to assess readiness; met with our business
community leaders to share information and build a team approach;
reviewed cruise ship policies to make sure they implemented increased
sanitary precautions; communicated to our State Representatives the
need for legislative changes which allows municipal departments to
function such as adjusting the way boards conduct meetings as we
follow recommendations to social distance.
This week we know more; Governor Baker announced calling a State of Emergency in an effort to minimize the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). He is recommending behavior changes that minimizes exposure to the virus.
We agree, if we can slow down the spread, we will not only have less people getting sick, we will lessen stress on our first responders and regional medical staff.
I met with all Town departments and instructed them to devise
departmental procedures in order to work remotely and/or with a
reduced staff. We were planning for a virtual Town Hall. Today, after
another meeting, it appears reasonable to continue to work in the
building, but as of the end of business today, all Town buildings
will be closed to public traffic per recommended best practices. The
exceptions are the Police Station and Airport. We will exercise
social distancing during staff’s work period and continue to
monitor, if and when, fully implementing “working remotely” is
night Governor Baker changed the Open Meeting Law to allow board and
committee meetings to be held on a media platform, as long as the
public has some way to participate. We continue to build that
platform though our Technology Department. You may see public notices
for meetings with a “call-in” number rather than a room location.
We will try to make this a smooth transition and ask for your
patience while we enter uncharted territory, not only in creating a
virtual Town Hall, but in making sure you have up-to-date information
and the ability to participate.
The most important thing to staff at the Town Hall, DPW, Pier, Council on Aging, Library, Recreation and Public Safety is to assist you to be able to stay safe. In this day and age, we already rely heavily on technology for most of our services. Certain employees will still need to interact in-person with the public, such as first responders, and protocols are being put in place to protect both our employees and the public. We will be instituting some new ways of doing business, such as placing drop boxes by Town building doors and holding meetings by conference call or video chat.
In the meantime, we recommend to please stay home if you are sick or immune-compromised, wash your hands often, sanitize your surroundings, try not to travel, keep your distance from people, avoid large gatherings and stay home if you can. This is not a normal flu and you should take all precautions to prevent exposure. It is also recommended to call your doctor before going to the office if you have symptoms. If you need services from police or fire, please tell them when calling if you traveled to one of the countries known to have outbreaks or are experiencing virus symptoms.
The Board of Health and Emergency Management are following protocols outlined by the Center for Disease and Control (CDC) and MA Department of Health. We are monitoring daily, sometimes hourly, as the severity of the virus becomes more known. You will find a lot of information on our web page: https://www.provincetown-ma.gov/1313/COVID-19-Coronavirus-Information-Page. It’s continually updated as we learn new information. Signing up for the Town’s alert system is easy, just go to the Town webpage. While our Town Department phone numbers will still be used, we also created a hotline number that will be open during normal business hours. That number is 508-413-9600. Nothing is more important than responding to our residents. We are here for you to the best of our abilities and we intend to weather this storm together, as a community.
this seems like an overreaction, we are willing to risk that to
lessen anyone in our community catching the Coronavirus. It also
means we are better prepared for a scenario like this down the road.
Stay safe and be well.
Town Manager Video Presentation