© 2020. This website paid for and maintained by The Committee to Elect Jesse Lederman, Geoffrey F.X. O'Connell, Treasurer.

COVID-19 Resources & Updates

The global COVID-19 pandemic represents an unprecedented public health crisis. During these uncertain times, rest assured that your municipal government is working around the clock to continue serving our community.

 

We all must do our part to contain the spread of the virus, and flatten the curve to ensure our medical facilities are not overwhelmed and all that who are in need of treatment are able to receive it.

 

Without a doubt, the precautions made necessary by COVID-19 are already having a serious impact on our community, from our economy, to our education system, and on the every day lives of families. 

During this difficult time I am working to compile helpful and accurate information related to the status and impact of the pandemic, and resources available to help our community. I hope that these resources can be helpful to you. 

We will all get through this together. 

 

Hoping your families stay safe and well,

Jesse L. Lederman

City Councilor At-Large 

Councilor Lederman remains available to provide constituent services directly by phone at

(413) 285-3041 or by e-mail at JLederman@springfieldcityhall.com

Basic Updates on COVID-19 Response

UPDATED March 26, 2020

-The state has launched text alerts related to COVID-19 response. To enroll in text alerts text the term "COVIDMA" to 888-777.

-Governor Baker has ordered all non-essential businesses to close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public as of Tuesday, March 24th at noon until Tuesday, April 7th at noon. These businesses are encouraged to continue operations remotely.

-Grocery stores, banks, pharmacies, and restaurants serving take-out and/or delivery will remain open.

-A full list of businesses deemed "essential" is available here: https://www.mass.gov/doc/covid-19-essential-services/download?fbclid=IwAR3Id3ADfdrzoAQVUGsvH_OsRfbXlK9Us1oe84k0-aRYOmxaLmr6OKByOLs

-The Department of Public Health has issued a Stay-at-Home advisory, strongly urging all residents to stay at home and avoid unnecessary travel and other unnecessary activities and to practice social distancing during this two-week time period.

-Springfield Public Schools remain CLOSED until at least May 4th. Visit the Springfield Public Schools website for resources to learn at home. 

-Springfield Municipal Buildings, including City Hall, Senior Centers, and Libraries remain CLOSED until at least May 4th. Police, Fire, and DPW, and the 311 Call Center continue to provide city services as normal. 

-Those with questions regarding the state response to COVID-19 should contact the 211 hotline by dialing 211. If you select the option to save your spot in line, the system will automatically call you back. 

-Check out the Springfield City Library's list of resources: Resources for Adults | Resources for Families

Resources for Seniors

During this time it is extremely important for us as a community to be checking in with our seniors. Please remember to check in with seniors who may be your parents, grandparents, neighbors, or friends of the family to ensure that they have everything they need. Here are some helpful numbers to connect with currently available resources:

-The Springfield Department of Elder Affairs has been contacting Seniors for whom they have contact information for to perform wellness calls and assisting on a case-by-case basis. According to the Department, they have so far contacted over 1,000 seniors.

-If you are a Senior in need of assistance, or if you know a Senior in need of assistance, please contact the Department of Elder Affairs Directly at (413) 787-6785. Our case workers can work with individuals and families to ensure they have access to resources during this time.

-If you are a Senior or a Senior you know is struggling with access to food, Greater Springfield Senior Services is taking new sign ups for their Meals on Wheels program. Eligible Seniors who are 60+ years old should contact (413) 781-8800 to begin the referral process. The process should take 1-2 days and it is better to call earlier in the day, they are open from 8 AM to 5 PM. Meals on Wheels will deliver meals directly to the Senior. Because of the increased demand on the program as a result of COVID-19, GSSS requests that if you do have other resources at this time that those resources be utilized to ensure those most in need will have access to meals.

-Some brown bag sites remain open with grab and go options. Please use the Food Bank of Western MA Network Tracker below to locate sites under "Food Security."

Resources for Workers

If you are an employee who cannot work due to the impacts of COVID-19 either as a result of exposure, illness, or workplace shutdown:

-The Department of Labor has issued guidance allowing unemployment benefits to be paid if a worker is quarantined due to an order by a civil authority or medical professional or leaves employment due to reasonable risk of exposure of infections or to care for a family member and does not intend to or is not allowed to return to work.

-Emergency legislation has been PASSED AND SIGNED to allow new unemployment claims to be paid more quickly by waiving the one week waiting period for unemployment benefits. Individuals should apply for unemployment through the state's website here: https://www.mass.gov/applying-for-unemployment-benefits

-Emergency regulations have been filed that will allow people impacted by COVID-19 by a workplace shutdown to collect unemployment under certain circumstances. See full details here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-guidance-and-directives

-Individuals seeking assistance with unemployment may contact Community Legal Aid for advice at 855-252-5342 or visit www.communitylegal.org. 

Food Security and Meals for Students

Springfield Public Schools continues to provide meals for any child under 18 years old and any students in the Springfield Public Schools system. Meals are available Monday through Friday from 11 AM to 1 PM. Meals are served grab and go style. On Friday, students will receive meals for the weekend. Students do not need to be present for the meal to be picked up, parents and guardians may pick up meals for the child and no ID is required. Meals are available at the following sites:

Bowles Elementary School 24 Bowles Park, Springfield, MA 01104
High School of Commerce 415 State Street, Springfield, MA 01105
Dorman Elementary School 20 Lydia Street, Springfield, MA 01109
Glickman Elementary School 120 Ashland Ave, Springfield, MA 01119
Indian Orchard Elementary School 95 Milton Street, Springfield, MA 01151
Kensington Elementary School 31 Kensington Avenue, Springfield, MA 01108
Liberty Elementary School 962 Carew Street, Springfield, MA 01104
Lincoln Elementary School 732 Chestnut Street, Springfield, MA 01107
Rebecca Johnson Elementary School 55 Catherine Street, Springfield, MA 01109
Talmadge Elementary School 1395 Allen Street, Springfield, MA 01118
Warner Elementary School 493 Parker Street, Springfield, MA 01129
Washington Elementary School 141 Washington St, Springfield, MA 01108
Chestnut Middle School 355 Plainfield St, Springfield, MA 01104
South End Elementary School 36 Margaret Street, Springfield, MA 01105. 
Brookings Elementary School 433 Walnut Street, Springfield, MA 01105

-Free Grab and Go lunches and dinners available from Loaves and Fishes (Lunch at 12 p.m. and Dinner at 5 p.m.)
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday - Saturdays- South Congregational Church, 45 Maple Street
Wednesdays- Christ Episcopal Church Cathedral, 35 Chestnut Street
Sundays- Shiloh Seventh Day Adventist Church, 797 State Street

-Many Food Pantries and Brown Bag sites remain open to assist families with food security. Use The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts Emergency Feeding Program Network Tracker below to locate a site near you: 

  

Support for Businesses

If you are a small business owner or part of a non-profit organization and your business or organization is being financially impacted by COVID-19:

-The U.S. Small Business Administration is providing low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses and private non-profit organizations suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. For more information please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 or e-mail disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. To apply visit: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/

-The City of Springfield is offering grants of up to $15,000 to eligible restaurants who have had their business impacted as a result of COVID-19., and applications are only open this week – due back on Friday, March 27, 2020 by 5:00 pm, with a goal of getting funding out to businesses as soon as possible. There is a limited pool of funding and the applications will be competitively scored. Applications will only be accepted by email.  Interested restaurants seeking an application should email Anthony Moore in the Economic Development office at Amoore@springfieldcityhall.com, or visit the City of Springfield’s COVID-19 Business Resources site on the Planning & Economic Development page of the city website at www.springfield-ma.gov/planning
 

-More information on state resources for business can be found on the states website here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-resources-and-guidance-for-businesses?fbclid=IwAR1hAuTzOhShBkKgL-Q4nSidvT8dC2TaPJbcF0uUtyDkDoHt1Oy5-0Ozb5E

-Find additional resources for businesses from the City of Springfield's Office of Planning and Economic Development here.

Public Utilities & Municipal Fees

Springfield Water & Sewer, Columbia Gas, and Eversource Electric Customers:

As a result of the State of Emergency, the Department of Public Utilities has ordered an extension of the shut-off moratorium for electric and gas customers until further notice. Springfield Water & Sewer has also suspended shut-offs during the crisis.

THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU DO NOT NEED TO PAY YOUR BILL.

All customers will still be expected to pay the full balance of their bill and bills will continue to accrue, however, the utility companies will not be permitted to shut off your utilities for non-payment during the State of Emergency.

The DPU has encouraged utilities to take "reasonable steps for payment accommodations" in light of the State of Emergency.

Info from Eversource: https://www.eversource.com/content/ct-c/residential/safety/protect-yourself/responding-to-covid-19?fbclid=IwAR0VDcW1nE_FibgsjcU8mqThJXPonsNE7wm0n56kdPNPK_e18ttwciIvfUA

Info from Columbia Gas: https://www.columbiagasma.com/bills-and-payments/payment-options?fbclid=IwAR1ZOVzb38dU8Gkv8NAnqQ0WVg2Z0pvTDwlj6AFiMSt1v50pJVSXW1prcW0

Info from Springfield Water & Sewer: http://waterandsewer.org/covid19/

-The City of Springfield will delay collection of the Trash Fee until May 11. The City will also delay application of demand fees on excise tax bills until May 11.

Transportation

-Starting Monday, March 23, 2020, the Pioneer Valley Transportation Authority (PVTA) will begin operating on a Modified Saturday Schedule in the Springfield and Northampton Service Areas. Service will follow a Saturday Schedule, Monday – Saturday with modified service hours of 6:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M. Routes that usually operate Monday – Friday only, may have service during the week with modified hours of 6:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M. Sundays will continue to operate on a Sunday Service Schedule. 

-RAD Springfield, Springfield's Mobile Community Bike Shop, has switched to a "by appointment only" setup, but are happy to help people find a transportation option that is best for their health.  They will offer free options for those who cannot afford an already low-cost ride. For more information contact Project Manager H. Alex Weck at (413) 271-7293 or visit www.radspringfield.org.