The City of Springfield is currently monitoring the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and will provide updates as new developments and relevant information becomes available. Click the headings below for links to more information.
If you are age 75 or older and need assistance making a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, call the Mass Vaccine Scheduling Resource line by dialing 2-1-1.
The Massachusetts Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line is available in English and Spanish and will have translators available to support residents in approximately 100 additional languages. Individuals ages 75 and older will be able to speak to a representative live on the phone to assist them with an appointment through the state’s online system.
These representatives have the same access to appointments as on the public website; it will not give individuals access to additional appointments.
If no appointments are available, callers will have the option to be placed on a call back list for the mass vaccination sites. The caller will receive a call back when an appointment becomes available for them at a mass vaccination site, and the list will be called on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Massachusetts Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line is currently only for individuals ages 75 and older who cannot use or have difficulty accessing the internet and therefore are unable to schedule an appointment through the online platforms. The Massachusetts Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line is only able to support individuals with scheduling an appointment and representatives are not able to answer general questions about COVID-19 or provide individual health care advice.
Anyone who is able to is encouraged to make an appointment through the online system at mass.gov/covidvaccine.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has resources available for individuals and families struggling to make rent or mortgage payments due to COVID-19.
To learn more about the Commonwealth's COVID-19 Eviction Diversion Initiative click HERE
To read the COVID-19 Evicition Diversion FAQ's click HERE
The State Department of Public Health has issued tips for residents to enjoy a safe and healthy Halloween. These guidelines are taken out of an abundance of caution due to the ongoing COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic to help prevent and mitigate the community spread of the virus.
- As part of the Commonwealth’s Stop the Spread initiative the City of Springfield and the state Department of Public Health, in partnership with AFC Urgent Care, Tapestry Health, Baystate Health, AMR and Fallon EMS held additional free testing sites across the city
- In conjunction with the Stop the Spread Initiative, the City of Springfield and Tapestry Health offered additional testing sites for residents throughout the City every Wednesday and Friday from August 19, 2020 to September 4, 2020.
- America Medical Response joined the Commonwealth’s Stop the Spread initiative by offering additional free COVID-19 testing in Springfield at the Eastfield Mall.
- Fallon EMS has collaborated with the City in joining with the Commonwealth’s Stop the Spread initiative by offering testing at STCC
The Massachusetts Travel Order, which took effect on August 1st, has been updated to exempt Oregon, Wyoming, and the State of Washington.
Travelers from COVID-19 lower-risk States are not required to fill out the Massachusetts Travel Form and do not need to quarantine. States are included on the list based on meeting two criteria: average daily cases per 100K below 6 AND positive test rate below 5%, both measured as a 7-day rolling average.
As part of Massachusetts’ Stop the Spread effort, the City of Springfield supports American Medical Response (AMR) as they facilitate free COVID-19 testing at the Eastfield Mall in Springfield. Testing will begin Saturday August 29th and run through Saturday September 12th, with the exception of Labor Day on Monday September 7th.
Testing is available on a drive-through only basis at the Eastfield Mall located at 1655 Boston Road, Springfield, MA between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Appointments are not necessary, but pre-registration is encouraged.
The 2020-21 school year will see the addition of a new immunization requirement for influenza vaccine for attending childcare/preschool, grades kindergarten – 12 and postsecondary institutions. The documents, FAQ - Influenza Vaccine Requirement for Childcare Attendance for Children 6 Months of Age and Older, FAQ - Influenza Vaccine Requirement for School Attendance, and FAQ – Influenza Vaccine Requirement for Attendance at Postsecondary Institutions, answer frequently asked questions about the new requirement.
This is a mandate from the MDPH to reduce the impact of flu-related and respiratory illnesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Requirements apply to all students including individuals from another country attending or visiting classes or educational programs as part of an academic visitation or exchange program. Requirements apply to all students, even if over 18 years of age.
Springfield Public Schools Remote Opening Frequently Asked Questions
SPS has provided an updated list of FAQs for school reopening plans.
How will schools open on September 15th?
The Springfield School Committee voted on August 6, 2020 to open schools with students learning remotely five days per week. Full remote learning will be implemented through the end of the 1st marking period and, if conditions permit, the district will shift to hybrid learning at the start of the 2nd marking period.
How will a decision be made on whether to implement hybrid learning for the 2nd marking period?
The decision will be based on any new information regarding the COVID pandemic as well as the progress of additional efforts to ensure buildings are safe for students to return.
City of Springfield and Tapestry Health Announce Additional COVID-19 Testing Sites
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Health and Human Services (HHS) Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris announce that the City of Springfield and Tapestry Health will offer additional testing sites for residents. The additional testing sites are in support of the Commonwealth’s Stop the Spread initiative and continues the City’s commitment to mitigate the community spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
Appointments and pre-registration is strongly encouraged, however walk-ins will not be turned away if there is capacity. Those interested in being tested should call Tapestry Health at (413) 364-2149.
Click here for the locations and times for each testing site.
Governor Baker Announces New Initiatives to Stop the Spread of COVID-19
Governor Charlie Baker announced a new set of initiatives aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, especially in higher risk communities that have seen a recent uptick in cases. While Massachusetts has seen a decrease in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations since May, there has been a slight uptick in certain communities in recent days.
Governor Baker is signing an updated gatherings order, effective Tuesday, August 11, which will:
- Reduce the limit on outdoor gatherings from 100 to 50 people (indoor gatherings limit will remain at 25 people)
- Apply these limits to all types of gatherings, on both public and private property
- Require face coverings where more than 10 people from different households will be mixing.
Due to the recent increase in positive cases, step two of phase III of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan has been postponed indefinitely.
Restaurant rules have been updated to state that alcoholic beverages may only be served for on-site consumption if accompanied by orders for food prepared on-site. The administration will be taking measures to ensure that bars masquerading as restaurants will be closed.
Public safety officials, including state and local law enforcement, have the jurisdiction to enforce these orders and event hosts in violation of these orders will be subject to fines or cease and desist orders.
To read the gatherings order, click here.
To read the updated restaurant protocols, click here.
Cross-Agency COVID Enforcement and Intervention Team:
The Administration also announced a targeted cross-agency COVID Enforcement and Intervention Team that will be responsible for ramping up enforcement statewide and coordinating local intervention efforts at the local level in higher risk COVID-19 communities.
Communities will be designated as higher risk COVID-19 communities based on public health data, including but not limited to rising trends for new cases and the percentage of positive COVID tests.
Member agencies include the Executive Office and Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), who will serve as coordinators of the team, the Command Center, the Massachusetts State Police (MSP), the Department of Labor Standards (DLS), the Division of Professional Licensure (DPL), the Department of Public Health (DPH), the Division of Local Services (DLS), the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) and the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security (EOTSS).
Stop the Spread:
Last month, the Administration launched the Stop the Spread initiative, which provides free testing to residents in targeted communities throughout the Commonwealth.
There are currently sites in 17 communities: Agawam, Brockton, Chelsea, Everett, Fall River, Framingham, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Marlborough, Methuen, New Bedford, Randolph, Revere, Springfield, Taunton, and Worcester.
The initiative is a data-driven focused effort to reduce the prevalence of COVID-19 in communities that are above the state average in total cases, positive test rate, and have experienced a decline in testing levels since April. These sites are open to all residents of the Commonwealth.
Today, the Administration announced the extension of free testing in these 17 communities through September 12.
Statewide Enforcement and Intervention will include:
- Targeted interventions and inspections by a range of member agencies, including Local Services, Labor Standards, DPH, MSP and ABCC, coordinated by EOPSS and MEMA.
- Increased enforcement, including fines, of sector guidance for businesses to ensure businesses and residents are aware of and following COVID-19 orders.
- Support for ABCC and local licensing boards in exercising their existing authority to fine restaurants or suspend or cancel liquor licenses when restaurants do not comply with required COVID-19 safety measures.
- Targeted public messaging campaign to alert residents of higher risk COVID communities (road signs, PSAs, etc.).
- Technical support to local government officials to support enhanced local COVID-19 prevention efforts such as assistance in accessing CARES Act funding.
- Potential restrictions or shutdowns for parks, playgrounds, businesses or other entities and locations believed to be contributing to the COVID-19 spread in higher risk COVID-19 communities.
- Additional resources for public health support such as testing, tracing and quarantining.
For more information click here.
The State Department of Public Health (DPH) has removed the state of Rhode Island from the list of states where travelers are exempt from the new Travel Order. Rhode Island is no longer considered a low-risk state according to DPH.
Travelers entering Massachusetts from Rhode Island will now have to either quarantine for two weeks or get a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before entering Massachusetts.
This action is in response to Rhode Island's positive COVID-19 test rate and cases per capita.
The Travel Order took effect August 1, 2020.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Health and Human Services (HHS) Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris announce that as part of the Commonwealth’s Stop the Spread initiative the City of Springfield and the state Department of Public Health, in partnership with AFC Urgent Care and Tapestry Health will open free testing sites in the City of Springfield.
AFC Urgent Care at 415 Cooley Street, Springfield, MA will offer Asymptomatic COVID-19 testing through Friday, August 14, 2020. Walk-ins are welcomed but to avoid long waiting times, residents are encouraged to call for an appointment at (413) 782-4878 or go to their website at www.afcurgentcarespringfield.com and click on the “Stop the Spread Asymptomatic COVID-19 Registration” link.
Tapestry Health will offer Asymptomatic COVID-19 testing at three sites and only on the specified dates and time. All testing is by appointment only. Those interested should call (413) 364-2149 for an appointment. Please note that each site can only accommodate testing for 24 persons.
In addition, Baystate Health is also planning on opening up a stand up site. Location, time and appointment details TBA at a later date.
Springfield School Committee votes to start 2020-2021 School Year Two Weeks Later
The start of the 2020-2021 school year was pushed back two weeks after the School Committee voted on Thursday, July 30, 2020.
The original start to the school year had students in grades 1 - 12 scheduled to return August 31, 2020 and students in kindergarten to start one week after that and pre-kindergarteners the week after kindergarten. The new start dates for grades 1 - 12 will be September 15, 2020. Kindergarten will start September 21, 2020 and pre-kindergarteners on September 28, 2020.
The Springfield Public Schools (SPS) are considering three formats for a return to school, per state guidelines: full in-person return, full remote learning, and a hybrid version of both in-person and remote learning.
The City of Springfield has already distributed over 17,000 laptops to students for remote learning.
The school year will also be reduced from 180 days to 170 days to allow districts to prepare for the start of the schol year.
State Legislature Purposes to Extend Formal Sessions past July 31 due to COVID-19
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, House Speaker Robert DeLeo is purposing having the State Legislature extend their formal sessions past July 31.
The purposed order would suspend the rule which usual ends the legislative session at 11:59 p.m. on July 31. The House unanimously voted to approve the order. The motion now makes its way to the state Senate for approval. Under the rules, each branch needs a two-thirds vote to suspend the rule.
By approving the extension order, the state Legislature would have more time to take action on pending legislation that would otherwise languish in committee or on the floor. Current matters pending before the House and Senate include but not limited too; an Economic Development bill, IT Bond Bill, Police Reform Bill, Health Care and COVID-19 related matters, the FY21 State Budget, Climate Change Bill, and Sports Betting Legalization to name a few.
State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Announced Major Changes for the 2020-2021 School Year - School Year will start Two Weeks later, School Busing Changes and Protocols for Checking in School Coronavirus-like Symptoms
The Commissioner of DESE Jeff Riley announced that the school year will start two weeks later than initially planned this fall. The school year will be reduced from 180 days to 170 days. This change will allow school districts an additional 10 days to prepare for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. School districts must start no later than September 16, 2020 and must have three (3) educatinoal plans; full return to in-person classroom, hybrid of in-person and remote learning, and full remote learning.
The state had previously announced additional school reopening plans which include; reconfiguration of desk in classroom to allow social distancing (atleast 3 feet distance), limiting traffic in hallways, installing sanitiing stations, utilize alternative spaces for classrooms to encourage social distancing (auditoriums, gyms, libraries, etc), and all staff and students in second grade and older will be required to wear a mask.
In addition, school busing will be different. All staff and students, regardless of age, will be required to wear a mask at all times (with the exemptions for those with medical and/or behavioral reasons). The new guidelines will also significantly decrease the number of students on each bus.
School districts will also need to create a designated medical waiting room where students can be picked up by their parents or guardians if they exhibits COVID-19 symptoms. If staff or students show Coronavirus-like symptoms during the school day, they will be evaluated by the school nurse. Any staff or student exhibiting Coronavirus-like symptoms will head home and follow testing protocols which include getting tested and having a negative test before returning to school or self-quarantine for two weeks.
Mayor Sarno after speaking with Lt. Governor Karyn Polito is pleased that Governor Baker has announced that the state will be opening a free COVID-19 testing site in Springfield as part of the states "Stop the Spread" initiative.
The Commonwealth is launching this strategic testing program to help stop and mitigate the community spread of the virus in communities across the state where there is might be higher rates and potential for community spread. This program supports the testing of asymptomatic individuals in these communities. The testing is provided at no cost to residents and will be available through August 14, 2020. Note: testing at these sites is not restricted to the residents of the city or town.
The "Stop the Spread" initiative was launched July 10, 2020.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Chief Development Officer Tim Sheehan announced today the awarding of 14 grants totaling $240,000 in a Fourth Round of the City of Springfield’s Prime the Pump grant program, assisting Non-Profits that are responding to critical community needs related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Prime the Pump Program was initially announced on March 18, 2020. The City, to date, has seen an overwhelming need for financial assistance within its small business community and has awarded in excess of $1,250,000 to address that need in a meaningful way. The announcement of today’s grants brings the total economic development grant assistance provided by the Prime the Pump Program to over $1.5 Million.
Governor Baker announced today, that effective August 1st, all travelers entering Massachusetts—both out of state residents and Massachusetts residents returning home—must comply with a new travel order. This includes students returning to campuses for the fall semester.
The new travel order requires all visitors and returning residents to fill out a “Massachusetts Traveler Form” unless they are coming from a state that has been designated a lower risk COVID-19 state or fall into an exemption category. The new travel order also provides that visitors and returning residents arriving in Massachusetts from any place other than a COVID-19 lower-risk state must quarantine for 14-days unless they can produce a negative COVID-19 test result administered on a sample taken not more than 72-hours prior to arriving in Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts Traveler Form can be found here: https://www.mass.gov/forms/massachusetts-travel-form.
Information on exemptions, how to quarantine, testing as an alternative to quarantine, and what we all can do to stop the spread can be found at:https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-order#massachusetts-travel-form-.
Governor Baker extends Moratorium for most Evictions and Foreclosures
Most evictions and foreclosure will remain banned in Massachusetts until Oct. 17, 2020 under an extension to the COVID-prompted moratorium Gov. Charlie Baker triggered on Tuesday. The Governor's actions will add another 60 days to a temporary ban that was set to expire on August 18, 2020. The moratorium law, which Governor Baker signed on April 20, 2020, prevents almost all non-emergency evictions and foreclosures due to the ongoing COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.
This extension to the moratorium DOES NOT waive the financial obligation due. Both renters and homeowners are still financially liable for their rents and/or mortgages. The moratorium DOES state that renters and homeowners cannot be forced to pay late penalties if they demonstrate that they are experiencing hardships as a direct result of the pandemic outbreak.
State Allows Restaurants to Sell Sealed Containers of Mixed Drinks with their Takeout Food Orders
Governor Baker signed into law a bill that will allow restaurants to sell sealed containers of mixed drinks with their takeout food orders. This To-Go Cocktail law aims to help restaurants by generating additional revenue stream amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation follows an earlier law that allowed restraunants to sell beer and wine alongside takeout and delivery orders. The sale of limited quantities of beer, wine and mixed drinks for off-premises consumption will stay in effect through February 2021 or until the COVID-19 state of emergency is lifted, whichever comes later.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Chief Development Officer Tim Sheehan today announced the release of $250,000 for a Fourth Round of the Prime the Pump Grant Program, to assist Springfield non-profit organizations, which have been economically impacted by the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic.
The Prime the Pump Program was initially announced on March 18, 2020. Since that time, the city has advanced over $1,250,000 to assist the city’s small businesses and restaurants in dealing with the economic impacts of the pandemic and the associated public health orders. The Prime the Pump Program to date has touched small businesses in every neighborhood of the city and has provided assistance to many minority and women owned businesses. Today’s announcement brings Springfield’s grant assistance to local employers to $1,500,000.
The following businesses will be eligible to reopen in Step One of Phase III, subject to industry-specific rules concerning capacity and operations:
- Movie theaters and outdoor performance venues;
- Museums, cultural and historical sites;
- Fitness centers and health clubs;
- Certain indoor recreational activities with low potential for contact;
- Professional sports teams, under the authority of league-wide rules, may hold games without spectators
Full guidance and list of businesses eligible to reopen in Step One of Phase III can be found at www.mass.gov/reopening. Businesses and sectors set to begin opening in Phase III are subject to compliance with all mandatory safety standards.
Revised Gatherings Order:
Under the updated gatherings order, indoor gatherings are limited to eight people per 1,000 square feet, but should not exceed 25 people in a single enclosed, indoor space.
Outdoor gatherings in enclosed spaces are limited to 25 percent of the facility’s maximum permitted occupancy, with a maximum of 100 people in a single enclosed outdoor space. This includes community events, civic events, sporting events, concerts, conventions and more. This order does not apply to outdoor, unenclosed gatherings if proper social distancing measures are possible.
This revised order does not supersede previously issued sector guidance, and is effective beginning Monday, July 6. It will be effective Monday, July 13 in the City of Boston.
Public Health Guidance:
In Phase III, health care providers may continue to provide in-person procedures and services as allowed in Phase II, with the addition of certain group treatment programs and day programs. These programs include adult day health, day habilitation programs, and substance abuse services day treatment and outpatient services. Certain human services programs can reopen including community based day services for adults with intellectual and cognitive disabilities and psychosocial rehabilitation clubhouses.
Health care providers are subject to compliance with all mandatory safety standards, and must continue to utilize prioritization policies established in Phase II for care delivery and scheduling, as well as monitor patient volume for non-essential, elective procedures and services.
Read the full guidance here.
In Phase III, visitation guidelines have been updated for 24/7 congregate care facilities and programs overseen by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, including the Departments of Developmental Services, Youth Services, Children and Families, Public Health, Mental Health and the Mass Rehabilitation Commission. Offsite visits, including overnight visits, will be allowed, under specific guidelines. Other updated guidelines, including visitation for long term care facilities, will be released later today. Complete visitation guidance is available at www.mass.gov/hhs/reopening.
MassHealth will also extend its current telehealth flexibility through at least the end of the year to ensure member access to critical health care services and encourage continued adherence to preventative public health precautions.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released initial guidance for school reopening on June 25th with a focus on safely returning as many student as possible to in-person settings. Those guidelines were updated on July 1st.
Visit the Massachusetts Department of Education website: http://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/.
Effective Wednesday, July 1, all travelers arriving to Massachusetts, including residents returning home, are instructed to self-quarantine for 14-days. This guidance does not apply to travelers from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York or New Jersey. Additionally, workers designated by the federal government as essential critical infrastructure workers are also exempt from this directive.
Travelers who are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 are instructed to not travel to Massachusetts.
All visitors and residents of Massachusetts are also reminded that the use of masks or face coverings in public places where individuals cannot socially distance from others remains required.
MassHire Virtual Job Fairs
MassHire Springfield Career Center Offers a Week of Virtual Job Fairs: https://masshirespringfield.org/.
The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is encouraging all eligible customers to renew their standard Massachusetts driver’s license or Massachusetts ID card online at Mass.Gov/RMV any time between now and August 12, 2020, in order to qualify for a free upgrade to a REAL ID credential in 2021. This one-time, time limited offer is available to most customers who have an expired or expiring license or ID card dated between March 2020 and August 2021, as renewals are allowed up to two years after expiration, or up to a year in advance of the expiration date printed on their license or ID.
Qualifying customers who complete their renewal online prior to August 12th and wish to upgrade to a REAL ID for free, will have to wait until at least February 2021 to visit an RMV Service Center. At this time, customers will not need a federally-compliant REAL ID for the purposes of boarding domestic flights prior to October 1, 2021 because the federal government delayed the compliance effective date by one-year. The fee for obtaining a standard or REAL ID license is $50, while the fee for obtaining a standard or REAL ID card is $25. The typical $25 upgrade / amendment fee will be waived under these qualifying circumstances. A limited digital campaign – “Stay Safe, Save Time, Go Online” -- will also accompany this promotion and can be viewed at this link:
Customers should take the following steps to determine their online renewal eligibility and to qualify for this offer:
- Visit Mass.Gov/RMV, login to your “myRMV” account, and find out if they are permitted to renew online.
- Renew online by August 12th – your new standard license or ID card will be sent to you via U.S. Mail.
- The cost for renewing a driver’s license is $50. The cost for renewing an ID card is $25. These costs are the same for both a standard or REAL ID license or ID card. The cost for upgrading or amending a license or ID card outside of your renewal cycle is $25, which will be waived for participating, eligible RMV customers.
- Customers who renew online will have to wait until at least February 2021 to make an appointment for a REAL ID and have their $25 upgrade / amendment fee waived. Anyone who holds a valid U.S. passport or other federally-compliant form of identification may never need a RMV-issued REAL ID.
- Driver’s licenses and ID cards that expired or will expire in March, April, and May 2020 will now expire in September 2020.
- Driver’s licenses and ID cards that will expire in June have been extended until October 2020.
- Driver’s licenses and ID cards that will expire in July have been extended until November 2020.
- Driver’s licenses and ID cards that will expire in August have been extended until December 2020.
All RMV customers are encouraged to visit www.Mass.Gov/RMV to renew their license or ID card, and complete one of over 40 other transactions available online, by mail, or by phone.
The following will be eligible to reopen in Step Two of Phase II on Monday, June 22:
- Indoor table service at restaurants;
- Close contact personal services, with restrictions;
- Retail dressing rooms, by appointment only;
- Offices, at 50 percent capacity
Full list and safety protocols available at www.mass.gov/reopening.
In order to give Step 2 businesses time to prepare, the Administration had previously released sector-specific guidance in advance of Phase II for industries including restaurants, close-contact personal services and sectors not otherwise addressed:
- Guidance for Restaurants
- Guidance for Close-Contact Personal Services
- Guidance for Other Industries
- Guidance for Sectors Not Otherwise Addressed
Before these sectors can resume operations under the guidelines, businesses must meet all safety standards, create a COVID-19 control plan, and complete a self-certification.
Applications for the Third Round of Prime the Pump are due July 1, 2020 by 3:00 p.m. and must be submitted electronically to the attention of Anthony Moore at email@example.com
Click on the links below to view the Guidelines and to download the application.
The Commonwealth is urging anyone who has attended a large gathering in the past two weeks to get tested for COVID-19. This testing may be provided at no cost to you on June 17th and 18th.
More info: www.mass.gov/info-details/get-tested-for-covid-19-june-17th-and-18th.
Springfield Testing Locations
140 High St.
380 Plainfield St.
298 Carew St.
MassSupport Network provides community outreach and support services to residents of all ages in response to the unprecedented public health crisis, COVID-19.
This Crisis Counseling Program (CCP) is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and managed in partnership between the MA Department of Mental Health and Riverside Trauma Center, a program of Riverside Community Care.
Our anonymous, confidential, and free program is for individuals (including youth), families, schools, organizations, businesses and communities. We provide emotional support, coping strategies, resources, and up-to-date, factual information; also psycho-educational presentations, consultations and group supports.
Contact 888-215-4920 or MassSupport@riversidecc.org
Some of our Western Mass team’s outreach clinicians:
Anna-Stina Wardlaw, M.Ed. firstname.lastname@example.org, 781-805-5573
Monica Bellucci, LMHC email@example.com, 781-805-5456
Sean McHugh, RN firstname.lastname@example.org, 781-805-5353
Team Leader Sarah Gaer, MA email@example.com, 781-805-5422
Governor Baker has updated the sector-specific mandatory safety standards and recommended best practices to include restaurants and retail businesses as part of the Commonwealth's Phase II reopening plans.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and the City’s Licensing Department announced today that pursuant to Governor Baker’s Executive Order, applicable guidance from the Commonwealth and input from various municipal departments, the City of Springfield has issued guidance and applications for temporary extension of licensed premises to outdoor space.
As part of the Commonwealth’s and the City of Springfield’s Phase II reopening plan. Restaurants and other establishments will now be able to seek a temporary extension of their license to provide outdoor table service.
Applications for temporary modifications of Liquor Licenses do not need to be submitted to the State’s Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC). Review and approval of a modified permit from the ABCC will be made at the local level and notification to the State will be made by the City of Springfield.
Applications can be found on the City’s Licensing Department website at: www.springfield-ma.gov/cos/index.php?id=licensing-department
Applications can be submitted via email to License@SpringfieldCityhall.com
If an applicant does not have access to email an appointment can be made at (413) 787-6140 to drop off the application to the Licensing Department located at 36 Court Street, Room 305, Springfield, MA.
Click to view NOTICE BY MAYOR DOMENIC J. SARNO TO ALL APPLICANTS FOR TEMPORARY EXTENSION OF LICENSED PREMISES ONTO OUTDOOR SPACE
Click to view Application for Temporary Extension of Licensed Premises onto Outdoor Space
Click to view LICENSE COMMISSION GUIDANCE FOR APPLICATION FOR TEMPORARY EXTENSION OF LICENSED PREMISES ONTO OUTDOOR SPACE
Click to view Restaurant Saftey Standards
Click to view Restaurant Checklist
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, today, joined with Congressman Richard E. Neal, and Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) Administrator Sandra Sheehan for the announcement of $36,615,416 in Federal Transit Authority funding as a result of the CARES Act.
This funding will enable the PVTA to provide transit service during the COVID-19 public health emergency while also allowing the PVTA to respond to new transit operations needs post COVID-19. The grant is 100% federal funds with no local match required.
The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) has implemented further extensions to the renewal timelines for expiring motor vehicle inspection stickers, passenger plate registrations, professional credentials, and driver's licenses and learner's permits, including Commercial Driver’s Licenses and Commercial Permits (CDLs / CLPs).
While the RMV previously announced extensions for most credentials, passenger plate registrations, and inspection stickers expired or expiring in March, April, and May, an additional extension has been applied to those credentials, and an extension has been added to some credentials expiring in June, July, and August.
As part of the City of Springfield’s phased reopening plan, all municipal buildings and facilities will be reopening to the public, by appointment only, along with other restrictions, starting Wednesday, May 27, 2020.
All municipal buildings will remain closed to walk-in traffic.
Individuals will need to schedule an appointment with the appropriate city department they are looking to do their city related business with, as there will be a limit to the number of individuals inside city buildings and city offices.
Residents can schedule an appointment with the city department they need to conduct business with by calling either our 311 Call Center or by contacting that city department directly.
Appointments must be made at least 24 hours in advance.
Click here for Contact Info by Department.
Bay Path University, in hopes of helping those women who have been impacted by the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, is offering a free three-credit online undergraduate college course to women working in the foodservices, hospitality, retail and travel industries.
The course, Fundamentals of Digital Literacy, will help women expand their digital technology skill set and be better prepared for the workforce of the future. The course is offered through the American Women's College, Bay Path University's fully online division designed to fit busy women's lives.
The Digital Literacy course is a six-week, three-credit course offered in June and August of 2020 based on registration order. Students will examine best practices for utilizing social media and digital communication tools in the workplace. In addition, they will learn practical skills for a digital world and gain an increasing awareness of the risks of digital communication essential in all fields.
For more information and to register for this free course starting as early as June, visit www.baypath.edu/baypathworks
This Week's Featured Webinar from MassHire
Register for "Don’t Let An ATS Trash Your Resume!"
May 21 @ 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM: https://masshirespringfield.org/…/dont-let-an-ats-trash-yo…/.
MassHire Online Work Shops and Events Calendar:
The Baker-Polito Administration announced today the comprehensive plan to safely reopen the Massachusetts economy, get people back to work, and to ease social restrictions while minimizing the health impacts of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
Governor Baker announced the states Four-Phased plan of reopening the Commonwealth. The phases will be "Start", "Cautious", "Vigliant", and "the New Normal", respectively.
Residents and Businesses are encouraged to visit the states "Reopening Massachusetts" website which provides additional information and guidance about the phased reopening and which industries and sectors are allowed to open and when at www.mass.gov/reopening
Click the link below to view the detailed guidance for specific industries and sectors on the opening plan, as issued by the Governor.
Click on the line below to view the detailed report on the reopening of Massachusetts, as issued by the Governor.
The ISWM has been delivering care packages with essential goods to residents of Springfield, West Springfield, Agawam, Chicopee, and Westfield. ISWM's packages include items such as dry foods, toilet paper, paper towels, and hand sanitizer. The phone number to have a care package delivered is 413-351-7721.
On Monday, May 11, 2020, Governor Baker announced a four-phased approach to reopening the Massachusetts economy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and published Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards that will apply across all sectors and industries once reopening begins.
The Massachusetts economy will be reopened using a four-phase approach, based on public health guidance. Businesses and activities with a lower risk of COVID-19 transmission will open in earlier phases. Public health metrics will determine when the first phase of reopening begins, as well as when it is safe to move into later phases. If public health metrics worsen, the state may need to return to an earlier phase.
- Phase 1 will be “Start:” limited industries resume operations with severe restrictions
- Phase 2 will be “Cautious:” additional industries resume operations with restrictions and capacity limits
- Phase 3 will be “Vigilant:” additional industries resume operations with guidance
- Phase 4 will be the “New Normal:” development of vaccine and/or therapy enables resumption of new normal
The Department of Public Health (DPH) and the COVID-19 Command Center developed new Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards in consultation with the Reopening Advisory Board. These new standards will apply universally to all workplaces that are open in Phase 1, and are designed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission to employees and customers during the first phase of reopening, and are applicable to all sectors and industries. Read more on Work Place Safety Standards at mass.gov.
The Reopening Advisory Board is scheduled to provide its full report to Governor Baker on Monday, May 18th.
The Food Bank of Western Mass has been authorized to give out LYFT codes " for people in Holyoke, Chicopee, or Springfield needing transportation to get food, the codes will give you a round trip to a grocery store, farm- stand or food pantry up to $10 each way. Codes can be obtained through May 16, 2020 by calling The Food Bank at 413-387-3849.
Governor Baker has updated the Essential Services Guidance to allow golf courses to reopen on Thursday, May 7, 2020, with strict guidelines and restrictions such as prohibiting golf carts, bunker rakes and caddies.
The specific guidelines for golf courses are:
- Security personnel can be delineated by each club (ex. a pro and the head starter) and will be present to enforce social distancing. There can be no other employees working at the recreational component of the golf operation.
- All staff must wear face coverings while on the property
- Club facilities including but not limited to the club house, pro shop, restaurant, bag room and locker room must remain closed
- No caddies allowed
- No golf carts allowed, except as outlined below:
- The use of a motorized cart may be permitted for any individual with a disability who is seeking a reasonable accommodation to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A golfer who wants to use a cart should provide documentation or otherwise certify in writing to the golf course that he or she has a disability that requires the use of the cart.
- Any carts used must be cleaned and sanitized after each use. The course operator may not use non-essential employees to handle the renting and/or cleaning of the carts. Only security and groundskeeping personnel are permitted on the premises.
- Push carts may be used. Players must either carry their own bag or use a push cart
- All golfers must maintain proper social distancing of at least 6 feet at all times
- Groups of players are restricted to no more than 4 players at one time.
- Members-only clubs can allow guests as determined by the security personnel on the golf course
- Private clubs that allow non-members to make reservations can do so at their discretion
- Maintenance personnel are permitted to work on the golf course
- Tee Time Policy must be 15 minutes between groups
- Golfers must stay in their car until 15 minutes before their tee time and must return to their car immediately following play
- Online and remote payment options must be utilized
- All golfers must use their own golf clubs. Sharing golf clubs or rental golf clubs is not allowed.
- Flag sticks must remain in the hole. Hole liners must be raised so picking a ball out of the hole doesn't occur
- Bunker rakes must be removed, and ball washers must be removed or covered.
- Practice putting green, driving range, and chipping areas must be closed.
- Facilities must have readily accessible hand sanitizer
Effective May 6, 2020, the Governor of Massachusetts has ordered individuals to wear face coverings in public settings when you cannot physically separate by 6 feet.
The Commissioner of the City of Springfield Department of Health and Human Services has issued a regulation regarding the use of mandatory face coverings in the City of Springfield, which can be found here.
413cares.org COVID-19 Resource Guide
413Cares is an innovative community portal that provides online access for residents of Western Massachusetts to available resources from housing, to healthcare, early education and more.They have developed a COVID-19 Resource Guide.
Governor Baker updated the Essential Services Guidence easing restrictions on certain retail establishments for "remote fulfillment" and "no-contact" deliveries for many non-essential businesses including florist, bookstores, jewelers, etc.
The new guidelines require these stores to remain closed to the public and limit operating hours to allow for sufficient off-hour cleaning. Employees must wear face coverings and stay at least six feet apart from one another, and all deliveries must be "no-contact" deliveries to consumers.
The guidelines also limit the number of employees that can work at a given time, starting with three in a business smaller than 10,000 square feet and growing to seven in a facility with more than 30,000 square feet.
Employers must also require workers to self-administer temperature checks before their shifts, and not report to work if they have a fever over 100 degrees.
Governor Charlie Baker issued an order requiring everyone in the Commonwealth to wear face coverings in public - including in businesses, outdoors, or on public transportation. The order will go into effect on Wednesday.
Following Governor Charlie Baker’s extension of the Commonwealths stay-at-home advisory and closing of all non-essential businesses order, City Hall and all municipal buildings will remain closed to the public until May 18, 2020. The original date in which the state and local municipalities and non-essential businesses would have been able to reopen was May 4, 2020.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno also announced that he has directed his cabinet heads to begin reviewing plans and what measures that are going to be needed for the eventual reopening of City Hall and other municipal buildings. Mayor Sarno has also directed his cabinet heads to begin reviewing the city’s plans for when the Governor’s non-essential business closing order expires.
Governor Baker announced that he is extending the state's emergency order closing non-essential businesses as well as the state's stay-at-home advisory until May 18th. Governor Baker also announced the creation of a reopening advisory board.
City of Springfield Awards 76 New Grants to City Small Businesses as Part of the Second Round of “Prime the Pump”
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Chief Development Officer Tim Sheehan announced today the awarding of 76 grants totaling $500,000 in the second round of the Prime the Pump program, assisting businesses in response to the economic crisis spurred from emergency closures due to Covid-19.
The City saw overwhelming interest in the grant program, with over $1.5 million in grant requests from 114 applications across the city, all submitted in just one week.
The Prime the Pump Program was initially announced on March 18, 2020. With these awards, the city has now awarded 106 emergency grants to businesses in two rounds of Prime the Pump. The first round of the program awarded 30 grants to restaurants while the second round was open to businesses of all types. Between the two programs, the city has now awarded over $725,000 in grants to Springfield businesses.
The tentative awards subject to contract execution are listed here.
On the heels of the major spike in the daily number of positive COVID-19 cases, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Health and Human Services (HHS) Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris today issued a new Public Health Advisory to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and to continue to stress the importance of following social distancing guidelines and public health and safety measures.
The City of Springfield is asking those stores that provide essential services (such as grocery stores, pharmacies, large box stores, convenience and retail stores, etc.) to partner with the city and require their patrons to wear face coverings.
Springfield appreciates Big Y for already taking this proactive approach and the city strongly encourages and recommends that other essential retail establishments partners with the city for the good of all.
The City’s Health and Human Services (HHS) Department continues to review and monitor the COVID-19 situation. HHS staff continue to be proactive in the community by visiting sites across the city to assure that the public health emergency orders and recommendations issued by Governor Baker, the CDC and Mayor Sarno are being followed and adhered to.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Health and Human Services (HHS) Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris report a major spike of 104 new COVID-19 (Coronavirus) cases today, bringing the city’s total to nearly 1,000 cases (967).
Mayor Sarno and HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris state that the city will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely so that the city does not reopen and ease the prudent measures to early, which could potentially expose residents to a second wave of the virus.
Massachusetts Schools will Remain Closed this Academic Year
Governor Charlie Baker and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced on April 21st that Massachusetts students will remain home for the rest of the school year to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Remote learning will continue.
Governor Baker Signs Housing Bill Granting Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures
Governor Baker signed a housing security bill (H4647) which establishes a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures until after the coronavirus pandemic. The moratorium will last for 120 days, or until 45 days after Governor Baker lifts the COVID-19 state of emergency. The bill does not absolve tenants or homeowners from paying their rents or mortgages, but does protect them from paying late penalties as long as they demonstrate that their inability to pay during the crisis is due to a hardship caused by the pandemic.
Governor Baker announced that residents who were not eligible for regular unemployment benefits can now apply online for the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Program.
The new federal PUA program provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits who are unable to work because of a COVID-19-related reason but are not eligible for regular or extended unemployment benefits. This includes self-employed workers, independent contractors, gig economy workers, and those with limited work history. Applicants can learn more and apply at www.mass.gov/pua.
Meal service provided by Springfield Public Schools’ food service provider, Sodexo, is available to not only Springfield Public Schools students but to students from all schools in Springfield and from surrounding communities.
“We’ve had a great number of inquiries from parents of students in surrounding cities and towns asking if they can take advantage of our free meal program during this closure and I want to be very clear that answer is a resounding yes,” said Superintendent of Springfield Public Schools Daniel Warwick. “Families from surrounding communities and Springfield families whose children do not attend Springfield Public Schools are more than welcome.”
Free breakfast and lunch are available each weekday for all students, regardless of their city or town of residence or of the school they attend. The meals are grab-and-go and are available between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday – Friday at 17 locations throughout the City. Identification is not required when picking up a meal.
The Massachusetts RMV has implemented further extensions for expiring motor vehicle inspection stickers, passenger plate registrations, professional credentials, and licenses and permits, including Commercial Driver’s Licenses and Permits (CDLs / CLPs).
While 60-day extensions had already been implemented for most credentials, passenger plate registrations, and inspection stickers expired or expiring in March and April, this new action will apply the same 60-day extension to those expiring in May. Additionally, credentials expiring in March 2020 that previously were extended by 60 days will have an additional 60-day extension applied.
Earlier today, MassMutual announced the launch of their HealthBridge Program, which will provide free term life insurance to the brave and resilient frontline healthcare workers across Massachusetts and Connecticut risking their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This program will offer our brave and dedicated healthcare providers a free 3-year term life insurance policy for employees of licensed hospitals, urgent care centers, or emergency medical services providers.
Mayor Sarno states, “Once again MassMutual is a well-respected national industry leader that never forgets its roots of providing during challenging times. Thank you Roger Crandall and Team for once again stepping up, especially for all those frontline healthcare providers, who keep us safe and sound.”
Interested individuals can find more information on the MassMutual HealthBridge webpage at www.massmutual.com/cm/healthbridge.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno announced that after consulting with CAFO TJ Plante, he has ordered the City of Springfield to implement a hiring and spending freeze due to the ongoing economic impact from the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. This decision was based on a recent economic roundtable discussion with state officials and economists over concerns of the ongoing coronavirus situation and its impact upon projected federal, state and municipal revenue shortfalls.
Springfield Fire Department Holding Food Drive
SFD announced they will hold a Food Drive to help residents in need. Non-perishable food items can be donated and dropped off at city fire stations. Residents are encouraged to call ahead or ring the door bell and to leave items at the door for social distancing aspects.
- Fire House Locations
To apply to be placed on the Eversource Energy's Life Support Customer List, customers mist send a letter from a physician, on the physician's letterhead certifying (1) that the equiptment is being used for life suport purposes; (2) the type of equiptment being used; (3) patient's names, address, contact number, alternative contact number. The letter should be mailed to
247 Station Dr. SW200
Westwood, MA 02090
The online registration for new students entering Springfield Public Schools for the 2020-2021 school year is now open. The process may be completed with a computer or cell phone by visiting www.springfieldpublicschools.com to get started. Simply click on the student enrollment quick link on the homepage.
This online registration process allows families to enter student data and receive the student assignment via email rather than having to register in person at the Parent and Community Engagement Center (PACE) located at 91 School Street, which is the usual protocol for new student registrations.
To register online, parents/guardians must first add the student’s information and upload the required documents (birth certificate, immunization records, proof of address, etc.) and then create an account using an email address. PACE will process the documents and will make the school assignment based on appropriate information. The registration will be fully processed only if the parent uploads all the required student information. If the student information is not uploaded online, the parent/guardian will be required to bring a hard copy of the documents to PACE.
The process is available for families registering a new student in the district or a student who was formerly in the district, and now returning. Families with questions regarding the online pre-registration process, should call PACE at (413) 787-6959 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mayor Sarno Continues to Closey Monitor COVID-19 Situation
Mayor Sarno and his administration continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely so that we do not reopen and ease our prudent measures too early, which could potentially expose our residents to second wave of the virus. As other countries have experienced, lifting restrictions prematurely has led to a resurgence of the virus and a second-wave outbreak of infections. Mayor Sarno is senstive to this possibiity as he monitors and assesses the situtation.
City of Springfield Activates COVID-19 Hotline
The city's Department of Health and Human Services activated its 24/7 hotline Monday April 13, 2020. Residents can call 413-750-3250 for questions related to COVID-19. The Department of Health and Human Services continues to track positive COVID-19 cases across the city.
Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) testing requirements for the school year are suspended, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will modify or waive graduation requirements for students set to complete high school this summer, and due dates for district improvement plans will be pushed back under a bill Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law Friday.
Governor Charlie Baker announced today that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health will issue an advisory recommending that people wear face masks or other face coverings in public. The advisory is consistent with recommendations issued by the CDC.
The City of Springfield's advisory regarding face covering can be found here.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Tim Sheehan, Chief Development Officer, today announced the release of Round Two of the “Prime the Pump” grant program, aimed at providing immediate financial relief for small businesses in Springfield. The goal of the program is to help preserve jobs and assist businesses through this difficult time and as the federal assistance through the Small Business Administration and other entities is being rolled out. Grants in the Prime the Pump program will be awarded of up to $15,000 to eligible businesses.
The Prime the Pump program has already awarded $222,000 in its first round, assisting 30 restaurants in preserving a minimum of 30 jobs throughout the city. Mayor Sarno authorized an additional $500,000 of CDBG carryover funding to allow for a second round to address more business needs in the city.
Applications will only be accepted by email. Interested businesses seeking an application should email Anthony Moore in the Economic Development office at Amoore@springfieldcityhall.com or directly download an application from the City of Springfield’s COVID-19 Business Resources site on the Planning & Economic Development page of the city website.
MassHire is holding a no cost online staff recruitment expo on April 28th, 29th & 30th. This event will be promoted through MassHire;s medoa partners 94.7WMAS, WEEI 105.5 and Nash Icon 98.1. Employers can advertise their openings on the MassHire dedicated web page with hyperlinks to job postings, company logo, company description and optional video embed.
JoAnn Miller, Director Business Services
MassHire Springfield Career Center
This list of FAQs provided by the Governor's Office addresses many of the submissions received by EOHED relating to “COVID-19 Essential Services” guidance associated with Governor Baker’s March 23, 2020 Emergency Order (which was updated and extended on March 31, 2020).
On March 25, 2020, the Commissioner of Public Health, issued an order relevant to grocery stores to provide continuation of essential services while additionally reducing exposure of shoppers and employees to COVID-19 (hereinafter, the Order). This guidance is issued pursuant to that Order to further clarify and enable essential services to be provided.
1) Store Specific Maximum Permissible Occupancy Levels a. Each Grocery store shall limit occupancy to 40 percent of its maximum permitted occupancy level as documented in its occupancy permit on record with the municipal building department or other municipal record holder in order to provide for in-store social distancing while preserving sufficient access for the public to supplies of food and necessities. • Stores with a maximum occupancy of 25 persons or less are exempt from this requirement. Local boards of health should consult with these stores to ensure appropriate protections are in place. b. Grocery store staff shall monitor the number of customers entering and exiting the store in order to demonstrate compliance with the maximum permissible occupancy level. c. The occupant count shall include customers and employees. d. No Local Board of Health shall prescribe or enforce a different limitation on Grocery store occupancy levels. e. Grocery stores may calculate and employ an average number for staff per shift in counting employees present in the retail selling space to account for incidental movement of employees in and out of retail selling space.
2) If lines form outside the grocery store, staff should monitor the line to ensure customers are maintaining appropriate distance from each other.
3) If lines form outside the grocery store or other physical security concerns arise, local law enforcement should be notified and consulted.
4) Local boards of health are advised to minimize the application of specialized rules that dictate which products grocery stores may or may not be offered for sale to the public and how those products may be displayed. Where local boards of health have particular concerns about individual products, the boards should consult with store operators to discuss the value of special safety protocols to reduce risk. 5) As grocery stores are a critical provider during this time local boards of health should work with these businesses to ensure that food and essential products are available to the public without disruption. Every effort should be made to ensure continued operation of grocery stores. If health concerns develop with respect to the operation of an individual grocery store, local boards of health should make all efforts to address the concerns with the grocery store instead of seeking punitive measures. 6) If a grocery store offers online delivery or curbside pickup capabilities, customers should be encouraged to use those methods before coming into the store. 7) Grocery stores should communicate with customers through in store signage and public service announcements. Where practical, retailers should designate one-way aisles in stores to maximize spacing between customers and should identify the one-way aisles with signage and floor markings. 8) The entirety of the Commissioner’s Order of March 25, 2020, remains in place. However, grocery stores are reminded that they must continue to provide alternative hours, at least one hour every day in the early morning, for adults 60 years and older in order to limit their potential exposure. These hours must be conspicuously posted and should be enforced by grocery stores.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno has announced that following Governor Baker signing a Municipal Relief legislation (H4598: An Act to Address Challenges Faced by Municipalities and State Authorities Resulting from COVID-19), the City of Springfield will adjust the deadline for filing personal exemption and deferral applications to June 1, 2020. The original statutory deadline was April 1, 2020.
Previously, the City of Springfield had adjusted the collection dates for 4th quarter real estate and personal property taxes to June 1, 2020. The original due date was May 1, 2020.
The City of Springfield Assessor’s Office also encourages homeowners, renters and residents 65 years or older to consider applying for the Circuit Breaker Tax Credit as well.
For more information and applications on these statutory abatement exemptions, please visit the city’s Board of Assessors website at www.springfield-ma.gov/finance/assessors or call the Assessor’s Office at (413) 787-6164. Residents can also contact our city’s 311 Call Center at (413) 736-3111.
Please see the attached FY20 Personal Exemption Chart.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno has announced that following Governor Baker signing a Municipal Relief legislation (H4598: An Act to Address Challenges Faced by Municipalities and State Authorities Resulting from COVID-19), the City of Springfield will adjust the collection date for 4th quarter real estate taxes to June 1, 2020, instead of the original due date of May 1, 2020.
The due date for the collection of real estate taxes is a state statue and any changes required approval by the state Legislature and the Governor.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Chief Development Officer Tim Sheehan announced today that 30 grants totaling over $225,000 for restaurants have been awarded as part of the city’s ‘Prime the Pump’ Grant Program in response to the economic crisis resulting from emergency closures due to Covid-19.
The Prime the Pump Program was announced on March 18, 2020. The priority focus being on full service restaurants that needed to begin or expand their takeout and delivery operations to comply with the public health emergency orders and all the restaurants that continued to remain open and keep some of their workers employed. Applications for the available grant funding became available on March 21, 2020 with a filing deadline of March 24, 2020.
The City saw overwhelming interest in the grant program, with over $1 million in grant requests from 80 applications across the city. Those restaurants that were not awarded or did not receive their full funding request are eligible to apply in the upcoming Small Business Grant Fund for up to a total amount between both funds of $15,000. The Small Business Grant Fund Application is anticipated to be released in the next few days.
View the list of tentative awards subject to contract execution here.
In response to the ongoing and growing concerns of the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and out of an abundance of caution, Mayor Sarno and Health Commissioner Caulton-Harris are issuing a new joint public health advisory and recommendation for our residents.
The City of Springfield is asking residents to wear face coverings when out in public, especially in locations where people are in transit such as but not limited to; grocery and convenient stores, bus and train stations, pharmacies and medical facilities, pet supply stores, and hardware shops or if they otherwise leave their home to participate in an exempt activity.
A face covering can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to other people. A face covering can include anything that covers your nose and mouth, including dust masks, scarves and bandanas. Health care worker masks (surgical mask, N-95 or similar) must be preserved for people in the health care system.
It is important to note, that wearing a face covering should not give an individual a false sense of security. Residents are strongly encouraged to continue to follow all CDC and DPH protocols.
This advisory and recommendation is made out of an abundance of caution and continues with the city’s best efforts of being proactive for the greater good of the community’s public health and wellness.
Springfield City Council and School Committee Schedule Virtual Meetings
The Springfield City Council and School Committee have schedule virtual meetings.
The City Council will hold their regular meeting virtually on Monday, April 6, 2020.
The School Committee will hold their Budget and Finance Subcommittee meeting on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 and the meeting of the full School Committee will take place on Thursday, April 9, 2020.
Congressman Richard E. Neal announced that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, was signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020. The CARES Act, in part, provides for an additional $5 for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program on which Springfield is set to receive $2,301,793 of CDBG funds.
Grantees may use CDBG funds for a range of eligible activities that prevent and respond to the spread of infectious diseases such as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), such as:
Buildings and Improvements, Including Public Facilities:
- Construct a facility for testing, diagnosis, or treatment.
- Rehabilitate a community facility to establish an infectious disease treatment clinic.
- Acquire and rehabilitate, or construct, a group living facility that may be used to centralize patients undergoing treatment.
- Rehabilitate a commercial building or closed school building to establish an infectious disease treatment clinic, e.g., by replacing the HVAC system.
- Acquire, and quickly rehabilitate (if necessary) a motel or hotel building to expand capacity of hospitals to accommodate isolation of patients during recovery.
- Make interim improvements to private properties to enable an individual patient to remain quarantined on a temporary basis.
Assistance to Businesses, including Special Economic Development Assistance
- Provide grants or loans to support new businesses or business expansion to create jobs and manufacture medical supplies necessary to respond to infectious disease.
- Avoid job loss caused by business closures related to social distancing by providing short-term working capital assistance to small businesses to enable retention of jobs held by low- and moderate-income persons.
- Provide technical assistance, grants, loans, and other financial assistance to establish, stabilize, and expand microenterprises that provide medical, food delivery, cleaning, and other services to support home health and quarantine.
- Carry out job training to expand the pool of health care workers and technicians that are available to treat disease within a community.
- Provide testing, diagnosis or other services at a fixed or mobile location.
- Increase the capacity and availability of targeted health services for infectious disease response within existing health facilities.
- Provide equipment, supplies, and materials necessary to carry-out a public service.
- Deliver meals on wheels to quarantined individuals or individuals that need to maintain social distancing due to medical vulnerabilities.
The funds may also be used for planning, capacity-building, and technical assistance in the furtherance of these goals.
Effective April 1, 2020, all passenger and dealer plate registrations that expired in March and passenger plates that are expiring in April have been extended for 60 days. Registrations that expired in March have been extended until May 31 and registrations that expire in April have been extended until June 30. Registration renewals can continue to be performed online at Mass.Gov/RMV.
Customers seeking to renew in-person will not be able to make an appointment and should delay their visit to a Service Center.
In addition, the RMV recently implemented key changes to service delivery and organizational protocols:
- Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the RMV has implemented a strict no walk-in policy at a limited number of Service Centers that remain open to the general public. Service for necessary in-person transactions is available by appointment only. Customers should visit Mass.Gov/RMV to make a reservation at an open Service Center or find information on over 40 transactions that can be conducted online, by phone, or by mail.
- All Driver's Licenses, ID cards, and Lerner's Permits, including Commercial Licenses and Permits that have expired or are expiring between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020, have had a 60-day extension applied to the current expiration date and do not need to be renewed at this time. This does not apply to customers whose end of stay in the United States is the same as the expiration date on their Driver’s License, ID card, or Learner’s Permit.
- CDL Medical Certificates that expire on or after March 1 until April 30 will be extended until June 30 to prevent license downgrades and elective medical visits, as well as alleviate demand on medical providers.
- The annual motor vehicle and emissions inspection stickers that expire on March 31 and April 30 have been extended 60 days and all motorcycle inspection stickers originally set to expire on May 31 must be inspected by June 30. The RMV is also extending the time during which newly registered vehicles must be inspected based on the purchase date.
- In addition, the RMV has suspended all road tests through April 12. Class D and M Learner's Permits knowledge exams have been suspended indefinitely.
- Commercial Learner’s Permit tests are available to be taken at the Milford and Wilmington RMV Service Centers during normal business hours and commercial road tests continue to occur.
For details on all of these extensions and additional information on RMV services and the RMV’s response to COVID-19, please visit COVID-19 information.
In accordance with Governor Baker’s extension of his March 23, 2020 order, all businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” must continue to keep their physical workplaces and facilities closed to workers, customers and the public until May 4, 2020.
Governor Baker also extended his stay-at-home advisory until May 4, 2020.
Springfield Public Schools Begin Initiative to Distribute Laptops to Students
Springfield Public Schools is set to begin an initiative to put as many as 10,000 laptops in the hands of K-12 students who do not have access to a computer while they are at home. The laptop distribution initiative began today with a three-day registration period for families requesting a laptop.
The initiative builds on the district’s Technology Plan. Implemented six years ago, the initiative provided a laptop for every Springfield Public School student in grades 3 through 12. The program provided a computer for every two students in grades kindergarten through second. In recent years, the district piloted a program that allowed students at the pilot schools to bring the laptops home at night, rather than leave them at school.
“Clearly, we were moving at a measured pace in the direction of providing a take-home laptop for every student, the coronavirus pandemic has forced us to quicken that pace exponentially,” said Superintendent of Schools Daniel Warwick. “As we engage in remote learning, it is important for us to make sure every student has access to the same resources.”
The initiative will allow families with students who need a laptop to either pick it up via drive-through at the student’s school or those without transportation can arrange for home delivery. Both alternatives will be scheduled. The Springfield Public Schools Information Technology Department, along with paraprofessionals, teachers, and Central Office staff who have volunteered to assist in the effort, will disinfect each laptop and help with distribution. The distribution process will follow appropriate social distancing guidelines to protect the health of staff, students and families.
Laptops are currently expected to be ready for scheduled pick-up or delivery beginning on April 6, 2020. Schools will reach out directly to families who register for a laptop to inform them of the distribution schedule.
The RMV will be strictly enforcing a No Walk-In Policy. Only Customers with Appointment Reservations Will Be Served for Required In-Person Transactions
Effective Friday, March 27, 2020 the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is enforcing a strict no walk-in policy at its eight service centers that are open to the general public. The only transactions that will be processed at service centers are those that require an in-person transaction, including Commercial Driving Licenses or Permits (CDLs/CLPs), some new registrations, out-of-state conversions and new Mass IDs. Customers who need to complete these transactions will be required to make an online appointment reservation, and customers arriving without an appointment will be asked to leave and make an appointment online to return at a future date.
Appointment reservations can be made online at in the myRMV Online Service Center under “Make or Cancel a Reservation.” Customers who make an appointment will receive a confirmation email that they should be prepared to show on arrival at their designated time at a specific service center. Customers can also call the Contact Center at 857-368-8000 to make a reservation.
Mayor Sarno Petitions HUD for Additional CDBG Funds for Small Business Assistance
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Chief Development Officer Tim Sheehan today sent a letter to David Tille, Regional Administrator for HUD, seeking flexibility to redeploy potentially $500,000 additional CDBG funding for the “Prime the Pump” restaurant grant program and to assist small businesses with a direct grant initiative.
Previously the City had announced and released the “Prime the Pump” grant application, aimed at providing immediate financial relief for restaurants in Springfield that have transitioned to take out service models. The goal of the program is to help preserve jobs and assist restaurant businesses through this difficult time.
Following up on this grant program, the city is seeking to utilize this additional CDBG funding from HUD for additional relief for our restaurants and other small businesses.
Mayor Sarno states, “It’s critical that we do what we can to help support our small businesses during these difficult times. I have directed my Chief Development Officer Tim Sheehan to follow up with HUD Regional Administrator David Tille on this matter and to prepare program guidelines for as early as next week so that we can get this much-needed assistance out to our small businesses. I want to thank Congressman Richard Neal for his continued leadership and for reaching out to HUD Secretary Ben Carson in support of our letter.”
Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Robert DeLeo today announced an agreement to extend the 2019 state individual income tax filing and payment deadline from April 15 to July 15 due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. This income tax relief is automatic and taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms to qualify.
Individuals with questions or concerns regarding taxes can contact the Massachusetts Department of Revenue at (617) 887-6367 or send a secure e-message through MassTaxConnect.
Mayor Sarno Signs on to Letter Asking the President and Federal Government to Coordinate Efforts for the Purchasing and Distribution of Medical Equipment
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, on March 27, 2020, signed onto a letter from the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group asking President Trump and the Federal Government to support our hospitals and healthcare facilities, and our cities, towns and states by using their federal power and authority to ramp up production of ventilators, PPE’s such as the N95 masks, testing kits and quicker turnaround for results, and other much-needed medical equipment.
Mayor Sarno stated, “This public health emergency situation has affected all of us across the nation. The needs of our cities, states, hospitals and other healthcare facilities to proactively respond to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 has put stress upon our first responders and front line personnel. It has pushed our resources to their limits. Now more than ever, we need a coordinated effort on a national scale to meet the ever growing demands of the purchasing and distribution of medical equipment.”
All city services continue to operate and serve the public’s needs. Imperative City services go beyond public safety and health care. Birth and death certificates still need to be issued, municipal lien certificates still need to be produced in order for house closings, payroll and benefits still need to be administered for City employees, IT services need to be available to assist employees working remotely.
Those things considered, all city employees continue to provide essential city services under modified schedules, which include working remotely, alternating days working on site, or any combination, which has been determined as appropriate by the department head where services can continue with minimum interruptions.
The City of Springfield has provided an Advisory, Recommendation and Resource guide to help provide guidance and assistance during this Public Health Emergency.
City of Springfield Office of Planning & Economic Development Resources
The City of Springfield’s Office of Planning & Economic Development will continue to update their dedicated COVID-19 Business Resources page with information, resources, and guidance for businesses here.
Governor Baker Issues New Order on COVID-19 Essential Services
Governor Charlie Baker issued an emergency order requiring all businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” 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. The Governor also updated his Assemly Order, limiting gatherings to 10 people or less.
The Governor has provided a list of Essential Services categories:
- Health Care & Public Health
- Law Enforcement, Public Safety & First Responders
- Food & Agriculture
- Critical Manufacturing
- Water & Wastewater
- Public Works
- Communications and Information Technology
- Financial Services
- Defense Industry Base
- Chemical Manufacturing & Hazardous Materials
- Other Designated Community Based Essential Function & Government Operations
- News Media
Click below for the Governor's full Essential Services announcment, complete list, and assemblage order update and guidance:
Hampden County Workforce Board
The Hampden County Workforce Board has updated information for anyone who needs to apply for unemployment insurance and assistance from Hampden County MassHire One-Stop Career Centers.
Following up on Governor Baker’s order to close all daycares and childcare centers across the Commonwealth, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, upon the recommendation of Health Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris, is strongly encouraging other venues to voluntarily adhere to and follow these Public Health Emergency recommendations by taking precautionary measures needed.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, the city is reminding everyone to adhere to the social distancing recommendations and asking that certain venues take the precautionary measures needed during these public health emergency times by voluntarily discontinuing services. The city is asking that barber shops, salons, hairdressers, tattoo and piercing studios, massage parlors and spas, and nail salons all take the precautionary measures during these public health emergency times and voluntarily discontinue services as to adhere to the social distancing guidelines of remaining at least six (6) feet apart.
The City of Springfield has launched a grant program aimed to assist our local restaurants during these challenging times by making available, funds to help restaurant businesses that seek to reorganize their service delivery operations to meet the public health restrictions and retain their existing employees to degree possible. Qualifying restaurants can apply for up to $15,000 to help with these expenses.
Western Mass EDC has provided a dedicated site listing available resources from both the state and community partners.
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offeringlow-interestfederal disaster loans for working capital for small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Hampden County has been identified as an eligible region.
For more information about available SBA resources and services, please visit: SBA.gov/coronavirus.
The Baker-Polito Administration announced economic support for small businesses with a $10 million loan fund to provide financial relief to those that have been affected by COVID-19.
Due to the state of emergency that has been declared by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Springfield, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno has announced that the City of Springfield will delay the due dates for the collection of certain fees.
Due to the evolving concerns related to the spread of COVID-19 – Coronavirus and out of an abundance of caution, the City of Springfield has announced that it will be closing City Hall and all other municipal buildings to the public beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020 until April 5, 2020.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno joined with Superintendent of Schools Dan Warwick, and Health Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris today in announcing a state of emergency in the City of Springfield and the temporary closing of schools.
Updates and news from the Springfield Public Schools.
Baystate Health has a dedicated website for news and developments on the COVID-19 situation
- Prohibiting Gatherings of More Than 10 People
- Businesses and Organizations
- Coastal Beach Parking Areas Emergency Order
- General Questions – Essential Services Related
Boating-Other Water Related Activities
- Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs: Guidance
- Grocery Store Worker Priority Testing
- Grocery Store Occupancy Emergency Order
- Grocery Stores and Pharmacies Order
- FEMA guidance regarding food purchase and distribution costs
- Early Education and Care:
- Hotel and Motel
- Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development:
- Nurseries, Greenhouses, Garden Centers, and Agricultural Supply Store Guidance
- Department of Agricultural Resources: Farmers' Markets, Farm Stands, & CSAs Guidance Memo #5
- DPH: Farmer’s Market Emergency Order
Emergency Medical Services
Schools-Non-Emergency Child Care
- Schools and Non-Emergency Child Care Program closures through the remaining of the school year: Extension Order | Press Release
- MA School Closure Order from March 17 until April 6
View all COVID-19 State of Emergency Orders.