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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Fall Cleaning Tips in Foxborough

8/18/2021 (Permalink)

leaves in background with white text box overlay Roof gutters are traces that route water off your roof, so it is really important to clean your gutters.

Roof gutters are traces that route water off your roof, so it is really important to clean your gutters. Clogged gutters can cause water to pool on your roof, which can lead to water damage and structural damage. Poor gutter maintenance leads to problems such as siding, windows, doors, and foundations.

Some gutters have leaf-catching systems, but even these gutters need to be checked. The best approach is to plan a day when you can check your gutters to make sure they are ready for the next season. 

If you want to manually clean your gutters the best time is the day after a light rain; damp leaves and dirt will come up easier.  If you are cleaning this yourself,  use a narrow trowel to scoop and dispose of it in the garbage bag. 

Next, use the hose to remove loose silt and anything else. If there's an obstruction in your downspout, use a plumber's snake.  Have a helper who can spot you on the ladder as needed. 

Take a look at how the water is draining from your roof. If you see large drips along the joints where sections of gutter are attached your gutters may need repair; give someone a call to check it out.

SERVPRO of Foxborough is available 24/7 including holidays and weekends to assist you with any storm damage “Like it never even happened.” 

Summer Fires Safety Tips in Foxborough

8/13/2021 (Permalink)

Fire in background with orange box and SERVPRO logo Fires can be caused in the summertime because of grilling outdoors, family gatherings, and celebrations.

Fires can be caused in the summertime because of grilling outdoors, family gatherings, and celebrations. There are different types of fires during the summer months: 

Grill fires: Fires from grills happen when there is mishandling of the igniting of the grill. Make sure that your grill is free of branches, roofs, or any overhang.

Air Conditioning Fires: Inadequate wiring can cause a fire. If your AC heats up, call for help immediately to ensure it doesn’t transfer to something nearby. 

Smoking Fires: Make sure to keep cigarettes properly put out before throwing them on the ground. 

Summer is a time to enjoy the outdoors, have fun, and have plenty of gatherings.

SERVPRO of Foxborough is available 24/7 including holidays and weekends to assist you with any fire damage “Like it never even happened.” 

Summer House Safety in Foxborough

8/13/2021 (Permalink)

Windows in background with white text overlay There are still many cookouts, bonfires, and outdoor activities happening in the last weeks of summer. It is important to keep track of repairs.

There are still many cookouts, bonfires, and outdoor activities happening in the last weeks of summer. It is important to keep track of repairs and installations you can make throughout your home. 

We’ve put together all the tips you need to keep your family and home secure throughout the summer. 

  • Install sun shades to your windows to deflect heat.
  • Reseal any cracking caulk on external windows and doors to prevent any leaks. 
  • Inspect the outside of your home for cracks and any overhanging tree limbs that could fall during a storm. 
  • Protect yourself in the event of a flood from a summer storm by double-checking that you have flood insurance added to your home insurance policy.
  • Spray your yard home to protect it from insects, pests, and other creatures.
  • Schedule a yearly inspection to help catch termites and stop them in their tracks before they cause major damage to your home’s structure. 

SERVPRO of Foxborough is available 24/7 including holidays and weekends to assist you with any fire damage “Like it never even happened.” 

Fire prevention tips for your business in Foxborough

8/13/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial building in background with leaves and white text box overlay If you are looking for help in creating an Emergency Readiness Plan, contact us today for no cost. SERVPRO of Foxborough is available 24/7.

A fire can cause severe damage to business structures and more. The owner should focus on fire risk assessment, fire prevention, and education of the staff to help should a fire arise.


Here are three tips to consider:
1. Have fire protection equipment: Look into an automatic sprinkler system. This will provide primary fire protection for your business.
2. Fire safety in the workplace: Your employees are part of your team but they’re also essential assets to your business. Ensure that your employees know what to do if there's a fire.
3. Evacuation plan: Every business should post a fire evacuation plan in several spots around the workplace. In case of fire injuries, your staff should be familiar with the location of the first-aid kit.

If you are looking for help in creating an Emergency Readiness Plan, contact us today for no cost. SERVPRO of Foxborough is available 24/7 including holidays and weekends to assist you with any fire damage “Like it never even happened.”

National Grilling Season in Foxborough

7/11/2021 (Permalink)

Grill in background with white overlay box and text Did you know that July is National Grilling Month? Summer is the time to enjoy the whole family together and fire up the grill.

Did you know that July is National Grilling Month? 

Summer is the time to enjoy the whole family together and fire up the grill. Enjoy the summer months by celebrating and entertaining with the best kinds of summer food.

Here are a few helpful tips for you during your grilling season: 

  • Keep your grill clean: Keeping your grill clean can extend the life of your grill and it can also help your food taste the best. Stuck on grease should be cleaned, this can cause large fires when cooking. 
  • Always preheat the grill: This helps prevent food from sticking to the grates. More importantly, it helps cook your food evenly. 
  • Wash your hands often: When handling raw meat, it is best to wash your hands with warm soapy water. 
  • Keep the food cold: Keep food cold until you are ready to cook. 
  • Monitor your grill: You should never leave your grill unattended, this can cause a large fire to anything nearby. 

SERVPRO of Foxborough is available 24/7 including holidays and weekends to assist you with any fire damage “Like it never even happened.”

National Pet Fire Safety Day in Foxborough

7/11/2021 (Permalink)

dog in background with orange text box and SERVPRO logo National Pet Fire Safety Day is July 15th. This is a day to learn how to keep your pet safe in a fire.

National Pet Fire Safety Day is July 15th.  This is a day to learn how to keep your pet safe in a fire. 

Here are some facts about pets and fires:

Pets cause over 1,000 house fires each year in the United States. It is important to make sure that there is nothing near by them that can start a fire. 

Did you know that there are nearly 360,000 house fires each year in the United States? It is important to prevent fires whenever possible. 

Over 40,000 pets die every year in house fires; awareness can save lives, just by having a plan should a fire arise is critical. 

The best tip should a fire arise is to have an escape plan that includes your pets. You will want to discuss who will be in charge of rescuing your pet in the event of a fire. Practicing fire drills can help your family,  but also ensures your pets are not forgotten.

SERVPRO of Foxborough is available 24/7 including holidays and weekends to assist you with any fire damage “Like it never even happened.”

Back to School Safety Tips in Foxborough

7/11/2021 (Permalink)

Kids in background with white box overlay and text Summer is flying by and believe it or not, parents are starting to think about Back to School already. Here are safety tips for Back to School.

Summer is flying by and believe it or not, parents are starting to think about Back to School already. As the school year starts to arrive quickly we wanted to share some tips with you: 

  • Be on the lookout for school zone signals, and slow down to obey all traffic laws.
  • Always stop for school busses whenever applicable. 
  • Watch out for school crossing guards and obey their signals.
  • Be aware of children near schools, bus stops, sidewalks, in the streets, and in school parking lots.
  • Never pass other vehicles while driving in a school zone.
  • Avoid using a cell phone while driving in a school zone.
  • Make sure a supervisor is always present when children are at the school’s playground. 
  • Allow time for drop-off and pick up. Leave early enough to arrive at school at least 10 minutes prior to the start of school.
  • If your child is walking to school make sure they go straight home after school. 
  • Always use public sidewalks and streets when walking to school.
  • If your child is walking to school, have them walk with other students. 
  • Make sure to teach your children to recognize and obey traffic signals and signs.
  • Teach your children to only cross streets at designated crosswalks.
  • Make sure to enforce looking both ways before crossing the street.
  • Make sure the bus comes to a complete stop before getting on or off.
  • When riding the bus, make sure your child understands to remain seated.

SERVPRO of Foxborough is available 24/7 including holidays and weekends to assist you with any damage “Like it never even happened.”

Bellingham Plans $1 Million in Roadwork This Summer

6/10/2021 (Permalink)

traffic cones during sunset The town of Bellingham can expect lots of road work and town infrastructure improvements this summer

The town of Bellingham is preparing for a hot and fun summer of swimming, sports... and roadwork. Monday, June 14th, will mark the beginning of the road projects, which will span throughout the summer. While the town was looking to spread out the dates of road work occurrence, because of funding restrictions, the town will have to plan to finish the majority of the work this summer. From road repaving to drainage projects, even including some town center improvements, the community can expect to see a lot of orange cones scattering the road. Department of Public Works Director Don DiMartino acknowledges that "Nothing happened last year, we were ready to launch, but couldn’t launch without MassDOT approval … and things like that.” Beginning with a major town center reconstruction, including new curbing, widened lanes, and updates traffic signals, the large project will span into the end of June next year. 

Read more on the Milford Daily News website, linked below.

https://www.milforddailynews.com/story/news/2021/06/07/bellingham-ma-schedules-1-million-roadwork-over-summer/7547390002/

Fireworks safety in Foxborough

6/8/2021 (Permalink)

fireworks background with white box and SERVPRO logo Fireworks Safety Month is in June. Summer months are exciting with celebrations of summer, vacations, and the Fourth of July.

Fireworks Safety Month is in June. Summer months are exciting with celebrations of summer, vacations, and the Fourth of July. 

It is a fun time for outdoor activities such as barbeques. However, many like to celebrate with fireworks. Fireworks are beautiful, but can also be dangerous. Fireworks’ safety should be taken heavily. Most fireworks injuries are reported between June 16 to July 16. 

It is important to learn about fireworks safety methods and instructions.

Speak up if you see others indulging in fireworks activities that are dangerous. 

Practice using fireworks safely. It’s a celebration of our protectors; the fire and health departments work hard for our comfort and safety; practice safe fireworks. 

Enjoy all of your summer celebrations, but practice the necessary safety precautions while doing it.

SERVPRO of Foxborough is available 24/7 including holidays and weekends to assist you and get your home back to “Like it never even happened.” 

National Insurance Awareness Day in Foxborough

6/7/2021 (Permalink)

Houses in background with orange box and SERVPRO logo June 28 is National Insurance Awareness Day. It is a good idea to look over your yearly insurance coverages and deductibles

June 28 is National Insurance Awareness Day. It is a good idea to look over your yearly insurance coverages and deductibles; you never know when a disaster can strike in your home. This means it is a good day to evaluate your insurance coverage and assess your risk. 

It is important to review your policies and consider any life changes that might require updating your coverage. This can help you in the future should a disaster ever happen. 

Hurricane season started on June 1st. Do you need supplemental flood or wind insurance? Anywhere that it can rain, it can flood. 

SERVPRO of Foxborough is available 24/7 including holidays and weekends to assist you and get your home back to “Like it never even happened.”

Finish At The 50 Road Race in Patriot Place this September

6/4/2021 (Permalink)

logo for finish at the 50 The popular 5K race, hosted by Patriot Place and run by Harvard Pilgrim, will return this Labor Day weekend.

The Foxborough area is looking forward to the Finish At The 50 road race which is returning to Patriot Place this September. On Labor Day weekend this fall, the Harvard Pilgrim event will be finishing at the 50 yard line at Gillette Stadium, welcoming back runners to Patriot Place for the annual race. After last year's cancellation, the return of the popular 5K race is a sign of a return to normalcy, which is exciting for the community as a whole after a hard almost two years of the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the nation. Brian Earley, the vice president and general manager of Patriot Place, remarks that “The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has made incredible progress through the reopening process and we look forward to safely welcoming our runners back to this exciting annual event in 2021 and for years to come.” Registration to enter the race will be located on finishatthe50.com. 

SERVPRO of Foxborough celebrates nurses

5/6/2021 (Permalink)

Nurse in background with orange box overlay Tell someone about the excellent care you’ve received from a nurse. All it takes is a simple ‘thank you.’

Did you know National Nurses Day is observed every year on May 6th? Help us raise awareness of all nurses on this day. We acknowledge the vital role nurses play in society. 

National Nurses Week is May 6th and ends on May 12th. Nurses play a vital part in our community every day. We should not only celebrate and appreciate them during this time but every day. 

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalNursesDay

You can recognize nurses everywhere. 

Celebrate their dedication and commitment to their patients and career. 

Tell someone about the excellent care you’ve received from a nurse.

All it takes is a simple ‘thank you.’ 

When you visit a doctor, make sure to follow the instructions they give you and ask questions. Asking questions is always critical especially for your health. 

Give nurses you know a shout-out and thank them for their hard work.

Use #NationalNursesDay to share a story and recognition on social media.

SERVPRO of Foxborough is available 24/7 including holidays and weekends to assist you and get your home back to “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO of Foxborough celebrates Cinco De Mayo

5/5/2021 (Permalink)

Mexican food with white overlay Do you kow that Cinco de Mayo is Spanish for “fifth of May?” Many seem to enjoy and celebrate this day.

Do you kow that Cinco de Mayo is Spanish for “fifth of May?” Many seem to enjoy and celebrate this day. 

Cinco De May’s rooted history in the Franco-Mexican War in the early years of the American Civil War. In 1860s the communities took up the banner of the Cinco De Mayo celebration as a way to celebrate the cause of freedom.

In the United States displays of banners are hung and there are events highlighting Mexican culture, music, and dancing. Schools sometimes share special events to educate students about its historical significance. Many celebrate with Mexican products and services with an emphasis on beverages, food, and music.

Share your Mexican heritage and use #CincodeMayo to post on social media.

SERVPRO of Foxborough  is available 24/7 including holidays and weekends to assist you and get your home back to “Like it never even happened.” 

SERVPRO of Norwood Foxborough is celebrating International Firefighters’ Day 2021

5/4/2021 (Permalink)

firefighters in background with orange box and SERVPRO logo Firefighters are our family, friends, and co-workers at SERVPRO of Foxborough.

The (NFFF) National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Observes International Firefighters’ Day 2021.

This day was established in 1999 to honor the lives of firefighters who died in a wildfire in Victoria, Australia. It helps to recognize the service and sacrifice that firefighters make daily. 

This day of recognition is the mission behind the NFFF. They help to honor and remember fallen firefighters. They assist families in rebuilding their lives but also are incredible for our community. 

Firefighters are our family, friends, and co-workers at SERVPRO of Foxborough. They respond to calls without any hesitation. They take amazing care of our community. Join us in thanking firefighters for all that they do. They work the front lines every day and our communities are made stronger by the dedication of these firefighters.

We appreciate them today and every day. Thank you for all that you do in the community.  

SERVPRO of Foxborough is available 24/7 including holidays and weekends to assist you and get your home back to “Like it never even happened.” 

Thanks to our SERVPRO of Foxborough administrative staff

4/25/2021 (Permalink)

Person at desk with laptop and books Thank you to our administrative staff at SERVPRO of Foxborough each and every day.

Administrative Professionals Day was April 21st. We did celebrate with our staff and are a little

late to post about it. We want to share this special day with our local community.

Administrative Professionals Day is a special day to recognizes assistants and office staff. They not only help the staff members every day but also are helpful for our customers at SERVPRO.

We strive to show appreciation to our staff whenever possible; they hold us all together. It is important to show appreciation throughout the year. There are fairly simple ways to recognize a team member: candy, coffee, or just a catered lunch.

Marcel Proust -- “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

Thank you to our administrative staff at SERVPRO of Foxborough each and every day. Here at SERVPRO, we have the certified professionals you need to help restore your home or business. Contact us today at (508) 533-5305 for more information.

Spring Storm Tips for Foxborough, MA

4/25/2021 (Permalink)

Storm with Lightning over white box with SERVPRO logo Spring is here in Norwood West Roxbury. It is a fun time of year. However, spring can also mean strong storms.

Spring is here in Norwood West Roxbury. It is a fun time of year from the cook out’s, to sports, and gatherings. However, spring can also mean strong severe storms. There are some simple things you can do to prepare for storms before they happen.

Here are a few tips to consider:

  1. Trim trees: You will want to get rid of dead branches. They could end up being dangerous in a severe storm.

  2. Ensure sump pumps are working: Rainstorms can result in flooded basements. You will want to make sure they are working properly now, not when the storm comes.

  3. Secure backyard items: Move any large items that can be blown away with high winds such as patio furniture, lawn chairs, propane tanks, grills, flags, and poles, to your shed, or garage.

Be ready for power outages:

  1. Think ahead: Plan to have ice in your freezer before the storm arrives.

  2. Use a cooler: Add any food that you want to access easily to in the cooler. This will keep

    other items in the fridge without constantly opening the fridge.

  3. Extras: Check to make sure you have extra batteries, drinking water, and a good first-aid kit

    readily accessible.

If you find yourself in need of restoration for your home or business, give SERVPRO a call at (508) 533-5305, we respond faster to any size disaster.

Why Choose SERVPRO Foxborough - Never Closed

4/6/2021 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of SERVPRO of Foxborough, we understand emergencies are not planned and they never occur at a good time. Emergencies rarely occur Monday through Friday between the hours of 9AM-5PM. If they could be predicted, there would be far fewer fire and water damage emergencies to remedy.

At SERVPRO of Foxborough, we're ready to assist with your emergency 24 hours a day, every day of the year, including holidays. No matter the time of the day, even when we receive a call in the middle of the night, our Disaster Remediation Teams are ready to provide service. 

Timely response is important when mitigating fire and water damage which is why our team is ready to respond when contacted. After hours emergency call are dispatched to our on-call staff and Disaster Remediation Team. They will immediately coordinate with our clients arrival time. We are truly a phone call or computer click away.

Calling SERVPRO of Foxborough at (508) 533-5305 as soon as possible after damage strikes your commercial or residential property will minimize the total damage and ensure a faster recovery. We will make it, "Like it never even happened."

Why Choose SERVPRO Foxborough - Cleanup After A Fire

3/9/2021 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Foxborough, we understand that many people do not realize just how common home fires are.  According to a survey conducted by the American Red Cross in 2019, many people overestimate their ability to react to a home fire and do not take the necessary steps to keep their loved ones safe.  The American Red Cross states that “Every day seven people in this country die in a home fire and another 36 people are hurt."  They also reported that during the most recent five year period, US fire departments responded to an estimated average of 354,400 home structure fires per year. These fires caused an annual average of 2,620 civilian deaths; 11,220 civilian fire injuries; and $6.9 billion in direct property damage.  It is important to recognize that home fires are the most common disaster people face in the United States. 

When a fire strikes there is little time to escape safely.  Generally, homeowners have approximately three minutes to escape a house fire that occurs at night. The earlier a smoke alarm alerts you of a fire, the more likely you will be able to react and get out without injury or loss of life. Having a plan in place and predetermined outdoor meeting place is an easy way to increase your family's chances of surviving a fire and practicing that plan increases your chances even further! 

Once everyone is safe and the fire is extinguished it is time to tackle the cleanup. Completely removing all water, smoke and soot are the critical first steps to take when mitigating fire damage disasters and requires a professional. Calling SERVPRO of Foxborough at (508) 533-5305 as soon as possible after fire damage stakes your commercial or residential property will minimize the total damage and ensure that unpleasant odors are not left behind. We will make it, "Like it never even happened."

Update on Nor'Easter (02/01/2021)

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

At 5 pm today, on February 1st, we're still in the thick of this current nor'easter. Snowfall rates this evening will increase at rates of 1-2 inches per hour as the temperatures drop below freezing. This will allow the bulk of the snow to accumulate. The snow will be thick, heavy and pasty. All of southern NE is under a winter storm warning except for Cape Cod and the Islands where warm air has intruded near the surface, causing the snow to turn to rain. In fact, the rain-snow line seems to be pressing westward both north of Boston and along the Southshore.


Tonight, in Hopkinton/Middlesex county, expect the snow to transition to an icy mix for a couple of hours, followed by rain. Tomorrow morning, areas north and west of Boston will experience sleet mixing with snow on the roadways. Conditions will improve as the storm pulls away to the north. Wednesday should improve with flurries possible in the am. Temps begin to warm into the 40's on Thursday and Friday. Another storm system is possible by early next week. We are following this current nor'easter very closely and will continue to post timely updates. As always, we are here to assist with any damages caused by snow, rain, winds, or any other occurrence. Do you have questions about our services? Check out our website, or call! We are here to help!

Planning To Reopen - Latest COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Update - Phase 3

1/14/2021 (Permalink)

The Baker Administration and the Department of Public Health developed a vaccine distribution timeline after extensive consultation with the Massachusetts Vaccine Advisory Group. This group is comprised of leaders from health care, the faith community, community organizations, local government, and others. 

The timeline reflects several priorities: protecting our most vulnerable, maintaining health care system capacity, and addressing inequities in health care access and COVID-19 burden. 

The current phased approach distribution of COVID-19 in MA is as follows: 

(NOTE: These timelines are estimates based on current COVID-19 regulations and production capabilities.)

Phase 3 April 2021

The vaccine is expected to be available to the general public, including:

  1. Higher education workers, including administrators, teaching and non-teaching staff;
  2. Bottled beverage industry workers;
  3. Veterinarians

Phase 3 Vaccination Settings:

Once the vaccine is available to the general public, public vaccine clinics will be available on the CDC’s interactive website: vaccinefinder.org. You will also be able to check with your primary care provider, local pharmacy or local health department.

Facts About COVID-19 Vaccination

  1. Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?
    1. No. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. 
    2. There are several different types of vaccines in development. All of them teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work.
    3. It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity (protection against the virus that causes COVID-19) after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.
  2. After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, will I test positive for COVID-19 on a viral test?
    1. No. Neither the recently authorized and recommended vaccines nor the other COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States can cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.?
    2. If your body develops an immune response—the goal of vaccination—there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.
  3. If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine
    1. Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, vaccine should be offered to you regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection. CDC is providing recommendations to federal, state, and local governments about who should be vaccinated first.
    2. At this time, according to the CDC, it is not yet known how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. More data is required.
  4. Will a COVID-19 vaccination protect me from getting sick with COVID-19?
    1. Yes. COVID-19 vaccination works by teaching your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, and this protects you from getting sick with COVID-19.
    2. Being protected from getting sick is important because even though many people with COVID-19 have only a mild illness, others may get a severe illness, have long-term health effects, or even die.
  5. Will a COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?
    1. No. COVID-19 mRNA vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way. 

It is critical for all of us to remain vigilant in our battle against COVID-19. COVID-19 remains a highly transmissible disease. Individuals should continue to follow these universal precautions:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

We will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office While the administration continues to work with Federal and Local agencies to insure the safety and wellbeing of the residents of the Commonwealth during this ongoing pandemic and now manage the delivery of the much needed aid. 

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines required to ensure a safe environment for fellow members of our community. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Latest COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Update - Phase 2

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

The Baker Administration and the Department of Public Health developed a vaccine distribution timeline after extensive consultation with the Massachusetts Vaccine Advisory Group. This group is comprised of leaders from health care, the faith community, community organizations, local government, and others. 

The timeline reflects several priorities: protecting our most vulnerable, maintaining health care system capacity, and addressing inequities in health care access and COVID-19 burden. 

The current phased approach distribution of COVID-19 in MA is as follows: 

Phase 2 Feb 2021 – Mar 2021 

  1. Adults 65+
  2. Adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19. Severe illness from COVID-19 is defined as hospitalization, admission to the ICU, intubation or mechanical ventilation, or death.
  3. Individuals with 2 co-morbid conditions and/or age 75+
    1. Cancer
    2. Chronic kidney disease
    3. COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
    4. Down Syndrome
    5. Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
    6. Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
    7. Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2)
    8. Severe Obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2)
    9. Pregnancy
    10. Sickle cell disease
    11. Smoking
    12. Type 2 diabetes mellitusAdults of any age with the following conditions are at increased risk of severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19:
    13. Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
    14. Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
    15. Cystic fibrosis
    16. Hypertension or high blood pressure
    17. Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
    18. Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
    19. Liver disease
    20. Overweight (BMI > 25 kg/m2, but < 30 kg/m2)
    21. Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
    22. Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
    23. Type 1 diabetes mellitus
  4. Other workers, including:
    1. Early education, K-12, transit, grocery, utility, food and agriculture, restaurant and cafe workers;
    2. Employees across the food, beverages, agriculture, consumer goods, retail, and foodservice sectors;
    3. Meatpackers;
    4. Sanitation, public works and public health workers, vaccine development workers, food pantry workers, Uber/Lyft/ride share services/pharmacy delivery drivers (under transit/transportation workers), workers in the passenger ground transportation industry (e.g. paratransit for people with Disabilities, food delivery, non-urgent medical transport);
    5. Convenience store workers (under grocery workers);
    6. Water and wastewater utility staff
    7. Court system workers (judges, prosecutors, defense attorney, clerks), other than court officers who are listed under first responders

Phase 2 Vaccination Settings:

  1. Most health care workers will be vaccinated at their place of employment
  2. First responders can visit mass.gov/FirstResponderVaccine for COVID-19 vaccine locations and more information
  3. Individuals living and working in long term care will be vaccinated as part of the Federal Pharmacy Partnership Program
  4. Vaccination for individuals in other congregate settings (e.g., group homes, shelters, corrections) will be coordinated by the management of those facilities
  5. Many additional vaccination administration sites will be made available for other populations

It is critical for all of us to remain vigilant in our battle against COVID-19. COVID-19 remains a highly transmissible disease. Individuals should continue to follow these universal precautions:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

We will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office While the administration continues to work with Federal and Local agencies to insure the safety and wellbeing of the residents of the Commonwealth during this ongoing pandemic and now manage the delivery of the much needed aid. 

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines required to ensure a safe environment for fellow members of our community. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Latest COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Update - Phase 1

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

The Baker Administration and the Department of Public Health developed a vaccine distribution timeline after extensive consultation with the Massachusetts Vaccine Advisory Group. This group is comprised of leaders from health care, the faith community, community organizations, local government, and others. 

The timeline reflects several priorities: protecting our most vulnerable, maintaining health care system capacity, and addressing inequities in health care access and COVID-19 burden. 

The current phased approach distribution of COVID-19 in MA is as follows: 

Phase 1 Dec 2020 – Feb 2021 

(Listed in order of priority)

  1. Clinical and non-clinical health care workers doing direct and COVID-facing care - including:
    1. COVID-19 testers, staff of test sites, urgent care centers, other clinics, school nurses, and public health nurses performing COVID-19 testing; 
    2. COVID-19 vaccinators and support staff for a COVID vaccination clinic including pharmacists, pharmacy interns, and pharmacy technicians, school nurses, and public health nurses supporting COVID-19 vaccination; 
    3. Medical Reserve Corps who are called up to vaccinate or other COVID facing direct care work; 
    4. COVID facing Hospice/palliative care professionals; 
    5. COVID facing laboratory staff; 
    6. COVID facing imaging professions;
    7. Emergent employees (manufacturing COVID vaccine)
    8. Sexual assault nurse examiners (SANE)
    9. Primary care providers
    10. Skilled nursing facility rapid response teams
  2. Long term care facilities, rest homes and assisted living facilities
  3. Emergency medical services, police, and fire - including:
    1. All inter-facility transport workers, MedFlight staff, college/university campus police, 911 Dispatch employees
    2. Federal law enforcement (including FBI, DEA, Coast Guard, federal court officers, U.S. Marshals Service, ATF, Federal Reserve Police, Homeland Security investigators)
    3. Court officers
    4. Harbormasters/Assistant Harbormasters
  4. Congregate care settings
    1. Corrections and shelters
    2. Patients and staff of SUD treatment programs (if program is residential)
    3. Patients and staff of Section 35 treatment programs
    4. Adults with autism, intellectual disabilities, and severe behavioral challenges in residential programs
  5. Home-based health care workers
    1. PT/OT/SLP therapists who work with medically complex home students
    2. Personal Care Attendants (PCAs)
    3. Home Health, hospice, and home care agency staff performing visits in the home
    4. Independent Nurses and Continuous Skilled Nursing staff performing visits in the home
    5. Aging Service agency staff performing regular visits in the home
    6. State Agency staff performing direct care in the home, including DCF Emergency Response Workers, DMH case managers and DDS care coordinators
    7. Mental and behavioral health providers providing in home treatment (e.g., ACCS integrated team, PACT, CBHI, ABA, ESP)
    8. Adult Foster Care and Group Adult Foster Care workers performing work in the home
    9. Independent Therapists (physical therapists, occupational therapists, Speech & Language therapists) performing work in the home
    10. Home-Based Respite and Individual/Family Support staff (DDS and DDS Self Directed)
  6. Health care workers doing non-COVID-facing care - including:
    1. Dentists/dental students, and dental hygienists (unless routinely working with COVID-19 positive or suspected patients such as Oral Surgeons covering the ER, in which case should be considered COVID-facing);
    2. Medical and nursing students (unless routinely working with COVID-19 positive or suspected patients, in which case should be considered COVID-facing);
    3. Inpatient and outpatient physical therapists (unless routinely working with COVID-19 positive or suspect patients, in which case should be considered COVID-facing);
    4. Interpreters who work in hospitals (unless routinely working with COVID-19 positive or suspected patients, in which case should be considered COVID-facing); 
    5. Behavioral health clinicians not already covered in congregate care or direct care; 
    6. Non-COVID facing Laboratory workers; 
    7. Blood donation workers; 
    8. Organ donation procurement worker; 
    9. Hospice/palliative care professionals; 
    10. Non-COVID facing Imaging Professionals;
    11. Dialysis center workers and patients; 
    12. Audiologists and speech and language pathologists (unless routinely working with COVID-19 positive or suspected patients, in which case should be considered COVID-facing);
    13. Podiatrists (unless routinely working with COVID-19 positive or suspected patients, in which case should be considered COVID-facing)
    14. Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) staff
    15. Audiologists
    16. SUD treatment program staff (if program is non-residential)
  7. Individuals who do not come into contact with patients (e.g., back office, remote work, administrative staff who do not come into contact with patients, laboratory researchers who do not come into contact with patients) are not prioritized in Phase 1 and should be prioritized in Phase 2 or Phase 3 depending on each individual’s age, comorbidity status, or other worker category.

Phase 1 Vaccination Settings:

  1. Most health care workers will be vaccinated at their place of employment
  2. First responders can visit mass.gov/FirstResponderVaccine for COVID-19 vaccine locations and more information
  3. Individuals living and working in long term care will be vaccinated as part of the Federal Pharmacy Partnership Program
  4. Vaccination for individuals in other congregate settings (e.g., group homes, shelters, corrections) will be coordinated by the management of those facilities
  5. Many additional vaccination administration sites will be made available for other populations

It is critical for all of us to remain vigilant in our battle against COVID-19. COVID-19 remains a highly transmissible disease. Individuals should continue to follow these universal precautions:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

We will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office While the administration continues to work with Federal and Local agencies to insure the safety and wellbeing of the residents of the Commonwealth during this ongoing pandemic and now manage the delivery of the much needed aid. 

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines required to ensure a safe environment for fellow members of our community. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Latest COVID-19 Vaccine Update

1/7/2021 (Permalink)

Governor Charlie Baker has voiced his concerns regarding the potential increase in COVID-19 cases coming out of the holiday season. Baker said while it remained too early to draw definitive conclusions, it appeared the state is seeing a uptick in coronavirus hospitalizations stemming from the December holidays.

He also shared the change in the average age of COVID-19 patients. At the beginning of November the average age of patients receiving hospitalization for COVID-19 was 61. The average age has increased significantly. Currently it is 71 years old.

In light of this new data Governor Baker announced that people age 75 or older had been moved higher up in the order of the state's vaccination plan; and that first responders will begin receiving vaccination shots next week.

The 75-plus age group is now part of Phase 2, Group 1 in the rollout, joining people with two co-morbid conditions as those considered at high risk for complications from COVID-19. They had previously been listed later in Phase 2. 

The change affects about 170,000 people and was recommended by the state's advisory board.

But the next set of people who will receive the vaccine are the state's roughly 45,000 first responders, the third of seven groups in Phase 1, who can begin to be vaccinated starting next Monday, Jan. 11.

"Police officers, firefighters EMTs and all first responders work in risky situations every day and this vaccine will protect them from COVID and the terrible illness that can come with it," Baker said during a press conference Monday.

There are three options for getting the vaccine, outlined on the state's first responder vaccination website:

  • Departments that meet certain criteria, like being able to vaccinate at least 200 first responders and store the doses on-site, can administer the shots themselves. 
  • More than 60 sites have been stood up to give first responders the vaccine.
  • The state is working on developing four mass vaccination sites that can vaccinate up to 2,000 people per day, the details of which are still yet to be released. Baker said it's likely those sites would continue to be used after first responders are vaccinated.

It is critical for all of us to remain vigilant in our battle against COVID-19. COVID-19 remains a highly transmissible disease. Individuals should continue to follow these universal precautions:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

We will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office While the administration continues to work with Federal and Local agencies to insure the safety and wellbeing of the residents of the Commonwealth during this ongoing pandemic and now manage the delivery of the much needed aid. 

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines required to ensure a safe environment for fellow members of our community. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Latest COVID-19 Update

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

At his press conference yesterday, Governor Charlie Baker reiterated the importance of remaining vigilant in following the Administration's guidelines to control the spread of COVID-19 and warned of the reality that the new, more contagious variant of the coronavirus has arrived in the state. 

"I think most of us are working on the assumption that it's here," Baker said at a press conference at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield. "There would be no reason not to."

Currently, four states have confirmed the presence of this new strand of the COVID-19 virus:

  1. New York
  2. Colorado
  3. California 
  4. Florida

The first U.S. case of the U.K. virus was detected by health officials in Colorado at the end of December in a man in his 20s. The most concerning aspect of this discovery was that this individual had no recent travel history.

Governor Baker shared the latest data on the spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts:

  1. The number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 has increased again, to 2,339.
  2. Of those hospitalized, 423 were listed as being in intensive care units
  3. Of those in ICU 258 are intubated

He assured residents that Department of Public Health is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to monitor the potential spread of this new variant into the Commonwealth.

He also took this time to remind residents that the rollback on coronavirus restrictions that took effect last month are still in affect until at least noon on Jan. 10. These include a crack down on gatherings and businesses and a requirement that hospitals halt most elective surgeries. The major impact of these rollbacks was a reduction in maximum capacity limits to 25% for the following:

  1. Restaurants
  2. Movie theaters and performance venues
  3. Casinos
  4. Offices
  5. Places of worship
  6. Retail businesses
  7. Fitness centers and health clubs
  8. Libraries
  9. Golf facilities
  10. Driving and flight schools
  11. Arcades
  12. Museums

Baker closed by reiterating the need for people to refrain from unnecessary social gatherings and follow guidelines set forth by the state. He said, "I'll go back to my little speech about how important it is for people to wear masks, maintain distance and recognize and appreciate that when you're not with the people you live with, you really ought to be very vigilant and careful and cautious about your physical engagement with other people," and that, "everything we can do to be vigilant is going to protect you and the members of your family from getting the virus or potentially giving it to someone else."

It is critical for all of us to remain vigilant in our battle against COVID-19. COVID-19 remains a highly transmissible disease. Individuals should continue to follow these universal precautions:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

We will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office While the administration continues to work with Federal and Local agencies to insure the safety and wellbeing of the residents of the Commonwealth during this ongoing pandemic and now manage the delivery of the much needed aid. 

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines required to ensure a safe environment for fellow members of our community. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Travel FAQ 18-26

1/5/2021 (Permalink)

The holiday season has past but travel risks remain. It remains important that we all do our best to continue to travel as responsibly and safely as possible. The Baker Administration has set forth guidelines to follow for those of us where travel is unavoidable this Holiday Season. The following are FAQ to help residents of the Commonwealth better understand the requirements. 

18.  May travelers from places other than lower-risk states be exempt from the Travel Order requirements if traveling for the purpose of running errands like going to the grocery store or pharmacy?

  • Travelers are exempt from the requirements to fill out the Travel Form and self-quarantine or obtain a negative COVID-19 test result if their travel is limited to brief trips for purposes that the Commissioner has designated as Critical Life Activities.  This allowance is limited to short, same-day trips across the border and back for the following purposes:  grocery shopping, visits to pharmacies, attending appointments with licensed health care providers including medical, dental, or mental health,, visiting persons receiving treatment in hospitals or residing in congregate care settings, attendance at day care or children’s camps, attending religious services and funerals or memorial services, or attending to the care needs of family members.
  • During such trips, travelers are instructed to wear face-coverings, maintain social distance, practice good hygiene, and adhere to all other COVID-19 rules and restrictions.

19.  I am a resident of RI attending a wedding in MA. Is the wedding considered a Commissioner’s Exemption under “religious services?”

  • The wedding service itself can be considered an exemption as a religious service.  However, any reception or celebration which either precedes or follows the ceremony is not exempted and requires either quarantining or a 72 hour negative test result in order to attend.

20.  Are parents, guardians, and children required to comply with the Travel Order if traveling for the purpose of managing shared custody of a child?

  • Children who travel into and out of Massachusetts because of transfers of custody or visitation between parents or guardians are exempt from the requirements of the order.  Parents and guardians may rely on the transitory travel exemption, provided they comply with its limitations. 

21.  Other states’ travel restrictions include exemptions for trips that last less than 24 hours. Does Massachusetts have a similar exemption?

  • No, there is no specific exemption for trips that last less than 24 hours.  Such short trips may be covered by exemptions like the ones for transitory travel or commuting for work or school. Travelers arriving from places other than lower-risk States must fill out the Travel Form and self-quarantine or obtain a negative test result if they do not meet one of these exemptions.

22.  I am looking to be exempt from the requirement to self-quarantine by obtaining a negative COVID-19 test, but I am unable to get tested in the state that I am traveling from. What can I do?

  • A traveler who is required to quarantine may be released from the obligation to continue quarantining upon obtaining proof of a COVID-19 negative test, which was administered after the person’s arrival in Massachusetts. Travelers are required to quarantine immediately upon arrival in Massachusetts but may temporarily break quarantine to receive testing.  Travelers must arrange for the test at their own expense and then are required to immediately continue quarantining until receiving a negative test result or the 10 days is complete.

23.  After completing the Travel Form, do I need to keep a copy of my submission on-hand?

  • You should keep the documentation with you.  If you obtained a negative COVID-19 test result to be exempt from the self-quarantine requirement you should be prepared to produce those results upon request.

24. I am traveling to Massachusetts from Puerto Rico (or some other United States Territory).  How does the Travel Order apply to me?

  • For the purposes of the Travel Order the following U.S. jurisdictions are treated as States:
    • District of Columbia
    • Puerto Rico
    • USVI
    • Guam
    • Northern Mariana Islands
    • American Samoa
  • None of these areas is currently classified as a lower-risk State, so travelers arriving from any of these places are required to fill out the Travel Form and self-quarantine or be prepared to produce a negative COVID-19 test result if they do not fall within one of the enumerated exceptions.

23.  My child attends day care or day camp in MA or RI.  Does he or she need to test or quarantine each day        

  • No. Children who travel into or out of Massachusetts to attend day care or day camps are not required to comply with the Travel Order, and a parent or guardian transporting the child may rely on the transitory travel exemption, provided they comply with its limitations.

24. I live in Rhode Island and have a child or other family member receiving specialized medical care in MA.  Can I visit them without quarantining or receiving a negative COVID test result?

  • Yes.  See response question number 18 above, which explains the Commissioner’s limited exception for Critical Life Activities.

 25. What are the Commissioner’s exceptions for Critical Life Activities?

  • grocery shopping
  • visits to pharmacies
  • attending appointments with licensed health care providers, including medical, dental, or mental health
  • visiting persons receiving treatment in hospitals or residing in congregate care facilities
  • attendance at day care or children’s camps
  • attending religious services, and funerals or memorial services
  • attending to the care needs of a family member

26. I am traveling into Massachusetts to participate in a clinical trial, am I exempt from the form and quarantine requirements?

Yes. Travelers coming to Massachusetts to participate in a clinical trial do not need to fill out the travel form and do not need to quarantine for 10 days.

Visitors are strongly urged to obtain a negative result before traveling to Massachusetts.

Testing for children, 10 years and younger, who are traveling with an adult from their household is not required.

Note: These requirements are in addition to Massachusetts requirements for wearing a mask or other face covering in both indoor and outdoor settings, any time you cannot socially distance and remain 6 feet from other people.

It is critical for all of us to remain vigilant in our battle against COVID-19. COVID-19 remains a highly transmissible disease. Individuals should continue to follow these universal precautions:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

We will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office While the administration continues to work with Federal and Local agencies to insure the safety and wellbeing of the residents of the Commonwealth during this ongoing pandemic and now manage the delivery of the much needed aid. 

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines required to ensure a safe environment for fellow members of our community. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Celebrating The Holidays Safely - Travel FAQ 10-17

12/31/2020 (Permalink)

As we continue to celebrate the holiday season it is important that we all do our best to do so as responsibly and safely as possible. The Baker Administration has set forth guidelines to follow for those of us where travel is unavoidable this Holiday Season. The following are FAQ to help residents of the Commonwealth better understand the requirements. 

10. I am a MA resident and I provide Critical Infrastructure Services.  I plan to go on vacation to Florida with my family. Do I need to quarantine when I return home from Florida?

  • Yes. Workers who travel from Massachusetts for personal or leisure reasons cannot rely on the Critical Infrastructure Worker exemption upon return. You must either quarantine or satisfy the testing rule. Your status as a Critical Infrastructure Worker does not allow you to break quarantine—even to do that specialized work—following travel for personal or leisure reasons.
  • Likewise, a Critical Infrastructure Worker who comes to Massachusetts for personal or leisure reasons cannot rely on the Critical Infrastructure Worker exemption upon arrival and must either quarantine or satisfy the testing rule.

11. I am dropping my child off at college in another state that is not considered lower risk. Do I need to quarantine when I come home?

  • It depends. If a parent/guardian/family member is entering a non-lower-risk state only to drop off the student and then immediately leaves the campus and the state, then they would meet the exemption of transitory travel.  If they are staying overnight, then they are subject to the quarantine requirement upon return or must meet the testing rule.

12. I am entering Massachusetts but do not need to fill out the travel form because I meet an exemption. Do I need written documentation demonstrating that I meet the exemption criteria?

  • No.

13. I am visiting my relative in Massachusetts. I live in a non-lower-risk state. I plan to quarantine in my relative’s home. Does my relative need to quarantine as well?

  • No. You should stay in a separate room from your relative. However, your presence in your relative’s home does not require your relative to quarantine.

14. I am traveling to MA from a non-lower-risk state and do not meet an exemption criteria. I previously had COVID-19, I isolated pursuant to CDC guidelines and was released from isolation, do I still need to quarantine or meet the testing rule?

  • Yes. You must quarantine upon arrival or meet the testing rule.
  • If you took a test within 72 hours of your arrival and it came back positive due to your previous infection, you can use the positive test result plus a note from your doctor documenting your previous diagnosis and recovery to satisfy the testing rule.

15. Can international travelers get tested in another country before arriving?

  • Yes, provided that they take a molecular (PCR) SARS-CoV2 test on a sample obtained 72 hours or less prior to arrival in Massachusetts that is authorized by their Government.

16. I am a MA resident and went on vacation to a non-lower-risk state. Can I get a test in that state 72 hours before I come home to avoid the quarantine requirement?

  • Yes, provided the test meets the DPH specifications.

17. I am a MA resident and I am required to travel from MA to a non-lower-risk state at the direction of the Military. Do I need to fill out the form and quarantine when I come home?

  • No. Massachusetts residents who go out of state for military work and then return back to Massachusetts meet the military exemption.

Visitors are strongly urged to obtain a negative result before traveling to Massachusetts.

Testing for children, 10 years and younger, who are traveling with an adult from their household is not required.

Note: These requirements are in addition to Massachusetts requirements for wearing a mask or other face covering in both indoor and outdoor settings, any time you cannot socially distance and remain 6 feet from other people.

It is critical for all of us to remain vigilant in our battle against COVID-19. COVID-19 remains a highly transmissible disease. Individuals should continue to follow these universal precautions:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

We will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office While the administration continues to work with Federal and Local agencies to insure the safety and wellbeing of the residents of the Commonwealth during this ongoing pandemic and now manage the delivery of the much needed aid. 

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines required to ensure a safe environment for fellow members of our community. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Celebrating The Holidays Safely - Travel FAQ 1-9

12/30/2020 (Permalink)

As we continue to celebrate the holiday season it is important that we all do our best to do so as responsibly and safely as possible. The Baker Administration has set forth guidelines to follow for those of us where travel is unavoidable this Holiday Season. The following are FAQ to help residents of the Commonwealth better understand the requirements. 

1. Does this apply to students arriving from other States or foreign countries to attend college or university or boarding school? 

  • Yes. The travel rule applies to all persons entering Massachusetts from any point of origin.  A student who enters Massachusetts from any place not included on the list of COVID-19 lower-risk States must quarantine for 10 days if the student cannot provide proof of a negative test result that meets the standards of the 72-hour test rule.

2. Does the rule apply to parents, guardians and family members who are dropping their students off for boarding school or college/university?

  • Yes. If a parent/guardian/family member is entering Massachusetts only to drop off the student and then immediately leaves the campus and the state, then they would meet the exemption of transitory travel.  If they are staying overnight, then they are subject to the requirements of the travel order. 
  • Parents, guardians, and family members who do not meet the transitory travel exemption and are coming into Massachusetts from any place other than a COVID-19 lower-risk State are required to either receive a negative test within 72 hours of coming into Massachusetts or quarantine for 10 days.

3. Where can I report concerns I may have about non-compliance with the order? 

4. If I develop symptoms but had a negative test what should I do?

  • The 72-hour test is a diagnostic test that is a point in time clinical measurement. If you develop symptoms, you may need to be tested again and may need medical attention.

5. I received a call that I should go into quarantine because I was exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. My test came back negative 3 days ago. Do I still need to quarantine?

  • Yes. If you were exposed to someone known to be COVID-19 positive, then you are at increased risk of becoming positive and will need to quarantine for 10 days in your home state.

6. I had an antigen test which was negative, do I need to be tested again? 

  • Yes, a negative antigen test must be confirmed by a negative result from an FDA EUA-approved molecular (PCR) SARS-CoV2 test on a sample obtained 72 hours or less prior to arrival in Massachusetts.

7. I plan to arrive in Massachusetts on, or before, July 31, 2020, do I need to fill out the travel form?

  • No

8. I am traveling with my children from a non-lower-risk State. I took a test and have my negative result. Do my kids need a test for COVID-19 as well?

  • It depends on each child’s age. If your child is 10 or younger, then the child does not need a test. If the child is 11 or older, then the child needs to be tested or will need to quarantine for 10 days, unless an exemption criteria applies.

9. I am a MA resident returning home after traveling to a state that is not considered lower risk.  I have proof of a negative test result on a sample taken before my out-of-state travel, and because I was out of state only for 48 hours, I am returning within 72 hours of the time the sample was taken. Can I use my negative test results taken before I left to satisfy the 72-hour testing rule and avoid quarantine?

  • No, you must quarantine or obtain a new test upon return, unless you meet another exemption.

Visitors are strongly urged to obtain a negative result before traveling to Massachusetts.

Testing for children, 10 years and younger, who are traveling with an adult from their household is not required.

Note: These requirements are in addition to Massachusetts requirements for wearing a mask or other face covering in both indoor and outdoor settings, any time you cannot socially distance and remain 6 feet from other people.

It is critical for all of us to remain vigilant in our battle against COVID-19. COVID-19 remains a highly transmissible disease. Individuals should continue to follow these universal precautions:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

We will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office While the administration continues to work with Federal and Local agencies to insure the safety and wellbeing of the residents of the Commonwealth during this ongoing pandemic and now manage the delivery of the much needed aid. 

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines required to ensure a safe environment for fellow members of our community. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Celebrating The Holidays Safely - Quarantine Guidance

12/23/2020 (Permalink)

As we continue to celebrate the holiday season it is important that we all do our best to do so as responsibly and safely as possible. The Baker Administration has set forth guidelines to follow for those of us where travel is unavoidable this Holiday Season. Visitors are strongly urged to obtain a negative result before traveling to Massachusetts. The following highlights the administration's  quarantine guidelines. 

Testing As An Alternative To Quarantine

You do not need to quarantine for 10 days if you took a test for COVID-19 and have received a negative result. The specimen for the test must have been collected no longer than 72 hours before your arrival in Massachusetts, and the testing must be by a method approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Upon request, you must be able to demonstrate proof of the negative test result.

If you took a test prior to your arrival but have not received your negative result, you MUST quarantine until you receive the negative result. You may obtain a test at your own expense after your arrival in Massachusetts, but you MUST quarantine until you obtain a negative result. Use the COVID-19 testing map to find a site near you. 

Information about approved molecular tests can be found in the Department of Public Health Guidance. A negative result from an antigen test must be confirmed by a negative result from an FDA EUA-approved molecular (PCR) SARS-CoV2 test, on a sample obtained 72 hours or less prior to arrival in Massachusetts. Serology tests will not be accepted.

How to Quarantine

Travelers who do not fall within the one of the three exemption categories detailed above:

  1. coming from a lower-risk state,
  2. meeting the 72-hour testing rule, or
  3. meeting a limited circumstance-specific exemption, must quarantine beginning immediately upon arrival in Massachusetts.

The quarantine must continue for a period of 10 days unless the traveler leaves the State sooner. 

The requirements for quarantining are as follows:

  1. Travelers, along with their travel party, must separate from all other people for 10 days.
  2. Travelers must not be in public or otherwise leave the identified quarters.
  3. The living quarters must have a separate bathroom facility for each individual or family group. Access to a sink with soap, water, and paper towels is necessary. Cleaning supplies (e.g. household cleaning wipes, bleach) must be available in the bathroom.
  4. Travelers must have a way to self-quarantine from other household members if a fever or other symptoms develop, in a separate room(s) with a door.
  5. During the quarantine period, no one else should be in the living quarters other than those in the Travel Party, including hotel staff or delivery persons, as applicable.
  6. Food must be delivered to the living quarters.
  7. Travelers must have a sufficient supply of face masks or face coverings to wear and must be compliant with the Massachusetts masking order.
  8. Travelers are not to leave their living quarters except to receive urgent medical care.
  9. Travelers should engage in proper hygiene including washing hands frequently using soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If soap and water are not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol may be used.
  10. Travelers should remain aware of potential COVID like symptoms including: fever (temperature over 100.0 degrees); cough; difficulty breathing; shortness of breath; chills; muscle or body aches; runny nose or nasal congestion; new loss of taste or smell; headache; nausea; vomiting or diarrhea. Travelers with any of these symptoms should immediately contact a healthcare provider.
  11. If no one in the Travel Party develops symptoms, then the travel party may continue with their normal activities after 10 days.

These requirements are in addition to Massachusetts requirements for wearing a mask or other face covering in both indoor and outdoor settings, any time you cannot socially distance and remain 6 feet from other people.

What Happens Visitors Develop COVID-19 Symptoms While In Massachusetts? 

The 72-hour test is a diagnostic test that is a point in time clinical measurement. If you develop symptoms, you may need to be tested again and may need medical attention.

Leaving Prior To Completion Of Quarantine

A traveler may choose to leave Massachusetts before the completion of their 10-day quarantine.

Testing for children, 10 years and younger, who are traveling with an adult from their household is not required.

Note: These requirements are in addition to Massachusetts requirements for wearing a mask or other face covering in both indoor and outdoor settings, any time you cannot socially distance and remain 6 feet from other people.

It is critical for all of us to remain vigilant in our battle against COVID-19. COVID-19 remains a highly transmissible disease. Individuals should continue to follow these universal precautions:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

We will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office While the administration continues to work with Federal and Local agencies to insure the safety and wellbeing of the residents of the Commonwealth during this ongoing pandemic and now manage the delivery of the much needed aid. 

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines required to ensure a safe environment for fellow members of our community. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Celebrating The Holidays Safely - Travel Guidance

12/22/2020 (Permalink)

As we continue to celebrate the holiday season it is important that we all do our best to do so as responsibly and safely as possible. The Baker Administration has set forth guidelines to follow for those of us where travel is unavoidable this Holiday Season. The following highlights those guidelines. 

10-Day Quarantine Requirement

All individuals entering the State of Massachusetts must quarantine for 10 days from the date of arrival in the Commonwealth unless the individual meets one of the criteria below:

  • 72-hour Testing Rule: The individual can produce, upon request, proof of a negative test result for COVID-19 from a test administered on a sample taken no longer than 72 hours before your arrival in Massachusetts.
  • Transitory travelThis includes people who are passing through Massachusetts and permits travelers to drive through the State or to connect to their airplane, bus or train, or to stop at a highway rest stop, but this exception extends only so long as is reasonably required for the traveler to complete their transit, make any necessary airplane, bus, or train connection, or make use of travel services such as at a highway rest stop.
  • Patients Seeking or Receiving Medical Treatment:  Patients who are traveling to Massachusetts to seek or receive specialized medical care from a physician located in the Commonwealth and persons accompanying and providing needed support to the patient.
  • Military Personnel: Any person who is required to travel to Massachusetts at the order or directive of a Federal or State military authority.
  • Workers Providing Critical Infrastructure Services: Workers who enter Massachusetts to perform critical infrastructure functions as specified in Version 3.1 of the listing published by the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency are exempt from quarantine while they are commuting to or from or while at work.  For the first 10-days after arrival, when the worker is not at work or commuting to work they must quarantine. Additional information may be found here: https://www.cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforce. Workers who travel to or from Massachusetts for personal or leisure reasons cannot rely on this exemption.

Travelers visiting the state of Massachusetts may not need to quarantine for 10 days if they took a test for COVID-19 and have received a negative result. The specimen for the test must have been collected no longer than 72 hours before their arrival in Massachusetts, and the testing must be by a method approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Upon request, visitors must be able to demonstrate proof of the negative test result.

Visitors who took a test prior to their arrival but have not received a negative result, MUST quarantine until a negative result is received. Visitors may obtain a test at their own expense after arrival in Massachusetts, but they MUST quarantine until they obtain a negative result. Use the COVID-19 testing map to find a site near you

Information about approved molecular tests can be found in the Department of Public Health Guidance. A negative result from an antigen test must be confirmed by a negative result from an FDA EUA-approved molecular (PCR) SARS-CoV2 test, on a sample obtained 72 hours or less prior to arrival in Massachusetts. Serology tests will not be accepted.

Visitors are strongly urged to obtain a negative result before traveling to Massachusetts.

Testing for children, 10 years and younger, who are traveling with an adult from their household is not required.

Note: These requirements are in addition to Massachusetts requirements for wearing a mask or other face covering in both indoor and outdoor settings, any time you cannot socially distance and remain 6 feet from other people.

It is critical for all of us to remain vigilant in our battle against COVID-19. COVID-19 remains a highly transmissible disease. Individuals should continue to follow these universal precautions:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

We will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office While the administration continues to work with Federal and Local agencies to insure the safety and wellbeing of the residents of the Commonwealth during this ongoing pandemic and now manage the delivery of the much needed aid. 

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines required to ensure a safe environment for fellow members of our community. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Celebrating The Holidays Safely - Guidance

12/17/2020 (Permalink)

As we enter the December holiday season, the Baker administration  urge residents of the Commonwealth to follow the public health guidance to help keep themselves and those around them safe. This year the administration is asking residents to:

  1. Limit in-person celebrations to household members only
  2. Postpone or cancel travel this holiday season. If you do choose to travel, be aware of and comply with Massachusetts travel order requirements.
  3. Follow the current state gathering size limits and sector-specific workplace safety standards.

Lower-Risk Celebrations And Activities

  1. Limit in-person holiday gatherings to only people you live with.
  2. Host a virtual holiday dinner with extended family or friends.
  3. Prepare foods for family and neighbors and deliver them in a no-contact way.
  4. Virtually attend your traditional holiday activities, such as a visit with Santa.
  5. Consider virtual caroling or reciting. Provide a link to your virtual caroling to the people you want to sing to.
  6. View holiday lights from your car with those you live with.

Higher-Risk Celebrations And Activities

  1. Any time you gather with others outside of your household, you increase the risk of contracting or spreading illness. All residents are discouraged from gathering.  Gatherings in Massachusetts are subject to gathering size limits.
  2. You are risking your health and others health if you host or participate in any in-person festivities if you or anyone in your household:
    1. has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and has not completed the isolation period;
    2. has symptoms of COVID-19;
    3. is waiting for COVID-19 viral test results;
    4. may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days; or
    5. is at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, such as older adults or those with certain medical conditions.
  3. If in-person caroling or reciting, stay more than 25 feet from the people you are reciting or singing for and wear a mask. Remain outdoors while caroling.
  4. If you visit Santa Claus in person, wear a mask, stay 6 feet from Santa and others while in line, and make a reservation for your visit where available. 
  5. If viewing holiday lights outdoors, take a one-way walk with those you live with and maintain distance from others.

Other Recommendations And Guidance

  1. Always wear your mask and watch your distance. (Remove your mask only for eating and drinking.)
  2. For 10 days before and after holiday gatherings, monitor yourself closely for fever and other symptoms of COVID-19, minimize contact with other people, and leave home only for essential services like going to work, buying groceries, and appointments with doctors; OR,
  3. Obtain a negative result from a COVID-19 test, on a sample obtained within 72 hours of the celebration. Even with a negative test you must be vigilant about masking and distancing when you are around individuals you do not live with.
    1. Testing only indicates whether a person may have COVID-19 at the moment of the test. You can still become sick with COVID-19 after your test and before your celebration.
    2. Testing information can be found at www.mass.gov/GetTested
  4. Do not share food, drink, or any utensils, including serving utensils.
  5. Seat people with plenty of space (at least six feet) from one another while dining.
  6. Consider seating people at smaller tables in multiple rooms instead of around a large family table.
  7. Improve ventilation by opening windows and doors.
  8. If setting up outdoor seating under a tent, ensure guests are still seated with physical distancing in mind. Enclosed 4-wall tents will have less air circulation than open air tents and should be considered indoor spaces (check also fire codes for heating tents).
    • If outdoor temperature or weather forces you to put down the tent sidewalls, consider leaving one or more sides open or rolling up the bottom 12 inches of each sidewall to enhance ventilation while still providing a wind break.

With the first vaccines rolling into Massachusetts this week, the hope is that this request is a one-time sacrifice to help the state weather the winter season and return to normal next year.

The end is finally in-sight, however, it has yet to arrive. It is critical for all of us to remain vigilant in our battle against COVID-19. COVID-19 remains a highly transmissible disease. Individuals should continue to follow these universal precautions:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

We will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office While the administration continues to work with Federal and Local agencies to insure the safety and wellbeing of the residents of the Commonwealth during this ongoing pandemic and now manage the delivery of the much needed aid. 

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines required to ensure a safe environment for fellow members of our community. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Celebrating The Holidays Safely

12/16/2020 (Permalink)

Governor Charlie Baker has a message to the residents of the Commonwealth - Reconsider how you wish to celebrate the holiday season this year. After a spike in COVID-19 rates after Thanksgiving Governor Baker's administration and local communities were forced to reimpose certain safety restrictions. The Governor went so far as rolling back the state's current phase to Stage 1 of Phase 3. That is why the administration is urging residents against inter-household gatherings and travel for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Eve in order to avoid a similar scenario playing out as the pandemic enters its first full winter season.

“After seeing what happened in the aftermath of that one day, Thanksgiving, I don’t think we should kid ourselves about the holidays in December,” Baker said during a press conference Tuesday afternoon at the Massachusetts State House.

The state’s Department of Public Health released updated guidance Tuesday for the December holidays, echoing previous guidelines for Halloween and  Thanksgiving but with a specific focus on limiting gatherings to members of the same household.

“It’s pretty simple,” Baker said Tuesday. “The safest way to celebrate this year is with members of your own household and to postpone or cancel any travel plans.

For those residents who do plan to travel should be prepared to comply with the state’s quarantine requirements for people entering and returning to Massachusetts.

Baker noted that the average number of new daily COVID-19 infections nearly doubled following Thanksgiving, as did the rate of positive tests in Massachusetts. This increase appears to have tapered off within the last several days and the Baker administration is doing its best to educate Massachusetts residents of the inherent risks involved when we let our guard down.

Similar to the Thanksgiving guidance, the guidelines encourage virtual gatherings only with extended family members and friends, as well as virtual Santa visits and caroling. Driving around to look at holiday lights in a car with members of your own family is also listed as a low-risk activity.

For those who are planning in-person versions of those events, the guidelines stress the importance of mask wearing and social distancing.

“It’s not a secret that we’re in a second surge here in Massachusetts,” Baker said. “And while hope is clearly right around the corner — arriving in dry ice in the form of the vaccine — it’s not here yet". 

With the first vaccines rolling into Massachusetts this week, the hope is that this request is a one-time sacrifice to help the state weather the winter season and return to normal next year.

The end is finally in-sight, however, it has yet to arrive. It is critical for all of us to remain vigilant in our battle against COVID-19. COVID-19 remains a highly transmissible disease. Individuals should continue to follow these universal precautions:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

We will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office While the administration continues to work with Federal and Local agencies to insure the safety and wellbeing of the residents of the Commonwealth during this ongoing pandemic and now manage the delivery of the much needed aid. 

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines required to ensure a safe environment for fellow members of our community. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Vaccine Update, First Responders

12/15/2020 (Permalink)

First responders at the State and local level have been on the front lines of providing support to their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. For the past year they have selflessly put the health and safety of themselves and their families at risk in order battle the Coronavirus pandemic. While there fight is far from over there is finally a light at the end tunnel. After a tumultuous nine months, Massachusetts has begun to receive doses of a newly authorized Coronavirus vaccine!

To assist our brave front line workers in their ongoing self-sacrificing struggle the initial, limited, quantities have been air-marked for medical staff. According to the Baker Administration the following hospitals received deliveries on Monday:

  • Boston Medical Center
  • Brockton Hospital
  • Cape Cod Hospital
  • Falmouth Hospital.

Additionally, the Administration has shared their schedule of expected deliveries for the remainder of this week. 

TUESDAY, December 15

  • Melrose Wakefield gets shipment, begins vaccinations
  • Tufts Medical Center begins vaccinations
  • Massachusetts General Hospital gets shipment
  • UMass Memorial Medical Center gets shipment
  • Boston Children’s Hospital gets shipment
  • Newton Wellesley Hospital gets shipment
  • South Shore Health gets shipment

WEDNESDAY, December 16

  • BMC begins vaccinations
  • MGH begins vaccinations
  • Beth Israel Lahey Health begins vaccinations

THURSDAY, December 17

  • UMass Memorial Medical begins vaccinations

Also, Lawrence General Hospital is expecting to receive a shipment and begin vaccinations this week. They estimate receiving the vaccine no later than Thursday.

And that is only the beginning of the good news! Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is up for approval by the FDA on Thursday and if all goes as expected distribution could begin next week!

Governor Baker has outlined a phased approach for the distribution of the vaccinations in Massachusetts. During the first phase health care workers, elderly in long term care and first responders can expect to be given access to the vaccines. The vaccines will be made available to the general public in the second phase which is expected to begin sometime next spring.

The hospitals are all in the process of identifying, notifying and scheduling those who will get vaccinated first. The state expects a total of 59,475 doses to arrive in Massachusetts sometime this week. Another 40,000 doses will come in a second delivery to the state, earmarked for nursing home and assisted living residents and staff. By the end of December, the state expects a total of some 300,000 doses.

The end is finally in-sight, however, it has yet to arrive. It is critical for all of us to remain vigilant in our battle against COVID-19. COVID-19 remains a highly transmissible disease. Individuals should continue to follow these universal precautions:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

We will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office While the administration continues to work with Federal and Local agencies to insure the safety and wellbeing of the residents of the Commonwealth during this ongoing pandemic and now manage the delivery of the much needed aid. 

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines required to ensure a safe environment for fellow members of our community. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Risks Of Owning Older Properties

12/11/2020 (Permalink)

Trying to determine the extent of a water loss is a challenging process. When water gets loose inside your commercial or residential property, it will migrate far from the original plumbing break, roof leak, or appliance breakdown. Without the tools to detect the path the water followed, significant damage can go unnoticed. SERVPRO of Foxborough believes in the importance of training our staff and providing them with state-of-the-art moisture identification tools, both of which help avoid additional expense and secondary damage, why we offer our help. 

Water Detection Is A Science

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification courses our managers and production technicians master covers the expected and unexpected behavior of water damage inside a Massachusetts property. Most building materials and contents are capable of hiding water damage when it is minor and manageable. Our training and experience allows us to trace water meanderings behind walls and built-in fixtures or under flooring to find and solve hidden water problems before the integrity of your property is compromised.

Aging Heating And Plumbing Plus Temperature Extremes Add Challenges

A large part of the Commonwealth’s charm and character are its historic residential and commercial properties. Unfortunately, along with charm comes old heating systems and worn out building materials. Rusted pipes and failing valves can slowly saturate the floor, going unnoticed at first. Roofs that were built to code 100 years ago may be subpar by today’s standards. Ice dams that develop this winter could allow moisture to seep into the attic, eventually traveling downwards into a main level ceiling or wall and may result in a mold infestation throughout your property. Our familiarity with this type of long-term damage is why SERVPRO of Foxborough can not only remediate the immediate water damage but also mitigate against any additional future damage.

State-Of-The-Art Equipment

The availability of and skill in using water detection tools are why SERVPRO of Foxborough Disaster Remediation Teams can outline the scope of water damage with accuracy and confidence. Infrared technology indicates the presence of water through temperature variations. Moisture meters establish relative levels of absorbed water in building materials. Periodic use of these tools throughout a water damage remediation project ensures we find and release liquids. Then our Applied Structural Drying (ASD)-certified technicians create an effective drying plan using the data, moving water out of structural components with temperature adjustments and air movement. Dehumidifiers capture the vaporized water for disposal. Moisture measurements continue until we reach designated levels, avoiding over or under drying.

Training and innovative equipment are two reasons why SERVPRO of Foxborough efficiently mitigates and remediates hidden water damage. Call us at (508) 533-5305 if you suspect your bungalow harbors damaging moisture.

The Bad Smell Of Water Damage

12/11/2020 (Permalink)

When water damage strikes your Millis, MA residential or commercial property you may think that removing the water and drying out the space and its contents are all that needs to be done. Not long after a water damage incident the wet building materials and contents will bring about unpleasant odors. Even after drying everything out not all odors completely disappear. That is why you need the experts at SERVPRO of Foxborough!

To begin with, most “deodorizers” are nothing more than masking agents. That means they simply cover any unpleasant smells. Over time, however, the affects of masking agents will wear off once again revealing any odors. Our Disaster Remediation Technicians are trained to understand and combat this common issue. They will instead use a combination of tools and techniques such as absorption and filtration agents, pairing agents, disinfectants, sanitizers, as well as electrically generated deodorizers.

Completely removing all water and drying all moisture are the critical first steps to take when mitigating water damage disasters. Preventing against additional secondary damage, such as odor and mold, requires a professional. Calling SERVPRO of Foxborough at (508) 533-5305 as soon as possible when water damage stakes your commercial or residential property will minimize the total damage and ensure that unpleasant odors are not left behind. We will make it, "Like it never even happened."

A Little Amount Of Water Equals Significant Damage

12/10/2020 (Permalink)

Even small amounts of water damage can lead to significant damage to your Bellingham, MA commercial or residential property. The primary reason is DIY restoration. To the untrained eye, everything may look dried out but hidden moisture may remain which could cause a mold infestation. If you see visible mold, your best move is to leave it alone because when you disturb mold by trying to remove it you can inadvertently spread mold spores throughout your home. Mold spores are microscopic and when you try to clean them, the mold can release tiny spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What To Do

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Foxborough for mold remediation services.

What Not To Do

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Foxborough specializes in mold cleanup and restoration; in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our Disaster Remediation Teams are highly trained restoration professionals with access to specialized state-of-the-art equipment. They are also trained in the proper techniques to remediate mold without cross contaminating unaffected areas of your property. 

If you suspect your commercial or residential property has a mold infestation call the experts of SERVPRO of Foxborough at (508) 533-5305. We will make it, "Like it never even happened."

Getting To Know Ice Dams

12/10/2020 (Permalink)

One of the major causes of property damage during the winter months in New England are ice dams. Ice dams form on the eaves of sloped roofs. Freezing of melted snow at the eave impedes the drainage of melt-water, adding to the ice dam an so on. Because the drainage of the melt-water is impeded water may find its way under protective roofing materials and into the building.

How They Occur

Ice dams occur on heated buildings with sloping roofs in cold climates with deep snow accumulation. Ice dams on roofs form when accumulated snow forms an insulating layer under cold conditions that would cause the freezing point to be within the snow layer, if it were not subject to melting. Instead, building heat coming through the roof's surface melts the snow resting on it. This causes melt-water to flow down the roof, until it reaches below a place on the roof's surface that is below freezing—typically at the eaves where there is no building heat. When the melt-water reaches the frozen surface, ice accumulates, growing a barrier that impedes further passage of melt-water off the roof. Ice dams may result in leaks through the roofing material, possibly resulting in damaged ceilings, walls, roof structure and insulation, damage or injury when the ice dam falls off or from attempts to remove ice dams.

The melting of roof snow comes from the combination of three basic causes:

  1. Air temperatures well below freezing.
  2. A thick layer of dry snow, which has good insulating capabilities.
  3. Heat from the building coming through the roof.

Generally, ice dams occur when the under-roof temperature is above 30 °F (−1 °C) and the outdoor air temperature is below 22 °F (−6 °C).

Factors Of Increased Risk

While ice dams simply need the ideal weather conditions to form there are additional factors that will increase the likelihood of ice dams forming. They are:

  1. Old/damaged roofs
  2. Lack of or improperly installed rubberized asphalt underlayment 
  3. Damaged or blocked gutters
  4. Insufficient or improperly installed insulation

When ice dams form on your commercial or residential property;

Do

  1. Clear all snow with a wheeled roof rake
  2. Place calcium chloride ice melt in panty hose, tie into small balls and place them in a row, approximately one foot apart, across the top of the ice dam
  3. If necessary us a rubber mallet to break the ice
  4. Hire a professional

Do Not

  1. Use a shovel to remove the snow
  2. Attempt to break the ice with a hammer or any hard object
  3. Use rock salts
  4. Any type of external heat source

If ice dams form on your commercial or residential property and cause water damage call the experts of SERVPRO of Foxborough at (508) 533-5305. We will make it, "Like it never even happened."

Planning To Reopen - Understanding The Rollback

12/10/2020 (Permalink)

On Tuesday Gov. Charlie Baker declared that Massachusetts will soon roll back a single step within the current phase of its economic reopening plans, as cases continue to spike across the state. The changes officially begin on Sunday, Dec. 13 and will impact restrictions on the number of people allowed inside facilities and implement new rules related to masks and dining. He explained that the move back to "step one, phase three" will reduce capacity limits at nearly all businesses — including gyms, museums, office spaces, restaurants and arcades — to 40%.

Additionally, he also announced that masks must now be worn at all times inside workplaces unless a worker has a medical exemption or is in a private space. Lastly, outdoor events in every municipality no longer may host gatherings with more than 50 people.

The new orders called for restaurants to reduce the number of people who can be seated at any table to six, as well as to set 90-minute limits for diners. Patrons must wear masks as they order food and whenever they are not eating or drinking. Musical performances will no longer be allowed in restaurants. Food courts will close again. For the communities that were, however, deemed "lower risk," and did move into "step 2," the state permitted the following:

  • Indoor performance venues to open with 50% capacity with a maximum of 250 people
  • Outdoor performance venues capacity to increase to 50%, with a maximum of 250 people
  • Trampolines, obstacles courses, roller rinks and laser tag to open, with capacity at 50%
  • Fitting rooms open at retail stores
  • Gyms, museums, libraries and driving and flight schools to increase capacity to 50%

Now, Baker's most recent order means all communities that adopted any of the above measures will need to shut those activities down by Sunday. 

"The state of Massachusetts is being tested once again," Baker said, "the days of most people doing most of the right things are probably not enough," he added. Tuesday's announcement came just one day after the governor told reporters that starting Friday, hospitals would begin canceling some non-urgent, inpatient elective surgeries and appointments.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Storm Damage Risks To Your Property

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

When a good old fashioned New England winter storm or cold temperatures strike, your commercial or residential property may be at risk of storm damage. Among the worst type of storm damage is water, which can take a few forms, including:

  1. Water and ice damage from clogged gutters
  2. Frozen outdoor hoses causing burst valves
  3. A pipe break in exposed plumbing

Clean The Gutters 

Commercial and residential property owners need to regularly clean the gutters. Leaves and debris can cause ice dams during a winter storm, leading to serious water damage. It can force water under eaves and destroy a roof.

Once water gets into unprotected areas, it can cause tons of havoc inside. Plus, mold can grow from wet building materials, and if it gets bad enough, your operations might be shut down while it’s cleaned up. Gutter guards can also help prevent ice dams.

Hoses Can Cause A Plumbing Disaster

Rubber hoses are great tools to help with outside cleanup and landscaping. If left outside during the frigid winter months any residual water in them will freeze. Make sure they are taken in if the weather is supposed to drop below 30 degrees. The water valve can take short excursions below freezing, but not long ones. If you expect a deep freeze, protect the valve with an outdoor foam faucet cover.

Exposed Plumbing 

Virtually every New England winter comes with a prolonged cold spell that will cause burst pipes for many property owners. Properly insulate any exposed copper piping to reduce the risk of water inside them freezing. Also, do not let the temperature inside your property drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. 

If your commercial or residential property suffers storm damage this winter call the Disaster Remediation experts at SERVPRO of Foxborough at (508) 533-5305. We will help you make it "Like it never even happened."

Planning To Reopen - Rollback

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

Last week Governor Baker announced that beginning Friday, December 4th, hospitals in Massachusetts will “curtail” elective inpatient procedures in an effort to free up staff and beds as the commonwealth braces for a new surge of coronavirus cases in the Commonwealth.

This means that medical centers will need to cease procedures that impact their inpatient capacity. The measure does not apply in cases where canceling or delaying treatment would negatively impact a patient’s health.

Data released by the state Department of Public Health on Sunday shows the seven-day average of the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has risen consistently over the past month, jumping from 491 patients on Nov. 6 to 936 patients on Nov. 26, Thanksgiving Day, to 1,312 patients on Dec. 5, the last date with available data.

In response to this negative trend the state opened a field hospital at the DCU Center in Worcester and plans are in the works to launch another such facility in Lowell.

Additionally, yesterday, Governor Baker announced, amid the swelling COVID-19 hospitalizations, a statewide rollback of the Massachusetts reopening process.

According to the Governor, all cities and towns will be required to go back to the first step of Phase 3 of the reopening, along with several other more “targeted” restrictions.

In addition to requiring indoor performance venues, certain retail fitting rooms, and recreational attractions like roller rinks, trampoline parks, laser tag venues, and escape rooms across the state to close, rolling back to the first step of Phase 3 also reduces capacity limits for a variety of sectors — including retail stores, gyms, offices, places of worship, movie theaters, and museums — from 50 percent to 40 percent of their maximum occupancy.

Previously, the Baker administration had allowed communities with lower rates of COVID-19 to move to the second step of Phase 3. According to the state’s website, there were already 58 communities in Massachusetts not deemed lower-risk that had to remain in or move back to the first step of Phase 3 (though others, like Boston, had voluntarily stayed in the first step). Under the new order, which takes effect Sunday, all 351 cities and towns in the state have to go back to the first step.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Safely Heat Your Property This Winter

12/8/2020 (Permalink)

Winter time in New England brings with it cold temperatures. Most property owners do not think about the risks inherent with heating their Foxborough, MA commercial or residential properties especially when space heaters are used.

Small space heaters are typically used when the main heating system is inadequate or to offset high heating costs or to simply supplement inadequate heating in one room. Space heater capacities generally range between 10,000 Btu and 40,000 Btu per hour.

Safety is a top consideration when using space heaters. According to the U.S. Department of Energy the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 25,000 residential fires every year are associated with the use of space heaters, resulting in more than 300 deaths. In addition, an estimated 6,000 people receive hospital emergency room care for burn injuries associated with contacting the hot surfaces of room heaters, mostly in non-fire situations.

When buying and installing a small space heater, follow these guidelines:

  1. Only purchase newer model heaters that have all of the current safety features. Make sure the heater carries the Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) label.
  2. Choose a thermostatically controlled heater, because they avoid the energy waste of overheating a room.
  3. Select a heater of the proper size for the room you wish to heat. Do not purchase oversized heaters. Most heaters come with a general sizing table.
  4. Locate the heater on a level surface away from foot traffic. Be especially careful to keep children and pets away from the heater.

Combustion Space Heaters

Unvented combustion units are not recommended for use inside your home, because they introduce unwanted combustion products into the living space—including nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and water vapor—and deplete air in the space. 

Vented units are designed to be permanently located next to an outside wall, so that the flue gas vent can be installed through a ceiling or directly through the wall to the outside. Look for sealed combustion or "100% outdoor air" units, which have a duct to bring outside into the combustion chamber. Sealed combustion heaters are much safer to operate than other types of space heaters, and operate more efficiently because they do not draw in the heated air from the room and exhaust it to the outdoors. They are also less likely to backdraft and adversely affect indoor air quality.

In addition to the manufacturer's installation and operating instructions, you should follow these general safety guidelines for operating any combustion space heater:

  • For liquid-fueled heaters, use only the approved fuel. Never use gasoline! Follow the manufacturer's fueling instructions. Never fill a heater that is still hot. Do not overfill the heater -- you must allow for the expansion of the liquid. Only use approved containers clearly marked for that particular fuel, and store them outdoors.
  • Have vented space heaters professionally inspected every year. If the heater is not vented properly, not vented at all, or if the vent is blocked, separated, rusted, or corroded, dangerous levels of carbon monoxide (CO) can enter the home causing sickness and death. CO also can be produced if the heater is not properly set up and adjusted for the type of gas used and the altitude at which it is installed.

Electric Space Heaters

Electric space heaters are generally more expensive to operate than combustion space heaters, but they are the only unvented space heaters that are safe to operate inside your home. Although electric space heaters avoid indoor air quality concerns, they still pose burn and fire hazards and should be used with caution.

For convection (non-radiant) space heaters, the best types incorporate a heat transfer liquid, such as oil, that is heated by the electric element. The heat transfer fluid provides some heat storage, allowing the heater to cycle less and to provide a more constant heat source.

When buying and installing an electric space heater, you should follow these general safety guidelines:

  1. Electric heaters should be plugged directly into the wall outlet. If an extension cord is necessary, use the shortest possible heavy-duty cord of 14-gauge wire or larger. Always check and follow any manufacturer’s instructions pertaining to the use of extension cords.
  2. Buy a unit with a tip-over safety switch, which automatically shuts off the heater if the unit is tipped over.

All of us at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you to heat your commercial or residential property safely this winter. If fire dose strike, we are here to help you make it "Like it never even happened." Call our experts today at (508) 533-5305!

How To Protect Your Property From Wind Damage

12/8/2020 (Permalink)

Top 6 Ways To Protect Your Home From Wind Damage

Wind storms in Walpole, MA can be very damaging to your commercial or residential property. It is critical to prepare ahead of time. Routinely checking, fixing or updating areas around your property can make the difference between hundreds dollars and thousands of dollars in damages.  

Here are six ways to prepare your property before the next storm hits:

  1. Check your roof
    • Shingles should be nailed down properly and all secured together
    • Replace any missing shingles immediately
  2. Check warehouse and garage doors 
    • This may mean hiring a company to inspect your doors to ensure it is properly secured and functioning well
  3. Secure all outdoor items
  4. Ensure your gutters are properly secured and clean.
    • Clogged cutters can create water damage to your property. They are also more likely to break in a high wind storm if they are weakened by heavy debris.
  5. Storm proof windows 
    • Installing storm proof windows can make a big difference in protecting your property from high winds and hail from a storm
    • If you don’t have storm proof windows, consider installing steel or aluminum shutters to protect them from flying debris
  6. Maintain trees around your property
    • Trimming trees and removing dead trees can help prevent large branches falling during a wind storm

Be sure to routinely check and maintain your property before the next storm hits.  If you do find yourself in need of help after a storm, call SERVPRO of Foxborough we specialize in restoration and storm damage repair. Call us after a storm and we will make it, "Like it never even happened." 

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Manufacturing Part 4 of 4

12/8/2020 (Permalink)

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Manufacturing

These sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety standards, and in conjunction with the COVID-19 Order No. 53, for Manufacturing Activities are issued to provide owners and operators of manufacturing sites and workers and contractors with instructions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19. Employers are encouraged to have workers continue to telework if feasible. These standards are minimum requirements only and are not exclusive or exhaustive. The public health data and matrix for disease prevention upon which these guidelines are based can and does change frequently, and the operator of the manufacturing site is accountable for adhering to all local, state and federal requirements relative to manufacturing activities. The operator of the manufacturing site is also responsible for staying abreast of any updates to these requirements.

Hygiene Protocols

  1. Ensure access to handwashing facilities on site, including soap and running water, and allow sufficient break time for workers to wash hands to frequently; alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol may be used as an alternative
  2. Supply workers at workplace location with adequate cleaning products (e.g., sanitizer, disinfecting wipes)
  3. Require regular and not less than daily cleaning and sanitation of all high-touch areas such as workstations, door handles, and restrooms 
  4. Avoid sharing materials / equipment (e.g., goggles) or disinfect equipment between use
  5. Post visible signage throughout the site to remind workers of the hygiene and safety protocols 

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Whenever possible employees should wear gloves, according to Standard Precautions, when it can be reasonably anticipated that contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials, mucous membranes, non-intact skin, potentially contaminated skin or contaminated equipment could occur.
    1. Gloves are not a substitute for hand hygiene.
    2. If your task requires gloves, perform hand hygiene prior to donning gloves, before touching the patient or the patient environment.
    3. Perform hand hygiene immediately after removing gloves.
  2. Change gloves and perform hand hygiene during patient care, if:
    1. gloves become damaged
    2. gloves become visibly soiled with blood or body fluids following a task
    3. moving from work on a soiled body site to a clean body site on the same patient or if another clinical indication for hand hygiene occur
  3. Never wear the same pair of gloves in the care of more than one patient
  4. Carefully remove gloves to prevent hand contamination

Cleaning And Disinfecting 

  1. Clean commonly touched surfaces in restrooms (e.g., toilet seats, doorknobs, stall handles, sinks, paper towel dispensers, soap dispensers) frequently and in accordance with CDC guidelines
  2. Conduct frequent cleaning and disinfection of site (after each shift, and more frequently if feasible)
  3. Keep cleaning logs that include date, time, and scope of cleaning
  4. Conduct frequent disinfecting of heavy transit areas, heavy machinery and high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, handrails, shared tools, bathrooms, elevators)
  5. In event of a positive case, shut down site for a deep cleaning and disinfecting of the workplace in accordance with current guidance
  6. Open windows and doors to increase airflow where possible

Recommended Best Practices

  • Open windows and doors to increase airflow where possible

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Restoring Your Property After A Fire

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

When your residential or commercial is hit by a fire, your top priority is ensuring everyone's safety. Once everyone is safe and the fire has been put out, getting your property cleaned and repaired becomes the priority. In some cases, especially when the fire was small, property owners may believe restoration is a DIY opportunity. Here are four reasons why the correct course of action is to enlist professional fire remediation help:

Water Removal


1. Most property owners do not realize that a primary component of fire damage remediation is water remediation. Standing water left behind after the fire extinguishing efforts can have severe ramifications. Moisture  and standing water will cause damage to furniture, electronics, clothing, drywall, ceilings, flooring, and more. Water removal must be done quickly. The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough utilize water pumps, wet-vacs, high-velocity fans and dehumidifiers to extract the water and moisture quickly, thereby mitigating the damage. Fire damage unfortunately, has collateral damage.

Smoke Damage

The smoke damage that results from a fire can be quite substantive. In fact, the smoke left behind can become embedded in your furniture, flooring, carpets, and walls. If left unaddressed, this smoke damage can remain in your property for years. Soot, another by-product of specific fires, needs special attention for proper clean up to avoid staining of walls and furniture. Effectively removing smoke necessitates the use of professional procedures and products that fire restoration specialists from SERVPRO of Foxborough have in their arsenal.

Salvageable Goods

In many cases, property owners who seek to complete the remediation process on their own will throw away items that are salvageable. Don't make this mistake. Instead, allow SERVPRO of Foxborough to assist you with this aspect of the restoration process. This inventories affected household items and classifies them into non-salvageable, salvageable or questionable lists. Items can be containerized and cleaned by our IICRC-trained technicians.

Time Efficiency

When property owners take on the restoration process themselves saving money is usually the driving factor. Unfortunately, the trade-off to the cost savings is lost time and poor results. Rest assured, when you partner with experts at SERVPRO of Foxborough the job will be done right. Our teams will work tirelessly to ensure that the work is completed as efficiently as possible.

After a fire SERVPRO of Foxborough is here to help you make it "Like it never even happened." Call our experts today at (508) 533-5305!

Damage To Your Commercial Property - You Need SERVPRO

12/4/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Foxborough restores damaged businesses in the surrounding Metrowest area. What sets us apart is our appreciation for our customers and understanding the importance of getting your business back up and running after any size disaster.

Through our many years servicing our communities we have developed valuable relationships with local businesses to help them plan for emergency response, disaster recovery, and business continuity. We are a locally owned and operated SERVPRO family offranchises. Here are some of the ways we help our commercial clients after they suffer a loss.

  1. Identifying your businesses or offices priorities
  2. Expediting the insurance process and meeting specific requirements tailored to your insurance company
  3. We have the expertise, specialize training, certification, and resources available to handle any size loss
  4. Deodorizing and sanitization
  5. Providing a one-stop-shop offering restoration and rebuild services
  6. 4000 sq ft warehouse full of equipment to handle any size commercial disaster.

Commercial buildings are also public spaces which require special considerations during these challenging times.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning".

If disaster strikes your commercial property call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Potential Water Damage Risks To Your Commercial Property

12/3/2020 (Permalink)

As we head into the winter months here in New England most commercial property owners focus on preparing for the first snow storm and the cold weather to follow. The reality is, it is the fluctuation in the weather that increases the risk of water damage to your Foxborough, MA commercial Property. 

Commercial buildings often feature flat roofs exposing retail centers, schools, and warehouses to an overhead flooding hazard when snow and ice liquefy. When roof drains malfunction because of ice dams, and the frozen ground surrounding a building is unable to absorb more liquid, water will find its way inside.  

Fluctuating Outdoor Temperatures Increase Risk 

Cold, slushy water exacerbated by overnight freezes can impede your property's water drainage systems. It also can cause ice dams to form. Both of these scenarios increase the risk of water damage to your commercial property.  

If several feet around your commercial building becomes an ice-filled moat, temperature fluctuation can result in flood damage. Additionally, bulging ceiling tiles may be hiding a frozen ticking time bomb that, when melted quickly, may put undue stress on your structure or building materials and ultimately end up finding its way inside.

Outside, a visual inspection can show water blocked from flowing down drain spouts by debris or ice dams instead of sheeting down the exterior. These fluids find ways inside the building through permeable building materials like concrete and masonry. Walls become soaked, insulation packs down, and floodwater collects at the lowest level. 

Should your commercial property suffer water damage this winter, contact SERVPRO of Foxborough at (508) 533-5305! We will help you make it, "Like it never even happened."

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Manufacturing Part 3 of 4

12/3/2020 (Permalink)

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Manufacturing

These sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety standards, and in conjunction with the COVID-19 Order No. 53, for Manufacturing Activities are issued to provide owners and operators of manufacturing sites and workers and contractors with instructions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19. Employers are encouraged to have workers continue to telework if feasible. These standards are minimum requirements only and are not exclusive or exhaustive. The public health data and matrix for disease prevention upon which these guidelines are based can and does change frequently, and the operator of the manufacturing site is accountable for adhering to all local, state and federal requirements relative to manufacturing activities. The operator of the manufacturing site is also responsible for staying abreast of any updates to these requirements.

Staffing And Operations

  1. Provide training to workers on up-to-date safety information and precautions including hygiene and other measures aimed at reducing disease transmission, including: 
    1. Social distancing, hand-washing, proper use of face coverings 
    2. Self-screening at home, including temperature and symptom checks 
    3. Importance of not coming to work if ill 
    4. When to seek medical attention if symptoms become severe 
    5. Which underlying health conditions may make individuals more susceptible to contracting and suffering from a severe case of the virus 
  2. Facilities must screen workers at each shift by ensuring the following: 
    1. Worker is not experiencing any symptoms such as fever (100.0 and above) or chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, headache, muscle/body aches, runny nose/congestion, new loss of taste or smell, or nausea, vomiting or diarrhea 
    2. Worker has not had “close contact” with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19. “Close contact” means living in the same household as a person who has tested positive for  COVID-19, caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, or coming in direct contact with secretions (e.g., sharing utensils, being coughed on) from a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, while that person was symptomatic
    3. Worker has not been asked to self-isolate or quarantine by their doctor or a local public health official 
    4. Workers who fail to meet the above criteria must be sent home 
  3. Facilities with highly manual work should reopen in gradual / phased approach, adjusting operations and work scheduling (working teams with different schedules or designated staggered arrival / departure time) to reduce density in the facility, minimize contact across workers and prevent congestion
  4. Limit visitors and service providers on site; shipping and deliveries should be completed in designated areas, outside the facility if possible
  5. Log everyone who comes in contact with site to enable contact tracing, including temporary visitors (e.g., those doing material drop-offs)
  6. For guidance on business-sponsored travel, refer to the Commonwealth's current out-of-state travel order. Employers are strongly discouraged from requiring or allowing business-related travel to destinations other than those appearing on the Department of Public Health’s list of COVID-19 lower risk States. Employers that permit employer-paid or - reimbursed travel to those States should take measures to ensure employees comply with this order. Employers are also urged to strongly discourage their employees from taking leisure travel to destinations not included on the list of COVID-19 lower-risk States
  7. Workers must stay home if feeling ill
  8. Workers who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) are encouraged to stay home
  9. Encourage workers to self-identify symptoms or any close contact to a known or suspected COVID-19 case to the employer 
  10. Encourage workers who test positive for COVID-19 to disclose to the workplace employer for purposes of cleaning / disinfecting and contact tracing. If the employer is notified of a positive case at the workplace, the employer shall notify the local Board of Health (LBOH) in the city or town where the workplace is located and assist the LBOH as reasonably requested to advise likely contacts to isolate and self-quarantine. Testing of other workers may be recommended consistent with guidance and / or at the request of the LBOH
  11. Post notice to worker and customers of important health information and relevant safety measures as outlined in the Commonwealth’s Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplace
  12. Manufacturing sites should maintain operating hours that allow for on-going off-hour sanitation and cleaning
  13. Additional on-site amenities and services may only open and operate when those amenities or services would otherwise be authorized to operate under the Commonwealth’s Phased Reopening Plan and then must adhere to all sector-specific safety protocols, available on the Reopening Plan website, applicable to the amenity or service. 

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Facilities with highly manual work should reopen in gradual / phased approach, adjusting operations and work scheduling (working teams with different schedules or designated staggered arrival / departure time) to reduce density in the facility, minimize contact across workers and prevent congestion
  2. Workers who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) are encouraged to stay home
  3. Encourage workers to self-identify symptoms or any close contact to a known or suspected COVID-19 case to the employer
  4. Encourage workers who test positive for COVID-19 to disclose to the workplace employer for purposes of cleaning / disinfecting and contact tracing

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Fire Safety Tips For Commercial Property Owners

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

Nothing can disrupt a business more than a fire. The damage to a commercial property and its contents can be catastrophic. While it is impossible to completely avoid a disaster, careful planning can minimize the effects to your business and your bottom line. Here are a few fire safety tips to follow to mitigate against fire damage.

Fire Prevention

  1. Keep your work area free of waste paper, trash and other items that can easily catch fire
  2. Check on your electrical cords. If a cord is damaged in any way, replace it. Try not to lay cords in places where they can be stepped on, as this will contribute to deterioration of the protective outside coating.
  3. Don't overload your circuits
  4. Turn off electrical appliances at the end of each day
  5. Keep heat producing equipment away from anything that might burn (i.e. copiers, coffee makers, computers)

In The Event Of A Fire

  1. Upon finding a fire, call 911 immediately
  2. Close doors when exiting to help limit the spread of smoke and fire throughout the building
  3. Never use elevators during an evacuation
  4. Follow the escape plan and meet at a predetermined place outside of your building and away from danger. Conduct a headcount to ensure all of your staff has evacuated.

Should your business suffer fire damage, contact SERVPRO of Foxborough at (508) 533-5305! We will help you make it, "Like it never even happened."

Winter Water Damage

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

Many potential threats to your Wrentham, MA commercial property lurk during the winter months here in the Commonwealth. Biting cold snaps rarely deter customers from visiting your store front. Even though the rain will soon turn to snow, flooding of your commercial property is still a real possibility!

While snowmelt alone can lead to some compromising flood damaged homes and businesses, there are more direct paths for substantial water losses. Identifying and eliminating potential areas of high risk, like poor insulation, will help to reduce the risk of water damage to your commercial property this winter season.

Ice Dams 

It is always ideal to ensure that your commercial property remains adequately heated. The interior temperature should never drop below 55 degrees fahrenheit. Inadequate insulation in the attic will allow heat to easily escape making heating your property a challenge. An improperly insulated attic can also lead to ice damming on the roof. This phenomenon is a result of melting snow by heating the roof internally in frigid temperatures outside. This frozen dam continues to back up, damaging roofing materials and allowing water to flow back into the structure. 

Frozen Pipes  

The basement area of your property is often the most susceptible to freezing. Make sure that any exposed plumbing is properly insulated. Stagnant water freezes faster than moving water. Slightly turning on restroom faucets allowing the water to drip will help prevent pipes from freezing. If your commercial property has a kitchen area with cabinets, leaving the doors of cabinets with pipes in them slightly open will also help to minimize the risk.    

Should your business suffer water damage, contact SERVPRO of Foxborough at (508) 533-5305! We will help you make it, "Like it never even happened."

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Manufacturing Part 2 of 4

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Manufacturing

These sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety standards, and in conjunction with the COVID-19 Order No. 53, for Manufacturing Activities are issued to provide owners and operators of manufacturing sites and workers and contractors with instructions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19. Employers are encouraged to have workers continue to telework if feasible. These standards are minimum requirements only and are not exclusive or exhaustive. The public health data and matrix for disease prevention upon which these guidelines are based can and does change frequently, and the operator of the manufacturing site is accountable for adhering to all local, state and federal requirements relative to manufacturing activities. The operator of the manufacturing site is also responsible for staying abreast of any updates to these requirements.

Social Distancing

  1. Ensure separation of 6 feet or more between individuals at fixed working positions unless this distance is unsafe due to the particular nature of the manufacturing work or the configuration of the workspace
    1. Manual work: reengineer workstations to increase distance between workers; install visual distancing markers on workstations to delineate 6 feet separations; place markers throughout facility to guide movement of individuals
    2. Close or reconfigure worker common spaces and high density areas of facilities where workers are likely to congregate (e.g., break rooms, eating areas) to allow physical distancing
    3. Cafeterias must practice physical distancing and appropriate hygiene measures and may allow indoor and / or outdoor seating according to Restaurant guidance
    4. Designate assigned working areas (e.g., floor, building, factory zone) to individuals where possible to limit movement throughout the facility and limit contact between workers
    5. Improve ventilation for enclosed spaces where possible (e.g., open doors and windows)
  2. Stagger lunch and break times, regulating maximum number of people in one place and ensuring at least 6 feet of physical distancing during any meeting
  3. Face coverings are required for all workers, except where doing so may introduce a safety hazard to workers or where an individual is unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition or disability
  4. Establish directional pathways to manage worker flow for foot traffic, to minimize contact (e.g., one-way entrance and exit to rooms, one-way pathways). Post clearly visible signage regarding these policies 
  5. Minimize the use of confined spaces (e.g., elevators, control rooms, vehicles) by more than one individual at a time; all workers in such spaces at the same time are required to wear face coverings
  6. Physical partitions separating workstations must be installed for areas that cannot be spaced out. Physical partitions must be at least 6 feet in height

Recommended Best Practices

Designate assigned working areas (e.g., floor, building, factory zone) to individuals where possible to limit movement throughout the facility and limit contact between workers

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

We Handle All Categories Of Commercial Remediation

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

When water, fire, or weather damage occurs to your Walpole, MA commercial property there are many factors to consider when determining the remediation techniques and equipment required.  Our project managers will assess the area and will categorize the damage into one of three different levels to ensure the appropriate level of resources are allocated to the project. 

Level 1 - 15,000 Sq Ft Or Less

A small commercial property that suffers damage to the entirety of its structure falls into this category. Examples of commercial properties that would fall into this category:

  1. Small retail or office building
  2. Restaurant
  3. Church
  4. Other small commercial properties

This level of loss can also be one smaller portion of a much larger building.

Level 2 - 15,000 to 60,000 square feet affected

A medium-sized commercial property that suffers damage to the entirety of its structure falls into this category. Examples of commercial properties that would fall into this category:

  1. Multi-family property
  2. Commercial warehouse
  3. Sporting venue
  4. Small apartment building. 

Similar to Level 1, this level of loss can also be a medium-sized portion of a much larger structure.

Level 3 - Greater Than 60,000 Sq Ft

These are referred to as “large losses.” While these are less common, because they occur in large buildings and the damage is far more extensive, they are by far the most financially costly and disruptive to the daily operations of a business. Examples of commercial properties that would fall into this category:

  1. Large commercial buildings
  2. High-rise apartment buildings
  3. Hospitals
  4. Schools.

Sometime the damage is spread across multiple, adjacent storefronts or smaller buildings. Those instances would fall into this category too.

Regardless of the size of your commercial property or the amount of damage incurred, the Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are equipped and ready to deliver all levels of commercial disaster remediation. When disaster strikes your commercial property call the experts at SERVPRO of Foxborough at (508) 533-5305. Not only are we "Faster to any size disaster" but we will make it "Like it never even happened," and get you back to business as usual in the quickest, most efficient way possible. 

Is Your Business Protected From Disaster

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

Most business owners have insurance that covers damage to the property, structure, and its contents. However, when disaster strikes your Foxborough, MA commercial property the losses incurred may extend to revenue. According to the Insurance Information Institute many business owners fail to think about how they would keep their business afloat if they were forced to temporarily close. Business income (interruption) coverage also known as business income coverage (BI), can help with operating expenses during the period of restoration, and includes:

  1. Lost net income (based on financial records)
  2. Mortgage, rent and lease payments
  3. Loan payments
  4. Taxes
  5. Employee payroll

The III recommends that business owners should make sure the policy limits are sufficient to cover their company for more than a few days. After a major disaster, it can take more time than many people realize to get “back in business.”

Guidelines For Coverage

Generally, the best way to estimate future profits to determine the right amount of coverage is to use your business's gross earnings and projections. Remember, if business income interruption costs exceed the coverage limit chosen you will have to pay out of pocket for any extra expenses.

Extra Expense Insurance

Business income (interruption) insurance can also include extra expense, which will cover anything beyond the normal day-to-day operating expenses that are necessary to keep a business solvent. Instances of extra expenses include:

  • Renting a temporary place of business while the original place of business is being restored
  • Replacement of hardware, technology and furniture
  • Paying overtime for employees or hiring more employees
  • Leasing equipment

Extra expense insurance can be bundled in a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP), as a separate insurance policy or as a rider to a commercial property policy.

When disaster strikes your commercial property call the experts at SERVPRO of Foxborough at (508) 533-5305. We are "Faster to any size disaster".

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Manufacturing Part 1 of 4

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Manufacturing

These sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety standards, and in conjunction with the COVID-19 Order No. 53, for Manufacturing Activities are issued to provide owners and operators of manufacturing sites and workers and contractors with instructions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19. Employers are encouraged to have workers continue to telework if feasible. These standards are minimum requirements only and are not exclusive or exhaustive. The public health data and matrix for disease prevention upon which these guidelines are based can and does change frequently, and the operator of the manufacturing site is accountable for adhering to all local, state and federal requirements relative to manufacturing activities. The operator of the manufacturing site is also responsible for staying abreast of any updates to these requirements.

Standards For Responsible Manufacturing Activities In Massachusetts

No manufacturing activity shall occur without meeting the State mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces as applied to manufacturing facilities in this document. These sector specific COVID-19 Workplace Safety Standards for Manufacturing apply to all manufacturing (essential and non-essential) in operation during the COVID-19 public health emergency until rescinded or amended by the State. The operator of each manufacturing site or facility shall be responsible for meeting these standards.

The following workplace specific safety standards are organized around four distinct categories covering Social Distancing, Hygiene Protocols, Staffing and Operations, and Cleaning and Disinfecting.

Hygiene Protocols  

  1. Ensure access to handwashing facilities on site, including soap and running water, and allow sufficient break time for workers to wash hands to frequently; alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol may be used as an alternative
  2. Supply workers at workplace location with adequate cleaning products (e.g., sanitizer, disinfecting wipes)
  3. Require regular and not less than daily cleaning and sanitation of all high-touch areas such as workstations, door handles, and restrooms
  4. Post visible signage throughout the site to remind workers of the hygiene and safety protocols
  5. Avoid sharing materials / equipment (e.g., goggles) or disinfect equipment between use

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and running water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol.
  2. Always wash hands that are visibly soiled.
  3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  4. Practice good respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Retail Part 4 of 4

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Retail Businesses

These updated workplace safety standards, and in conjunction with the COVID-19 Order No. 53, for Retail Businesses are posted in advance of their effective date to allow Retail Businesses time to prepare to operate in compliance with these mandatory health and safety standards. Retail Businesses remain subject to the previously issued October 29, 2020 safety standards until these revised workplace safety standards go into effect on November 6, 2020.

Hygiene Protocols

  1. Disinfect shared equipment, such as cash registers, intercoms, tagging machines before use by another employee
  2. Ensure access to handwashing facilities on site, including soap and running water, wherever possible and encourage frequent handwashing; alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol may be used as an alternative
  3. Supply workers at workplace location with adequate cleaning products (e.g., sanitizer, disinfecting wipes)
  4. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol shall be made available at entrances and throughout floor areas for both workers and customers
  5. Avoid sharing equipment and supplies between workers
  6. Post visible signage throughout the site to remind workers of hygiene and safety protocols

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Stock up on cleaning products (e.g., sanitizer, disinfecting wipes)
  2. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers stations throughout floor areas for both workers and customers

Cleaning and Disinfecting 

  1. Clean commonly touched surfaces in restrooms (e.g., toilet seats, doorknobs, stall handles, sinks, paper towel dispensers, soap dispensers) frequently and in accordance with CDC guidelines
  2. Conduct frequent cleaning and disinfection of site (at least daily and more frequently if feasible)
  3. Keep cleaning logs that include date, time, and scope of cleaning
  4. Conduct frequent disinfecting of heavy transit areas and high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, bathrooms, baskets, carts, staff break rooms)
  5. In event of a positive case, shut down site for a deep cleaning and disinfecting of the workplace in accordance with current CDC guidance
  6. Open windows and doors to increase airflow where possible
  7. Once returned or tried on by customers, remove clothing from service for 24 hours (before it can be returned by staff and handled by another customer)

Recommended Best Practices

  • Open windows and doors to increase airflow where possible

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Winter Can Bring Storm Damage To Your Property

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Winter in New England is almost here, which means folks in Foxborough, MA are eagerly awaiting the first big snow storm. While most people assume the only disruptions blizzards can bring are travel difficulties and requiring quality time with the snowblower, they can actually have a significant affect on your property. Damage to your home caused by blizzards can be severe and difficult to repair. Winter storms and blizzards in the Commonwealth can bring about many hazards we need to prepare for.

Snow

Snow is, of course, typically the primary component to any winter storm. During blizzards, it can accumulate quickly on roofs and other structures associated with your commercial or residential property. If left unattended, this additional weight could compromise the structural integrity of your roof. If there are any trees near your property, snow accumulation can potentially result in bringing the trees down on top of your property. In either case, the damage can be significant; the situation is also exacerbated by the colder temperatures during the winter months.

Ice

Aside from the obvious slipping hazards ice creates, it can also be extremely problematic for your property. Melting caused by the natural insulating properties of snow can result in ice dams, which can lead to significant moisture intrusion into your property. If left undetected or untreated, this moisture intrusion result in a significant mold infestation.

Wind

Blizzards often bring high winds along to the party, which can easily lead to damage to your property. Aside from the potential for superficial damage, object becoming airborne are projectiles that could easily break windows, or damage siding or shingles; in any case, the end result is intrusion of the outside elements, which can lead to significant problems down the road.

If your commercial or residential property suffers storm damage this winter, call the Disaster Remediation experts at SERVPRO of Foxborough at (508) 533-5305. We will help you make it "Like it never even happened."

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Retail Part 3 of 4

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Retail Businesses

These updated workplace safety standards, and in conjunction with the COVID-19 Order No. 53, for Retail Businesses are posted in advance of their effective date to allow Retail Businesses time to prepare to operate in compliance with these mandatory health and safety standards. Retail Businesses remain subject to the previously issued October 29, 2020 safety standards until these revised workplace safety standards go into effect on November 6, 2020.

Staffing And Operations

The following workplace specific guidance is organized around four distinct categories covering Staffing and Operations.

  1. Provide training to workers on up-to-date safety information and precautions including hygiene 4 and other measures aimed at reducing disease transmission, including:
    1. Social distancing, hand-washing, proper use of face coverings
    2. Self-screening at home, including temperature and symptom checks
    3. Importance of not coming to work if ill
    4. When to seek medical attention if symptoms become severe 
    5. Which underlying health conditions may make individuals more susceptible to contracting and suffering from a severe case of the virus 
  2. Facilities must screen workers at each shift by ensuring the following: 
    1. Worker is not experiencing any symptoms such as fever (100.0 and above) or chills, cough,shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, headache, muscle/body aches, runny nose/congestion, new loss of taste or smell, or nausea, vomiting ordiarrhea 
    2. Worker has not had “close contact” with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19. “Close contact” means living in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, or coming in direct contact with secretions (e.g., sharing utensils, being coughed on) from a person who has tested positive for COVID-19
    3. Worker has not been asked to self-isolate or quarantine by their doctor or a local public health official
    4. Workers who fail to meet the above criteria must be sent home
  3. Adjust workplace hours and shifts (leverage working teams with different schedules or staggered arrival / departure) to minimize contact across workers and reduce congestion at entry points
  4. Businesses should reduce operating hours to allow for on-going off-hour sanitation and cleaning
  5. Limit visitors and service providers on site; shipping and deliveries should be completed in designated areas
  6. Workers shall not appear for work or complete a shift if feeling ill
  7. Workers who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) are encouraged to stay home
  8. Workers are strongly encouraged to self-identify symptoms or any close contact to a known or suspected COVID-19 case to the employer
  9. Encourage workers who test positive for COVID-19 to disclose to the employer for purposes of cleaning / disinfecting and contact tracing. If the employer is notified of any positive case at the workplace, the employer must immediately notify the local Board of Health (LBOH) in the city or town where the workplace is located. Employers must assist the LBOH with contact tracing efforts, including advising likely contacts to isolate and self-quarantine. Testing of other workers may be recommended consistent with guidance and / or at the request of theLBOH
  10. Post notice to workers and customers of important health information and relevant safety measures as outlined in the Commonwealth’s Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplace
  11. For in-home delivery of products, such as furniture and appliances, screen customers for symptoms prior to workers entering the house. Delay delivery if customer indicates potential COVID-19 positive person in the household
  12. Limit visitors and service providers on site; shipping and deliveries should be completed in designated areas
  13. Limit employee movement to discrete work zones to minimize overlap where possible

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Workers who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) are encouraged to stay home
  2. Workers are strongly encouraged to self-identify symptoms or any close contact to a known or suspected COVID-19 case to the employer
  3. Encourage workers who test positive for COVID-19 to disclose to the workplace employer for purposes of cleaning / disinfecting and contact tracing
  4. Limit employee movement to discrete work zones to minimize overlap where possible

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

How To Clean Contaminated Floodwater

11/20/2020 (Permalink)

Category three water is the worst type of water loss that can affect a property. The water ruins anything porous it touches, and the longer it remains left untreated, the more damage that it does. Fast action is needed to enable the best outcome for the home and contents. 

Potentially Contaminants Floodwater

When groundwater is the cause of the flood damage in your commercial or residential property, there can be many types of problems present within the water. As the water travels, it picks up everything it comes in contact with and brings it along. The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough regularly perform restoration services on flood loss that contains one or more pathogenic, toxigenic, or other harmful agents. Additionally, all types of mud and debris may potentially be in the water too.

Damage To Flooring

The outcome of your flooring after a floodwater disaster is dependent on how fast the cleanup efforts began. After groundwater enters a home, it migrates into any area that offers the least resistance. Our expert technicians know from experience some of the most common places affected by floodwater are:

  • Under tile
  • Behind baseboards
  • Through floor joists into basements or crawlspaces
  • Within carpet 
  • Subfloor

Thorough Extraction of Floodwater Is Critical

After a floodwater event the timer starts ticking on the level of damage. For example, if the water gets extracted quickly after the initial water loss event, there is a higher chance that the rapid response works to inhibit the level of damage to the structure. 

Because of the contaminated nature of this water, the certified technicians of SERVPRO of Foxborough will apply treatments to lessen the contagions present before beginning mitigation. When handling this type of loss, our teams wear protective clothing, including eye protection and respirators. This is because harmful pathogenic elements can enter the body through the eyes or aspiration. 

It is not unusual for the original amount of water to have receded and migrated into the structure. The professionals at SERVPRO of Foxborough understand the movement of water within a home and use their moisture detection equipment to determine the true scope of the area that needs mitigation.  

Controlled Demolition

When groundwater wicks into sheetrock, it rapidly deteriorates, and to save as much as possible of the structure, rather than remove the entire portion of the wall space, our technicians measure several inches above the waterline and cut away the destroyed part. This action serves the dual purpose of removing damaged materials and opening up the wall cavities for complete drying. 

While ceramic tile with sealed grout tends to have the best outcome from flood loss, adhesive tiles tend to delaminate rapidly and may need removal. We will inspect any removed materials for the potential for cleaning and reuse to save the property owner the cost of replacement. 

When contaminated water saturates carpet, it is almost always a loss as it cannot get returned to a sanitized state for reuse. Due to the weight of wet carpet, we will extract and sometimes dry the carpet before cutting it into strips for disposal as a biohazard. 

If your home has flooding damage from a backup, call the Disaster Remediation experts at SERVPRO of Foxborough at (508) 533-5305. We will help you make it "Like it never even happened."

Hail Can Cause Damage To Your Home

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

Hailstorms can happen year-round and can vary greatly in severity. In fact, damage from hail is among the top homeowners claims annually, with approximately one in 35 homes reporting a claim. Surprisingly, hailstorms cause close to $1 billion in damages. The damage is mainly to roofs and cars. Hailstorms can cause dents in aluminum siding, shingles and gutters or even crack vinyl siding, asphalt roofs or wood shakes.

Hailstones come in different shapes and sizes and can be anywhere from .2 inches to 6 inches in size and weigh more than 1 pound. Three factors contribute to making a hailstorm especially dangerous:

  1. The size of the stones
  2. The frequency with which they fall
  3. The wind speed

While hailstorms are not easily predicted, there are a few ways to prepare for them to lessen future damage. The first thing to check is your roof. You will want to look for any missing or worn shingles and get those replaced. If you know hail is on the way, try and get your car to the garage or a covered area if possible. During a hailstorm, you will want to stay inside and avoid skylights or any other glass windows/doors in your home.

It is a good idea to check with your insurance carrier to see what is covered on your current policy and consider adding hail damage. If you think your home has been damaged by a hail storm it is a good idea to have a the professionals of SERVPRO of Foxborough at (508) 533-5305 to inspect your roof and siding. We will alert you to any issues that may open your home to the threat of water and mold damage. 

SERVPRO's Three C's

11/18/2020 (Permalink)

Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO of Foxborough technicians are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. With more than 50 years of experience, from formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

Consult, Clean, and Certify

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. The program is grounded with our 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

  1. Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touch points, foot traffic and congestion points.
  2. Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough deep clean using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our technicians have years of experience and they go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
  3. Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers.

Whatever your needs, remediation, professional cleaning or rebuild, we are Here to Help 24 hours a day, every day of the year, including holidays!  Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today at (508) 533-5305 and we will help you make it, “Like it never even happened.”

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Retail Part 2 of 4

11/18/2020 (Permalink)

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Retail Businesses

These updated workplace safety standards for Retail Businesses are posted in advance of their effective date to allow Retail Businesses time to prepare to operate in compliance with these mandatory health and safety standards. Retail Businesses remain subject to the previously issued October 29, 2020 safety standards until these revised workplace safety standards go into effect on November 6, 2020.

Social Distancing and Capacity Limits

The following workplace specific guidance is organized around four distinct categories covering Social Distancing and Capacity Limits.

  1. Require face coverings at all times for all workers and customers, except where unsafe due to medical condition or disability
  2. Each business must monitor customer entries and exits and limit occupancy at all times to the greater of the following:
    1. 50% of the building’s maximum permitted occupancy as documented in its occupancy permit on record with the municipal building department or other municipal record holder
    2. Buildings for which no permitted occupancy limitation is on record may allow up to 10 persons (including staff) per 1,000 square feet of accessible space
    3. In any case, no enclosed space within the building shall exceed occupancy of 10 persons per 1,000 square feet
    4. All occupancy counts and calculations shall include customers, staff, and other workers
  3. Operators of enclosed shopping malls and other indoor, multi-tenant retail spaces must monitor customer and worker entries and exits to common areas and limit occupancy of common areas at all times to 50% of maximum permitted occupancy levels
  4. Within enclosed shopping malls and other indoor multi-tenant retail spaces:
    1. Retailers or restaurants serving food shall adhere to the latest restaurant protocols. Food court seating may be open provided that restaurant protocols, including spacing and cleaning of tables, are followed. In accordance with the COVID-19 Order No. 53 restaurants and food courts must close to the public no later than 9:30 pm and may not re-open to the public before 5:00 am the following day, although restaurants may continue to provide take-out service after 9:30pm.
    2. Any additional seating areas must remain closed 
    3. Any children’s play areas must be closed
    4. All arcades must follow the standards for Arcades and Other Indoor and Outdoor Game and Recreation Businesses 
  5. If the store offers delivery, curbside pickup capabilities, or limited “appointment only shopping,” customers should be encouraged to use those methods before coming into the store
  6. Grocery stores and retail stores with a pharmacy department must provide dedicated hours at least one hour each day of operation, in the early morning, for adults 60 years of age and older. These hours must be conspicuously posted
  7. Other retail stores are encouraged to offer exclusive hours or other accommodations for those in high-risk populations as defined by the CDC
  8. Ensure separation of 6 feet or more between individuals where possible: 
    1. Close or reconfigure worker common spaces and high density areas where workers are likely to congregate (e.g., break rooms, eating areas) to allow social distancing
    2. Physical partitions must separate workstations that cannot be spaced out (partitions must be at least 6 feet in height) 3
    3. Install physical barriers for checkout stations where possible, otherwise maintain 6 feet distance where not possible
    4. Install visual social distancing markers to encourage customers to remain 6 feet apart (e.g., lines outside of the stores if applicable, lines to make payments, lines to use the restroom) 
    5. Mark rooms and hallways to indicate 6 feet separation 
  9. Establish directional aisles to manage customer flow for foot traffic, if possible, to minimize contact (e.g., one-way entrance and exit to the store, one-way aisles). Post clearly visible signage regarding these policies
  10. Contactless payment methods are encouraged
  11. Self-serve, unattended buffets, topping bars, and other communal serving areas (such as salad bars) must remain closed. Retailers must eliminate any open free samples or tastings. Self-serve beverage stations must comply with the following guidelines:
    1. Hand sanitizer must be made available next to beverage stations and operators must instruct customers to use before pouring beverages
    2. Only straws and stirrers individually wrapped in cellophane or paper are allowed
    3. Cups and lids must be from single pull dispenser or other method to minimize contact
    4. Sweeteners, sugars and creamers must be individual packets
    5. Floor markers must be installed to achieve social distancing 
    6. Use of personal mugs and cups are not allowed
    7. Frequent disinfecting of the beverage station must take place, even during busy times
  12. Individual retailers must not allow sampling or application of personal goods (makeup, perfume, lotion) unless they provide single-use applicators or have a no-touch option.
  13. In Phase 3 Step 1, fitting rooms may be opened for use by businesses for which their operation is necessary.
  14. In Phase 3 Step 2, fitting rooms may be open for use by all retail businesses.
  15. Any clothing tried on by a customer must either be quarantined for 24 hours or thoroughly steam cleaned prior to returning to the floor
  16. Stagger staff lunch and break times, regulating max number of people in one place and ensuring at least 6 feet of physical distancing

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Finish Strong

11/17/2020 (Permalink)

As 2020 comes to an end we find ourselves in the same situation as we were in the beginning of the year. Positive COVID-19 tests are once again on the rise, and, even though there are promising news on the vaccine front, we are still months away from having the public inoculated. It is more important than ever to practice preventative cleaning and we are here to help!

When SERVPRO of Foxborough comes into your space we are able to disinfect your space with EPA approved products. We provide disinfecting services for COVID-19 as well as general detailed cleanings for unoccupied homes collecting dust. 

Our Disinfectant services include:

  1. Spray certain affected areas with EPA approved hospital grade disinfectant. This mist will eradicate any aerosolized particles allowing for a safer entry of decontamination personnel.
  2. Use EPA approved Hospital Grade disinfectant.  
  3. Surface wiping of critical contact areas. Fixtures, keyboards, phones, door handles, certain contents within the affected area are hand wiped. 
  4. Technicians will wear half face respirators with, coveralls, goggles and gloves.

We also offer a detailed floor to ceiling deep cleaning, from base molding to crown molding including: content manipulation, steam cleaning of drapes, carpets and upholstered furniture if needed. We would clean every square foot leaving your home in immaculate condition. 

We are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year, including holidays. If you have any questions please call SERVPRO of Foxborough, (508) 533-5305. We will make it though this together!

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Retail Part 1 of 4

11/17/2020 (Permalink)

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Retail Businesses

These updated workplace safety standards for Retail Businesses are posted in advance of their effective date to allow Retail Businesses time to prepare to operate in compliance with these mandatory health and safety standards. Retail Businesses remain subject to the previously issued October 29, 2020 safety standards until these revised workplace safety standards go into effect on November 6, 2020.

These sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety standards for Retail Businesses are issued to provide owners and operators of Retail Businesses and workers and customers with instructions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 as retail stores transition from curbside pickup and delivery only to browsing and in-store transactions with restrictions.

These standards are minimum requirements only and are not exclusive or exhaustive. The public health data and matrix upon which these guidelines are based can and does change frequently, and the owner or operator for each retail business is accountable for staying abreast of any updates to these requirements.

Facilities Permitted to Open to the Public by Community Status

  • Food Courts
    • Open, but required to close between 9:30 pm – 5:00 am except for take-out
    • Open, but required to close between 9:30 pm – 5:00 am except for take-out
  • Fitting Rooms
    • Open in businesses for which their operation is necessary
    • Open for all retail stores

Standards for Responsible Retail Businesses in Massachusetts

  1. In accordance with the COVID-19 Order No. 53, Requiring Early Closing for Certain Businesses and Activities, no retail business may sell or provide alcohol of any kind between the hours of 9:30 pm and 5:00 am and no entity operating under a marijuana retailer license may sell adult use cannabis or adult use cannabis products of any kind between the hours of 9:30pm and 5:00 am.
  2. No activity in Retail Businesses can occur without meeting these sector specific COVID-19 workplace 2 safety standards for Retail Businesses. These standards apply, until rescinded or amended by the State, to all Retail Businesses except for Farmers’ Markets, which shall continue to be governed by Department of Public Health Guidance. These standards supersede and replace earlier issued Department of Public Health guidance governing grocery stores and pharmacies. 
  3. These standards do not supersede the updated stay at home order issued on Friday, November 6th. It is critically important that everybody follows the new order which can be found on the Mass.gov website. 

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

4 Causes Of Burst Pipes

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

Burst pipes are a common occurrence in the Commonwealth as the colder months set in. Many residents and workers are in buildings where the pipes are potentially older than their grandparents! When water pipes burst it may be preceded by a loud pop sound. Regardless, the result is can be major flooding in your Walpole, MA commercial or residential property. There are four main reasons why burst pipes occur:

  1. Frozen Pipes
  2. Moving Pipes
  3. Water Pressure
  4. Corrosion

Frozen Pipes

During the Winter months, serious issues can arise for the water supply pipes. Cold temperatures cause contraction to occur. Ice has more volume than water, so when water freezes inside a pipe it expands and increases pressure inside the pipe. The pressure builds resulting in a  burst in the pipe. The burst will occur at the weakest point in the pipe, with pressure bursting right out of the side of the pipe wall.

To prevent frozen pipes, make sure that the temperature inside your property stays above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Moving Pipes

Pipes can actually move around within the walls if they’re not properly secured especially when the water is suddenly turned on or off. One way to know for sure is if you can hear your water pipes making noise inside the walls or floors. If your pipes sound like they’re clanging against each other, it’s called a water hammer. What you’re hearing is that the pipes are moving back and forth due to not being held into place properly. Gradually, these pipes become weakened in the joints until one pipe fails. This causes the water pipe to break and flood your property.

Water Pressure

Water pressure must be kept at a normal setting in order for your water supply pipes to function properly. Any noticeable increase in the water pressure can translate to a burst pipe. As pressure increases, the pipes will cave in and separate, causing a rupture. Not sure if your water pressure is above too high?

  1. The water pressure in most homes is between 30-50 psi to avoid damage to pipes and plumbing fixtures.
  2. Monitor it by attaching a pressure gauge to a sink spout and turning on the faucet. The pressure will move the needle on the gauge and display the water pressure in psi (pounds per square inch).
  3. If your home’s water pressure is too high, a SERVPRO of Foxborough technician can install a pressure reducing valve to bring it down to safer levels.

CORROSION

Pipes are meant to last a long time and provide decades worth of reliable service, but they do not last indefinitely. Over time, buildings experience corrosion which can mean that pipes will show signs of failure or decay. Corrosion is caused by an imbalance of pH in the water. At first, this seems to be a minor issue, but it takes its tolls on the pipes over the years. 

Many water supply pipes are made of galvanized iron, the minerals inside the water slowly wear down the galvanized coating and expose the iron pipe beneath. In time, the iron turns to rust and gradually clogs the interior of the pipe which prevents water from getting through. As a result, your pipe may burst or the water flow may be stopped entirely.

If you experience a burst pipe, the first step is to turn off the Water Main. Then call the water remediation experts of SERVPRO of Foxborough to remediate the water damage. and to determine the cause of the burst pipe at (508) 533-5305. We will make it, "Like it never even happened."

5 Commercial Property Water Risks

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

When the weather turns extreme, it’s natural to worry about water damaging your Walpole, MA commercial property. Unfortunately, even when the weather is seemingly perfect, there are other culprits that can cause water damage. Here are five potential causes of water issues to watch out for.

Plumbing

A broken pipe can happen for numerous reasons, including freezing temperatures, pressure changes, water supply deterioration. Water stains, bulging walls, musty odors, or damaged tiles are indicators that there may be a leaking pipe that requires a water repair.

Sprinkler System Issues

Vital as the first line of defense, if not properly maintained, a sprinkler system can lead to extensive damage, especially if a broken pipe is the issue. Along with accidental activation, which results in 100s of gallons of water pouring down, neglected systems can slowly leak.

Faulty Appliances or Equipment

Along with major systems like HVAC and water heaters, any dishwasher or equipment that uses water on the property could be the source of a lingering musty odor. Regular maintenance, inspections, and cleaning are necessary to keep them working properly.

Sewer and Toilet Backups

Regardless if the cause is improperly flushing items, flooding overfilling the sewer drain or issues with the city’s mainline, toilet and sewer water is not regular water. Full of contaminants, cleaning it up requires extra considerations. If these types of issues arise, it’s best to call a trusted plumber to determine the problem to help keep it from happening again.

Structural Damage

Buildings may be built to last, but they are not invincible. Any part of it not doing what it should could let water seep in. Before the next rain, inspect the building for broken windows, leaky roofs, and foundation issues. Improper drainage, such as clogged gutters, can quickly lead to big foundational problems.


Regardless of the cause, immediately addressing the water damage is necessary to limit the destruction. If water has damaged your commercial property call the water remediation experts of SERVPRO of Foxborough of (508) 533-5305 today! We will make it "Like it never even happened." 

Planning To Reopen - New Orders And Advisories, Part 2 of 2

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

Beginning on Friday, November 6, 2020, all residents of Massachusetts are advised to stay home between the hours of 10pm and 5am.

COVID-19 case numbers in our state are rising and the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 related hospitalizations and COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) census have more than doubled over the past 2 months.  Social gatherings are contributing to these increases.  Left unchecked, the current COVID-19 case growth poses a risk to our healthcare system.   Intervention is warranted to moderate case growth and preserve hospital capacity.  It’s more important than ever to follow guidance from local, state, and federal officials on how to stop the spread of the virus.

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Masks And Face Coverings

All persons in the Commonwealth over the age of five years old are required to wear a mask or cloth face covering over their mouth and nose when in a public location, weather indoors or outdoors. Mask or face coverings are encouraged but not required for children between the ages of two and five.

Public locations include any place open to the public including, but not limited to:

  1. Grocery stores
  2. Pharmacies and other retail stores
  3. Public transportation, taxis, in other ridesharing vehicles
  4. Public streets and ways
  5. Locations that host indoor or outdoor events, activities, or performances

Masks or cloth face coverings are also required when in a carpool with non-household members.

NOTE:  Medical–grade masks should be reserved for healthcare workers and first responders. 

Customers, visitors, attendees, etc. refusing to wear a mask or cloth face covering for non-medical reasons are to be declined entry to the facility. 

Masks And Face Coverings - Exceptions

  1. Any person with a medical or disabling condition.
  2. In situations where a face covering would impede communication by or with persons with hearing impairments or similar disabilities.
  3. When alone in a vehicle or only with other household members
  4. Places of employment - Employees who request accommodations to not have to wear a face covering while at work due to a medical or disabling condition must provide their employer with documentation to verify the condition.
  5. Schools - Students unable to wear a face covering due to a medical or disabling condition and are expected to participate in in in-person learning must provide documentation verifying the condition.

Limitations To Gatherings

The following limitations apply to indoor and outdoor gatherings including, without limitation, all social, community, civic, public, and leisure events as well as conferences, conventions, fundraisers, and other similar events or assemblies. Members of the same household, one assemble together with no other non-household members present, do not constitute a gathering and are not be subject to these limitations.

Social Distancing

In addition to the capacity restrictions all participants in indoor and outdoor gatherings, including gatherings at private residence,must maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from every other participant in the gathering, except where participants are members of the same household. A gathering shall violate his provision wear, no matter the number of participants present, conditions or activities at the gathering are such that it is not reasonably possible for all participants to maintain this degree of separation. 

Gatherings At Private Residences

Indoor gatherings at private residences and in any other place not falling within the definition of an event venue or public setting are limited to a maximum of 10 people.

Outdoor gatherings at private residences and in any other place not falling within the definition of an event venue or public setting are limited to a maximum of 25 people.

Gatherings At Event Venues And In Public Settings

Indoor gatherings at event venues or in public settings are limited to a maximum of 25 people.

The following capacity limitations shall apply to outdoor gatherings at event venues or in public settings:

  1. In lower risk communities or in any successor order gatherings at event venues or in public settings are limited to a maximum of 100 persons in a single venue or space.
  2. In communities that do not qualify as lower risk communities, gatherings at event venues or in public settings are limited to a maximum of 50 persons in a single venue or space.

Exceptions To Limitation Restrictions

  1. Religious activities provided that such gatherings follow the COVID-19 safety rules and capacity limitations for Places of Worship
  2. Outdoor gatherings for the purpose of political expression 

Notification Of Exposure Risk

For outdoor gatherings in lower risk communicate communities where more than 50 attendees are anticipated, the operator of the event venue shall provide notice to the local Board of Health in the municipality where the gathering is located at least one week before the event is scheduled, or otherwise as soon as possible where one week notice is not practical due to the nature of the event.

For events held in public spaces like parks were more than 50 attendees are anticipated, the event organizer shall be responsible for providing this notice.

Time Limitation

All gatherings, no matter the size or location, must end and participants must disperse by 9:30 PM, with the exceptions of religious gatherings and political gatherings. 

Face Coverings

Masks or face coverings are encouraged at all gatherings private and public.

Contact Tracing

If a host or event venue is notified that an event attendee or event worker has tested positive for COVID-19 the event host or event venue must immediately notify the Local Board of Health in the municipality where the event took place. Host and event venues must assist the Department of Public Health and Local Board of Health with contact tracing in case investigations, including, upon request, providing list of attendees at social gatherings and their contact information. Event hosts and venues who fail to timely report positive cases or “cooperate with contact tracing and case investigations may be subject to the penalties. 

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Protect Your Property From Rainfall Damage

11/12/2020 (Permalink)

Heavy rain and storms can cause substantial damage to your Bellingham, MA commercial or residential property, especially if you aren't prepared. Storms can produce high winds causing fallen branches, and trees. There is always the possibility that when a storm hits, there will be damage to a property. Even a small roof puncture or a cracked window from a tree limb can be enough to allow rainfall to trickle (or pour) into your home. A downed tree can cause serious damage to your roof, siding and windows. Heavy rain also raises the risk of flooding. The following tips will help keep your property safe and dry in the event of a storm:

  1. Consider options to protect your windows and entryways such as adding shutters, rain diverters and storm doors.
  2. Having a sump pump and dehumidifier handy can really help on days with heavy rain or high humidity.
  3. Keep an eye on the trees closest to your home. Of course, you don’t want to cut into every tree but sometimes damage can be prevented by trimming back the trees that pose a threat.
  4. Regularly check that rainwater is draining properly. If it isn’t, consider ways to redirect it such as adding gutters or consulting a contractor.
  5. Regularly check your home for potential weaknesses especially in the roof, siding and windows. Even a small opening can let in rainwater so catching and repairing these issues before a storm hits is important and will save you money.

If water has damaged your commercial or residential property call the water remediation experts of SERVPRO of Foxborough of (508) 533-5305 today! We will make it "Like it never even happened." 

Planning To Reopen - New Orders And Advisories

11/12/2020 (Permalink)

Beginning on Friday, November 6, 2020, all residents of Massachusetts are advised to stay home between the hours of 10pm and 5am.

COVID-19 case numbers in our state are rising and the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 related hospitalizations and COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) census have more than doubled over the past 2 months.  Social gatherings are contributing to these increases.  Left unchecked, the current COVID-19 case growth poses a risk to our healthcare system.   Intervention is warranted to moderate case growth and preserve hospital capacity.  It’s more important than ever to follow guidance from local, state, and federal officials on how to stop the spread of the virus.

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Updated Stay-At-Home Advisory

It is critically important that everybody follows the steps listed below, not just for their own health and safety, but for the health and safety of their family and loved ones as well. The following are excerpts from Governor Baker's executive order which can be downloaded from the Mass.gov website. 

NOTE: In order to comply with this advisory, between the hours of 10pm and 5am, you must:

  1. Only leave home to go to work or school, or for essential needs such as seeking emergency medical care, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, picking up take-out food, or receiving deliveries.  If you do leave home, practice social distancing by staying 6 feet away from others and wearing a face covering.
  2. Not have gatherings in your home with anybody outside of your household.
  3. Comply with all Governor’s Orders, including orders requiring face coverings, limiting gatherings, and mandating early closure of businesses.
  4. Practice social distancing and avoid touching surfaces frequently touched by others if you go outside to get fresh air.
  5. Use remote modes of communication like phone or video chat instead of visiting friends or family.

Taking these steps is critical to preventing the spread of the virus, protecting the lives of you and your loved ones, and preserving our acute care hospital and other health care systems’ capacity.

Early Closure of Businesses And Activities

All businesses, facilities, or activities included within the categories listed below must close their premises to the public each day no later than 9:30 PM and may not re-open their premises to the public before 5 AM the following day (the “mandatory closing period”). Except as otherwise specifically permitted, during the daily mandatory closing period, businesses, facilities, or activities within the categories listed below may not admit customers, patrons, or members of the public to their premises or otherwise offer, provide, or permit in-person, on premises services or activities.

Operations of affected businesses, facilities, or activities may keep their premises open to employees and other workers during the mandatory closing period and otherwise conduct business activities and operations that do not involve admitting customers, patrons, or members of the public to the premises.                                                    

Businesses, facilities, and activities subject to the daily mandatory closing period: 

  1. Restaurants, take-out and delivery of food and non-alcoholic beverages may continue
  2. Arcades and other indoor and outdoor recreation
  3. Indoor and outdoor events
  4. Indoor and outdoor theaters, movie theaters, and performance venues
  5. Drive-in movie theaters
  6. Youth and adult amateur sports activities
  7. Golf facilities
  8. Recreational boating and boating businesses
  9. Outdoor recreational experiences and educational activities
  10. Casinos, horse racing tracks, and simulcast facilities
  11. Driving and flight schools
  12. Zoos, botanical gardens, wildlife reserves, and nature centers
  13. Close contact personal services
  14. Fitness centers and health club
  15. Indoor and outdoor pools
  16. Museums, cultural and historical facilities, guided tours

Categories of businesses, facilities, and activities listed above are each authorized and directed to amend all relevant rules, guidance documents, and protocols to incorporate the mandatory closing period requirement.

Restriction On Service And Sale Of Alcohol

During the daily mandatory closing period no person, business, organization, establishment, premises, or service holding or operating under a license issued pursuant to the general laws may sell, serve or provide alcohol of any kind to any person or entity. This restriction applies to all retailers, restaurants, private clubs, catering halls, events, and delivery services license to offer alcohol services or retail sale pursuant to the general laws.

Retail Sale Of Adult-Use Cannabis

During the daily mandatory closing period no individual, business, organization, establishment, premises, or entity holding or operating under a marijuana retailer license may sel adult-use cannabis or adult-use cannabis products of any kind to any person or entity.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

The SERVPRO Protocol

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

Damage of any kind to your Foxborough, MA residential or commercial property can be stressful for owners, property managers, employees and tenants. Property damage, equipment damage, document loss and temporary displacement or business closure are just some of the issues that you may experience. Timely response and thorough mitigation can alleviate these concerns.

24 Hours

The first 24 hours can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your business property and belongings. SERVPRO of Foxborough 1-4-8 Service Response Guidelines can prevent fire and water damage from creating long term problems.

1-4-8

  • 1 - Within 1 hour from notice of loss, a SERVPRO of Burlington/ Middlebury Professional contacts you to arrange for services.
  • 4 - Within 4 hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO of Burlington/ Middlebury professional is on-site to start mitigation services.
  • 8 - Within 8 business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope is communicated to the appropriate person.

If you need timely, professional remediation services or simply need answers to questions about fire, smoke, or water damage call the Disaster Remediation Teams of SERVPRO of Foxborough at (508) 533-5305. We are here to help you make it. "Like it never even happened."

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Places Of Worship, Part 3 of 3

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Places Of Worship

These sector specific COVID-19 safety standards for Places of Worship and Religious Services are issued to provide instructions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 as the number of persons attending in-person services increases.

These standards are minimum requirements only and are not exclusive or exhaustive. The public health data and matrix for disease prevention upon which these guidelines are based can and does change frequently, and the operator of a Place of Worship is responsible for adhering to all local, state and federal requirements.

Contributions And Communal Food, Drink, And Sacraments

  1. Places of worship are encouraged to modify the means to collect any financial contributions from attendees so as to eliminate shared contribution trays and baskets and to minimize contact. Consider setting up a no-touch method to collect contributions, and encouraging contributions through mail or electronic means
  2. Places of worship are encouraged to modify communal rituals, like taking communion or passing of the peace, so as to limit contact with others. Consider distributing, where applicable, prepackaged communion or sacraments
  3. Places of worship shall not have communal gathering pre or post service (e.g., coffee hours or other food services)
  4. Places of worship may allow small gatherings (such as support group meetings) to be held with 25 persons or fewer
  5. Places of worship running food pantries or other prepackaged food distribution may continue to do so 

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Places of worship are encouraged to modify the means to collect any financial contributions from attendees so as to eliminate shared contribution trays and baskets and to minimize contact
  2. Consider setting up a no-touch method to collect contributions, and encouraging contributions through mail or electronic means
  3. Places of worship are encouraged to modify communal rituals, like taking communion or passing of the peace, so as to limit contact with others
  4. Consider distributing, where applicable, prepackaged communion or sacraments

Nurseries and Childcare

Any childcare services should follow the latest EEC child-care guidance, available on the EEC Reopening Site.

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Arrange the physical space to promote physical distancing
  2. Eliminate materials that increase the likelihood of transmission

Cleaning and Disinfecting and Hygiene Protocols

  1. Places of worship shall be cleaned and disinfected between each service, including disinfection of heavy transit areas and high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, bathrooms, microphones, shared instruments)
  2. If a Place of worship learns that an individual with COVID-19 attended a service or otherwise entered the place of worship, it shall conduct a deep cleaning and disinfecting consistent with the Centers for Disease Control guidance
  3. Places of worship shall ensure that attendees and workers have access to handwashing facilities, including soap and running water, and allow workers sufficient break time to wash hands, as necessary. They are also encouraged to make alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol available, if possible

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Open windows and doors to increase airflow where possible
  2. Post visible signage throughout the building to remind attendees of hygiene and safety protocols

Notification Of Positive Case 

If a Place of worship learns that an attendee or worker or other worker has tested positive for COVID-19, it shall notify the local Board of Health (LBOH) in the city or town where the place of worship is located and assist the LBOH as reasonably requested to advise likely contacts to isolate and self-quarantine.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Is Your Sewer System A Flood Risk?

11/9/2020 (Permalink)

A sewer backup can result in flooding that may cause thousands of dollars in damaged to floors, walls and electric wiring to your Wrentham, MA commercial or residential property. Excessive rain, snow, coastal storms, storm surges can overwhelm old or blocked sewer systems causing severe flood damage. Flood damage can develop quickly and without warning. Complete details on what causes sewer issues and how to prevent catastrophes such as flooding can be found on the FEMA Ready.gov website.

Potential Sewer Issues

Most common causes of sewer issues are:

  • Tree roots that crack and block the pipes
  • Aging systems that weren’t built to handle a rapid increase in housing
  • Blockages in the city sanitary mains that aren’t found in time and back up water into homes through floor drains
  • Combined pipelines that have to deal with stormwater and raw sewage

How To Prevent a Blockage


Avoid a sewer backup by taking some preventative measures. Perform regular maintenance. Schedule routine sewer cleaning and inspection approximately every two years. Video cameras can used to find cracks and any other issues in your pipe system. Have a professional clean out any residue that may clog your lines.

Preventative Measures

  • Always discard grease and paper products correctly.
  • Don’t pour any oil based products down the drain. Use a disposable container and properly throw it away.
  • French drains or a sump pumps connected to your sewer system debris from storm damage could get into the system and block the water flow. Ensuring a proper release for these systems is critical to preventing possible flood damage.
  • Ensure your lines are plastic as they resist corrosion and are harder for tree roots to break through.


If your home has flooding damage from a backup, call the Disaster Remediation experts at SERVPRO of Foxborough at (508) 533-5305. We will help you make it "Like it never even happened."

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Places Of Worship, Part 2 of 3

11/9/2020 (Permalink)

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Places Of Worship

These sector specific COVID-19 safety standards for Places of Worship and Religious Services are issued to provide instructions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 as the number of persons attending in-person services increases.

These standards are minimum requirements only and are not exclusive or exhaustive. The public health data and matrix for disease prevention upon which these guidelines are based can and does change frequently, and the operator of a Place of Worship is responsible for adhering to all local, state and federal requirements.

Social Distancing Seating

  1. Seating
    1. Attendees who are not part of the same immediate household must be seated at least 6 feet apart. Members of the same immediate household are permitted to sit together and less than 6 feet apart
    2. If there is fixed seating, rows should be blocked off and kept empty to allow for sufficient distancing between rows 
    3. Places of worship are encouraged to place tape or other visual distancing markings on seating to delineate 6 ft separations and to post signage indicating the maximum number of persons permitted per row 
    4. Promote ventilation for enclosed spaces where possible. For example, consider opening windows and doors to allow airflow
  2. Entering and Exiting
    1. Places of worship are encouraged to take steps to encourage orderly entering and exiting of services in a manner that encourages social distancing. For example: 
      1. Signage or floor markings should be posted to have one-way aisles or otherwise direct attendees to follow certain pathways for entering and exiting the service
      2. If a line forms outside of the service, those waiting should be directed to maintain social distancing. Tape or other markings on the ground outside of Places of worship should be placed to encourage attendees to maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet
      3. Staff should direct people in high traffic areas to help maintain social distancing
      4. Officiants or other staff should direct successive, row-by-row exiting

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Places of worship are encouraged to modify the means to collect any financial contributions from attendees so as to eliminate shared contribution trays and baskets and to minimize contact
  2. Consider setting up a no-touch method to collect contributions, and encouraging contributions through mail or electronic means
  3. Places of worship are encouraged to modify communal rituals, like taking communion or passing of the peace, so as to limit contact with others
  4. Consider distributing, where applicable, prepackaged communion or sacraments

Face Coverings

  1. All attendees and staff must wear face coverings or masks in accordance with COVID-19 Order No. 31 and the Department of Public Health’s Guidance while inside and while entering and exiting places of worship or otherwise participating in in-person services, except where a person is unable to wear a face covering or mask because of a medical or disabling condition
  2. A leader or celebrant engaged in conducting the service or making an address may remove his or her face covering while doing so, provided that he or she is able to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from other persons present; installation of protective, plexi-glass or other transparent barriers is recommended for lecterns and other points of address 3
  3. For children between age 2 and 5, the wearing of a face covering or mask is at the discretion of the child’s parent or guardian. Children under the age of 2 should not wear a face covering or mask
  4. A person who declines to wear a face covering or mask because of a medical or disabling condition shall not be required to produce documentation verifying the condition
  5. Place of worship may refuse entry to a person who refuses to wear a face covering or mask for non-medical reasons

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Attendees should use  anything that covers your nose and mouth.
  2. Attendees face coverings should be multiple layers
  3. Attendees masks should fit snugly, be secured with ties or ear straps, and not restrict breathing.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

How To Handle Fire Damage Residue

11/5/2020 (Permalink)

If your commercial or residential Wrentham, MA has suffered fire damage what happens once the charred items get removed from the site? The next step is to clean the surfaces of the impacted area. Attention to the surface is as essential as the type of smoke damage being removed will require different tools and techniques.

Trained Professionals

Some might think that simply grabbing your household cleaning solution will do the trick. The reality is that may exasperate the damage! The certified Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough will carefully test surfaces to ensure the chosen method of removal has no adverse effect on the article getting cleaned. Just as some surfaces can get damaged by the use of water, others can deteriorate after exposure to certain solvents. The three critical steps in using solvents to dissolve residues are:   

  1. Wash the surface with the solvent; this action suspends the particles
  2. Rinse the surface from both solvent and smoke residues being careful about the disposal
  3. Dry the surface 

This type of cleaning brings responsibilities towards the community and environment for safe disposal of the cleaning solvents used in this type offire and smoke damage removal. SERVPRO of Foxborough technicians are always careful to adhere to local, state, and federal regulations. Some of the main rules are:  

  1. The solvents can never get disposed of within the sewer or septic system as the dry-cleaning solvents, in particular, is an industrial waste product  
  2. Also, the cleaning wastes should never get disposed of in storm drains or gutters
  3. Wastewater used in cleaning that does not contain solvents can get disposed of through a treated sewer line, toilet, or utility sink  

After a fire SERVPRO of Foxborough is here to help you make it "Like it never even happened." Call our experts today at (508) 533-5305!

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Places Of Worship, Part 1 of 3

11/5/2020 (Permalink)

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Places Of Worship

These sector specific COVID-19 safety standards for Places of Worship and Religious Services are issued to provide instructions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 as the number of persons attending in-person services increases.

These standards are minimum requirements only and are not exclusive or exhaustive. The public health data and matrix for disease prevention upon which these guidelines are based can and does change frequently, and the operator of a Place of Worship is responsible for adhering to all local, state and federal requirements.

General Standards

These standards apply to all Places of Worship and Religious Services, and all services and activities including regular and holiday services, weddings, funerals, wakes, support group meetings, and other related gatherings.

Places of Worship shall communicate to members and workers that they should not attend services in person if any of the following are true:

  1. Member or worker is experiencing any symptoms such as fever (100.0 and above) or chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, headache, muscle/body aches, runny nose/congestion, new loss of taste or smell, or nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  2. Member or worker has had “close contact” with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19. “Close contact” means living in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, or coming in direct contact with secretions (e.g., sharing utensils, being coughed on) from a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, while that person was symptomatic
  3. Member or worker has been asked to self-isolate or quarantine by their doctor or a local public health official

Persons who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) are encouraged to stay home.

Places of Worship are encouraged to hold services virtually or outdoors and to ensure that attendees who are not from the same immediate household are spaced at least 6 feet apart. When conducting services, places of worship must abide by the following requirements.

Occupancy Limitations 

For indoor services, places of worship must monitor member entries and exits and limit occupancy at all times to the greater of the following:

  1. 50% of the building’s maximum permitted occupancy as documented in its occupancy permit on record with the municipal building department or other municipal record holder
  2. Buildings for which no permitted occupancy limitation is on record may allow 10 persons (including staff) per 1,000 square feet of accessible space
  3. In any case, no enclosed space (e.g. a single room, basement) within the building may exceed occupancy of 10 persons per 1,000 square feet
  4. All occupancy counts and calculations shall include attendees, staff, and other workers 

If feasible, places of worship are encouraged to arrange online sign-up for services in advance in order to monitor and limit the number of attendees

Recommended Best Practices

  • If feasible, places of worship are encouraged to arrange online sign-up for services in advance in order to monitor and limit the number of attendees

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Office Spaces Part 4 of 4

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Office Spaces

These sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety standards for Office Spaces are issued to provide businesses and other organizations operating within general use office spaces and workers in these office spaces with instructions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19. Employers are encouraged to have workers continue to telework if feasible.

These standards are minimum requirements only and are not exclusive or exhaustive. The public health data and matrix for disease prevention upon which these guidelines are based can and does change frequently, and the operator of the office space is accountable for adhering to all local, state and federal requirements. The operator of the office space is also responsible for staying abreast of any updates to these requirements. 

According to the state of Massachusetts no activity in office spaces can occur without meeting the following sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety standards. These standards apply to all businesses and other organizations operating in general use office space until rescinded or amended by the State.

Cleaning And Disinfecting

  1. Always read and follow the directions on the label to ensure safe and effective use.Wear skin protection and consider eye protection for potential splash hazards
    Ensure adequate ventilation
    Use no more than the amount recommended on the label
    Use water at room temperature for dilution (unless stated otherwise on the label)
    Avoid mixing chemical products
    Label diluted cleaning solutions
    Store and use chemicals out of the reach of children and pets

  2. Always read and follow the directions on the label to ensure safe and effective use
    1. Wear skin protection and consider eye protection for potential splash hazards
    2. Ensure adequate ventilation
    3. Use no more than the amount recommended on the label
    4. Use water at room temperature for dilution (unless stated otherwise on the label)
    5. Avoid mixing chemical products
    6. Label diluted cleaning solutions
    7. Store chemicals safely according to the warning labels
  3. Clean commonly touched surfaces in restrooms (e.g., toilet seats, doorknobs, stall handles, sinks, paper towel dispensers, soap dispensers) frequently and in accordance with CDC guidelines
  4. Conduct frequent cleaning and disinfection of site (at least daily and more frequently if feasible)
  5. Keep cleaning logs that include date, time, and scope of cleaning
  6. Conduct frequent disinfecting of heavy transit areas and high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, elevator buttons, staircases, vending machine, bathrooms)
  7. Clean shared spaces (e.g., conference rooms) between use and supply cleaning products (e.g., sanitizer, disinfecting wipes)
  8. In event of a positive case, shut down site for a deep cleaning and disinfecting of the workplace in accordance with current CDC guidance
  9. Open windows and doors to increase airflow where possible
  10. Clean commonly touched surfaces in restrooms (e.g., toilet seats, doorknobs, stall handles, sinks, paper towel dispensers, soap dispensers) frequently and in accordance with CDC guidelines
  11. Conduct frequent cleaning and disinfection of site (at least daily and more frequently if feasible)
  12. Keep cleaning logs that include date, time, and scope of cleaning Conduct frequent disinfecting of heavy transit areas and high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, elevator buttons, staircases, vending machine, bathrooms)
  13. Clean shared spaces (e.g., conference rooms) between use and supply cleaning products (e.g., sanitizer, disinfecting wipes) In event of a positive case, shut down site for a deep cleaning and disinfecting of the workplace in accordance with current CDC guidance
  14. Diluted household bleach solutions can be used if appropriate for the surface. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted:
    1. Use bleach containing 5.25%–8.25% sodium hypochlorite. Do not use a bleach product if the percentage is not in this range or is not specified.
    2. Follow the manufacturer’s application instructions for the surface, ensuring a contact time of at least 1 minute.
    3. Ensure proper ventilation during and after application.
    4. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date.
    5. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. This can cause fumes that may be very dangerous to breathe in.
  15. Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
    1. 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) of 5.25%–8.25% bleach per gallon of room temperature water or
    2. 4 teaspoons of 5.25%–8.25% bleach per quart of room temperature water
  16. Bleach solutions will be effective for disinfection up to 24 hours.
  17. Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol may also be used.
  18. For electronics such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines, remove visible contamination if present.
    1. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products.
    2. Consider use of wipeable covers for electronics.
    3. If no manufacturer guidance is available, consider the use of alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol to disinfect touch screens. Dry surfaces thoroughly to avoid pooling of liquids.

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Open windows and doors to increase airflow where possible

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Need Help Eliminating Odor From Fire Damage?

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

One of the worst feelings a Walpole, MA property owner can face is the aftermath of fire damage. The good news is that the damage may not be as bad as it seems and help is nearby! 

Imagine a scenario where, after extensive fire damage restoration your Walpole commercial or residential property home finally looks like it did before everything happened. However, what can you do if it still smells like smoke, even weeks later? Sometimes restorations are not as thorough as they should be, that is why you need to call the fire remediation experts at t SERVPRO of Foxborough.

Reasons For Odor 

The malodor of burning plastics, wood, and other materials can linger in the air for weeks after a fire, and it could happen because:

  1. The malodor was not dealt with on a particle-level, using advanced equipment
  2. Putrid smells linger behind on the walls, and sealant paint is needed
  3. Bits of greasy soot may have been missed, trapping the odor

The fire remediation professionals at SERVPRO of Foxborough are committed to removing all the signs of fire damage that we can. It is always our goal to leave your home feeling like it did before the fire happened. Our Institution of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration-certified technicians can identify problem areas and use advanced equipment to remediate the damage.

Why SERVPRO 

Our technicians have access to advanced equipment that can help reduce and remove lingering odors. We can:

  1. Use hydroxyl generators to eliminate volatile organic compounds from the air
  2. Use thermal foggers, to trap scent-causing particles and neutralize them
  3. Set up air scrubbers with HEPA filters to filter the malodor out of the particles in the air and trap them
  4. Use sealant paints

If your commercial or residential property still smells like fire damage even weeks after clean up, give the experts at SERVPRO of Foxborough a call at (508) 533-5305. We will make it ”Like it never even happened."

Start A Chimney Fire Safely

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

It is once again that time of year in Foxborough, MA when the temperature is beginning to dip. It is barley November and we have already had our first snow fall of the winter season! For those of us who like to snuggle with our loved ones in front of a cosy fire, now is the time to make sure we are doing so safely.

Cleaning Your Chimney

Did you know that chimney's need cleaning at least once a year? Heavily used chimney's may need multiple cleanings each year! Now is a great time to check because you don't want to start a fire for the first time in the winter without performing maintenance. If you are unsure about if your chimney needs sprucing, all you got to do is take a flashlight and look into your chimney. Take a knife and scrape a bit of soot off of the wall, if it is more than 1/8 inches thick then it is time to call a cleaning company. For those of you DIYers, or if finding a reputable company is proving difficult, here are some steps to take to increase the safety of your chimney.

Steps To Take

  1. Check for nesting animals and critters who may have made a home in your chimney
  2. The next step is to measure the chimney. It's okay to overestimate but try to be as accurate as possible. This can be accomplished by climbing on the roof and measuring down or measuring up through the fireplace.
  3. Measure the size and shape of the flue. Generally they are round or square.

Materials

  1. Chimney brush,
  2. Goggles,
  3. Broom and dustpan
  4. Face mask 

Where To Start

  1. Clean from top down with weighted brush using up and down motions to scrape away debris.
  2. Cleaning from the bottom up requires a partner on the roof to help scrub with. Additionally you will need a pulley system (like this one found on Amazon). Be careful when sweeping and discarding the debris. Now your chimney is ready for winter nights!

Regardless if you call in a professional or attempt the task yourself it is important that your chimney is clean to reduce the risk of a fire in your home.  If a fire damages your home this winter call SERVPRO of Foxborough at (508) 533-5305. We will make it ”Like it never even happened."

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Office Spaces Part 3 of 4

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Office Spaces

These sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety standards for Office Spaces are issued to provide businesses and other organizations operating within general use office spaces and workers in these office spaces with instructions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19. Employers are encouraged to have workers continue to telework if feasible.

These standards are minimum requirements only and are not exclusive or exhaustive. The public health data and matrix for disease prevention upon which these guidelines are based can and does change frequently, and the operator of the office space is accountable for adhering to all local, state and federal requirements. The operator of the office space is also responsible for staying abreast of any updates to these requirements. 

According to the state of Massachusetts no activity in office spaces can occur without meeting the following sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety standards. These standards apply to all businesses and other organizations operating in general use office space until rescinded or amended by the State.

Staffing and Operations Cont.

  1. Workers must wear face coverings when social distancing of 6 feet is not possible, except where unsafe due to medical condition or disability
  2. Employers are encouraged to have workers continue to telework if feasible; external meetings should be remote to reduce density in the office
  3. Employers should establish adjusted workplace hours and shifts for workers (if working in person, leverage working teams with different schedules or staggered arrival / departure) to minimize contact across workers and reduce congestion at entry points
  4. Limit visitors and service providers on site; shipping and deliveries should be completed in designated areas
  5. For guidance on business-sponsored travel, refer to the Commonwealth's current out-of-state travel order: mass.gov/MAtraveler. Employers are strongly discouraged from allowing business related travel to destinations other than those appearing on the Department of Public Health’s list of COVID-19 lower risk States. Employers that permit employer-paid or -reimbursed travel to those States should take measures to ensure employees comply with this order. Employers are also urged to strongly discourage their employees from taking leisure travel to destinations not included on the list of COVID-19 lower-risk States
  6. Workers must stay home if feeling ill
  7. Workers who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) are encouraged to stay home or arrange an alternate work assignment
  8. Workers are strongly encouraged to self-identify symptoms or any close contact to a known or suspected COVID-19 case to the employer
  9. Encourage workers who test positive for COVID-19 to disclose to the workplace employer for purposes of cleaning / disinfecting and contact tracing. If the employer is notified of a positive case at the workplace, the employer shall notify the local Board of Health (LBOH) in the city or town where the workplace is located and assist the LBOH as reasonably requested to advise likely contacts to isolate and self-quarantine. Testing of other workers may be recommended consistent with guidance and / or at the request of the LBOH
  10. Post notice to workers and customers of important health information and relevant safety measures as outlined in the Commonwealth’s Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplace
  11. Offices should maintain operating hours that allow for on-going off-hour sanitation and cleaning
  12. Allow water fountains to be used as refill stations only, provided that social distancing can be maintained. Workers should bring their own water bottles
  13. Additional on-site amenities and services may only open and operate when those amenities or services would otherwise be authorized to operate under the Commonwealth’s Phased Reopening Plan and then must adhere to all sector-specific safety protocols, available on the Reopening Plan website, applicable to the amenity or service. Examples include: 
    • Cafeterias: Must follow the latest restaurant guidance

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Employers are encouraged to have workers continue to telework if feasible; external meetings should be remote to reduce density in the office
  2. Workers who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) are encouraged to stay home or arrange an alternate work assignment
  3. Workers are strongly encouraged to self-identify symptoms or any close contact to a known or suspected COVID-19 case to the employer
  4. Encourage workers who test positive for COVID-19 to disclose to the workplace employer for purposes of cleaning / disinfecting and contact tracing

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Office Spaces Part 2 of 4

10/30/2020 (Permalink)

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Office Spaces

These sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety standards for Office Spaces are issued to provide businesses and other organizations operating within general use office spaces and workers in these office spaces with instructions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19. Employers are encouraged to have workers continue to telework if feasible.

These standards are minimum requirements only and are not exclusive or exhaustive. The public health data and matrix for disease prevention upon which these guidelines are based can and does change frequently, and the operator of the office space is accountable for adhering to all local, state and federal requirements. The operator of the office space is also responsible for staying abreast of any updates to these requirements. 

According to the state of Massachusetts no activity in office spaces can occur without meeting the following sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety standards. These standards apply to all businesses and other organizations operating in general use office space until rescinded or amended by the State.

Hygiene Protocols

  1. Ensure access to handwashing facilities on site, including soap and running water, wherever possible and encourage frequent handwashing; alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol may be used as an alternative
  2. Supply workers at workplace location with adequate cleaning products (e.g., sanitizer, disinfecting wipes)
  3. Post visible signage throughout the site to remind workers of the hygiene and safety protocols
  4. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol should be made available at entrances and throughout floor areas for workers
  5. Require regular and not less than daily cleaning and sanitation of all high-touch areas such as workstations, door handles, and restrooms
  6. Avoid sharing office materials / equipment or disinfect equipment between use (e.g., telephones, fax machines)

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Provide hand washing capabilities throughout the workplace
  2. Ensure frequent hand washing by employees and adequate supplies to do so
  3. Provide regular sanitization of high touch areas, such as workstations, equipment, screens, doorknobs, restrooms throughout work site

Staffing and Operations

  1. Provide training to workers on up-to-date safety information and precautions including hygiene and other measures aimed at reducing disease transmission, including:
    1. Social distancing, hand-washing, proper use of face coverings
    2. Self-screening at home, including temperature and symptom checks 
    3. Importance of not coming to work if ill 
    4. When to seek medical attention if symptoms become severe
    5. Which underlying health conditions may make individuals more susceptible to contracting and suffering from a severe case of the virus
  2. Facilities must screen workers at each shift by ensuring the following:
    1. Worker is not experiencing any symptoms such as fever (100.0 and above) or chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, headache, muscle/body aches, runny nose/congestion, new loss of taste or smell, or nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
    2. Worker has not had “close contact” with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19. “Close contact” means living in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, or coming in direct contact with secretions (e.g., sharing utensils, being coughed on) from a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, while that person was symptomatic
    3. Worker has not been asked to self-isolate or quarantine by their doctor or a local public health official
    4. Workers who fail to meet the above criteria must be sent home
  3. Adjust workplace hours and shifts (leverage working teams with different schedules or staggered arrival / departure) to minimize contact across workers and reduce congestion at entry points
  4. Maintain a log of workers and customers to support contact tracing (name, date, time, contact information) if needed

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Office Spaces Part 1 of 4

10/29/2020 (Permalink)

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Office Spaces

These sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety standards for Office Spaces are issued to provide businesses and other organizations operating within general use office spaces and workers in these office spaces with instructions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19. Employers are encouraged to have workers continue to telework if feasible.

These standards are minimum requirements only and are not exclusive or exhaustive. The public health data and matrix for disease prevention upon which these guidelines are based can and does change frequently, and the operator of the office space is accountable for adhering to all local, state and federal requirements. The operator of the office space is also responsible for staying abreast of any updates to these requirements. 

According to the state of Massachusetts no activity in office spaces can occur without meeting the following sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety standards. These standards apply to all businesses and other organizations operating in general use office space until rescinded or amended by the State.

Social Distancing 

  1. Each office must monitor customer and worker entries and exits and limit occupancy at all times to the greater of the following:
    1. 50% of the building’s maximum permitted occupancy as documented in its occupancy permit on record with the municipal building department or other municipal record holder
    2. Buildings for which no permitted occupancy limitation is on record may allow 10 persons (including staff) per 1,000 square feet of accessible space
    3. In any case, no enclosed space within the facility may exceed occupancy of 10 persons per 1,000 square feet
    4. All occupancy counts and calculations shall include customers, staff, and other workers
  2. Businesses and other organizations may exceed this maximum occupancy level based on a demonstrated need for relief based on public health or public safety considerations or where strict compliance may interfere with the continued delivery of critical services
  3. Ensure separation of 6 feet or more between individuals unless this creates a safety hazard due to the nature of the work or the configuration of the workspace
    1. Close or reconfigure worker common spaces and high density areas where workers are likely to congregate (e.g., break rooms, eating areas) to allow 6 feet of physical distancing; redesign work stations to ensure physical distancing (e.g., separate tables, use distance markers to assure spacing)
    2. Cafeterias must practice physical distancing and appropriate hygiene measures and may allow indoor and /or outdoor seating according to Restaurant guidance
    3. Physical partitions separating workstations must be installed for areas that cannot be spaced out. Physical partitions must be at least 6 feet in height
    4. Establish directional hallways and passageways for foot traffic if possible, to minimize contact. Post clearly visible signage regarding these policies
    5. Limit visitors where feasible, and avoid congregation in common areas (e.g., lobbies)
    6. Mark rooms and hallways to indicate 6 feet separation 
  4. Designate assigned working areas (e.g., floor, building) to individuals where possible to limit movement throughout the facility and limit contact between workers
  5. Stagger work schedules and improve ventilation for enclosed spaces where possible (e.g., open doors and windows)
  6. Limit meeting sizes, ensure 6 feet of social distancing, and encourage remote participation
  7. Stagger lunch and break times, regulating maximum number of people in one place and ensuring at least 6 feet of physical distancing
  8. Minimize the use of confined spaces (e.g., elevators, control rooms, vehicles) by more than one individual at a time; all workers in such spaces at the same time are required to wear face coverings

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Designate assigned working areas (e.g., floor, building) to individuals where possible to limit movement throughout the facility and limit contact between workers

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Museums And Guided Tours Part 4 of 4

10/28/2020 (Permalink)

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Museums And Guided Tours

These sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety are issued to provide owners and operators of these facilities and workers and visitors with instructions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 as Museums re-open. Facilities addressed under the term “Museum” below include Museums, Aquariums, indoor and outdoor Historic Spaces and Sites, and Guided Tours.

These standards are minimum requirements only and are not exclusive or exhaustive. The public health data and matrix upon which these guidelines are based can and does change frequently, and the owner or operator for each Museum is accountable for staying abreast of any updates to these requirements.

No activity at Museums shall occur without meeting these sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety standards. These standards apply until rescinded or amended by the State. Owners of Museums, Cultural and Historical Facilities, and Guided Tours shall be responsible for meeting these standards.

Staffing and Operations Cont. 

  1. Facilities must screen workers at each shift by ensuring the following: 
    1. Worker is not experiencing any symptoms such as fever (100.0 and above) or chills, cough,shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, headache, muscle/body aches, runny nose/congestion, new loss of taste or smell, or nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
    2. Worker has not had “close contact” with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19. “Close contact” means living in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, or coming in direct contact with secretions (e.g., sharing utensils, being coughed on) from a person who has tested positive for COVID-19
    3. Worker has not been asked to self-isolate or quarantine by their doctor or a local public health official
    4. Workers who fail to meet the above criteria must be sent home
  2. Maintain a log of workers and visitors to support potential contact tracing (name, date, time, contact information)
  3. Workers shall not appear for work or complete a shift if feeling ill
  4. Workers who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) are encouraged to stay home
  5. Workers are strongly encouraged to self-identify symptoms or any close contact to a known or suspected COVID-19 case to the employer
  6. Encourage workers who test positive for COVID-19 to disclose to the workplace employer for purposes of cleaning / disinfecting and contact tracing. If the employer is notified of any positive case at the workplace, the employer shall notify the local Board of Health (LBOH) in the city or town where the workplace is located.
  7. Employers must assist the LBOH with contact tracing efforts, including advising likely contacts to isolate and self-quarantine. Testing of other workers may be recommended consistent with guidance and / or at the request of the LBOH
  8. Post notice to workers and visitors of important health information and relevant safety measures as outlined in the Commonwealth’s Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces
  9. Interactive exhibits (i.e., touch and feel exhibits, play areas) should be closed or be configured with 6 feet of distancing clearly marked and receive frequent cleaning and disinfection. Hand hygiene station (soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer) should be accessible to promote safe use
  10. Additional on-site amenities and services may only open and operate when those amenities or services would otherwise be authorized to operate under the Commonwealth’s Phased Reopening Plan and then must adhere to all sector-specific safety protocols, available on the Reopening Plan website, applicable to the amenity or service. Examples include:
    1. Restaurants: Must follow the latest restaurant guidance
    2. Gift shops: Must follow the latest retail guidance
    3. Performance venues: Must follow the latest performance venue guidance 
    4. Events: Must follow the latest indoor and outdoor events guidance

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Workers who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) are encouraged to stay home
  2. Workers are strongly encouraged to self-identify symptoms or any close contact to a known or suspected COVID-19 case to the employer
  3. Encourage workers who test positive for COVID-19 to disclose to the workplace employer for purposes of cleaning / disinfecting and contact tracing

Cleaning and Disinfecting

  1. Clean commonly touched surfaces in restrooms (e.g., toilet seats, doorknobs, stall handles, sinks, paper towel dispensers, soap dispensers) frequently and in accordance with CDC guidelines
  2. Conduct frequent cleaning and disinfection of site (at least daily and more frequently if feasible)
  3. Keep cleaning logs that include date, time, and scope of cleaning
  4. Conduct frequent disinfecting of heavy transit areas and high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, bathrooms, ticket counters, staff break rooms)
  5. In event of a positive case, shut down site for a deep cleaning and disinfecting of the workplace in accordance with current CDC guidance
  6. Open windows and doors to increase airflow where possible

Recommended Best Practices

  • Open windows and doors to increase airflow where possible

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Museums And Guided Tours Part 3 of 4

10/27/2020 (Permalink)

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Museums And Guided Tours

These sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety are issued to provide owners and operators of these facilities and workers and visitors with instructions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 as Museums re-open. Facilities addressed under the term “Museum” below include Museums, Aquariums, indoor and outdoor Historic Spaces and Sites, and Guided Tours.

These standards are minimum requirements only and are not exclusive or exhaustive. The public health data and matrix upon which these guidelines are based can and does change frequently, and the owner or operator for each Museum is accountable for staying abreast of any updates to these requirements.

No activity at Museums shall occur without meeting these sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety standards. These standards apply until rescinded or amended by the State. Owners of Museums, Cultural and Historical Facilities, and Guided Tours shall be responsible for meeting these standards.

Group Size Limitations For Guided Tours

  1. Each tour operator using a bus or other vehicle (such as a trolley, harbor cruise vessel, or duck boat) must limit occupancy at all times to 50% of the tour, vehicle or vessel’s maximum permitted occupancy as documented in its occupancy permit on record with the relevant municipal record holder
  2. Occupancy limitations for boat tours using vessels with open deck space that can be used to accommodate passengers shall be determined in accordance with the formula used to set charter boat occupancy limits, outlined in the Workplace Safety and Reopening Standards for For-Hire and Charter Vessels
  3. Tours of spaces for which no permitted occupancy limitation is on record must limit occupancy based on the Indoor and Outdoor Event guidance on the Reopening Website
  4. All occupant counts and calculations shall include customers and workers
  5. Groups of passengers should be separated on the vehicle by empty seats. If that is not possible, vehicles should stagger open rows
  6. Tour operators must limit group size in walking tours to groups of no more than 10 persons, excluding guides, Recommend limiting tour parties to members of the same household only
  7. Guides and guests should maintain 6 feet of distance and wear face coverings

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Museums are encouraged to offer exclusive hours or other accommodations for those in high-risk populations as defined by the CDC
  2. Encourage online ticket sales and contactless payment methods if possible
  3. Consider using timed entry tickets / reservations and imposing time limits for visits to ensure compliance with occupancy limits
  4. Recommend limiting tour parties to members of the same household only

Hygiene Protocols

  1. Ensure access to handwashing facilities on site, including soap and running water, wherever possible and encourage frequent handwashing; alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol may be used as an alternative Supply workers at workplace location with adequate cleaning products (e.g., sanitizer, disinfecting wipes)
  2. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol should be made available at entrances, exits, and throughout floor areas for both workers and visitors
  3. Avoid sharing equipment and supplies between workers 
  4. Disinfect shared equipment before use by another employee
  5. Post visible signage throughout the site to remind workers of hygiene and safety protocols

Staffing and Operations 

  1. Provide training to workers on up-to-date safety information and precautions including hygiene and other measures aimed at reducing disease transmission, including:
    1. Social distancing, hand-washing, proper use of face coverings
    2. Self-screening at home, including temperature and symptom checks
    3. Reinforce that staff shall not coming to work if ill
    4. When to seek medical attention if symptoms become severe
    5. Which underlying health conditions may make individuals more susceptible to contracting and suffering from a severe case of the virus
  2. Adjust workplace hours and shifts (leverage working teams with different schedules or staggered arrival / departure) to minimize contact across workers and reduce congestion at entry points
  3. Facilities should maintain operating hours that allow for on-going off-hour sanitation and cleaning
  4. Limit visitors and service providers on site; shipping and deliveries should be completed in designated areas

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Museums And Guided Tours Part 2 of 4

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Museums And Guided Tours

These sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety are issued to provide owners and operators of these facilities and workers and visitors with instructions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 as Museums re-open. Facilities addressed under the term “Museum” below include Museums, Aquariums, indoor and outdoor Historic Spaces and Sites, and Guided Tours.

These standards are minimum requirements only and are not exclusive or exhaustive. The public health data and matrix upon which these guidelines are based can and does change frequently, and the owner or operator for each Museum is accountable for staying abreast of any updates to these requirements.

No activity at Museums shall occur without meeting these sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety standards. These standards apply until rescinded or amended by the State. Owners of Museums, Cultural and Historical Facilities, and Guided Tours shall be responsible for meeting these standards.

Staffing And Operations

  1. Require face coverings for all workers and visitors, except where unsafe due to medical condition or disability
  2. In Phase 3, Step 1 each museum must monitor visitor entries and exits and limit occupancy for each building open to the public at all times to: 
    1. 40% of the museum’s maximum permitted occupancy as documented in its occupancy permit on record with the municipal building department or other municipal record holder 
    2. Facilities for which no permitted occupancy limitation is on record may allow up to 8 persons (including staff) per 1,000 square feet of accessible indoor or outdoor space
    3. In any case, no enclosed space within the facility shall exceed occupancy of 8 persons per 1,000 square feet 
  3. In Phase 3 Step 2, each facility must monitor visitor entries and exits, ensure social distancing, and limit occupancy at all times to:
    1. 50% of the facility’s maximum permitted occupancy as documented in its occupancy permit on record with the municipal building department or other municipal record holder
    2. Facilities for which no permitted occupancy limitation is on record may allow up to 10 persons per 1,000 square feet of accessible indoor or outdoor space
    3. In any case, no enclosed space within the facility shall exceed occupancy of 10 persons per 1,000 square feet
  4. All occupant counts and calculations shall include customers, staff, and other workers
  5. Post clearly visible signage regarding the need to maintain 6 feet of social distancing and not to enter a room until that distancing can be maintained
  6. Museums are encouraged to offer exclusive hours or other accommodations for those in high risk populations as defined by the CDC
  7. Ensure separation of 6 feet or more between individuals where possible:
    1. Close or reconfigure worker common spaces and high density areas where workers are likely to congregate (e.g., break rooms, eating areas) to allow social distancing
    2. Physical partitions must separate workstations that cannot be spaced out (partitions must be at least 6 feet in height)
    3. Install physical barriers for ticket counters, checkout stations, etc. where possible o Install visual social distancing markers to encourage visitors to remain 6 feet apart (e.g., lines outside of the museum if applicable, lines to make payments, lines to use the restroom)
    4. Mark exhibit rooms and hallways to indicate 6 feet separation
  8. Establish directional pathways to manage visitor flow for foot traffic, if possible, to minimize contact (e.g., one-way entrance and exit to rooms / exhibits, one-way pathways). Post clearly visible signage regarding these policies
  9. Stagger lunch and break times, regulating max number of people in one place and ensuring at least 6 feet of physical distancing
  10. Encourage online ticket sales and contactless payment methods if possible
  11. Consider using timed entry tickets / reservations and imposing time limits for visits to ensure compliance with occupancy limits
  12. Encourage the use of electronic versions of guide materials (such as brochures and gallery guides) where possible. All physical guide materials (such as paper brochures, gallery guides, and audio guides) must be discarded or sanitized between use. Any self-serve racks must be removed, and all materials must be handed out individually

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Museums And Guided Tours Part 1 of 4

10/22/2020 (Permalink)

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Museums And Guided Tours

These sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety are issued to provide owners and operators of these facilities and workers and visitors with instructions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 as Museums re-open. Facilities addressed under the term “Museum” below include Museums, Aquariums, indoor and outdoor Historic Spaces and Sites, and Guided Tours.

These standards are minimum requirements only and are not exclusive or exhaustive. The public health data and matrix upon which these guidelines are based can and does change frequently, and the owner or operator for each Museum is accountable for staying abreast of any updates to these requirements.

No activity at Museums shall occur without meeting these sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety standards. These standards apply until rescinded or amended by the State. Owners of Museums, Cultural and Historical Facilities, and Guided Tours shall be responsible for meeting these standards.

Social Distancing And Capacity Limits

  1. Require face coverings for all workers and visitors, except where unsafe due to medical condition or disability 
  2. In Phase 3, Step 1 each museum must monitor visitor entries and exits and limit occupancy for each building open to the public at all times to:
    1. 40% of the museum’s maximum permitted occupancy as documented in its occupancy permit on record with the municipal building department or other municipal record holder 
    2. Facilities for which no permitted occupancy limitation is on record may allow up to 8 persons (including staff) per 1,000 square feet of accessible indoor or outdoor space
    3. In any case, no enclosed space within the facility shall exceed occupancy of 8 persons per 1,000 square feet 
  3. In Phase 3 Step 2, each facility must monitor visitor entries and exits, ensure social distancing, and limit occupancy at all times to:
    1. 50% of the facility’s maximum permitted occupancy as documented in its occupancy permit on record with the municipal building department or other municipal record holder
    2. Facilities for which no permitted occupancy limitation is on record may allow up to 10 persons per 1,000 square feet of accessible indoor or outdoor space
    3. In any case, no enclosed space within the facility shall exceed occupancy of 10 persons per 1,000 square feet
  4. All occupant counts and calculations shall include customers, staff, and other workers
  5. Post clearly visible signage regarding the need to maintain 6 feet of social distancing and not to enter a room until that distancing can be maintained
  6. Museums are encouraged to offer exclusive hours or other accommodations for those in high risk populations as defined by the CDC
  7. Ensure separation of 6 feet or more between individuals where possible:
    1. Close or reconfigure worker common spaces and high density areas where workers are likely to congregate (e.g., break rooms, eating areas) to allow social distancing
    2. Physical partitions must separate workstations that cannot be spaced out (partitions must be at least 6 feet in height)
    3. Install physical barriers for ticket counters, checkout stations, etc. where possible
    4. Install visual social distancing markers to encourage visitors to remain 6 feet apart (e.g., lines outside of the museum if applicable, lines to make payments, lines to use the restroom)
    5. Mark exhibit rooms and hallways to indicate 6 feet separation
  8. Establish directional pathways to manage visitor flow for foot traffic, if possible, to minimize contact (e.g., one-way entrance and exit to rooms / exhibits, one-way pathways). Post clearly visible signage regarding these policies
  9. Stagger lunch and break times, regulating max number of people in one place and ensuring at least 6 feet of physical distancing
  10. Encourage online ticket sales and contactless payment methods if possible
  11. Consider using timed entry tickets / reservations and imposing time limits for visits to ensure compliance with occupancy limits
  12. Encourage the use of electronic versions of guide materials (such as brochures and gallery guides) where possible. All physical guide materials (such as paper brochures, gallery guides, and audio guides) must be discarded or sanitized between use. Any self-serve racks must be removed, and all materials must be handed out individually

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Museums are encouraged to offer exclusive hours or other accommodations for those in high-risk populations as defined by the CDC
  2. Encourage online ticket sales and contactless payment methods if possible

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Fitness & Health Clubs Part 3 of 3

10/21/2020 (Permalink)

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Fitness Centers And Health Clubs

The state of Massachusetts defines Fitness Centers and Health Clubs as any fitness facility that provides access to and/or instruction of personal fitness training, including but not limited to fitness activities such as:

  1. Weight and resistance training
  2. Crosstraining
  3. Yoga
  4. Spin classes
  5. Boot camp training

Indoor and outdoor athletic facilities, such as those for gymnastics, tennis, and swimming (whether a standalone facility or part of a Fitness Center or Health Club) must follow the Youth and Adult Sports guidance and the Pools guidance, available on the EEA Reopening Site.

Staffing And Operations Cont.

  1. Clearly designate staff responsible for sanitizing, cleaning, and supervision during each shift
  2. Workers must stay home if feeling ill
  3. If the employer is notified of a positive case at the workplace, the employer shall notify the local Board of Health (LBOH) in the city or town where the workplace is located and assist the LBOH as reasonably requested to advise likely contacts to isolate and self-quarantine. Testing of other workers may be recommended consistent with CDC or DPH guidance and / or at the request of the LBOH
  4. Post notice to workers and visitors of important health information and relevant safety measures as outlined in the Commonwealth’s Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplace
  5. Close or mark lockers to enforce 6 feet social distancing, especially in locker rooms. Lockers should be sanitized after each use. Gyms should provide sanitizing wipes near the lockers or in the locker room
  6. Individual and communal shower areas may open but should be limited to 50% capacity. Social distancing of at least 6 feet is required for all individuals in shower and locker room areas. Showers that accompany pools may follow guidance for pools located on the Reopening Website
  7. Require that towels be stored in clearly labeled (clean vs. soiled) sanitary containers. Appropriate temperatures should be used when washing and drying towels. Employees must wear proper protective equipment (gloves and face covering) while handling towels. Towels should not be shaken out
  8. Operations of related services may be allowed to open and must follow sector-specific safety protocols for each setting. Some examples include: 
    1. In-facility child-care: Must follow child-care guidance
    2. Bars/food services: Must follow restaurant guidance
    3. Pools: Must follow pool guidance 
    4. Athletic facilities (e.g., tennis courts): Must follow adult and youth sports guidance
    5. Massage: Must follow close contact personal services guidance
    6. Saunas, hot-tubs, and steam rooms: May not open before Phase 4
  9. Fans should not be used indoors and should only be used for outdoor classes if directed away from other customers
  10. For indoor and outdoor sports guidance, please refer to the EEA Reopening Site

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Consider creating “shifts” for customers engaging in unstructured exercise (i.e., open weight rooms) by using a reservation system in order to enforce occupancy limits
  2. Workers who are particularly high risk to COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) are encouraged to stay home
  3. Encourage workers to self-identify symptoms or any close contact to a known or suspected COVID-19 case to the employer
  4. Encourage workers who test positive for COVID-19 to disclose to the workplace employer for purposes of cleaning / disinfecting and contact tracing
  5. Consider setting aside specific hours of operation exclusively for vulnerable populations
  6. Limit employees to discrete work zones to minimize overlap where possible

Cleaning And Disinfecting

  1. Clean commonly touched surfaces in restrooms (e.g., toilet seats, doorknobs, stall handles, sinks, paper towel dispensers, soap dispensers) frequently and in accordance with CDC guidelines
  2. Conduct frequent cleaning and disinfection of site (at least daily, and more frequently if feasible)
  3. Keep cleaning logs that include date, time, and scope of cleaning
  4. Conduct frequent disinfecting of heavily transited areas and high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, handrails, equipment, etc.)
  5. In the event of a positive case of a worker, customer or vendor shut down site and wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting of the workplace in accordance with current CDC guidance
  6. Disinfect all fitness equipment or mutually-touched objects (e.g., spin shoes, jump ropes, dumbbells, etc.) immediately after each use. At no point should customers come in contact with objects that others have touched without first being disinfected according to CDC guidance

Recommended Best Practices

  • Open windows and doors to increase airflow where possible

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Fitness & Health Clubs Part 2 of 3

10/20/2020 (Permalink)

Lower risk Massachusetts communities have been permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan. The Commonwealth defines "Lower-risk communities"  as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reportsClick here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Fitness Centers And Health Clubs

The state of Massachusetts defines Fitness Centers and Health Clubs as any fitness facility that provides access to and/or instruction of personal fitness training, including but not limited to fitness activities such as:

  1. Weight and resistance training
  2. Crosstraining
  3. Yoga
  4. Spin classes
  5. Boot camp training

Indoor and outdoor athletic facilities, such as those for gymnastics, tennis, and swimming (whether a standalone facility or part of a Fitness Center or Health Club) must follow the Youth and Adult Sports guidance and the Pools guidance, available on the EEA Reopening Site.

Hygiene Protocols

  1. Ensure access to handwashing facilities on site, including soap and running water, and allow enough break time for workers to wash hands frequently; alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol may be used as an alternative
  2. Distribute hand sanitizer and disposable wipes abundantly throughout the space for workers and customers to disinfect their hands and equipment before and after use
  3. Place disposable wipes next to each piece of large equipment (such as treadmills, bikes, rowing machines) and next to each area containing smaller equipment (such as free weights)
  4. Require trainers to wash hands before and after each training session and sanitize frequently during each session
  5. All equipment must be sanitized between uses. No equipment shall be used by another customer or returned to the storage rack / container without being sanitized
  6. Encourage customers to use one piece of equipment at a time (e.g., limit circuit training or “super sets” with multiple pieces of equipment) in order to facilitate required sanitizing. Facilities must provide sanitization supplies at each piece of equipment in order for customers to clean in between each use
  7. If sanitation (or the monitoring thereof by employees) of any piece of equipment is not possible or practical, this equipment shall be closed off
  8. Encourage customers to use their own personal exercise equipment (such as spin shoes, jump ropes, yoga mats, etc.) when possible. If shared items are used, they must be sanitized in between each use
  9. Post visible signage throughout the site to remind workers and customers of hygiene and safety protocols
  10. Allow water fountains to be used as refill stations only, provided that social distancing can be maintained. Customers and workers should bring their own water bottles or purchase from the business. Customers are not to drink directly from the water fountain

Staffing Operations

  1. Encourage outdoor exercise, classes, sessions, etc. where possible, so long as appropriate physical distancing is maintained at all times and any equipment used is sanitized after each use
  2. Personal trainers should maintain six feet of distance from clients to the extent possible and should minimize any prolonged close contact. Personal trainers must wear face coverings. Any equipment used during the personal training session must be sanitized after each use, or at the end of the session if the client was the only person who used the equipment during the session
  3. Provide training to workers on up-to-date safety information and precautions including hygiene and other measures aimed at reducing disease transmission, including:
    1. Social distancing, hand-washing, proper use of face coverings
    2. Self-screening at home, including temperature and symptom checks
    3. Reinforcing that staff should not come to work if sick
    4. When to seek medical attention if symptoms become severe 
    5. Which underlying health conditions may make individuals more susceptible to contracting and suffering from a severe case of the virus
  4. Adjust workplace hours and shifts (working teams with different schedules or staggered arrival / departure) to minimize contact across workers and reduce congestion
  5. Require customers to sign up for classes in advance
  6. Facilities must screen workers at each shift by ensuring the following: 
    1. Worker is not experiencing any symptoms such as fever (100.0 and above) or chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, headache, muscle/body aches, runny nose/congestion, new loss of taste or smell, or nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
    2. Worker has not had “close contact” with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19. “Close contact” means living in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, or coming in direct contact with secretions (e.g., sharing utensils, being coughed on) from a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, while that person was symptomatic
    3. Worker has not been asked to self-isolate or quarantine by their doctor or a local public health official
    4. Workers who fail to meet the above criteria must be sent home
  7. Maintain a log of workers and customers to support potential contact tracing (name, date, time, contact information)
  8. Close or limit waiting areas and, for class-based activities with distinct session times, ask customers to wait outside or in cars until 10 minutes prior to their class
  9. Schedule 30-minute windows between classes to allow for thorough cleaning and appropriate ventilation of the fitness room, and to discourage congestion

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Fitness & Health Clubs Part 1 of 3

10/16/2020 (Permalink)

Last Monday, October 5, lower risk Massachusetts communities will be permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan.

Lower-risk communities are defined as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reports. Click here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Fitness Centers And Health Clubs

The state of Massachusetts defines Fitness Centers and Health Clubs as any fitness facility that provides access to and/or instruction of personal fitness training, including but not limited to fitness activities such as:

  1. Weight and resistance training
  2. Crosstraining
  3. Yoga
  4. Spin classes
  5. Boot camp training

Indoor and outdoor athletic facilities, such as those for gymnastics, tennis, and swimming (whether a standalone facility or part of a Fitness Center or Health Club) must follow the Youth and Adult Sports guidance and the Pools guidance, available on the EEA Reopening Site.

Social Distancing And Capacity Limits

  1. Require face coverings for all workers and visitors, except where unsafe due to medical condition or disability, or when engaging in strenuous fitness activity in accordance with the rules below
  2. Customers wearing face coverings during fitness activity must maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet. If customers cannot wear a face covering during strenuous fitness activity, distancing of at least 14 feet must be maintained,
  3. In Phase 3 Step 1, each facility must monitor visitor entries and exits, ensure social distancing, and limit occupancy at all times to:
    1. 40% of the facility’s maximum permitted occupancy as documented in its occupancy permit on record with the municipal building department or other municipal record holder
    2. Facilities for which no permitted occupancy limitation is on record may allow 8 persons per 1,000 square feet of accessible indoor or outdoor space
    3. In any case, no enclosed space within the facility shall exceed occupancy of 8 persons per 1,000 square feet
  4. In Phase 3 Step 2, each facility must monitor visitor entries and exits, ensure social distancing, and limit occupancy at all times to:
    1. 50% of the facility’s maximum permitted occupancy as documented in its occupancy permit on record with the municipal building department or other municipal record holder
    2. Facilities for which no permitted occupancy limitation is on record may allow up to 10 persons per 1,000 square feet of accessible indoor or outdoor space
    3. In any case, no enclosed space within the facility shall exceed occupancy of 10 persons per 1,000 square feet
  5. All occupancy counts and calculations shall include visitors, staff, and other workers
  6. Arrange all equipment (weights, machines, treadmills, bikes, etc.) so exercise areas are spaced out at least 14 feet apart. If spacing of equipment is not possible, equipment must be blocked off or closed to maintain 14 feet of distancing. Spacing of machines may be adjusted to at least 6 feet apart if barriers are installed
  7. Consider installing plastic barriers between equipment where possible. Barriers must extend high enough to effectively block respiration from someone using the equipment. If barriers are installed, they must be cleaned regularly.
  8. In group fitness classes, 14 feet of physical distancing must be maintained between attendees at all times. If physical barriers are installed to separate group fitness equipment, 6 feet of physical distancing must be maintained
  9. Install visual markers (boundaries, walkways, signage, etc.) to encourage customers to remain at least 6 feet apart while moving throughout the space
  10. Establish directional pathways to manage visitor flow for foot traffic, to minimize contact (e.g., one-way entrance and exit to rooms, oneway pathways). Post clearly visible signage regarding these policies
  11. Stagger lunch and break times for workers, regulate the maximum number of people in one place and ensure at least 6 feet of physical distancing between workers
  12. Close or reconfigure common spaces and high-density areas of facilities where workers are likely to congregate (e.g., break rooms and eating areas) to allow 6 feet of physical distancing
  13. Close or reconfigure other common spaces where customers are likely to congregate or where social distancing is not possible, such as lobbies and waiting areas
  14. Install physical partitions in areas where physical distancing is not possible, such as service counters

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Consider installing plastic barriers between equipment where possible. Barriers must extend high enough to effectively block respiration from someone using the equipment. If barriers are installed, they must be cleaned regularly
  2. Consider establishing “workout zones” to encourage spacing of customers using free weights, dumbbells, etc.
  3. Contactless payment and sign-in methods are encouraged

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

3 Ways To Minimize Mold Growth In Bathrooms

10/15/2020 (Permalink)

Whether you are a commercial or residential property owner, moldy bathrooms can be problematic. Experiencing mold growth in your bathroom can be a cause for concern. Just because there are no leaks, mold growth can still occur. Why? Poor ventilation, grout in need of repair and accessories can all can all create an environment conducive

Here are three useful measures you can take to eradicate any growth for good and ensure proper mold prevention in your bathroom for years to come.

Ventilation

Install a proper ventilation system. When it comes to keeping moisture at bay, a high-powered ventilation system is key. Exhaust fans should not only be on during a shower, but be kept on for close to 20-30 minutes after a shower as a method of keeping constant air flow throughout the space. This can help enforce a moisture-free environment in areas where high humidity are common occurrences.

Grout

Keep a close eye on tile grout and caulking. Grout between your shower tiles, especially if it’s cracked in places, makes for great breeding ground for mold. Therefore, it pays to clean your grout on a weekly basis to hinder any mold growth. Furthermore, replace it every 6 months and seal it well to effectively ward off its potential spread. If you’ve noticed water damage and mold as a result of cracked grout or degraded caulking, contacting a highly-qualified mold remediation team could be crucial for eliminating any greater problem areas.

Bathroom Accessories

Focus on your shower curtains, towels, rugs and any cloth decor. Fibrous towels and rugs come into direct contact with water on a daily basis and should therefore be washed consistently. Shower curtains made of cloth should be washed in hot water or replaced by plastic varieties that can easily be wiped down and cleaned.

Mold occurs naturally in all environments. While it is possible to minimize the risk, preventative measures will not guarantee a mold free space. If you suspect the presents of mold in your house please give our expects a call at SERVPRO of Foxborough at (508) 533-5305. We will assess your situation and if need be, make it "Like it never even happened."

Certified Technicians

10/15/2020 (Permalink)

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are trained and certified. What does that mean? 

IICRC

Restoration industry standards are set by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification Board (IICRC). It is a non-profit group overseeing the qualification of the restoration, remediation and cleaning trade. When a technician obtains a program mitigation certificate from the IICRC, he or she is held to the highest standards. Not only does this keep industry standards high, but it also establishes a recognized national standard, and that is why insurance agents and adjusters keep the graduates on their preferred vendor's lists. Here are a few of the values our certified technicians are expected to uphold.

Respect

Technicians are taught that working with clients and staff that everyone treats respectfully can elevate the job site. It can also help bring out natural abilities and let inborn qualities shine.

Integrity

Valuing integrity, the expectation is that all graduating technicians will have strong ethical principles. Dealing honestly and upholding high values is important in developing an honorable reputation within the cleaning and restoration industry.

Responsibility

Once at a job, all IICRC certified technicians are expected to work as if the property were their own. This includes completing the job promptly and using the best tools available to finish the job.

Excellence

Service, leadership, and duty are all part of what the graduate is expected to bring to the office each day. Our technicians are also taught to hold high standards in service, on the job and off.

Expertise

To keep standards, values, and expertise high, the board continues to hold classes to improve industry knowledge. As new and improved tools become available, they are incorporated into the classes. Also, certification is a lifelong process of self-improvement and gaining professional knowledge. Our technicians must obtain 14 hours of education every four years.

The IICRC helps hold trained technicians of the cleaning and restoration industry to a high standard. At SERVPRO of Foxborough we value and understand the importance of certification. That is why our technicians are certified, and that is the SERVPRO Difference.

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Close Contact Personal Services Part 3 of 3

10/15/2020 (Permalink)

Last Monday, October 5, lower risk Massachusetts communities will be permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan.

Lower-risk communities are defined as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reports. Click here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Close Contact Personal Services - Cleaning And Disinfecting

  1. Establish and maintain cleaning protocols specific to the business
  2. When an active employee is diagnosed with COVID19, cleaning and disinfecting must be performed
  3. Disinfection of all common surfaces must take place at intervals appropriate to said workplace
  4. Clean commonly touched surfaces in restrooms (e.g., toilet seats, doorknobs, stall handles, sinks, paper towel dispensers, soap dispensers) frequently and in accordance with CDC guidelines
  5. Conduct frequent cleaning and disinfection of site (at least daily, and more frequently if feasible)
  6. Keep cleaning logs that include date, time, and scope of cleaning
  7. Conduct frequent disinfecting of heavily transited areas and high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, handrails, headrests, armrests, etc.)
  8. In the event of a positive case of a worker, patron or vendor shut down site for a deep cleaning and disinfecting of the workplace in accordance with current CDC guidance
  9. Disinfect or replace tools, implements and surfaces between customers (e.g., tables, finger bowls, chairs and headrests, spatulas, clippers, spacers, styling tools)
  10. If tools cannot be disinfected (i.e., porous tools such as nail files, buffers, drill bits, etc.), they must be discarded after use
  11. Disinfect chair, table, and/or workstation between customers or use disposable plastic coverings for each customer, observing contact time on label for disinfectant to work properly
  12. Launder all linens, towel drapes and smocks in hot soapy water and dry completely regularly and between each use
  13. Routine cleaning and disinfection procedures (e.g., using cleaners and water to pre-clean surfaces prior to applying an EPA-registered, hospital-grade disinfectant for appropriate contact times as indicated on the product's label).
  14. If performing emergency dental procedures, follow standard practices for disinfection and sterilization of dental devices contaminated with SARS-CoV-2, as described in the CDC Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities, 2008 and Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Health Care Settings – 2003.
  15. In some emergency procedures appropriate cleaning and disinfecting techniques from bloodborne pathogen practices should be used, including protecting vacuum lines with liquid disinfectant traps and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters or filters of equivalent or superior efficiency and which are checked routinely and maintained or replaced as necessary.

Note: Workers who perform cleaning and disinfection in healthcare may require PPE and/or other controls to protect them simultaneously from chemical hazards posed by disinfectants and from human blood, body fluids, and other potentially infectious materials to which they have occupational exposure in the healthcare environment. Employers may need to adapt guidance from this Dentistry workers and Employers section, the Environmental Services Workers and Employers section, and the interim guidance for workers and employers of workers at increased risk of occupational exposure, in order to fully protect workers performing cleaning and disinfection activities in healthcare workplaces.

Recommended Best Practices

  • Open windows and doors to increase airflow where possible

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Properly Clean Soot Damage

10/14/2020 (Permalink)

Damage from a fire can be traumatic. Removing damaged or ruined items is just the beginning of the restoration process. Improperly cleaning soot and smoke residue can result in more damage to your Walpole, MA residential or commercial property. The best course of action, call the experts. 

The Disaster Remediation teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough have considerable training in identifying different kinds of residues and odor particles, which helps them pinpoint the ideal cleanup procedures for your fire damaged home.

What Is Soot

Soot is a smoke that has settled on surfaces as a residue. There are four different kinds of smoke residue: 

  • Dry smoke residues
  • Wet smoke residues
  • Protein smoke residues
  • Fuel oil smoke residues 

Each Type Of Residue Must Be Cleaned Differently 

All fires burn differently, which means they leave behind different kinds of residues. Many variables determine what kinds of residues are left behind. Still, SERVPRO of Foxborough  technicians have the experience to outline the best cleanup process, and they know which products are necessary to eliminate the specific residues. 

How To Approach Cleanup

  • Find and identify the residues
  • Identify the surfaces on which residues are present
  • Capture and remove the residues
  • Properly dispose of the residues 

Cleaning Techniques 

We use both air and fluids to remove residues, depending on the residue types and where they are present. Our Disaster Remediation Teams may use vacuuming to remove some residues, while others are captured and dissolved in different cleaning solutions. They also understand how to remove these residues after completing the cleanup process. 

Has your residential or commercial property suffered fire damage? Call the experts at SERVPRO of Foxborough today – (508) 533-5305. We will make it “Like it never even happened.”

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Close Contact Personal Services Part 2 of 3

10/14/2020 (Permalink)

Last Monday, October 5, lower risk Massachusetts communities will be permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan.

Lower-risk communities are defined as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reports. Click here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Close Contact Personal Services - Hygiene Protocols

  1. Ensure access to handwashing facilities on site, including soap and running water, and allow enough break time for workers to wash hands frequently; alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol may be used as an alternative
  2. Supply workers at workplace location with adequate cleaning products (e.g., sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, disinfectant)
  3. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol shall be made available at entrances and throughout floor areas for both workers and customers
  4. Require glove changes and handwashing before and after each customer
  5. Do not permit sharing of tools and supplies between workers (e.g., clippers, spacers, brushes, needles, etc.). All tools must be cleaned between each customer
  6. Workers should change into a clean smock or gown between each customer. Consider using disposable capes and smocks. Reusable capes, towels, gowns should be laundered between each use
  7. Post visible signage throughout the site to remind workers and customers of hygiene and safety protocols

Staffing & Operations

  1. Provide training to workers on up-to-date safety information and precautions including hygiene and other measures aimed at reducing disease transmission, including:
    1. Social distancing, hand-washing, proper use of face coverings
    2. Self-screening at home, including temperature and symptom checks 
    3. Reinforcing that staff shall not come to work if sick 
    4. When to seek medical attention if symptoms become severe 
    5. Which underlying health conditions may make individuals more susceptible to contracting and suffering from a severe case of the virus
  2. Facilities must screen workers at each shift by ensuring the following:
    1. Worker is not experiencing any symptoms such as fever (100.0 and above) or chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, headache, muscle/body aches, runny nose/congestion, new loss of taste or smell, or nausea, vomiting or diarrhea 
    2. Worker has not had “close contact” with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19. “Close contact” means living in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, or coming in direct contact with secretions (e.g., sharing utensils, being coughed on) from a person who has tested positive for COVID-19
    3. Worker has not been asked to self-isolate or quarantine by their doctor or a local public health official
    4. Workers who fail to meet the above criteria must be sent home
  3. Adjust workplace hours and shifts (working teams with different schedules or staggered arrival / departure) to minimize contact across workers and reduce congestion
  4. Require customers to make an appointment in advance to receive service
  5. Close waiting areas and ask customers to wait outside or in cars until it is time for their appointment
  6. Maintain a log of workers and customers to support potential contact tracing (name, date, time, contact information)
  7. Remove non-essential amenities (e.g., magazines, customer-facing water or coffee, coat rooms, etc.)
  8. Workers shall not appear for work or complete a shift if feeling ill
  9. Encourage workers who test positive for COVID-19 to disclose to the workplace employer for purposes of cleaning / disinfecting and contact tracing. If the employer is notified of any positive case at the workplace, the employer must immediately notify the local Board of Health (LBOH) in the city or town where the workplace is located. Employers must assist the LBOH with contact tracing efforts, including advising likely contacts to isolate and self-quarantine. Testing of other workers may be recommended consistent with guidance and / or at the request of the LBOH
  10. Post notice to workers and customers of important health information and relevant safety measures as outlined in the Commonwealth’s Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplace
  11. Businesses should maintain operating hours that allow for on-going off-hour sanitation and cleaning
  12. Limit visitors and service providers on site; shipping and deliveries should be completed in designated areas

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Workers who are who are at high risk from COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control should be encouraged to stay home or should have work assignments shifted to reduce contact with customers and co-workers
  2. Workers are strongly encouraged to self-identify symptoms or any close contact to a known or suspected COVID-19 case to the employer
  3. Encourage workers who test positive for COVID-19 to disclose to the workplace employer for purposes of cleaning / disinfecting and contact tracing
  4. Limit employee movement to discrete work zones to minimize overlap where possible

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Even Small Leaks Can Lead To Large Losses

10/13/2020 (Permalink)

Even the smallest spills and leaks can lead to major damage in your Foxborough, MA residential or commercial property. Not properly cleaning up after a spill can cause mold growth. Ignoring a small water leak can, over time, can cause damage to building materials such as floors, walls, insulation and may even result in structural damage. 

Not every water spill is serious enough to call a professional water cleanup company, but it's important for you to know how to properly take care of any spills or small leak. If you act fast and understand how to clean up, you can prevent any secondary damage. 

For example, a fish tank that leaks or breaks and a gallons of water spill onto the floor. Here are some of the things you'll need to properly clean the area:

  1. Shop vacuum (wet/dry vac) 
  2. Pumps
  3. Towels
  4. Box fan/s 
  5. Air movers
  6. Dehumidifier - If you don't have one you can rent from your local tool rental business. It's best to have an industrial strength dehumidifier, but in a pinch a household is better than no dehumidifier at all.

Most property owners may have some of the necessary tools and may even think that is enough. Unfortunately, that is usually not the case. There are no short cuts to take during the drying process.

As soon as you see the spill, and IF IT IS SAFE TO DO SO:

  1. Identify and stop the source of water
  2. Cleaning up the mess right away with a a pump or shop vacuum if you have one
  3. Use towels to dry the rest of the water
  4. ONLY IF ALL WATER HAS BEEN REMOVED AND IT IS SAFE TO DO SO, place box fans or a dehumidifiers near the damaged area and them on.    

The fact is that it is NOT always safe to clean up water damage. From contaminated water to the possibility of electrocution the risk of harming oneself is real. That is why you need the help of certified professionals.

If water has damaged your commercial or residential property call the experts at SERVPRO of FoxboroughWe will make it "Like it never even happened," at (508) 229-2061 for remediation services. 

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Close Contact Personal Services Part 1 of 3

10/13/2020 (Permalink)

Last Monday, October 5, lower risk Massachusetts communities will be permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan.

Lower-risk communities are defined as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reports. Click here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Close Contact Personal Services 

This is a reminder that Barber Shops and Hair Salons, originally authorized to open in Phase 1 of the Re-Opening Plan, are subject to these workplace safety standards.

Close Contact Personal Service are defined as any personal service typically delivered through close physical contact with the customer, including but not limited to:

  • hair salons and barber shops; as permitted to open in Phase 1 of the Re-Opening Plan
  • hair removal services; including laser services, depilatory salons, waxing services, threading, and electrolysis services 
  • massage, body treatments, eastern treatment, energy therapies and other body work therapies
  • skin care services; including peels, facials, serums, Botox and filler
  • nail care services; including nail salons
  • other hair services; including hair replacement services, scalp treating services 
  • makeup salons
  • makeup application services;
  • tanning salons; including other businesses that provide spray tanning and tanning beds; and
  • tattoo, piercing, and body art services

Note: personal trainers should follow fitness center and health club guidance for Phase 3, available on the Massachusetts Reopening Site Saunas, hot tubs, and sensory float tanks must remain closed

MANDATORY SAFETY STANDARDS SOCIAL DISTANCING & CAPACITY LIMIT

Face coverings are required for all customers and workers, except where an individual is unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition or disability

  • For skin or beard care that occurs on the face, the customer may temporarily remove the face covering but must immediately put the face covering back on for the remainder of the visit. Require workers to wear gloves, gowns or smocks, and prescription glasses, safety glasses or goggles Ensure separation of 6 feet or more between individuals where possible:
  • Close or reconfigure common spaces and high density areas where workers and patrons are likely to congregate (e.g., break rooms and eating areas for workers; lobbies and workstations for customers) to allow social distancing 
  • Arrange workstations so work areas are spaced out at least 6 feet apart
  • Physical partitions must separate workstations that cannot be spaced out (partitions must be at least 6 feet in height)
  • Install physical barriers for checkout stations where possible, otherwise maintain 6 feet distance where not possible
  • Install visual social distancing markers to encourage customers to remain 6 feet apart (e.g., checkout lines, lines to use the restroom)
  • Mark rooms and hallways to indicate 6 feet separation Stagger lunch and break times for workers, regulate the maximum number of people in one place, and ensure at least 6 feet of physical distancing Establish directional pathways to manage visitor flow for foot traffic, to minimize contact (e.g., one-way entrance and exit to rooms, one-way pathways). Post clearly visible signage regarding these policies No guests should accompany the customer during the personal service except for persons serving as caretakers or guardians. Guests must observe all other requirements of customers, including wearing a face covering and maintaining 6 feet of separation from other persons present

Recommended Best Practices

Contactless payment methods are encouraged Encourage curbside pickup or delivery of any retail items purchased by customers not already on the premises for a service appointment, and follow the Retail Business guidance for customers seeking retail purchases instead of or in addition to personal services

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Restaurants Part 3 of 3

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

As of this past Monday, October 5, lower risk Massachusetts communities will be permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan.

Lower-risk communities are defined as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reports. Click here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Restaurants - Staffing & Operations Cont.

  1. Anyone showing signs of illness may be denied entry
  2. Workers must stay home if feeling ill
  3. Encourage workers who test positive for COVID-19 to disclose to the employer for purposes of cleaning / disinfecting and contact tracing. If the employer is notified of any positive case at the workplace, the employer must immediately notify the local Board of Health (LBOH) in the city or town where the workplace is located. Employers must assist the LBOH with contact tracing efforts, including advising likely contacts to isolate and self-quarantine. Testing of other workers may be recommended consistent with guidance and / or at the request of the LBOH
  4. Notify workers that they may not work if they test positive for COVID-19 (they should be isolated at home) or are found to be a close contact of someone with COVID-19 (they should be quarantined at home)
  5. Post notice to workers and customers of important health information and relevant safety measures as outlined in the Commonwealth’s Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplace
  6. Designate the Person in Charge (105 CMR 590) for each shift to oversee implementation of the guidelines in this document
  7. Restaurants will be allowed to maximize outdoor dining space, including patios and parking lots where available, where municipal approval is obtained
  8. Additional on-site amenities and services shall only open and operate when those amenities or services would otherwise be authorized to operate under the Commonwealth’s Phased Reopening Plan and then must adhere to all sector-specific safety protocols, available on the Reopening Plan website, applicable to the amenity or service. Examples include:
    1. Darts, arcade games, and other indoor games: Must follow the Arcades & Other Indoor & Outdoor Game & Recreation Businesses guidance, including the requirement that active use of pool tables and other games involving patrons not seated at tables is not permitted in areas where food service is provided.
    2. Musical and other performances: Must follow the latest Theater and Performance Venue guidance, including distance between performers and between performers and attendees. Any performers arriving from other states must follow the Commonwealth’s current out-of-state travel order. Performances at indoor venues in Step 1 communities may not include singing or the playing of wind or brass instruments. Performances at indoor venues in step 2 communities may not include singing, but may include the playing of wind or brass instruments in accordance with the performance venue guidance 
    3. Dance floors: Must remain closed until Phase 4 
    4. Gift shops: Must follow the latest retail guidance 
    5. Events hosted at restaurants must follow the Indoor and Outdoor Events guidance, including the capacity limitations in that guidance.

Recommended Best Practices - Staffing & Operations

  1. Encourage use of technological solutions where possible to reduce person-to-person interaction (e.g., contactless payment, mobile ordering, text on arrival for seating)
  2. Workers who are particularly high risk to COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) are encouraged to stay home or arrange an alternate work assignment
  3. Workers are strongly encouraged to self-identify symptoms or any close contact to a known or suspected COVID-19 case to the employer
  4. Encourage workers who test positive for COVID-19 to disclose to the employer for purposes of cleaning / disinfecting and contact tracing

Cleaning & Disinfecting

  1. Clean commonly touched surfaces in restrooms (e.g., toilet seats, doorknobs, stall handles, sinks, paper towel dispensers, soap dispensers) frequently and in accordance with CDC guidelines
  2. Keep cleaning logs that include date, time, and scope of cleaning
  3. Conduct frequent disinfecting of heavy transit areas and high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, elevator buttons, staircases)
  4. Implement procedures to increase cleaning / disinfecting in the back-of-house. Avoid all food contact surfaces when using disinfectants. Food contact surfaces must be cleaned and sanitized before use with a sanitizer approved for food contact surfaces. Non-food contact surfaces must be frequently cleaned
  5. In the event of a presumptive or actual positive COVID-19 case of a worker, patron, or vendor, the restaurant must shut down site for a deep cleaning and disinfecting of the workplace in accordance with current CDC guidance

Recommended Best Practices - Cleaning & Disinfecting

  1. Open windows and doors to increase airflow where possible

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Restaurants Part 2 of 3

10/8/2020 (Permalink)

As of this past Monday, October 5, lower risk Massachusetts communities will be permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan.

Lower-risk communities are defined as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reports. Click here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Restaurants - Hygiene Protocols

  1. All workers must wash their hands frequently, and table servers must wash their hands or apply hand sanitizer between each table interaction
  2. Restaurants must ensure access to handwashing facilities on site, including soap and running water, and allow sufficient break time for workers to wash hands frequently; alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol may be used as an alternative
  3. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol shall be made available at entrances, exits, and in the dining area
  4. Restaurants must supply workers at workplace location with adequate cleaning products (e.g., sanitizer, disinfecting wipes) Post visible signage throughout the site to remind workers and customers of hygiene and safety protocols
  5. Self-serve, unattended buffets, topping bars, drink stations, and other communal serving areas must remain closed
  6. Condiments and similar products (e.g., salt, pepper, and salad dressing) should not be pre-set on tables and should instead only be provided upon request either in single-serving portions (e.g., individual packages or cups) or in serving containers that are sanitized between each use
  7. Menus must be one of the following:
    1. paper, single-use menus disposed after each use
    2. displayed menu (e.g., digital, whiteboard, chalkboard)
    3. electronic menus viewed on customers’ phones / mobile devices,
    4. laminated reusable menus sanitized between each use
  8. Utensils and place settings must be either single-use or sanitized after each use; utensils should be rolled or packaged
  9. Tables should not be pre-set to reduce opportunity for exposure
  10. Tables and chairs must be cleaned and sanitized thoroughly between each seating

Staffing & Operations

  1. When possible, reservations or call ahead seating should be encouraged; managers must ensure that diners waiting for tables do not congregate in common areas or form lines
  2. When taking reservations and when seating walk-in customers, restaurants should retain a phone number of someone in the party for possible contact tracing
  3. Restaurants may not provide customers with buzzers or other devices to provide alerts that seating is available or orders are ready; restaurants should instead use no-touch methods such as audio announcements, text messaging, and notices on fixed video screens or blackboards
  4. Alcoholic beverages may only be served for on-site consumption if accompanied by food prepared on-site. Potato chips, pretzels, and other pre-packaged, shelf stable foods, or other food prepared off-site, do not constitute food “prepared onsite.”
  5. For each customer, an item of prepared food must be ordered at the same time as an initial alcoholic beverage(s) order. One or more shareable food item(s) may be ordered, as long as it/they would sufficiently serve the number of people at the table.
  6. Provide training to workers on up-to-date safety information and precautions including hygiene and other measures aimed at reducing disease transmission, including: 
    1. Social distancing, hand-washing, and requirement and proper use of face coverings 
    2. Modifying practices for serving in order to minimize time spent within 6 feet of customers 
    3. Self-screening at home, including temperature or symptom checks 
    4. Reinforcing that staff shall not come to work if sick
    5. When to seek medical attention if symptoms become severe 
    6. Which underlying health conditions may make individuals more susceptible to contracting and suffering from a severe case of the virus
  7. Restaurant operators should establish adjusted workplace hours and shifts for workers to minimize contact across workers and reduce congestion at entry points
  8. Limit visitors and vendors on site; shipping and deliveries should be completed in designated areas
  9. Workers shall not appear for work or complete a shift if feeling ill
  10. Restaurants must screen workers at each shift by ensuring the following:
    1. Worker is not experiencing any symptoms such as fever (100.0 and above) or chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, headache, muscle/body aches, runny nose/congestion, new loss of taste or smell, or nausea, vomiting or diarrhea 
    2. Worker has not had “close contact” with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19. “Close contact” means living in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, or coming in direct contact with secretions (e.g., sharing utensils, being coughed on) from a person who has tested positive for COVID-19
    3. Worker has not been asked to self-isolate or quarantine by their doctor or a local public health official 
    4. Workers who fail to meet the above criteria must be sent home

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Updated MA Safety, Restaurants Part 1 of 3

10/7/2020 (Permalink)

As of this past Monday, October 5, lower risk Massachusetts communities will be permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of Governor Baker's reopening plan.

Lower-risk communities are defined as cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reports. Click here to see the list of communities not designated as lower-risk communities.

To assist business owners we will be sharing highlights of the State's Updated Safety Standards and Reopening Guidelines for impacted sectors.  

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Restaurants

The state of Massachusetts defines “Restaurant” as an establishment that provides seated food service that is prepared on-site and under a Food Service Establishment , for food service establishments that cook, prepare and serve food, intended for immediate consumption, as permitted and issued by a municipal authority pursuant to 105 CMR 590.000. Potato chips, pretzels, and other similar pre-packaged, shelf stable foods, or other food prepared off-site, do not constitute food “prepared on-site.”
Restaurants must comply with the following sector specific social distancing rules for providing dining services in all customer seating areas:
  1. Require face coverings for all customers and workers at all times, except where an individual is unable to wear a face covering due to medical condition or disability
  2. Customers must wear face coverings unless seated at tables
  3. While indoor table service is permitted, restaurants are encouraged to structure operations to operate as much as possible through outdoor table service and to strictly limit indoor table service in order to assure effective compliance with social distancing requirements and to limit activities within confined spaces
  4. Restaurants must comply with the following sector specific social distancing rules for providing dining services in all customer seating areas:
    1. Tables must be positioned so to maintain at least a 6 foot distance from all other tables and any high foot traffic areas (e.g., routes to bathrooms, entrances, exits); tables may be positioned closer if separated by protective / non-porous barriers (e.g., structural walls or plexi-glass dividers) not less than 6 feet high installed between tables and high foot traffic areas
    2. The size of a party seated at a table cannot exceed 10 people 
  5. Bar seating is permitted provided that either: 
    1. There are no active work areas or working staff behind the bar at least 6 ft away; or 
    2. There is a physical barrier (e.g. Plexiglas) separating customers from the bar space that is at least 30 inches high and a gap/opening at the bottom of the barrier is allowed for food and drink service as long as the gap/opening is no more than 8 inches high 
    3. In addition, parties must be seated at bars (no standing customer service) and parties must be spaced at least 6 feet from other parties
    4. Subject to any applicable building and fire code requirements, bar areas may be re-configured to accommodate table seating that complies with all spacing and other requirements in these COVID-19 safety standards. Tables must not be placed within 6 feet of the staffed bartending area. 
  6. All customers must be seated; eat-in service to standing customers (e.g., around bar areas) is prohibited
  7. Restaurants may provide carry-out or delivery service, but all safety standards for table separation, size of party, and hygiene must be maintained for any indoor or outdoor table seating that is available to carry-out patrons
  8. All other amenities and areas not employed for food and beverage service (e.g., dance floors, pool tables, playgrounds, etc.) must be closed or removed to prevent gathering of customers. 
  9. Recreation amenities which are allowed to open in Step 1 of Phase III (such as arcade games) may be open if adhering to all safety protocols in the Arcades & Other Indoor & Outdoor Game & Recreation Businesses including the requirement that active use of pool tables and other games involving patrons not seated at tables is not permitted in areas where food service is provided. 
  10. Ensure separation of 6 feet or more between all individuals (workers, vendors, and customers) unless this creates a safety hazard due to the nature of the work or the configuration of the workspace 
  11. Close or reconfigure worker common spaces and high density areas where workers are likely to congregate (e.g., break rooms, eating areas) to allow 6 feet of physical distancing; redesign work stations to ensure physical distancing (e.g., separate tables, stagger workstations on either side of processing lines so workers are not face-to-face, use distance markers to assure spacing including in the kitchen area) 
  12. Establish directional hallways and passageways for foot traffic if possible, to minimize contact (e.g., one-way entrance and exit to the restaurant). Post clearly visible signage regarding these policies 
  13. Prohibit lingering in common areas (e.g., waiting areas, bathrooms) and ensure social distancing in common areas by marking 6 feet spacing with tape or paint on the floor and signage 
  14. All customer-facing workers (e.g., servers, bus staff) must minimize time spent within 6 feet of customers

Recommended Best Practices

  1. Designate assigned working areas to workers where possible to limit movement throughout the restaurant and limit contact between workers (e.g., assigning zones to servers)
  2. Stagger work schedules and staff meal and break times, regulating maximum number of people in one place and ensuring at least 6 feet of physical distancing
  3. Minimize the use of confined spaces (e.g., elevators, vehicles) by more than one individual at a time
  4. Valet parking operations should be avoided unless necessary due to physical or geographic constraints or in order to accommodate individual guests with disabling conditions
  5. Valets must be provided with hand sanitizer and should use sanitizer before and after parking vehicles

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - DESE Vocational Education Guidance, Part 3

10/6/2020 (Permalink)

By now the vast majority of school districts have begun the 20-21 academic year and every reasonable precaution has been taken to ensure the safest possible environment for our students. Much of the discussion has focused on the traditional classroom setting, but how has the current COVID-19 pandemic affected Vocational schools were learning requires hands-on, in-person, group learning? The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has offered guidance for vocational technical schools and comprehensive schools offering vocational technical programs. The guidance includes appropriate safety measures to promote the safety of students, teachers, and staff. This guidance may also be used as a reference for other related programs, such as Innovation Pathways and Connecting Activities. The following highlights DESE guidance. For complete details click here.

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Culinary Arts

Culinary arts programs should follow both the DESE reopening guidance and the Massachusetts Safety Standards and Checklist for Restaurants. In implementing these guidelines, culinary arts programs should:

  1. Limit customers. Culinary sites should only serve internal guests (e.g., staff and students) within a dine-in restaurant setting for the first two months.
  2. Setup online ordering for curbside pick-up for external customers. This will enable a broader customer base to buy food at the restaurant while limiting the number of external customers entering the building.
  3. Designate meal pick-up sites. In order to further limit interaction with customers, sites should identify a single area where meals will be picked up.
  4. Setup disinfecting stations. These should be available at the front and back of the house for students and staff.

Early Education And Care

Early education and care programs should follow both the DESE reopening guidance and the Massachusetts Child and Youth Serving Programs Reopen Approach. High school students in early childhood education and care programs may participate in practicums and cooperative education placements with the following safeguards:

  1. Sites follow guidelines issued by the Department of Early Education and Care,
  2. The high school student’s school district must be in the designated green/unshaded zone
  3. The childcare placement must be in the designated green/unshaded zone.

Cosmetology

Cosmetology programs must abide by both the DESE reopening guidance and the Massachusetts Safety Standards and Checklist for Close Contact Personal Services. In implementing these guidelines, cosmetology programs should:

  1. Limit customers. Cosmetology sites should only serve classmates and staff for the first two months of operations and not permit external customers. Use of mannequins should be prioritized as feasible.
  2. Limit services.Haircuts and other services are permitted if the individuals are not face-to-face for extended periods of time, so long as DESE and industry safety standards are followed. These standards include wearing masks, gloves, gowns or smocks, and prescription glasses, safety glasses, or goggles.

Automotive Technology And Automotive Collision

Automotive technology and automotive collision programs must abide by both the DESE reopening guidance and the Massachusetts Reopening Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces. In implementing these guidelines, automotive technology and automotive collision programs should:

  1. Provide appointment-based services only. For services provided to external customers (i.e., the public), service should be by appointment only to limit interaction.
  2. Minimize public entry to the building. Create drop-off and pick-up procedures that do not require personal interaction, such as key drop-boxes. If customer interactions are needed, they must occur outside of the building.
  3. Consider online payment systems. If feasible and to limit interaction with customers, consider using or creating online booking systems with automotive service signature and credit card payment options.

Graphic Communications And Marketing

Graphic communications and marketing programs must abide by boththe DESE reopening guidance and the Massachusetts Reopening Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces.In implementing these guidelines, graphic communications and marketing programs should:

  1. Limit external customers. For external customers, graphic communications and marketing programs should utilize virtual operations.
  2. Provide appointment-based services only. For services provided to external customers, service should be by appointment only to limit interaction.
  3. Minimize public entry to the building. Create pick-up procedures for graphic communications and marketing products that do not require personal interaction.

It is important to note that CVTE specific guidance from the Massachusetts DESE is intended to be in place ONLY for the first two months of the school year. This is consistent with the way many CVTE programs already operate, in which the initial months of the school year are dedicated to training and preparing students for work in program settings. The Department will provide additional guidance in the coming months based on updated state guidance and COVID-19 trends.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - DESE Vocational Education Guidance, Part 2

10/5/2020 (Permalink)

By now the vast majority of school districts have begun the 20-21 academic year and every reasonable precaution has been taken to ensure the safest possible environment for our students. Much of the discussion has focused on the traditional classroom setting, but how has the current COVID-19 pandemic affected Vocational schools were learning requires hands-on, in-person, group learning? The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has offered guidance for vocational technical schools and comprehensive schools offering vocational technical programs. The guidance includes appropriate safety measures to promote the safety of students, teachers, and staff. This guidance may also be used as a reference for other related programs, such as Innovation Pathways and Connecting Activities. The following highlights DESE guidance. For complete details click here.

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

CVTE Program Specific Guidance

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has compiled program specific guidance for CVTE schools. This guidance provides additional considerations on how to effectively apply the guidance above to CVTE programs, including exploratory programs, cooperative education (co-ops), clinical placements, and internships.

Health And Safety Practices

In DESE’s initial fall school reopening guidance, the goal was to identify the safe return of as many students as possible to in-person school. This required the establishment of new health and safety recommendations to be followed in our schools this fall. DESE medical advisors have indicated that it is not one mitigation strategy, but a combination of several strategies that will substantially reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in school settings. These measures include staying home when sick, symptom screening, physical distancing, use of masks, frequent hand hygiene, creating student cohorts as feasible, and improving ventilation as feasible. 

Career/vocational technical education programs must adhere to DESE's and other agencies’ COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, BUT ALSO, adhere to the federal and state guidelines for safe workplaces, and industry-specific protocols when and where ever applicable.

Additionally, CVTE programs should follow the below guidance.

  1. Maintain safe student collaboration. Student collaboration, such as group projects, is a core part of vocational technical education. Student collaboration is permitted if modified to accommodate all applicable health and safety guidelines. Programs will need to modify projects so that students can work collaboratively while still wearing masks and maintaining 6 feet of distance when feasible; 3 feet being the minimum distance allowed.
  2. Use proper eye protection. When used, face shields do not replace eye protection. Industry-standard eye protection must still be used when required.
  3. Use proper hand coverings. Technical programs must follow industry guidelines on the use of protective hand coverings (gloves).
  4. Focus on safety training. Consider designating “Safety September” to focus on safety training, including establishing new protocols necessary to mitigate COVID-19 for each CVTE program, with regular updates.
  5. Prepare outdoor workspaces. When possible, it is preferable for students to work outdoors. Make sure any outdoor work sites are outfitted with the required safety equipment. For instance, a work site may require fire extinguishers, Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protected outlets, and first aid kits, among other items.
  6. Provide safe transportation. Student transportation (by van, bus, or other approved vehicle) should follow the same capacity guidelines, health and safety guidelines, and cleaning and disinfecting guidelines outlined in DESE’s Fall Reopening Transportation Guidance.
  7. Maintain safe equipment and materials sharing practices. Sharing equipment and materials should be minimized when feasible, but it is permitted as outlined in DESE’s Guidance for Courses Requiring Additional Safety Considerations.
  8. Minimize personal belongings onsite. Students should come to their class/program/technical area prepared and in uniform each day. Programs should follow the locker guidance in the Fall Reopening Facilities and Operations Guidance.
  9. All customers or visitors must comply with DESE and industry health and safety standards, including wearing masks at all times.

It is important to note that CVTE specific guidance from the Massachusetts DESE is intended to be in place ONLY for the first two months of the school year. This is consistent with the way many CVTE programs already operate, in which the initial months of the school year are dedicated to training and preparing students for work in program settings. The Department will provide additional guidance in the coming months based on updated state guidance and COVID-19 trends.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - DESE Vocational Education Guidance

10/1/2020 (Permalink)

By now the vast majority of school districts have begun the 20-21 academic year and every reasonable precaution has been taken to ensure the safest possible environment for our students. Much of the discussion has focused on the traditional classroom setting, but how has the current COVID-19 pandemic affected Vocational schools were learning requires hands-on, in-person, group learning? The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has offered guidance for vocational technical schools and comprehensive schools offering vocational technical programs. The guidance includes appropriate safety measures to promote the safety of students, teachers, and staff. This guidance may also be used as a reference for other related programs, such as Innovation Pathways and Connecting Activities. The following highlights DESE guidance. For complete details click here.

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Career/Vocational Technical Education (CVTE) Programs Health And Safety Requirements – ZERO Tolerance

For administrators, educators, staff and students there is a ZERO tolerance policy for entering school property if you are sick. 

Administrators, educators, and staff exhibiting any of the symptoms below once at school are required to report this to their supervisor and COVID-19 POC (via phone, text or email) right away, head home and follow the established protocols. Students exhibiting any of the symptoms below once at school are required to report this to their instructor and follow established protocols.

Anyone showing signs or complaining about such symptoms, should be directed to the school Nurse.

COVID-19 Typical Symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Sore Throat

Self-certify Prior To Arriving On School Property

For administrators, educators, staff and students will self-certify that they:

  1. Have no signs of a fever or a measured temperature above 100.3 degrees or greater, a cough or trouble breathing within the past 24 hours.
  2. Have not had "close contact" with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19. “Close contact” means living in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for about 15 minutes, or coming in direct contact with secretions (e.g., sharing utensils, being coughed on) from a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, while that person was symptomatic.
  3. Have not been asked to self-isolate or quarantine by their doctor or a local public health official.

Guidance To Prevent Exposure & Limit Transmission 

  1. No handshaking
  2. Wash hands often with soap for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol
  3. School Districts should develop cleaning and decontamination procedures that are posted and shared. These Procedures must cover all areas including tools, gates, equipment, vehicles, etc. and shall be visibly posted.
  4. Instructors and students must implement social distancing by maintaining a minimum distance of 6-feet f
  5. Avoid face to face meetings whenever possible
  6. All groups must be kept a minimum of 6’ apart at all times to eliminate the potential of cross contamination
  7. Each shop should have laminated COVID-19 safety guidelines and hand washing instructions
  8. All restroom facilities should be cleaned and handwashing stations must be provided with soap, hand sanitizer and paper towels
  9. All surfaces should be regularly cleaned, including surfaces, door handles, tools, equipment, etc.
  10. All common areas are to be regularly cleaned and disinfected at least once a day but preferably twice a day
  11. Faculty and students must use their own water bottle, No Sharing
  12. Please maintain Social Distancing separation during breaks and lunch
  13. Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands
  14. To avoid sharing germs, faculty and students are required to clean up after themselves. DO NOT make others responsible for moving, unpacking and packing up your personal belongings
  15. If you or a family member is feeling ill, stay home!

Wash Stations

All shop areas without ready access to an indoor bathroom MUST install Wash Stations.

  1. Install hand wash stations with hot water, if possible, and soap at fire hydrants or other water sources to be used for frequent handwashing for all faculty and students
  2. All faculty and students must help to maintain and keep stations clean
  3. Garbage barrels will be placed next to the hand wash station for disposal of tissues/towels

Where these guidance does not meet or exceed the standards put forth by local municipalities everyone shall abide by the most stringent procedure available.

All infractions must be reported to the appointed COVID-19 Officer to ensure appropriate protocols are followed.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Baker Announcement - Phase 3, Step 2

9/30/2020 (Permalink)

Governor Charlie Baker has announced that effective Monday, October 5th, lower risk communities will be permitted to move into Step 2 of Phase 3 of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan. All other communities will remain in Phase 3, Step 1. Additionally, he issued a revised gatherings order.

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Communities At Risk

The Baker administration defines lower risk communities as cities and towns that have not been a “red” community in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health (DPH) weekly reports.

According to the most recent report there were 17 new coronavirus-related deaths reported, bringing the state’s death toll to 9,135 with 126,408 confirmed cases.

Based on the average daily cases per 100,000 residents, each city or town has been designated as a higher risk (red), moderate risk (yellow), or lower risk (green) community. Communities with fewer than five cases are not given a designation.

Fifteen cities and towns now fall in the Department of Public Health’s highest-risk category for COVID-19 transmission;
  1. Chelsea
  2. Everett
  3. Framingham
  4. Holliston
  5. Lawrence
  6. Lynn
  7. Marlborough
  8. Nantucket
  9. New Bedford
  10. Revere
  11. Saugus
  12. Tyngsborough
  13. Winthrop
  14. Worcester
  15. Wrentham are

All considered to be in the red category. Dedham, Lynnfield, Monson, and Plainville were all in the red last week but have since been moved down to moderate risk.

To view the latest DPH weekly report click here.

Phase 3, Step 2 Update

Effective October 5, a limited number of sectors will be eligible to reopen, with restrictions, in Step II of Phase III for lower risk communities only:

  • Indoor performance venues will be permitted to open with 50% capacity with a maximum of 250 people. 
  • Outdoor performance venue capacity will increase to 50% with a max of 250 people.
  • For arcades and indoor and outdoor recreation businesses, additional Step II activities like trampolines, obstacle courses, roller rinks and laser tag will also be permitted to open and capacity will increase to 50%.
  • Fitting rooms will be permitted to open in all types of retail stores.  
  • Gyms, museums, libraries and driving and flight schools will also be permitted to increase their capacity to 50%.

Revised Gatherings Order

  • The limit for indoor gatherings remains at a maximum of 25 people for all communities.
  • Outdoor gatherings at private residences and in private backyards will remain at a maximum of 50 people for all communities.
  • Outdoor gatherings at event venues and in public settings will have a limit of 50 people in Step I communities, and a limit of 100 people in lower risk, Step II communities.

We will be sharing the updates to the industry specific guidance and protocols for a range of Phase 1, 2, and 3 businesses as the administration issues them.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Our Schools, DESE Family Fact Sheet, Part 3 of 3

9/29/2020 (Permalink)

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) continues to publish guidance for schools and districts. The following highlights the guidance for schools administrators and districts to use as they work with families to help students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) recover as much as possible from the school disruptions that occurred because of COVID-19. To view the documentation in full You can find the guidance here: Mass DESE COVID-19 Resources.

This Fact Sheet summarizes the main points in DESE’s guidance for families. DESE encourages families to keep in touch with your child’s educators and administrators, and to talk about what the new guidance means for you and your child. If you belong to your local Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC), you can also collaborate with your school and district to plan and put in place policies and practices that will help all students with IEPs, in addition to your own child.

Please note supplemental information can be found on the Department's website at DESE COVID-19 Information and Resources.

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Your Child’s Right To Implementation Of Their IEP And A Free And Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)

It is important for you to know that special education laws provide that every student with an IEP must have a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). The U.S. Department of Education has made clear that students with IEPs must receive FAPE even during the pandemic. However, FAPE may look different because of COVID-19. For example, to protect the health and safety of students and their educators, when schools were closed in the spring your child probably received special education instruction and services by using a computer or phone, instead of being in a classroom.

You Wanted Your School To Conduct Special Needs Testing, But The Process Was Impacted By COVID-19

When school buildings unexpectedly closed because of the pandemic, schools were unable to assess students in person. This was true for students of any age, whether in pre-school or older. Going forward, districts must complete evaluations to determine the need for special education services as soon as possible, and talk with you about how best to meet the timelines for testing and holding IEP meetings so that you know whether your child is eligible, and so that students receive the services they need.

If the evaluation shows that your child is eligible for special education services, the IEP Team will develop an IEP for your child. As you and the other members of the IEP Team discuss your child’s needs during the IEP meeting, one decision you will make together is whether your child will need COVID-19 Compensatory Services because of the delays in testing and holding an IEP meeting. This is true for all students newly eligible for special education services whose eligibility determination was delayed due to the pandemic, including young children referred by Early Intervention.

Your Child Has Moved From One District To Another Or Is Attending A New Charter or Vocational/Technical School

If your child will attend a district, charter school, or vocational technical school in school year 2020-21 that is different from the district or school they attended in Spring 2020, then the new district or school is responsible for convening the IEP Team to decide whether your child needs COVID-19 Compensatory Services and/or New IEP Services. The new district or school might invite a representative from your former district or school to attend, because the former districts will pay for COVID-19 Compensatory Services.

Your Child Attends A Collaborative Or Approved Special Education School

If your child is in an out-of-district placement, the district responsible for your child’s special education program will convene an IEP meeting. The district will work with the collaborative or the approved special education school to make sure the Team has all the information it needs to consider whether your child needs COVID-19 Compensatory Services or New IEP Services.

Your district should include a representative of the collaborative or approved special education school in any planning conversations even if you decide not to convene an IEP meeting and instead discuss your child’s needs with an administrator.

Your Child Is Or Will Be 22 Years Old Between March 17 And December 23, 2020

If your child is turning 22 by December 23rd or turned 22 when school buildings were closed, you and the other members of the IEP team can work together to make your child’s transition to adult life as smooth as possible. DESE’s guidance indicates that it will be important to convene an IEP meeting, even if your child’s 22nd birthday has already passed, if:

  1. Your child was unable to access services during the unexpected suspension of in-person education.
  2. Your child regressed or failed to make effective progress during remote learning.
  3. Your child has significant difficulty with transitions and changes in routine, and there is concern that the suspension of in-person education will result in an unduly challenging move to adult agency services if no additional school services are provided.
  4. No connections, or minimal attempts at connections, have been made to relevant adult agencies such as the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, the Department of Developmental Services, or the Department of Mental Health.
  5. You and your child have been unable to follow through on identified transitional services with adult agencies because of COVID-19, or the adult agency(ies) have been unable to follow through with you because of COVID-19.
  6. Your child had been expected to fulfill the requirements for the competency determination by their 22nd birthday but was unable to do so because in-person education was suspended.

If your child is over age 14, your child will be invited to attend the IEP meeting as well. If they will be receiving services from an adult agency, the district will invite a representative from that agency to attend, too. It’s important that school staff and agency staff communicate and collaborate with you to help your child.

At the meeting, you, your child, and the other IEP Team members will keep your child’s transition needs and plans for adult life in mind when considering whether your child needs COVID-19 Compensatory Services.

Keep in mind that you also have the option to not request an IEP meeting, if you feel that your child’s needs can be met through an informal meeting as described above in this Fact Sheet, or if you feel that your child has already successfully transitioned to adult life and has no more need of school services.

Legal rights

If you are interested in learning more about your and your child’s rights, please see the Parent's Notice of Procedural Safeguards

Questions About DESE’s Guidance

For questions related to this Fact Sheet please contact DESE’s

Problem Resolution Office at 781-338-3700 or compliance@doe.mass.edu

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Our Schools, DESE Family Fact Sheet, Part 2 of 3

9/28/2020 (Permalink)

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) continues to publish guidance for schools and districts. The following highlights the guidance for schools administrators and districts to use as they work with families to help students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) recover as much as possible from the school disruptions that occurred because of COVID-19. To view the documentation in full You can find the guidance here: Mass DESE COVID-19 Resources.

This Fact Sheet summarizes the main points in DESE’s guidance for families. DESE encourages families to keep in touch with your child’s educators and administrators, and to talk about what the new guidance means for you and your child. If you belong to your local Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC), you can also collaborate with your school and district to plan and put in place policies and practices that will help all students with IEPs, in addition to your own child.

Please note supplemental information can be found on the Department's website at DESE COVID-19 Information and Resources.

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Your Child’s Right To Implementation Of Their IEP And A Free And Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)

It is important for you to know that special education laws provide that every student with an IEP must have a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). The U.S. Department of Education has made clear that students with IEPs must receive FAPE even during the pandemic. However, FAPE may look different because of COVID-19. For example, to protect the health and safety of students and their educators, when schools were closed in the spring your child probably received special education instruction and services by using a computer or phone, instead of being in a classroom.

Starting With Data

All decisions about the COVID-19 Compensatory Services your child may need must be individualized and based on information and data. Because your child has spent several months in your full-time company, schools and districts should prioritize collecting data and information from you. You can give your school partners important information about your child’s access to learning, engagement, attention, behavior, progress, skills, home experiences, and the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on them. The Team needs to learn from you whether your child had difficulty accessing services remotely because of their disability, because of problems with the Internet or computer devices, because your child needed to have an interpreter or materials translated, or for any other reason.

After your child’s IEP Team (which includes you)looks at all of the information and data on your child’s progress toward meeting IEP goals, the Team will determine whether your child needs these services and supports.

Deciding What Support Your Child Needs

DESE recommends that you and the other members of the IEP Team use questions like these to guide your conversations during the Team meeting. Not necessarily all of them will need to be asked and answered to decide whether your child needs COVID-19 Compensatory Services.

  1. Were some services on your child’s IEP not offered? Were there services on the IEP that your child did not access remotely when in-person education was suspended?
  2. Did your child lose any skills?
  3. Did your child fail to make effective progress toward achieving their IEP goals?
  4. Did your child fail to make effective progress in the general curriculum?
  5. Does your child need additional supports and/or services temporarily to help recover from the time they did not access services remotely?
  6. What kinds of General Education Recovery Supports will your school or district offer? Will the General Education Recovery Support be enough to help your child regain skills and knowledge that were affected when in-person education was postponed because of COVID-19?
  7. Will your child need COVID-19 Compensatory Services? What kinds? How much? It is important to note that these services may not be the exact same number of IEP service hours they missed; however, the services must address your child’s individual needs. The goal of COVID-19 Compensatory Services is to help your child recover from educational disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. You and the other members of the IEP team will discuss which services will be necessary to do that.
  8. Will your child need new IEP Services? What kinds? How much? You may decide with your school partners that your child needs a re-evaluation or a new testing if your child has not yet been tested in the new area of suspected disability.

Having An IEP Team Meeting Or Talking To The District Without Convening The IEP Team

There are two ways that you and the school district can discuss and decide whether your child needs COVID-19 Compensatory Services. The first is having an IEP meeting. The meeting can be with the full IEP Team, or if you decide that it’s not necessary to have an IEP meeting with everybody on the Team, you can meet with only some Team members. For example, you might feel that as long as you have your child’s written math assessment, you don’t need to speak with your child’s math teacher, even though that teacher would normally attend at Team meeting. The school needs to have your permission to have an IEP meeting without the usual members present.

Another option is for you and the school district together to choose not to convene an IEP meeting and discuss your child’s need for COVID-19 Compensatory Services with your school more informally. In this case, you may feel that your child’s needs can be met fully and efficiently by talking informally with your school. It is the parent’s choice whether to skip the IEP meeting and instead discuss their child’s need for COVID-19 Compensatory Services with an administrator. If you decide that an IEP meeting is unnecessary, your district will document this with you in writing. Any decision about services or supports will also be documented in writing by the district as is explained below.

Documenting The Support Your Child Needs

The different kinds of support your child needs can be documented in different ways.

  1. All children can use the General Education Recovery Support offered by their school. Schools and districts are not required to write down and give you a list of the general education recovery support your child will receive, but it is a good idea to talk about these services with your child’s IEP Team. If you have questions about general education recovery support, it is a good idea to reach out to your child’s teacher or the school principal to find out more about how the school is helping all students return to learning this fall.
  2. If you and the other members of your child’s IEP team agree at an IEP meeting or through an informal meeting that your child needs COVID-19 Compensatory Services, the district must write down the type and amount of service(s), how often the service(s) will happen and for how long, and how your child’s progress will be monitored, and whether transportation is needed in order to access those services. The district should use DESE’s form, Notice of Proposed School District Action/N1, or meeting notes, and give you a copy in your home language.

During the current school year, your child might receive COVID-19 Compensatory Services in person or remotely.

  1. Any New IEP Services needed because your child has new disability-related needs will be documented on the IEP form or IEP Amendment Form.

Included in Part 3 - Testing, Moving From Districts, Attending A Collaborative, and If Your Child Is The Age Of 22.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Our Schools, DESE Family Fact Sheet, Part 1 of 3

9/25/2020 (Permalink)

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) continues to publish guidance for schools and districts. The following highlights the guidance for schools administrators and districts to use as they work with families to help students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) recover as much as possible from the school disruptions that occurred because of COVID-19. To view the documentation in full You can find the guidance here: Mass DESE COVID-19 Resources.

This Fact Sheet summarizes the main points in DESE’s guidance for families. DESE encourages families to keep in touch with your child’s educators and administrators, and to talk about what the new guidance means for you and your child. If you belong to your local Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC), you can also collaborate with your school and district to plan and put in place policies and practices that will help all students with IEPs, in addition to your own child.

Please note supplemental information can be found on the Department's website at DESE COVID-19 Information and Resources.

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Your Child’s Right To Implementation Of Their IEP And A Free And Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)

It is important for you to know that special education laws provide that every student with an IEP must have a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). The U.S. Department of Education has made clear that students with IEPs must receive FAPE even during the pandemic. However, FAPE may look different because of COVID-19. For example, to protect the health and safety of students and their educators, when schools were closed in the spring your child probably received special education instruction and services by using a computer or phone, instead of being in a classroom.

Definitions

In its guidance to schools and districts, DESE defined three kinds of services to help students with IEPs recover from school disruptions caused by the pandemic when the Governor ordered that in-person education was stopped, beginning in March 2020:

General Education Recovery Support

This is support that schools and districts may give to all students, including students with IEPs, to help them regain the skills and knowledge they lost when in-person instruction was suspended in the spring because of the pandemic, and to help them be well emotionally and socially.

COVID-19 Compensatory Services

These are special education instruction and services provided in addition to your child’s ongoing IEP services. If your child regressed or did not make effective progress in meeting their IEP goals because of the pandemic, these services will specifically address the effects of delayed, interrupted, suspended, or inaccessible IEP services.

New IEP Services

Your child may need additional special education services to address new areas of disability-related need. If so, these are called “New IEP Services” and your child’s IEP Team will discuss and include these new services in your child’s IEP.

Prioritizing students

While all students’ education was affected by the sudden shift to remote instruction and service delivery, some students with IEPs experienced more significant challenges than others. DESE is asking schools and districts to prioritize specific students when determining the need for these services. These specific groups of students are:

  1. Students with complex and significant needs:
    1. students already identified as “high needs” through the IEP process on the form entitled “Primary Disability/Level of Need-PL 3.”What a student’s level of need is depends on (1) where the student receives services (in or out of the general education classroom); (2) whether services are provided by general educators, special educators, paraprofessionals, or related service providers; and (3) the percent of time during the school day that the student receives special education services.
    2. students who could not engage in remote learning due to their disability-related needs or lack of technology;
    3. students who primarily use aided and augmentative communication (AAC);
    4. students who are homeless;
    5. students in foster care or congregate care; and
    6. students dually identified as English Learners;
  2. Preschool-aged children whose eligibility evaluations or start of preschool special education services have been delayed or interrupted; and
  3. Students who turned 22 during the suspension of in-person education or who will turn 22 during the first three months of the 2020-21 school year, and whose transition programs were interrupted or suspended before they aged out.

The Department has recommended that parents and the IEP Team work together to make decisions about COVID-19 Compensatory Services for students in these high priority groups by December 15, 2020.

For students who are not in the high priority groups, school staff will take some time to observe your child to see how they are adjusting to the new educational environment this fall. They will also review data and communicate with you about your child’s learning and emotional needs.Schools and districts will work with you to make sure your child has the services and supports they need.

Included in Part 2 - Starting Data, Deciding Appropriate Support Level, How To Meet During COVID-19, and Supporting Documentation

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Our Schools, DESE Guidance For Student Groups And Events

9/24/2020 (Permalink)

As the Commonwealth, School Districts and local communities continue to manage the ever-changing pandemic environment and create some semblance of normalcy for our children it is important to understand how the need for safety impacts student groups and events. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has issued guidance to help school districts and parents to navigate these uncharted waters. Below are excerpts from the DESE's recommendations. To view recommendations in their entirety click here.  

Please note supplemental information can be found on the Department's website at DESE COVID-19 Information and Resources.

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Guidance For Student Groups and School Events For School Year 2020-2021

According to the Massachusetts DESE’s and the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs the following guidance is intended to aid districts and schools in planning for the possible need to mixing of cohorts and school events that may require additional safety considerations.

Student activities provide important opportunities to develop leadership and teamwork skills, engage in new experiences, and serve their community. We strongly encourage schools and districts to continue providing these opportunities to students this fall. Adaptations to these activities, however, are necessary to support the safety of students and staff.

Specifically, this guidance covers:

  1. Student activities before and after school
    • Non-athletic student groups
    • Non-athletic interschool competitions
    • Volunteering
  2. Gatherings with outside participants
  3. Leaving school grounds

Note: As the DESE continues to monitor COVID-19 trends and the latest medical research the need to amend these guidelines may arise. Districts and schools should also reference the extensive reopening guidance issued by DESE for more information on core health and safety practices that schools must adopt this fall.

Specific guidance by type of activity

Non-Athletic Student Groups

Non-athletic student group meetings are likely to involve increased mixing between student cohorts. This may be more relevant for elementary students, who likely will have stricter cohorts. Whenever feasible and to the maximum extent possible, these meetings should be held virtually.

For in-person meetings, we recommend the following guidelines:

  1. Group meetings should be supervised by staff and must abide by DESE’s core health and safety guidelines (including masks, physical distance, frequent handwashing).
  2. Groups that work collaboratively (e.g., student newspaper, yearbook) should abide by the shared equipment guidance previously released in the Guidance for Courses Requiring Additional Safety Considerations During School Year 2020-2021.
  3. Group sizes should be reduced and work organized into cohorts to the extent feasible.

Non-Athletic Inter-school Competitions

Whenever feasible and to the maximum extent possible, inter-school competitions should be held virtually. There are online resources to support these virtual interactions. In-person interschool competitions are permitted if at least 6 feet of distance can be maintained between individuals and participants and attendees wear masks at all times.

  1. If an interschool competition is held in person, it must abide by the guidelines below for large gatherings and leaving school grounds.
  2. To the maximum extent feasible, interschool competitions should:
    • Not share equipment
    • Be held outdoors, if possible
    • Shorten events or reduce participants
    • Incorporate protective equipment in a safe manner to further reduce spread of respiratory particles

Volunteering

  1. Any volunteer activities must abide by DESE’s core health and safety guidelines (including masks, physical distance, frequent handwashing).
  2. Consider volunteer activities that are outdoors and do not require person-to-person interaction (e.g., planting flowers in a park).
  3. Consider virtual volunteer service (e.g., younger student mentor program, pen pals).

General guidance for gatherings with outside participants or leaving school grounds

Gatherings of 10 or More That Include Outside Participants

Whenever feasible and to the maximum extent possible, these gatherings should be moved online. Online events can be held where all participants are virtual, or where students and staff are in person, but audiences are virtual.

In-person gatherings (such as events and performances) should be discouraged and must abide by the following safety requirements. Only essential, student-centered events should be held in person, such as student group activities or inter-school competitions. 

Gatherings of 10 or more that include outside participants, such as in-person events, inter-school competitions, and field trips, typically involve families and others outside of the school community, including people who may be in higher risk groups. As a result, it is important to put in place additional safety considerations.

  1. Whenever feasible and to the maximum extent possible, hold all events or competitions outdoors.
  2. Masks are required except when unsafe due to age, medical condition, or disability.
  3. All participants must maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from every other participant in the gathering, aside from participants who are members of the same household. Additional physical distancing requirements for specific activities can be found in DESE’s Guidance for Courses Requiring Additional Safety Considerations During School Year 2020-2021.
  4. Limit attendees to the extent feasible:
    • Indoor gatherings are limited to 8 persons per 1,000 square feet of accessible, indoor floor space and never more than 25 persons in a single, enclosed indoor space.
    • Outdoor gatherings are limited to 25 percent of the maximum permitted occupancy of the facility or space, or 8 persons per 1,000 square feet if no occupancy limitation is on record, and never more than 50 persons in a single outdoor space.
  5. For outdoor performances involving singing or brass or wind instruments, there must be at least 25 feet of distance between performers and the first row of the audience.
  6. Indoor performances, including theater, band, or orchestra, are not permitted at this time, but may be in the future in accordance with state guidelines.
  7. Attendees should be informed in the weeks leading up to and including the day of the event, and at the entrance to the event, that they must not attend if they are feeling unwell or showing any symptoms of COVID-19.
  8. Consider scheduling multiple events, if needed, to allow for physical distancing.
  9. If the event is ticketed, tickets should be sold online in advance, if possible. Consider touchless payment for in-person ticket sales,and use handwashing before and after transactions.
  10. Establish directional pathways to manage visitor flow for foot traffic in order to minimize contact (e.g., one-way entrance and exit to shows, one-way pathways). Post clearly visible signage regarding these policies.
  11. Encourage the use of electronic versions or no-touch displays in place of commonly touched physical materials (such as programs or playbills) where possible. All commonly touched physical materials must be discarded or sanitized between use.
  12. Ensure access to handwashing facilities on site, including soap and running water, wherever possible, and encourage frequent handwashing; alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol may be used as an alternative.

Leaving School Grounds

Whenever feasible and to the maximum extent possible, consider virtual alternatives to leaving school grounds. Generally, it is not recommended to hold organized school trips leaving school grounds.

However, the risk level of leaving school grounds depends on the type of activity and transportation for the trip. All trips leaving school grounds must comply with all health and safety guidance, including physical distancing, mask wearing, hand washing, and sanitation.

  1. If a school trip includes walking or a brief ride that abides by transportation guidelines, takes place where significant interaction with the public is not expected, and abides by the health and safety guidelines, it is permitted. For example, students may walk to a nearby park to observe plant and animal life during science class.
  2. If a school trip includes a long bus ride (more than three hours one way), results in close interaction with additional people (e.g., within 6 feet of outside chaperones or the public), or cannot abide by the health and safety guidelines, it is not permitted.
  3. Field trips can pose an additional risk due to the need to travel offsite and the need for additional chaperones. Ideally, all field trips should be held virtually.
  4. Out of state travel is not recommended. If an out of state trip occurs, it must abide by the state COVID-19 travel order.

Consider how to adjust open campus policies (i.e., when older students are permitted to leave school campus during the school day) to better support health and safety guidelines, such as ensuring students follow health and safety guidelines upon entering or re-entering school.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Our Schools, DESE - Update to the Child Nutrition Program Waiver

9/23/2020 (Permalink)

The following is an update which was released yesterday, September 22, 2020, by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education regarding the Child Nutrition Program. To view the update in its entirety click here.

Please note supplemental information can be found on the Department's website at DESE COVID-19 Information and Resources.

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Frequently Asked Questions

NOTE: According to Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education areas of the school visited by the COVID-19 positive individual must be closed off and/or cleaned and disinfected. The area can be used 12 hours after cleaning/disinfecting has occurred.

On June 25, 2020 MA DESE Commissioner Jeffrey Riley announced school reopening guidance that created school opening options for MA school districts. Schools may start the year with full remote learning, hybrid remote and in person learning or full in person learning. School districts are required to submit to MA DESE a plan for all three options to be used at any point during the school year. The continuum of fall reopening models has created historic uncertainty for students, families, and schools. It is unclear how many schools will reopen in September with full remote learning and for how long.

Specific Program Requirements To Be Waived 

The State agency is requesting to waive the requirement that children must be present with parents or guardians in order for children to receive FFVP during COVID-19 that was included in the USDA FNS Q&A SP12-2020 under question 4 released on April 9, 2020.

Food Pick Up

Elementary schools offering FFVP foods in a non-congregate setting may not provide these foods to parents or guardians unless they are accompanied by their child(ren). Section 19(b) of the NSLA requires schools participating in the FFVP to make fresh fruits and vegetables available “to students.” Because the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (P.L. 116-127) did not include FFVP as a “qualified program,” the nationwide waiver allowing parents to pick up meals for children at non-congregate sites does not apply to FFVP.

Alternative Procedures And Anticipated Impact On Program Operations

If approved, the State agency will allow SFAs who are offering remote learning services to continue to utilize their FFVP grant funds by purchasing additional fruits and vegetables to be provided to children with the Child Nutrition Program meals. The funds will not be used to purchase components of the unitized meal. FFVP funds will continue to be used to purchase additional fresh fruits and vegetables to increase student exposure to these foods. SFAs will be instructed to follow the same food safety procedures they are currently using. 

The State agency will continue to monitor FFVP reimbursement requests to ensure that the purchases and administrative costs are appropriate to the Program.  There are no impacts on technology, State systems, or monitoring.

State Regulatory Barriers

There are currently no State level regulatory barriers related to this specific issue.

Anticipated Challenges 

MA DESE does not anticipate that the implementation of this waiver will pose any challenges at the State or sponsor level since the sponsoring organizations are currently distributing remote meals successfully to parents under SFSP/SSO. Alternatively, high needs children will continue to benefit from increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables and schools can use already encumbered resources.

Proposed Monitoring

MA DESE will continue to closely monitor program operators and sites during the application and administrative review process.  All aspects of operation will be reviewed according to regulations and guidance. MA DESE will require corrective action as necessary to ensure Program integrity. 

Proposed Reporting 

No later than September 30, 2021, the MA DESE will report to USDA the number of sponsors, sites and overall impact of this waiver.

Link to a copy of the notice of the waiver;

Waiver

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Our Schools, DESE FAQ From The Commissioner's Desk

9/22/2020 (Permalink)

As schools reopen, common questions continue to arise from district and school leaders on how to implement the guidance that the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issued over the summer. The DESE will continue to issue an intermittent FAQ, developed in collaboration with the Department of Public Health, regarding these questions. The information below provides further clarifications on the following topics: when to consider suspending in-person instruction, whether alternative diagnoses can negate the need for a COVID test, guidance for safely hosting ACT or SAT tests, and mask usage. 

Please note supplemental information can be found on the Department's website at DESE COVID-19 Information and Resources.

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Frequently Asked Questions

1) How do we know if we need to suspend in-person learning for our school or district?

There is no one threshold or metric that indicates a school or district should suspend in-person learning. District and school leaders can work closely with DESE’s COVID Reporting Unit (781-338-3500) when there is a positive case in their district to determine the appropriate next steps. These next steps can include implementing existing DESE protocols to notify close contacts for testing and isolation, conferring with local public health and/or the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to determine if transmission is occurring in the class or school, or seeking advice on whether to suspend in-person learning for that class, grade, or school. It is important to note that these decisions need to be made based on local context, occur in collaboration with DESE and the local board of health, and may be based on the following factors:

  1. If there is a need for an extensive cleaning of the building or other facility mitigation
  2. If the mobile testing unit results, or other test results, suggest widespread transmission is occurring
  3. If there are widespread absences among students and staff due to illness
  4. If the school is in a district reported as “red” on the DPH health metric for the past three weeks, and risk of transmission to students and/or staff is increased

The school department and the local board of health may have other local factors that are important to consider when making this decision.

2) Does a symptomatic child with an alternative diagnosis, such as a strep throat, still need a COVID test before returning to school?

In order to protect schools from the introduction of COVID, testing of symptomatic individuals should be the default practice. Students with acute onset of new symptoms (especially respiratory symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, sore throat) or fever should almost always receive a negative COVID test before returning to school. Health care providers have clinical discretion to consider chronic illnesses or symptoms such as headache and abdominal or gastrointestinal symptoms and use clinical judgment to defer testing when an alternative cause is firmly established.

3) Can schools host SAT and ACT tests?

Districts and school leaders have asked questions on how to safely administer SAT and ACT tests during the 2020-2021 school year, especially as many students were not able to take these tests as anticipated last spring. As long as the testing is sponsored by or administered by the school or district, this testing can occur in alignment if DESE health and safety guidelines for gatherings with outside participants (available hereare followed. Key health and safety requirements for gatherings with outside participants include maintaining at least six feet of distance between individuals, wearing masks at all times, proper hand hygiene, and a capacity limitation of 8 persons per 1,000 square feet and never more than 25 individuals in a single, enclosed indoor space.

4) What masks are recommended?

DESE has received a number of queries on the recommended types of masks from educators. Masks should cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face. Masks should be secured with ties or ear loops and include multiple layers of fabric. If students are not able to wear a mask due to medical, behavioral, or other challenges, they may consider wearing a face shield. Transparent masks may be the best option for both teachers and students in classes for deaf and hard of hearing students. They may also be useful for teachers and younger students who rely on visual or facial cues.

5) How can masks be safely removed?

When putting on and taking off a mask, do not touch the front of it. Only handle the ties or ear loops. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after removing a mask, and before putting on a mask. Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing the mask. Masks should be placed on napkins or paper towels (with the inside face up) when removed for meals or mask breaks. Masks should be washed regularly. More information on how to wash masks can be found visiting the CDC website or clicking here.

6) How should mask breaks be conducted?

It is recommended that students have at least two mask breaks per day (e.g. mealtime and recess). As it is recommended that students younger than second grade wear masks, it is important to note that they may need additional mask breaks during the day. Mask breaks should be held outdoors, if feasible. Students must be at least 6 feet apart during mask breaks. Hand washing facilities or hand sanitizer must be available when entering and leaving this space. Students should remove masks as outlined above.

NOTE: According to Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education areas of the school visited by the COVID-19 positive individual must be closed off and/or cleaned and disinfected. The area can be used 12 hours after cleaning/disinfecting has occurred.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Our Schools, DESE FAQ Special Education Qs 40-44

9/18/2020 (Permalink)

The way in which our children learn and our educators teach to begin this school year will be will challenging for both to say the least. Regardless of the reopening model chosen by your school district, all schools will be providing remote learning to some extent. Parents whose children require special education in the COVID-19 environment may be struggling with how these necessary changes may impact the ability of school districts to meet their children's needs.  The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has put together a FAQ to help parents navigate these uncharted waters. 

Please note supplemental information can be found on the Department's website at DESE COVID-19 Information and Resources.

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

The Massachusetts DESE recommends that districts and schools select high quality, and subject areas.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Special Education Related Services, and Models of Learning

Strategies for Engaging Families

40) In what ways is family engagement important to focus on at this time? 


Family engagement is crucial for the healthy growth of children and youth. Quality family engagement has a lasting effect on a child’s social-emotional health as well as school readiness and academic success.

Research shows that families want their children to do well and that they believe school is important. Partnering with families improves students’ grades and motivation, helps student academic achievement. Partnering with families also helps teachers learn more about students' needs, which is information they can apply toward better meeting those needs. Engaging families can be done through phone calls, emails, texts and web-based activities. 

41) What should we focus on to strengthen family engagement as schools reopen?

One of the first steps is to build partnerships with families. It will be important to continue to build and strengthen your relationships with families during the school reopening process. Building relationships encourages fundamental practices that include but are not limited to:

  1. Recognizing and respecting the uniqueness of each family,
  2. Keeping families and youth voices and perspectives at the center, and
  3. Planning and implementing activities with families and youth and not for families and youth.

42) How do we build a partnership with families?

  1. Talk with families using clear language.
  2. Communicate in the primary language of the home, using interpreters and translating documents, when appropriate.
  3. Make sure to limit educational jargon and consider the translation needs of the family.
  4. Be honest in your conversation. If you do not know an answer to a question, you can let the family know that you will get back to them.
    • Be sure to follow up with the family.
  5. Discuss concerns and offer suggestions, supports and resources.
  6. Plan next steps together.

43) What are strategies we can use to build relationships with families during the school reopening process?

Schools and community organizations play a crucial role in establishing and strengthening shared connections with families. the Department has developed STRENGTHENING PARTNERSHIPS: A Framework for Prenatal through Young Adulthood Family Engagement in Massachusetts.  Five Guiding Principles form the basis of this Framework and provide a foundation for creating, within systems and organizations, a culture that values and thrives on family engagement.

  1. Each family is unique, and all families represent diverse structures.
  2. Acknowledging and accepting the need to engage all families is essential for successful engagement of diverse families and includes recognizing the strengths that come from their diverse backgrounds.
  3. Building a respectful, trusting, and reciprocal relationship is a shared responsibility of families, practitioners, organizations, and systems.
  4. Families are their child’s first and best advocate.
  5. Family engagement must be equitable.

The Flamboyan Foundation has developed strategies to build relationships and partnerships with families:

  1. Be Authentic
  2. Center on the student
  3. Learn and focus on what is important to the family
  4. Offer frequent and consistent communication
  5. Reach out to all families

44)  Are there resources available to help build relationships with families during the school reopening process?

There are many resources that provide ideas and strategies for building relationships with families. You can also work with your Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) to be part of the process of strengthening Family Engagement.When building relationships with families, please consider that some parents/guardians are limited English proficient and may need translations or interpretations to be able to effectively engage in this collaborative work.

You may find the following resources helpful now and in the future:

  1. The Federation for Children with Special Needs (FCSN) provides resources and trainings for families and educators and has focused their work to address the school reopening process
  2. Massachusetts Prenatal through Young Adult Family Engagement Framework
  3. Massachusetts Family, School, and Community Partnership Fundamentals (the Fundamentals)
  4. Family and Community Engagement Requirements of ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act)

NOTE: According to Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education areas of the school visited by the COVID-19 positive individual must be closed off and/or cleaned and disinfected. The area can be used 12 hours after cleaning/disinfecting has occurred.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Our Schools, DESE FAQ Special Education Qs 36-39

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

The way in which our children learn and our educators teach to begin this school year will be will challenging for both to say the least. Regardless of the reopening model chosen by your school district, all schools will be providing remote learning to some extent. Parents whose children require special education in the COVID-19 environment may be struggling with how these necessary changes may impact the ability of school districts to meet their children's needs.  The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has put together a FAQ to help parents navigate these uncharted waters. 

Please note supplemental information can be found on the Department's website at DESE COVID-19 Information and Resources.

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

The Massachusetts DESE recommends that districts and schools select high quality, and subject areas.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Special Education Related Services, and Models of Learning

Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)

36) Will districts continue to receive referrals to Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)? 

Yes, districts should continue to accept referrals from families, caregivers, and Early Intervention (EI) programs, in accordance with Child Find requirements. EI programs will refer all children who are potentially eligible for ECSE and who will be turning 3. EI regulations require the EI program to make referrals at least 90 days before the child’s third birthday.

37) Do districts need to complete the eligibility process for children referred from EI? 

Districts must accept and act on referrals from EI providers. This includes attending the virtual Transition Planning Conference (TPC), reviewing existing and EI assessments, and conducting an evaluation of the child to determine if the child is eligible for special education services.

For districts that were unable to complete the eligibility process without a face-to-face assessment, an extension of EI services was made available for children who turned 3 between March 15, 2020 and August 31, 2020. For those students, EI services can continue until special education eligibility determination can be completed and the child has transitioned to special education, or until October 15, 2020. Because many districts may have been unable to conduct evaluations, convene IEP meetings, and initiate services by the child’s third birthday, and children may have been supported through this extension of EI services, districts can expect an increased number of children for whom they need to complete the eligibility determination process and an increased number of children needing special education services. District leaders should be prepared to complete the transition process, have completed assessments, and an IEP signed for this group of students by October 15, 2020.

38) How can schools and districts complete the eligibility process for young children if they cannot complete a face-to-face assessment?

Schools and districts are encouraged to consider any and all evaluation information that is already available, and conduct additional assessments that are needed, as appropriate for the child under consideration.Schools and districts should make a decision regarding the feasibility of completing the eligibility determination process on an individual basis. Use the following guide for each child to determine if the eligibility process can be completed. See above for further guidance related to assessments.

For some young children, face-to-face assessments will be necessary to determine eligibility. If assessments cannot be completed, and the child has been identified as potentially eligible for ECSE by Early Intervention providers, the following special considerations should be discussed with families:

  1. Provide learning opportunities in general education preschool, if available.
  2. Consult with Regional Consultation Program (RCP) specialists to provide resources to families and/or schools and districts.
  3. Connect with Coordinated Family and Community Engagement (CFCE) grantees for families to receive supports and remote playgroup opportunities.
  4. Collaborate with local EI programs on how to support the transition. With concurrence from the family, EI programs may complete additional assessments that may facilitate the process for determining eligibility. The EI program may request a waiver from the DPH to support and prepare the family for the transition. The waiver is not intended for the continuation of Individuals Family Service Plan (IFSP) services after the child’s third birthday.

39) What are the service options for children who are transitioning from EI to ECSE?

After eligibility is determined, there are options for the provision of services.

  1. IEP teams can decide to:
    1. Continue the IFSP for one year after the child is found eligible for ECSE. Services are considered Part B services and are provided by local schools and districts.
    2. Contract with EI providers to provide services and to support EC transition.
  2. Write an IEP
    1. Your staff can provide services, or
    2. District, and EI staff can collaboratively provide services to support EC transition.
  3. Write a partial IEP and conduct an extended evaluation.

Additional resources are available from the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA), including information about eligibility determinations and transitions.

NOTE: According to Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education areas of the school visited by the COVID-19 positive individual must be closed off and/or cleaned and disinfected. The area can be used 12 hours after cleaning/disinfecting has occurred.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Our Schools, DESE FAQ Special Education Qs 31-35

9/16/2020 (Permalink)

The way in which our children learn and our educators teach to begin this school year will be will challenging for both to say the least. Regardless of the reopening model chosen by your school district, all schools will be providing remote learning to some extent. Parents whose children require special education in the COVID-19 environment may be struggling with how these necessary changes may impact the ability of school districts to meet their children's needs.  The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has put together a FAQ to help parents navigate these uncharted waters. 

Please note supplemental information can be found on the Department's website at DESE COVID-19 Information and Resources.

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

The Massachusetts DESE recommends that districts and schools select high quality, and subject areas.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Special Education Related Services, and Models of Learning

Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA) Information

31) How should schools and districts communicate with and send documents to the BSEA? 

During the COVID-19 crisis, the BSEA is maintaining minimal staff onsite. Therefore,administrative tasks that are not governed by timelines may take longer to fulfill (e.g., processing rejected IEPs). With regard to notice of rejected IEPs, if mailing or faxing documents is not feasible, notice of rejected IEPs can now be sent via email to BSEA at BSEArejectedIEPs@mass.gov. By contrast, hearing requests must still be faxed or sent via U.S. mail.

Consistent with BSEA Standing Order 20-02C, to ensure timely receipt of submissions during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hearing Officers and Mediators may permit the submission of correspondence and documents electronically, in addition to paper filing (via fax or regular mail). Electronic submissions to BSEA must be simultaneously copied to all other parties. All hearing requests must be submitted via mail, fax, or hand delivery.

32) Can parties obtain an extension of due process hearing timelines?

While the IDEA provides that a final decision on a due process complaint must be issued not later than 45 days after the expiration of the 30-day resolution period, a hearing officer can grant an extension of time beyond the required timelines at the request of either party for good cause. The COVID-19 emergency does not per se constitute good cause; the hearing officer will make a case by case determination on requests for extension including considerations that may be COVID-19 related.

33) Are BSEA proceedings, including mediations, occurring remotely or in person?


Effective March 15, 2020, and consistent with BSEA Standing Order 20-01C, the BSEA is conducting all proceedings remotely/virtually until further notice. This includes mediations, facilitated IEP meetings, settlement conferences, pre-hearing conferences, and hearings.The BSEA will contact parties as the date of the scheduled proceeding approaches to make necessary arrangements. Any request for change of date, location, or medium for holding due process hearings will continue to be considered on a case by case basis by the hearing officer.

Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)

34) Do schools and districts need to complete developmental screenings as outlined in 603 CMR 28.03(1)(d)?


Yes. Schools and districts are required to complete Preschool Screenings for three and four-year-old children and for all children who are of age to enter kindergarten. Such screening shall be designed to review a child's development and to assist in identification of those children who should be referred for an evaluation to determine eligibility for special education services. The Department recognizes that schools and districts are conducting virtual interviews with families and caregivers to begin gathering information until in-person screening can occur, using current health and safety requirements.

35) Is there any specific guidance for submission of Child Outcome Summary (COS)/Indicator 7 data?

Data collection schedules and school or district cohort assignments are unchanged for Indicator 7/Early Childhood COS. Data for the COS will continue to be collected using the data collection schedule and cohort assignments. Schools and districts responsible for submitting COS data can expect to receive a letter by early October with information regarding data collection, timelines, and resources. 

As schools and districts are implementing their reopening plans, special education services and supports to students, ECSE programs can continue to report on each child’s outcomes for the COS. Meetings with team members to discuss progress and outcomes should be included in the planning process.

Additional resources for ECSE: 

Below are links to additional resources regarding special education and remote learning that may be helpful.

If you have concerns about the submission, please contact both;

Martha Daigle at Martha.S.Daigle@mass.gov  Carla Corina at corina.eval@outlook.com

to discuss individual circumstances.

NOTE: According to Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education areas of the school visited by the COVID-19 positive individual must be closed off and/or cleaned and disinfected. The area can be used 12 hours after cleaning/disinfecting has occurred.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Our Schools, DESE FAQ Special Education Qs 26-30

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

The way in which our children learn and our educators teach to begin this school year will be will challenging for both to say the least. Regardless of the reopening model chosen by your school district, all schools will be providing remote learning to some extent. Parents whose children require special education in the COVID-19 environment may be struggling with how these necessary changes may impact the ability of school districts to meet their children's needs.  The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has put together a FAQ to help parents navigate these uncharted waters. 

Please note supplemental information can be found on the Department's website at DESE COVID-19 Information and Resources.

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

The Massachusetts DESE recommends that districts and schools select high quality, and subject areas.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Special Education Related Services, and Models of Learning

Out-of-District Placements and Approved Special Education Schools and Programs

26) How can residential programs for students with IEPs maintain health and safety during the COVID-19 outbreak? 

The health and safety of the students and employees in residential schools is of utmost concern during the COVID-19 pandemic.The Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) issued guidance, most recently updated on April 14, 2020, addressing the specific procedures and protocols for residential, congregate care, and shelter providers. This guidance includes background on COVID-19, protective measures, ways to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19, cases and suspected cases in residents or employees, and information on testing, reporting COVID-19 cases, providing care to residents, personal protective equipment, deep cleaning, and monitoring the emotional health of employees. EOHHS will update this guidance as needed.

State and Federal Monitoring and Assistance

27) Will data submission timelines be enforced for Tiered Focused Monitoring activities and State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report indicators?

Tiered Focused Monitoring

Due date for submission of the Public School Tiered Focused Monitoring self-assessments and Indicator data has been extended to October 30, 2020:

  • Special education self-assessment?
  • Civil rights self-assessment?
  • English learner education self-assessment?
  • Indicator data submission for Indicators 11, 12 & 13?

Contact Tim Gallagher at

Phone: 781-338-3717 Email: Timothy.Gallagher2@mass.gov 

with questions related to the special education self-assessment, civil rights self-assessment and Indicator data submission.

Contact Sibel Hughes at

Phone: 781-338-3569    Email: Sibel.Hughes@mass.gov

with questions related to the English learner education self-assessment.

Indicator 7

See section on Early Childhood Special Education Services section for more information.

Indicator 14

Deadlines for Indicator 14 data submission have changed this year. The submission date is November 16, 2020. Schools and districts in Cohort 2 will use an online survey to learn about the further education and employment outcomes of their former students with IEPs. In July, the Department emailed all Cohort 2 special education administrators with detailed instructions for this year’s Indicator 14 data collection. For additional information, please contact Amanda Green at 781-338-3368 or Amanda.C.Green@mass.gov.

28) Will data submission timelines be enforced for program and mid-cycle reviews for collaboratives and approved special education day and residential programs in WBMS? 

Self-assessments for the 2020-2021 WBMS data submission for collaboratives and approved special education day and residential programs are due on August 24, 2020. Please contact Jannelle Roberts at:

Jannelle.K.Roberts@mass.gov

with questions or to discuss the individual circumstances of your collaborative or approved special education school if an extension is necessary.

29) Given the COVID-19 situation, can the period of availability for IDEA Part B grant funds be extended?

The U.S. Department of Education has approved Massachusetts’ waiver request for the extension to obligate IDEA FY19 funds.This means that FY19 IDEA funds (fund codes 240 & 262) set to expire on September 30, 2020 can now be used until September 30, 2021. If a school or district has any unexpended FY19 fund code 240 &fund code 262 funds, the Department urges the school or district to continue to spend down these funds first. If the district still has unexpended FY19 funds and would like to continue to use the funds until September 30, 2021, the Department’s Grants Management Office will automatically handle the obligation period adjustments for the school or district. Schools and districts do not need to take any extra steps to secure this additional time. Schools and districts may contact the Federal Grant Programs office with any questions at 

federalgrantprograms@doe.mass.edu. 

30) With the extended period of availability of funds, can the district have a second year (until September 30, 2021) to carry over any unspent FY19 proportionate share funds?

The extended period of availability of FY19 funds does not change the spending requirements and time frame in IDEA regarding the expenditure of a proportionate share of a district’s IDEA Part B funds on equitable services for parentally placed private school students with disabilities attending a private school located in the district, or eligible homeschool students. The district’s equitable services obligation must be spent in the year in which funds were appropriated or obligated during a carry-over period of one additional year. See Electronic Code of Federal Regulations 

NOTE: According to Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education areas of the school visited by the COVID-19 positive individual must be closed off and/or cleaned and disinfected. The area can be used 12 hours after cleaning/disinfecting has occurred.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Our Schools, DESE FAQ Special Education Qs 20-25

9/11/2020 (Permalink)

The way in which our children learn and our educators teach to begin this school year will be will challenging for both to say the least. Regardless of the reopening model chosen by your school district, all schools will be providing remote learning to some extent. Parents whose children require special education in the COVID-19 environment may be struggling with how these necessary changes may impact the ability of school districts to meet their children's needs.  The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has put together a FAQ to help parents navigate these uncharted waters. 

Please note supplemental information can be found on the Department's website at DESE COVID-19 Information and Resources.

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

The Massachusetts DESE recommends that districts and schools select high quality, and subject areas.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Special Education Related Services, and Models of Learning

IEP Meetings, Timelines, and Other Procedural Requirements

20) Can the Department offer flexibility to schools and districts on meeting procedural timelines?

On April 27, 2020, U.S. Secretary of Education DeVos issued a report to Congress, declining to recommend waivers to the core tenets of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This means that IDEA procedural timelines remain in effect. The Department has issued guidance to schools and districts on this topic. For more information, see COVID Special Education Technical Advisory 2020-2.

21) A student’s IEP expired during the period when in-person instruction was suspended. Will the IEP still be in effect?

Yes. The current IEP will remain in effect until a new IEP is developed and accepted, irrespective of the expired date reflected in the IEP form.

22) If the annual review of a student’s IEP is due, or if an IEP Team determines an IEP meeting is needed, how should the district hold the meeting if an in-person meeting is not possible?

IDEA regulations contemplate that IEP meetings may be held via telephone and/or video conference. Districts should continue to convene IEP Team meetings using these alternative means of meeting participation, if necessary. To convene an IEP meeting using telephone or video conferencing, districts must ensure that all IEP Team members, particularly those whose participation is required under IDEA, have access to necessary technology and accommodations to allow remote participation. Rather than using personal telephone lines or cell phones, school and district personnel may choose to use a third-party platform. For limited English proficient parents, districts must also ensure that interpreters are provided for IEP Team meetings and translate documents, when appropriate.

If required members of the IEP Team are unable to attend, IDEA regulations provide that Team members can be excused with agreement from the family, if:

  1. The district and the family agree, in writing, that the attendance of the Team member is not necessary because the member’s area of the curriculum or related services is not being modified or discussed; or
  2. The district and the family agree, in writing, to excuse a required Team member’s participation and the excused member provides written input into the development of the IEP to the family and the IEP Team prior to the meeting.

23) Should schools continue to issue student Progress Reports?

Yes. Schools, districts, collaborative programs, and approved special education schools must continue to issue student Progress Reports at least as often as report cards or progress reports are provided for students without disabilities in accordance with Special Education Laws.Progress Reports can be sent to families in multiple ways, e.g., U.S. mail, email, student information systems, or online communication platforms, and must be translated for families if necessary.

24) Should schools continue to maintain student health records?

Yes. Even though not all schools maintain electronic health records, schools should continue to maintain nursing documentation per the Department of Public Health (DPH). Records can be maintained through paper logs and/or by entering calls into the Student Information Management System (SIMS). DPH understands that it may not be possible for nurses to transfer all paper logs into electronic systems and encourages retaining all paper logs.

25) Should schools continue to submit Chapter 688 referrals for secondary students with severe disabilities?

Yes. Schools must continue to submit Chapter 688 referrals via the Virtual Gateway. These referrals are essential so that adult agencies (Department of Developmental Services, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commissioner, Department of Mental Health, Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, Department of Children and Families, and Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard or Hearing) can request the appropriate amount of funding from the legislature to serve students with IEPs who will turn 22 and are eligible for adult agency services. 688 referrals should be completed by the district two years before the student’s anticipated date of exit, but even late referrals are useful.

Districts should submit with the referral form, at a minimum, the student’s most recent IEP and three-year evaluation. Parent consent during this emergency can be in the form of wet signature or e-signature, email, or verbal consent documented in district staff notes. Questions about 688 filing or referral should be sent to:                     

Kathy Stern

NOTE: According to Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education areas of the school visited by the COVID-19 positive individual must be closed off and/or cleaned and disinfected. The area can be used 12 hours after cleaning/disinfecting has occurred.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Our Schools, DESE FAQ Special Education Qs 15-19

9/10/2020 (Permalink)

The way in which our children learn and our educators teach to begin this school year will be will challenging for both to say the least. Regardless of the reopening model chosen by your school district, all schools will be providing remote learning to some extent. Parents whose children require special education in the COVID-19 environment may be struggling with how these necessary changes may impact the ability of school districts to meet their children's needs.  The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has put together a FAQ to help parents navigate these uncharted waters. 

Please note supplemental information can be found on the Department's website at DESE COVID-19 Information and Resources.

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

The Massachusetts DESE recommends that districts and schools select high quality, and subject areas.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Special Education Related Services, and Models of Learning

Monitoring Student Progress

15) How can student progress be monitored during hybrid or remote learning?

Educators, service providers, parents/guardians, and students should review a student’s IEP to review the goals and objectives and identify the types of data that can be collected from the student, the family, and the home environment and develop a plan to collect ongoing data. Using the basic tenets of progress monitoring, school staff can reimagine their roles in a remote context, e.g., by using a tracking sheet to collect data from student videos, by interviewing parents/guardians and students, or by using assessments.

There are many resources to aid in this work, for example:

  1. The Texas Education Agency Phase 4 Remote Learning Plan Monitoring
  2. Student Progress Monitoring Tool for Data Collection and Graphing
  3. Measuring and Reporting Progress Toward Mastery of Annual Goals
  4. Data Collection During Distance Learning

Using Google Drive to Collect Data for IEP Goals

If parents/guardians are asked to assist with progress monitoring, please consider that some parents/guardians are limited English proficient and may need translations or interpretations to be able to effectively learn how to collect and communicate monitoring data to their school or district liaison.

16) How does the cancellation of the Spring 2020 administration of the MCAS impact competency determination requirements for students with IEPs who are anticipated to remain in secondary school until their 22nd birthday?

For general guidance on graduation for students with IEPs, please see the Department’s 2018 advisory, Secondary Transition Services and Graduation with a High School Diploma. Grade 12 students who were enrolled or received a certificate of attainment in March or End-of-Year SIMS and grade SP students who earned a certificate of attainment in End-of-Year SIMS are eligible to be considered for the modified competency determination (CD) if they have not yet passed one or more of the high school MCAS tests. Districts must certify the successful completion of at least one qualifying course via the ‘Competency Determination’ application in the DESE Security Portal, per instructions that have been shared with school or district administrators. The Security Portal application will be available through Friday, August 21, 2020. For further information, schools and districts should contact data@doe.mass.edu or visit DESE’s related guidance.

Schools and districts should also keep in mind that the MCAS appeals process is still available.

17) How does the cancellation of the Spring 2020 administration of the MCAS impact competency requirements for students with IEPs who do not meet the criteria referenced in the previous question?

For general guidance on graduation for students with IEPs, please see the Department’s 2018 advisory, Secondary Transition Services and Graduation with a High School Diploma. Schools and districts should also keep in mind that the MCAS appeals process is still available.

IEP Meetings, Timelines, and Other Procedural Requirements

18) Do schools need to make changes to the student’s IEP in order to provide services during a hybrid or remote model during the 2020-2021 school year?

No. It is not necessary to convene an IEP Team before providing learning opportunities and services to students with IEPs if a school or district is using a hybrid or remote model at the beginning of the school year. Additionally, it is not necessary to amend the IEP for the purpose of delivering hybrid or remote services. Please download the Special Education, Related Services, and Models of Learning for the Department’s recommendation for written documentation of modified in-person, hybrid, or remote instruction.

19) What should schools and districts do if a family does not respond to outreach or refuses services?

Schools and districts should make repeated and varied attempts to reach out and engage families. In these cases, schools and districts should document all attempts to engage with families. All communication should be in the primary language of the home, using interpreters and translating documents, when appropriate.

If a parent/guardian does not accept services for their son/daughter, the school or district should ask that the parent/guardian document this refusal in writing. If the parent/guardian does not submit anything in writing, the school or district should also document a summary of the conversation or issue a letter summarizing the conversation to ensure clear communication

NOTE: According to Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education areas of the school visited by the COVID-19 positive individual must be closed off and/or cleaned and disinfected. The area can be used 12 hours after cleaning/disinfecting has occurred.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Our Schools, DESE FAQ Special Education Qs 9-14

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

The way in which our children learn and our educators teach to begin this school year will be will challenging for both to say the least. Regardless of the reopening model chosen by your school district, all schools will be providing remote learning to some extent. Parents whose children require special education in the COVID-19 environment may be struggling with how these necessary changes may impact the ability of school districts to meet their children's needs.  The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has put together a FAQ to help parents navigate these uncharted waters. 

Please note supplemental information can be found on the Department's website at DESE COVID-19 Information and Resources.

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

The Massachusetts DESE recommends that districts and schools select high quality, and subject areas.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Special Education Related Services, and Models of Learning

9) What must schools and districts do to fulfill their responsibilities under IDEA equitable services?

IDEA equitable services requirements have not changed.Schools and districts remain responsible for all IDEA equitable services requirements, irrespective of whether the school or district is implementing an in-person, remote, or hybrid model of instruction and service delivery. Schools and districts should continue to engage in meaningful consultation with approved special education private school representatives and parents/guardians of parentally-placed private school students with disabilities, including parents/guardians of homeschool students, and include as part of consultation what, if any, changes in service delivery may be implemented in the new school year based on the instructional and service delivery model(s) implemented by the school or district.Consultation with the parents/guardians should be in the primary language of the home, using interpreters and translating documents, when appropriate.If changes are made to students’ service delivery, schools and districts must include those changes in the service plans developed in collaboration with students’ parents/guardians. As part of consultation, schools and districts should also discuss whether any unspent FY 20 funds will be carried over into FY 21.  

10) Should a school or district continue to provide in-person services to students with disabilities that have been prioritized for in-person instruction if their districts have received a designation of "red" based on cases per 100,000?

If a district receives a red designation for a high average daily case rate in the Department of Public Health’s weekly update, the decision to continue to provide in-person instruction to vulnerable students (including those with disabilities, English learners, and students who have not engaged with remote learning) needs to be made at the local level. Solely receiving a red designation does not in any way automatically mean that all in-person services have to be discontinued. In fact, DESE recommends that districts continue to provide as much in-person instruction as possible to vulnerable students using the key safety protocols outlined in our reopening guidance.

11) Will all students with IEPs be eligible for compensatory services because of the disruption of in-person instruction and service delivery from March 17 until the end of the 2020-2021 school year?

Whether a student is entitled to receive compensatory services because of the suspension of in-person instruction in the spring due to COVID-19, is a fact-specific and individualized determination to be made by the IEP Team. The Department has issued guidance on this topic. For more information, see COVID-19 Special Education Technical Assistance Advisory 2021-1.

12) If a student is presenting with behavior that requires them to be physically restrained and a staff member must restrain the student, should the student continue to wear a mask?

Schools and districts are required to implement preventive and proactive behavioral supports and interventions to prevent the need for a physical restraint. The Department maintains a commitment to the reduction of physical restraint in schools and reminds schools and districts that all relevant regulatory procedures, as outlined in 603 CMR 46.00, must be followed prior to, during, and subsequent to any physical restraint. If a student does need to be physically restrained, a mask should not be on the face of the student. If the student was wearing a mask prior to being placed in a physical restraint, the mask should be removed as soon as is practical and safe. Students in physical restraints should not wear masks, regardless of the behaviors they are exhibiting because masks may restrict airflow, preventing staff from effectively monitoring the student’s breathing, and the mask might be inhaled or swallowed by the student.

13) May homeschool students receive special education services delivered by the school or district, pursuant to the IEP?

Yes. Homeschool plans must be reviewed and approved in advance by the school or district, including the special education portion of the plan. Schools and districts are responsible for providing special education services to homeschool students pursuant to the IEP. Services may be provided in-person or through remote learning; communication with families is essential for understanding how services will be provided.This communication should be in the primary language of the home, using interpreters and translating documents, when appropriate.

Educational Resources

14) How can educators and administrators find resources to support remote and hybrid learning?

The Department has created and is continuously updating a spreadsheet with resources for educators and administrators, to assist them in their work with students and families.This spreadsheet can be found on the COVID-19 resources page of the Office of Special Education Planning and Policy Development (SEPP).

In addition, the Department provides information regarding special education guidance on the special education webpage. Other guidance issued by the Department can be found on the COVID-19 Guidance/On the Desktop Messages webpage.Nationally, USED has designated the National Center for Systemic Instruction (NCSI) as a resource hub for remotely-provided special education services and supports. NCSI’s resource library has been specifically created to share instructional resources and service delivery solutions.

NOTE: According to Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education areas of the school visited by the COVID-19 positive individual must be closed off and/or cleaned and disinfected. The area can be used 12 hours after cleaning/disinfecting has occurred.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Our Schools, DESE FAQ Special Education Qs 5-8

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

The way in which our children learn and our educators teach to begin this school year will be will challenging for both to say the least. Regardless of the reopening model chosen by your school district, all schools will be providing remote learning to some extent. Parents whose children require special education in the COVID-19 environment may be struggling with how these necessary changes may impact the ability of school districts to meet their children's needs.  The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has put together a FAQ to help parents navigate these uncharted waters. 

Please note supplemental information can be found on the Department's website at DESE COVID-19 Information and Resources.

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

The Massachusetts DESE recommends that districts and schools select high quality, and subject areas.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Special Education Related Services, and Models of Learning

5) How can schools and districts notify and document the implementation of a student’s IEP if the delivery of services is different than described in the student’s IEP(i.e.,in circumstances where the school or district is providing services through an in-person, remote, or hybrid learning model that may look different than traditionally delivered due to COVID-19)?

Teachers or IEP liaisons should contact students’ parents/guardians as soon as possible to discuss how a given student’s IEP service will be delivered if different than described in the student’s IEP, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Using input from that discussion, teachers or liaisons must provide parents/guardians with written documentation containing specific information about how IEP services will be delivered promptly at the start of the 2020-2021 school year. Examples of written documentation include the use of an N1,DESE’s sample “COVID-19 Special Education Learning Plan”, letter,or other means of written communication. Translations of this resource will be made available to schools and districts on DESE’s website.

This documentation should include how and where specialized services are being provided. If the remote model or remote portion of the hybrid model are being employed, this documentation should also include when the specialized services are being provided in remote. This documentation should be dated to reflect when services began. If plans change, revision dates should be added to the plan. This written documentation does not constitute an IEP amendment, and students retain stay-put rights through their IEP. Though parental consent is not required to implement the modified in-person, hybrid, or remote special education services plan, it is recommended for schools and districts to keep families informed of any changes in service delivery. Schools and districts can deliver written notification to families in multiple ways, e.g., U.S. mail, email, student information systems, or online communication platforms. Each communication should be in the primary language of the home, using interpreters and translating documents, when appropriate.

6) What types of services can be provided remotely? 

The U.S. Department of Education (USED) has stated that the IDEA does not mandate specific methodologies. Where technology itself imposes a barrier to access or where educational materials simply are not available in an accessible format, educators may still meet their legal obligations by providing children with IEPs equally effective alternate access to the curriculum or services provided to other students. For example, if a teacher who has a blind student in her class is working from home and cannot distribute a document accessible to that student, she can distribute to the rest of the class an inaccessible document and, if appropriate for the student, read the document over the phone to the blind student or provide the blind student with an audio recording of a reading of the document aloud. The Department encourages parents/guardians, educators, and administrators to collaborate creatively to continue to meet the needs of students with IEPs. Consider practices such as distance instruction, tele-therapy and tele-intervention, meetings held on digital platforms, online options for data tracking, and documentation. 

7) How can related services be provided during the suspension of in-person education? 

Related services can be provided remotely to students in accordance with the guidelines of their respective professional boards. Schools and districts should document the provision of related services in their written notification to parents.This communication should be in the primary language of the home, using interpreters and translating documents, when appropriate.

8) If a school or district chooses a hybrid or remote model, how does this impact special education students who receive services in community-based settings and students who participate in inclusive concurrent enrollment programs at institutions of higher education?

Although in-person participation in community-based programs and inclusive concurrent enrollment programs at institutions of higher education may be limited at this time, schools and districts should make best efforts to develop plans collaboratively with community-based providers, colleges, parents/guardians, and students in order to allow students access to as much programming as possible during COVID-19. Current health and safety requirements must remain a priority when making decisions about the extent to which transition services may be provided in the community. However, it is highly recommended that in-person transition services resume as soon as it is safe to do so with the proper health and safety measures in place.

NOTE: According to Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education areas of the school visited by the COVID-19 positive individual must be closed off and/or cleaned and disinfected. The area can be used 12 hours after cleaning/disinfecting has occurred.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Our Schools, DESE FAQ Special Education Qs 1-4

9/4/2020 (Permalink)

The way in which our children learn and our educators teach to begin this school year will be will challenging for both to say the least. Regardless of the reopening model chosen by your school district, all schools will be providing remote learning to some extent. Parents whose children require special education in the COVID-19 environment may be struggling with how these necessary changes may impact the ability of school districts to meet their children's needs.  The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has put together a FAQ to help parents navigate these uncharted waters. 

Please note supplemental information can be found on the Department's website at DESE COVID-19 Information and Resources.

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

The Massachusetts DESE recommends that districts and schools select high quality, and subject areas.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Special Education Related Services, and Models of Learning

1: How will schools and districts provide special education and related services to students with IEPs as schools reopen during this period of public health crisis from COVID-19?

As schools reopen, schools and districts must continue to provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) consistent with the need to protect the health and safety of students and staff. Students with IEPs must receive all services documented in their IEPs even if services are being delivered in a different service model (i.e.,modified in-person, hybrid or remote). The Department has recommended that certain categories of students be prioritized for in-person instruction even if schools and districts are operating in a hybrid or remote model. Specifically, preschool-age students with IEPs and students with disabilities who have been prioritized for in-person instruction should receive in-person instruction to the greatest extent feasible.

2: How will schools and districts provide special education and related services to students with IEPs during periods when a school or district is providing instruction a hybrid or remote model because of COVID-19?

Even if schools or districts are operating in a hybrid or remote model, educators and administrators must make every effort to continue to provide up to full-time in person instruction for students with disabilities, particularly preschool-aged students and those with who have been prioritized for in-person instruction.If in-person instruction cannot be provided, students must receive special education instruction and related services necessary to provide FAPE through an Instruction and Services model of delivery (e.g., structured lessons, tele-therapy, video-based lessons, etc.).

For school year 2020-2021, remote special education services must include the following components:

  1. A regular and consistent schedule of classes, interventions, services, and therapies as required by the student’s IEP, offered synchronously and/or asynchronously;
  2. Structured learning time designed so that the student can access state standards; and
  3. Frequent interactions with teachers and other staff members to ensure participation and engagement.

The consistent schedule of classes, interventions, services, and therapies must include time interacting directly with teachers and related service providers on a regular basis, as well as some independent work time, as appropriate, and opportunities for interacting with classmates. Synchronous remote lessons or tele-therapy sessions can be provided via telephone or video conferencing. Students might also benefit from asynchronous pre-recorded videos of lessons to follow at home. For students receiving the majority of their daily instruction through special education, teachers and therapists should assign supplemental work (beyond lessons taught synchronously or asynchronously) during the school day that can be accomplished independently with guidance from and accountability to the teacher or therapist.For more detailed information, please see the Comprehensive Guidance on Fall 2020 Special Education Services. For guidance and for specific resources on educating students with IEPs, please see Additional Resources for Supporting Students with Disabilities for All Educators and Providers.

3: How often should schools and districts communicate with parents/guardians during the 2020-2021 school year? 

The Department strongly recommends that schools and districts cultivate excellent two-way communication with families. Schools and districts should ensure that appropriate staff(e.g., classroom teacher, special education teacher, or other service provider) communicate regularly with parents/guardians.The frequency and type of communication will vary depending on the child’s individual needs, the availability of the Team member, and the mode of communication.

The Department recommends that school and district personnel document their communication with families.Communication can include direct conversations, office hours, emails, texts, and webinars for parents/guardians.The communication should be in the primary language of the home, using interpreters and translating documents, when appropriate.

4: How can schools and districts complete the special education initial eligibility process if they cannot complete a face-to-face assessment?

Schools and districts are encouraged to consider any and all evaluation information that is already available, and conduct additional assessments that are needed, as appropriate, for the child under consideration for special education eligibility.

Schools and districts should make a decision regarding the feasibility of completing the eligibility determination process on an individual basis. Professionals should use their best judgment in determining whether the existing data review provides sufficient information for some aspects of a student’s evaluation and, if not sufficient, developing a plan for completing all special education assessments in-person or remotely.

Based on professional judgment, it may be determined that a special education assessment or parts of an assessment may be conducted remotely. Factors involved in professional judgment and supporting a determination as to whether a special education assessment can be conducted remotely include:

  1. Referring to guidance of the relevant professional organization(s) of the particular evaluator conducting the assessment at the state or national level.
  2. Consulting the assessment’s publisher regarding technical/interpretive guidelines for remote administration.
  3. Relying on evaluators as to whether an entire assessment or parts of an assessment may be conducted remotely.
  4. Taking into consideration current knowledge and circumstances of the student and making individualized decisions.
  5. Consulting with the special education administrator.
  6. Considering the use of alternative assessment tools to assess all areas of suspected disability.
  7. Continuing to monitor for developments in the manner assessments can be conducted remotely and, as developments emerge, revisit earlier decisions not to assess, as appropriate.

NOTE: According to Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education areas of the school visited by the COVID-19 positive individual must be closed off and/or cleaned and disinfected. The area can be used 12 hours after cleaning/disinfecting has occurred.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Our Schools, DESE Remote Learning Guidance

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

By now most parents of the Commonwealth know which of the three possible education models their school districts have chosen to begin the 2020-2021 academic year. The possibilities are:

  1. In-person - learning with new and enhanced safety requirements
  2. Hybrid - some combination of In-person (with new and enhanced safety requirements) and remote learning
  3. Remote - 100% remote learning environment

The way in which our children learn and our educators teach to begin this school year will be will challenging for both to say the least. Regardless of the reopening model chosen by your school district, all schools will be providing remote learning to some extent. To ensure that our children's learning experience is not diminished by these significant changes to their leaning structure the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has offered the following guidance to be used when developing the curriculum for hybrid and remote learning models.

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

The Massachusetts DESE recommends that districts and schools select high quality, comprehensive curriculum and instructional materials when developing the curriculum for remote based learning. There are many resources available that provide supplemental virtual content that educators can incorporate in a way that builds upon their current curriculum, enhances student engagement, voice, and choice, and that meets specific needs for delivering instruction remotely. Below is a list of vetted virtual content resources for various grade spans and subject areas.

Vetted Virtual Content Grades K-2 

  1. Reading Foundational Skills
    1. Flyleaf - Publishing
    2. EVERFI - Free Early Literacy Digital Lessons
    3. Heggerty - Phonemic Awareness Curriculum
  2. Engaging With Complex Text and Writing
    1. Core Knowledge - Language Arts
    2. EL Education - Literacy Education
    3. Great Minds - K-8
    4. In K-2, this should entail read-aloud with discussion and response to text
  3. Independent Reading or Listening
    1. Epic - Trackable Personalize Daily Reading
    2. Rivet - Rewards Based Reading App
    3. Stories Podcast - Audio Book Style Podcast
    4. Local libraries’ digital lending services
  4. Math
    1. Great Minds - K-8
    2. Khan Academy - K-12 Personalized Digital Learning
    3. ST Math - Early Learning through Middle School Math
    4. ZEARN Math - K-5 Digital Math Curriculum
  5. Science, Technology and Engineering
    or History and Social Science
    1. C3 Inquires - K-12 Inquiry Based Social Studies Curriculum
    2. KidCitizen - K-12 Interactive Government and Civil Engagement Curriculum
    3. Mystery Science - K-5 Science Video Lessons
    4. NSTA Daily Do - K-12 Remote Learning Curriculum
    5. Next Generation Science - K-12 Science Unit Lessons
  6. Arts and Physical Education
    1. BrainPop Jr. - Music
    2. Carle’s Art Studio - Visual Art
    3. PBS - Theatre
    4. PBS - Dance
  7. Exploration and Play
    1. Young children learn through exploration and play, such as building with blocks, exploring nature, pretend play, and games. Schools should support students in grades K-2 to learn through play at home and can provide resources such as:
      1. Family Reading Games - You Tube
      2. Boston Children’s Museum Play and Learning Activities

Vetted Virtual Content Grades 3-5

  1. Reading Foundational Skills
    1. Florida Center for Reading Research
  2. Engaging With Complex Text and Writing
    1. Core Knowledge - Language Arts
    2. EL Education - Literacy Education
    3. Great Minds - K-8
  3. Independent Reading or Listening
    1. Epic - Trackable Personalize Daily Reading
    2. Rivet - Rewards Based Reading App
    3. Local libraries’ digital lending services
  4. Math
    1. Great Minds - K-8
    2. Khan Academy - K-12 Personalized Digital Learning
    3. ST Math - Early Learning through Middle School Math
    4. ZEARN Math - K-5 Digital Math Curriculum
  5. Science, Technology and Engineering 
    1. Mystery Science - K-5 Science Video Lessons
    2. NSTA Daily Do - K-12 Remote Learning Curriculum
    3. Next Generation Science - K-12 Science Unit Lessons
  6. History and Social Science
    1. C3 Inquires - K-12 Inquiry Based Social Studies Curriculum
    2. KidCitizen - K-12 Interactive 
  7. Arts and Physical Education
    1. NAEA’s Remote Learning Toolkit - National Art Education Association for Visual Arts Educators - Visual Art
    2. PBS - Theatre 
    3. PBS - Dance
    4. Smithsonian Folkways - Music

Vetted Virtual Content Grades 6-8

  1. ELA/Literacy
    1. CommonLit - Free Digital Reading Curriculum
    2. EL Education - Literacy Education
    3. Great Minds - K-8
  2. Math
    1. Carnegie Learning - Continuous Digital Learning Resources
    2. Great Minds - K-8
    3. Khan Academy - K-12 Personalized Digital Learning
    4. Illustrative Math
      1. ST Math
      2. Kendall Hunt
      3. LearnZillion
      4. McGraw-Hill
  3. Science, Technology and Engineering 
    1. Concord Consortium - Interactive STEM Activities
    2. NSTA Daily Do - K-12 Remote Learning Curriculum
    3. Next Generation Science - K-12 Science Unit Lessons
  4. History and Social Science
    1. C3 Inquires - K-12 Inquiry Based Social Studies Curriculum
    2. Facing History - Helping Students Learn From Humanity's Past Mistakes
    3. iCivics - Delivers Engaging, and Equitable Civic Curriculum
    4. Stanford History Education Group - Investigative Historical Curriculum
  5. World Languages, Digital Literacy, Computer Science, and/or Electives
    1. Code.- Computer Science Learning Portal
    2. Digital Citizenship - Learn How To Navigate The Digital World
  6. Arts and Physical Education
    1. Citizen DJ - Music/Theatre/Media Arts 
    2. NAEA’s Remote Learning Toolkit - National Art Education Association for Visual Arts Educators - Visual Art
    3. PBS - Theatre 
    4. PBS - Dance
    5. Smithsonian Folkways - Music
  7. Independent Reading
    1. Project Gutenberg - Online Library of Free Books
    2. Local libraries’ digital lending services

NOTE: According to Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education areas of the school visited by the COVID-19 positive individual must be closed off and/or cleaned and disinfected. The area can be used 12 hours after cleaning/disinfecting has occurred.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Our Schools, DESE Available Resources, Materials and Considerations For High Schools

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

By now most parents of the Commonwealth know which of the three possible education models their school districts have chosen to begin the 2020-2021 academic year. The possibilities are:

  1. In-person - learning with new and enhanced safety requirements
  2. Hybrid - some combination of In-person (with new and enhanced safety requirements) and remote learning
  3. Remote - 100% remote learning environment

The way in which our children learn and our educators teach to begin this school year will be will challenging for both to say the least. Regardless of the reopening model chosen by your school district, all schools will be providing remote learning to some extent. To ensure that our children's learning experience is not diminished by these significant changes to their leaning structure the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has offered the following resources, materials as well as guidance to consider when developing curriculum for high school students.

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Resources Available To School Districts

Providing students and teachers with access to stronger curricular materials can be a powerful way to narrow opportunity gaps and accelerate student learning at scale. During these difficult times school and district leaders lack the time and information necessary to make well-informed decisions about curriculum. 

The CURATE project is DESE's response to this opportunity and need. The project's goal is to make it easier for schools and districts to lay a foundation of great curricular materials in every classroom, so that teachers can focus on making those materials work for the students they know best.

View quick reference guides on critical components of curriculum:

  1. Assessing your curriculum landscape
  2. Aligning curriculum to Massachusetts standards
  3. Ensuring curricular coherence

View the rubrics CURATE panels use to evaluate curricular materials (English Language Arts and Literacy; Mathematics; Science and Technology/Engineering)

  1. CURATE English Language Arts & Literacy Rubric
  2. CURATE Mathematics Rubric
  3. CURATE Science & Technology/Engineering Rubric

High-Quality Instructional Materials and Remote

It is paramount to ensure that every student in Massachusetts has access to a safe and supportive school environment that cultivates academic curiosity and confidence. Students have equitable access to an excellent education. Students read meaningful texts across content areas, work on complex real-world problems, participate in the arts, and share their ideas through speaking and writing using evidence, all in an effort to understand the world, their personal identities and their roles in the world.

Instruction is most powerful when educators have strong content knowledge and access to high-quality instructional materials and professional learning that promote inclusive practice accessible to all students, including English learners and students with disabilities; support authentic, engaging, and interdisciplinary student learning experiences; and invest families and students in their learning.

To support standards-based learning, we believe that every student should engage:

  • with grade-appropriate text every day
  • with meaningful real-world problems every day
  • in scientific conversations using data every week

DESE’s is offering a 5-Part online module series though its Center for Instructional Support. This seriesreviews key instructional practices and provides tips and strategies for remote teaching aligned to the Standards and Indicators of Effective Practice and the MA Curriculum Frameworks for ELA/Literacy, Math, History/Social Science, and Science.

To inquire about registering for this series contact: 

Claire Abbott @ Claire.J.Abbott@mass.gov

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is sharing recommendations for high-quality materials that support all district contexts and include free resources (open education resources). CCSSO runs the High-Quality Instructional Materials and Professional Development (IMPD) Network that currently supports eight states
(Delaware, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Wisconsin) to significantly increase the number of
districts selecting high-quality, standards aligned instructional materials and to increase the number of pre-service and in-service teachers
receiving professional development grounded in the use of those materials. To view their recommendations click here.

Special Considerations for Grades 9-12

High school schedules differ from those of younger students in that coursework completion and grading “fuels” a high school transcript that is used to provide information and give access to opportunity for post-secondary life in college and career. Also, in high school, courses are typically taken just once, and that content will not be repeated in their educational career. Thus, it is critical that high school students receive schedules based on their individual credit and course content needs.

Students should enroll in courses according to the school’s normal requirements and processes, with the goal of mastering grade-level skills and building college and career readiness. School officials, in counsel with the student and reflecting on that student’s skills and priorities, should design a full and appropriate schedule for each individual student. Then the student should receive remote instruction and coursework for each of those courses commensurate with what they would have received in person. While high school schedules are much more varied than schedules at other educational levels, schools should assure that students are accessing the skills and knowledge detailed in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for their grade level. In cases where schools have limited teaching staff to support remote courses (such as for particular courses), districts may consider purchasing individual courses with certified educators provided, such as through a partnership with Commonwealth Virtual Schools. Click here to visit the website.

Schools and districts should also consider student agency throughout the scheduling process. High school students should have an opportunity to plan for their academic, personal/social, and career success through an individual planning process such as My Career and Academic Plan. This may include scheduled time with school counselors and other engaged educators to meet the needs of college and career planning in both a group and individual setting.  

NOTE: According to Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education areas of the school visited by the COVID-19 positive individual must be closed off and/or cleaned and disinfected. The area can be used 12 hours after cleaning/disinfecting has occurred.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Our Schools, DESE 3 Critical Areas For Successful Remote Learning

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

By now most parents of the Commonwealth know which of the three possible education models their school districts have chosen to begin the 2020-2021 academic year. The possibilities are:

  1. In-person - learning with new and enhanced safety requirements
  2. Hybrid - some combination of In-person (with new and enhanced safety requirements) and remote learning
  3. Remote - 100% remote learning environment

The way in which our children learn and our educators teach to begin this school year will be will challenging for both to say the least. Regardless of the reopening model chosen by your school district, all schools will be providing remote learning to some extent. To ensure that our children's learning experience is not diminished by these significant changes to their leaning structure the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has identified three (3) critical areas to focus on when developing the upcoming educational curriculum.

  1. High-quality Curriculum And Instructional Materials
  2. Organizing Student Schedules For Structured Learning Time
  3. Organizing Educator Time To Maximize Time With Students

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

High-quality Curriculum And Instructional Materials

According to the DESE, more than ever, strong curricular materials are critical during this uncertain time.  Studies have shown that districts that have coherent, high-quality curriculum have been able to pivot more easily and have seen more coherence among teachers during the pandemic. They help teachers align their expectations to state standards designed to keep students on track for success while providing guidance on how to tailor instruction to individual students’ needs. They are engaging, challenging, and culturally-relevant. Additionally, compared to other popular interventions, simply upgrading learning materials is a more cost-effective option. 

The Department has compiled a number of resources to support districts in selecting and using high-quality curriculum and instructional materials and in supporting teachers to bring them to life, especially in hybrid or remote learning environments. Visit the DESE website to view these recommendations.

Organizing Student Schedules For Structured Learning Time

All students, including those learning remotely, must receive at least the minimum amount of required instruction for the 2020-2021 school year:

  1. 850 hours for elementary schools, or 5 hours per day over 170 days
  2. 935 hours for secondary schools, or 5.5 hours per day over 170 days

Throughout the school day and week, students learning remotely should experience a combination of instructional activities, such as:

  1. live, synchronous instruction
  2. small group or individual academic support
  3. asynchronous, independent work time

Students should also have access to teachers or staff members at a regularly scheduled time to monitor ongoing progress and needs. With family input, schools should create and adhere to a consistent schedule of synchronous and asynchronous learning time for each child.

During asynchronous periods, schools should provide clear expectations for what students should be working on, what they need to submit, and when any assignments are due. Schools should take into consideration student and family schedules and allow for flexibility for students to complete asynchronously assigned tasks based on family schedules (such as in the evenings, on the following day, or at the end of a week). Students and families should clearly understand how attendance will be taken, how they will receive feedback on work completed asynchronously, and how they will be evaluated (such as grades).

Whether they are engaging in synchronous or asynchronous work, students learning remotely should have access to rigorous, relevant content; spend time in a range of content areas, including specials and enrichment; and have opportunities to exercise their voice and choice in activities.

Organizing Educator Time To Maximize Time With Students

For districts and schools operating an in-person or hybrid learning model, educators and staff members may be stretched across multiple learning environments, limiting their ability to directly engage with all students at all times. In these cases, it may be necessary for a district or school to supplement live teacher instruction and support with asynchronous, student-directed content. In these scenarios, it is recommended that:

  1. Students have opportunities to connect with adults from school as often as possible but at least once a day, for both relationship-building and academic support.
  2. Schools provide as much synchronous instruction and/or direct support as possible.
  3. Teachers provide regular, targeted, individualized or small-group instruction to students who are not meeting grade-level standards or who need additional support.

Districts and schools that are operating fully remotely are not limited by the same staffing constraints that in-person and hybrid models may experience.In this model, it is recommended that:

  1. Educators provide direct services to students for a comparable amount of time as they would typically provide in person, with students receiving direct instruction, support, or having access to a teacher for the majority of the scheduled school day.
  2. Schools and districts maximize the use of all educators to support students, including teaching or co-teaching a class, working with students individually or in small groups, facilitating independent work time, hosting advisory or office hours, providing feedback on student work, meeting with students and families, etc.
  3. Educators incorporate a variety of instructional activities, including those that allow students to move away from or turn off their screens and those that include physical movement, reading, writing, and working with physical materials.

NOTE: According to Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education areas of the school visited by the COVID-19 positive individual must be closed off and/or cleaned and disinfected. The area can be used 12 hours after cleaning/disinfecting has occurred.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Our Schools, DESE Protocol, Staff is Symptomatic

8/31/2020 (Permalink)

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has worked closely with Governor Baker's administration, public health officials, and community leaders to develop guidelines to follow should a specific COVID-19 scenario arise in a school district. As parents face the difficult decision about if and how their child will return to school this fall we believe it is critical for parents to understand the totality of any potential risks that exists and know in advance what the contingency plans are. The Massachusetts DESE has issued guidance for schools, districts, and individualized education program teams that identifies potential scenarios along with case specific protocols for responding to each specific COVID-19 scenarios.

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Protocol: Staff Member Is Symptomatic At Home

Staff members should monitor themselves at home each morning for the most common symptoms of COVID-19 (see list, CDC Covid-19 symptom checker). According to the Massachusetts DESE the following protocols should be inplace and executed upon should a staff member determine that they are symptomatic at home.

  1. If the staff member determines that they DO NOT have any symptoms: 
    • They are cleared to go into work.
  2. If the staff member determines that they DO HAVE symptoms: 
    1. They should not go to work.
    2. They must contact the COVID-19 POC and/or other absence reporting mechanism established by the school.
    3. Current Massachusetts DPH guidance is that all symptomatic individuals in Massachusetts, even those with mild symptoms, should be tested. An individual who does not wish to be tested may return to school ten (10) days from start of symptoms, as long as their symptoms have improved and they have been without fever for at least 24 hours prior to their return to school without the use of fever reducing medication.
    4. The staff member should get tested at one of Massachusetts’s test sites. Sites may require pre-screening, a referral, and/or an appointment.
    5. Isolate at home until test results are returned.
    6. Proceed as follows according to test results:
      1. If test results are NEGATIVE:
        • Staff member may return to school after they have tested negative for COVID-19, have improvement in symptoms, and have been without fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications. If a provider makes an alternative diagnosis for the COVID-19-like symptoms, the individual may return to school based on the recommendations for that alternative diagnosis (e.g., influenza or strep pharyngitis).
      2. If test results are POSITIVE:
        1. Staff member should remain at home (except to get medical care), monitor their symptoms, notify the school, notify personal close contacts, assist the school in contact tracing efforts, and answer the call from local board of health or Massachusetts Community Tracing Collaborative. Most people who have relatively mild illness will need to stay in self-isolation for at least ten (10) days and until at least three (3) days have passed with no fever and improvement in other symptoms. FOLLOW STEPS UNDER:  “Protocol: Student or staff tests positive for COVID-19.”

Protocol: Staff Member Is Symptomatic At School

Staff members should monitor themselves at home each morning for the most common symptoms of COVID-19 (see list, CDC Covid-19 symptom checker). As noted above, staff should be encouraged not to come to school if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.

According to the Massachusetts DESE the following protocols should be inplace and executed upon should a staff member determine that they are symptomatic at home.

  1. If a staff member suspects any symptoms during the day, they should follow the school’s protocols for getting another adult to cover their class mid-day, if needed, and see the school nurse (or school medical point of contact) to be evaluated for symptoms.
  2. Upon evaluation if the staff member displays NO SIGNS of symptoms:
    • The staff member should follow the school’s standard protocols for being excused due to illness.
  3. Upon evaluation if the staff member displays ANY SIGNS of symptoms:
    1. Current Massachusetts DPH guidance is that all symptomatic individuals in Massachusetts, even those with mild symptoms, should be tested. An individual who does not wish to be tested may return to school ten (10) days from start of symptoms, as long as their symptoms have improved and they have been without fever for at least 24 hours prior to their return to school without the use of fever reducing medication.
    2. The staff member should get tested at one of Massachusetts’s test sites. Sites may require pre-screening, a referral, and/or appointment.
    3. Isolate at home until test results are returned.
    4. Proceed as follows according to test results:
      1. If the test results are NEGATIVE:
        • Staff member may return to school after they have tested negative for COVID-19, have improvement in symptoms, and have been without fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications. If a provider makes an alternative diagnosis for the COVID-19-like symptoms, the individual may return to school based on the recommendations for that alternative diagnosis (e.g., influenza or strep pharyngitis).
      2. If the test results are POSITIVE:
        1. Staff member should remain at home (except to get medical care), monitor their symptoms, notify the school, notify personal close contacts, assist the school in contact tracing efforts, and answer the call from local board of health or Massachusetts Community Tracing Collaborative. Most people who have relatively mild illness will need to stay in self-isolation for at least 10 days and until at least 3 days have passed with no fever and improvement in other symptoms. FOLLOW STEPS UNDER: “Protocol: Student or staff tests positive for COVID-19.”

NOTE: According to Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education areas of the school visited by the COVID-19 positive individual must be closed off and/or cleaned and disinfected. The area can be used 12 hours after cleaning/disinfecting has occurred.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Our Schools, DESE Protocol, A Student Is Symptomatic At School

8/27/2020 (Permalink)

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has worked closely with Governor Baker's administration, public health officials, and community leaders to develop guidelines to follow should a specific COVID-19 scenario arise in a school district. As parents face the difficult decision about if and how their child will return to school this fall we believe it is critical for parents to understand the totality of any potential risks that exists and know in advance what the contingency plans are. The Massachusetts DESE has issued guidance for schools, districts, and individualized education program teams that identifies potential scenarios along with case specific protocols for responding to each specific COVID-19 scenarios.

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Protocol: Student Is Symptomatic At School

According to the Massachusetts DESE the following protocols should be inplace and executed upon should a student become symptomatic while at school.

Although families are the most important first line of defense for monitoring symptoms, teachers will play an important role in referring possible symptomatic students to the school nurse or other medical point of contact. (Note: This will require training for teachers.)

  1. Teacher must ensure the student is wearing a mask that fully covers nose and mouth at all times.
  2. Teacher calls the nurse or school medical point of contact to inform them that they have a possible case. Nurse or school medical point of contact comes to get the student from class.
  3. Nurse (or school medical point of contact) should evaluate the student for symptoms (see list, CDC Covid-19 symptom checker).
    1. If ANY Covid-19 symptoms exist:
      1. Place the student in the designated medical waiting room. This space must be supervised. If feasible, schools are encouraged to provide individual students with their own waiting room. If more than one student is in the same waiting room at a time, each student must be at least 6 feet apart (and should be spaced as far apart as possible) and wearing a surgical mask (non-N95 and non-cloth) while in the medical waiting room. If a student does not already have a surgical mask, the school should provide one. Schools must also be equipped with the PPE for the staff involved with supervision of the waiting room. Strict mask wearing covering the nose and mouth at all times for every person in the room must be enforced. Students can work on individual schoolwork or other activities while in the medical waiting room.
      2. Contact caregiver for pick-up.
        1. Caregiver can pick up the student during the day
          • Student waits to be picked up in the medical waiting room. Caregivers must wear a mask/face covering when picking up their student. Students should not ride the school bus to get home. Caregivers and students should wash their hands upon arriving at home and change their clothes as a precaution.
        2. Caregiver cannot pick up the student during the day:
          • The student should wait in the medical waiting room until the end of the day to be picked up by caregiver. The student should not go home on a school bus with other students.
      3. Current Massachusetts DPH guidance is that all symptomatic individuals in Massachusetts, even those with mild symptoms, should be tested. An individual who does not wish to be tested may return to school ten (10) days from start of symptoms, as long as their symptoms have improved and they have been without fever for at least 24 hours prior to their return to school without the use of fever reducing medication.
      4. Student should get tested at one of Massachusetts’s test sites. Sites may require pre-screening, a referral, and/or appointment.
      5. Isolate at home until test results are returned.
      6. Proceed as follows according to test results:
        1. IF NEGATIVE: Students may return to school after they have tested negative for COVID-19, have improvement in symptoms, and have been without fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications. If a provider makes an alternative diagnosis for the COVID-19-like symptoms, the individual may return to school based on the recommendations for that alternative diagnosis (e.g., influenza or strep pharyngitis).
        2. IF POSITIVE: Student must remain at home (except to get medical care), monitor their symptoms, notify the school, notify personal close contacts, assist the school in contact tracing efforts, and answer the call from local board of health or Massachusetts Community Tracing Collaborative. Most people who have relatively mild illness will need to stay in self-isolation for at least ten (10) days and until at least three (3) days have passed with no fever and improvement in other symptoms. FOLLOW STEPS UNDER:Protocol: Student or staff tests positive for COVID-19.”
    2. If NO Covid-19 symptoms exist:
      • If the evaluation shows the student does not have any symptoms, send the student back to class.

NOTE: According to Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education areas of the school visited by the COVID-19 positive individual must be closed off and/or cleaned and disinfected. The area can be used 12 hours after cleaning/disinfecting has occurred.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Foxborough know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Foxborough are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Foxborough today for a free consultation - (508) 533-5305.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Foxborough want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

Planning To Reopen - Our Schools, DESE Protocol, A Student Is Symptomatic On The Bus

8/26/2020 (Permalink)

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has worked closely with Governor Baker's administration, public health officials, and community leaders to develop guidelines to follow should a specific COVID-19 scenario arise in a school district. As parents face the difficult decision about if and how their child will return to school this fall we believe it is critical for parents to understand the totality of any potential risks that exists and know in advance what the contingency plans are. The Massachusetts DESE has issued guidance for schools, districts, and individualized education program teams that identifies potential scenarios along with case specific protocols for responding to each specific COVID-19 scenarios.

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Protocol: Student Is Symptomatic On The Bus

According to the Massachusetts DESE the following protocols should be inplace and executed upon should a student become symptomatic while on the bus.

Although families are the most important first line of defense for monitoring symptoms, bus drivers and bus monitors also play an important role in flagging possible symptomatic students. Note: This will require training for bus drivers (and bus monitors, if applicable).

  1. If symptoms are noticed as the student is getting on the bus and if there is a caregiver present, do not allow student to board the bus. The caregiver should then Follow: “Protocol: Student is symptomatic at home.”
  2. If student is already on the bus, ensure student is masked and the student keeps mask on covering nose and mouth at all times. If the student does not have a mask, the bus driver should be equipped to provide one. 
  3. Ensure other students keep their masks on covering their nose and mouth at all times. Ensure student keeps required physical distance from other students.
  4. If not already open, windows should be opened as fully as possible, weather permitting.
  5. Bus driver/monitor should call ahead to the bus service dispatch. The bus service dispatch should be equipped with appropriate cell phone numbers for school and district personnel (nurse or other medical personnel). The dispatch should contact the school to inform the school nurse (or school medical point of contact) ofa possible symptomatic child.
  6. School nurse (or school medical point of contact) should meet the bus as it arrives, wearing a mask. As practical, student with possible symptoms should exit the bus first.
  7. Bus should be cleaned / disinfected.
  8. Nurse (or school medical point of contact) should evaluate the student for symptoms (see list above: CDC list of common symptoms of COVID-19).
    1. If the student displays any of the common symptoms of COVID-19 the nurse should place the student in the designated medical waiting room. This space must be supervised.  If feasible schools are encouraged to provide individual students with their own waiting room. If more than one student is in the same waiting room at a time, each student must be at least 6 feet apart (and should be spaced as far apart as possible) and wearing a surgical mask (non-N95 and non-cloth) while in the medical waiting room. If a student does not already have a surgical mask, the school should provide one. Schools must also be equipped with the PPE for the staff involved with supervision of the waiting room. Strict mask wearing covering the nose and mouth at all times for every person in the room must be enforced. Students can work on individual schoolwork or other activities while in the medical waiting room.
      1. Contact caregiver for pick-up.
        1. If the caregiver CAN PICK UP the student during the day:
          • Student waits to