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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Winterizing Your Kitchen in Norwood West Roxbury

8/27/2021 (Permalink)

Kitchen with white box overlay and Orange SERVPRO logo Before you know it fall will be here; now is the time to think ahead and plan ahead

Before you know it fall will be here; now is the time to think ahead and plan ahead. Apart from regular maintenance, it is time to wash the curtains, replace the shelf liners, and clean fixtures throughout your home.  This is the time to give your kitchen some attention:

  • Refrigerator: Remove all the contents, shelves, racks, bins, and trays, then wash everything with antibacterial cleaner. 
  • Stove: If your model is self-cleaning, then you know the drill. However, if not you can place a cup of ammonia in a ceramic dish in the oven overnight; be sure to wear gloves and open all nearby windows to prevent a fire.
  • Dishwasher: You will want to use some baking soda on a damp sponge and wipe down the interior liner.

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

Safety Tips for Fall Driving in Norwood West Roxbury

8/23/2021 (Permalink)

Fog in background with orange SERVPRO logo and text box As the fall months are getting closer, the weather will be shifting, so it is important to drive cautious in the coming months.

As the fall months are getting closer, the weather will be shifting, so it is important to drive cautious in the coming months. Here are some tips for you to remember: 

Visibility May Be Poor: Falling leaves, rain, or fog can limit your vision sometimes. If you find your visibility limited, slow down or pull over.

Watch for Children: Make sure to use extra caution around leaves piled at the curbside. Children love playing in large piles of leaves that can sometimes be hidden.

Slow Down on Wet Pavement: Always keep a safe distance behind the car in front of you, especially in rainy conditions. 

Be Prepared for Changing Weather: Try to always be prepared for a change in the weather by bringing a warm coat, rain gear, and gloves. 

Should a storm arise and cause damage to your home or business give us a call. SERVPRO of Norwood West Roxbury is available 24/7 including holidays and weekends.

Fall Cleaning Tips in Norwood West Roxbury

8/22/2021 (Permalink)

Leaves in background with orange box and orange SERVPRO logo. Roof gutters are traces that route water off your roof, it is really important to clean your gutters.

Roof gutters are traces that route water off your roof, it is really important to clean your gutters. If not taken care of, clogged gutters can cause water to pool on your roof, which can lead to water damage and structural damage. Poor gutter maintenance also leads to problems with siding, windows, doors, and foundations.

Some gutters have leaf-catching systems, but even these gutters need to be checked though. 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 to work it out.  Have a helper who can spot you on the ladder as needed. 

Also 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 Norwood West Roxbury is available 24/7 including holidays and weekends to assist you to get your home back to “Like it never even happened.”  

Autumn Home Maintenance Safety Tips in Norwood West Roxbury

8/22/2021 (Permalink)

Trees in background with white text box overlay As the weather starts to cool off you will find more people doing yard work and prepping for the new season.

As the weather starts to cool off you will find more people doing yard work and prepping for the new season. It can be therapeutic for people to work on their yard in these crisp months. 

Here are some safety tips should you decide to do yard work in the fall: 

Look Up Before Pruning Trees: Make sure you know the area before you start trimming your trees. Look for where power lines are before you set up your ladder.

Use Caution on Ladders: Your ladder should be placed on a flat, level surface. You will want to make sure to wear appropriate footwear.

Clean Up Fallen Leaves: Check to make sure all walkways and driveways are clear of falling leaves since wet leaves can make for a slippery pedestrian hazard. 

These are simple and easy little tips you can practice during the Autumn season to ensure safety all around you and your home. 

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

Summer Fires Safety Tips in Norwood West Roxbury

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

Fire in background with orange box and SERVPRO logo Fires can be caused in the summertime for various reasons: grilling outdoors, family gatherings, and celebrations.

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

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

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

Smoking Fires: Smoking fires are common throughout the year. Make sure to keep cigarettes are properly put out before throwing them on the ground. 

Summer is a time to enjoy the outdoors, have fun, and have plenty of gatherings. The weather isn’t the only thing that heats up during these few months; be aware of the risk of fires.


SERVPRO of Norwood West Roxbury is available 24/7 including holidays and weekends to assist you for your home restoration needs to get it back to “Like it never even happened.”  

Summer House Safety in Norwood West Roxbury

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

Summer yard in background with white text box overlay Summer is ending soon, but there are still many cookouts, bonfires, and outdoor activities happening.

Summer is ending soon, but there are still many cookouts, bonfires, and outdoor activities happening. All this time outside can lead to potential dangers. 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 Norwood West Roxbury is available 24/7 including holidays and weekends to assist you to get your home back to “Like it never even happened.”  

Fire prevention tips for your business in Norwood West Roxbury

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

Business Office background with orange box and SERVPRO logo These are quick-fire tips should your business need them. If you are looking for help in creating an Emergency Readiness Plan, contact us today.

A fire can cause severe damage to business structures, equipment, and more. An owner should focus on fire risk assessment, fire prevention, and education of the staff to help reduce your chance of fire damage.


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. Also, let employees be aware of the location of fire extinguishers throughout the building.
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.

These are quick-fire tips should your business need them. If you are looking for help in creating an Emergency Readiness Plan, contact us today for no cost. 


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

National Grilling Season in Norwood West Roxbury

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Grill in background with white overlay box and text July is National Grilling Month, how will you enjoy your cookouts?

July is National Grilling Month, how will you enjoy your cookouts?

Enjoy the whole family together by using the grill. There's nothing better than outdoor cooking, so enjoy summer by entertaining with the best kinds of summer food.

However, along with grills can come fires. Here are a few helpful tips for you to during your grilling season: 

  • Keep your grill clean: Keeping your grill clean can extend the life of your grill. Stuck on grease should be cleaned since this can cause large fires. 
  • Always preheat the grill: This helps prevent food from sticking to the grates. 
  • Wash your hands often: Whenever 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 Norwood West Roxbury  is available 24/7 including holidays and weekends to assist you and get your home back to “Like it never even happened.”  

National Pet Fire Safety Day in Norwood West Roxbury

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Girl with pet and orange box with text and SERVPRO logo The best tip should a fire arise in your home, is to have an escape plan that includes your pets. Discuss who will be in charge of rescuing your pet.

National Pet Fire Safety Day is July 15th.  This is a day to learn how to keep your pet safe should a fire arise; it is important that we dedicate a day to keeping them safe should a scary event happen. 

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 nearby that can start a fire. 

Did you know that there are nearly 360,000 house fires each year in the United States? That is a lot of fire and damage. 

Over 40,000 pets die every year in house fires. Awareness can save pet lives but also just having a plan should a fire arise is critical. 

The best tip should a fire arise in your home, is to have an escape plan that includes your pets. Discuss who will be in charge of rescuing your pet in the event of a fire. 


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

Summer Flooding Tips in Norwood West Roxbury

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Flooding with white box overlay Summer is the time of year when flooding happens a lot. This can cause damage to any residential or business building.

Summer is the time of year when flooding happens a lot. This can cause damage to any residential or business building. Here are some great tips should flooding happen: 

  • Find safe shelter right away.
  • Do not walk or drive through flood waters.
  • Stay off bridges over fast-moving water.
  • Evacuate if told to do so.
  • Check up on flood insurance policy. 
  • Make a plan for your household, including your pets. 
  • Learn and practice evacuation routes and shelter plans. 
  • Gather supplies: non-perishable foods, cleaning supplies, and water for several days. 
  • Move valuables to higher levels. 
  • Check on your sump pump. 

Flooding can happen quickly,  it is important to make sure to get notifications from your local weather channels so you can act quickly too. Be careful if you have a flood warning! 


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

Hurricane Season Safety Tips in Norwood West Roxbury

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Hurricane in background with white box and text overlay By now, we have been getting major weather effects from hurricane season and it may cause damage to your home or business.

By now, we have been getting major weather effects from hurricane season and it may cause damage to your home or business. There are some things you can do in preparation should a hurricane, or storm weather hits. 

  • Create a plan with your family: Whether it’s the possibility of tornadoes, hurricanes, or floods families need to be prepared. A plan should include evacuation routes, emergency numbers, shelter possibilities, and a communication strategy.
  • Build a disaster kit: The kit should have basics: bottled water, non-perishable snacks, flashlights, batteries, sanitation items, important documents, and first aid kits. 
  • Practice the plan: You will want to practice evacuation routes, shelter areas, and memorizing emergency numbers.
  • Stay informed: You will want to keep your family safe, so staying informed is critical. When a major disaster occurs, it is advised that everyone should have a reliable resource for emergency alerts: phone apps or emergency radio. 
  • Tackle storm anxiety: Creating a plan is the first step in tackling anxiety. Make sure to allow your child to talk through their fears and concerns. 

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

Top Five Things To Prepare For In A Business Disaster in Norwood West Roxbury

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial Building in background with orange box and text overlay If you are in need of creating an Emergency Readiness Plan, contact us directly for NO CHARGE. We would be honored to help you set up your plan.

No matter what disaster your business may face, here are five simple ways you can prepare for a natural disaster.

  1. Create an emergency operations plan: If a natural disaster struck your business, what would happen in the hours that follow?  Would employees be allowed to work remotely? There are so many critical questions to ask. 

You should create an Emergency Readiness Plan for your business. As you draft your plan, make sure it addresses the following areas:

  • Outline a way to communicate and make sure the contact information you have with each employee is updated.
  • If a natural disaster occurs while at work, does everyone know how to safely evacuate the building? 

If you are in need of creating an Emergency Readiness Plan, contact us directly for NO CHARGE. We would like to help you set up your plan so you can be prepared. 

  1. Back up important data: You will want to safely store important business paperwork. You might want to put paperwork in an off-site location and make copies as needed. Don’t forget about the benefits of being in the cloud either. 
  2. Meet with an insurance advisor:  It’s wise to meet with your insurance advisor and review your company’s existing coverage. You may find you need to invest in additional coverage.
  3. Maintain communication: It is important to communicate with employees, vendors, and customers. Your plan should detail how communication will be maintained during the disaster and its aftermath.
  4. 5. Regroup in your community: Small businesses impacted by a natural disaster generally do not come out of it as though nothing has happened. For some small businesses, a natural disaster is enough to close a business entirely; if your business is back up and running, now is the time to offer a helping hand to other businesses.

If you are in need of creating an Emergency Readiness Plan, contact us directly for NO CHARGE. We would be honored to help you set up your plan should a disaster strike. 


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

Back to School Safety Tips in Norwood West Roxbury

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

School setting with orange box and text overlay Summer is flying by, parents are starting to think about Back to School already. Here are some great school safety tips.

Summer is flying by, parents are starting to think about Back to School already. As the school year starts to arrive here are some great safety tips for the school year: 

  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • If your child is walking to school make sure they know the correct route.
  • 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 Norwood West Roxbury is available 24/7 including holidays and weekends to assist you to get your home back to “Like it never even happened.”  

The Transition Between Thunderstorm and Hurricane

6/16/2021 (Permalink)

swirling hurricane Hurricanes can develop quickly from a thunderstorm to a more serious storm.

In Massachusetts, while thunderstorms are common, hurricanes do not occur all that often. Although they are not often, there is always a possibility for a hurricane to develop as it is brought up from southern areas. It is important to recognize what type of storm is occurring in order to promptly and accurately prepare. 

As a storm builds from a thunderstorm to a hurricane, it passes through four stages, changing the type of storm it is considered as:

  1. Tropical Disturbance: a mass of thunderstorms that have wind speeds of less than 23 mph.
  2. Tropical Depression: consistent wind speeds of 23-39 mph and a circulation of wind in the center of the thunderstorm mass is detected.
  3. Tropical Storm: forms when the maximum sustained winds have intensified to 39-73 mph. Storms are typically given a name at this stage and are characterized by problems caused from very heavy rainfall.
  4. Hurricane: finally forms when surface pressures continue to drop, and winds reach 74 mph. There is now a clear and definite rotation around a calm center, or eye.

Hurricanes have their own categories which are defined by the Saffir Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale:

Category 1: Winds 74 to 95 mph (Minor damage)

Category 2: Winds 96 to 110 mph (Extensive damage — Can uproot trees and break windows)

Category 3: Winds 111 to 129 mph (Devastating — Can break windows and doors)

Category 4: Winds 130 to 156 mph (Catastrophic damage — Can tear off roofs)

Category 5: Winds 157 mph or higher (Can level houses and destroy buildings)

Norwood to Host Independence Day Parade

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

red while and blue advertisement for parade The parade will begin at 10 AM on July 3rd at Coakley Middle School.

On Saturday, July 3rd, the town of Norwood is gearing up for an exciting parade. The parade will begin at 10 AM at the Coakley Middle School, located at 1315 Washington Street Norwood, MA.  The parade will then go down Washington Street to Town Hall, where it will conclude after taking a right in front of the Town Hall. The town of Norwood's website states that "Our annual 4th of July Parade has brought so much pleasure to residents of Norwood and surrounding communities for many years.  Many bands and entertainment acts continue to return to Norwood every year to be part of the July 4th Celebration.  They come because of the tremendous response and enthusiasm of the community". If community members are interested in volunteering at the parade, they can contact the Norwood Recreation Department at 781-762-0466 to learn more about how they can help with the celebration. 

Boston Area Experiences First Heat Wave of 2021

6/8/2021 (Permalink)

thermometer and sun Temperatures in the Greater Boston Area reached well over 90 this past weekend

Last Monday, June 7th, Boston area residents turned up their A/C and hopped in pools as the first heat wave of 2021 rolled through the Greater Boston Area. A heat wave is defined as three or more days of 90-degree or higher temperatures, and the past weekend surely lived up to heat wave standards. The grueling heat began on Saturday, June 5th, as temperatures hit 90 degrees in Boston. Then on Sunday, Boston reached 93 degrees. Communities in Norwood, Dedham, Westwood, Walpole, and Medfield attempted to cool off as the heat came through, showing signs of a hot summer ahead. “As always, be smart and hydrate,” said Bill Simpson, meteorologist at the National Weather Service, adding that people should try to take care of their outside tasks early or late when it’s not as hot. SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury reminds all community members to be safe in the heat, and not over-exert themselves because it can be dangerous to the body. 

Fireworks safety in Norwood West Roxbury

6/8/2021 (Permalink)

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

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

Summer 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. 

Go all out in enjoying any celebrations, but practice the necessary safety precautions while doing it.

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

June is National Safety Month in Norwood West Roxbury

6/6/2021 (Permalink)

Business Office background with orange box and SERVPRO logo National Safety Month is celebrated in June. This is when people focus on how to keep their environment safe and danger-free in the workplace.

National Safety Month is celebrated in June. This is when people focus on how to keep their environment safe and danger-free in the workplace. It is a time to reflect on how to create a safer environment for business owners and employees. Learning about safety methods can help increase pressure on employers to offer a safer working environment.

HOW TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL SAFETY MONTH

Conduct a fire drill: Taking precautionary measures can prevent severe damage if a fire were to happen. It is a great time to conduct a fire drill. Select a safety point that's close to your business and test your fire alarms to perform the drill.

Update your first-aid kit: Keep an updated first aid kit and stock it with dressings, bandages, tape, ointments, wipes, aspirin, gloves, scissors, and gauze pads. 

WHY NATIONAL SAFETY MONTH IS IMPORTANT

It focuses on all aspects of employee health and safety, instead of focusing on a single workplace hazard, the National Safety Council selects four different types of health and safety issues each year.

This helps offer safety tips for everyday life and it teaches us to be proactive when it comes to anticipating potential disasters. This is something that you can implement at your workplace to make it safer. 

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

Summer Awareness in Norwood West Roxbury

6/6/2021 (Permalink)

Fire in background with white ox and SERVPRO logo The National Weather Service (NWS) recognizes many safety hazards during the summertime including air quality, floods, heat, hurricanes, lightning.

June is the month for summer awareness. It seems obvious, however, there is a lot to consider. 

The National Weather Service (NWS) recognizes many safety hazards during the summertime including air quality, floods, heat, hurricanes, lightning, rip currents, tornadoes, and wildfires. Here are a few summer safety storm warning tips: 

Watch the Clouds: A severe storm with the potential of developing deadly weather will often look very dark or green.

Pay Attention to the Temperature: For severe storms and tornadoes to form, a mixture of warm, moist air at low levels has to collide with dry cold air above. 

Sudden Wind Changes: Be prepared if it suddenly gets very windy or if there is an abrupt calm during or after a thunderstorm. 

Precipitation Changes: Be aware of hail or heavy rain followed by either calm or a fast, intense wind shift. 

Listen Intently: If you hear a loud roar that is similar to a freight train, take shelter right away; a tornado could likely be spawned.

Check the Radar: You don’t have to be a meteorologist to interpret the radar. When observing storms on the radar, look for large lines of red. 

SERVPRO of Norwood West Roxbury  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 Norwood West Roxbury

6/6/2021 (Permalink)

buildings and houses in background with orange box and SERVPRO logo June 28 is National Insurance Awareness Day. It is a good idea to check out yearly your insurance coverages and deductibles

June 28 is National Insurance Awareness Day. It is a good idea to check out yearly your 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. It is important to know the storm risk. Do you need supplemental flood or wind insurance? Anywhere that it can rain, it can flood. 

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

Are You Storm Ready?

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

men cleaning warehouse Storm can strike at any moment, like it did in this warehouse in Westwood, MA.

Not many of us plan for disasters, natural or man-made. When they happen, people may say things like, “But I never saw it coming,” and “We didn’t have time to react.” Well, the time for action is long before a tragedy befalls you or your property!

According to FEMA, there are four main ways to prepare for storms you can and should do now:

  1. Get informed
  2. Make a plan
  3. Assemble a kit
  4. Maintain your plan and kit
  1. Get Informed - Many areas have local emergency management offices and/or a Red Cross Chapter. These organizations can provide you vital information concerning local emergency response arrangements, evacuation plans and emergency shelters. It’s also a good idea to invest in a NOAA Weather Radio that will alert you during any time of the day or night for when possible destructive conditions materialize.
  2. Make a Plan
  • Conduct a family meeting that will inform everyone what your emergency plans are.
  • Have an out-of-town contact that each one knows the number to. This is who you’ll call to inform where you are after a disaster strikes.
  • Teach your children how and when to call emergency numbers.
  • Have a prearranged location picked out as the place your family will meet in case you get separated from one another. Make sure everyone knows not only the best escape routes but the safe places to go inside your home if a tornado approaches.
  • Know how and when to turn off water, gas and electricity at the main switches or valves.
  • Have fire extinguishers ready and show everyone where they’re located and how to use them.
  • Inventory your possessions and keep that list along with important documents in a safe deposit box.
  • Keep your homeowners or renter’s insurance company’s telephone numbers readily available. (Also, be sure to keep SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury's phone number close at hand!)
  1. Assemble a Kit – this is a collection of basic family needs you’ll need after a disaster. These should be stored in a portable container and enough to last you three days. It should include food, water, a battery powered radio, a flashlight, etc. You can find a full list of items for your survival kit at redcross.org.
  2. Maintain Your Plan – every six months, review your plans with your family, conduct evacuation drills and restock expiring food and perishables in your kit. Also, confirm your fire extinguisher is recharged and smoke alarm batteries are replaced.

Wind Storm Basics

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

black floor with fence A rubber roof top deck with a sturdy railing built by our rebuilds team in Norwood, MA

There are many concerns that come with severe storms, with the threat of damaging winds being one of them. These winds can come with little to no notice and have long-term structural impacts.

While many think of damaging winds as a result of a tornado or a hurricane, those are not the only times when they can occur. Traditionally, damaging winds are considered those with wind speeds exceeding 50–60 mph and can stem from a strong thunderstorm. You will often hear damaging winds referred to as “straight-line” winds, differentiating them from the winds caused by a tornado.

The damage from these winds can be especially destructive. Straight-line winds can pick up loose objects in your yard and cause those objects to become projectiles.

Windows and the roof can take the brunt of this damage, and the wind damage is extensive enough, water damage can result as the outside elements are able to come indoors.

Anyone who lives in a thunderstorm-prone area can be at risk from damaging winds, but some structures are more susceptible to damage and are especially at risk. Mobile homes, even anchored mobile homes, can sustain extensive damage in wind gusts over 80 mph.

How to Protect Your Home From Damaging Winds

Here are some of the ways you can help protect your property from damaging winds. Always keep the “Two R’s” in mind: reinforce and remove.

  • Ask a professional to reinforce your garage door.

  • Remove or anchor loose objects on your property that could easily turn into projectiles by the wind. Don’t forget trash cans, grills and outdoor furniture.

  • Hire a professional to remove large or dying trees and branches that may fall on your home.

Not all high wind circumstances come with forewarning, but incorporating some of these suggestions keep your prepared for that “just in case” moment.

Also, if you are building a new home or renovating an older home, check to be sure the windows, walls and doors are up to code for your area.

Should your home be hit by damaging winds and resulting water damage, our highly trained specialists at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury are here to help with the cleanup and restoration of your home

Spring Storm Tips for Norwood West Roxbury MA

5/29/2021 (Permalink)

Storm with Lightning over white box with SERVPRO logo SERVPRO of Norwood West Roxbury is available 24/7 including holidays and weekends to assist you with your storm needs. Call (781) 769-9125

Storms can cause a lot of damage to your home; it is important to prepare for it as best as you can. Here are some preparations that you can make before a storm hits.

  • Build an Emergency Kit with essential items. Make sure to add water, food, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, a flashlight to name a few. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a detailed checklist available.
  • Eversource also has a storm safety checklist available to help.
  • Stock up on non-perishables, such as canned goods and pet food. You should also make sure you have adequate medical supplies and prescriptions for everyone in the household. 
  • You will want to pick up paper goods such as paper plates, paper towels, plastic ware in case you lose power.
  • If you have a power outage, turn the temperature control on your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting.
  • You should fill several large containers with water for drinking.
  • Make sure to keep flashlights, batteries, candles, and matches on hand. 
  • Make sure you have batteries that are the correct size for the flashlights and other important electronics.
  • Check to make sure there’s a first aid kit in the house.
  • Fill your car with gasoline, so if you need to go anywhere you are prepared. 
  • If you lose power, you will want to cook outside. You can use charcoal or propane grills or even a camping cookstove.
  • You will want to have a list of emergency phone numbers on hand: Red Cross, fire, police, and a family doctor.

SERVPRO of Norwood West Roxbury is available 24/7 including holidays and weekends to assist you with your storm needs. Call  (781) 769-9125 

Is your business emergency ready?

5/19/2021 (Permalink)

Cell phone with SERVPRO and ERP on screen The Ready Plan is an emergency preparedness tool for business owners, property managers, risk managers, and facility management.

As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind.

By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile Advantage is a no-cost assessment of your facility. There are many benefits to it: 

  • This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
  • It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
  • This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
  • You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin. This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information. Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it, and who to call.

The Ready Plan is an emergency preparedness tool for business owners, property managers, risk managers, and facility management. It allows for the creation of an Emergency Ready Profile® containing critical facility information to help speed up response time.

SERVPRO of Norwood West Roxbury is available 24/7 including holidays and weekends to assist you and get your business back to “Like it never even happened.” If you are ready to get started call  (781) 769-9125

Avoid Fires This Summer Season

5/19/2021 (Permalink)

Grill with meat on it with orange box and SERVPRO logo We encourage summer fire safety in your community with these free tips.

Every year we look forward to summer vacations, camping, family reunions, picnics, and the holidays or celebrations. Summertime brings fires and injuries due to fireworks and outdoor cooking. 

We encourage summer fire safety in your community with these free tips:

  1. Know how to prevent a burn while you enjoy outdoor activity this summer.
  2. Wear short sleeves or roll them up when cooking on the grill.
  3. Use long-handled barbecue tools
  4. Keep a 3-foot safe zone around grills, fire pits, and campfires.
  5. Attend public fireworks displays so it leaves the lighting to the professionals.
  6. Ensure children are not near fireworks, fires, or grill cooking without adult supervision.
  7. Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should be used outdoors only.
  8. Keep children and pets at least three feet from the grill area.
  9. Keep your grill clean by removing grease buildup.
  10. Never leave your grill unattended.
  11. Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.

SERVPRO of Norwood West Roxbury is available 24/7 including holidays and weekends to assist you with your fire needs. Call  (781) 769-9125 

Summer Fire Safety

5/19/2021 (Permalink)

Fire on grill with white box overlay SERVPRO logo Now that the summer months are here, there are some things to remember so you are careful and don’t create any unnecessary fires.

Now that the summer months are here, there are some things to remember so you are careful and don’t create any unnecessary fires:

  • Grilling Safety: Make sure to regularly remove grease or fat buildup from the trays. Never leave a grill unattended.
  • Lawn Mower Care Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance plan for your mowing equipment. Make sure to remove debris and grass clippings from cutting units and engines. 
  • Gas Storage: Do not store gasoline, liquid fire starter, propane, or any other type of flammable liquids near a grill. Store any sort of flammable liquid in a well-ventilated area outdoors. 
  • HVAC Maintenance: Annual inspections of your air conditioner system can prevent a house fire. Dust can settle in places that can cause short circuits and other electrical malfunctions. This could lead to an air conditioning fire.
  • Alarm Inspection: Make sure to check your smoke detectors and/or carbon monoxide detectors regularly; this is one of the best fire prevention methods. 

SERVPRO of Norwood West Roxbury is available 24/7 including holidays and weekends to assist you with your fire needs. Call  (781) 769-9125 

SERVPRO of Norwood West Roxbury nurses

5/6/2021 (Permalink)

Nurse in background with orange box overlay Give nurses you know a shout-out and thank them for their hard work.

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 Norwood West Roxbury 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 West Roxbury is celebrating International Firefighters’ Day 2021

5/4/2021 (Permalink)

Firefighters in background with orange box and SERVPRO logo The (NFFF) National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Observes International Firefighters’ Day 2021.

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

Prepare for Flooding Season in Norwood West Roxbury

4/26/2021 (Permalink)

Water flood with white box overlay There are plenty of safety tips to take if flooding is happening in your area so you can be safe and prepared.

Flooding is a topic that no one likes to talk about until it’s too late. It is one of the most important topics that should not be ignored. Flooding is a common hazard in Massachusetts. Flash floods can occur within minutes or hours after a storm.

There are so many different terms when it comes to flooding for you to be aware of. 

  • Flooding, flash flooding:  Pay attention to changing flood patterns; they can change quickly. You will want to be prepared to move to higher ground. 
  • Flood Warning: This means that flooding is happening or is increasing rapidly. Make sure to avoid low-lying areas. 
  • Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring and you should seek higher ground immediately.

There are plenty of safety tips to take if flooding is happening in your area so you can be safe and prepared. 


If you find yourself in need of water damage to your home or business, give SERVPRO Norwood West Roxbury a call at (617) 332-9000, we respond faster to any size disaster.

Thanks to our SERVPRO of Norwood Westroxbury administrative staff

4/25/2021 (Permalink)

Administrative Professionals Day was April 21st. We did not post about this special day on time,

but we still did celebrate with our staff. We want to share more about it with our local community.

Administrative Professionals Day is a special day to recognizes assistants and office staff. They are truly critical for our team at SERVPRO. The purpose of this day is to show appreciation for administrative teammates.

We always strive to show appreciation to our customers and staff whenever possible. It is important to recognize them throughout the year. There are fairly simple ways to recognize a team member: flowers, candy, coffee, coffee mugs, and so much more. Find out what they like best and show them you care and appreciate them.

Voltaire -- “Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”

Thank you to our administrative staff at SERVPRO of Norwood Westroxbury 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 (781) 769-9125 for more information.

Spring Storm Tips for Norwood West Roxbury

4/25/2021 (Permalink)

Storm with Lightning over white box with SERVPRO logo Spring is has arrived here in Norwood West Roxbury. Spring can also mean strong severe storms.

Spring is has arrived here in Norwood West Roxbury. It is a great time of year, you know cook out’s, sports, and gatherings. 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: Get rid of dead branches that could end up being dangerous in a severe storm. Find out if they are near the power source to your home.

  2. Ensure sump pumps are working: Rainstorms can all result in flooded basements, it is important to make sure they are working properly now, not when the storm comes.

  3. Secure backyard items: Move items such as patio furniture, lawn chairs, propane tanks, grills, flags, and poles, to your shed, or garage if the weather has called for high winds.

Be ready for power outages:

  1. Think ahead: Plan to have extra ice in your freezer. This can ensure you have ice for several different reasons.

  2. Use a cooler: You can add 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: 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 of Norwood West Roxbury a call at (617) 332-9000, we respond faster to any size disaster.

How To Reduce The Risk Of Water Damage To Your Home

4/7/2021 (Permalink)

Image of flooding water with SERVPRO Logo and text, Water Remediation Experts Even after taking every necessary precaution, accidents still happen. When they do our team at SERVPRO Norwood/West Roxbury is here to help.

There's nothing worse than walking into your home to find an appliance leaking or even worse flooded basement. Studies show that 40% of homeowners have experienced a loss from water damage. With billions of dollars in property losses recorded every year, water damage causes a significant amount of loss. The good news, in most instances the damage could have been prevented.

There are many things homeowners you can do to prevent water damage. It's just a matter of knowing what to do. By staying on top of leaks and taking the proper safety measures, we can defend ourselves from the stress and money loss caused by water damage. Here are the two ways homeowners can reduce the risk of water damage in their homes.

Stay On Top Of Leaks

If you come across a leaking water source in your house, even a slight one, it should be tended to immediately. Leaks do not go away and they usually get worse. Taking the time to fix a little leak when it is first discovered will certainly save you time, money, and hassle if and when the little leak transforms into something more spinster! Even slow leaks will lead to mold, mildew, rot, and insect damage.

It is a good idea to regularly inspect:

  • Refrigerators
  • Washing machines
  • Dishwashers
  • Toilets
  • Windows
  • Ice makers
  • Roofs/ceilings
  • Walls

Really, anything connected to a water line or exposed to external elements should be checked regularly. Look for any discolored or brown spots under or around these areas. These are indicators for leakage. Also, look for any cracked walls or loose shingles on the roof. These should be fixed quickly and are usually grounds for leaks and water damage to follow.

Inspect Water Sources 

Making sure that your water sources are working properly is key to the prevention of water damage. These include:

  • irrigation system
  • sump pump
  • hoses
  • wells
  • septic systems

If you use an irrigation system you'll want to inspect it routinely to make sure it's in proper working condition. Damage to these systems can result in gallons of water and significant flooding.

A sump pump is usually located in the basement of your home and its purpose is to remove any excess water that has built up due to a storm or flooding. Performing checkups on your pump every year and during storms will limit any water damage from building up.

Damaged external hose nozzles can cause leaks both outside and inside your home. If not properly winterized, water remaining in the nozzle will freeze and may cause either damage to the nozzle or, even worse, an interior pipe to burst. It is a good idea to inspect the plumbing for any external water source each spring prior to turning it on for the first time.

Even after taking every necessary precaution, accidents still happen. When they do our team at SERVPRO Norwood/West Roxbury is here to help. Give us a call today for assistance in helping you with your water damage at (781) 769-9125.

Spring Cleaning

4/7/2021 (Permalink)

Now that spring is upon us once again, cleaning is probably on your mind. Whether you just need to freshen up your home after a long winter or you're thinking about cleaning out cluttered spaces SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury is here to help with some tips to get you started!

Lemon Power

This spring, make faucets clean and sparkly by rubbing a lemon half on the water stains. The citric acid helps remove hard water marks. Then, use the other half of the lemon for our next tip.

Cut a lemon into halves, squeeze the juice into 1/2 cup of water and drop the rinds into the mixture. Microwave for three minutes and let it stand for five minutes without opening the door. The trapped steam will loosen the grime, so you can wipe the microwave clean with less elbow grease.

White Vinegar Beats Buildup

Looking for more natural ways to clean your bathroom? Vinegar can dissolve the mineral deposits accumulate in showerheads over time, causing reduced pressure and water flow. Fill a plastic bag with white vinegar, secure it over the showerhead with a rubber band and leave it overnight to get rid of buildup. Just be sure to run the shower before you hop in, or you risk smelling like vinegar all day.

Mix ¼ cup of white vinegar, 2 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of liquid soap into a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto the glass and scrub with newspaper for a streak-free window or mirror. The ink acts as a mild abrasive and allows you to make use of old newspapers.

Magic Dryer Sheets

Dryer sheets are non-abrasive and a great way to remove burnt-on food from your stove. Place a wet dryer sheet on your stovetop. Leave it on your hard to remove residue at least 15 minutes. Start rubbing with the dryer sheet and watch the  gunk come off!

Grilling Onions

Get your grill cleaned up and ready for the warm weather. First, heat it up and spray some white vinegar onto the grates to help loosen the residue. Then, scrub the area firmly using half an onion. The acid from the onion will rid your grill of any leftover remnants.

Window Wash Your Carpet

The rubber edge of a window washing squeegee is a great tool for gripping and removing pet hair from your rug. Use a firm grip and make sure to clean up the excess hair as you go. Finish by running the vacuum to catch any hair still on the surface.

And don't forget that SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury is here to help you with all of your spring cleaning needs! Just give us a call at (781) 769-9125.

Here To Help After The Storm

4/7/2021 (Permalink)

Image of flooded town with SERVPRO Logo and text, Storm Remediation Experts When storm damage strikes your commercial property SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury is here to help our community.

Research shows since 1980, the occurrence of weather-related disasters has increased by more than 230 percent. According to AccuWeather, natural disasters have affected at least 217 million people every single year since 1990. When a storm wreaks havoc on your commercial property you need help from a company that can handle any size of the disaster. SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury is that company.

Our Disaster Remediation Teams have access to a fleet of vehicles and a 4,000 square foot warehouse full of professional-grade, state-of-the-art equipment. Our main facility is located right of 495 which means that we can arrive onsite within hours of receiving your call. Every large loss is supervised by one of our Project Managers to help ensure seamless communication and timely mitigation. Our Teams are on call 24 hours a day, every day of the year, including holidays. Our clients do not have to wait till the next business day for us to arrive. 

When storm damage strikes your commercial property SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury is here to help our community. No matter what your needs may be, we have a commercial-sized solution for you.  Call us today - (781) 769-9125.  We will make it, "Like it never even happened."

Stay Safe During A Flood

3/31/2021 (Permalink)

Spring time in New England is upon us. As the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers. Unfortunately, these shower can also bring flash flooding. Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Even if your Westwood, MA home is in a moderate-to-low risk flood zone, there is always a potential for a flood to occur. In fact, studies show that approximately 20% of all flood insurance claims come from moderate-to-low risk areas. Knowing what to do in the event of a flood can help keep you and your loved ones safe. Below are important safety tips from the American Red Cross:

  • Stay away from floodwaters. It can be easy to underestimate the power of running water. Just 6 inches of quickly moving water is enough to potentially sweep you off your feet. If running water is up over your ankles, turn around and find another way.
  • Rapidly moving water can also push heavy objects such as cars. Many vehicles can be overcome by the current from waters less than 2 feet deep! Travel should be avoided if possible during a flood but if you do travel and come to a road that appears to be flooded, turn around and choose a safer route. If you are stuck on a flooded road and the water is rising, leaving the car for higher ground and shelter is advised.
  • Do not let your children out of your sight during a flood. Kids tend to be curious and may not understand how dangerous contaminated or running water can be.
  • Having an emergency safety kit is helpful in a situation such as a flood. Visit the American Red Cross website for tips on how to build your own emergency flood kit!

When flooding does occur safety is always the top concern. Our team at SERVPRO Norwood/West Roxbury is here to help. Give us a call today for assistance in helping you with your water damage at (781) 769-9125.

Water Bulge in Ceiling

3/26/2021 (Permalink)

bubble in white ceiling A ceiling bubble found in a home that experienced water damage in Austin, Texas due to the historic snow storm.

Water bulges in ceilings are a shock to anyone who may discover them in your home or office. The causes of these bulges can range, but the bulges are usually caused by two things: water leaks from pipes or a mistake in installation of parts of a ceiling. These bulges can be ugly, and can also pose a hazard by weakening the structure of a ceiling, depending on the extent of the damage. 

As described in this article from Hunker by Renee Miller, https://www.hunker.com/13414058/a-bulge-in-the-ceiling, the first step to fixing a bulge in a ceiling is to determine the cause of the problem.

1. Improper Construction 

Ceilings made using plaster applied over gypsum lath may develop what is called a bulge effect if the final coat of plaster is applied before the first coat is completely dry. The moisture from the first coat moves back into the lath and results in bulges at the seams. In some cases, the seams running perpendicular to these also bulge. In other types of ceilings, such drywall, too much weight from insulation, exposure to prolonged humidity, an improperly installed vapor barrier, or the installation of ceiling panels that are too thin for the frame spacing can cause ceilings to bulge.

2. Leaks

Leaking water from plumbing pipes or other sources of water can be damaging to your ceiling, causing these bubbles. This can signify that water is pooling from the leak, and will show a bubble. The water can lead to structural defects in the ceiling, making it dangerous. We are professionally trained in the steps to determine what steps need to be taken (i.e. a puller needs to be brought in) and how to restore your ceiling, as a part of our rebuilds devision. 

Steps to Take if you Find a Bubble

Before a professional can arrive to check it out, there are some steps you can take to ensure safety for everyone in the home/building before the issue can be resolved. 

1. Call SERVPRO

Call a professional, such as SERVPRO to ask to have someone to come take a look at it. Whatever instructions given to you by a project manager/representative should be followed, but the next two steps are likely what they will tell you. Again, every situation is different, and the SERVPRO representative may tell you different steps, which should always be followed.

2. Remove all furniture under the bubble

Furniture/items under the bubble may become damaged if water/liquid inside of it gets on it. 

3. Collect large buckets, and pop it!

Sometimes it can take weeks from estimate to fixing the issue. The longer the water sits behind the paint, the more damage it will do the drywall, and especially with ceilings, which will fall into the house if the drywall gets too wet and heavy. Use something such as a pencil or a knife to pop it with a small hole. Have lots of buckets ready to collect the water and do all you can to avoid the water getting on the flooring, as water on a floor can lead to mold and/or buckling.

Our team at SERVPRO Norwood/West Roxbury is here to help you in your time of need. Give us a call today for assistance in helping you with your damage, whether it be residential or commercial at (781) 769-9125

Specialty Commercial Cleaning Services

3/12/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury professionals offer cleaning services ranging from cleaning restaurant hoods to removing biohazard contaminants. They have the specialized training and products to get your property back to business. Their cleaning services include the following:

  1. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned:   Our new defensive pathogen cleaning program, goes way beyond standard janitorial cleaning practices. This is proactive viral pathogen cleaning. With over 50 years of experience in biochemical spill remediation and decontamination, you can trust us to bring a higher standard of clean to the places we gather.
  2. Biohazard: Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences. A failure to properly remove such substances can contribute to unhealthy and dangerous environments. We are trained to safely clean and remove biohazardous substances and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations.
  3. Ceilings, Floors, and Walls: Ceiling and wall cleaning should be part of the cleaning maintenance of your business. You should also clean walls before painting so that the primer and paint can adhere properly. Whether you are preparing to paint or just looking for professional cleaning, we can help.
  4. Document Restoration: In the aftermath of a disaster, some of your most valued contents could be lost forever. As a leader in the restoration industry, we know that timely mitigation is the key to recovering damaged possessions. With years of experience and state-of-the-art technology, our restoration professionals will help you recover your paper goods before it’s too late.
  5. Odor Removal:  As experts in deodorization, our professionals are trained to identify and eliminate offensive odors. These odors can come from a number of sources both inside and outside a structure.
  6. Sewage:  Sewer backups should be considered an emergency since the water may contain viruses, bacteria, and other microbes that cause serious illnesses. Our team has specialized training and equipment to quickly and safely clean contaminants like sewage.
  7. Vandalism:  Graffiti and vandalism can be very upsetting. It can range from relatively minor pranks to malicious destruction of property. Often simple acts of vandalism, like breaking a window, can cause significant water and mold damage if not addressed in a timely manner.

When damage strikes Dedham, MA commercial property SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury is here to help our community. No matter what your needs may be, we have a commercial cleaning solution for you.  Call us today - (781) 769-9125.  We will make it, "Like it never even happened."

Has Cleaning Exceeded Your Business' Internal Resources

3/12/2021 (Permalink)

Running a successful business in Massachusetts is hard enough, let alone during a pandemic. You have enough to do to keep your business running, so be sure that you have the best vendors possible to take care of your commercial property. Your time is better spent that having to figure out what to do about the inevitable wear and tear that gradually builds in your office over time. When grime, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, call SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury to help with your commercial cleaning projects.

Whether it’s disinfecting your offices, removing an odor problem or a deep cleaning, you can rely on us to make your workspace look and feel its very best. When you call SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury you will be bringing in a quality contractor who carries these benefits:

  1. Certified training
  2. Over 50 years’ experience in the industry
  3. More than 100 exclusive cleaning products

When damage strikes West Roxbury, MA commercial property SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury is here to help our community. No matter what your needs may be, we have a commercial cleaning solution for you.  Call us today for more information or to set up an appointment - (781) 769-9125.  We will make it, "Like it never even happened."

Why Choose SERVPRO Norwood/West Roxbury - Restore Versus Replace

3/9/2021 (Permalink)

Everyone at SERVPRO Norwood/West Roxbury understands our customer's situation. After disaster strikes they want to know that they are receiving the best possible remediation services at a fair cost. The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury are uniquely qualified to help. Our results create a measurable difference.

Emergency Response 

Restoring property is our first priority. Our customers will appreciate our immediate response to their calls and they know everything is being done to limit the damage.

Minimize Cost

Restoring property is less expensive than replacing property. Our certified technicians follow the rule of, "Restore whenever possible, replace only when necessary." Our Disaster Remediation Teams make sure pretesting is completed on every loss to determine restorability. Furthermore, we will provide an itemized loss report complete with pictures of important items to ensure complete reimbursement on any claims.

Electronic Filing

To expedite the process even further we offer electronic claims filing for our customers. Our Claims Information Center provides fast, accurate information in a format insurance companies understand. This means our clients receive the highest allowable reimbursement in the fastest time possible.  Our reporting includes:

  1. A Complete Electronic Job File.
    1. First Notice of Loss.
    2. Detailed Estimate.
    3. Digital Loss Photos.
    4. Scanned Forms and Paperwork.
    5. All delivered by email or hard copy.
  2. On-line Access to All Files.
    1. New Assignments.
    2. Pending Jobs.
    3. Completed Jobs.

SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury is here to help our community and will be by your side every step of the way after a crisis damages your commercial or residential property. Call (781) 769-9125 for help with any emergency and will make it, "Like it never even happened."

Fire Alarms In Your Home

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

While you might assume that when you bought your home in Medfield, Ma that it came correctly installed fire alrams, this is not always the case. As more research has been conducted over the years on fires and how they spread, requirements have changed. Many older homes do not meet these standards which can be dangerous in the case a fire does occur. Keep your family safe by ensuring a fire alarm is located in the following four locations!

Bedrooms

The National Fire Protection Association suggests the placement of a fire alarm in every bedroom of the house. This ensures that if a fire occurs while your family is asleep, the alarms will wake quickly wake up everyone.

Outside Every Sleeping Area

Not only should alarms be inside every bedroom, there should be a smoke alarm right outside the room or any other sleeping areas as well. This is so you can react and start to escape before any fire or smoke even enters your room.

10 Feet From Your Kitchen

Kitchen fires result in approximately 50 percent of all home fires, many of which result in serious fire damage to your home. Make sure a fire alarm is located 10 feet from your kitchen rather than inside it since smoke or steam from cooking can easily trigger it.

Every Level of Your Home

Ensure that there is as least one smoke alarm on every level of your home. Don’t forget your basement! Serious fire and smoke damage can occur from an undetected fire that starts in the basement.


It doesn’t take long for a house fire to quickly get out of hand! That’s why it is so important to have fire alarms correctly installed in your home. A fire can happen at any time and when it does call the experts at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury at (781) 769-9125.  We will make it, "Like it never even happened." 

Removing Odor After A Fire

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke odors after a fire are persistent. Methods such as air filtration, ventilation, or wiping residue off of surfaces are not likely to be sufficient. Particles of smoke drift into air ducts, nooks and crannies, and porous materials such as carpeting, drapery, and furniture. The only way to completely eliminate smoke odor is to permanently neutralize the presence of these particles. Here are three methods we use to eliminate odor after a fire.

Ozone Machines

Ozone machines release molecules that follow the same path as smoke particles and oxidize these sources of odor. This method is popular because it works quickly, but all occupants, pets, and plants must be temporarily evacuated.

HVAC Air Scrubbers

These scrubbers connect to the central air system to circulate air and filter out smoke particles. As these systems do not neutralize odor molecules, a faint smoke odor may linger. Some odor mitigation professionals may combine an air scrubber with another smoke cleaning method.

Thermal Foggers

Thermal foggers fill a home with fog for approximately 30 minutes before the residence is ventilated and allowed to dry. This highly effective odor elimination method also calls for evacuation and workers must wear respirators.

When fire strikes your commercial or residential property fixing the damage is step one, eliminating the odor is step to. The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury  are here to help with both! Call us at (781) 769-9125.  We will make it, "Like it never even happened." 

After A Fire You Need Professional Help

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

When fire strikes your Dedham, Ma commercial or residential property most owners think expect that there will be some sort of structural damage that needs to be fixed. What most do not consider is the need for professional cleaning to remove smoke and soot damage. Why should a property owner seek a professional? 

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting.

Wet Smoke – Plastic & Rubber

Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper & Wood

Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue 

Protein fire residue is produced by evaporation of materials, is virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, and usually has an extreme pungent odor. 

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury  are here to help! Call us at (781) 769-9125.  We will make it, "Like it never even happened." 

Complete Water Remediation

2/5/2021 (Permalink)

WHY SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury Disaster Remediation Teams Can Make a Difference in Your Westwood, Ma commercial or residential property after disaster strikes. After a water damage incident, one thing most property owners do not consider is the potential risk of residual odor damage. We will help guard against such pleasantries.

To neutralize the unpleasant odors, our certified technicians utilize various tactics. First, we determine the cause of the odor. As water comes into contact with organic materials, rotting may take place and lead to the formation of the odors. At the same time, the odor can emanate from wet materials that are not thoroughly dry. 

To deal with the odor problem after water damage in teams of professionals start by determining the source of the odor. In most cases, the smell usually emanates from multiple sources; that is why we employ different methods in the deodorization process. To perform the job satisfactorily, we have the latest technical equipment and a vast wealth of knowledge on how to deal with such situations.  

When removing the unpleasant smell, our remediation experts understand that one type of deodorization agent cannot fight all types of water damage odor. For that reason, we use different types of deodorants to eliminate the different types of odor. Depending on the situation we are dealing with, we may decide to use thermal foggers or ULV foggers to dispense the deodorants.  

There are different types of deodorants that can be used. Some simply mask the odor. Unfortunately, these type of products do not last and eventually the odor will return, sometimes even more pungently. That is why our teams use filtration and absorption agents which combine with the odor particles causing them to fall on surfaces that we later on clean. After deodorization, we can apply disinfectants to inhibit the growth of mold.  

SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury has a track record in eliminating bad smells from both commercial and residential properties. We are here to help our community and will be by your side every step of the way after a crisis damages your Westwood, Ma commercial or residential property. Call (781) 769-9125 for help with any emergency and will make it, "Like it never even happened."

Why SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury - The Right Choice

2/5/2021 (Permalink)

When a storm causes a flood, or a burst pipe causes serious water damage to your Dedham, Ma commercial or residential property choosing the right restoration services provider makes all the difference. Property owners should be mindful of who they hire, as all service providers are not created equally. Before selecting a company to handle the job, keep in mind these points of emphasis:

  1. Only choose certified professionals to perform water damage restoration services. Technicians who have received certification have made the effort to get the best training possible, proving that they take their job seriously. Certification through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is a sign that a professional has received the most up to date training and is knowledgeable in the latest techniques and technologies employed during repairs. The IICRC operates a Certified Firm registrant-only database on its site, making it easy to find a local, certified professional without trouble.
  2. Do not select a technician based only on the price. As a cost savings measure insurance companies often select a restoration company based on the estimation price. The cost of restoration is consistent throughout the industry. Therefore, the a lower cost means less services provided. While this may go unnoticed in the short term, long term issues like mold, odor or structural damage may occur. 
  3. A company that offers a range of water damage restoration services is the wisest choice. A company offering a full range of remediation services is the best equipped to identify and mitigate against secondary damage. We are a one-stop remediation-to-rebuild shop. That means we understand how remediation impacts rebuilding efforts. Our teams understand the impacts of decisions made during remediation to the cost of the rebuilding process as well as its overall long term success. 
  4. Emergency services are not always synonymous. Answering the phone 24 hours a day is not the same as having Teams on call, ready to be deployed 24 hours a day, every day of the week, including holidays. When disaster strikes every minute the start of remediation is delayed translates into increased remediation costs and timelines.

SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury is here to help our community and will be by your side every step of the way after a crisis damages your Dedham, Ma commercial or residential property. Call (781) 769-9125 for help with any emergency and will make it, "Like it never even happened."

Why Choose SERVPRO Norwood/West Roxbury - Biohazard Remediation

2/5/2021 (Permalink)

Biohazard cleanup is  the cleaning, sanitation, and deodorizing of areas where a traumatic events such as an accident, injury or death has occurred. Usually this means dealing with blood, human or animal remains, chemical spills, and more. This also includes cleaning up after a crime scene, since it is up to the property owner to find biohazard cleaning services. 

Biohazard Cleanup Should Be Done By Professionals

SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury Disaster Remediation Technicians are OSHA certified. Our technicians understand how to protect themselves and others with personal protective equipment (PPE) when dealing with blood borne pathogens. PPE helps ensure the safety of our workers. This equipment helps prevent hazardous material from contacting the body through the skin, eyes, mouth, nose or any other area. Although PPE varies from job to job, it should always include gloves, a hazardous material body-suit, and a respirator.

The Biohazard Cleanup Process

  1. First, our technicians will identify the affected areas and determine the scope of the work. Once the plan is agreed upon, the remediation begins as quickly as possible.
  2. We will always put the focus on both their safety and that of other individuals at the cleanup site.
  3. Our teams will properly remove and dispose of any potentially infectious materials from the site.
  4. Hazardous medical waste, such as: bodily fluids, or items that contain potential health hazards, are handled following OSHA and state of Massachusetts regulations. 
  5. We remove porous materials like fabric and carpeting following both industry and state of Massachusetts regulations.
  6. Non-hazardous materials are decontaminated if they are salvageable.
  7. After the cleanup and sanitization, we thoroughly deodorize the affected areas.
  8. Removing contaminated materials, then cleaning and sanitizing is usually enough to control odors. However, in rare cases, the crew will use hydroxyls or ozone to ensure the odor is eliminated.

SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury is here to help our community and will be by your side every step of the way after a crisis damages your commercial or residential property. Call (781) 769-9125 for help with any emergency and will make it, "Like it never even happened."

Water Damage Imaging Equipement

2/5/2021 (Permalink)

Once a water damage hits your Norwood, Ma or commercial or residential property, our Disaster Remediation Team will come out to evaluate the damage. Water damage restoration requires the use of certain equipment. This may include detection devices, extraction equipment, air moving and dehumidification equipment, as well as safety equipment. 

Scoping involves locating the areas of the structure into which water has intruded and defining the extent to which structure and contents have absorbed moisture beyond normal moisture levels. Various devices allow our certified technicians to track moisture within a structure. These devices include the following:

  1. Moisture sensors
  2. Thermal imaging cameras 
  3. Moisture meters 

Moisture Sensors

The moisture sensor is used to detect moisture in carpets and padding. The moisture sensor has sharp probes that penetrate through carpets and pad to determine if water has migrated on the subfloor underneath.

Thermal Imaging Camera

Thermal imaging cameras (also called infrared cameras) are utilized for inspecting and monitoring moisture in building materials.  They can show how water traveled throughout a structure, and many times they can indicate moisture that otherwise may not have been discovered. At the end of the project, they provide excellent documentation or proof that drying was successfully completed. 

Moisture Meters 

Moisture meters are utilized to measure the actual moisture content or level of various materials. Some meters are calibrated to measure specific materials; for example, a moisture meter calibrated for drywall will not accurately read moisture content in wood materials. Some meters are adjustable for different types of materials, such as a meter that can be adjusted for both wood and drywall. There are penetrating and non- penetrating moisture meters. 

SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury is here to help our community when water damage strikes their commercial or residential property. We are equipped to get the job done right. Call (781) 769-9125 for help with any emergency and will make it, "Like it never even happened."

Protect Your Commercial Property Against Sprinkler System Failure

2/5/2021 (Permalink)

As a commercial property owner in West Roxbury, MA when did you last think about it your sprinkler systems? Unfortunately, sprinkler systems often get left off of the yearly maintenance to-do list because they do not malfunction often, but they can. When they do the damage can be significant! The following are steps to be taken regularly to prevent against a sprinkler system disaster;

Maintenance

Plan to periodically check your sprinkler system for obvious issues. It is relatively easy to accidently damage a sprinkler head. A damaged head, bent pipe, rust and even dust build up might not cause immediate system failure, however, over time it may. If you notice anything like that, call your fire suppression system contractor to come and replace the parts. 

Inspect


The National Fire Protection Association sets standards for regular maintenance, inspection, and testing of fire sprinkler systems. Following these regulations keeps your business up-to-code and ensures that your system is ready if it's needed. Completing the main drain test will likely fall under the scope of a whole system inspection, but if for any reason you're concerned that your sprinkler system may not be working properly, you can test it yourself.

SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury is here to help our community when damage strikes their commercial property. Regular maintenance, inspection, and testing of your sprinkler system will keep your business and employees safe. If they do fail call (781) 769-9125 will make it, "Like it never even happened."

Why SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury - Attic Mold

1/26/2021 (Permalink)

Mold problems spread via spores that float in the air, which is why experts recommend immediate mold remediation. Unlike most other property damage, mold infestation can go unnoticed, especially in the attic space of your Norwood, MA commercial or residential property. Here are some potential warning signs to look for.

Gutter Issues

Did you know that problems with your rain gutters can cause rot, and leaks that may cause mold damage? Gutters can cause moisture problems in your attic if they become clogged and back up allowing water to get under the sheathing or behind the soffits. If the gutter is too small, misaligned or deformed  they could allow water to escape into your property.

Air Flow And Humidity


Air flow in your attic space is extremely important, especially during the hot and humid summer months. Attic ventilation works on the principle that heated air rises, primarily utilizing two types of vents: Intake vents, located at the lowest part of the roof under the eaves, allow cool air to enter the attic. Hot air exhaust vents, located at the peak of the roof, allow hot air to escape. When your attic space is not properly ventilated the build up of humidity may result in mold growth.

Roof Leaks  


You'd expect that a roof leak could cause moisture problems in the attic. It is a good idea to periodically check the sheathing for any signs of leakage or water damage. Over time even a small leak will, over time, result in mold growth.

Pests 


Pests can be either a cause of or an effect of moisture problems. For example, damp wood termites love to infest wood that's already wet and rotting, so they could show up throughout your home after moisture problems develop. On the other hand, pests such as bats and raccoons can sometimes be the cause of a moisture problem in your home.

One way pests can cause moisture problems is simply by living in your attic. Their waste products could increase humidity and allow mold to develop. 

To keep mold problems from deteriorating the structural integrity of your home, you'll need to not only remove the mold but also eliminate the conditions that caused the mold to grow. That is why you need to call the mold remediation experts at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury. Our Disaster Remediation teams will help you salvage damaged materials, clean off mold, and remove excess moisture from the air. Also, we will help you get to the bottom of why the damage occurred in the first place so you prevent future damage. Call (781) 769-9125 and we will make it, "Like it never even happened."

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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 - 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 - 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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, 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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, 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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, 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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, 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 - 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 - 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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, 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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, 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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, 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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.

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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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, 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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, 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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, 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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.

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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Roof A Storm Risk?

9/10/2020 (Permalink)

A well-built roof can last for 30 years or more. Over time, the roof will start to wear out and show its age. Also, severe weather, such as heavy storm winds and hail can cause significant damage to even newly installed roofs. Minor damage is all it takes to cause a roof leak. What is worse, small amounts of moisture, over long periods of time, will result in mold growth. It is a good idea to routinely check the roof of your Westwood, MA commercial or residential property for signs of any damage.

Signs of Roof Problems

It is wise building inspect the roof of your commercial or residential property at least once a year. Here are some signals that your roof could be leaking or have other issues:

  1. There are missing shingles.
  2. Some of the shingles are curling.
  3. Asphalt shingle granules are in the rain gutters.
  4. There are water stains on your ceiling.

Get Rid of Wet Materials

If you do have a damaged roof, make sure you remove water damaged materials immediately. Be sure to file an insurance claim and then call the Disaster Remediation Team at SERVPRO of Norwood and West Roxbury to guide you through the process. Our certified technicians will identify the materials and contents that are salvageable, professionally remove the materials and contents that are not, remove any remaining moisture in the affected area.  

Dry and Sanitize


Once everything is out of the way, the professionals will thoroughly dry the area that the roof leak affected. Technicians will use heavy-duty blowers and dehumidifiers to remove all water and moisture. To further discourage the growth of mold, the technicians will disinfect all applicable areas of the building.

Restoration

The last step in the drying process is to restore damaged materials and rebuild your roof. As a one-stop-shop we are able to offer our clients a seamless transition from remediation to rebuild. Our Rebuild Team of master craftsmen will make it "Like it never even happened," and repair your roof to preloss condition. 

We’re Here for You

A roof leak can cause more problems than you might think. The Disaster Remediation and Rebuild Teams at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury has specialized training and experience in water damage remediation and natural disaster prevention, cleanup, and rebuild. Call SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury at (781) 769-9125 today.

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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 SupportThis 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Staff Member 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury 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 Norwood/West Roxbury today for a free consultation - (781) 769-9125.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Norwood/West Roxbury 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, 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 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. If the caregiver CAN NOT PICK UP the student during the day:
          1. The student should wait in the medical waiting room u