Council on Aging Daily Update - Williamstown, MA
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Council on Aging Daily Update

Update, Wednesday April 8th, 2020

Subsequent to potential dangers the COVID-19 pandemic has brought,the BRTA will now be providing transportation for CRITICAL TRIPS ONLY.

The BRTA recommends all customers wear a medical or cloth mask to cover their mouth and nose, as recommended by the CDC, while onboard any BRTA vehicle. (visit cdc.gov for a tutorial on making your own cloth face mask). They’re also indicating that riders practice social distancing while riding on the bus; maintain space when seating. Makes sense, right? We encourage anyone needing our van to do the same and wear masks and gloves. Safety first!

All riders must be traveling to a critical, essential destination. Critical trips are defined as work related, vital appointments, or necessary shopping trips. All riders are required to exit the bus at the end of the route, or stated destination, and may not re-board the same vehicle for a return trip. Multiple or consecutive round trips will not be permitted and riders who appear to be loitering will be asked to get off the bus.

For your health and the health of others, if you are sick, have a cough, fever, or other COVID-19 symptoms, do not ride the BRTA bus. Stay home! 

If you’re a SNAP recipient (used to be called food stamps..) and you’re not yet receiving the 

maximum benefit, you’ll be receiving extra funds, a supplement, for April and May.The difference will be calculated by comparing the amount each person currently receives and the maximum for their household size and then adding funds to bring everyone up to the maximum level. If you’re already at the max, there will not be an added amount. It’s only for the people who aren’t yet at the maximum.

If you do get a supplement, you’ll be notified by phone or text.You can check the balance on your individual account via the DTA-Connect website or by calling the number on the back of your EBT card.

Berkshire County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund has arranged a weekend meal delivery service through local restaurants to those community members who are currently unable to leave their homes and unable to access food on the weekend.  This initiative is open to people who reside in any seven north Berkshire towns [Williamstown, North Adams, Clarksburg, Florida, Adams, Cheshire, and Savoy]. At this time, 150 meals for each weekend are available.

This program is intended to reach individuals and families with no other access to food resources on weekends.  They are trying to reach those families and individuals who are not already connected with a food pantry or meal program. They’ll  be asking interested participants about food resources they are already accessing. They’re trying to avoid any duplication of efforts to expand our community’s ability to provide for vulnerable populations.  

If you know of any individual who is in need of food on the weekend because they are dependent on food delivery services, please contact the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition office at 413-663-7588. They’ll be taking phone calls Monday through Friday, 9am-3pm. Orders for weekend delivery will be placed on Fridays at 3pm and deliveries will be coordinated for Saturday at a designated time

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is offering virtual programs for caregivers and friends. Here’s a list;

Technology Class: Staying Connected, April 9th at 2:30

Broadway Concert, 2:30 on April 10th

Art with Emily, April 11th at 2:30

And finally Self Care Sunday:caregiver Stress reduction Series at 12:00 April 12th.

You can join in on any program by visiting the AFA Facebook page, and if you missed out on any of these programs, you can access them at any time through the AFA Facebook page.

By the Way, the Alzheimer’s Foundation Helpline is open seven days a week to answer any caregiving questions you might have. They’re at 866.232.8484.

That’s it for today. Talk again soon!

Brian O’Grady