Today is Wednesday June 16th, 2021. The State of Emergency declared by Governor Baker in March 2020 officially ended yesterday. Yay!
Officially most restrictions will end. Individual businesses may require masks to be worn, medical practices, nursing homes, hospitals can still require masks. Riders on the COA van will be asked to mask up before boarding and to remain masked during transit, this too shall pass eventually. We continue to be cautious, not everyone out there has been vaccinated yet. The limit of riders has been relaxed however and we can bring 6 people plus a wheelchair about locally. Yes, we are looking at trips to other local establishments, Lee Outlets to start but more to follow.
Speaking of vaccinations, a couple things; First, if you come to Harper and are fully vaccinated you are free to come without your mask. Conversely, if you are not vaccinated or are still in process of being vaccinated we ask you to wear your mask when you come here. We won’t be the mask police, we won’t ask for proof of vaccination, it’s the honors system. On the other hand, should you feel that you want to continue wearing your mask, that’s Ok too. Nobody will be concerned and there will be no stigma (or mask shaming) attached to this. We have a supply of masks if you need one.
Secondly? Or should this have been first? If you’re vaccinated you’ll have an opportunity to win a million bucks just by being vaccinated! It’s a lottery, available online July 1st electronically or maybe via a special telephone number This lottery will be exclusive to fully vaccinated Massachusetts residents. If you’re vaccinated, great, good for all, if not…think about getting a jab! This is a free chance to win $1 million dollars. Lottery drawings will occur weekly between July 26 and Aug. 27. Fully vaccinated residents over age 18 will have the chance to win $1 million payouts, there will be five of these, vaccinated residents ages 12 through 17 will have the opportunity to win five $300,000 college scholarships There are vaccination locations all over Berkshire County, Walgreens and Stop and Shop locally being two for example, with appointments and walk-ins available. Folks seeking a vaccine can also visit mass.gov/COVIDVaccine to find a vaccine location that is convenient for them.
For more information on the Mass VaxMillions Giveaway, visit mass.gov/VaxMillions. The process to register for this begins July 1st!
You can also find a list of local vaccine locations and information on mobile clinics at www.getvaccinatedberkshires.org
On to other news. The Farmer’s Market Coupons for 2021 will be here at Harper by the 9th of July, end of the first week in. The usual process will apply, first come first serve, etc. I have to print the paperwork and all the disclaimers first, sign off and return as no job can begin or be finished if the paperwork isn’t done.
Jane’s strength training exercise class will be back live starting next week. She’ll offer the class alternating with the balance class so it will officially be strength class and balance class alternating, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings, start time will be 11 on Monday and Wednesday and 11:30 on Thursday and Friday. . There will be a limit of 25 persons per class as we want everyone to be able to move about without a close neighbor. Of course, we can adjust numbers as we go along.
Oh, before we forget. This is for all of the B game aficionados out there, the first Bingo game since March 2020 will be Friday June 18th at 1:00. Enough said.
Here’s a reminder note. The moratorium isn’t ending yet but if you are concerned about being able to pay your rent or mortgage arrears when the eviction and foreclosure moratorium ends, Berkshire Housing services are available to help. Services include tenant/landlord/homeowner housing counseling; dispute resolution; tenancy preservation and actual financial assistance if eligible. The first step is to complete the Assessment Form found here; www.berkshirehousing.com
The assessment is available in English and Spanish and can be submitted via PDF. You can print the form and fax it to 413-496-9831, or mail to Berkshire Housing Development Corp./Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority; ATTN: HCEC Assessment, P.O. Box 1180, Pittsfield, MA 01202. If you do not have a computer or need additional guidance, please call (413) 499-1630, ext. 157, and leave a message. The phone line is checked multiple times during the week Monday through Friday.