LYNN NEWS ROUND-UP
DECEMBER 17, 2020
See our other COVID-19 related posts by clicking here.
The City of Lynn will return to modified Phase 2, Step 2 tomorrow. Click here to read more.
Storm updates from Lynn City Hall
The Winter Storm Warning issued by the National Weather Service – Boston has expired. However, as of 1pm, a Gale Warning will be in effect until 7PM & a Coastal Flood Advisory will be in effect until 4PM. As of 10:36AM the NWS is reporting 12.5 inches of snow for the City of Lynn.
LYNN’S PARKING BAN ENDS AT 7PM
Please remove all vehicles parked in designated City lots by 6:00 AM, Friday, December 18. All vehicles still in designated City lots will be subject to ticketing and towing.
A reminder that Waste Management Trash and Recycling collection will have a one day delay the remainder of the week.
The Lynn DPW and the Fire Department ask residents to clear any catch basins or fire hydrants that are in front of their property if they are able to.
SIGN UP FOR RAVE MOBILE SAFETY LYNN ALERTS AT: https://www.smart911.com/.
Please click here to read about snow removal, snow emergency procedures, parking lot list during bans, & more for the City of Lynn.
We will update this part of the post with any information we receive in from the City of Lynn, and other info. of interest to the Lynn Community.
- Lynn City Hall will continue to be closed to the public on Thursday, Dec. 17th & Friday, Dec. 18th offering city services through staff working remotely.
- Lynn Public Schools will operate completely remotely both Thursday and Friday this week. Meal pickup at the designated schools will continue as planned on Friday. See below for LPS meal distribution plans for the next 2 weeks.
- Waste Management Trash and Recycling Collection will be delayed on Thursday, December 17th to Friday, December 18th, with Friday’s normal scheduled pickup done on Saturday.
- For Lynn residents that need it, there is a sand/Salt mix you can get in front of DPW on Commercial St., using your own bucket & shovel.
According to Ward 6 City Councilor Fred Hogan at 1:38PM: At Canal St. the Saugus River is coming over the edge, & backing up the sewers.
Link to Facebook post, with photos & video.
Please check the National Grid Power Outage map by clicking here if you experience any power issues.
From Lynn Community Health Center: LCHC Urgent Care will be open from 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm. All other on-site services will remain closed for the day. If you have an appointment it may be switched to telemedicine.
All COVID-19 testing is cancelled at today, December 17th. Testing is scheduled to resume at the Federal Street Lot behind the Western Avenue Fire Station both Friday and Saturday from 8AM-6PM and at the Lynn Community Health Center on Friday at their usual hours. Testing will NOT be available at the Lynn English Parking Lot Thursday, Friday or Saturday.
Please click here for more info. and updates on how you can get a free COVID-19 test in the City of Lynn.
Yesterday the Governor directed that non-emergency state employees working in Executive Branch agencies should not report to their workplaces on Thursday, December 17, 2020.
Employees who have the capacity to telework will be expected to do so in accordance with the Telework Policy.
From the Salvation Army: No food pantry today! We are going to TRY and open our main building to continue distributing toys for those who preregistered and selected Thursday December 17th. We will most likely be there later in the morning while our staff tries to shovel out and drive safely.
Please follow the Salvation Army Facebook page for updates on the
food pantry & toy distribution.
Holiday testing hours & COVID-19 Express Testing Site Coming to Lynn through State’s New High- Volume Testing Program
The City of Lynn has been selected as one of four communities across the Commonwealth for a COVID-19 express testing site beginning Tuesday December 22nd through at least March 31st. The site will be run by Project Beacon which specializes in high-volume appointment only testing.
The site will be located at the Blossom Street Extension parking lot, commonly known as the Lynn Ferry Terminal, and will have the capacity to perform up to 2,000 tests per day once the site reaches full capacity in early January. Residents will be able to schedule their test appointment in advance, drive up to the site at their assigned time, be tested from the comfort of their car, and receive their results within 24 hours. There will be no pedestrian, walk-up access allowed at this site. For all Massachusetts residents, there is no cost for this test, no health insurance is required, and you will not be asked about your immigration status.
With the opening of the high capacity express testing Project Beacon site, the “Stop the Spread” testing sites located at Lynn English High School and behind the Western Avenue Lynn Fire Station will hold their last full day of testing on Monday, December 28th. The Lynn Community Health Center testing site will continue to remain open by appointment and walk-up through March 31st.
Due to the holidays, all four testing sites will be closed starting at noon on December 23rd and completely on December 24th and 25th. Project Beacon and Lynn Community Health Center will again be closed starting at noon on December 30th and then completely on December 31st and January 1st. Please check with City of Lynn COVID-19 Resources Testing page for the most up to date information by clicking here.
“I am glad that Lynn was selected for one of the four express testing sites being established across the Commonwealth. This new site at the Blossom Street Extension, along with maintaining the critical Downtown site at the Lynn Community Health Center, will expand our testing capacity and allow our residents to receive test results back more quickly to assist our Public Health officials in identifying COVID positive cases to stop the spread sooner,” said Mayor Thomas McGee. “We expect this appointment-based system to be a faster process overall for our residents who will no longer need to wait in long lines to be tested making it as easy as possible to access a test as we continue to take a multi-pronged approach to fight this virus.”
Residents can create an account, make appointments, and view their test results all through one, online platform for the Project Beacon COVID-19 Express Testing site at the Blossom Street Extension by visiting app.beacontesting.com. If you have questions about getting tested or issues regarding appointments or results at Project Beacon, please go to www.mass.gov/express-testing, call Project Beacon’s Call Center at 617-741-7310, or email at email@example.com. Appointments will become available several days in advance at a time.
In the event of a City of Lynn snow emergency, testing may be cancelled or limited based on the weather conditions. Please check the City of Lynn website at www.lynnma.gov for information about possible testing cancellations due to inclement weather.
The above press release was sent to us by Mayor McGee’s office.
Lynn Public Schools Holiday Meal Distribution Plan for next 2 weeks
- On Wednesday December 23rd, all sites will distribute 5 days-worth of meals from 12:00 pm-2:30 pm
- (7 days-worth of meals will still be distributed at our seven evening sites from 4:00 pm-7:00 pm)
- NO meal service on Friday December 25
- On Monday December 28th, all sites will distribute 2 days-worth of meals from 12:00 pm-2:30 pm
- On Wednesday December 30th, all sites will distribute 5 days-worth of meals from 12:00 pm-2:30 pm
- (7 days-worth of meals will still be distributed at our seven evening sites from 4:00 pm-7:00 pm)
- NO meal service on Friday January 1st
- Normal operations will resume on January 4th
Please contact Ronnie via text at 781-913-4404 to set up delivery.
For more info on this collection, and others, please click here.
MA is First State in Nation to Gain Federal Approval to Continue Pandemic EBT through School Year 2020-2021
The Baker-Polito Administration today received federal approval to issue Pandemic EBT benefits (P-EBT) for the rest of the 2020-2021 school year. P-EBT promotes increased food security for families who participate in the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National School Lunch Program (NSLP), covering the cost of missed school meals for more than 500,000 students in remote or hybrid learning environments.
Eligible households will receive the next round of P-EBT benefits by the end of December. The benefits cover school meals missed during the months of October and November, and households will receive benefits monthly through the end of the 2020-2021 school year. The Department of Transitional Assistance estimates P-EBT will bring $40 to $60 million per month in federal dollars into the Commonwealth’s economy.
“COVID-19 has exacerbated food insecurity, especially for children who receive nutrition support in school settings. This remains a significant challenge for many families throughout the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services and COVID-19 Command Center Director Marylou Sudders. “Massachusetts continues to maximize every opportunity to tackle food insecurity across the state. The rapid approval of our plan to issue P-EBT through the end of the school year provide relief to hundreds of thousands of families across the state for many months as we continue to navigate this public health crisis.”
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act established the option for states to establish program P-EBT. Massachusetts initially launched its P-EBT program in April 2020 to help students and their families buy healthy food while schools were closed from March through June due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and was one of a limited number of states to receive federal approval for September P-EBT benefits. To date, P-EBT has brought more than $253 million in federal dollars into the Commonwealth, supporting families across the state and local grocery retailers. The Continuing Appropriations Act of 2021 extended P-EBT through the entire 2020-2021 school year.
P-EBT is jointly administered by the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), in collaboration with local school districts. Families with eligible students are expected to begin receiving P-EBT benefits to cover October and November school days, by the end of the year.
“P-EBT has proven to be an effective tool during the COVID-19 pandemic to help families with students learning at home directly purchase healthy, culturally appropriate food,” said DTA Commissioner Amy Kershaw. “P-EBT also brings critical resources into our local communities, supporting food retailers and their employees.”
“P-EBT benefits are an important piece of support for students and families during this challenging time,” said Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley. “I’m grateful to everyone at the state and district levels who are helping to feed children, from the people facilitating P-EBT benefits to the school nutrition workers preparing free meals.”
Families with eligible students will receive their P-EBT benefits monthly for the remainder of the school year. Based on federal rules, families will receive varying P-EBT amounts. Families with children in a fully remote learning environment will receive $117 a month per child, and children in a hybrid learning environment will receive $58 a month per child. Families can check their P-EBT balance by calling the number on the back of the card. P-EBT benefits can be used anywhere Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits are accepted, including online from Walmart and Amazon. Learn more about P-EBT at MAp-ebt.org.
P-EBT builds upon the work of the Massachusetts COVID-19 Command Center’s Food Security Task Force to strengthen our local food system and maximize federal food assistance programs to ensure that food insecurity needs are addressed during the COVID-19 public health emergency and into the long-term.
Families who already receive DTA benefits will get their P-EBT benefits on their existing EBT card. Families who do not receive DTA benefits, but were mailed a P-EBT card in the past, will get their P-EBT benefits on their existing P-EBT card. Newly eligible students will receive their P-EBT benefits on their EBT card if receiving DTA benefits or will be mailed a P-EBT card if they do not receive DTA benefits. Families who lost their P-EBT card can request a new one.
Many families eligible for P-EBT may also be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and are being encouraged to apply. Children and teens participating in the free and reduced-price lunch program can also get free meals at hundreds of school meal locations throughout the state, no registration or ID required.
DTA assists and empowers low-income individuals and families to meet their basic needs, improve their quality of life, and achieve long term economic self-sufficiency. DTA serves one in eight residents of the Commonwealth with direct economic assistance and food assistance, as well as workforce training opportunities. DTA administers three core programs: SNAP; Transitional Aid for Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC); and Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled, and Children (EAEDC).
DESE is committed to preparing all students for success after high school. The Department’s work includes licensing educators, distributing state and federal education money, helping districts implement learning standards, overseeing statewide standardized tests, monitoring schools and districts, and convening districts and individuals to share best practices. In addition, we collect data to inform state and local decisions.
The above press release is courtesy of the MA Dept. of Transitional Assitance.
City of Lynn COVID-19 Tele Town Hall to take place tonight at 7pm
Join English Town Hall
Join Spanish Town Hall
Please note that LCTV will release videos of both town halls after we have been provided with the audio recordings.
Updates from state government
- As of Wednesday night, DPH reported a total of 292,316 cases of COVID-19. The state reported 5,450 new confirmed cases. The state has now confirmed a total of 11,261 deaths from the virus.
- Colleges and universities in Massachusetts would be subject to additional standards for dealing with sexual assaults under a bill passed by the Senate Wednesday. The state’s higher education commissioner would appoint a statewide campus safety advisor, all new students and employees would be required to participate in prevention and awareness training, and institutions would have to enter into a memorandum of understanding with local law enforcement agencies. Senator Moore said during the session that the bill also strengthens due process for those accused of misconduct, such as the right to have counsel present and the right to offer their own evidence or witnesses.
- The Senate also advanced a number of local bills Wednesday dealing with topics like liquor licenses, town meeting action, property tax exemptions, civil service law exemptions, and establishment of a Boston Fire Department cadet program.
- The House rejected an amendment Wednesday from Governor Baker altering abortion access language in the fiscal 2021 budget. The Legislature originally sent the governor a proposal to that would lower the age at which a person could get an abortion without judicial or parental consent from 18 to 16, which Governor Baker sought to eliminate. House lawmakers voted 49-107 in opposition to the amendment. The underlying proposal (H 5179) now heads to the Senate.
- The House also rejected a proposal from Rep. Marc Lombardo (R-Billerica) that would have required physicians to use life-saving equipment “to preserve the life and health of a live birth baby and the patient.” Before turning to the governor’s amendment, the House approved a handful of local bills dealing with affairs in Charlestown, Salem, Winchester, Swansea, Dartmouth, Dunstable, Westborough, Framingham, Peabody, and West Springfield. The House is back in session on Friday at 11 a.m
- With Justice Georges officially sworn in, the SJC is back up to full strength with seven members. The sudden death of Chief Justice Ralph Gants in September and the retirement this month of Justice Barbara Lenk contributed to a further reshuffling of a court that has undergone a full turnover during Baker’s years in office. Justice Georges joins Governor Baker’s two other recent picks, Justice Kimberly Budd, who was elevated to chief justice, and Justice Dalila Wendlandt, to complete the governor’s reshaping of the state’s highest court. All seven current members were nominated by Governor Baker and confirmed by the elected Governor’s Council, a nearly unprecedented feat and one that’s simply not available to most governors. Justice Georges, the son of Haitian immigrants, will be the third nonwhite member of the historically white panel alongside Wendlandt and Budd.
- Attorney General Maura Healey joined 28 of her peers this week in urging the federal government to take action against what they described as an “unlawful refusal” by drug manufacturers to provide discounts to community health centers and other entities. In a Monday letter, the attorneys general asked Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and health resources and services administrator Thomas Engels to provide relief to health centers and hospitals involved in what’s known as the 340B Drug Pricing Program. The attorneys general said the 340B program aims to protect federally funded clinics and public hospitals from drug price increases.
- Comptroller William McNamara expects to file an annual financial report that was due Oct. 31 by the end of the week and said he is hopeful that next year will break the pattern of consistently late filings. The state comptroller must finalize the books on the fiscal year that ends June 30 each year and file the state’s annual Statutory Basis Financial Report (SBFR) by each Oct. 31. Before the comptroller can prepare the SBFR, though, the Legislature must pass a so-called closeout supplemental budget to balance all the books and the governor must sign it into law. That process has been thrown out of whack in recent years as lawmakers have opted to wait longer and longer to pass that bill, creating headaches for at least the last two comptrollers. This year, with the added complication of a pandemic, the close-out supplemental budget was not finalized until Nov. 10.
A special thanks to MassAccess for providing us with these updates.
From Mayor McGee’s office: The Lynn Public Health Department has confirmed that as of today, the number of active, confirmed positive COVID-19 cases is 1,769 with 134 new cases today. 8,035 Lynn residents have recovered and 147 have died. The total number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Lynn since March 21, 2020, including those who have died and recovered, is 9,951. Please visit the City of Lynn COVID-19 Data Dashboard which is updated daily.The City of Lynn is hosting a Tele Town Hall on COVID-19 today, Thursday, December 17th at 7:00PM. Mayor Thomas McGee and Public Health Director Michele Desmarais will be joined by several medical experts from Lynn Community Health Center, North Shore Medical Center and North Shore Physicians Group.
Residents will receive a phone call from the City of Lynn at 7:00PM on Thursday evening and should remain on the line to join the town hall. There will be two simultaneous events offered, one in English and one in Spanish. For those residents who want to join the Spanish Town Hall, they will be offered the option to do so throughout the call. You can join the town halls at the following links:
Join English Town Hall: https://video.teleforumonline.com/video/streaming.php?client=20106
Join Spanish Town Hall: https://video.teleforumonline.com/video/streaming.php?client=20350
Please visit http://www.ci.lynn.ma.us/covid19/resources.shtml#p7GPc1_2 for more information and updateson how you can get a free COVID-19 test in the City of Lynn.
We will continue to provide regular updates on COVID-19 and any Snow Emergency Parking Bans through the City website (www.lynnma.gov), social media, and the Smart 911 emergency notification system (sign up at www.smart911.com).