|The Town of Rehoboth will update this page with information affecting Rehoboth in regards to the novel coronavirus outbreak.|
Local Government / Services
6-8-20 - A Very Special THANK YOU to some Very Special People
In my last post as Chairman of the Board I want to thank everyone who rallied to help the Town navigate through the first few weeks of the pandemic and to highlight one very special group of individuals who went way above and beyond to help those who needed it most.
At the beginning of the June 1stBoard of Selectmen meeting I took the opportunity to share the great work of some very special people who saw a need and moved to fill it. In this, my final post as Board Chairman, I want to shine a spotlight on some folks whose actions exemplify why Rehoboth is a great Community.
When the pandemic first hit the area we put out a call for masks to help protect our first responders, seniors, and those with compromised immune systems. Within hours of that request I heard from Helen and Tom Davis who were already busy making masks for local hospitals, nursing homes, group homes and anyone who called and was in need. The Town of Rehoboth became a beneficiary of the Davis’ compassion and generosity.
Since that call in mid-March, the Davis’ and the dedicated members of their sewing group, have made almost 4,000 masks. When the hospitals indicated they had a need for surgical style caps and ear savers, the Davis’ immediately added these products to their weekly donations. To date their group has produced over 250 caps and over 600 pairs of ear savers.
Women and Infants Hospital called the donations “timely and lifesaving”, and went on to say “their actions speak to the American spirit of a small town pulling together to make a difference for others”; and wanted to let us know “those participating (in this effort) are heroes”.
Mariam Hospital expressed their gratitude for the donations and how the hospital’s employees always look forward to their deliveries. The hospital even included pictures of their health care professionals wearing the masks.
We join the hospitals in thanking the Davis’ and the Rehoboth Congregational Church Members and Friends Sewing Team for their determination, dedication, and compassion to all those who have benefited from their donations. Your actions speak to the very best of what our Community represents; selflessly responding to the needs our neighbors. We are a better Community because you live here.
The members of the Rehoboth Congregational Church and Friends Sewing team include Jane Williams, Lori Schirk, Barbara Williams, Linda McHugh, Cathy Potter, Mary Louise Pacheco, Marjorie Morrell, Connie Grab, Liz Morrell, Robin Glancy, Colleen Phillips, Euthecia Hancewicz and Katelyn Brannigan. Several of the volunteers are also members of the Rehoboth Garden Club. And, of course I cannot forget to recognize the Davis’ two therapy dogs, Amy and Patty (aka America and Patriot) for their understanding while all this activity was taking place. Amy and Patty look forward to getting back to brightening the day of patients in local hospitals once it is safe to resume their visits.
6-6-2020 Important COVID-19 Changes for the 6-30-2020 Annual Town Election Update
By vote of the Board of Selectmen and approved by Massachusetts State Elections, all Three Precincts (Precinct 1 - 2 - 3) will be voting ONLY the COA Senior Center (55 Bay State Road/Route 118) for the upcoming June 30, 2020 Annual Town Election due to COVID-19 Pandemic. Polling Hours are also reduced to 12:00 p.m. Noon - 4:00 p.m. ONLY. For more details on the 6-30-2020 Election COVID-19 voting changes, please click on the image below to view the 8-page mailer with Absentee and Early Voting Ballot Applications, which arrived at all Rehoboth Households on 6-5-2020.
We are highly recommending you consider voting by mail (Early Voting by Mail Only or Absentee Ballot) for the 6-30-2020 Annual Town Election for your health and safety due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please stay healthy and safe.
Send in your applications as soon as possible to: Rehoboth Town Clerk - 148 Peck Street, Rehoboth, MA 02769 or Scan and e-mail to expedite the process to "[email protected]". Thank you for voting!
6-1-2020 COVID-19 Task Force Update
Please click on the link for the text of the COVID-19 Task Force Update provided at the June 1st Board of Selectmen’s Meeting
5-26-20 COVID-19 Task Force Update
Please click on the link for the text of the COVID-19 Task Force Update provided at the May 26th Board of Selectmen’s Meeting
5-22-20 Rehoboth Rabies Clinic Postponed
The Rehoboth Rabies Clinic scheduled for June 6, 2020 has been postponed. Phase One of the Massachusetts Reopening Plan allows only for gatherings of under 10-people which makes it impractical to conduct the rabies clinic safely and remain in compliance with the guidance. We will consider rescheduling the rabies clinic as further guidance becomes available.
5-22-20 Explore Rehoboth’s Open Space and Trails
Rehoboth has hundreds of acres and miles of trails to explore. We have put together a list and brief descriptions of the recreation properties owned by the Town and have provided a link to the Rehoboth Land Trust website which owns and maintains properties and trails throughout the town.
Some of these trails are popular and there is a chance there will be occasions when you will need to put on your face covering when maintaining a social distancing.
Well-behaved dogs, which are under the control of their owner, are welcome to join you on your walk. Please carry a leash and pick up your dog’s waste.
Through the end of June, please keep your dog on the trails while ground nesting birds such as waterfowl, woodcock, turkey, and grouse are incubating eggs.
We thought the Memorial Day weekend would be a good time to republish this post as the warmer weather we promised back in April finally appears to be with us. Now is a great time to roundup the family and head out for a hike. The sun, the breeze, and the beauty of these properties will reenergize you ~ we promise!
5-22-20 Registry of Motor Vehicles Implements Further Credential Extensions
The RMV announced further extensions to expiring licenses, registrations, and other credentials. Click on the link to read the notice from the RMV.
5-19-20 Governor Announces Reopening Massachusetts Plan
On Monday, Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito announced the Reopening Massachusetts Plan; a four phase approach to safely move the Commonwealth to the ‘new normal’. The plan presents a balanced approach to resuming activities while addressing the significant threat presented by the Coronavirus. Click on the link below to see the details of the reopening plan, which activities will be allowed to resume in each phase, and the general and sector specific protocols required as part of the reopening process.
5-18-2020 COVID-19 Taskforce Update
The May 18, 2020 COVID-19 Taskforce Update provides information on current COVID-19 case information, the Governor’s Reopening Massachusetts plan, and the annual town election.
5-12-2020 - COVID-19 Task Force Update
The May 11th update read at the opening of the Board of Selectmen Meeting provides current COVID-19 case information, a comparison of Rehoboth to other communities in Bristol County and across the Commonwealth, a reminder related to real estate taxes and excise tax, and information regarding the US Census, annual town election, and town meeting.
5-6-20 Oil Collections Suspended Until Further Notice
Highway Superintendent Mike Costello has announced oil collections will be suspended until further notice. This decision is made to protect both town residents and employees from the spread of the Coronavirus. The Highway Superintendent will resume oil collections once it is determined safe to do so.
5-6-20 Face Covering Order Takes Effect Today
Massachusetts residents are now ordered to wear face coverings outside of their homes when maintaining a six foot separation may not be possible. We know for a fact that individuals can be infected with the virus and not demonstrate any symptoms. This order is part of the ongoing effort to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Announced on May 1, Gov. Charlie Baker signed an executive order “requiring residents to use a face covering in public places when they cannot socially distance from others.”
The order went into effect today and specifically applies to anyone over the age of 2 who is out in public places or interacting with essential businesses like grocery stores, pharmacies and other retail locations.
Exceptions are granted to those with specific medical conditions that make it difficult to wear a mask.
Residents are asked to avoid using medical-grade masks in an effort to preserve those for health-care workers. The state has posted a list of “Tips on the Proper Use of Masks and Face Coverings” on the mass.gov website.
Fines for not wearing a face covering can range up to $300 per violation, and individuals can be refused entry to businesses for not adhering to the order.
5-4-20 - COVID-19 Task Force Update
The following was read at the beginning of the May 4th Board of Selectmen meeting. This update will provide current COVID-19 case information, Governor Baker’s decision to extend the Stay at Home Order and to order the use of face coverings in public settings; a report on the first meeting of the Financial Task Force; and an update regarding Annual Town Meeting and Town Election.
5-3-20 Mask and Face Covering Order
The Baker-Polito Administration has ordered all residents over the age of two to use a face covering or mask in public places where maintaining proper social distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are not possible. The statewide order goes into effect on May 6th and supersedes previously issued guidance relative to mask use. This order applies to all workers and customers of businesses and other organizations that are currently open to the public and permitted to operate as COVID-19 Essential Businesses, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and other retail stores. Residents are also required to wear a mask or face covering at all times when using any means of transportation service or public mass transit.
A face covering may include anything that covers the nose and mouth, including a mask, scarf, or bandana. Health care masks (such as surgical or N-95 masks) should not be used and should be preserved for health care workers and first responders. Cloth masks should not be worn by young children under the age of two, persons with difficulty breathing, or those who are unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
Senior Citizens or residents with compromised immune systems who are in need of a reusable face covering should contact the Selectmen’s Office @ 508-252-3758 or email [email protected].
5-3-20 2020 Federal Census - Digital Action Weekend
Why is the census important? The federal census is conducted once every ten years and will direct where federal funds go every year for things like public safety, education, and infrastructure. Being counted today will ensure we receive funds to support our teachers, police officers, firefighters, and families in each of the next ten years. You can complete the census online, by phone, or by mail. Visit 2020Census.gov today!
5-3-20 Selectmen Issue Resolution Declaring May 3-9 as Children’s Mental Health Week
In conjunction with the Parent/Professional Advocacy League, the Rehoboth Board of Selectmen issued a Resolution declaring May 3 – 9 as Children's Mental Health Week. Every year the first full week of May is set aside to raise awareness about children's mental health needs and the importance of working towards more inclusive communities by breaking the stigma attached to mental illness. Because of the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19, many families face challenges never seen before, and therefore highlighting the topic of children’s mental health is even more critical at this point in time.
4-28-20 It’s OK to Ask for Help – Dial 211
4-27-20 - COVID-19 Task Force Update
The following was read at the beginning of the April 27th Board of Selectmen meeting. This update will provide updated COVID-19 case information, discuss an addition to the COVID-19 Task Force mission, and provide information regarding the Annual Town Meeting and the Annual Town Election.
4-21-20 COVID-19 Task Force Update
By clicking on the link below you will be able to read the COVID-19 Task Force Update provided as part of the weekly Board of Selectmen Meeting. This update contains information regarding the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases; the current status of Rehoboth’s Continuity of Operations Plan; an update related to ensuring food and essentials are reaching our senior population and others in need of a hand, and some positive, newsworthy, activities happening in the Town.
4-21-20 Massachusetts Department of Health Launches Enhanced COVID-19 Dashboard
The Massachusetts Department of Health launched an enhanced dashboard on April 20th. The dashboard will be updated daily at 4:00 PM. Click on the image below for the April 20, 2020 new daily dashboard. For future updates, please click on the link under the image to view daily updates to the dashboard.
4-18-20 Explore Rehoboth’s Open Space and Trails
Rehoboth has hundreds of acres and miles of trails to explore. We have put together a list and brief description of the recreation properties owned by the Town and have provided a link to the Rehoboth Land Trust website which owns and maintains properties and trails throughout the town.
Some of these trails are popular and there is a chance there will be occasions when you will need to remember to practice social distancing.
Well-behaved dogs, which are under the control of their owner, are welcome to join you on your walk. Please carry a leash and pick up your dog’s waste.
During April through the end of June, please keep your dog on the trails while ground nesting birds such as waterfowl, woodcock, turkey, and grouse are incubating eggs.
With the promise of warmer temperatures on the horizon we thought it a good time to encourage everyone to roundup the family and head out for a hike. The sun, the breeze, and the beauty of these properties will reenergize you ~ we promise!
Rehoboth Land Trust Website: https://www.rehobothlandtrust.net
4-17-20 Transfer Station Policy Change
On March 20th the decision was made to keep the transfer station operating as an essential service. On March 24th the use of the Swap Shed was discontinued out of health concerns.
We continue to assess ways to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus and enhance protection for our residents and town employees. This assessment process has led to the following changes being implemented at the Town Transfer Station.
Effective immediately, the transfer station is suspending the use of paper tickets and will not be accepting payments for new cards. In place of the paper ticket the station manager will record the sticker number on the vehicle, the items to be disposed of and the number of ticket punches required for disposal of the items. The information from the Disposal Log will be entered into a spreadsheet maintained by the Health Department. When transfer operations return to normal the sticker holder will be responsible to make payment for the total disposal fee for the items disposed of during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, effective immediately anyone using the transfer station is required to wear face covering and gloves while on the premises. No one will be allowed access to the station without gloves and face covering. Finally, while using the station everyone must practice social distancing and remain six feet away from other users. Anyone not following the required protocols will be asked to immediately leave the transfer station and could lose the ability to use the transfer station going forward.
We will continue to evaluate safety protocols and make additional changes if warranted. The goal is to continue to offer this essential service while balancing the safety and health of both transfer station users and employees. We thank everyone in advance for their cooperation and understanding.
4-15-20 Rehoboth COVID-19 Taskforce Announcement Available for On-Demand Viewing
4-15-20 Rehoboth COVID-19 Taskforce Announcement to be Aired at 7:00 PM – Rehoboth TV Cable Channel 9
Monday’s storm, and the resulting loss of power, cable and Internet to a significant number of residences, prevented the Board of Selectmen from meeting on Monday. The Board intended to post the update to the town website on Tuesday; however, lingering issues prevented full service restoration until early Wednesday morning. This afternoon we will tape a video version of the COVID-19 Update to be aired at 7:00 PM this evening. We will also make a link to the video available immediately after this evening’s broadcast for anyone who missed the broadcast and is interested in seeing the update. Tonight’s report will also include a brief update on Monday’s storm.
4-12-20 - Thank You First Responders ~ Today's Bunny Hop
For those of you that were not able to observe, please click on the image below ~ Happy, Safe & Healthy Easter to all!
4-11-20 Governor Issues Advisory to Wear Face Covering in Public Settings
Governor Baker issued an advisory that all residents should wear face coverings whenever you go out in public; especially when the six foot social distancing rule may not be observed. He cited as examples trips to the grocery store or pharmacy. Wearing a face covering protects both you and others. It is estimated that 25 – 40% of people who will become infected with the virus will never develop symptoms. Yet, those same individuals can infect those around them. Be a good a good neighbor and wear a face covering when in public – PLEASE.
The face covering does not, and should not, be an N-95 or surgical mask since these critical supplies are needed by first responders and medical professionals. The face covering can be as simple as a tightly weaved scarf or a bandana. It is important; however, that the covering fits tightly and covers both your nose and mouth. There are also several YouTube videos which can demonstrate how you can make your own mask at home.
We have several individuals and sewing groups in Rehoboth who have been making masks for local hospitals, the National Guard, and first responders. These individuals are true home town heroes and have donated high-quality masks to the Town to protect our first responders, seniors, and those with compromised immune systems. Contact the Selectmen’s office, call the COVID-19 Hotline, or send an email to [email protected] if you would like to join one of these groups, if you have extra masks to donate, or if you are a resident in need of a mask and are a senior or have a compromised immune system.
We are in this together and together we will make it through to the better days that are ahead.
4-11-20 Thank You First Responders for Bringing a Little Noise and a Whole Lot of Joy
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Easter Bunny Hop today. The Easter Bunny could not have been safer on his visit to Rehoboth today. Accompanied by Rehoboth Police, Rehoboth Ambulance, and the Rehoboth Emergency Management Agency, the Bunny hitched a ride on Rehoboth Fire’s Ladder One truck and brought delight to the hundreds who came out along the route to see the Easter Bunny and to show appreciation to the men and women who protect our Town.
It was incredibly gratifying to see how many families were parked along the route or sitting in front of their homes enjoying the weather, practicing social distancing and awaiting the caravan of public safety vehicles clearing the way for the Easter Bunny. If you were unable to make it out today; fear not you have another chance to see the parade on Sunday. Sunday’s Bunny Hop will start at 10:00 a.m. on Regional Way and wind through the south part of town. You can see the turn by turn details attached to the post – just scroll down or click HERE (and go to page 3-Sunday, April 12) ! And, for those of you who can’t make it, we have posted a video of today’s second Bunny Hop through the center of town below.
Thank you to all who took their time to organize and carryout the Easter Bunny Hop. Your commitment and service to your Community and neighbors knows no bounds. We hope the smiles you saw on both children and adults alike let you know how much the Bunny Hop was enjoyed and how much we appreciate you for all you do for so many. Please click on the image below to view the video ~ thank you.
4-9-20 First Responders to Conduct Easter Bunny Hop for Town of Rehoboth Residents
Rehoboth Fire Fighters, Rehoboth Police Officers, and Rehoboth Ambulance will be escorting the Easter Bunny along three separate routes on Saturday and Sunday. Click on the link below to see the routes to be followed for this special event. This is another example of the goodness that exists in our Community. Let’s return the love by showing our appreciation to these brave men and women as they pass by.
One of the best ways to show our support is to remain safe. Please remember to practice social distancing and wear a mask to protect you, your family and your neighbors.
A huge THANK YOU to all involved with the Bunny Hop!
4-8-20 Selectmen Vote to Extend Due Date on May 1st Real Estate Tax
The Act to Address Challenges Faced by Municipalities and State Authorities Resulting from COVID-19 (H.4598) signed into law by Governor Baker on April 3, 2020 provides cities, towns, and districts authority to local officials to take action to address the needs of their constituents. Section 10 of the Act provides a local option for the chief executive officer in a city, town, or district to extend the property tax deadline from May 1, 2020 to June 1, 2020. In a town the chief executive officer is the Board of Selectmen.
After consultation with the Town Tax Collector and Treasurer, the Board of Selectmen voted on April 6, 2020 to extend the May 1, 2020 to June 1, 2020.
4-8-20 Selectmen Vote to Waive Interest and Penalty for Late Payment of Excise Tax
The Act to Address Challenges Faced by Municipalities and State Authorities Resulting from COVID-19 (H.4598) signed into law by Governor Baker on April 3, 2020 provides cities, towns, and districts authority to local officials to take action to address the needs of their constituents. Section 11 of the Act provides a local option for the chief executive officer in a city, town, or district to waive interest and other penalty for late payment of excise tax with a due date on or after March 10, 2020 where payment is made after its respective due date but before June 30, 2020. In a town the chief executive officer is the Board of Selectmen.
After consultation with the Town Tax Collector and Treasurer, the Board of Selectmen voted on April 6, 2020 to waive interest and penalty for late payment of excise tax made after its respective due date but before June 30, 2020.
It is important to note Section 11 of the Act allows the waiver of interest and penalties regarding late payments of bills with a due date of March 10, 2020 or after, when such bills are paid late but paid on or before June 30, 2020. This section does not permit waiver of interest and penalties regarding bills with due dates before March 10, 2020 or if the bill is not paid by June 30, 2020.
4-7-20 Nine Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in Rehoboth
4-6-20 Help the Cause by Making Face Masks
Please volunteer to help make face masks for first responders, seniors and those with compromised immune systems. The Town has been contacted by two groups of volunteers who have formed sewing groups to produce face masks. Please contact the Selectmen’s Office @ 508-252-3758 if you want to help and we will pass along your information to the volunteer groups.
Also, we are always in need of material. Cotton material, light weight flannel, elastic top the list of sewing needs. Please contact us if you material to share and we will make arrangements to pick it up and deliver it to the sewing groups. Thank you!
4-6-20 Access Library Resources Online
While the physical library is closed, the library’s online services are available 24-hours a day / 7-days a week by visiting www.sailsinc.org, as well as the Overdrive and Libby eBook apps. You may also click on the link below to sign up for an e-card with Boston Public Library to access additional online resources and content. https://www.bpl.org/ecard/
4-3-20 Funding Available to Support Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
4-3-20 Burning Permit Update
For those who were not able to obtain a burning permit and would like to receive one please use the following procedure: Mail a stamped self-addressed envelope with a check for five dollars with your phone number on it made out to the “Town of Rehoboth” to 334 Anawan St., Rehoboth MA 02769 and we will mail the permit back to you. You may also drop it in the drop box at Town Hall. Please be advised the State has never extended burning season and May 1st will be the last day!
4-3-20 Keep a Journal of Contacts
It is being recommended that we all keep a list of the people we are in contact with each day. Each confirmed case of COVID-19 is investigated by a case manager who is responsible for contacting everyone who was exposed to the patient. The only way to be certain one can provide the necessary information to the case manager is to keep a list; especially when a person is dealing with the stress caused by a positive test result.
4-2-20 Help Support Rehoboth’s Food Establishments
Please support our local food establishments by placing a delivery or takeout order. We have canvassed the list of businesses holding town issued food permits to determine the services they are offering and their hours of operation. Click on the image below to download the PDF. Please observe social distancing protocols ~ Bon Appetite!
4-2-20 Support the Great Egg Hunt
What a great family is activity! Thank you to whomever started sharing this idea with the Community. We have attached a link for the full sized template. Click on the image below to download a PDF. How many eggs will you find?
3-31-20 Selectmen Launch COVID-19 Helpline
The Board of Selectmen has established a direct line to assist residents with issues related to Town services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Any resident who has a question, concern or is having difficulty reaching any town department should call 774-565-8111 (or if you prefer, you can email to [email protected]). Your call will be directed to Board of Selectmen Chairman Gerry Schwall, who will connect you to the person who can provide assistance.
No Rehoboth resident should feel they are facing this crisis on their own. We have a full range of services and resources we can access to provide help.
3-31-20 Make Time Today to be Counted in the U.S. Census
3-31-20 Volunteers Needed for Meals on Wheels
We are looking to create a list of volunteers who could be available as alternates to help deliver meals to residents who rely on the Meals on Wheels program. Presently, our core group of volunteers is providing the incredibly important service; however, in these uncertain times it is important we maintain a list of others who would be able to step in to support his essential service.
3-30-20 Rehoboth Food Pantry – New Hours of Operation
The Rehoboth Food Pantry has announced new hours of operation in response to current demand. Effectively immediately, the Pantry will be open for normal distribution every Thursday from 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM and every Saturday from 8:00 AM – 10:00AM. In the interest of health and wellness all food distribution by the pantry will be conducted in a “drive up / pick up” format.
The Rehoboth Food Pantry also delivers food to our neighbors who need that service, and during this time of crisis are expanding this service to those who are most susceptible to the virus and for those who are unable to come to the pantry. This includes the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.
At this time there is no food shortage so the Pantry will continue to distribute the normal allotments. Monetary donations are always welcome if you are able and looking for a way to contribute.
Any questions or requests for delivery please contact us at 508-493-1922.
3-29-20 Help Make Masks for First Responders
A Rehoboth resident who has been busy making surgical masks for Rhode Island hospitals and the Rhode Island National Guard is turning her attention to helping increase the supply of surgical masks for Rehoboth first responders. However, sourcing supplies from traditional outlets is becoming harder as others across the area are mobilizing to help protect health care professionals and first responders from the Coronavirus.
This is where we can all help. Please check your sewing supplies and let us know if you have cotton or cotton blend material, ¼ inch elastic, or ¼ inch or ½ inch double fold bias tape which you could donate for this important service. You can also help make masks if you have a sewing machine and some available time. Instructions are available along with a helpful video. Please contact the Selectmen’s Office (508) 252-3758 or send an email to [email protected] if you have extra supplies you can donate or if you can assist in making masks. We will make arrangements to get the materials where they are needed, or connect you with someone who can help you get started making masks.
Also, please remember we are still sourcing N-95 masks, face shields, eye protection, and disinfecting supplies. The responsiveness and generosity of our Community has been very moving and we are making progress. Thank you.
3-29-20 Commonwealth Launches New Online Tool to Access Symptoms
3-29-20 Selectmen to Provide COVID-19 Update
Starting two weeks ago the Board of Selectmen have been providing a live update as to the steps the Town has been taking to keep government services operating while protecting the residents and employees. The updates will continue at the beginning of each meeting throughout the Governor’s declared state of emergency. We encourage residents to tune to Channel 9 or stream the meeting live by visiting RehobothTV.org at 7:00 PM each Monday to stay informed throughout this evolving situation.
3-27-20 Registry of Motor Vehicles Update
3-26-20 REAL ID Enforcement Extension
3-26-20 Dighton Reports First Confirmed Case of COVID-19
The Dighton Board of Health and the Board of Selectmen announced earlier today they were notified of a confirmed case of COVID-19 by the Massachusetts Department of Health. The individual is being treated at home and those who had been in contact with the individual are self-quarantining.
3-25-20 - Thank You Rehoboth
We would like to thank everyone who responded so generously to our call for N-95 masks, N-95 respirators, and disinfecting materials. The response has been very gratifying to all of us but especially our first responders who are now better equipped to remain safe when responding to calls for help.
3-25-2020 - First Positive COVID-19 Case Confirmed in Rehoboth
The Rehoboth Board of Health was informed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) of a positive case of COVID-19 in the community of Rehoboth. The resident has been notified and we are in the process notifying those who came into contact with this person. The individual, as well as people the individual was in contact with, will self-quarantine at home. Due to privacy laws, further information regarding the resident will not be disclosed.
“We have known that COVID-19 was coming to Rehoboth,” Gerry Schwall, Chairman of the Board of Selectmen said. “Our COVID-19 Task Force has been preparing for the arrival and we are prepared to respond. I ask members of our community to remember that it is the simple things done correctly that will save lives. Wash your hands, cover your cough and stay away from those who are feeling ill. Stay home; especially if you feel sick. The simple things we were taught as a child will help protect our families, our friends, and our neighbors.”
The Town of Rehoboth expects more positive cases within the community as testing becomes more readily available. The Board of Health is actively monitoring the situation and responding according to guidance provided by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Please stay at home, engage in good hygiene practices including sanitizing frequently touched surfaces, covering your mouth when coughing, and washing your hands.
The Rehoboth Board of Health and COVID-19 Task Force are committed to ensuring public safety and providing timely updates to the best of our ability. Please visit the Town of Rehoboth Website COVID-19 page for updates:
For additional information please visit the following links:
3-24-20 - Annual Town Elections Postponed
Pursuant to Section 1 of Chapter 45 of the Acts of 2020 and because of the State of Emergency declared by the Governor pursuant to executive order 591, Declaration of a State of Emergency to Respond to COVID-19, and in consultation with the Town Clerk and Town Counsel, it was voted at the March 23, 2020 Board of Selectmen’s meeting that the Rehoboth Annual Town Election scheduled for April 7, 2020 is hereby postponed to Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
All individuals who are on the ballot for the April Election, and currently serving, will remain in place until the Election occurs in June.
3-24-20 - Annual Town Meeting Rescheduled
The Board of Selectmen voted to exercise its authority to reschedule the Special and Annual Town Meeting scheduled for May 12, 2020 to June 16, 2020, with a second session scheduled for June 23, 2020, if needed.
Pending legislation would authorize the Board to postpone the meetings into July or August, if necessary. Should the new fiscal year begin without a budget in place the Town would operate under a 1/12th budget until a meeting could be held and appropriations are approved.
3-24-20 - Transfer Station Update
The Rehoboth Board of Health announced a change to the operation of the Transfer Station. Effectively immediately, the Swap Shed will remain closed until further notice. The Transfer Station will continue to remain open during regular hours. Protocols have been put in place to protect both residents and employees. Remember to observe social distancing guidelines when during all in-person interactions.
3-24-20 - Meetings of Elected and Appointed Bodies
The Board of Selectmen has directed elected and appointed bodies to suspend non-essential meetings during the period of the Governor’s declaration of a state of emergency. Elected and appointed bodies with essential business to conduct on behalf of the Town and its residents will coordinate with the Town Administrator to ensure all meetings are conducted remotely and in accordance with the revised Open Meeting Law requirements. All meetings will be posted and made available to the public to hear the deliberations. The intent of this direction is to keep the business of government moving forward in a safe, transparent, and effective manner.
There is one exception to the remote meeting directive. The Board of Selectmen will continue to meet in person on Monday evenings to conduct the Town’s business and to provide updates directly to the residents on matters involving public health, public safety, and town services.
3-24-20 - Governor Baker’s COVID-19 Order No. 13:
Order Assuring Continued Operation of Essential Services in the Commonwealth, Closing Certain Workplaces, and Prohibiting Gatherings of More Than Ten People
3-24-2020 - Update on the Blanding Library
This is an update on the Blanding Library as of 3-24-2020. As you may know, the library has been closed to the public for the last week and the staff has been doing their best to provide pick-up and drop-off service at the door. Following Governor Baker's announcement yesterday, and the advice of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, we will regretfully end that service as well for the next two weeks.
3-21-20 - Virtual Meeting to Help with Unemployment Claims Scheduled for Sunday, March 22nd
To help with the increased demand on the unemployment system, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) will be hosting virtual town hall meetings. The DUA will take all who sign up through a step by step process of achieving a successful unemployment claim. They will also be taking questions from claimants across the Commonwealth. Applicants should file for benefits at https://www.mass.gov/unemployment-insurance-ui-online
The first virtual town hall will be held this Sunday, March 22nd, at 3:30pm. Sign up information for the virtual town hall is available at www.mass.gov/unemployment/townhall.
To further help claimants through the process of applying for benefits, the DUA has made specific web page updates that include the latest guidance for employee qualifications and additional resources like contact forms and a COVID-19 specific unemployment claim handbook that can be viewed at https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-unemployment-and-coronavirus-covid-19.
3-20-20 - Transfer Station to Remain Open During Regular Posted Hours
The Rehoboth Board of Health announced the Transfer Station will be open during regular hours until further notice. Protocols have been put in place to protect both residents and employees. Remember to observe social distancing guidelines when during all in-person interactions.
3-20-20 - Request to Assist First Responders
On behalf of our first responders, we are asking contractors, stonecutters, and residents who may have masks identified as N95 to please contact the Selectmen’s Office (508) 252-3758. As reported by the news outlets, these masks are very difficult to source and we are exhausting all avenues to ensure our first responders have what they need to protect themselves and their families as they serve our community. We have also been attempting to secure additional disinfecting solution and would appreciate any information on points of contact anyone may have. Thank you.
3-19-20 - Keep Rehoboth Beautiful to Postpone Town Wide Cleanup until the Fall
3-19-20 - SBA Approves Massachusetts Disaster Declaration
The Baker-Polito Administration announced today that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will offer low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Massachusetts small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available following a request received from Governor Charlie Baker on March 17, 2020. Please Click Here for additional information.
3-18-20 - Rehoboth Food Pantry Expands Services in Response to Coronavirus Crisis
Currently the Rehoboth Food Pantry delivers food to our neighbors who need that service. During this time of crisis we are opening the delivery to our neighbors who are most susceptible to the virus and for those who are unable to come to the pantry. This would certainly include the elderly or those with compromised immune systems.
Also, in response to the COVID-19 crisis the Rehoboth Food Pantry board has decided to expand our hours to better serve our neighbors in need. In the interest of health and wellness all food distribution by the pantry will be conducted in a “drive up” format (you need to stay in your vehicle) to protect the volunteers and our neighbors. We will provide breakfast and lunch items every Tuesday from 8am – 10am and every Saturday from 8am – 10am. We will also be open for our normal distribution every Thursday from 2:30 – 4:30 but again, is in a drive up format. Please, if you are able to drive to the pantry then please do so.
Please keep in mind that there is NO food shortage so we will be distributing our normal allotments. Right now the help we need is that of monetary donations.
Any questions or requests for delivery please contact us at 508-493-1922
3-18-20 - Mass 211 Expanded to Include Information and Assistance Concerning COVID-19
Need Help & Don't Know Where To Turn? Every day, someone somewhere in Massachusetts needs to find essential community services, an after school program, a food bank, or where to secure care for an aging parent. Many face these challenges, but don't always know where to turn for help. The Solution is to Dial 2-1-1. Mass 211 has now been expanded to include information concerning COVID-19
Mass 211 is an easy to remember telephone number that connects callers to information about critical health and human services available in their community. It serves as a resource for finding government benefits and services, nonprofit organizations, support groups, volunteer opportunities, donation programs, and other local resources. Always a confidential call, Mass 211 maintains the integrity of the 9-1-1 system saving that vital community resource for life and death emergencies.
Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Mass 211 is an easy way to find or give help in your community.
3-18-20 - Coronavirus and Our Pet Population
There have been a number of questions raised regarding the impact COVID-19 can have on our pet population. In response to these questions we have reached out to the Humane Society of the United States for answers. In response to our questions, Massachusetts Director Ms. Laura Hagen forwarded the attached link which provides answers to frequently asked questions.
3-18-20 - Area Stores – Hours and Policies
The attached document (Click Here) provides the latest information regarding store hours and policies for some of the larger stores in our area.
Please remember to support our local neighborhood stores whenever possible.
3-17-2020 - Fire Department Permits / Inspections
The Coronavirus has necessitated changes to the permitting and inspection services provided by the Rehoboth Fire Department. In relation to the COVID-19 virus and all Federal, State and Local mandates please see the current procedures below:
- Effective at 3pm on March 17, 2020 all Fire Stations and Fire Department Administrative Offices will be closed to the public.
- The issuance of burning permits has been suspended indefinitely. If you already have a burning permit please follow the instructions on the permit and call daily to see if burning is being allowed and to receive permission to burn if so.
- If you are a contractor, installer, technician or are in need of a permit for your business please submit it by mail or address to the Fire Department and deposit in the drop box in front of Town Hall. You may also call the office if you need an immediate or critical permit and we will handle them on a case by case basis.
We will be continuing to perform inspections for real estate transfers, propane installations, oil burners and tanks etc. on an as needed and case by case basis. Please call the office for determination and scheduling as well.
We thank you for your understanding and regret any inconvenience this may cause but need to keep the safety of our employees and the public in the forefront as this situation continues to evolve. Further information will be released when warranted.
3-17-2020 - Announcement from Rehoboth Antiquarian Society-Closure of Blanding Library & Carpenter Museum
In order to protect the health and safety of our community and reduce transmission of COVID-19, RAS will be temporarily closing the Blanding Public Library and the Carpenter Museum. Events and programs are also postponed. Please see "News and Announcements" for full details. For more updated information, please visit the Rehoboth Antiquarian Society website @ http://www.rehobothantiquarian.org/
3-16-2020 - Closure of Municipal Buildings to Public
We want to provide an update and advise you on the recent decisions made this morning by the Rehoboth COVID-19 Task Force in response to Governor’s Order and guidance from Public Health Officials.
- As of this writing, there is no known positive COVID-19 case in Rehoboth.
- After consideration of many factors we have decided to close all Rehoboth municipal buildings, with the exception of the Public Safety Building on Anawan Street, to the public. We do this in an attempt to provide a balance in which the Town can continue to provide essential services to the public, while trying to prevent and mitigate the spread of the virus. We are asking the public use our on-line resources for on-line payment and contact us via email and telephone with any questions that you may have for us. All Town employees will be reporting to work during regular work hours and will be available to assist you with your needs and questions.
- Residents are encouraged to use the on-line services and the drop box outside of Town Hall for bill payment or to deposit other items requiring attention.
- We are working with Public Health Officials to develop a protocol for any in-person appointment which must occur. Additional information will be made available once the protocol is finalized.
3-15-2020 - COA Operations Update
In accordance with the guidance received from Public Health Officials, the Rehoboth Senior Center is suspending all optional group gatherings. This includes the various group activities offered at the Center, as well as, Gert’s Café, Tuesday Lunch, Wednesday Breakfast, and Men’s Coffee, and the Senior Citizens Club Meetings.
The Board of Selectmen has directed the Senior Center to remain fully staffed and available during regularly scheduled hours to assist with health insurance, fuel assistance, and any other concerns or questions our Seniors may have during this time. The tax preparation program offered in conjunction with the AARP is discontinued at this time.
The Meals on Wheels Program will continue each day unless cancelled by Bristol Elder Services, Inc. (BESI). Seniors will be notified directly by BESI if this changes.
We urge our Senior population to reach out to Linna, Brad, and Kim with questions, needs, or concerns ~ these dedicated people will be able to help. Or, maybe you just need a friendly person to talk with during this uncertain period. Sometimes a brief conversation helps to put things into perspective.
The Selectmen’s Office is in contact with local, state, and federal public health and public safety agencies on a daily basis and will be monitoring and adjusting the Town’s response to the COVID-19 situation as appropriate. Please check back here for additional updates.
The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen
3-15-2020 - Establishment of Rehoboth COVID-19 Task Force
In response to the rapidly evolving Coronavirus situation, the Rehoboth Board of Selectmen has established a COVID-19 Task Force. The goal of the Task Force is to provide a balance in which the Town can continue to provide essential services to the public, while trying to prevent and mitigate the spread of the virus.
3-12-2020 - Malicious Website Warning
The following was received as an alert message from the Massachusetts Health and Homeland Alert Network:
Please note: It has come to the Department of Public Health attention that a malicious website pretending to be a live map for Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins University is circulating on the internet waiting for unwitting internet users to visit the website. Visiting the website infects the computer with an information stealing program which can ex-filtrate a variety of sensitive data. Furthermore, anyone searching the internet for a Coronavirus map could unwittingly navigate to this malicious website.
Safe websites to visit which contain reliable information are:
Regional School Districts
For COVID19 information regarding the school district, please visit the following pages for additional information.
Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School District Covid19 Information
State and Federal Resources