In response to COVID-19, FRCOG offices are closed. Staff are working remotely. Email is likely the most efficient way to reach us. You can find our contact information on the Staff page under the About link below.

Building, plumbing and wiring inspectors are available for meetings by appointment only.

All meetings, workshops and forums are cancelled or have been changed to a call-in or video format.  Please look for emails from FRCOG staff about specific meetings or on our calendar at the Meetings and Events link below.

Archive | September, 2020

Remote Learning Options and the Municipal Role in Approving Them

  • Gov. Baker’s COVID-19 Order #49 established expanded care options for the supervision of remote learning for school age children. The order allowed for the creation of “Remote Learning Enrichment Programs” (RLEPs) – and stipulated that these programs must be approved and monitored by municipalities in order for the MA Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) to grant a waiver allowing these programs to operate. We have received numerous questions about the responsibilities of the municipalities with regards to approving and monitoring RLEPs, and have compiled the following guidance from EEC:
    • A brief summary of the 3 ways communities can support remote learning (expanded access to existing EEC licensed programs; new Remote Learning Enrichment Programs Exemption; and Remote Learning Parent Cooperatives) can be found by clicking here.
    • The Commonwealth is allowing many of the programs already licensed to care for children (e.g. daycares and after school programs) to provide expanded care during the school day, to assist with supervising remote learning. A brief summary of guidance for currently licensed EEC providers can be found by clicking here.
    • For municipalities which are themselves organizing RLEPs, or have community groups doing so, an overview of the Remote Learning Enrichment Programs Exemption, with links to the various processes in setting up an RLEP and the municipal paperwork involved can be found by clicking here (and scrolling down to the RLEP section).
      • The most extensive and detailed information from EEC about the role of a Municipal Approving Authority, outlining the steps a city or town must take to grant approval to a RLEP can be found here at this link.
    • Detailed health and safety guidance from EEC for child care providers can be found here.
    • Once a municipality has approved a RLEP, that program can then apply to EEC for a waiver. We have heard that turnaround time is fairly quick once municipal approval has been granted.
    • Finally, specific questions can be directed to EEC by emailing: EECExemptions@mass.gov

Flu Clinics

The flu season is beginning! Everyone six months of age or older needs a flu vaccine. When most of us are vaccinated, we build community immunity that protects the elderly, children, and those with compromised immune systems from the terrible effects of influenza.  During the current coronavirus pandemic, flu vaccination is all the more important for staying healthy and conserving needed health care services.  For information on prevention, symptoms, and treatment of influenza, visit www.flu.gov

The Cooperative Public Health Service (CPHS) is offering influenza vaccines (with no insurance co-pay) to area residents at regularly scheduled wellness clinics throughout the region. For a schedule of all 2020 CPHS Flu Clinics, click here.

To offer to volunteer at a flu clinic, click here.

Flyers  and links for each clinic:

 

What to expect:  

A COVID Self-Screen is required of everyone attending.  Face masks and physical distancing as possible are required.  Local public health, public safety, fire and EMS, along with other community leaders and volunteers including members of the Franklin County/Western Massachusetts Medical Reserve Corps are staffing these clinics to provide annual flu vaccine and practice Emergency Dispensing Site protocols in anticipation of COVID vaccine.

What kind of vaccine is available?

Both injectable and flu mist formulas for kids will be available this year.  Senior High-Dose formulas will be available at most clinics for those over age 65 — please check the calendar links above for the specific clinic to check.  Visit this page regularly for updates and any changes and contact Lisa White, RN, Regional Public Health Nurse of FRCOG, at 413-774-3167 x 156 for any special needs.

  What you should bring or prepare:

  • Bring your insurance cards or a good paper copy of them – most forms of insurance are accepted – or, if you do not have a billable insurance,bring $20 for the fee for adults and $10 for kids

    We have a long history of providing flu clinics to the region. Here is the team for a 2018 flu vaccination clinic held at Deerfield Elementary including CPHS staff, Medical Reserve Corps, Greenfield Community College nursing students, public health leaders, public safety, EMS and community volunteers

  • Prepare forms and review information sheets ahead of time. Print the forms below, or contact the Board of Health in your participating town for a paper copy.
  • Bring a pen and something to write on. We’ll have some on hand, too.

Contact Lisa White, RN, Regional Public Health Nurse of FRCOG, at 413-774-3167 x 156 for updated schedule and more information or visit this page regularly.

Other Town Clinics will be posted here as we get information on them. 

For more information on the CPHS, click here.

 

Registration now open for MHP’s Western MA Housing Virtual Workshop Series

Registration is now open for the Western Mass Housing Conference, sponsored by the Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP).

Geared towards officials, volunteers and employees in small and rural towns in Western Mass, the conference has been redesigned as a weekly virtual series that will engage participants in discussion and problem solving around the development of affordable housing in the region.

Registration is free but you must register in advance for EACH session you’d like to attend. Please go to https://www.mhp.net/community/events to register. Contact Katie Bosse at kbosse@mhp.net or 857-317-8517 for more information about this or any other MHP-sponsored events.

Zoning for Housing Diversity in Small Towns

When: Sept. 22, 2020, 12:00 – 1:15 p.m.

Playbook for Building Support for Community Engagement

When: Sept. 29, 2020, 12:00 – 1:15 p.m.

Pathways to Homeownership in Western Mass

When: Oct. 7, 2020, 11:00 – 12:15 p.m.

Supportive Housing for Chronically Homeless

When: Oct. 15, 2020, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Bringing Affordable Senior Housing to Small and Rural Towns

When: Oct. 21, 2020, 11:00 – 12:15 p.m.

Distressed and Abandoned Properties

When: Nov. 5 2020, 12:00 – 1:15 p.m.

CDBG Housing Rehab 101

When: Nov. 9, 2020 12:00 – 1:15 p.m.