- CDC Thanksgiving Guidance
- CDC Domestic Travel Guidance
- Creating New Traditions for COVID and Beyond – 4Sc + The Partnership
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.
Testing for asymptomatic people (people who are not currently sick):
Testing for people with symptoms:
For an archive of all the emails sent by the state on re-opening, click here
For a Franklin County data dashboard from the Public Health Institute of Western MA, click here.
For the state’s COVID data page, click here.
For the latest situation reports from the MA COVID Command Center, click here.
For the COG’s COVID Municipal Resources Page click here.
For the COG’s Board of Health COVID Resources Page click here.
For the Region 1 Health and Medical Coordinating Coalition, click here.
For resources and guidance for businesses, organizations, entrepreneurs, and job seekers, click here.
To read the FRCOG’s Municipal Leader COVID-19 updates:
It’s getting colder and mask standards have changed, so we have updated our face covering signs. Call 413-774-3167 x 1 if you would like any of these signs for your town/business. Our thanks to Kat Woods Design for the donation of graphic design of the “Help Keep Our Town Safe” signs, to the Brookline Health Department for the “Thank you for Wearing A Mask” sign, and to Katie’s Doodles for the “It goes over your nose” signs.
In response to requests from town administrators and board of health members in a number of towns, the FRCOG has pulled together a Halloween COVID safety poster with tips for both trick-or-treaters and those they visit.
Communities can request hard copies (11×17) by calling 413-774-3167 extension 1 and leaving a message or download it here: FRCOG halloween safety tips poster
Mosquitoes can spread diseases that make you sick. In Massachusetts, mosquitoes can give you eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus or West Nile virus (WNV). EEE can cause severe illness and possibly lead to death in any age group. EEE does not occur every year, but based on mosquito sampling, a high risk of occurrence of human cases currently exists.
Outbreaks of EEE usually occur in Massachusetts every 10-20 years. These outbreaks will typically last two to three years. The most recent outbreak of EEE in Massachusetts began in 2019 and included twelve cases with six fatalities. The first EEE positive mosquito sample within the State this season was detected in Orange on 7/2/20 and Wendell 7/6/20. Risk levels remain elevated through to frost.
The best way to avoid both of these illnesses is to prevent mosquito bites.
There are steps that you can take to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites, and the illnesses they can cause.
Protect yourself from illness by doing simple things:
See a video from DPH on EEE here: https://youtu.be/VekccoVW6aQ
For more information, including current maps of risk levels and findings of EEE and WNV in Massachusetts see https://www.mass.gov/mosquitoes-and-ticks or contact Regional Public Health Nurse Lisa White for more information at 413-665-1400 x 114.
FRCOG publishes each of the Re-Opening Guidance emails shared by the Department of Public Health with local health officials here: https://frcog.org/re-opening-information/
The murder of George Floyd and resulting international protests highlight again the dire consequences of systemic racism and inequity in our society. We all must proactively work to right centuries of wrong.
At the FRCOG, we are already involved in projects to improve racial equity. The Communities that Care Coalition, staffed by our Partnership for Youth, has a 5-year grant to address racial justice in our county’s school districts. Welcoming and Belonging Franklin County, in which we participate with the Franklin County Community Development Corporation and Greenfield Community College, among others, has received a grant to address racial equity and inclusion in our workplaces and community. The FRCOG’s research conducted to produce last year’s Community Health Needs Assessment identified troubling health disparities for people of color in our county. These inequities must be considered in all local and regional planning efforts moving forward. The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council’s Pan Flu Planning Subcommittee has acknowledged systemic racism as a public health issue, and has recognized that domestic terrorism inflicted upon black and brown people is a Homeland Security issue. The FRCOG also works closely with our county’s first responders, and we will collaborate with them to ensure greater racial equity in our region.
The Cooperative Public Health Service Health District of the Franklin Regional Council of Governments reminds people to consider what is going into their household drains. People served by public sewer systems or private septic systems should be aware of what happens with items that are not biological and therefore not intended for the wastewater system.
While the Coronavirus requires an increase in the need to sanitize, even within our own homes, we need to limit the amount of sanitizers that go into our sanitary sewer systems. These sanitizers kills viruses and bacteria, both harmful and the useful bacteria that breaks down your family’s waste. The district’s recommendations:
DON’T FLUSH WIPES, paper towels, cotton swabs, sanitary products, toilet cleaning pop-off wands…
If your home has its own septic system: Even flushable wipes can clog your plumbing and create problems for your septic system. Wipes don’t break down quickly and entirely like toilet paper. Flushing wipes and items other than toilet paper can plug the building sewer line and build up at the inlet of the septic tank causing sewage to back up into your house. Wipes in your septic tank will reduce its ability to remove solids from the water, contributing to system failure. Flushing wipes can also clog up much-needed pumps within your septic system.
If your home is on public sewer, leading to a wastewater treatment plant: Flushing wipes and items other than toilet paper can plug the building sewer line, causing sewage to back up into your house. They can also clog up the pumps in your local wastewater treatment plant.
USE BLEACH SPARINGLY
Combating the Coronavirus requires an increase in the need to sanitize, even within our own homes. However, bleach, and other disinfectants kill the beneficial bacteria and may lead to premature system failure. Choose non-bleach cleaning alternatives whenever possible or use sparingly and well diluted. Hot water and soap are effective against Coronavirus.
WHERE TO LEARN MORE