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.

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**COVID-19 Data and Updates**

For the latest re-opening information for local governments, click here
For a Franklin County data dashboard from the Public Health Institute of Western MA, click here.
For the state’s map showing local testing numbers and color-coded risk levels, 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 Region 1 Health and Medical Coordinating Coalition, click here.
For resources and guidance for businesses, organizations, entrepreneurs, and job seekers, click here.

Testing resources:

 

 

To read the FRCOG’s Municipal Leader COVID-19 updates:

2020 Census Events

Everyone in Franklin County needs to be counted in the 2020 Census by the end of September 2020!

To help complete the 2020 Census, check out one of these upcoming Mobile Questionnaire Assistance (MQA) Center events in Franklin County see the list below by date or by town. For more information about these MQA events, contact US Census Bureau Partnership Specialist Elaine Arsenault at elaine.m.arsenault@2020census.gov.

BY DATE:

Tue, September 1, 2020, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm at The Recover Project, 68 Federal St, Greenfield

Wed. September 2, 2020, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm at Rowe Town Hall, 321 Zoar Rd, Rowe

Thur. September 3, 2020, 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm at Just Roots, 107 Main Street, Greenfield

Wed. September 9, 2020, 10:30 am – 1:00 pm at Center for Self-Reliance, 51 Maple St, Shelburne Falls

Thur. September 10, 2020, 10:30 am – 1:00 pm at Orange Farmers Market, 141 E Main St, Orange

Fri. September 11, 2020, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Country Pie Pizza, 343 Main St, Ashfield

Sat. September 12, 2020, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

Wed. September 16, 2020, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm at Gill/Montague Senior Center, 62 5th St, Turners Falls

Fri. September 18, 2020, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm at A.L. Avery Store, 127 Main St, Charlemont

Sat. September 19, 2020, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

Sun. September 20, 2020, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm at Good Neighbors Program, 9 Morse Village Rd, Wendell

Wed. September 23, 2020, 10:30 am – 1:30 pm at Center for Self Reliance, 51 Maple St, Shelburne Falls

Wed. September 23, 2020, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

Thur. September 24, 2020, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm at Orange Farmers Market, 141 E Main St, Orange

Fri. September 25, 2020, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm at A.L. Avery Store, 127 Main St, Charlemont

Fri. September 25, 2020, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Country Pie Pizza, 343 Main St, Ashfield

Sat. September 26, 2020, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

 

BY TOWN:

ASHFIELD

Fri. September 11, 2020, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Country Pie Pizza, 343 Main St, Ashfield

Fri. September 25, 2020, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Country Pie Pizza, 343 Main St, Ashfield

CHARLEMONT

Fri. September 18, 2020, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm at A.L. Avery Store, 127 Main St, Charlemont

Fri. September 25, 2020, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm at A.L. Avery Store, 127 Main St, Charlemont

GREENFIELD

Tue, September 1, 2020, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm at The Recover Project, 68 Federal St, Greenfield

Thur. September 3, 2020, 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm at Just Roots, 107 Main Street, Greenfield

Sat. September 12, 2020, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

Sat. September 19, 2020, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

Wed. September 23, 2020, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

Sat. September 26, 2020, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

ORANGE

Thur. September 10, 2020, 10:30 am – 1:00 pm at Orange Farmers Market, 141 E Main St, Orange

Thur. September 24, 2020, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm at Orange Farmers Market, 141 E Main St, Orange

ROWE

Wed. September 2, 2020, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm at Rowe Town Hall, 321 Zoar Rd, Rowe

SHELBURNE FALLS

Wed. September 9, 2020, 10:30 am – 1:00 pm at Center for Self-Reliance, 51 Maple St, Shelburne Falls

Wed. September 23, 2020, 10:30 am – 1:30 pm at Center for Self Reliance, 51 Maple St, Shelburne Falls

TURNERS FALLS

Wed. September 16, 2020, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm at Gill/Montague Senior Center, 62 5th St, Turners Falls

WENDELL

Sun. September 20, 2020, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm at Good Neighbors Program, 9 Morse Village Rd, Wendell

 

Help spread this message in your community that the US Census is safe, easy and important. Click here for information about the 2020 Census and graphics and materials that can be shared.

West Nile Virus and EEE are back! Prevent Mosquito Bites!

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.

You can be bitten at any time. Most mosquitoes are active from just before dusk, through the night until dawn.

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:

  • Use insect repellents any time you are outdoors
  • Wear long-sleeved clothing
  • Schedule outdoor activities to avoid the hours from dusk to dawn during peak mosquito season
  • Repair damaged window and door screens
  • Remove standing water from the areas around your home

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 Racial Justice Work

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.

Public Comment Period for Draft Amendment to the 2020 TIP Highway Project List

The Franklin County Transportation Planning Organization will open a 21-day public review and comment period on Draft Amendment #1 to the 2020-2024 Transportation Improvement Program. Comments on the Draft will be accepted from Monday, March 30, until Monday, April 20, 2020. The Draft document is available for review at the links below or by calling (413) 774-3167 x 139 to request copies.  Comments should be submitted in writing to lscarbrough@frcog.org or to Franklin regional Council of Governments, 12 Olive Street, Suite 2, Greenfield MA 01301.

The Draft Amendment and a summary are available for review at the following links:

2020 Franklin TIP Highway Project List Amendment 1 DRAFT
2020 Franklin TIP Amendment 1 Summary

COVID-19 Activity at FRCOG and Municipal Resources

Here at the FRCOG we are working on the global Coronavirus outbreak and resulting cases of COVID-19 illness, and how to prepare for potential cases in our communities in a number of ways. We have created a municipal resource page at:  https://frcog.org/covid-19-resources/ This page is a list of links to important and frequently-updated resources for different municipal roles, including boards of health, first responders, and select boards.

The FRCOG’s Emergency Preparedness Program has two initiatives underway:

The Mohawk Area Public Health Coalition has activated a Joint Information Committee to align messaging from local boards of health to their municipal partners and residents. The committee co-chairs are Carolyn Shores Ness, Deerfield Board of Health, and Norene Pease, Shutesbury Board of Health. The Committee’s goal is to provide credible information sources, and to provide actions citizens can take to protect themselves. The Committee also requests that local officials share any public messaging your community is creating or sharing so that they may better align the regional messaging. You can see this week’s message at the COG’s COVID-19 page.

Staff have developed and shared a resource page for Long Term Care, EMS, Hospitals and Public Health at the Western MA Health & Medical Coordinating Coalition’s website at region1hmcc.org The HMCC Duty Officer is actively responding to concerns and resource requests from partners in healthcare and public health.

The FRCOG ‘s health district, the Cooperative Public Health Service, serves 14 towns. CPHS Public Health Nurse Lisa White is in contact with senior centers, schools, and others as part of preparing for the local response to any person who is screened as having or being exposed to COVID-19, which will be managed through the MAVEN database we already use for infectious disease surveillance. Our response in coordination with DPH and providers may include developing systems for daily monitoring of temperatures of quarantined residents, investigating contacts, and conducting clinical investigation and reporting for individuals who have tested positive for COVID19. Additional staff capacity to manage future cases has been identified, and CPHS is working with its boards of health to help them prepare for town-level activities.

On a side note, FRCOG is working to advocate for attention to the needs of our communities in responding to this outbreak: Lisa White was at the State House last week testifying before the Public Health Committee on rural COVID-19 preparedness status and needs.

And finally, we are examining the FRCOG’s own Continuity of Operations Plan and  having a discussion with the COG’s governing committees to discuss work-from-home protocols in the case of either personal or community quarantines. We are happy to share any protocols we develop with towns.

Please check the COVID-19 page regularly for updates and staff contacts.

FY21 Assessments

FY21 Assessments for each Franklin County Town, as well as all members of the Franklin County Emergency Communications System (FCECS), are available. These assessments support the budgets for the General Fund and Fee for Service Program budgets voted by the Council on January 30, 2020.

Although this information has been mailed to each Town, we hope posting it here will be useful to Administrators, Town Coordinators, Finance Committees and other Departments as they plan FY21 budgets and Town Meetings. Call Claire McGinnis x111 or Bob Dean x108 with questions.

Franklin County town assessments

FCECS assessments

Build your community’s immunity: take time for a flu shot!

Flu season is here and local boards of health and public health nurses are hard at work making plans to build community immunity!

Check out the calendar of vaccination clinics here: https://frcog.org/flu-clinic/

According to the CDC, flu signs and symptoms usually come on suddenly. People who are sick with flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.