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Drought Conditions Worsen in CT River Valley

On Tuesday, August 9th, MA Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Beth Card escalated the Connecticut River Valley to a Level 3-Critical Drought.

View water conservation tips, continue to follow any local city or town conservation restrictions, and monitor the drought status at: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/drought-status.

Monkeypox Update

On August 4th, the White House declared monkeypox to be a public health emergency. 

There are many resources to learn more information about monkeypox–how it spreads, what to do if you think you have monkeypox, and precautions to take to avoid contracting monkeypox. 

More information from the Mass.gov website: https://www.mass.gov/monkeypox 

Information from the CDC is HERE

Additionally, some information has been compiled in the following slides. 

CPHS Public Health Nurses Announce Walk-In Wellness Clinics

Lisa White and Meg Ryan, Public Health Nurses at the Cooperative Public Health Service Health District announce an updated schedule of Walk-In Wellness Clinics across the district.

Services available to member town residents include:

  • Preventative and diagnostic health screenings
  • Flu and COVID vaccinations
  • Individualized help managing chronic health conditions
  • Tools for medication self-management (medication calendars, files of life, pill sorters)
  • Mercury thermometer & sharps disposal and container exchange (collaboration with Franklin Cty Solid Waste Mgmt. District)
  • Home visits available to residents in need

Flyers for printing and sharing:

Schedule of Clinics:

  • Ashfield: First Congregational Church: first Food Pantry Tuesday each month 2 pm-4 pm (February 8, March 8, April 5)
  • Bernardston:  currently on hiatus
  • Charlemont: 2nd Tuesday 10:30-12. Federated Church, 3rd Tuesday 4-5:30 during Good Neighbors Food Distribution
  • Conway:   1st Friday 9 am to noon. Conway Town Hall,  home visits following.
  • Deerfield:  Weekly, Wednesdays 10 am to 2 pm, Nurses’ office, Town Offices.
  • Erving:  1st Tuesday 9-11.   Erving Senior/Community Center.
  • Gill:  2nd Fridays, 10 to noon, Stoughton Place  Community Room.
  • Rowe: 4th Monday 10 am-12 pm , Town Hall
  • Shelburne:  4th Tuesday  10:30 am to noon, The Senior Center

Meg Ryan, RN, BSN, CPHS Public Health Nurse at the Franklin Regional Council of Governments. (Photo credit: Recorder)

Lisa White, PhD, RN, CPHS Public Health Nurse at the Franklin Regional Council of Governments.

COVID Testing Options: Fall 2022

PCR Testing:

Greenfield Community College Curative PCR testing site: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1pm – 4pm.  Walk-ins accepted. Bring ID and insurance card, if you have one. Sign up here: https://book.curative.com/sites/35435

Shelburne Falls Greenfield Cooperative Bank:  Curative PCR testing site:  Tuesdays from 9AM – 1PM and Thursdays from Noon to 4PM.  Walk-ins accepted. Bring ID and insurance card, if you have one. Sign up here: cur.tv/shelburnefalls

Greenfield Health Department:  Antigen tests available at 20 Sanderson Street, Greenfield. Call for an appointment: 413-824-5855

Walgreen’s sign up at https://www.walgreens.com/findcare/category/covid-19 

South County Senior Center Curative testing site: 67 N Main Street, South Deerfield. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 9:30am-12:30pm. Walk-ins accepted. Bring insurance info if possible. Register & more info here: https://book.curative.com/sites/34744

At-Home Testing

Celebrating Safely: Winter Gathering Guidance

The winter gatherings safety poster is available in color and black and white PDFs for printing as well as a JPEG for digital sharing below.

winter gatherings safety tip sheet 2021 color

winter gatherings safety tip sheet 2021 greyscale

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. 

Where and When are Flu Clinics Happening?

  • Public Flu Clinics organized by the FRCOG’s Health District have ended. Small onsite clinics at senior centers and older adult housing facilities in district member towns continue.
  • All local chain pharmacies have flu vaccinations as well.

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.

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.  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. We are exploring offering COVID boosters when they are approved by the state.

 Volunteering  at  Flu  Clinics

We have a long history of providing flu clinics to the region! This year most volunteers are from the Medical Reserve Corps and local emergency dispensing site planning groups. To join the MRC, visit www.wmmrc.org 

If you are a registered volunteer who will work as a scribe, vaccinator, or registration helper, you need to register for the COLOR software. Do that by filling out THIS FORM.

Pictured: 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

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

For more information on the CPHS, click here.

 

Face Covering Signs Available

Call 413-774-3167 x 1 if you would like printed color copies of any of these signs for your town/business.  Our thanks to Kat Woods Design for the donation of graphic design of the “Masks Recommended”, “Masks Required,”  School Mask and Distance and “Unvaccinated?” 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.  Further down this page you will find pdfs of these signs.

Available as 8.5 x 11 signs.

 

These are available as post-card size signs.

The following two signs are available with age exemptions of 2 or 5 years old

(all versions also acknowledge medical exemptions)

Available on strong paper for posting on entry doors — 8.5 x 11. Versions are available with age exemptions of 2 or 5 years old.

 

Available on strong paper for posting on entry doors — 8.5 x 11. Versions are available with age exemptions of 2 or 5 years old.

 

Please note the following two signs are larger than 8.5 x 11

 

These are for schools and are 11x 17 strong paper.

 

These are very big — 2 feet by 3 feet, outdoor signs.

 

PDFs for the above signs:

Preventing tick and mosquito bites: using insect repellents safely

Summer Health Information from the Cooperative Public Health Service Health District:  

Insect repellent helps reduce your exposure to tick and mosquito bites that may carry diseases, and allows you to continue to play, work, and enjoy the outdoors with a lower risk of disease. Use repellent when you go outdoors – especially if you go out from dusk to dawn when disease-carrying mosquitoes are most active, or if you are going into tall grass or wooded areas where ticks may climb aboard as you walk by.

Use EPA-registered insect repellents, such as those containing DEET. DEET has been available to the general public since 1957 and has a strong safety record. The American Academy of Pediatrics has approved the use of DEET on children over 2 months old. Use the EPA search tool to find the repellent that’s right for you and your family: https://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/find-repellent-right-you When you buy a product, look for the EPA registration number at the bottom of the label to ensure it’s been approved for use by the EPA.

Tips for using repellent:

  • Always follow the product label instructions.
  • Choose a repellent that provides protection for the amount of time that you will be outdoors. A product with a higher percentage of active ingredient is a good choice if you will be outdoors for several hours while a product with a lower concentration can be used if time outdoors will be limited.
  • Use the lowest concentration you have found to be personally effective, and apply just enough to cover exposed skin and/or clothing. If biting insects do not respond to a thin film of repellent, then apply a bit more.
  • Apply only to exposed skin and clothing, not to skin under clothing.
  • Do not apply near eyes and mouth. Apply sparingly around ears.
  • Do not spray directly into face; spray on hands first and then apply to face.
  • Never use repellents over cuts, wounds, or irritated skin.
  • Do not spray in enclosed areas or near food, and avoid breathing a spray product.
  • If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second.
  • Do not allow young children to apply insect repellent to themselves; have an adult do it for them. Do not apply to children’s hands.
  • After returning indoors, wash treated skin and clothes with soap and water.
  • Store insect repellents safely out of the reach of children.
  • If you are concerned about using insect repellents, consult your health care provider for advice.

For more information about insect repellents, go to the National Pesticide Information Center website at http://npic.orst.edu/ingred/ptype/repel.html