Archive | News

RSS feed for this section

The new Franklin County Rural Road Guide is available

Staying on top of all of the regulations, standards, guidelines, and funding sources related to the maintenance and improvement of local roadways is a challenge for Towns. To assist with that, the FRCOG Transportation Planning staff have compiled the Franklin County Rural Road Guide, a quick reference for answers to common questions about roadway operations and regulations in Franklin County. It contains summaries of relevant information and links to the most commonly used and referenced transportation legislation, policies, and design manuals in one handy guide. The Rural Road Guide is available here. Please contact Laurie Scarbrough, Transportation Planning Engineer, with any questions or feedback on the Rural Road Guide: lscarbrough@frcog.org.

Amtrak’s Valley Flyer Back to Full Service!

All aboard Amtrak’s Valley Flyer! The Valley Flyer has service from Greenfield, Northampton, and Holyoke to New Haven, CT.  The Valley Flyer connects to New York City and beyond! The Valley Flyer is making stops for Times Square and Columbus Circle. Book your ride today at http://amtrak.com/valleyflyer

COVID Testing Options: Fall 2021

Testing for asymptomatic people (people who are not currently sick):

  • Greenfield  Stop The Spread site (free PCR tests)https://www.cic-health.com/stopthespread
    • Note that there are two steps to getting tested at a Stop The Spread site: 1. Scheduling an appointment at the link above. 2. Then creating a “LabPass” account where you order the test & receive your results.
    • As of September 29, 2021, the Greenfield Stop The Spread site is open during the following hours. If no appointments are available on the scheduling website, they do accept walk-ins.
      • Monday & Tuesday 8am-2pm. Wednesday & Thursday 12pm-6pm. Friday 8am-1pm. Saturday & Sunday 9am-2pm.
      • The Greenfield Stop The Spread site is located in the East Building at GCC. Follow the signs as you drive in.
    • To create a LabPass account, go here: https://labpass.com/en/login and click “Sign Up”. Fill in the required information. The access code is “CICHEALTH”.
      • Note that each family member being tested needs their own LabPass account, accessed with their own individual email account.
      • Once you have created a LabPass account and have logged in, click “Order” to start the process of ordering a test. Then click the consent button, then answer all health questions. Once you submit the form, you can go get your test at the Stop The Spread site.
  • UMass Community COVID Testing: free for asymptomatic people, testing in the Campus Center, Monday – Thursday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. – Noon  https://www.umass.edu/coronavirus/communitycovidtest 
  • Baystate Franklin Medical Center: https://www.baystatehealth.org/covid19/testing  Daily testing in Greenfield at 33 Riddell St.  You must schedule an appointment to be tested by calling 413-795-TEST and you will need a physician referral.
  • Walgreen’s at https://www.walgreens.com/findcare/category/covid-19 
  • CVS at https://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing/?icid=coronavirus-lp-nav-general-testing
  • Community Health Center of Franklin County has suspended testing to focus on vaccination. There is currently no asymptomatic testing at CHCFC.

Testing for people with symptoms:

  • Medical Providers with onsite testing for their patients include the Community Health Center of Franklin County, Baystate Medical Practices, and Valley Medical Group. If you are a patient at one of these practices and are experiencing symptoms, contact them directly.

At-home testing

Local Rapid Recovery Plans

A new program of the MA Department of Housing & Community Development’s (DHCD) is the Local Rapid Recovery Planning Program. It was created to help downtown/village center business districts recover more quickly from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. DHCD funded consultants to work with participating communities to help with create these plans by early October 2021. In Franklin County, the following Local Rapid Recovery Plans were created:

Downtown Greenfield, City of Greenfield

Turners Falls, Town of Montague

Northfield Main Street Corridor, Town of Northfield

Sunderland Village Center, Town of Sunderland

Village of Shelburne Falls, Towns of Buckland and Shelburne working jointly

Resources & Recordings from Municipal Cybersecurity Workshop Series Available

Thanks to funding from the Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council, the FRCOG is offering a series of free cybersecurity & IT workshops.

This series is intended to assist Franklin County municipalities in taking immediate actions to address IT and cybersecurity needs and will also help guide the formation, policy, and procedures of regionalized IT and cybersecurity solutions. The workshops are conducted by Novus Insight (https://novusinsight.com/).

Links to all workshop materials (including recordings, slides, and handouts) can be found here: https://frcog.org/cybersecurity-for-municipalities-workshop-series-fall-2021/

There is still space in upcoming workshops — registration information is on the page linked above.

Questions? Contact Amanda Doster at adoster@frcog.org or 413.774. 3167 x120

Local Mask Mandates

Below is the state of indoor mask orders from Franklin County Local Boards of Health

  • Ashfield — mask mandate
  • Bernardston — recommendation
  • Buckland — mask mandate
  • Charlemont — mask mandate
  • Colrain — mask mandate as of 9/27
  • Conway — mask mandate
  • Gill —  mask mandate
  • Greenfield —  mask mandate
  • Heath —  mask mandate
  • Leyden —  mask mandate
  • Rowe — mask mandate
  • Shelburne —  mask mandate
  • Sunderland — mask mandate

Contact Phoebe Walker to update this list : walker@frcog.org

For face covering signs: https://frcog.org/new-face-covering-signs-available/

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?

  • 10/30: North County Flu Clinic: 10 AM – 1 PM, Pioneer Valley Regional School (indoors in gym). Kids injectable (ages 6 months and older) and mist (2-18 yo),  standard adult dose, and some high-dose (65+ yo) vaccines will be available. Bring your insurance card! Click here to pre-register.
  • 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

These are available as post-card size 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”, “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.

These are on strong paper, and also come in versions that say “building” and “office” at the end.

 

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

Available on strong paper for posting on entry doors — 8.5×11

Available on strong paper for posting on entry doors — 8.5×11

Available on strong paper for posting on entry doors — 8.5×11

Available on strong paper for posting on entry doors — 8.5 x 11

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are available in paper and also as election style outdoor signs.

 

 

PDFs for the above signs:

Draft Amendment to the 2021 TIP Highway List released for Public Review

The FCTPO released a Draft Amendment to the 2021 TIP Highway Project list on July 27, 2021. The Draft Amendment will be available for a 21-day public review and comment period from Friday, July 30 through Thursday, August 19, 2021. Comments on the Draft Amendment can be submitted in writing to lscarbrough@frcog.org or FRCOG, 12 Olive Street, Suite 2, Greenfield MA 01301.

DRAFT Franklin 2021-2025 TIP Highway AMENDMENT 1