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State of the Town: Latest COVID-19 news and developments, plus our guide to local services

Updated Thursday, May 21, 2020, at 6:00 p.m.

Harvard Press reporters are tracking the decisions of town government, businesses, schools, and other organizations as they adjust to state and local efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. We review this information periodically and update the report Monday through Friday. Please send suggestions, updates, and corrections to editor@harvardpress.net

These updates are free, but please support our work with a subscription. 


Recent developments

Town prepares to reopen

As the state moves to implement phase one of Gov. Charlie Baker’s plan to reopen businesses and services, Harvard officials have rolled out plans of their own. 

Baker’s new orders allow places of construction, manufacturing, and worship throughout the state to open immediately, provided they follow specific health guidelines. 

Harvard’s Town Hall will reopen to the public on Tuesday, May 26, Town Administrator Tim Bragan told the Select Board Tuesday night. Town Hall will be followed by the library, and finally Hildreth House. The number of people allowed in the town buildings will be a fraction of their capacity, he said, and strict social distancing guidelines will be observed. 

Bragan said the McCurdy Track and Prospect Hill overlook will reopen Memorial Day, May 25. Ballfields remain closed but the town beach will open Monday, June 1, with no lifeguards on duty.  Beach stickers will be required for parking. Further guidelines for the beach are still under discussion. 

For up-to-the-minute details, check out this week’s paper and our lead story: “Town joins state’s phased reopening, with tweaks.”

2020 Memorial Day and Fourth of July events are canceled

The annual Memorial Day parade, which would have been held May 25, is canceled. In an email to the Press, organizers Steve and Nancy Cronin said the decision had been made out of respect and concern for parade participants and spectators. “Memorial Day is a day to honor those who gave their lives in  service to their country, and to celebrate the freedoms that we all enjoy,” their statement said. “We can all do this from the safety of our own backyards this year.” 

Harvard’s annual Fourth of July celebrations are also canceled. Pie-eating contests, fireworks, and the parade of antique cars and decorated bikes will all have to wait until 2021. For more see the story in last week’s issue of the Harvard Press (“Fourth of July celebration canceled”).

Bromfield seniors will parade in June, graduate in July

Graduation for the Class of 2020 will be held Friday, July 31, at 5:30 p.m., with a backup rain date and time of Sunday, August 2, at 1 p.m. The graduates will also be honored  by a townwide parade June 5, their original commencement day. See our story in last week’s paper (“Bromfield seniors will parade in June, graduate in July”).

Phased reopening of the Transfer Station began Wednesday

Town Administrator Tim Bragan announced Friday that a phased reopening of currently closed areas of the Transfer Station will begin this week. The residential bulky waste dumpsters opened Wednesday, May 20.  Areas for recycling tires, batteries, refrigerators, air conditioners, and televisions will reopen Wednesday, May 27. The take-it-or-leave-it area, however, will not reopen for the foreseeable future.

Use of the soon-to-be-opened recycle areas requires purchase of a punch card. Punch cards are available by mail and must be purchased ahead of time. Denominations available are $5, $10, and $25 (payable only by check or money order). For a complete list of fees and instructions on how to purchase a punch card, check out Harvard Transfer Station Rules and Regulations at https://bit.ly/3dStnPk.

For those who purchased cards before the state of emergency, the expiration date of any card set to expire in March, April or May of this year has been extended by three months. 

Key measures of COVID-19’s impact on Massachusetts residents continue to improve

Among the 11,533 persons tested for the virus throughout the state between Tuesday and Wednesday, 10% (1,114) tested positive. Though the result on any given day depends on a variety of factors, the percentage of positive tests among the tested population is a measure the state is watching closely as it considers whether to reopen certain businesses later this month. Over the past seven days, the percentage of positive tests has averaged 9.4% per day, a drop of 67% since the beginning of the month, according to the latest report of the Department of Public Health. 

Another important indicator, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, has also been trending downward. As of noon Monday, 2,396 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized. Of those, 647 were being treated in intensive care units (ICUs). On Thursday, Emerson Hospital reported it was treating 28 patients for COVID-19, three in an ICU. More than half the beds available in Massachusetts for treating COVID-19 patients are empty. 

The total number of virus-related deaths in the state rose to 6,148 on Wednesday, 61% (3,755) at long-term care facilities. The three-day daily average of COVID-19 related deaths has declined to 81 per day. One week ago the three-day average was 114. The average age of death due to the virus in Massachusetts remains 82.

The disease has claimed the lives of at least three current or recent Harvard residents, whose deaths are the only ones publicly attributed to the virus. But, because the Massachusetts Department of Public Health does not report deaths town by town, the actual number of COVID-19-related deaths in Harvard is unknown.

However, MDPH does report the number who have tested positive for the virus. Harvard’s total was unchanged last week, bringing the cumulative total of confirmed infections among Harvard residents to 16 for the period between Jan. 1 and May 20. For the complete MDPH town-by-town list, go to https://bit.ly/3bNK7Wj.

Town clerk wants voters to cast absentee or early ballots at upcoming elections

Town Clerk Marlene Kenney is encouraging Harvard voters to cast their ballots in two upcoming elections by absentee ballot or early  ballot as a way to avoid exposure to COVID-19 at the polls. Voters may apply for ballots for both the June 2 Special State Election and the June 23 Town Election. In each case, ballots must be received by the town clerk by noon, the day before the election.

For more information, visit the town clerk's webpage at https://www.harvard.ma.us/town-clerk or call the town clerk's office at 978-456-4100. See also our story in last week’s issue of the Harvard Press (“Mailing it in: Absentee or early?”)

BOH warns of scammers who pretend to be contact tracers

Harvard Board of Health member Sharon McCarthy has warned that scammers are now pretending to be contact tracers.  Anyone who gets such a call asking for their Social Security number or health insurance information should  report it to the Board of Health or Harvard Police Chief Ed Denmark.  This information will be forwarded to the attorney general’s office, which is actively tracking and prosecuting such calls.

Unemployment assistance is available to gig workers

Massachusetts residents who are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits can apply to the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program at www.mass.gov/pua.

Look for more details about the impact of the virus on Harvard and area hospitals in this week’s issue of the Press. 


Helping hands

Loaves & Fishes food pantry in Devens, which serves Ayer, Devens, Dunstable, Groton, Harvard, Littleton, and Shirley, is open for drive-thru pickups only. Over the next month, drive-thru service is available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 8, 13, 16, 20, 22, 27, and 29. 

Clients can visit the drive-thru service twice a month. All new clients must complete a phone intake and should call 978-772-4627, extension 312, to leave a message with  contact information.

Any Harvard resident (senior or not) who is a Loaves & Fishes client can call the Council on Aging at 978-456-4120 and ask for the COA van to deliver their order. Anyone who is ill or has been exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19 must send someone else to pick up their groceries. 

The pantry is in critical need of monetary donations to keep the shelves stocked. Donations of food or other supplies are not currently being accepted because of the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Monetary donations can be made online at loavesfishespantry.org/donate-now, or by mailing a check to Loaves & Fishes, P.O. Box 1, Ayer, MA 01432.

Volunteers in less vulnerable age groups are needed (must be at least 18 years old) to  stock shelves on Tuesday afternoons, unload trucks early in the week, or help during  drive-thru pickups (see schedule above). If you can help, email volunteer@loavesfishespantry.org with the days and times you are available. All volunteers must wear a mask and gloves.

Box trucks and drivers are also needed to take turns doing the weekly pickup of 15,000 pounds of food at the Greater Boston Food Bank on Monday or Tuesday morning or early afternoon. If you can help or know someone who can, contact foodcoordinator@loavesfishespantry.org.

The Harvard Council on Aging will be offering free “grab and go” dinners for seniors on Thursdays at 2 p.m. during the month of May thanks to a state grant. Meals must be ordered by 3 p.m. Tuesday. Two meals per person will be packed for reheating in microwavable containers, and will be distributed at Hildreth House. Seniors picking up meals must wear a mask and stay in their cars; meals will be deposited in the back seat. A list of sample meals is in the May newsletter, but callers will not be able to choose their meals. If you are unable to drive to Hildreth House to pick up a meal, let the COA know. For more information and to sign up, call the COA at 978-456-4120. 

COA Director Debbie Thompson says the Adopt-a-Senior program is working well, and she currently has enough volunteers. Seniors who would like to be matched with a volunteer who will check in with them regularly, make trips to the grocery store or pharmacy, or provide other assistance, should contact the COA at 978-456-4120. Note that volunteers try to consolidate trips to limit their own risk, so they may not be able to go to a specific grocery store.

Emerson Hospital is accepting monetary contributions as well as supplies such as hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes. A full list of what is needed is available on the “How You Can Help” page of Emerson’s website at https://www.emersonhospital.org/coronavirus-covid-19-resources/covid-19-help. The hospital currently has enough homemade masks and face shields.

Due to the pandemic, this year’s annual 5k Run~Walk for Cancer Care will be virtual. The event is an important fundraiser for the hospital “because cancer never stops, even during a pandemic.” The event will take place May 11 through May 25 and can be completed anywhere that is safe to walk or run, including in your yard or on a treadmill. All proceeds go directly to support patients who receive cancer care at Emerson Hospital. To register and for more information, go to https://www.emersonhospital.org/articles/2020-virtual-5k-run-walk-announcement.

Nextdoor Harvard has a Help Map feature, which allows residents to sign up to help neighbors or to get help from a neighbor who has signed up. The Help Map appears on computer browsers on the Nextdoor homepage in a box to the right of the main column. On the Nextdoor mobile app or in a mobile browser, it will be a choice in the “More” selection of the main dropdown window.


Current orders and advisories

Thursday was Harvard’s 65th  day under the state of emergency declared on March 17. A new safer-at-home advisory and social distancing orders aimed at slowing the spread of the virus went into effect Monday.

Everyone must wear a face mask or other covering in public—including at  businesses, outdoor locations, and on public transportation— when they are unable to observe social distance guidelines. A new safer-at-home advisory replaces the former stay-at-home recommendation and encourages vulnerable members of the population, especially  older adults, to avoid nonessential travel outside the home. Everyone is encouraged to maintain 6 feet of separation in public, to be vigilant for symptoms of COVID-19, and to stay home if they are sick. Groups of more than 10 individuals are prohibited.

There is no longer a distinction between essential and non-essential businesses. Instead, Gov. Baker and his advisors have developed specific guidelines and reopening schedules for all businesses. Businesses previously categorized as essential may reopen immediately, as may places of construction, manufacturing, and worship.

Beaches and parks can reopen Memorial Day, May 25, along with hair salons and barbershops, pet grooming and car wash businesses, and offices located outside of Boston. Gov. Baker allowed golf courses to reopen last week, albeit subject to strict health guidelines.

Watch this bulletin for changes in area business hours and offerings. 

Harvard recreation sites, including fields, playgrounds, parks, McCurdy Track, and the beach, are closed until at least May 25, but residents are allowed to take boats out on the pond. The parking area overlooking Fruitlands on Prospect Hill Road remains closed.

Harvard’s conservation trails are open, but subject to guidelines issued by the Conservation Commission. (See “Playing fields, parks, beach, and Conservation Trust trails,” in this bulletin.)

Contact tracing is used to track the contacts of confirmed COVID-19 patients. If you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus, you will be called by someone from either the Nashoba Associated Boards of Health or from the state’s Contact Tracting Collaborative (CTC). According to the state’s website, phone calls from the CTC will use the prefix 833 or 857, and the name of the caller will be “MA COVID Team.” Calls will be made daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Residents might also receive a text from “MA COVID Team” prior to a phone call.

Federal, state, and town taxes 

  • The federal and Massachusetts 2019 individual income tax filing and payment deadlines have been extended from April 15 to July 15.
  • Harvard has effectively extended the due date of 2020 property tax bills to June 1, 2020, by not charging interest until that date on fourth-quarter bills that were originally due May 1. Interest will still be applied to unpaid 2020 bills from the first, second, and third quarters.

Motor vehicle licensing

  • Motor vehicle licenses and inspection stickers due to expire between March 1 and April 30 have been granted a 60-day extension.
  • Motor vehicle registrations that expired in March have been extended until May 31 and registrations that expire in April have been extended until June 30
  • Professional credentials for school bus certificates, pupil transport licenses (7D), inspector licenses, and driving instructor and driving school licenses that have expired or are expiring, between March 10 and April 30, will be extended for 90 days after the State of Emergency is lifted
  • Holders of commercial driver’s licenses  can now renew online if they are self-certified in the Non-Excepted Interstate (NI) category for medical certification.

Community buildings and gathering places

This section lists, in alphabetical order, the latest information about municipal and private buildings and other places where the public often gathers. For updates on virtual events around town, go to our online Current Events page at https://www.harvardpress.com/Happenings/Current-Events.   

Churches have suspended services until further notice, but are allowed to reopen under Gov. Baker’s latest guidelines. 

The Harvard Public Library building is closed until further notice, but many of the library’s resources are still accessible, including an extensive digital library for children and adults. Library staff is available by phone and email to answer reference questions and other queries at 978-456-4114, Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Please do not return items while the library is closed; all items will be renewed automatically, and fines waived. 

The children's department offers virtual storytimes several mornings a week,and a Spring Reading Challenge for Children. Sign up for the challenge at https://www.harvardpubliclibrary.org/children/blog/spring-reading-challenge.    

Instant eCards are available for residents who don’t have library cards; go to https://www.harvardpubliclibrary.org/about/programs/no-card-no-problem-new-temporary-ecards-available.     

Hildreth House and the Council on Aging offices are closed; programs canceled. Staff remains available by phone and email. While Hildreth House is closed, Meals on Wheels will provide prepackaged lunches on Tuesdays and Thursdays for those who were already getting that service before the virus hit, or who attended Tuesday/ Thursday lunches at Hildreth House. 

COA vans will continue to offer rides for medical appointments. Only one rider is allowed at a time, the driver wears a mask and gloves, and the van is disinfected after each use. Call the COA at 978-456-4120 for more information.

The offices of MassDevelopment in Devens are closed to the public. The Devens Fire Department, Department of Public Works & Recreation, and Devens Utilities will continue providing essential services to the community.

The Public Safety Building on Ayer Road is open regular hours, but all business will be conducted at the window only. Hours are Monday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed Sundays. 

Town Hall is closed to the public until May 26, but personnel can be reached by phone or email during regular business hours, Monday through Thursday, at 978-456-4100 or harvard.ma.us. For more information on how to access particular town departments go to https://www.harvard.ma.us/home/urgent-alerts/access-town-departments-during-town-hall-closure.

The Transfer Station is open at regularly scheduled hours, but with restrictions. Punch card items are not accepted at this time. People must keep 6 feet apart from others, drop their trash and recyclables, and leave. The “take it or leave it” section is closed. 


Schools and athletic programs

  • Spring MCAS testing is canceled. Education officials will announce waived or modified standards for graduating seniors and for students advancing to the next grade. 

  • All public and private schools in the state are closed through the end of the school year. The Village Nursery School is also closed and will reopen on the public schools’ schedule.

  • The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletics Association (MIAA) has cancelled all spring sports and tournaments.

  • The Bare Hill Rowing Association has delayed the scheduled April 13 start of its Learn to Row program.  

  • The summer beach program is accepting registrations at  www.harvard.ma.us/node/34/news.

Playing fields, parks, beach, and Conservation Trust trails

Athletic fields are closed for now, but McCurdy Track and the Prospect Hill overlook will open Memorial Day. Mask and social distancing orders will be enforced.

Although the beach is closed until June 1, fishermen and residents may launch their boats at the beach boat ramp and head out onto the pond.

The 28 trails of the Harvard Conservation Trust remain open. The town encourages their use, but the Conservation Commission advises people to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others, including in the parking area, at the trailhead, on the trail, and on bridges and boardwalks. For details, go to https://bit.ly/3bP2TND. For trail descriptions and maps, go to https://harvardconservationtrust.org/trails/.

Also open are trails in the Harvard and Devens portions of the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge. restrooms are closed. For a brochure with a trail map go to https://bit.ly/2ycTuRa

Walkers can also head to Devens. For a map of walking, running, and cycling routes at Devens, go to: https://bit.ly/2Rd8x4g.


Town committee and board meetings

All public meetings are now virtual, implemented by Zoom conferencing software. Participants can join a posted meeting via Zoom by clicking on the link that appears at the top of the posted meeting agenda. There is no need to download or install software. For the agendas and times of upcoming meetings, go to https://www.harvard.ma.us/calendar-by-event-type/16. Meetings can also be joined by phone; the number to call is on the agenda.

Residents can either join a meeting as a participant or simply watch the proceedings on the Harvard Cable TV Facebook page. Virtual meetings cannot be broadcast live on cable TV, but a recording and a transcript will be posted soon after on the HCTV Facebook page, as is currently done.


Elections and Town Meeting

Town Caucus is canceled. Spring Town Meeting has been moved to June 20, and Town Election to June 23. The Special State Election in the 37th Middlesex District to choose a new state representative is postponed until Tuesday, June 2.

Town Clerk Marlene Kenney urges voters to request early or absentee ballots and mail them to Town Hall rather than risk infection at the polls. A new law makes “taking precautions against a COVID-19 infection” a legitimate reason to request an absentee ballot. To get a ballot go to  https://www.harvard.ma.us/town-clerk. For more information, contact the town clerk's office at mkenney@harvard.ma.us or  978-456-4100. 


Eateries

Pickup or delivery

  • Alltown Fresh (Ayer)
    978-757-2050. Kitchen is open daily 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. for pickup; delivery via Grubhub, delivery orders may be placed a day in advance.
  • Bravo Pizzeria (Boxborough)
    978-635-0637. Sunday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. 
  • Bull Run (Shirley)
    978-425-4311. Thursday to Saturday, 3 to 8:45 p.m.; Wednesday and Sunday, 3 to 8 p.m.  Featuring "family meals to go," pizza, and extensive menu. Now offering groceries. Delivery to Harvard.
  • Classic Pizza (Bolton)
    978-779-0200. Daily 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Delivery to nearby parts of Harvard.
  • Il Forno (Littleton)
    978-540-2880. Tuesday to Thursday, 4 to 7 p.m.; Friday to Saturday, 4 to 8 p.m.; Sundays, 4 to 7 p.m. Delivery via Grubhub, DoorDash, Seamless, or ChowNow.
  • Siam Pepper Thai Cuisine
    978-391-1251. Monday to Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4 to 8:45 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 4 to 8:45 p.m. Delivery via DoorDash. 
  • Tiny’s Restaurant (Ayer)
    978-772-2917. Monday to Saturday, 7 a.m to 8:30 p.m.; Sundays 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Delivery to Harvard Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 8  p.m; Saturday and Sunday, 5 to 8 p.m.  
  • Wok N Roll (Ayer)
    978-772-4526. Wednesday to Monday (closed Tuesdays), 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. 
  • Woo Jung (Ayer)
    978-772-5742. Wednesday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, noon to 9 p.m..  

Pickup only

  • Cottage Restaurant (Ayer)
    978-772-2565. Daily 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Devens Grill (Devens)
    978-862-0060. Daily 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Offering a limited menu and family style meals to feed four to eight family members.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts
    Hours: Daily 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. at service window only.
  • Oscar’s Burritos (Boxborough)
    978-266-0001. Monday to Saturday, 12 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Lucia’s Tavola (Ayer)
    978-391-4837. Tuesday to Saturday, 4 to 7 p.m. 
  • Pizza Bella (Devens)
    978-772-0004. Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m to 8 p.m.
  • Ruby Donuts (Ayer)
    978-487-7986. Daily 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Slater’s (Bolton) 
    978-779-6680. Tuesday and Wednesday, 4 to 7 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 4 to 8 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 4 to 7 p.m. 
  • Sorrento's Pizzeria
    978-630-0045. Daily 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m

Supermarkets

All markets now offer early morning shopping hours for seniors (60 and older). Reusable bags are prohibited. Federal, state, and local guidelines recommend that all shoppers wear face coverings in addition to practicing existing preventive measures. 

  • Ayer Shop ߴn Save Daily 8 a.m to 8 p.m., 7 to 8 a.m. for seniors and people with disabilities.   
  • Donelan’s Supermarket Daily 8 a.m to 7 p.m., 7 to 8 a.m. for seniors and people with disabilities. Online orders for delivery are suspended.
  • Market Basket  Daily 7 a.m to 6 p.m., 6 to 7 a.m. for seniors and people with disabilities. 
  • Roche Brothers Daily 8 a.m to 6 p.m., 7 to 8 a.m. for seniors and people with disabilities. Delivery and curbside pickup time slots for online orders are limited. 
  • Whole Foods Market, Westford Daily 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., 8 to 9 a.m. for seniors and people with disabilities. Ordering online for delivery is limited. 

Banks

Service is being conducted at drive-through windows only. Call your branch to access safety deposit boxes or conduct in-bank transactions.

  • Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU), Littleton Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Main Street Bank, Ayer and Littleton Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m; Saturday 8 a.m. to noon.
  • Middlesex Savings Bank, Boxborough, Littleton, and Acton Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The West Acton branch is closed.
  • Rollstone Bank Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to noon.

Pharmacies

  • Acton Pharmacy (West Acton) Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Prescriptions and over-the-counter products available for delivery to Harvard, by curbside pickup, or in the store; please wear a face covering.  978-263-3901.
  • Ayer Family Pharmacy (Ayer) Daily, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. In-store or curbside pickup, delivery available to Harvard. 978-391-4061.
  • CVS Pharmacy (400 Mass. Ave., Acton) Store, daily 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Pharmacy 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekends; 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. daily for vulnerable/at-risk customers and their caregivers. In-store pickup; delivery available to Harvard. 

Veterinarians

  • Harvard Family Pet Clinic: Open regular hours for urgent or routine care. Call two weeks ahead for medicine refills or prescription food; shipping services are experiencing delays.
  • Shepherd Veterinary Clinic: Open regular hours for urgent or routine care. Pet owners must stay outside the building while pets are being treated; phone the posted number when you arrive.

Other open  businesses

  • Bodylines Pilates Offering virtual classes while the studio is closed. See the website for more information.
  • Carlson Orchards Daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Offering apples, cider, eggs, cheese, coffee beans, and pantry items. Online ordering/curbside pickup daily, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. https://order.shopkeep.com/2s4ac-carlson-orchards
  • The Fiber Loft Open Wednesday and Saturday for curbside pickup 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 978-456-8669 during those hours to place an order, or email fiberloftorders@gmail.com.
  • Fivesparks Offering online classes while the building is closed.
  • The Grape Vine Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Harvard Alpaca Ranch Closed to visitors, but the shop is open online. Alpaca manure available for curbside pickup, delivery for large orders; www.harvardalpacaranch.com.  
  • Harvard General Store Online sales only, with curbside pickup available Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 3 p.m. Order ahead at www.harvardgeneralstore.com for bread, cheese, milk, groceries, beer, wine, bakery items, toilet paper, prepared foods, Transfer Station trash bags and copies of the Harvard Press. Contact the store at online@harvardgeneralstore.com or 978-430-0062.
  • Harvard Outdoor Power Equipment Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
  • Indian Hill Music School No on-site activities; online instruction available. 
  • Mill Road Tire & Auto Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Right at Home in Harvard For information about elder care services offered in Harvard, call 978-391-1700 or go to www.inhomecarema.com.    
  • Toreku Tractor and Equipment Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. See the website for more information about conducting business over the phone.

Temporarily closed businesses

The following Harvard businesses are closed until at least May 18:

  • Friendly Crossways
  • Fruitlands Museum
  • Harvard Cleaners
  • Harvard Kennels
  • Harvard Bowling Lanes
  • Z Drycleaners

Miscellaneous  meetings and organizations

  • Alcoholic Anonymous at the Congregational Church on Wednesday nights is canceled until further notice.
  • Firefighter training and classes at the fire academy are suspended. Only career recruit classes have been deemed essential; all call/volunteer classes have been suspended. 
  • Garden Club of Harvard has canceled its annual plant sale in May. The annual meeting will be rescheduled from June to fall.
  • Harvard Sportsmen's Club has reopened its outdoor shooting range on a limited basis. 
  • Household Goods will remain closed until further notice. There will be no donation drop-offs or pickups. For updates about reopening, see  https://householdgoods.org/.   
  • Nashoba Nursing Service & Hospice has canceled its May Well-Adult clinic until the end of April. Updated schedules are available at www.nashoba.org.

Staying informed

Harvard’s Emergency Management Team has released a nine-minute video that provides a comprehensive report on actions taken thus far to protect residents, while continuing to provide vital town services. To view, goto https://bit.ly/2ULQYdB.

If you have not done so yet, please register for MyConnect on the town website to receive townwide announcements as either a phone call, email, or text message. To sign up, click the “One-Step Notification Sign Up Now” button on the town website home page. All announcements will also be posted on the town website. Questions regarding town operations during the COVID-19 emergency may be emailed to asktheTA@Harvard.ma.us. The town website also has a COVID-19 page with various updates from the Town Administrator at https://www.harvard.ma.us/home/news/coronavirus-covid-19.

Up-to-date information on COVID-19 is available at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov and at mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19. Massachusetts residents can also subscribe to up-to-the-minute notifications from state health officials by texting COVIDMA to 888-777. The nonprofit mass211.org provides free, confidential information in several languages, both on its website and for callers who dial 211; callers may experience delays because of the high volume of calls.

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