As we all continue to adjust and adapt to the changes in our lives resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, I want to reassure the Auburn community that your local government officials and administration are working diligently to promote the health, safety and well-being of our citizens while continuing to provide critical and essential services and programs to support our residents. Your local officials, both elected and appointed, are committed to providing the leadership and informed guidance to the community necessary to ensure that we collectively take all measures available to curb the spread of Coronavirus.
While the Town has developed and implemented solid emergency management plans for Auburn over the past few years, a global pandemic such as this has never happened in our lifetimes. There is no playbook and the data about the virus is unfolding hourly, thus our responses and plans need to continually evolve as more data becomes available. Regular briefings at both the State and Federal level impact our operations at a local level so we need to be nimble and adapt quickly. We strive to keep the public informed on the most recent changes, orders, regulations, laws and guidance related to Covid-19. You can visit our website at https://www.auburnguide.com/669/Coronavirus-Health-Alerts for regular updates and links to Covid-19 resources.
Looking back to early March when Covid-19 erupted, the Auburn community has once again been resilient and strong, displaying acts of kindness, neighborly compassion, and community spirit as we forge through this new reality and fight the Covid-19 battle together.
Since March, the Town has developed several new initiatives to combat the spread of the virus, assist our residents and support our most vulnerable populations. We have redirected and reallocated our resources, adapted to new laws and regulations, and put into place measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The Auburn CARES initiative (Community Assistance Relief Effort Strategy) has been underway since April 8th. Auburn CARES is a coordinated effort to provide outreach and assistance to our vulnerable populations and those severely impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis. Auburn CARES consists of two outreach and assistance programs: Our Seniors Matter and the Auburn Connection.
Under the Our Seniors Matter initiative, town and school department employees are calling seniors to check on them regularly and guide them to qualified staff at the Senior Center who can provide technical and referral assistance and link those seniors with available resources. The seniors have been very receptive to the program and the overall feedback has been very positive.
Through the Auburn Connection, we set up a telephone HOTLINE (508-832-CARE or 2273) for residents to call with non-emergency, COVID-related inquiries or concerns. Our employees will work to connect residents to available resources. This includes state assistance programs, food pantries, meal programs,
utility information, and support agencies and organizations. This line is staffed from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM Monday through Friday.
We are thrilled to be working collaboratively with the School Department on many of these initiatives. School nurses are working with our Board of Health and public health nurse to track and monitor Covid- 19 cases. Teachers and other school department employees are working on Our Seniors Matter, identifying contact information for seniors and making calls. We also have a number of teachers who volunteered to sew masks for our employees.
We are proud of the partnerships we have with the school department, Auburn Youth and Family services, Elder Services of Worcester Area, and local businesses to assist those in need. Auburn is a strong community and we will collaboratively battle Covid-19.
Thank you to all of our employees who continue to work every day on behalf of the Auburn community – both those you do see and those you don’t see. Whether first responders and emergency personnel on the front lines or those behind the scenes, the employees are dedicated to providing quality services to the community. Thank you also to those essential businesses and organizations whose employees continue to provide services that we all need, from health care to groceries to pharmaceuticals and more. Please keep all of these employees in your thoughts and prayers. To those individuals who are suffering from Covid-19, we wish you a quick recovery. For those who have lost loved ones during this crisis, our heartfelt sympathies are with you.
We will continue to marshall our resources, collaborate with our partners at all levels of government, and focus our efforts on providing quality services to this community. In return, we ask that each of you take every precaution that you can to protect yourself, your family, your neighbors and your fellow citizens from Covid-19. We are fighting a war on a virus that has affected us globally, nationally and locally. Together we will get through this. Auburn Strong.
Julie A. Jacobson