Welcome to Dec. 7, 2020. There are 17 more shopping days left before Christmas; 13 more days of school until the winter break.
Meanwhile, it feels like we’re on the edge. COVID-19 caseloads continue to climb state and nationwide. MWRA biodata tests show there’s a lot of infected people out there. The numbers in Abington jumped from 66 last Monday to 93 as of Monday evening.
Gov. Charlie Baker, aka one of the nation’s most popular governor, is taking flack for not taking any new steps to address the pandemic. However, as Baker explained on WCVB’s On The Record Sunday, the numbers are different now than they were in the spring. Those becoming infected are younger, and hospitalizations and death rates are lower.
But stay tuned…
As of Monday, Abington Town Manager Scott Lambiase is asking people who can conduct their business by phone, email — or by using the newly fixed drive-thru window at the Treasurer/Collectors office — to do so. Otherwise, they should call ahead for an appointment.
Health Agent Marty Golightly said the goal is to limit interactions as much as possible to avoid Town Hall going back to a full-remote situation. He’ll have more to say when the Board of Health meets Monday night at 6 p.m.
Abington’s schools, thankfully, remain open on a hybrid schedule, although the rising number of students and staff in isolation and quarantine is starting to have an impact.
“Yes, this certainly negatively impacts the delivery of education,” Superintendent Peter Schafer told the Abington News. “I am concerned and watching the numbers carefully. The collaboration with the Abington Director of Health provides some insight into where the numbers are originating. Importantly, there is not evidence of school spread.
“We have a good number of students due to return from quarantine Monday and during next week. The hope is that the current numbers are our Thanksgiving spike. We won’t know that until we see how the coming days playout.”
COVID-19 has officially cancelled the full slate of Abington Celebrates activities this year, with the annual tree lighting celebration at Island Grove replaced with a The Great Gingerbread House Contest. Designs must be received by next Sunday, Dec. 13.
In additional Abington Celebrates has teamed up with Abington Strong to coordinate the “Abington Is Lit” house decorating contest. The official map can be found here.
The Planning Board meets Monday night, and will discuss ongoing problems with a new business at 662 Adams St. A company bought the property, which was a single-family residence located in an industrial-zoned area, in August 2019. It leveled a hill out back, built a retaining wall, and started using the site as storage for trucks, and plows, and other things. However, this all happened without securing town permits and change-of-use approvals, leading to multiple neighbor complaints. Both the Planning Board and the Board of Selectmen have since issued cease and desist orders, and the owners are now starting the site plan review process before the Planning Board. The board’s meeting starts at 6 p.m. at Town Hall.
Rt. 18 Expansion
Many of the work crews that were familiar along Route 18 this summer and fall have gone home for the winter. But focus is now on finishing the bridge that spans the MBTA commuter rail tracks in South Weymouth. MassDOT has issued a head’s up that demolition of the existing bridge starts this week and will happen between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. every night. And then from Friday to Sunday demo work will take place around the clock. During that period, commuter rail service will be suspended. Route 18 will remain open for vehicles, however.
Planning Board, 6 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes site plan review for 662 Adams St., a possible zoning change to land west of Progress, and a building permit for 103 Central St.
Board of Health, 6 p.m., via Zoom. Agenda includes discussion on an Eagle Scout project, and COVID