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Select Board to Gov: Town-by-Town Coronavirus Measures Don’t Work

Honorable Charles D. Baker, Governor
Commonwealth of Massachusetts State House, Room 280
Boston, MA 02133
Dear Governor Baker:
     I am writing at the bequest of the Groton Select Board on behalf of our citizens. We encourage you to utilize all of the many powers of your position during this unprecedented time of Coronavirus. We are concerned about the spread of Covid-19 and its ability to overwhelm our health services. As leaders we all consult with data from multiple sources prior to making decisions. The data from other nations clearly indicates that rapid response and dramatic action are the best ways to limit risk.
     We understand the rapidly changing situations and the many economic impacts on small businesses and families. We recognize the difficulties that come with physical isolation and lack of contact with friends and family. As elected leaders we share the weight of making decisions for our community. We recognize the many voices and perspectives that are demanding your attention.
     Here in Groton we have declared a State of Emergency and shut down all town buildings to the public. High-risk employees are working from home and others are following strict social distancing directions.
     To date there are no known cases in Groton, although we have seen a death in Ayer and new cases in other adjacent towns. In spite of our focus on staying at home and other precautions we continue to see citizens socializing and venturing out routinely. Local citizens continue to work as employers have not yet taken steps to enable work from home or shutting down.
     At the local level our ability to tighten controls and then enforce them is very limited. Even if effective within Groton, the inconsistencies with other local communities would reduce anticipated benefits. A Town by Town response is simply not an effective viable response.
     We implore you to stand as a leader and announce strong and appropriate measures to enforce physical distancing and encourage staying at home to protect the health and safety of all citizens. This action, if taken at the state level, has the ability to protect citizens and contain this pandemic. Time is of the essence in this situation and we encourage you to take action today.
Groton Select Board
Alison S. Manugian, Chair
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