HomeWeekend Wrap-UpARPA, Relaxed COVID-19 Guidelines: Weekend Wrap-Up

ARPA, Relaxed COVID-19 Guidelines: Weekend Wrap-Up

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WESTFORD — Welcome to the Aug. 14 edition of Weekend Wrap-Up. Here, we highlight the most important news you may have missed this week in Westford.

Westford COVID-19 Update: CDC Relaxes Guidelines

The Centers for Disease control updated its COVID-19 guidance for individuals and schools on Thursday.

“We’re in a stronger place today as a nation, with more tools—like vaccination, boosters, and treatments—to protect ourselves, and our communities, from severe illness from COVID-19,” said Greta Massetti, PhD, MPH, MMWR author in a news release.

The CDC no longer recommends test-to-stay in schools, a tool that had been used to allow a close-contact to remain in the classroom if they were asymptomatic and tested negative.

In addition, unvaccinated people no longer have to quarantine if they are exposed to COVID-19. Instead, the CDC recommends any individual who has been exposed to COVID-19 but is asymptomatic should wear a face mask for 10 days and get tested five days after exposure.

Isolation is still recommended for people with COVID-19. Regardless of vaccination status, the CDC recommends individuals isolate for at least five days after a positive test.

If after day five any fever is gone and symptoms are improving, the isolation period can end. Masking is still recommended for another five days.

People with COVID-19 are also recommended to receive two negative tests 48 hours apart before going out in public again without a mask, or after day 10. If both tests are negative, people can leave their homes and not use a mask around others.

In addition, the CDC says it is now deemphasizing six feet of social distancing.

Candidate’s Minute: Raymond Xie for State Representative

As the upcoming midterm elections approach, WestfordCAT strives to keep Westford informed on each candidate running for local and state government.

Dr. Raymond Xie, a Westford resident, is a Republican candidate in the running for state representative in the Nov. 8 election.

“The reason I’m running for state rep is that I have concerns about the current economy, inflation, public safety and education,” Xie told WestfordCAT.

If you are a candidate running for town or a state office that will serve Westford, we’d like to invite you in to our studio to record a two to three minute Candidate’s Minute that will be featured on our YouTube channel and website. Contact Nick Woodbury at nwoodbury@westfordcat.org for details.

Select Board approves a number of ARPA projects, waits for second round of funding

The Select Board has approved a number of new American Rescue Plan Act projects as it awaits a second round of funding from the federal government.

ARPA funding was first allocated to Westford in August of last year. The town received its first round of federal funding to replace lost revenue, invest in infrastructure such as water and broadband and support the health and economic well-being of the community. The first round totaled $3,708,985.42

This funding differs from other federal grants since the town does not need to submit a request for reimbursement. Rather, the town can allocate its funding directly, as long as it meets the Department of the Treasury’s requirements. Once the Select Board votes to allocate the funding, the funding can be used, according to Westford Town Accountant Jesse Beyer.

The board used $166,274 of its approximately $1.4 million remaining balance to fund eight new requests.

Westford Police seek information on late-night car break-in

Westford Police are seeking information related to a car break-in earlier this morning.

“A white female with what appears to be blonde hair entered a white Honda CRV parked in a driveway on Kayla Drive,” Westford Police wrote on social media.

The break-in occurred at approximately 2:50 a.m., according to law enforcement. The individual stole a blue Michael Kors wallet and the victim’s COVID-19 vaccine card.

The department is requesting any information be sent to the Police Department at 978-399-2345.

VIDEO: Westford Animal Control helps swan at Nabnasset Lake

Animal Control helped to untangle a swan trapped in fishing line on Nabnasset Lake on Wednesday.

Both Animal Control Officer Kristen Hirschler and her partner Truidanne Mola were able to successfully untangle the swan.

The swan was later discovered to also have a fishing hook stuck in its mouth. According to the Westford Police Department, the swan is receiving care at Tufts Animal Hospital in Grafton.

Watch the video from the Westford Police Department below.

Local journalism is vital to our communities. As other publications shift focus toward regional journalism, WestfordCAT continues to provide high-quality hyperlocal reporting to our town, free for everyone to read. So  we have a small favor to ask. Every contribution, no matter how big or small, helps us sustain our journalism and keep our community informed. Please consider supporting WestfordCAT for as little as $1 on PayPal.

Ben Domaingue, Managing Editor
Ben Domaingue, Managing Editorhttps://www.clippings.me/bendomaingue
Ben Domaingue has previously worked at newspapers in New Hampshire and is the Managing Editor covering Westford. He’s passionate about community journalism, photography and hiking. Email him at bdomaingue@westfordcat.org.