Posted on Mar 31, 2020
Rotary Club of Needham Newsletter March 31st, 2020
Special Note: on March 11th, the World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus outbreak to be a pandemic. As of this morning, there are 1,014,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus globally with 77,000 new cases overnight and 53,000 cumulative deaths. There are 8966 cases in Massachusetts, including 938 in Norfolk County. Thankfully, 210,000 people have recovered worldwide. Due to mandatory social distancing, most of our volunteer opportunities and community support activities have been postponed indefinitely, except our funding of local charities. In response, we've maintained our regular club meetings on Tuesdays at noon, but they've become "virtual", on-line meetings. See Dan's picture below of the "dashboard" of our members and guests, including Selectperson John Bulian, participating in our meeting using Zoom.
In the Community
Flowers for the Elderly:
Holly Brown, Louise Condon, and Kathy Whitney (left to right in the picture below) delivered a harbinger of Spring to the elderly shut in by the virus.
Speaker: Rebecca Ping, Town of Needham Emergency Management Administrator
Rebecca reviewed the resources that the Town has dedicated to fighting the pandemic and to informing residents about those efforts. (Her picture is highlighted in the lower left corner of the dashboard photo above.) When she last addressed the Rotary Club of Needham on October 22nd, we committed to help her by funding storage containers to securely store blankets for the Needham Medical Reserve to use in future natural disasters. At that time, she told us that Needham has an emergency alert system that had 700 persons opting in. The system was migrating from landline to cell phones. Now, due to Rebecca's efforts, there are 6000 residents opting-in. To opt-in to the Alert Needham system, text "Needham" to 67283, and you'll receive text updates during emergencies.
Rebecca reported that there were sufficient beds and ventilators at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital Needham to meet the estimated peak demand, which may come during the third week of April. We received a shipment of personal protective equipment (PPE) from the Federal government, but donations of PPE are still needed. There's a PPE dropbox at the Police Station and the hospital is accepting donations. There'll be a Select Board meeting via Zoom on Friday April 3rd at 3:00 with an update on Covid 19. The Town has created a Covid 19 website at, where there are updates on fighting the pandemic and on how town services have adapted to social distancing guidelines.
Finally, Rebecca reminded us that the Red Cross is asking for blood donations. She asked us to reach out to help our neighbors and to remain vigilant about social distancing.