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Great Barrington lifts town water bottle ban and suspends ‘non-essential’ meetings

GREAT BARRINGTON — Until further notice, the town has suspended board and committee meetings deemed “non-essential” and has lifted its town-wide ban on the sale of single-use plastic water bottles until Thursday, April 30.
In response to the state Declaration of Emergency issued by Gov. Charlie Baker this week, the town has stepped up preventive actions to help reduce residents’ risk of exposure to, or transmission of COVID-19, coronavirus.
The town has decided not to cancel all meetings and services across the board, but will instead carry on meetings that have essential business that needs to be conducted, said Great Barrington Town Manager Mark Pruhenski. The Planning Board and Board of Health, both of which have meetings tonight, will conduct business as planned.
“CTSB-TV is also stepping up their attendance at essential meetings, understanding that there will be more people staying home that want to stay informed,” said Pruhenski.
The town is also suspending a few larger classes and fitness activities at the Claire Teague Senior Center. Patrons are encouraged to call the center before attending to see if a class is being held. He also noted that the town is also discouraging residents from hosting or attending larger public or private gatherings.
“We’re trying to encourage social distancing. We’re not issuing a blanket statement that we’re canceling fitness activities, but we reserve the right to cancel them,” said Pruhenski. “Obviously this virus is impacting the elderly community even more, so we’re being very cautious and we’re watching the programming specifically.”
The town is also working on a plan in the event the senior center closes and trying to ensure that the meals are able to get to the elderly population, he said.
“We’re not there yet though,” he said. “We’re getting a lot of feedback suggesting that we close town buildings, but I don’t feel we’re ready to do that at this time.”

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