West Nile Virus (WNV) has been detected in Newton mosquitoes collected on 7/21/20, the City’s Health & Human Services Department announced today. There have been no reports of human infection in Massachusetts so far this year.
Mosquitoes carrying the virus have been trapped in Newton and nearby communities (Brookline, Boston and Belmont), so residents should take precautions regardless of which part of Newton they live in.
WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. The mosquitoes that carry this virus are common throughout the state, and are found in urban as well as more rural areas. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection. Newton residents have contracted the illness in previous years, and some of them have been hospitalized.
Newton expects to detect mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus each summer. Citywide efforts to address mosquito-borne illness are to treat catch basins where mosquitoes carrying WNV develop and to regularly trap and test mosquitoes to monitor the presence of WNV in the community. Newton participates in the East Middlesex Mosquito Control Project, and works closely with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. There are no plans to spray for mosquitoes in Newton.
By taking a few, common sense precautions, people can help to protect themselves and their loved ones:
See attached information for updated information about plastic bags, polystyrene and reusable bags in the City of Newton.
Many of you have reached out this week with your questions and concerns about COVID-19.
The Newton Health and Human Services Department has developed a Frequently Asked Questions section on the COVID-19 webpage. It can be found by scrolling to the bottom here: www.newtonma.gov/covid19. It includes questions and answers about travel, what to do if you think you may have symptoms, and other Newton specific information. We plan to update this resource as we hear more from you about what information you need.
The City of Newton continues to monitor the novel coronavirus outbreak – Covid-19. The risk in Massachusetts remains low and Mass had one confirmed case of Covid-19. This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation. The Newton Health and Human Services Department (HHS) is following public health guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH). The city will continue to keep Newton residents informed, monitor the situation and implement CDC and MDPH guidance at the local level.
Coronavirus Information for Newton Residents
February 4, 2020
The following is an update regarding novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
The risk of 2019-nCoV infection remains low for people in our area.
The Newton Health and Human Services Department continues to monitor the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH). This public health concern is evolving. The public can expect that recommendations may change, and that Newton HHS will provide updates as needed.
New interim public health guidance from CDC has been released: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/risk-assessment.html This interim guidance is effective as of February 3, 2020, and does not apply retrospectively to people who have been in China during the previous 14 days and are already in the United States, or those being managed as part of a contact investigation.
The Newton Health and Human Services (HHS) Department is sharing information to help keep the public informed about a respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus -- named “2019-nCoV” -- that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and continues to spread.
The department is monitoring the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH). At this time, no special measures are recommended for local public health departments or schools. This situation is evolving, and if any specific instructions are provided, Newton HHS will communicate them to the community.
Retailers: Are you confused by all the new laws and regulations about vaping and tobacco products?
Here’s a brief timeline of what’s allowed when.
December 16, 2019
Local City of Newton health regulation restricting the sale of e-cigarettes to the two Newton adult-only stores takes effect. All other stores that have a tobacco permit (convenience stores, liquor stores, gas, grocery, market, etc.) will NOT be allowed to sell e-cigarettes. This includes tobacco and menthol flavors of e-cigarettes. Example: JUUL, PHIX, juice, pods, etc. may NOT be sold in Newton convenience stores, liquor stores, gas stations, grocery stores, markets. This is a permanent local regulation so please note that even if sales of these products are allowed elsewhere in Massachusetts, they will not be allowed in Newton.
In July 2019, Newton City Council passed an ordinance (that expands upon the December 2015 plastic bag reduction ordinance) requiring businesses to provide compostable or reusable bags at checkout instead of plastic bags. The reduction of the use of plastic bags helps protect the marine environment, advances solid waste reduction and protects waterways.
Please visit: www.newtonma.gov/plasticbags
Interested in learning more about affordable rental housing? Don’t know how or where to start? Join us on Nov. 14th at 7pm at the American Legion Nonantum Post 440 for an interactive information session. Come learn about eligibility requirements, waitlists, lotteries, managing applications after you apply, area medium income and more! Hear from experts from Newton Housing Authority, Metrowest Collaborative Development, 2 Life Communities, Veterans Housing, and the City’s Planning and Health and Human Services Department. This event is FREE and open to all Newton residents! RSVP is requested but not required at bit.ly/newtonhousinginfo. Questions, please call 617-796-1420.
The Newton Health and Human Services Department is moving forward with its regulation to restrict e-cigarettes to adult-only retail tobacco and nicotine delivery product stores.
The legal notice will be published in the Newton Tab this week, and the regulation takes effect December 16, 2019.
Preventing mosquito bites remains important in Newton. We haven’t had a hard frost yet, and West Nile Virus is still affecting people in our county. The latest DPH update is here:
A public health regulation is proposed to restrict sales of electronic cigarettes to adult-only (21+) stores.
A public listening session regarding this draft regulation will be held Thursday October 3, 2019 from 7 to 9 p.m. in City Council Chambers at Newton City Hall, 1000 Commonwealth Ave. Newton, MA 02459.
On Sept. 24th, Governor Baker declared a public health emergency in the Commonwealth due to severe lung disease associated with the use of e-cigarettes and vaping products and the epidemic of e-cigarette use among youth. The Commissioner of Public Health has temporarily prohibited the sale and display of all vaping products and e-cigarettes until further notice.
Mosquito related information for Newton Youth programs is available here:
CDC and FDA officials, along with state and local partners, are currently investigating a multistate outbreak of severe pulmonary disease associated with e-cigarette and marijuana vaping devices.
A bottled water consumption advisory has been issued by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Summer promises sunshine, heat, and carefree gatherings with families and friends. It also coincides with an increase in food poisoning as warmer temperatures cause foodborne germs to thrive. When shopping for groceries or eating outside, make sure to refrigerate perishable food within 1 hour if it’s 90°F or warmer. Read on for more tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on keeping food safe this summer, whether you’re grilling, planning a party, or attending a fair or festival.
Join us on June 4th at 6:30 at the Newton Free Library for a community art project to help raise awareness for mental health and suicide prevention. Place your piece in our mosaic, enjoy our music and food, enter to win free raffle prizes, and help support our community of caring.
City health officials are advising Newton employees and residents to proactively review their measles vaccination status. While there are no current Newton measles cases, the Newton Health and Human Services Department encourages individuals to check their vaccination history because measles outbreaks are occurring throughout the United States and abroad.
Join us on May 1, at the Newton South Lecture Hall for a presentation by Joani Geltman, local parent-teen relationship expert. The talk will cover everything from sexting, drugs, limit-setting, and more and provide parents with tools to use to better communicate with their teen. Sign up for a FREE ticket at tinyurl.com/parenting5119.
The Improbable Players performance for March 4th is postponed due to the snow.
Misuse of prescription drugs is a common way for teens and adults to start down the road of addiction. The most typical place young people get access to prescription drugs is their home medicine cabinet. A few simple steps can have a significant impact on limiting unsafe access to these powerful drugs.
Site Update and Draft Scope of Work for Phase II Comprehensive Site Assessment 459-471 Watertown St/320-330 Nevada St., Newton MA
As community members, family members, colleagues in a workplace, we often find ourselves engaging with people and learning about their well-being – and sometimes what we learn makes us worry. For those people not professionally trained in psychology fields, what to do with those worries can be unclear.
On the evening of Monday, May 7, in Newtonville, three mental health experts will talk about emotional well-being -- what’s expected, what’s not, and when to worry during the spring Newton Cares program – Never Worry Alone. The program will address markers of emotional well-being across the lifespan from young children through seniors.
On Monday, May 7th, please join Newton Cares at our spring event, ‘Never Worry Alone’. Come listen to a panel of local mental health experts discuss the issues and challenges that can arise for our loved ones at any time across the lifespan. The emphasis will be placed on recognizing when and how to get help. Resource tables staffed by local mental health organizations will share information with attendees.
RSVP (requested, not required): surveymonkey.com/r/NeverWorryAlone
Join the Health and Human Services Department on Sat. April 28th from 10-11:30am in the City Hall War Memorial Auditorium for a presentation by experts Bec Belofsky Shuer and Lee Shuer of Mutual Support Consulting. The presentation will include personal insights and tools to help people create a less cluttered life. RSVP (requested, not required: www.surveymonkey.com/r/thestuff)
If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from seasonal allergies, the start of spring is a mix of excitement about warmer weather, and dread about the sneezing, itchy eyes, and runny nose to come. Here are some tips for managing seasonal allergies -- also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis -- so that you can better enjoy the beauty of spring.
Join us on April 10th at Newton South from 7-9pm, for a presentation by former New England Patriot Chris Sullivan and his wife Kathi. Listen as they share their own personal stories about addiction, mental health and making good choices. This talk is geared to parents and teens. RSVP is requested, not required at www.surveymonkey.com/r/sullivantalk . For more information visit www.newtonma.gov/newtonpath .
Newton preschools are now enrolling for the 2018-2019 school year. Click here to access our preschool page for a comprehensive guide to Newton preschools, financial aid information, and more!
The latest statewide flu report (Jan. 26, Massachusetts Department of Public Health) indicates flu activity is widespread in the state, which is not unexpected for this time of year. However, the rate of influenza-like illness (ILI), is higher than the past two flu seasons. ILI, which is a fever of 100 degrees or more and cough or sore throat, is how disease trackers measure the flu nationwide.
Thursday, January 18, 5:00-7:30 p.m. at Newton North High School. Parents/guardians and teens: Mark your calendar for the Just Think: Teens Making Smart Choices Expo! Bring your middle or high school student for a night of healthy, educational fun.
This year, the Newton Health Department will present on e-cigarettes and the risk they pose to teens and their health. Did you know that, according to the 2016 Surgeon General's report, e-cigarette use has increased considerably in recent years, growing an astounding 900% among highschool students from 2011 to 2015? Join us at Just Think to learn more about the risks of e-cigarette use and how they impact you and your teens.
Attention all pharmacists: Please join us for “A Dose of Reality: The Pharmacists Role in Pain Management and Addiction,” on January 25th from 4:30-6:30pm in the Allen Riddle Building at Newton Wellesley Hospital for a discussion on the pharmacist’s role in pain management, preventing opioid addiction and ensuring safe opioid therapy.
Click below to view the video.
The Department of Environmental Protection will be hosting a public meeting on the status of the TCE contamination of groundwater in Nonantum on November 28th at 7pm at the Post 440 on California Street in Nonantum. All interested parties are invited to attend.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is working with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) to address community concerns related to vapor intrusion in the Nonantum area of Newton voiced at the public meeting this past April.
Newton Youth Services invites you to join Dan Levine and Melissa Wilsonof Engaging Minds, an after school learning center with locations in Newton andWayland, for a workshop designed specifically for parents and students together. In this workshop participants will learn strategies to help your student better manage their nightly homework, planning and time management strategies for both short-term and long-term assignments – and for life, strategies to help your student get “unstuck” when they have trouble initiating tasks, organizational strategies to help your student keep track of their papers, assignments, and belongings, and more! This workshop is free and open to the public.
Do you have a child who will be 3 or 4 years old next fall? It’s time to start thinking about preschool. On October 28th, Newton’s Health and Human Services Department will be hosting a preschool fair from 10 AM – 12 PM at Newton South High School in the cafeteria. Come learn about preschool options in the community and ask questions all in one place.
And to stay updated on all our news, sign up for the newsletter here.
It’s that time of year again - the air is crisp, the leaves are beginning to change, and you are being bombarded with messages to get your flu shot. With so much information, how can you tell fact from fiction? The City of Newton Health & Human Services (HHS) Department put together this guide to help! For questions and more information, call us at (617) 796-1420 or visit our website at www.newtonma.gov/flu.
As fall kicks off, we invite you to engage with Newton HHS and its numerous programs and services that support the department’s mission to protect, promote and sustain the health, harmony, and well-being of all Newton residents, in a culturally-sensitive, customer-friendly manner. Our focus is on prevention. Read on to find out how.
Summer is here! And we’re offering 10 tips for a healthy summer to keep you safe from ticks, mosquitoes, sunburn and more.
Twelve Newton students of color recently shared their experiences of race and racism as part of “The Monologue Project: Voices of Color.” Their captivating stories were captured on video during an evening theater performance held earlier this month, and also preserved in a book. Both are now available on the Newton Youth Services website.
Race and racism are complicated subjects. Newton has recently needed to face some of that complexity as we grappled with community meetings on diversity boiling over with tension and emotion, racist incidents at our schools, questions about a sanctuary city status and more. Our high schools are microcosms of our larger community in many ways and issues of race are as complex for our young people as they are for adults.
Worried about a substance use disorder in a loved one? There has been no shortage of recent discouraging data about opioids and other addiction. But there is help from a variety of sources for those struggling with substance use disorder. Here are a few options:
The City of Newton Health and Human Services (Newton HHS) Department is looking for engaged community members to assist in developing and implementing a new community outreach program. We are recruiting volunteers to help us create a cohort of HHS ambassadors who will be trained to promote dialogue and provide information to residents and leaders throughout the community with the goal of increasing knowledge of the resources and opportunities available through the department.
We’re your local public health department -- we do prevention in many ways through programs and education. We’re introducing new ways to stay in touch -- including this occasional column (published here and in the Newton Tab), a presence on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and a regular HHS e-newsletter. To sign up, visit www.newtonma.gov/health We’ll keep you updated on everything from the latest restaurant inspection grades, tick and mosquito disease prevention, mental health programs and more. Be social with us!
The Dana Farber Cancer Institute/ Brigham and Women’s Hospital Blood Mobile will be at Newton City Hall (1000 Commonwealth Ave.) in the War Memorial Circle for a blood drive.
Appointments: tinyurl.com/NewtonJune2017 (appointments are recommended, walk-ins will be taken as time allows).
Questions about eligibility, please email: bloodDonor@partners.org or call 617-632-3206.
*All blood collected benefits patients at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. PHOTO ID REQUIRED FOR NEW DONORS
Monday, April 3rd, 6:00-8:30pm
Druker Auditorium, Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St
Join the Newton Medical Reserve Corps for a free & fun National Public Health Week event open to all! We’re showing Contagion, followed by a brief discussion about the movie and public health led by Dr. Dori Zaleznik, infectious diseases specialist and former Newton HHS Commissioner.
Community meeting hosted by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP): All are welcome to hear an update from DEP and a status report from Northrop Grumman regarding the Nonantum Trichloroethylene (TCE) groundwater investigation.
April 12th at 6:30 pm at the American Legion Post 440, 295 California St.
Save the date for a fun, free EXPO at Newton North High School!
Monday, January 23, 2017, from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Teens and adults are invited to the Just Think: Teens Making Smart Choices expo for participative, informative exhibits; live music; free refreshments; and fun.
Join us at the West Suburban YMCA for a FREE OPEN HOUSE filled with classes, programs, and activities geared towards older adults in Newton!
Please join District Attorney Marian Ryan for a presentation about the Opioid Crisis and File of Life for Seniors in Middlesex County on Tuesday, May 17 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Scandinavian Living Center, 206 Waltham St., West Newton.
Its time to renew your 2016 Summer Camp Application! Click on the link to access the 2016 Application.