The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of May 7 to May 14, 2020
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Who Was That Masked Responsible Citizen?

Governor Baker Signs Order Mandating Masks or Face Covers in Public

On Friday, May 1, Massachusetts Governor Charles Baker issued an order that residents over the age of two years must wear some covering over their face while out in public. The order supercedes previous guidance on the wearing of non-medical face masks as recommended by the CDC.

Residents are asked not to wear medical masks, which should be reserved for health care professionals and first responders. There are numerous directions available for making cloth face masks online. The Courier has included directions for a homemade face mask in every week's edition (see below). The CDC offers directions for face coverings here. A scarf, bandana or any other cloth that covers the nose and mouth is acceptable. Persons may be exempted from wearing a mask for medical reasons, or by the Department of Public Health. Persons with difficulty breathing, or who are unconscious, incapacitated or unable to remove the mask themselves should not wear a mask. Children under two and infants should not wear masks or any kind of face covering.

Masks are to be worn wherever social distancing can't be easily maintained, including all indoor spaces such as retail stores. Masks are required when riding in any mass transit, transportation service or vehicle with more than one person (the driver).

A fine of up to $300 may be imposed for non-compliance. (Read the full press release here.)

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is updating its list of the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases by individual town each Wednesday. The list may be viewed here. An interactive state map of the same information is also on this page. As of May 6, Winchendon had reported a total of 58 confirmed cases, an increase of 7 from the previous week.

The stay-at-home and non-essential business rules remain in place until May 18. All residents are asked to respect and comply with ongoing restrictions:

  • Massachusetts residents remain under a stay-at-home advisory.This means that persons should stay at home and refrain from all unnecessary travel and activities that involve physical proximity to other people. Persons over 70, or who have health conditions that increase the danger of serious complications from COVID-19 should limit in-person social interactions with other people as much as possible. The most recent data indicate that the biggest risk factors for COVID-19 complications requiring hospitalization are obesity, diabetes, and advanced COPD. Asthma has been found to increase risk less than was feared, but persons with asthma should still take every precaution.

  • All residents must wear non-medical face masks or cloth face coverings of some kind when out in public, along with observing social distancing rules and minimizing direct interactions with others. (See directions below for sewing a DIY cloth face mask.) Masks or other face coverings should completely cover the nose, mouth and chin. Masks should not be touched or pulled down off the face once they've been put on. People wearing masks should wash their hands after touching their mask, if touching is unavoidable.

  • All non-essential businesses are closed to employees and the public. Businesses which can continue operating without putting employees or customers/clients at risk (i.e. they're not in the same physical location) may do so. This can include staff working solo and/or from home, delivering product without contacting customers directly, and working remotely via phone, text, or Internet platforms.

  • Restaurants may sell takeout meals for pickup or delivery only. No customers may be served on premises. Customers picking up orders should maintain a six-foot distance from one another and the restaurant staff, wear face masks, and avoid touching the takeout counters. If possible, order and pay online or by phone.

  • Retail stores selling food, liquor stores and pharmacies are open, but are restricted to a maximum number of 10 customers at a time. Customers must stay at least six feet away from each other. Some stores have marked their floors with tape or signs to keep people in line at the correct distance (so remember to look down).

  • Larger stores are not limited to 10 customers, but most have set their own limits based on the size of the store. If the limit is reached, customers must wait outside the store, maintaining a six-foot distance from each other, until staff admits them inside. Some supermarkets have created one-way aisles to help keep shoppers moving and minimize face-to-face encounters.
For full details and updates on Massachusetts state-wide COVID-19 news and restrictions, see The Montachusett Public Health Network COVID-19 Hotline number, answering questions about the COVID-19 situation, is 1-844-968-3323.

The daily increase in number of cases is decreasing slightly. The MA Department of Public Health announced that as of Thursday, May 7, there were 72,025 confirmed cases in Massachusetts, with 4,420 fatalities.

Below is an updated list of the COVID-19 arrangements made by town community services, centers, organizations and businesses, as far as the Courier was able to determine as of Thursday, May 7. Changes have been happening very quickly and without notice, so call or check the websites or Facebook pages of a business or organization for the most up to date information. (Winchendon businesses or organizations who would like to be added to this list, or change their information, should email with details.)

Winchendon Public Schools
All schools closed until for the remainder of the school year. Remote learning will continue and report cards will be issued. There will be no summer school programs. A continuously updated page of information may be found here.

There will be no school-related events on or off campus, including sports events.

The school year will not be extended for COVID-19 closings. The last day of school will be June 15.

Online home schooling, learning and study programs are available from the schools and many other sources. A FAQ of detailed information can be found here (the situation may change rapidly so keep checking back).

The state MCAS examinations for this academic year have been cancelled by the Department of Education.

Town Hall
Closed to the public. Most staff has been sent home, but are responding to emails and phone calls (expect a delay). Most bills can be paid and applications submitted online, and payments can be dropped off in the dropbox by the Front Street entrance to the building. Board and committee meetings are rescheduled or meeting virtually (see individual pages for each Board or committee on the town website).

The transfer station is OPEN for regular hours. Residents using the transfer station should complete their visit quickly and maintain a six-foot distance from each other and from attendants.

The Police Station and Fire Station are fully staffed but closed to walk-in visits by the general public. Call 911 for emergencies only and the business numbers for general questions and calls (Police: 978-297-1212; Fire: 978-297-2324). See each department's Facebook page for ongoing updates and information.

Old Murdock Senior Center
Closed to the public. Staff are at work and delivering lunches to seniors, as well as bags of groceries. The Center is also delivering loaner books and jigsaw puzzles to seniors.Contact them if you're a senior and need groceries or medications. 978-297-3155.

Beals Memorial Library
Closed to the public, all programs, events and meetings cancelled until further notice. Staff has been sent home until further notice for their safety. You can borrow library e-resources through the Beals website. (If you have a library card, you can use the Libby app to borrow ebooks via your cell phone.) Library materials can be returned in the outside drop box. Overdue fines are waived for the time being. Check the Beals Facebook page for video book readings by Library Director Manuel King.

BealsCon, scheduled for May 16, has been postponed to a later date to be determined.

Clark Memorial YMCA
All programs are cancelled until further notice, including regular after school programs and day care. The Emergency Child Care program for grades K-5 is available to families of essential workers, and families at risk who lack other options. Email Kyle Scrivines at with questions. See the Clark YMCA Facebook page for video exercise lessons and workout challenges.

According to the Clark's May Update (PDF), Camp Clark is still scheduled to run this summer.

Winchendon Community Action Committee (CAC)
The building is closed to the public. Staff is at work and answering phones. Food, and some other supplies as available (for example, diapers) are being distributed curbside by appointment only--call to set up a pickup time. Their new hours for distributing food and other supplies are Monday through Thursday, 12:00-3:00 p.m. See their Facebook page for updates and information, or call 978-297-1667.

The CAC is one of eleven agencies to recently be awarded grant monies by the United Way of North Central Massachusetts. Thanks to assistance from Heywood Healthcare and Growing Places, they have a good supply of food to distribute, and are getting deliveries of produce and groceries. They have some hand-sewn face masks available (donations of masks are welcomed). The CAC is also helping residents impacted by the COVID-19 situation apply for resources and assistance. Contact the CAC for more information.

The Dance Center
Studio is closed for classes. There are online virtual dance classes and activities, see their Facebook page for more information.


Carriage House Restaurant
Open for take-out only, Thurs-Sat starting at 4:00 p.m. and continuing as long as orders come in. See their Facebook page for menus and specials. 978-297-1089.

Christo's Place
Open for take-out only. Note temporary new hours: Mon-Tues-Wed-Thurs 11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. & Fri-Sat-Sun 11:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. Pay-by-phone, curbside pickup and free delivery available. Continuing to offer free bagged lunches to Winchendon public schools students who qualify for free or reduced school lunch--message them on Facebook in the morning to reserve a lunch. Christo's family and staff ask that as few people as possible come inside the store to pick up orders, to help keep everyone safer. 978-297-1142. Hiring part-time delivery drivers; apply in person.

C & S Pizza
Open for take-out only. 978-297-2202.

Dunkin Donuts
Open for take-out and drive-through only.

Friends Garden
OPEN for take-out only as of May 1. 978-297-2277, 978-297-2278.

Gabby's Pizza
Back open for take-out only. Check their Facebook page for updates. New temporary hours, Monday-Saturday 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Occasionally close earlier. Offering "make your own pizza" kits: pound of fresh dough, pound of cheese and 1 oz of sauce, enjoy baking pizza with your kids! 978-297-3909.

The Glen Caffe
Closed, but preparing take-out meals for sale at Not Just Produced, 290 Central St., until further notice.

Gourmet Donuts
Open for take-out and drive-through only. No refills of reusable cups for sanitary reasons. You can call ahead with your order and it will be ready to pick up. 978-297-9700

The Harbour Sports Bar
OPEN for take-out only as of May 6. Check their Facebook page for hours, menus and updates. Customers are encouraged to order online at 978-297-2133

Hometown Cafe
Open for take-out only. Menu, including daily specials, posted on their Facebook page. 978-297-2233.

Lickity Splitz
OPEN for the season on April 9. Take out only, call in orders in advance for pickup. See their Facebook page for menus, hours and information. 978-297-1777.

Little Anthony's & Little Lizzie's
Open for take-out only, pickup at Little Lizzie's ice cream window. Menu and online ordering may be done here. Beer and wine available for take-out. Local delivery available. Local ice cream now available. 978-297-2669, 978-297-1880.

Murdock Farm and Dairy Bar
Opening for the season on May 9. Check their Facebook page for updates.

Ruschioni's Cruisin' 12 Diner
CLOSED May 11-15 for a break. Will reopen Saturday, May 16. Open for take-out only. See their Facebook page for daily menus and specials. Grocery food (cheese, butter, bread, etc) available to order, cash only, delivery available. List with prices on their Facebook page. 978-616-8956.

Open for take-out only, see Facebook page for hours, weekly specials and ordering information. 978-297-0011.

Zoe's Restaurant and Pizzeria
Open for take-out and delivery only. Also offering take-out for beer and wine. See their Facebook page for menus and specials. Order on Wednesday and get a trivia question to answer! 978-297-5200.


Beaman's Bait Shop

Belletetes Winchendon
As an essential business, Belletetes Winchendon is open to customers but asks that you place orders for curbside pickup, or delivery, if at all possible. The new email address for ordering is Reduced hours, closed Sundays. For details, see the most recent customer update (March 27) on their Facebook page.

Cumberland Farms


Deedee's Treasures
Postponing their spring re-opening. Can arrange purchase and pickup of fabric by appointment only. Call 978-413-0415. See their Facebook page for further updates.

Family Dollar

Horse & Buggy Feeds
OPEN. See their Facebook page for news and specials.

Not Just Produced
OPEN. New and additional inventory. Hosting the Winchendon Mobile Market on Fridays, 12:30-2:30 p.m. Packaged meals ready-to-go prepared by the Glen Caffe. Organic produce from Charlie's Redhouse Farm. Only ten customers can be inside the store at one time. 978-413-8518.

Pattie's Jewelry
Store closed to the public, open for business by phone and internet. See their Facebook page for daily specials and information. Hand delivery of local purchases, layaway available. 978-297-3536.

Powell Stone and Gravel
Buildings closed to public. Open for phone orders with curbside pickup or delivery. Order by phone, email or text. See complete information here (PDF). 978-297-5600.


Robin's Retro Dolls
Store closed to customers but Robin is buying and selling dolls by appointment, mail order, and on eBay. Contact her at 978-912-1688 with inquiries. If you have a doll to sell, text a photo to 978-912-1688 and she'll get back to you.

Smith's Country Cheese
OPEN. Call for curbside pickup. 978-939-5738. (Please note that the CheeseFest and CheeseChase events planned for May 17 have been postponed to a later date TBD.)

To Each His Own Design
Store closed to the public, OPEN for business. Taking orders by phone or over the internet, delivering. See their Facebook page for news and specials. 978-297-3959.


Athol Savings Bank
Building closed to walk-in customers. Open for drive-through, ATM, online banking and by appointment for in-person services. See their Facebook page for updates, including current hours. 978-249-3200.

Brooks Automotive
Open for essential repairs and towing services. Closed on Saturdays. Inspection bay is closed. Call or check their Facebook page for updates and occasional inspection times. 978-297-2561.

LaPoint Law Office
Office is closed to the public, but attorneys are responding to queries and serving existing clients. Contact them at 978-297-2390, 978-297-3673, or by fax at 978-616-8491, or by email at:,, or See their Facebook page for more information.

Mylec has been deemed an essential business and is manufacturing durable, easy-to-clean flooring material for emergency tents being set up nationwide for triage centers and other purposes. The portable polyethylene flooring was developed for tennis courts and most lately was employed for dek hockey rinks and NASCAR track garages. Mylec has been running overtime shifts to fill orders.


The Chapel, The Chapel Downtown
All in-person worship, meetings and gatherings suspended until further notice. Virtual and video services and meetings being arranged--see their Facebook page or website for more information.

Cornerstone Church
All in-person worship, meetings and gatherings suspended until further notice. Holding virtual prayer meetings online. See their Facebook page for more information.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Church
All public mass suspended until further notice; building closed. Holy Rosary and Mass intention prayers are being offered via Zoom and streaming on Facebook. Confession is being heard in the church parking lot. See the church Facebook page for more information. Contact the office at, Fr. Henry at, or call 978-297-0280.

All events in the building, including Our Neighbor's Kitchen suppers, are cancelled until further notice.

Unitarian Universalist Church of Winchendon
Our Neighbor's Kitchen suppers will be distributed as "take-out" from the church circular driveway in May. AA meetings on Monday nights are suspended until further notice. Contact the church via Facebook message with any questions.

United Parish of Winchendon
Worship services, programs and activities suspended until further notice. Sunday worship being streamed online, see their Facebook page for information, as well as for daily videos, Bible readings and prayers.

Tell the Governor's Reopening Advisory Board and Sen. Anne Gobi How COVID-19 and the Response are Impacting You and Your Business

The Baker-Polito administration has created an advisory board for the purpose of offering recommendations towards the economic re-opening of the state. The board will present their findings on May 18th, and they have created a survey for individuals to submit comments to the board, a link to which is posted below. While I encourage you to submit comments there, I wanted to offer two additional surveys for you to take to ensure that your concerns are heard and represented. This will be for my office’s use and all answers will be kept completely anonymous. This survey will be available until May 11th and the results will be compiled and sent to the Lieutenant Governor and advisory board, as well as posted to social media.

This first survey is geared towards your individual concerns, and may be found here: .

This second survey is business oriented, so please fill out and share with your business owning friends: .

The administration’s survey may be found here: . As mentioned above, I encourage you to fill out each that you feel may be applicable.

Beals Memorial Library Looking Forward to Easing of Shutdown Rules

In messages to the Courier, Beals Memorial Library Director Manuel King said that the library must remain closed until at least May 18 as it has been designated non-essential.

Library staff are on paid administrative leave. Each staff person is working on two days of the week on necessary library work. The staff is scheduled on staggered shifts to maintain safe distancing, and all surfaces are disinfected after each shift.

"When we do open the plan is to do it slowly, most likely on the same basis as in the weeks before the shut down," Mr. King said. "Namely, patrons will be able to order library items either via the phone or online for material that the Beals owns. Once ordered the items will be checked out to the patron and placed on a book cart for pick up in the lobby."

Mr. King said that when the library is allowed to open to the public, they will initially limit the number of people allowed in at the same time so that patrons can maintain safe distancing. Computers would probably not be available for use until the library is told that will be safe.

"We hope that at some point we can get back to normal operation, but at this point, we don't know when that will be," Mr. King said. "In the meantime we hope patrons are taking advantage of Overdrive (found on our website) to read e-books, listen to audio books or stream video."

Central Mass Tree

Winchendon Asks for Community Input for Preparedness and Hazard Mitigation Plans

The Town of Winchendon invites residents to view a short video about the potential impact of climate change on Winchendon, and then reply to a community survey. Your responses will assist the town in making long-term plans for future challenges posed by the effects of climate change and possible weather-related crises.

Winchendon Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness and Hazard Mitigation Survey.

If You Call for Emergency Services...

...the Winchendon Fire Department asks that you let the dispatcher know if you have flu-like symptoms, are quarantined or are under self-quarantine. This will allow the first responders to take all necessary precautions to avoiding spreading COVID-19 and to protect themselves and you.

Do You Have a Garden in Winchendon?

You can help the Winchendon HEAL Project bring affordable, whole food back to town by telling us about your garden! Fill out this online survey:

What is the HEAL Winchendon Food Project?

Make DIY Cloth Face Masks

Many people are sewing cloth face masks for themselves and for health care workers. There is even a Facebook group supporting this effort, Mask Makers.

There are a number of patterns available on the Internet. The Courier is sharing the PDF pattern below, which includes templates and clear, photograph-illustrated sewing directions, for the convenience of our readers. The pattern is being distributed by Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough, NH and may be copied and shared freely.

The CDC has issued a nationwide advisory asking people to wear face masks at all times when out in public. COVID-19 is spread primarily through the air, and infected persons are the most contagious before they have any symptoms. It's estimated that as many as 50 percent of infected persons may never show symptoms or get sick, but still are able to infect others. Wearing face masks will significantly reduce the chances of infected people spreading the virus.

Face Mask Pattern and Directions (PDF)

Unitarian Universalist Church of Winchendon Debuts Drive-Through Supper

For over 15 years the Unitarian Universalist Church of Winchendon (UUCW) has hosted Our Neighbor’s Kitchen community suppers in their Parish Hall. The suppers have gained a reputation for serving restaurant-quality, nutritious meals to a loyal following.

In mid-March, the twice-monthly tradition was halted due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements. As time marches on, and residents become increasingly food-insecure, financially strapped, or just plain weary of cooking in their own kitchens night after night, UUCW has resolved to resume their community suppers. Dedicated church members and volunteers worked out a plan to prepare and serve a dinner while still adhering to current social distancing requirements.

Our Neighbor’s Kitchen drive-through officially debuts on Thursday, May 14, at 5:30 p.m. UUCW will reprise one of this year’s most popular meals: baked ziti with cheese and sweet Italian sausage, fresh spinach salad with apples, dried cranberries, and vinaigrette, bread, and a homemade cookie. UUCW’s wide, circular, front driveway lends itself well to a meal distribution format. From 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., hungry diners may drive into the circle and up to a waiting table where they will “check in” with their requested number of meals. In the comfort of their car, they will receive take-out containers ready to eat. A “runner” will keep hot meals coming upstairs from the kitchen for the full hour while quantities last. Diners may reserve takeout meals ahead of time by calling 978-297-0554 on the afternoon of the dinner. Diners arriving on foot are encouraged to come a few minutes early, ahead of the vehicular traffic.

Our Neighbor’s Kitchen is an all-volunteer staff and is funded solely by donations. As usual, the church will happily accept free-will donations towards the cost of groceries and kitchen operations. Suggested amounts are $2 per person or $5 per family, and no one is turned away.

The UUCW kitchen is certified by the Winchendon Board of Health, and its chefs are ServSafe® certified. The church is very excited about trialing this new procedure. Should it prove successful, Our Neighbor’s Kitchen drive-through will be repeated on each 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month until social distancing allows UUCW to once again host meals and friendship in their Parish Hall.

For more information, visit the church’s website at: or their Facebook page at: The church is located at 126 Central Street.

Baked Ziti

Stone Ladeau Funeral Home

Toy Town FYIs

Town Elections originally scheduled for May 4 have been postponed to a later date still to be determined. In an effort to protect voters and election workers from social contact, Town Hall encourages registered voters to apply for an early ballot to be mailed to them. The early ballot application can be found on the Town Clerk's page:

Please print and complete the form and send to the Town Clerk's office using postal mail (mail to Winchendon Town Clerk, 109 Front Street, Dept. 3, Winchendon, MA 01475) or the dropbox in front of Town Hall (109 Front Street, by the Front Street entrance), or email to: As soon as the ballots arrive at the Town Clerk's office, they will be mailed out to the Early Voting applicants.

Real estate taxes normally due on May 1 will be due on June 1. The deadline for applications to apply for exemptions on taxes has been changed from April 1 to June 1. Interest and penalties will be waived on any property and excise tax, betterment assessment, water or sewer bill with a due date on or after March 10, 2020 if payment in full is made by June 30, 2020.

2020 dog licenses are now available in the Town Clerk's office (in Town Hall, 109 Front Street), online (click here), or by mail. You must provide a valid, up-to-date rabies certificate.

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