ADAMS, Mass. — The Board of Health is happy to report that the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be slowing in town.
Board of Health member Peter Hoyt gave an update Wednesday on the novel coronavirus' impact on the county's third largest community and noted that at the moment, there are no active cases in Adams and, to his knowledge only one, in North County.
"I am holding my breath but things seem quiet," Board member David Rhoads said.
In other business, the board made some final changes to its new tobacco permit cap regulation.
"Sorry to make this painful, but I am happy," Rhoads said.
Some months ago, the Board of Health agreed to implement a new regulation that would limit the amount of tobacco sales permits allowed in town. The new regulation would not affect those already selling tobacco.
Earlier this month, the board was held up by disagreement on which certification programs would be used for sales clerks.
And this was again the conversation point Wednesday
Rhoads originally wanted these certifications to be exclusively conducted by Tri-Town Health's Tobacco Awareness Program (TAP) but the rest of the board felt this was too restrictive.
The members came to a compromise and decided the board would only allow programs that it approved, giving them more control over standards but not limiting them to one program.
But Wednesday, Rhoads wanted something more specific in the new regulations that pointed the applicant to approved certifications programs
"Where does that vendor go because we have not approved a program via these regulations," he said. "This regulation specifically makes obsolete all previous regulations and our previous one names TAP so this supplants that then we have no approved certification program."
The board came to another compromise and decided it will add acceptable certifications to a list as they come before the board. This would create a collection of approved training programs.
"So we approve TAP today that is number one and then other programs as we approve them," Rhoads said. "Perfect. I like that idea."
The board's other continuing issue was with the state fining structure that members felt was too harsh. Town Counsel Edmund St. John III clarified that both the clerk and the store owner are susceptible to fines starting at $1,000.
The board noted it had some say with the suspension of licenses. Otherwise, it has to live with the hefty fines.
The board will vote on the final draft next month.
The board also reorganized and members Rhoads and Hoyt flip-flopped. Rhoads will now serve as chairman and Hoyt will serve as vice chairman.
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