In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, ThisWeekinWorcester.com explores five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.
These five things can cover a whole range of subjects and issues that we feel are pertinent to understanding what’s going on in the city and the cities and towns surrounding Worcester.
In today’s edition – January 13, 2021 – Gillette Stadium will be the first mass COVID-19 vaccination site in Massachusetts, Girl Scout Cookie Season starts January 15 with unique challenges, local business owner Joe Abbascia launches a business specializing in moves for senior citizens, Quinsigamond Community College graduated 85 nursing students in virtual events and the Better Business Bureau warns on tax season scams.
Gillette Stadium Hosts First Mass Vaccination Site in MA
Governor Charlie Baker announced the first COVID-19 mass vaccination site in Massachusetts will be at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.
Mass vaccination sites will first be available to first responders. Other eligible individuals will be able to make appointments according to the state’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan.
This site will open with the capacity to do 300 vaccines per day, ramping up to up to 5,000 vaccines per day over time.
CIC Health will operate the site, with Brigham & Women’s Hospital as the medical director and Fallon Ambulance supporting the clinical staffing.
Additional mass vaccination sites are expected to be announced in the near future.
Girl Scouts Look to Alternative Methods this Cookie Season
Girl Scouts of Central & Western Massachusetts kicks off Girl Scout Cookie season on Friday, January 15.
During the COVID-19 pandemic Girl Scouts are finding alternative ways to sell cookies. Cookies will be available online and at drive-through cookie booths; “lemonade stand style” neighborhood booths; and traditional storefront cookies booths at local establishments.
Girl Scouts of the USA also has a new national collaboration with Grubhub that makes online cookie ordering available nationwide on February 1. Consumers who don’t know a Girl Scout can still purchase cookies from a local troop for direct shipment to their homes or donation to local organizations.
Find cookies on the Girl Scouts website.
Local Business Owner Launches Company Specializing in Senior Moves
Joe Abbascia, owner of Properties Central Realty on at 1180 Main St. in Worcester, recently launched Caring Transitions of Greater Worcester.
Caring Transitions specializes in for senior moves, downsizing and online estate sales. They designed the service for seniors transitioning into new living situation who need cleanout or moving services, online estate sales and/or homes sales.
Abbascia designed the business for seniors downsizing to provide a safer living situation, seniors moving to assisted living and families with a loved one who has passed away.
Caring Transitions of Greater Worcester can be reached at (508) 551-9600 or [email protected]
QCC Graduates 85 Nursing Students in Virtual Events
Quinsigamond Community College graduated 85 nursing students during two virtual nurse graduation pinning ceremonies held in late December.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 51 evening program graduates and 34 day program graduates sent recordings of their loved ones pinning them at their homes. The pinnings, captured in a video by the College, aired on December 18 and 23.
“Our nursing students have made an indelible impression on our healthcare system during this pandemic,” said QCC President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja. “Now 85 new graduates will stand alongside their nursing colleagues and help care and protect our community.”
BBB Warns on Tax ID Theft During Tax Season
The Better Business Bureau [BBB] is warning online tax filers about scammers who use the Social Security numbers of unsuspecting Americans to file phony tax returns and steal refunds.
The first sign of the scam is often a written IRS notice arrives in the mail, stating that more than one tax return was filed using your Social Security number. A scammer may have gotten personal information, typically the account holder’s Social Security number, address, and birth date.
If so, they filed your return early and received your refund before you even got around to filing.
The BBB provides these tips for avoiding Tax ID Scams:
- File early: The best way to avoid tax identity theft is to file your taxes as early as possible, before a scammer has the chance to use your information.
- Watch out for red flags and contact the IRS immediately if:
- A written notice from the IRS arrives in the mail about a duplicate return
- An IRS notice arrives stating you received wages from somewhere you never worked
- Receive a notice that “additional taxes are owed, the refund will be offset or a collection actions are being taken against you for a year you did not file a tax return”
- Receive other notices that don’t actually apply to you.
- Protect your Social Security number: Don’t give out your SSN unless there’s a good reason, and you’re sure who you’re giving it to.
- Research your tax preparer: Make sure your tax preparer is trustworthy before handing over your personal information.
- If you are a victim of ID theft, consider getting an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN). This is a six-digit number, which, in addition to your Social Security number, confirms your identity. Once you apply, you must provide the IP Pin each year when you file your federal tax returns. Visit IRS.gov for more information.