Town of Bedford ~ Update on Covid-19 ~ Thursday, 16 April 2020

Editor’s Note: News that s third Bedford resident has succumbed to Covid-19 has been reported to the Town’s Board of Health by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and there is further clarity about the way aggregate statistics are reported. Check the full report for details from the School Department, and note that the hours for tomorrow’s Food Bank are from 1 to 3 pm.

Click this link to read the Town’s full update for Thursday,  April 16, 2020

The daily update is also available in the following places if you’d like to share with your friends:

CURRENT CASES

We are sorry to report that a third death of a Bedford resident from COVID-19 was reported to the Town of Bedford Board of Health (BOH) by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MA DPH). Our thoughts go out to those families with loved ones stricken by or suffering with this illness.

As of today, April 16 2020, there have been a total of sixty-five (65) positive cases of COVID-19 reported to the Town of Bedford Board of Health by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MA DPH). The total case number includes residents of the Town of Bedford, Hanscom Air Force Base and the Bedford Veteran’s Administration (VA) Campus as reported to us by the MA DPH.  There are an additional twenty-one (21) people attributed to the Town of Bedford under the state surveillance system. These 21 people are either staff at a Bedford facility who were tested there and used that address as their “location,” or former Bedford residents now living in another city/state who indicated Bedford as their home. For those who are not current residents of Bedford, the Bedford Board of Health ensures that the local jurisdiction where those people live has been informed of their COVID-19 positive status so that that community can conduct the appropriate contact trace, follow-up and issue isolation/quarantine orders.
 

UPDATE ON REPORTING

the ever-present question: why can’t the Town just breakout the VA statistics?

The Town Administration has received some requests to release the numbers of total positive COVID-19 cases at various facilities in Bedford. We want to take a moment to clearly explain our position and legal requirements. The Board of Health holds and is responsible for this information and, legally, cannot publicly break out the daily COVID-19 positive case data by address or facility. The aggregate reporting (today 65 cases) applies to all COVID-19 positive case within Bedford – including but not limited to residents of single-family homes, apartments, the VA campus, Hanscom Air Force Base, special needs group homes and any and all other larger assisted living/care facilities in Bedford. Reporting in aggregate numbers is the public health practice throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

This aggregate reporting standard is followed by other communities that also have congregate-care facilities, and a VA campus, including Boston, Brockton, and Lowell, and Northampton, all of whom do not break out the VA campus numbers in their individual community reporting. Of particular note, while the residents at Hanscom Air Force Base are technically housed in the town of Lincoln, the state surveillance system has historically and will continue to assign these cases to Bedford, providing further evidence as to the imperfect nature of the state tracking system. The Bedford Board of Health takes its duties seriously and diligently conducts surveillance on our residents with communicable disease while ensuring those who have inadvertently been assigned to us are properly tracked by the respective communities in which they live.

Any COVID-19 positive cases VA (and all facilities for long term care, as well as Hanscom Air Force Base) are included in the daily Bedford number and have been since the beginning of the pandemic if the impacted resident holds their legal address in Bedford. The daily COVID-19 update notes that the aforementioned facilities are included. Many residents at Hanscom, the VA, and our assisted living facilities, vote, and participate in Bedford as citizens of our community. In fact, many of the residents being cared for at the VA and Carleton Willard are long-time Bedford residents, with family still residing in Town. Our daily COVID-19 positive count does not include residents who are only receiving temporary care at said facilities, have been moved from another facility, or are COVID positive staff working at said facilities. I would also add, many of the facilities mentioned have been closed off to the public for nearly a month, in an attempt to keep their residents, and the general public, safe.

Lastly, it goes without saying, the folks in the facilities discussed above have families. Families who are now unable to see their loved ones …or enjoy any normalcy of the face to face visits that were allowed pre-COVID-19. In all of the daily statistics, we often forget that we’re talking about people…and in Bedford’s case, some of our finest, most well-loved residents. I’m keeping that in mind, and I’d ask all of us to do the same.

Stay healthy!…(and wash your hands as often as possible.)
 


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