Editor’s Note: Today’s case count from Town Manager Sarah Stanton and the Covid-19 Taskforce, as well as a reminder that a major statement from Governor Baker is expected tomorrow, Monday, May 18
The daily update is also available in the following places if you’d like to share with your friends:
As of today, May 17, 2020, there have been a total of one hundred eighty-four (184) positive cases of COVID-19 reported to the Town of Bedford Board of Health by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MA DPH) and thirty-three (33) deaths of Bedford residents attributed to COVID-19. The total case number includes residents of the Town of Bedford, including but not limited to those in 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 as reported to us by the MA DPH.
As you may be aware, long term care facilities serving the elderly and congregate-care facilities, house susceptible populations with underlying conditions who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. Increased testing occurs at these facilities and results in more positive cases being identified. As such, cities and towns with these facilities, like Bedford, experience elevated positive case counts and, unfortunately, deaths due to the vulnerability to COVID-19 of the populations within those facilities.
Forty-one (41) of the total Bedford cases have already recovered and have come off of isolation and there may other Bedford residents who would be considered persons under investigation in that they are symptomatic, have undergone testing but have not yet received results. There are other individuals impacted by COVID-19 in the community who have not sought medical attention, and/or have not been tested and are isolating at home regardless. Those individuals do not appear on the surveillance reports the Town receives from the MA DPH.
The Board of Health continues to do the appropriate follow-up and outreach to those residents and close contacts known to us and the VA is conducting follow-up and contact tracing of the Veterans under their care. Many of the identified close contacts of some of the Bedford cases never exhibited symptoms, have completed their required quarantine period, and have been released from quarantine by the Board of Health.
Please note, in part to alleviate the community concern, the VA does do a daily report of their numbers, which includes inpatients, outpatients, and staff, many of whom do not call Bedford home. The information can be found here: https://www.accesstocare.va.gov/Healthcare/COVID19NationalSummary
Tomorrow, May 18, 2020, Governor Baker will announce Phase I of the four-phase reopening of the Commonwealth. Over the past ten weeks, the Governor has consistently stated that the phased reopening of Massachusetts will be staggered, deliberate, and the health and safety of residents will remain at the forefront. As the State releases guidance on the phased reopening, there will likely be lots and lots of questions from our Town employees, faith leaders, residents, and local businesses. Rest assured, the Town will work, as we have throughout this crisis, to ensure that everyone stays as informed as possible. Stay tuned to the daily update for forthcoming details and information to be shared.
Stay healthy!…(and wash your hands as often as possible.)