Editor’s Note: In addition to today’s case count, Town Manager Sarah Stanton outlined Town-supported social work services available to all residents
The daily update is also available in the following places if you’d like to share with your friends:
As of today, May 7, 2020, there have been a total of one hundred fifty-one (151) positive cases of COVID-19 reported to the Town of Bedford Board of Health by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MA DPH) and twenty-six (26) 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.
Thirty-six (36) of the total Bedford cases have already recovered and have come off of isolation and there are currently no known Persons Under Investigation. 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
During this time, Social Work services remain available to all Bedford residents.
The Social Workers are available via phone and can assist with:
- Ensuring individuals have food security during this time. Residents who are struggling with having an adequate amount of food in their homes can reach out to the Social Workers for assistance getting connected to the Bedford Food Bank, Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP/EBT), and other community resources. The Social Workers will work with residents faced with a hardship and unable to travel outside their homes through food bank home delivery.
- Information accessing financial supports such as SNAP, unemployment, MassHealth, and utility assistance.
- Transportation to appointments and essential services.
- General support for coping with anxiety during this time. Residents are able to call and speak with a Social Worker who can provide strategies for managing anxiety.
- Outreach calls for residents who are experiencing isolation. Residents who are concerned about individuals who are experiencing isolation can contact the Social Workers.
- Getting residents connected with Health and Mental Health providers. At this time counseling services at the Town Center through Eliot Community Human Services have shifted to a telehealth service and referrals continue to be accepted. Intakes are being conducted over the phone or by Zoom. Please note that Bedford residents do not pay a co-pay for therapy through Eliot and lack of insurance is not a barrier to services.
Stay healthy!…(and wash your hands as often as possible.)