Editor’s Note: In addition to today’s case count, Town Manager Sarah Stanton shared important decisions about Annual Town Meeting 2020 from this afternoon’s Select Board meeting.
The daily update is also available in the following places if you’d like to share with your friends:
As of today, May 13, 2020, there have been a total of one hundred and seventy-one (171) 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-one (31) 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-nine (39) 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 (PUIs) 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
Today, May 13, 2020, the Select Board voted to hold Annual Town Meeting on Saturday, June 27, 2020, at 1:00 PM on the Bedford High School Football Field (Sabourin Field) with a rain date of Sunday, June 28, 2020, and Monday, June 29, 2020. Town Meetings are exempt from Governor Baker’s large-group gatherings restriction, as they serve a legislative function.
Meeting logistics will be released in the coming weeks to ensure the safest public health protocols and details around the physical layout. In following the Governor’s orders, all residents will be required to wear face coverings.
Additionally, the Select Board voted to streamline the warrant to address only matters continuing the operations of town and school government. Presentation materials of warrant articles will be released in early June on the Town website, The Bedford Citizen, and Bedford Cable Access Television, with ample time for residents to become acquainted with the limited articles being proposed. Please stay tuned for more information to be released in the coming weeks.
Articles to be considered at Annual Town Meeting June 27, 2020:
- Article 2 ~ Debate Rules
- Article 3 ~ Consent Article
- Article 4 ~ Bills of Prior Years
- Article 6 ~ Revolving Funds Expenditures Limits
- Article 7 ~ Community Preservation (without capital projects)
- Article 23 ~ Proposed FY21 Capital Budget
- Article 28 ~ PEG Access and Cable Expense Funding
- Article 29 ~ Supplement Operating budget for FY20/FY19
- Article 30 ~ Salary Administration Plan
- Article 31 ~ Operating Budget FY21 (with town/school budget reductions)
- Article 32 ~ Ambulance Enterprise Budget FY21
- Article 38 ~ Free Cash
Articles postponed to Special Town Meeting November 2020:
- Article 1 ~ Reports of Town Officers and Committees
- Article 5 ~ General Bylaw Amendment- Revolving Funds
- Article 7 ~ Community Preservation-Capital Projects
- Articles 8-22 ~ General Bylaw Amendments/ Zoning Accessory Dwelling Units
- Articles 24-26 ~ Bond Authorizations for the Police Station Renovation, Fire Station Land Acquisition and the HVAC Replacement at the Library
- Article 27 ~ Demand Fee Increase
- Article 33 ~ Salary Plan-Additional Funding
- Article 34 ~ OPEB Appropriation
- Article 35 ~ Supplement Accrued Leave Fund
- Article 36 ~ 300th Anniversary Stabilization Fund
- Article 37 ~ Stabilization Fund Appropriation
Stay healthy!…(and wash your hands as often as possible.)