Editor’s Note: In today’s Case Count Town Manager Sarah Stanton notes that the Massachusetts Department of Health erroneously included 66 individuals in addition to those who really live in Bedford. A request that this error be corrected has been submitted.
The daily update is also available in the following places if you’d like to share with your friends:
As of today, May 6, 2020, there have been a total of one hundred and forty-six (146) 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-three (23) 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.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and MA DPH, long term care and congregate care facilities house susceptible populations, potentially with underlying conditions, who are at high risk for infection, serious illness, and death from COVID-19. Additionally, increased testing frequently occurs at these facilities which results in more positive cases being identified. As such, cities and towns with these type of facilities, like Bedford, experience elevated positive case counts and, unfortunately, deaths due to the vulnerability to COVID-19 of the populations within those facilities.
In addition to the 146 positive cases of Bedford residents reported today, the MA DPH has attributed an additional sixty-six (66) positive cases to Bedford, of persons who are not residing in Bedford. These additional positive cases are either: 1) employees of a Bedford facility, who when tested for COVID-19, attributed their “location” to Bedford, when in fact they have residency in another community; or 2) people who, when tested, listed Bedford as their “location” and actually live in and are being followed in another community/state (included in this group are former residents who have moved and/or are living in long term care facilities out of town). The Bedford Board of Health refers these cases to the applicable Board of Health for follow-up in the town where the person actually resides. Bedford’s Health Director has requested that the MA DPH remove these names from our surveillance database.
Twenty-nine (29) 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
Stay healthy!…(and wash your hands as often as possible.)