Editor’s Note: In addition to today’s case count, Town Manager Sarah Stanton provides information about Bedford’s ongoing Food Bank
The daily update is also available in the following places if you’d like to share with your friends:
As of today, June 1, 2020, there have been a total of two hundred nineteen (219) positive cases of COVID-19 reported to the Town of Bedford Board of Health by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MA DPH), of those, one hundred thirteen (113) are Bedford residents not living in a healthcare/long term care setting. Forty (40) deaths of Bedford residents have been 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.
Seventy-one (71) 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
FOOD BANK CONTINUES TO OPERATE
The Town of Bedford continues to operate its drive-through Food Bank every Friday from 1-3 pm at the John Glenn Middle School and, at this time, expects to continue offering food distribution into August 2020. Household bags are available for vulnerable seniors and veterans, clients of the Bedford Food Pantry, and any Bedford resident experiencing food insecurity and will contain goods to supplement meal preparation during the week. For families seeking support for school-aged children (through the end of June) bags include five days’ worth of children’s breakfast and lunch items and a few additional food options to support the entire family.
The Food Bank operates primarily on a drive-thru basis, with limited exception for residents who are on foot. Those utilizing the food bank cannot park their car, and walk up to the site. Residents should enter John Glenn Middle School by Railroad Avenue. McMahon Road is be used for exit only. There is a separate food bank delivery system for homebound seniors, and disabled, residents. If you are homebound resident, and in need of food assistance, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to the Bedford Food Pantry, Gaining Ground in Concord, the Greater Boston Food Bank, and donors to the Bedford Emergency Relief Fund for helping to support this well-needed effort which serves upwards of 150 families each week during this crisis.
Stay healthy, and wash your hands as often as possible!