Town of Bedford ~ Update on Covid-19 ~ Monday, 27 July 2020

Print More

In addition to today’s current case counts, today’s update from Colleen Doyle and the Covid 19 Task Force includes details about the COVID-19 Travel Order that will go into effect on August 1; Check on Your Mental Health; When “Stay at Home” Isn’t Safe; Food Bank is planning for a new location and day/time; “Stop the Spread” Testing Sites Open in 8 Communities

Click this link to read the Town’s full update for Monday, July 27, 2020

The semi-weekly update is also available in the following places if you’d like to share with your friends:

Case Counts
Over the past several weeks, the Bedford Board of Health conducted a comprehensive review of COVID-19 positive cases and the case count as reported to the town by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MA DPH). The review revealed duplicate cases, cases that belong to other jurisdictions, and cases reported to other jurisdictions that are actually Bedford residents, which has led to adjustments in the Bedford case count reported today. The data reporting discrepancies typically result from incomplete information provided by an individual at the time of testing. As more information is obtained by the Board of Health relative to ongoing case investigation, the total case count will be adjusted and reported accordingly.

As of today, July 27, 2020, there have been a total of two hundred seventy-five (275) positive cases of COVID-19 reported to the Board of Health by the MA DPH, of those, one hundred fifty-three (153) are Bedford residents not living in a healthcare/long term care setting. The deaths of forty-five (45) 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.

Two hundred twenty-six (226) of the total Bedford cases have already recovered and have come off 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.

COVID-19 Travel Order

Effective August 1, 2020, all visitors and returning residents entering Massachusetts must follow new travel orders to help us keep COVID-19 transmission levels as low as possible. All visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, who do not meet an exemption, are required to:

  • Prior to arrival in Massachusetts, complete the online Travel Form (https://www.mass.gov/forms/massachusetts-travel-form), unless you are visiting from a lower-risk state designated by the MA DPH.
  • Quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72-hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts.

If your COVID-19 test result has not been received prior to arrival, visitors, and residents must quarantine until they receive a negative test result.

MA DPH has indicated that failure to comply with the order may result in a $500 fine per day.

To find more information about the Travel Order, effective August 1, 2020, including the list of lower-risk states, exemptions, business guidance, and other details, please visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-order

Check-in on your Mental Health!

Summer is here and for many of us, in years past, that has meant relaxation, travel, sporting events, festivals, and concerts. However, lingering concerns from COVID-19 have caused many traditional summertime activities to be canceled or they are just not the same, and many of us are experiencing fear, anxiety, and loneliness. The Bedford Health and Human Services Department reminds residents that it is possible to achieve a positive summer mindset and improve or maintain our mental health in uncertain times. Please see the self-care tips and suggestions in the following article to help you get moving, get outside and enjoy the sunshine: https://www.bedfordma.gov/youth-family/news/summer-mental-health-2020

When “Stay at Home” Isn’t Safe

Although communities have been asked to stay home to stay safe, home is a dangerous place when you face domestic abuse. Spikes in domestic and child abuse have been noted across the country and around the world since the onset of the COVID-19 stay-at-home directives as victims and witnesses of abuse find themselves isolated within their homes and confronted with difficult decisions about when and how to seek care or shelter.

Domestic Violence Services Network, Inc. (DVSN) is continuing to follow up on domestic violence referrals and requests for service on a daily basis and provides community advocacy and safety planning for anyone who calls in or is referred for help and support by law enforcement partners.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, DVSN clients need support more than ever and DVSN shall continue to provide CONFIDENTIAL support, advocacy, and resources via telephone to the extent possible.  For help and support, PLEASE CALL DVSN’s Help Line – 888-399-6111. As always, if you are in immediate danger, CALL 9-1-1 for police intervention.

For tips on helping a friend who may be experiencing domestic violence, please navigate to  https://www.bedfordma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif2781/f/uploads/dvsn_helping_friend_dv_covid.pdf

Food Bank – Planning for a new location and day/time

The Town of Bedford has operated a successful drive through Food Bank every Friday from 1-3 pm at the John Glenn Middle School (JGMS) at 99 McMahon Road since the pandemic struck in mid-March. To date, over 3,500 bags of food, to supplement meal preparation during the week, have been provided to Bedford seniors, school children, Veterans, and residents experiencing food insecurity.

In an effort to allow the school staff to prepare for reopening in the fall, the Food Bank location is shifting locations and distribution day/time, after the July 31st Food Bank at JGMS. Starting the first week in August, the Food Bank will be operated out of the Town Center Building (yellow building behind Town Hall) at 12 Mudge Way, situated on the Town Campus. The drive-through model will be maintained with residents pulling up to the front door of Town Center via the rotary. Signs directing residents to the location will be posted. The process for bag pick up will essentially be the same with cars pulling up to the door and a volunteer placing the bag in the car trunk, back cargo area, or back seat. Residents do not get out of their vehicles.

The new schedule for the Town Center Food Bank: Thursdays from 4 – 5:30 pm, beginning on Thursday, August 6 from 4 – 5:30 pm.

Families and guardians in need are welcome to continue to access Bedford’s Food Bank.  Starting in August, the intention is to provide one robust bag of food per household in need, but separate bags will no longer be customized for school students.  For nutritious meals adhering to school nutrition guidelines, the summer nutrition program is Waltham is also available to Bedford families.  Please navigate to https://meals4kids.org/find-summer-meal-site for hours and directions, as well as information about other summer feeding programs for school children in the area.

The Town Center Food Bank will continue to operate primarily on a drive-through basis, with limited exceptions for residents who are on foot. Those utilizing the Food Bank cannot park their car and walk up to the site. Residents should enter the Town Center rotary from Mudge Way and will be directed in reverse around the rotary. The separate Food Bank delivery system will continue to operate for homebound seniors and disabled residents. If you are a homebound resident and in need of food assistance, please e-mail bedfordfoodbank@bedfordma.gov.

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 the continued support of this well-needed effort which serves upwards of 150 families each week during this crisis.

“Stop the Spread” Testing Sites Open in 8 Communities

Free COVID-19 testing sites are open in eight communities as part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s “Stop the Spread” initiative. These sites will remain open until August 14th to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in communities that are above the state average in total cases and positive test rate and have experienced a decline in testing levels since April. Residents of the communities of Chelsea, Everett, Fall River, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Marlborough, and New Bedford are urged to take advantage of the availability of these new testing sites, even if they are asymptomatic.

While testing sites were launched in these 8 communities, they are open to all residents of the Commonwealth. Visit www.mass.gov/stopthespread to find out more.

As always stay safe, practice social distancing, and wear a mask!


The Bedford Citizen is supported by readers like you. Thank you!

Don't risk missing important news: sign up for our daily email feed and weekend summary.

Go to our home page for more stories.