Editor’s Note: Today’s semi-weekly update from Town Manager Sarah Stanton and the Covid-19 Task Force includes the current case count, Phase 3 re-opening details, and the Town’s information about Annual Town Meeting.
The semi-weekly update is also available in the following places if you’d like to share with your friends:
As of today, July 6, 2020, there have been a total of two hundred fifty-eight (258) 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 forty-six (146) are Bedford residents not living in a healthcare/long term care setting. The deaths of forty (40) 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 and one (201) 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.
Phase III of Reopening the Economy to Starts today, Monday, July 6th
Today, Governor Baker announced that Phase III of the state’s gradual reopening will begin Monday, July 6th. As occurred in previous Phases, all businesses will be required to comply with the General Workplace Safety Standards at all times, and specific sectors will have additional requirements. Businesses currently included in Phase III of the Reopening Plan include gyms, fitness centers, museums, casino gaming floors, movie theaters, and aquariums. Professional sports teams will also be able to hold games without spectators. Phase III includes expanded reopening for public and semi-public swimming pools, youth and adult amateur sports activities, indoor recreation activities with low potential for contact (batting cages, driving ranges, go-karts, bowling alleys, rock-climbing walls) and non-athletic instructional classes in arts, education, life skills.
For details on which businesses and programs are allowed to open in Phase III and for sector-specific guidance, please navigate to the state’s webpage on Reopening Massachusetts – https://www.mass.gov/info-details/reopening-when-can-my-business-reopen
Town Meeting to be held Saturday, July 11th at 9 AM
At their May 27, 2020 meeting, the Select Board voted to recommend, with the full support of the Town Moderator, that Annual Town Meeting be held on Saturday, July 11, 2020, at 9:00 AM on Sabourin Field (Bedford High School Football Field). After much consultation and consideration among the Select Board, Public Health Director, Town Clerk, Town Moderator, and the COVID-19 Task Force, the Town is confident that Annual Town Meeting can occur outside while making the process as safe as possible and ensuring that the democratic and legislative functions of Town Meeting remain intact. This decision followed weeks of work and site evaluations by the Select Board, Town Moderator, and the COVID-19 Task Force. Please note, as the Governor’s order regarding large-group outdoor gatherings does not allow for tents, as they are considered a “confined space,” the meeting is beginning at 9:00 AM, with registration starting at 8:00 AM, to allow for cooler temperatures.
A Special Town Meeting will occur within Annual Town Meeting to consider one warrant article for a proposed Tax Increment Financing (TIF) agreement for Ultragenyx Corporation, for vacant land at 170 Middlesex Turnpike.
COVID-19 Safety Measures – If you are feeling sick on the morning of Town Meeting and exhibit COVID-19 symptoms (fever, chills or shaking chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, sore throat, headache, body aches/myalgia, or new loss of sense of taste or smell) please stay home. In order to ensure the safety of all residents, all attendees will be required to wear face coverings for the entirety of Town Meeting. A mask will be provided by the Town, if you do not have one. Physically distanced chairs will be set up on the turf field, and Town staff will guide residents to their seats in order to ensure proper distancing. Staff will also assist residents with how to properly leave the field once Town Meeting has concluded. Hand sanitizer, sunscreen, and ADA-accessible portable restrooms will be available for all attendees.
For more information on Annual Town Meeting, parking and entrance details and a listing of the proposed articles, please navigate to https://www.bedfordma.gov/town-meeting
Please stay healthy….and wash your hands as often as you can!