Editor’s Note: In addition to today’s case count, the report outlines the requirements for Step 1 of the Reopening Plan for Allowed Youth and Adult Amateur Sports Activities in Phase III
Click this link to read the Town’s full update for Thursday, July 16, 2020
The semi-weekly update is also available in the following places if you’d like to share with your friends:
As it periodically does, over the past two 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). Upon investigation of these cases, 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 the resident 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. The Board of Health has gone through this “data cleaning” process on at least two (2) previous occasions and we will continue to request MA DPH clarification in the future to ensure proper case follow-up and contact tracing of our COVID-19 positive residents.
As of today, July 16, 2020, there have been a total of two hundred seventy-two (272) 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 fifty (150) are Bedford residents not living in a healthcare/long term care setting. The deaths of forty-two (42) 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.
Two hundred twenty-eight (228) 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.
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
Allowed Youth and Adult Amateur Sports Activities in Phase III ~ Step 1 of the Reopening Plan
While Lower Risk (i.e. tennis, pickleball, swimming, catch, disc golf, golf, individual biking,) and Moderate Risk (i.e. baseball, softball, track and field, cross country, running clubs, team swimming, volleyball, dance class, fencing, field hockey, no-contact lacrosse) sports and recreation programs and teams are now permitted to engage in competitive practices and competitions in Phase III, Step 1, organizers and participants are reminded of the following standards for safe engagement:
- No more than 25 players on any surface/playing areas for team/group sports.
- No more than 100 people including participants, players, coaches, volunteers, spectators in the aggregate in, on, or surrounding any surface/playing area or start/finish lines at any one time, provided that there is adequate space for all participants, players, coaches, volunteers and spectators to maintain at least six feet social distancing, recognizing that for some moderate risk sports intermittent contact may occur for players.
- Spectators must wear facial coverings and maintain six feet of social distance at all times. For competitions and tournaments in the water, the aforementioned limitation applies to any applicable activities on land.
- No spectators allowed for sports and activities played by individuals 18 years and older.
- Please use the following link, to navigate to the full Phase III, Step 1 Guidelines and Standards issued by the MA Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs – https://www.mass.gov/doc/safety-standards-for-youth-and-adult-amateur-sports-activities-phase-iii-step-1/download
Please stay healthy….and wash your hands as often as you can!