Town of Bedford ~ Update on Covid-19 ~ Monday, 10 August 2020

In addition to current case counts, today’s update includes Orders from the Governor – Gatherings and Restaurants; September 1st Election Information; Mask Up MA! Safe Practices Concern Form; and Need a COVID-19 test?

Click this link to read the Town’s full update for Monday, August 10, 2020

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

Case Counts

As of today, August 10, 2020, there have been a total of two hundred seventy-seven (277) positive cases of COVID-19 reported to the BOH by the MA DPH, of those, one hundred sixty-two (162) are Bedford residents not living in a healthcare/long term care setting. The deaths of forty-six (46) 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 other larger assisted living/care facilities in Bedford as reported to us by the MA DPH.

In the 14-days leading up to August 5, 2020, 670 Bedford residents had been tested for COVID-19 and 8 were determined to be positive. This resulted in a 1.19% positivity rate for that time period. The rate for all of MA during that same time period was 1.82%. During the same period, a month earlier (14-days leading up to July 8th), Bedford’s positivity rate was 1.63% and the state rate was 2.25%.

Two hundred twenty-three (223) 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 BOH 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 BOH. 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

Today’s Update Includes the Following:
  • Updated Orders from the Governor – Gatherings and Restaurants September 1st Election Information
  • Mask Up MA!
  • Need a COVID-19 test?
Reminder on Gatherings

On August 7th, Governor Baker signed an updated gatherings order that will be effective Tuesday, August 11th. This updated order:

  • Reduces the limit on outdoor gatherings from 100 to 50 people (indoor gatherings limit will remain at 25 people);
  • Applies these limits to all types of gatherings, on both public and private property; and,
  • Requires face coverings where more than 10 people from different households will be mixing.

Due to the recent increase in positive cases, step two of phase III of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan has been postponed indefinitely.

Restaurant rules have been updated to state that alcoholic beverages may only be served for on-site consumption if accompanied by orders for food prepared on-site. This update goes into effect on August 11th. Potato chips, pretzels, and other pre-packaged or manufactured foods do not constitute food “prepared on-site.” For each customer, an item of prepared food must be ordered at the same time as an initial alcoholic beverage(s) order. One or more shareable food item(s) may be ordered, as long as it/they would sufficiently serve the number of people at the table. The Baker Administration will be taking measures to ensure that bars masquerading as restaurants will be closed.

Safe Practices Concern Form

The state has a COVID Safe Practices Concern Form which can be completed by anyone who would like to report possible concerns about non-compliance with the Commonwealth’s travel advisory quarantine, face covering, gathering, or other public health rules. You can access the form here: https://www.mass.gov/forms/covid-safe-practices-concern-form

Public safety officials, including state and local law enforcement, have the jurisdiction to enforce these orders, and event hosts in violation of these orders will be subject to fines or cease and desist orders.

Mask Up MA!

Governor Baker issued an Order that went into effect on May 6th requiring face masks or cloth face coverings in public places where social distancing is not possible. This applies to both indoor and outdoor spaces. Exceptions include children under the age of 2 and those unable to wear a mask or face covering due to a medical condition.

So, when you go out, make sure you wear a mask or face covering. Masks slow the spread of COVID-19. They protect you. They protect everyone around you. And they help Massachusetts move in the right direction.

When you wear a cloth mask, it should:

  • Cover your nose and mouth,
  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face,
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops,
  • Include multiple layers of fabric,
  • Allow for breathing without restriction, and
  • Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

When putting on and taking off a mask, do not touch the front of it, you should only handle the ties or ear straps, and make sure you wash the cloth mask regularly. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after touching the mask.

Need a COVID-19 test?  

Free COVID-19 testing sites are open in seventeen communities as part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s “Stop the Spread” initiative. Testing sites in the following communities are free to all residents of the Commonwealth regardless of symptom state and will now remain open until September 12th to help stop the spread of COVID-19: Agawam, Brockton, Chelsea, Everett, Fall River, Framingham, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Marlborough, Methuen, New Bedford, Randolph, Revere, Springfield, Taunton, and Worcester. Visit www.mass.gov/stopthespread to find out more.

If you need testing closer to home or beyond September 12th, consider navigating to https://memamaps.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=eba3f0395451430b9f631cb095febf13 to find a testing site. Check with your insurance company for covered services prior to booking an appointment for testing.

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


Keep our journalism strong! Support The Citizen Journalism Fund today. Contact The Bedford Citizen: editor@thebedfordcitizen.org or 781-430-8827

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