Editor’s Note: In addition to the current case count, read important information about adjustments to Bedford’s Food Bank now being held on Thursday afternoons.
The semi-weekly update is also available in the following places if you’d like to share with your friends:
As of today, August 3, 2020, there have been a total of two hundred seventy-two (272) positive cases of COVID-19 reported to the BOH by the MA DPH, of those, one hundred fifty-nine (159) 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.
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 (220) 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.
Bedford Food Bank – Now at the Town Center Building!
Starting this Thursday, August 6th from 4- 5:30 pm, the Bedford 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 previously 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 will be Thursdays from 4 – 5:30 pm, with the first event this Thursday, August 6th from 4 – 5:30 pm.
Families and guardians of Bedford school children 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 a 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 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 email@example.com.
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.
Please stay healthy….and wash your hands as often as you can!