Town of Bedford ~ Update on Covid-19 ~ Thursday, 13 August 2020

Editor’s Note: Today’s update from Town Manager Sarah Stanton and the Covid-19 Task Force includes the Baker-Polito Administration’s revised strategy for counting coronavirus cases in Massachusetts.

Based on the average daily cases per 100,000 residents, each city or town will be designated a color – white, green, yellow, or red. White and green are lower-risk communities, yellow represents a moderate-risk community and red represents a higher-risk community. As of August 12, 2020, Bedford was designated as a “yellow”, or moderate risk community.

In the 14-days leading up to August 5, 2020, six hundred seventy (670) Bedford residents had been tested for COVID-19, and eight (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%.

Click this link to read the Town’s full update for Thursday, August 13, 2020

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

Current Cases

As of today, August 13, 2020, there have been a total of two hundred seventy-eight (278) positive cases of COVID-19 reported to the Bedford Board of Health (BOH) by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MA DPH), of those, one hundred sixty-three (163) 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 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.

In the 14-days leading up to August 5, 2020, six hundred seventy (670) Bedford residents had been tested for COVID-19, and eight (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-nine (229) 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 at https://www.accesstocare.va.gov/Healthcare/COVID19NationalSummary

Enhanced Community-Based COVID-19 Data
The Baker Polito Administration’s coronavirus map, published in the Boston Globe on Thursday, August 13 – Click to view a larger image

On August 11, 2020, the Baker-Polito Administration released additional data on the community-level spread of COVID-19 in order to target additional resources and implement community-specific strategies to stop the spread of the virus.

The data that will now be reported on a community level will include the average daily cases per 100,000 residents, average percent positivity, and total case counts, for all 351 Massachusetts cities and towns over the last two weeks. Based on the average daily cases per 100,000 residents, each city or town will be designated a color – white, green, yellow, or red. White and green are lower-risk communities, yellow represents a moderate-risk community and red represents a higher-risk community. As of August 12, 2020, Bedford was designated as a “yellow”, or moderate risk community.

Please note that our current incidence rate includes areas/institutions in Bedford that contribute to our total case count number but could be considered separate from population statistics that the incidence rate metrics use to identify our incidence percentage levels. For example, long-term care facilities serving the elderly, congregate care facilities and military installation cases are being included in the incident rate level statistics, as they have been throughout the pandemic, even though those unique populations are distinct and largely separate from overall Bedford population.

The Town of Bedford is actively working to resolve this discrepancy with the Department of Public Health and to determine Bedford’s most accurate incidence rate. Updates will continue to communicate any changes to the incidence rate calculations.

This data will be updated weekly on Wednesdays in the coming weeks. For the current map, please navigate to https://www.mass.gov/doc/weekly-covid-19-public-health-report-august-12-2020/download

These color/risk designations are intended to help guide communities on measures to be taken to control or lower their risk based on their designation. Should risk levels elevate in a community, these measures may include pulling back on the current reopening phase, thus limiting activities, determining the implementation of other safety protocols, and whether the school reopening model needs to be adjusted per DESE guidelines.

Please stay healthy….and wash your hands as often as you can!


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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