Editor’s Note: In addition to today’s case counts, this update contains information on the new schedule for the Town’s Covid updates; celebrating Labor Day weekend safety; more office hours with Sarah Stanton; cautions about ‘Contact Tracing’ scams; and information on Bedford’s autumn flu vaccine clinics.
The semi-weekly update is also available in the following places if you’d like to share with your friends:
New Weekly Update Schedule
Beginning next week, the Town of Bedford Update on COVID-19 will shift to a weekly schedule. The update will be posted on Thursdays with the latest community-level data that the state releases on Wednesday evenings. If pertinent information should arise in between updates, we will post on the Town’s website, Facebook, and Twitter.
The MA DPH is now reporting COVID-19 data on a community level and releasing the data weekly on Wednesdays. Based on this data, each city or town will be designated a color – gray (formerly designated white), green, yellow, or red. Gray and green are lower risk communities, yellow represents a moderate risk community, and red represents a higher risk community. Based on data reported by the state through yesterday, Wednesday, September 2, 2020, Bedford is unchanged from last week and is currently a gray, lower risk community. The color-coded relative risk designation established by the state is a tool that can be used by the Town to set policy and implement safety protocols for the protection of the community. In the coming weeks, this data will continue to be updated by the state on a weekly basis. For the current color-coded risk map, please navigate to https://www.mass.gov/info-details/community-level-covid-19-data-reporting.
COVID-19 Data for Bedford, MA as of September 2, 2020
1 Previous-14-day data is used by the MA Department of Public Health to determine Bedford’s COVID-19 risk category (gray, green, yellow, or red) on a weekly basis.
2 Confirmed cases = positive viral test.
3 Demographics unknown for confirmed case. Follow-up required. Often cases are reassigned to the proper community for follow-up or become probable/confirmed.
4 A previously identified COVID-19 case that had recovered, subsequently passed away. MA DPH attributes the death to COVID-19 and affects these outcome numbers.
5 Probable cases = positive antibody test or clinical diagnosis. Probable cases are not included in the Confirmed Cases totals.
Shading used to correlate various data sets.
Labor Day Weekend – Limit Gathering Sizes and Protect Yourself!
With the Labor Day weekend upon us and nice weather forecasted, many Bedford residents will have strong desire to be outside, gather in groups and enjoy an end of summer celebration. The Bedford Board of Health and the COVID-19 Task Force, who have been working so diligently to keep you informed and protected during these past several months, caution residents to be mindful that diligence on adherence to COVID-19 protective measures when gathering is still necessary to keep our community safe and help us get to the other side of this pandemic. Just because something is allowed, doesn’t mean you have to engage. If you choose to gather with friends or family this weekend please continue to use social distancing and stay 6 feet away from those outside your household, wear a face covering when leaving your home or around those not in your immediate family, wash your hands often for 20 seconds, do not touch your face, do not gather in large groups and continue to slow the spread. If you are feeling sick, please stay home.
As a reminder the Governor’s gathering order includes the following:
- A limit on outdoor gatherings from to 50 people (the indoor gatherings limit is 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.
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.
Please do your part to keep our community safe and on the continued path of slowing the spread by complying with the Governor’s gathering order. Wishing you a safe and healthy Labor Day Weekend!
Town Manager Virtual Office Hours
The next session of Town Manager Sarah Stanton’s virtual office hours will be taking place on Thursday, September 10 from 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm. Please note that registration is required: https://www.bedfordma.gov/town-manager/pages/office-hours
Beware of “Contact Tracing” Scams
The Council on Aging, Police Department and Board of Health want to alert Bedford residents of a potential scam related to phone calls from those claiming to be Contract Tracers for COVID-19. Legitimate Contact Tracers, assisting the Board of Health, might get in touch to discuss results of a test you know you took or because someone you’ve been in contact with tested positive for COVID-19. Scammers might ask you for money or personally identifying information. If you have any questions, please contact the Board of Health at 781-275-6507.
Influenza Vaccine Clinics
Welcome to the 2020-2021 Flu Season. Being vaccinated is an effective strategy to preserve your health. The Town of Bedford, MA Board of Health has announced the 2020-2021 Flu Clinic dates and times. This year, flu vaccine will be administered via a series of drive-thru clinics only and online registration is required.
The registration process can be found by visiting the following Town of Bedford Board of Health webpage: https://www.bedfordma.gov/bedford-board-of-health/pages/flu-clinic-information-community. To make the registration process more effective while adhering to pandemic infection risk mitigation strategies, the Board of Health is utilizing an online registration and health care information exchange web-based technology, IntakeQ. Online registration must take place before your clinic appointment via the online IntakeQ portal found here: https://intakeq.com/booking/arkth6. Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the Board of Health at 781-275-6507.
While the drive-thru clinics will be open to all residents over the age of 6 months, additional clinics for Bedford’s school-aged population are being planned with the Bedford Public Schools and will be announced once school starts. More community drive-thru flu clinics may be announced as we traverse through the coming months in the current pandemic. Please continue checking the Board of Health website for more information about this year’s flu clinics and for updated information relative to planned flu clinics.
As always stay safe, practice social distancing, and wear a mask!