In addition to this week’s case counts, the summary includes Bedford goes “Red” high-risk COVID-19 community on the Mass. DPH COVID-19 map designation; Bedford High School transitions to virtual learning for two weeks; and Halloween Safety Tips
Bedford’s-weekly update is also available in the following places if you’d like to share with your friends:
Website ~ www.BedfordMA.gov
Facebook ~ @bedfordma
Twitter ~ @BedfordMAGov
Bedford Transitions to a “Red” COVID-19 High Risk Community
On October 29, 2020, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health informed town leadership that due to elevated COVID-19 metrics, Bedford is now designated as a “red community,” which indicates the highest risk of COVID-19 community spread. https://www.mass.gov/info-details/community-level-covid-19-data-reporting
To stop the spread of COVID-19, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health created a ranking system that is based on the average daily new cases per 100,000 residents for each city or town in the last 2-week period. Massachusetts cities or towns can be designated as a higher risk (red), moderate risk (yellow), or lower risk (green). Communities with fewer than five (5) cases are not given a risk designation (gray). For a given 2-week period and Bedford’s population size, there would need to be six (6) to eight (8) new cases to be considered lower risk (green), nine (9) to sixteen (16) new cases to be considered moderate risk (yellow), and seventeen (17) or more new cases to be considered a higher risk (red).
As of October 29th, there were nineteen (19) active COVID-19 cases in Town. Active cases are those that have tested positive and are still in Isolation. Recovered cases are not considered for the statewide ranking system.
At the same time of this elevated risk designation, recently acquired contact tracing data supports the occurrence of in-school transmission of COVID-19 at Bedford High School (BHS), with many test results still pending. Due to the in-school transmission, pending test results of close contacts, several social gatherings among the BHS school community and their friends and families, Bedford High School will be transitioning from the Hybrid Model to the Full Remote Model beginning on Friday, October 30, 2020, with plans to transition back to the Hybrid Model on Friday, November 13, 2020. Please see the correspondence sent to Bedford Public Schools parents, caregivers, students, and guardians yesterday: https://www.bedfordps.org/district/superintendent/files/covid-update-thursday-october-29-2020.
Please note that state guidelines do not allow high school athletics to take place while the school is in the Full Remote Model. Therefore, there will be no high school athletic activities through at least Friday, November 13, 2020.
The Davis Elementary School, the Job Lane Elementary School, and the John Glenn Middle School will remain in the Hybrid Model.
While we are witnessing various modes of transmission within our community, many COVID-19 positive cases are generated within households. Please remember, if you test positive for COVID-19, you are to Isolate, while your household contacts Quarantine. In both instances you remain at home but those in Isolation are to stay away from others, including separating from household members and wearing a mask when not possible. This includes, staying in a specific “sick room” or area and using a separate bathroom (if available). People who are in Isolation must stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others and cleared by the Board of Health or Community Tracing Collaborative.
This is the time to take action and affirm and abide by known effective safety protocols for COVID-19 prevention: maintaining social distancing of at least 6 feet, wearing face coverings, engaging in frequent hand washing, cleaning and sanitizing surfaces and staying home if sick. Symptomatic individuals and close contacts of known COVID-19 positive cases should get tested. Navigate to the following webpage for a map of testing locations: https://memamaps.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=eba3f0395451430b9f631cb095febf13
Stop Gatherings Without Precaution- COVID-19 Case Rates Increasing in Bedford
We are far from out of the woods with regard to COVID-19. Case numbers are increasing in Bedford and across the Commonwealth. While we have benefited from nice weather and the ability to recreate outside, some folks may be feeling the desire to loosen restrictions and gather in groups. Out of respect for each other and our community, the COVID-19 task force asks the Bedford community to adhere to the social distancing and mask requirements and the limitations on gathering size to prevent continued spread in Bedford. This messaging is directed to adults and youth alike. Contact tracing data from across the Commonwealth indicates adult and family parties and well as youth gathering to “hang-out” after school and on weekends is presenting circumstances for transmission.
Please stay healthy, wear a mask, social distance….and wash your hands as often as you can!