Editor’s Note: Today’s update includes positive case follow-up and contact tracing along with the Town’s current case count.
Click this link to read the Town’s full update for Thursday, October 8, 2020
The semi-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
The MA DPH is reporting COVID-19 data on a community level and releasing the data weekly on Wednesdays. Based on this data, each city or town is designated a color – gray, 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, October 7, 2020, Bedford remains a yellow community, the same risk category as last week, with an average daily incidence rate of 6.23 cases per 100,000 population, a slight increase from last week.
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
Please note, this week’s report offers a case breakdown within the Bedford Public School community.
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 (PCR) 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 Recovered cases counts are adjusted due to deaths subsequent to recovery and/or reassignment of cases to other communities.
5 Probable cases = positive antibody test or clinical diagnosis. Probable cases are not included in the Confirmed Cases totals.
COVID-19 Positive Case Follow-up and Contact Tracing
The Bedford Board of Health (BOH) is notified of all Bedford residents who test positive for COVID-19 by the Massachusetts Virtual Epidemiologic Network (MAVEN), a division of the MA DPH. Additionally, the BOH receives verbal notifications from residents, school nurses who are in
communication with parents and school staff, community members and area businesses. Although MAVEN is our official notification portal, at this time we will initiate case communication and determination of close contacts based on verbal notifications.
Once the notification comes into the BOH, the BOH, School Nurses or our Contact Tracing Collaborative (CTC) colleagues:
- conduct a lengthy interview with the positive case/guardian/caregiver, to determine any close contacts over the infectious period. This includes contacts both in and out of
- determine isolation period for the case
- monitor case over isolation period for symptom development and
- provide protocols for cleaning and sanitizing the living/work environment
- connect case to support and wrap-around services as needed
- give clearance for them to return to daily activities, once it is determined to be safe to do so
When positive cases are young children, we rely on the ability to confirm self-reports provided by young children with information received from parents/caregivers and teachers/proctors in an attempt to gather a full understanding of the potential for exposure to others. The BOH will review individual circumstances for school and non-school related cases to determine potential exposure based on age, behavior, and type of activity that took place.
Once close contacts are identified and the case is reported as positive for COVID-19 in MAVEN, the identified close contacts are contacted by the BOH, School Nurses or the CTC and instructed to quarantine for 14 days, with day 1 of the quarantine period starting the day after their last contact with the positive case. They are also instructed to get tested for COVID-19. Answering your phone and cooperating is key to contact notification and minimizing the spread of COVID-19.
If the case was in school during the infectious period and identification of close contacts is unable to be confirmed (i.e. the case is a young student), then the occupants of entire classroom/space in which that case was present while infectious will be considered close contacts and quarantined.
For more information on case follow-up, the infectious period for COVID-19, contact tracing, and school-related questions, please view the Board of Health Document – Responding to Positive Cases of COVID-19 and Contact Tracing – FAQ, found at https://www.bedfordma.gov/bedford-board- of-health/news/responding-to-positive-cases-of-covid-19-and-contact-tracing-faq.
Please stay healthy….and wash your hands as often as you can!