Today’s update includes Bedford’s new community Covid-19 dashboard and Thanksgiving guidance.
Bedford’s-weekly update is also available in the following places if you’d like to share with your friends:
New: COVID-19 Community Dashboard
The Bedford COVID-19 Task Force, with active support from the Information Technology Department and Board of Health Staff, has developed a dashboard of Bedford’s COVID-19 data to relate case counts, active/recovered cases, case demographics, and school data. The majority of the data on the Dashboard will be updated Monday through Friday, with some data tables and charts updated on a weekly basis.
The COVID-19 data presented in the dashboard is derived from the MA DPH’s Massachusetts Virtual Epidemiologic Network (MAVEN) and utilized for case investigation and surveillance purposes. While the Board of Health staff extracts data from MAVEN at a point in time, data is constantly being entered, transferred, updated, and corrected by MA DPH. As such the data presented in the dashboard may vary from the online data tables provided by the MA DPH on their COVID-19 response reporting webpage.
From today forward, the Bedford COVID-19 Task Force will use the Dashboard as the primary means of reporting data to the community and will no longer generate and distribute a weekly update. Rest assured, if emergent information requires timely distribution to the community, we will use our usual means of communicating: Town and departmental websites, Facebook, Twitter, CodeRed, and community media outlets.
With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us and the December holiday season not far behind, out of respect for each other and our community, the Bedford 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 spread in Bedford.
If you choose to host or attend a gathering during the holiday season that brings people who live in different households together, follow this guidance from the MA DPH: https://www.mass.gov/news/thanksgiving-during-covid-19.
Any time you or your family are attending a public or private celebration, remember that safe, responsible participation includes:
- Assessing your personal COVID-19 risk and assess and discuss COVID-19 risk for those you live with, before attending the event.
- Staying home if you are sick.
- Wearing a face covering at all times to cover your nose and mouth when outside your home.
- Avoiding large crowds. While outdoor gatherings of 25 and indoor gatherings of 10 are allowed, they can still represent a risk to public health in our current environment.
- If you choose to be in a crowd, or even just hanging out with a friend, practice strict social distancing, wear a face covering, bring hand sanitizer or wash hands before and after, do not shake hands, gather for photographs, hug, or have long face to face conversations, and avoid touching your face.
- Keeping 6 feet away from other people who are not in your household.
- Good social distancing also includes dogs. Keep them 6 feet away from those not in your household.
- Do not share water bottles or utensils for eating or serving food.
We are far from out of the woods with regard to COVID-19. Over the past several months many of our positive COVID-19 cases have been attributed to household and family contacts where one person in a family who is positive and asymptomatic transmits the virus to close family/household members. If you are positive for COVID-19 you should stay home in isolation and strictly follow the protocols provided by the Board of Health Staff or Community Tracing Collaborative.
A lot of these protocols have been part of our routine for the past several months. However, we may have to remind ourselves to apply them when a new event occurs that’s outside the routine. If you choose to venture outside your home or in your home with non-household members, remember to apply the “3 Ws”—Wash your Hands! Wear a Mask! Watch your Distance!
Please stay healthy, wear a mask, social distance….and wash your hands as often as you can!