Select Board begins to Discuss Community Vaccinations

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Bedford’s Covid-19 vaccination plans affirm the town’s relationship with Middlesex Community College, Town Manager Sarah Stanton announced to the Select Board at its meeting on Jan. 4. The Town and the College are working to establish a community vaccination site at the institution on Springs road, she said.

Stanton highlighted Gov. Charlie Baker’s decision to update the vaccination model to include individuals ages 75 and older, as well as those of all ages with two comorbidities. This phase is scheduled to begin in February.

The town manager also said she expects Bedford’s first responders to be vaccinated next week.

Also in her town manager’s report Monday, Stanton provided an update on the town’s status amidst a recent surge in Covid-19 cases following the holiday season.

Stanton announced 70 new cases in the past two weeks, a 27 percent increase from the 55 cases recorded the two weeks before. She also noted that 11 households have more than one case.

Most cases were derived from household contacts, but some are from social disinhibition, which the town describes as “visiting outside households [and] not following safety protocols.”

Within the Bedford school community, there have been an additional 10 Covid-19 positive cases identified during winter break. In a letter from Superintendent Philip Conrad, one new case was identified at Davis School, four new cases at Lane School, one new case at John Glenn Middle School, and four new cases at Bedford High School. [The letter from Superintendent Philip Conrad can be read here.]

Stanton provided an update on the results of the town’s testing program which has been offered since early December. The town has administered 1,341 tests, with 21 positive cases, 12 of which occurred after Dec. 25.

Stanton noted that the $53.09 average gross cost per test is paid for by an assortment of relief funds provided by the state and federal government. The town manager also noted her appreciation for the partnership built with Middlesex Community College to make the town’s testing initiative possible.

Despite the challenges presented with increased cases, the town’s “Buy Bedford” initiative remains ongoing, she said. Stanton emphasized a variety of ways to support small businesses, including social media to tag shops in your post or leave positive reviews, as well as buying gift cards online and paying online as a means to avoid using cash for curbside pickup.

As part of the Baker administration’s effort to support small businesses, Stanton highlighted the announcement of a $668 million small business relief package. Businesses can expect to be awarded assistance “as soon as next week through the Mass Growth Capital Corporation,” according to a press release from the governor’s office. Interested businesses should go here to learn more about the program and application process.

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