West Newbury Board of Health – COVID-19 Update #7

May 6, 2020

Since the Board of Health’s last update on April 28th, one additional resident has tested positive for COVID-19. This individual is in isolation and is recovering from their illness.  They are being supported and monitored by West Newbury’s public health nurse according to MDPH guidelines.   

On May 1st Governor Baker issued COVID-19 Order No. 31 which requires face coverings in public places.  This Order takes effect today, May 6th.  The details of this ORDER can be viewed at https://www.mass.gov/doc/may-1-2020-masks-and-face-coverings/download.   

The CDC has great information on DIY face coverings. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html 

The number of daily positive cases in Massachusetts have declined over the last week.  Yesterday there were an additional 1,184 new cases, for a total of 70,271 to date.  With this in mind, residents need to continue to be vigilant when it comes to social distancing everywhere.  We could all be carriers at some point without even knowing it.  Social distancing still remains VERY IMPORTANT. 

The Board of Health has initiated several working groups in the past week.  First, the BOH and other officials are discussing a soft opening of Mill Pond / Pipestave Hill Recreational areas.  Second, we are looking at conditions and policies to keep the residents and town employees safe when the town buildings are re-opened to the public, along with Town Election and Town Meeting.  Please continue to be patient during these unprecedented times.  We are all working hard to bring back some normalcy as soon as possible.  The health of West Newbury’s residents is the Board of Health’s highest concern.

On April 14th the MA Department of Public Health started listing the positive number of cases by town. This information can be viewed at https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-cases-quarantine-and-monitoring

On April 20th, the MA Department of Public Health launched a new portal called the COVID-19 dashboard.  This can be viewed at https://www.mass.gov/doc/covid-19-dashboard-april-20-2020.  This new portal provides a great overview of the COVID-19 cases / data among many areas.

The CDC “recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.” Visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover.html for more information.

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES DURING THESE TIMES

  • Frequent handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • SOCIAL DISTANCING = maintain at least 6 feet between you and anyone else.  This is VERY IMPORTANT!
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or a sleeve-covered elbow.
  • If you are sick, STAY HOME!

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, or if you develop a fever and respiratory symptoms such as a cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider immediately.

IF THERE IS AN EMERGENCY CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY

For more information, the following websites can be reviewed.   MA Department of Public Health (DPH) website at: www.mass.gov/2019coronavirus  & the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov.

CONTACT:  Paul Sevigny, Health Agent

Office:  978-363-1100, x119

Cell:  978-833-7458

Email: [email protected]