NORWOOD — Board of Selectmen Chairman Paul A. Bishop, General Manager Tony Mazzucco and Health Director Sigalle Reiss report that the Town of Norwood was notified today that an individual who attended an event at a private residence with town officials and employees last weekend has tested positive for the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The person who tested positive for COVID-19 is not a town employee or town official, but is a resident of the town. The person’s identity will not be released.
Town of Norwood General Manager Tony Mazzucco was among 11 town officials and employees who were also in attendance at the event. Mazzucco developed cold-like symptoms this week and as a result, out of an abundance of caution, he was tested for COVID-19 earlier this evening.
Aside from Mazzucco, the names of those who are self quarantining are not being released because of federal health and privacy regulations and at the advice of town’s legal counsel.
Mazzucco will continue to execute his duties as the town’s general manager while working remotely from home, and the town will continue to operate as normal, with Town Hall being open during normal business hours.
“I am following the instructions of state and local public health officials and I want to thank the Norwood Health Department for their guidance in this matter,” Mazzucco said.
Effective immediately, Mazzucco and the 10 other town officials who attended the event will self-quarantine at home until 14 days have elapsed since the end of the event last Sunday afternoon, March 1. If those who attended the event are asymptomatic on Monday, March 16, they will be eligible to return to work. In the meantime, those who are able to, will work remotely.
There were a total of 30 attendees at the event, and all have been contacted by their local health department officials to be informed of the need to self quarantine and monitor their symptoms. Aside from Mazzucco, the town is aware of one other resident, that is not a town employee or town official, that will need to be tested after displaying symptoms.
The risk to residents of contracting COVID-19 remains low, and the flu presents a higher risk to residents overall, according to the DPH.
According to the CDC, symptoms of the virus appear within 2-14 days of exposure. The DPH reports that symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath and in severe cases pneumonia.
Local, state and federal health officials are encouraging residents to take the following precautions to prevent infectious diseases, such as the flu and COVID-19, from spreading:
- Wash hands frequently, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
- When sick yourself, stay home to protect others and practice social distancing.
- Always cover your cough or sneeze.
“Our town is well-equipped to adapt in the face of this challenge,” Mazzucco said. “I am confident that we will be able to continue providing a high level of service to our residents even as some of us remain away from our desks next week. It’s important for residents to know that there is still a low risk that they will become infected and they should remember to take reasonable precautions to mitigate that risk.”
Anyone who is experiencing a fever and respiratory illness and is concerned they have either come into contact with the virus or traveled to an affected country within the last 14 days is advised to contact their primary health care provider.