First Positive COVID-19 Case in Berkley Confirmed
BERKLEY — Town Administrator Heather Martin-Sterling and the Board of Selectmen, in conjunction with Emergency Management Director Scott Fournier and Board of Health Chairman James Romano, confirmed today that the Town of Berkley has been notified by Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) officials of one confirmed case of COVID-19 in Berkley.
Berkley Health Department officials were notified by DPH of the positive test result and have been in contact with the resident. The patient has been isolated and is being supported and monitored according to public health guidelines. Under State and Federal privacy laws no further information is available about the individual.
Close contacts (defined as someone who has spent more than 15 minutes within six feet of a positive case) have been identified, contacted by health officials, and are adhering to DPH orders for quarantine.
Although the quarantined close contacts are asymptomatic, they will be monitored on a daily basis by Berkley Health officials while they are in quarantine to limit the risk of spread.
Town Administrator Martin-Sterling stresses that this remains a very fluid and rapidly evolving situation. It is important to understand that the Berkley Board of Health will only be officially notified of positive individuals who are residents of Berkley. Although the process is improving rapidly, it can take anywhere from 36 hours to several days to receive the results of a test performed by a lab, hospital or doctor’s office. Those results are submitted to the Department of Public Health; positive results on any Berkley residents are then provided to the Berkley Board of Health. The Board of Health will then remain in contact with the individual throughout their illness.
Closure of Non-Essential Businesses
In addition to this news, Town Administrator Martin-Sterling would like to notify residents and business owners about the announcement today by Governor Charlie Baker that all non-essential businesses will need to close on Tuesday, March 24 at noon until April 7. This measure is being done to promote social distancing efforts and to help stop the spread of the virus. All non-essential businesses in Berkley are asked to adhere to the governor’s order.
- For a list of businesses that considered “essential” click here
- To file an Essential Service Designation Request click here
All residents are encouraged to continue to practice aggressive social distancing and appropriate personal hygiene. More information about this reporting, ongoing municipal services, additional information regarding the COVID-19 virus is available on the Town’s website: https://www.townofberkleyma.com/
Town Buildings and Offices
The Berkley Town Hall is closed to the public until further notice. Town buildings and offices will continue to operate with essential personnel only.
Berkley Police and Fire-Rescue
The Berkley Police and Fire-Rescue Departments will respond to emergency calls for service as normal, but will temporarily suspend walk-in, non-emergency services with the exception of the vestibule at the front entrance. Residents are asked to contact the police business line at 508-822-7040 and the fire business line at 508-822-7516 or send an e-mail for non-emergencies. As always, in the event of an emergency, residents should dial 911.
Any resident who wishes to obtain a burning permit at this time may do so by contacting Berkley Fire-Rescue at 508-822-7516 and dialing “0” to inform dispatch that a permit is needed. Dispatch will issue a permit number for immediate use.
Burning permit checks should be payable to the Town of Berkley in the amount of $20. Name, address and phone number should be included. Checks should be mailed to Berkley Fire Rescue, 5 North Main St.
Visit Berkley Fire-Rescue online here to review open burning rules.
Temporary Changes to Inspection Process
Berkley Fire-Rescue Department will be implementing temporary changes to all inspection processes in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The changes are effective immediately and will continue until further notice.
The Berkley Fire-Rescue Department will honor previously scheduled inspections, but will not be scheduling any further inspections.
Additional decisions on how to conduct Town operations will be made as the situation evolves and the Town will continue to provide the services that residents expect.