EASTON — Emergency Management Director Kevin Partridge, Director of Health and Community Services Kristin Kennedy and Town Administrator Connor Read report that the Town of Easton has received notification from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) of additional positive cases of COVID-19, the illness associated with the novel coronavirus.
These additional cases are attributable to two households. There are currently nine confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Easton.
Easton Health Department officials were notified by DPH of the positive test results and have been in contact with the residents. The residents are in isolation per DPH orders. Additional members of the households are in quarantine per DPH orders.
Additional contact tracing by health officials is underway. Close contacts (defined as someone who has spent more than 15 minutes within six feet of a positive case) if any, will be identified, contacted by health officials, and may be ordered to quarantine.
In order to protect the residents’ medical privacy rights, no additional information will be disclosed.
Please see the Dept. of Health and Community Services FAQ for more information about COVID-19.
Easton COVID-19 Website Updates
In anticipation of increasing cases of COVID-19 in Easton and across the Commonwealth, the Town will begin publishing confirmed case numbers to its website at www.easton.ma.us. Any additional confirmed cases will be posted by 6 p.m. on a given day.
Health Officials Urge Residents to Stay at Home
Public health officials urge that regardless of your age, and no matter if you feel sick or not, you follow social distancing guidance and stay at home away from non-family contacts at this time. Current confirmed case numbers in Massachusetts and the United States are likely to be lower than the actual number of COVID-19 cases due to the limited availability of widespread testing. It is critical that we work together as the caring community that we are and follow these crucial steps to prevent widespread illness in Easton.
There are currently nine confirmed positive cases in Easton, as verified by Mass DPH. However, as stated above, due to the limited availability of widespread testing at this time, we believe the actual number to be higher and it is growing.
It is vitally important for residents to stop congregating outside, stop group play and team sports at parks, and to take these critical public safety messages seriously. What you do today will have a dramatic impact on cases we see next week and month. Taking action now is doing our part to slow the spread of the virus, to reduce the number of people infected, and to avoid overwhelming our first responders and our health care system.
Closure of Non-Essential Businesses, Stay-at-Home Advisory
On Monday, March 23, Governor Charlie Baker issued an emergency order requiring all businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” to close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public as of today at noon until Tuesday, April 7 at noon.
A full list of designated organizations that provide essential services and workforces related to COVID-19 has been outlined by the state. Businesses in industries not included in the list are encouraged to continue operations remotely, if possible.
Questions regarding the determination of “COVID-19 Essential Services” can be directed to the Commonwealth at [email protected]
Due to the evolving spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, Gov. Baker also yesterday directed the Department of Public Health to issue a stay at home advisory. This means all residents are advised to stay home during this time in order to curb the spread of this virus. Residents may continue to conduct essential activities such as grocery shopping or picking up medication.
More information on the Governor’s orders can be found at www.mass.gov/covid19.
As always, if anyone displays symptoms of COVID-19, including a fever, cough or shortness of breath, they should not come to work or school and they are advised to contact their primary care physician.
The DPH recommends that residents continue with good hygiene practices including:
- Practice good hand hygiene. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds including under your fingernails. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol content) can be used when soap and water are not available.
- Keep your hands away from your face.
- Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing with a tissue and discard it immediately. Cough into the sleeve over your elbow instead of your hand. Wash your hands often when coughing and sneezing.
- Stay away from people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid social gatherings with large groups, particularly if you are over the age of 60, have underlying health conditions, a weakened immune system or are pregnant.
The Town encourages everyone to stay informed regarding COVID-19. The following websites are recommended for the most updated information:
- Easton Department of Health and Community Services COVID-19 FAQ: Click here
- Town of Easton Official Website: www.easton.ma.us
- Massachusetts Department of Public Health: www.mass.gov/covid-19
- Massachusetts 2-1-1 general COVID-19 information: Click here or dial 2-1-1 (24/7)
- United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov
Residents may also call the Easton Town information line at 508-230-0783 or email [email protected] with questions or concerns.