DIGHTON — Town Administrator Mallory Aronstein, the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Health confirm that the Town of Dighton has been notified by Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) officials of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in town.
The town has been notified by the DPH that a Dighton resident has tested positive for COVID-19. The individual is currently in isolation per DPH orders.
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 guidelines for self-quarantine.
Dighton Board of Health officials are involved and will continue to closely monitor the individual and their identified close contacts. In order to protect the resident’s medical privacy rights, no additional information will be disclosed.
The situation is fluid and new information is being posted regularly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the DPH. The CDC offers the following guidance for how COVID-19 spreads:
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Can someone spread the virus without being sick?
- People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
- Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects:
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. As a precaution, it is recommended that residents clean things that are frequently touched (like doorknobs and countertops) with household cleaning spray or wipes.
Social Distancing and Hygiene
Due to the evolving spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, Gov. Baker issued 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, with the exception of going grocery shopping or picking up medication.
The Town of Dighton and state and federal public health officials urgently encourage all residents to practice social distancing and remain at least six feet away from others while avoiding congregating in groups larger than 10. Practice social distancing with your children and explain to them the importance of doing so.
Social distancing will help to minimize exposure among people, especially given that COVID-19 is highly contagious and people may be contagious prior to exhibiting symptoms.
Officials are encouraging residents to take the following precautions to prevent infectious diseases, such as the flu and COVID-19, from spreading:
- Washing hands with soap and water, scrubbing hands for at least 20 seconds before rinsing or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%-95% alcohol.
- Frequently clean commonly touched surfaces, including phones, tablets, keyboards, doorknobs, light switches, faucet handles, toilet flushers, countertops.
- Avoid sharing personal items such as lip balm, water bottles, eating utensils, etc.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing and then wash hands.
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.
COVID-19 Information Resources
Residents are encouraged to stay informed regarding COVID-19. The following websites are recommended for the most updated information:
- Town of Dighton Official Website: https://www.dighton-ma.gov/
- Town of Dighton News Portal: https://dightonportal.com/
- 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)
- Sign up for the Massachusetts COVID-19 Text Message Notification System to receive important updates: text “COVIDMA” to 888-777
- United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov
Additional updates will be provided as information becomes available.