Officials Stress Importance of Staying at Home
GROVELAND — Town of Groveland officials report that the Town has received notification from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) of six additional positive cases of COVID-19, the illness associated with the novel coronavirus.
There are currently seven confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Groveland.
The Groveland Public Health Nurse has been in contact with the residents and they are in isolation per DPH orders. Town officials announced Groveland’s first positive case on Tuesday, March 24.
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. Those who are quarantined will be monitored by Groveland health officials on a daily basis to limit the risk of spread.
In order to protect the residents’ medical privacy rights, no additional information will be disclosed.
Health Officials Urge Residents to Stay at Home
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. Public health officials urge residents that regardless of your age, and no matter if you feel sick or not, you follow social distancing guidelines and stay at home away from non-family contacts at this time.
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. Parents should be sure to talk to their children about proper hygiene and prevention methods as well as the importance of social distancing.
Due to the evolving spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, Gov. Baker issued a stay-at-home advisory outlining self-isolation and social distancing protocols earlier this week. Massachusetts residents are advised to stay home during this time in order to curb the spread of this virus, with the exception of essential activities such as going grocery shopping or picking up medication.
“We urge all residents to take this situation seriously and follow the health guidance provided by local, state and federal officials,” Public Health Nurse Claire Walsh said. “This means staying at home as much as possible. If you must leave your home, please only do so for essential needs and be careful to distance yourself from others. We must work together as a community in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
Town officials would also like to inform residents of the critical importance of not congregating in groups outside. While residents are encouraged to get outside for fresh air, it is unsafe to have groups of people at the playgrounds or playing team and contact sports. Because of this, all recreational areas in Town are closed until further notice.
All Town offices and the library are closed to the public until further notice. The police station lobby is open for emergencies only. Resident’s can visit the Town website for additional information on online services. All non-essential businesses in Groveland are also closed until April 7 per an order by Gov. Baker.
“The health of our residents is our top priority. We encourage everyone to practice social distancing and proper hygiene,” Board of Health Chair Joan Searl said. “The COVID-19 situation is very fluid and Town officials will continue to monitor the situation and regularly provide residents with the latest health updates and guidance.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the following guidance for how COVID-19 spreads. In an effort to prevent the spread of flu, colds and other respiratory illnesses, residents should follow the recommended actions from the DPH:
- For a minimum of 20 seconds, wash your hands frequently with soap and hot water
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with those who are sick
- Use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue away and wash your hands.
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces
- When you have a fever or are ill, stay home from work or school
A tent for COVID-19 testing has been set up outside of the Emergency Department at Holy Family Hospital in Haverhill. Tests will only be administered to those who have an order from their primary care provider.
COVID-19 Information Resources
Each Tuesday Groveland Finance Director Denise Dembkoski will put out a statement on the Town website and send out a Town-wide phone call with any available updates or new information in order to keep residents up-to-date with the Town’s response to COVID-19.
Groveland officials encourage everyone to stay informed regarding COVID-19. The following websites are recommended for the most updated information:
- Town website: www.grovelandma.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.