MARION — Town Administrator James McGrail and Health Director Karen Walega confirm that the Town of Marion has been notified by Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) officials of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in town.
The individual is currently in isolation 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. Those who are quarantined will be monitored by Marion health officials to limit the risk of spread.
In order to protect the resident’s medical privacy rights, no additional information will be disclosed.
Health Officials Urge Residents to Stay at Home
Public health officials urgently direct all residents to practice social distancing and remain at least six feet away from others while avoiding congregating in groups larger than 10. Regardless of your age, and no matter if you feel sick or not, 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 month. 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.
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.
Additionally, all Town offices, the Elizabeth Taber Library, Natural History Museum and Community Center are closed until April 7. All non-essential businesses in Marion are also closed until April 7 per an order by Gov. Baker.
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
As always, if anyone displays symptoms of COVID-19, including a fever, cough or shortness of breath, they are advised to contact their primary care physician.
COVID-19 Information Resources
Marion officials encourage everyone to stay informed regarding COVID-19. The following websites are recommended for the most updated information:
- Town website: www.marionma.gov/
- 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.