ACTON — Town Manager John Mangiaratti, Emergency Management Director Mark Hald, Acton Nursing Director Heather York and Health Director Sheryl Ball would like to provide an update on the town’s response to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
At this time, there are 144 cumulative cases of COVID-19 in Acton with 76 individuals in isolation, 59 recovered and nine fatalities (seven from congregate care facilities). Acton Public Health Nurses are working closely with the residents, and are conducting contact tracing to identify and provide guidelines to anyone who has been in close contact with these patients.
“As part of this update, we are including the number of people who have tragically passed away from this disease. All further updates regarding the number of cases will now include the number of deaths as we continue to remain transparent during these unprecedented times,” said Director York.
Going forward, the Town of Acton will continue to announce positive cases, active cases, recovered cases and fatalities. Daily case reports and cumulative data on Massachusetts COVID-19 cases and testing, and weekly data on confirmed cases by city/town can be found online here.
“At this time we would like to remind our residents that there is no concrete pattern or trend among cases besides congregated living,” said Director York. “There are so many situations affecting COVID-19, such as multiple households, different jobs, working from home, healthcare workers and more. We would like to reiterate that all residents should wear a face mask where social distancing is difficult to maintain in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”
Acton recently recorded a significant jump in the most recent reporting of COVID-19 cases due to extensive testing at the Life Care Center of Acton. Director York reports that there are 59 cases of residents in isolation and 17 staff members overall that have tested positive and have been placed in isolation in their respective towns.
As testing and diagnosis of the residents was done two weeks ago, they are currently working with the epidemiologist assigned to the building to start moving recovered residents out of this unit. Testing is only being conducted as residents begin to show symptoms of COVID-19 now.
Director York has been in regular communication with management at Life Care Center of Acton, their epidemiologist assigned to their building and the State Department of Health. The Town of Acton is confident that the facility is doing everything it can to manage this dangerous and often unpredictable pandemic.
Additionally, at the assisted living facility Benchmark at Robbins Brook there are four staff members and five residents with confirmed positive cases of COVID-19. All residents are currently quarantined to their rooms and have had no visitors other than staff and outside private care if they have it. Anyone entering the building is assessed for symptoms as they come in. Staff also has to self-identify if they have symptoms and stay home if they are sick.
Massachusetts’ Four Stage Reopening Plan
On Monday, May 18, Governor Baker will announce full details of the reopening plan. Per Governor Baker’s orders, the Massachusetts economy will be reopened using a four-phase approach, based on public health guidance.
- Phase 1 will be “Start” – Limited industries resume operations with severe restrictions
- Phase 2 will be “Cautious” – Additional industries resume operations with restrictions and capacity limits
- Phase 3 will be “Vigilant” – Additional industries resume operations with guidance
- Phase 4 will be the “New Normal” – Development of vaccine and/or therapy enables resumption of new normal
Public health metrics will determine when the first phase of reopening begins, as well as when it is safe to move into later phases. Residents should be aware of the possibility of a potential reversal of phases if public health worsens.
State Requirement Regarding Face Masks
On Friday, May 1, Gov. Baker announced a statewide requirement for anyone in public unable to remain socially distant, a minimum of six feet away from others, to wear a face covering. This order applies to both indoor and outdoor spaces.
Those under the age of 2 or with certain health conditions identified by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) are exempt from the requirement.
Donations of Personal Protective Equipment
Town officials would like to express their gratitude to residents and local businesses who have donated masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to the Town of Acton.
Those interested in donating PPE, including home-made face masks, can do so by arranging a drop-off at Acton’s Public Safety Facility, 371 Main St. Residents should call 978-929-7711 ahead of delivery to coordinate the drop-off.
“We appreciate our residents and business owners donating personal protective equipment to those who serve our community,” said Town Manager Mangiaratti. “Those who have donated supplies to our Public Safety Departments have assisted in ensuring our first responders and essential workers are properly protected from COVID-19 as they continue to help our community during this pandemic.”
At this time the Town of Acton would like to remind residents that the Public Safety Facility remains closed to the public for all non-emergency business until further notice. Residents should continue to call 911 during any emergency and first responders will respond as always.
Acton Town Services Hotline
The Town of Acton has established a central customer service hotline — the Acton Town Services hotline — to provide one single number to call to provide answers to various questions related COVID-19 and also connect callers to resources about questions regarding town services in general. Translations services are available for those who call the hotline.
The Acton Town Services hotline number is 978-929-6619.
Vote Early by Mail Application
The vote early by mail application will appear on the last page of the Town’s Municipal Monthly newsletter which will be mailed to all households later this week. Municipal Monthly is the newsletter highlighting current events and important updates from the Town of Acton.
Those who wish to vote early by mail for the town election and the special state representative election (Precincts 3, 4 and 5) can apply to do so. Those who wish to apply to vote early by mail but didn’t receive a newsletter can do so by downloading the application here.
The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 2 and all six precincts will be able to vote at the RJ Grey Junior High School,16 Charter Rpad.