MERRIMAC — The Merrimac Emergency Management Committee is pleased to share that there have been no active, confirmed cases of COVID-19 in town for approximately a month.
Town officials are urging residents to continue the public health practices that have helped to reduce the spread of the virus in town, including social distancing, wearing a cloth face covering and frequent hand washing.
“For the time being, we’ve turned this corner as a community, and it’s really important everyone continues taking these steps,” Public Health Nurse Eileen Stephanian said. “As our state has moved into Phase 3 of its reopening plan and more businesses and organizations have reopened their doors to the public, more people are coming into closer proximity to one another and its critical we continue doing everything we can to keep this virus at bay.”
“This is truly great news, and to see the number of cases remain at zero for multiple weeks shows us that our community is taking great care to reduce the risk of exposure to this virus for themselves and others,” Fire Chief Larry Fisher said. “Well done, everyone. Let’s keep up the good work so that we can stay on this trajectory and keep one another healthy.”
There have been 35 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Merrimac since the outbreak began earlier this year.
The Merrimac Emergency Management Committee wishes to share the following tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to protect yourself and others from contracting COVID-19:
- Wash your hands frequently for a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and water. Hand washing is especially important after visiting a public place, before eating or preparing food, before touching your face, after using the restroom, handling your cloth face covering, after changing a diaper, after caring for someone sick, after touching animals or pets and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- When soap and water are not available, hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol can be used.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- When someone in your household is sick, try to avoid close contact and maintain six feet of distance from that person.
- Maintain six feet of distance from people who don’t live in your household when in public. Keep in mind that those without symptoms, including yourself, may still be spreading the virus. It is especially important to maintain distance from people at a higher risk of getting sick.
- Wearing a cloth face covering will protect other people in the event you have COVID-19. Everyone is advised to wear a cloth face covering in public and around those who don’t live in your household, especially when social distancing is difficult.
- Those under age two, have trouble breathing, or are unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise cannot wear a mask are exempt.
- The general public should not be wearing face masks intended for healthcare workers as surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that need to be reserved for first responders and healthcare workers.
- Use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, or use your elbow.
- Used tissues should be thrown in the trash. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after throwing away a tissue.
- Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected daily, including tables, doorknobs, light switches, counter tops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks. If a surface is visibly dirty, be sure to clean it using detergent or soap and water prior to disinfecting.
- Everyone should continue to monitor their health daily, which includes watching for symptoms including cough, shortness of breath, and fever. For additional symptoms that may be indicative of a COVID-19 infection, click here.
- If you feel ill or are exhibiting symptoms, stay home.
- If symptoms develop, take your temperature. Wait to do so until 30 minutes after exercising or taking medications that could lower your temperature.
- Click here for additional guidance from the CDC, should symptoms develop.
For additional guidance from the CDC pertaining to day-to-day life including going to work, running errands, travel, attending funerals, caring for children, and stress and coping, click here.