WHITMAN — The Town of Whitman and the Whitman Board of Health report that the Town of Whitman has seen a rise in positive COVID-19 cases recently, and are urging the community to follow COVID-19 prevention guidance.
According to data shared by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on Wednesday, there have been 12 confirmed positive cases of the virus in Whitman over the past two weeks.
“We urge all Whitman residents and those visiting our town to remain vigilant in their fight against COVID-19,” Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director Timothy Grenno said. “We thank everyone who has continued to take the virus seriously by practicing social distancing, wearing a face covering and not gathering in large groups. If we all do our part we can ensure that the number of positive cases stays as low as possible.”
Gov. Charlie Baker, in response to a statewide rise in positive cases, implemented several efforts and stricter guidelines which went into effect Tuesday, Aug. 11. These included a reduction in the maximum number of people permitted at outdoor gatherings on both public and private property from 100 to 50 and a requirement that people wear face coverings whenever more than 10 people from different households gather.
The announcement by Gov. Baker reinforces an earlier order issued in May, which requires everyone, exempting children under the age of two or those with an underlying health condition, to wear a mask in public when maintaining social distancing, a minimum of six feet from others, is not feasible.
Indoor gatherings remain limited to groups of 25 or fewer people under Gov. Baker’s increased restrictions.
Restaurants have also been barred from selling alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption unless accompanied by a food order in an effort to ensure bars remain closed.
Fines or cease and desist orders may be issued by local or state public safety officials in the event hosts violate the limit on the number of people permitted at a gathering or the face covering order.
COVID-19 prevention tips from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health include:
- Remember that an infected individual can spread COVID-19 before they have symptoms, which is why social distancing, maintaining a minimum of six feet from others, is critical.
- Those who must go out are urged to:
- Avoid gathering in groups
- Maintain six feet from people outside your household
- Do not shake hands or hug
- Wash your hands often
- Those who are at a high risk for COVID-19, including those over the age of 65 and with underlying health conditions, are advised to stay home and avoid non-essential tasks and errands
- Wear a mask in indoor and outdoor spaces where social distancing from people outside your household is not possible. This does not apply to those under the age of two and with underlying health conditions.
- Face coverings should:
- Cover the nose and mouth
- Fit snugly and comfortably against the side of the face
- Be secured with either ties or ear loops
- Permit breathing without difficulty
- Be able to be washed and machine dried without damage. Face masks should be washed regularly depending on the amount of use.
COVID-19 Information Resources
Whitman officials encourage everyone to stay informed regarding COVID-19. The following websites are recommended for the most updated information:
- Town website: https://www.whitman-ma.gov/
- Whitman’s COVID-19 Resources and Information website: https://whitmancovid19.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