Town Sees 17 Positive Cases Since Last Week
DEDHAM — The Dedham Board of Health is urging the community to follow COVID-19 prevention guidance following a significant rise in positive COVID-19 cases in the past week.
As of Wednesday, Oct. 21, there have been 17 new confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Dedham over the past week and additional cases are expected to be confirmed in the coming days. Most of the positive cases have been confirmed in young children and teens. Town officials believe that the increase is primarily tied to social gatherings and activities that occur before and after youth sporting events, like team dinners and get-togethers.
At this time, the Town has not called for any changes to be made to youth sports programs, but public health officials are closely monitoring the situation so that any necessary changes can be made as soon as possible.
“The Board of Health’s top priority is protecting the public’s overall health,” Chairwoman Leanne Jasset said. “We take this mission very seriously, not just during the pandemic, but each and every day. It is imperative that we all continue to work together in order to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Dedham. We will continue to share the necessary resources to allow our residents to protect themselves, their families and their neighbors.”
Parents and guardians are strongly encouraged to talk to their children about the importance of wearing a face mask or covering, and practicing social distancing whenever possible in order to prevent further spread of the virus.
Coaches of youth sports are also urged to speak to their players and parents of players about these issues and are reminded to not host large gatherings before or after games or practices.
All residents are reminded to contact the Board of Health at 781-751-9220 if anyone in their household tests positive for COVID-19 so that the Town can take the necessary actions required by the state and keep the most accurate and timely number of positive cases in the community.
“As of now, we are not seeing any significant amount of cases of other communicable diseases such as strep or the flu in our community,” Board of Health member Mary Ellard said.
“If you are showing any symptoms whatsoever — even if you think it’s nothing–, it is vital that you get tested and stay home until you receive your results,” Vice-Chair Kathy Reda said.
Additionally, Town officials wish to also remind residents of state-mandated restrictions for both indoor and outdoor gatherings:
- Everyone who attends a gathering with more than 10 people is required to wear a mask or face covering, and must maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet from others at all times.
- Indoor gatherings are limited to 25 people in a single space. Attendees must be able to practice social distancing.
- Outdoor gatherings at private residences are limited to a maximum of 50 people. Outdoor gatherings at event venues and in public settings are limited to a maximum of 100 people. Attendees must be able to practice social distancing.
- Those found in violation of this order may be cited and could be fined up to $500.
The Board of Health will meet on Friday, Oct. 23 at 12:30 p.m. Though meetings are usually held on Wednesdays, this week’s meeting has been postponed to allow public health officials to have the most comprehensive, up-to-date data and information available to them.
The Town of Dedham continues 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 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 mask 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.
- Use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, or use your elbow.
- 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.
Residents are urged to regularly check the town’s COVID-19 information website for regular updates about the status of the virus in the community. Visitors can subscribe via email to receive notifications for new posts.
Dedham residents with questions may additionally contact the Dedham Health Department at 781-751-9220.