IPSWICH — Town Manager Anthony Marino and Public Health Director Colleen Fermon are urging residents to continue to be vigilant and practice social distancing amid a rise in positive cases of COVID-19 in the community.
Over the last two weeks, from Oct. 4-17, there have been eight new, positive cases of COVID-19 identified in Ipswich and those individuals are currently isolating. Since the pandemic began, there have been 100 positive COVID-19 cases in the community.
“Statewide, and here in Ipswich, we’re seeing an uptick in cases, and it’s imperative that people continue practicing social distancing to reduce the number of cases and close contacts in our community,” Fermon said. “Please, maintain six feet of distance, at least, in public from those outside your household and wear a face covering. People can spread COVID-19 before symptoms appear, in which case they wouldn’t know they are carrying the virus. Some people never get symptoms, but nonetheless have the virus and can still spread it. This is why social distancing is crucial.”
Residents are also reminded that Gov. Charlie Baker updated the state’s social gathering limits on Sept. 29 so that all indoor gatherings are limited to 25 people and outdoor gatherings taking place at a private residences are limited to 50 people.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 typically spreads when people are in close contact, less than six feet, for more than just a brief interaction or when passing by. When a person with COVID-19, who may or may not be presenting symptoms, talks, coughs, or sneezes, droplets enter the air and can infect people in close proximity.
The CDC offers the following tips to support social distancing efforts when people go out:
- First, everyone should remain conscious of the reality that the more closely they interact with other people, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.
- Keep a mask, tissues and hand sanitizer easily accessible when going out.
- Wear a mask when less than 6 feet apart from people or indoors.
- Before going out, consider the level of risk you are facing of contracting COVID-19. Factors to consider include the level of COVID-19 spread in the community, whether you will be in close contact with someone who may be sick or not wearing a mask, whether you are at a high risk for severe illness should you get COVID-19, how long you will be interacting with others and whether you take the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure. Residents should also consider how many people they will be interacting with and whether people will be social distancing.
- The CDC advises that indoor spaces present a higher risk of exposure to COVID-19. Outdoor activities where people can practice social distancing and are wearing masks are safer alternatives.
- If you are planning a gathering, be sure to:
- Remind guests to stay home if they are sick or have been exposed to COVID-19 during the past 14 days.
- Keep a list of guests to support contract tracing if needed.
- Encourage guests to practice social distancing and hold events outside if you can. If the event must be inside, make sure it is in a room with good ventilation.
- Arrange furniture to support social distancing.
- Consider activities that allow for social distancing if planning games for your guests.
- Do not shake hands, do elbow bumps or give hugs. Verbal greetings and waves as recommended.
- Consider providing guests with masks or asking them to bring a mask.
- Make sure guests can easily wash their hands with soap and water and/or access hand sanitizer.
- Limit the number of people handling or serving food, and limit people that are in the area of food being prepared or handled.
- Use single use options and limit contact with commonly touched surfaces and shared items.
- For additional tips on safely attending an event or gathering, dining at a restaurant, going to a gym or fitness center, going to a nail salon, visiting a library, traveling overnight, visiting parks and recreational facilities and more from the CDC, click here.
For the latest updates on COVID-19 in Ipswich, click here.