WHITMAN — Emergency Management Director and Fire Chief Timothy Grenno and the Whitman Board of Health report that the Town of Whitman has seen a rise in positive COVID-19 cases recently, resulting in an increased risk designation from the Commonwealth.
According to the public health data released on Thursday, Oct. 29, the Town’s designation is now “Red,” indicating a “high risk” in the community. Residents are urged to continue to practice social distancing, wear face coverings in public and limit their interactions with anyone who lives outside of their household.
According to today’s data, there have been 25 new confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Whitman over the past two weeks. Whitman’s average daily incidence rate, which the state uses to calculate risk determinations, has risen to 11.6 per 100,000 residents, up from last week’s rate of 7.9. Anything above eight per 100,000 nets a high risk designation.
“Our rise in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks and our designation as high risk today is a reminder that we are still fighting COVID-19, and must continue to follow the necessary health and safety measures,” Chief Grenno said. “With Halloween this weekend, we encourage residents to consider celebrating through lower risk activities. If you do plan to participate in traditional Halloween activities this weekend, such as trick-or-treating, please be vigilant.”
Massachusetts’ Stop the Spread testing initiative remains ongoing, and Whitman residents are encouraged to get tested regardless of symptoms in order to better know their COVID-19 status. The closest Stop the Spread testing site is located in Brockton. For information about testing availability nearby through the Stop the Spread initiative, click here.
Residents who plan to participate in Halloween activities this weekend are asked to take several precautions. This includes considering one-way or “grab and go” trick-or-treating, wearing a face mask, observing proper hygiene, avoiding large or crowded gatherings and avoiding activities not with people in your household. Further information from the Whitman Police and Fire Departments regarding celebrating Halloween safely this weekend can be found here.
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 6 feet from others, is critical.
- Those who must go out are urged to:
- Avoid gathering in groups
- Maintain 6 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.
Additional information regarding the Town of Whitman’s response to COVID-19 can be found at: whitmancovid19.com/.