WENHAM — Town Administrator Anthony Ansaldi is urging residents to closely follow COVID-19 prevention guidelines following a recent sustained increase in the number of cases in town.
Wenham has reported a total of 41 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, including 7 new cases in the last two weeks. Wenham’s average daily incidence rate, which the state uses to calculate risk determinations, has risen to 9.6 per 100,000 residents, up from last week’s rate of 5.5.
Last week, Gov. Charlie Baker announced a variety of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. This follows weeks of increasing cases around the Commonwealth, with COVID-19 cases up 278% and hospitalizations up by 145% since Labor Day. These measures include revisions to the Massachusetts Face Covering Order, reduced gathering limits and more. The state’s new measures can be found here.
“As the holiday season approaches, we can’t stress enough the importance of adhering to all public health guidance,” Town Administrator Ansaldi said. “We expect all of our residents to remain vigilant as our case count begins to grow within the community. Every resident should be wearing a mask at all times when out in public and practicing social distancing.”
With the holiday season upon us, the Town of Wenham would like to share the following holiday safety tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Family and friends should consider the number and rate of COVID-19 cases in their community and in the community where they plan to celebrate when considering whether to host or attend a holiday celebration.
- Host outdoor activities rather than indoor activities as much as possible. If hosting an outdoor event is not possible, and you choose to host an indoor event, avoid crowded, poorly ventilated, or fully enclosed indoor spaces. As a reminder, the state’s gathering size limits are 10 people for indoor gatherings at private residences and 25 for outdoor gatherings at private residences.
- Avoid traveling for the holidays as traveling increases the chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Celebrating virtually or with members of your own household poses low risk for spread.
- During holiday celebrations, you should maintain a distance of at least 6 feet or more from people you don’t live with, wear a mask and avoid busy eating areas, such as restaurants during high volume mealtimes.
- If you participated in higher risk activities or think that you may have been exposed during your celebration, take extra precautions (in addition the ones listed above) for 14 days after the event to protect others:
To view more holiday safety tips, visit the CDC’s COVID-19: Holiday Celebration page here.
General COVID-19 Safety
Town officials would also like to remind residents of the COVID-19 prevention tips from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH):
- 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 public spaces. This does not apply to those under the age of five 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.
Wenham residents with questions may additionally contact the Wenham Board of Health at 978-468-5520 ext. 4.