MIDDLEBOROUGH — Town Manager Robert Nunes and the Middleborough Board of Health are urging residents to closely follow COVID-19 prevention guidelines after active COVID-19 cases in town doubled over the weekend.
There were 31 COVID-19 cases in Middleborough on Friday, Nov. 13. The cases doubled over the weekend, and as of today there are now 62 active cases in town.
Three of the active cases are at an elder care facility in town, meaning a majority of the cases are attributable to general community spread. Town officials urge extreme caution and continued vigilance to stop the spread of coronavirus, especially with the holiday season approaching.
“This significant increase in cases is not due to an individual cluster and happened over a period of just a couple of days, so we cannot stress enough how important it is for residents to remain cautious,” Town Manager Nunes said. “We ask that everyone re-commits to the public health practices that have helped to reduce the spread of the virus in town all year, including social distancing, frequent hand washing and wearing a mask whenever in public in accordance with the new state guidelines. Everyone has to play their part in stopping the spread within our community, especially as the holiday season approaches.”
Residents are reminded of the new state measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 announced by Gov. Baker earlier this month. This follows weeks of increasing cases around the Commonwealth, with COVID-19 cases up 278% and hospitalizations up by 145% since Labor Day. The new state measures now in effect include:
- Stay At Home Advisory: A revised Stay At Home Advisory has been issued which instructs residents to stay home between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Exceptions are made for activities such as going to work, running critical errands to get groceries and address health needs, and taking a walk. To read the revised advisory, click here.
- Early Closure of Businesses and Activities: A new executive order requires certain businesses to close and activities to end each night at 9:30 p.m. To read the new executive order, including a full list of businesses affected by the new early closure requirement, click here.
- Face Coverings: Face coverings are now required in all public places, even if 6 feet of social distance can be maintained. Limited exceptions remain. To read the revised face-coverings order, click here.
- Gatherings: A new order reduces the gathering size limit for gatherings at private residences. Indoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 10 people and outdoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 25 people. The new order also requires that organizers of gatherings report known positive COVID-19 cases to the local health department and requires organizers to cooperate with contact tracing. To read the revised gatherings order, click here.
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.