IPSWICH — Director of Public Health Colleen Fermon is urging residents to remain vigilant against the spread of COVID-19 as the community continues to see increased spread of the virus.
According to the public health data released on Thursday, Dec. 10, the Town’s designation has remained at “yellow,” indicating a “moderate risk” of spread in the community. The average daily incidence rate for the Town of Ipswich is 29.83 per 100,000 residents, up from 17 last week. There is currently a 4.5% positivity rate of COVID-19 tests in the community.
From Nov. 22 through Dec. 5, the time period through which the state based its latest report, there were 56 cases of COVID-19, the highest case count Ipswich has had for cases of COVID-19 over a two week period since the pandemic began.
There are currently 49 cases of COVID-19 in the community. There have been a total of 240 cases in Ipswich since the start of the pandemic.
Residents are strongly encouraged to avoid high risk activities, especially indoor social gatherings, and all Massachusetts residents are under orders from the Governor to wear masks at all times while in public.
“We’re seeing some of the highest case numbers of COVID-19 we’ve seen since the pandemic began,” Fermon said. “It’s clear that in our community and across the state people need to avoid social gatherings while we work to stop the spread.”
Beginning Sunday, Dec. 13, all communities in Massachusetts will revert back to Phase 3, Step 1 of Gov. Charlie Baker’s four-phase approach for reopening.
As a part of Phase 3, Step 1, Ipswich will once again follow the below protocols:
- Outdoor performance venue capacity will remain at 25% with a max of 50 people
- Indoor theaters and performance venues must remain closed
- Outdoor gatherings at event venues and in public settings will be limited to 50 people
- Hosts of outdoor gatherings of greater than 25 people will be required to provide advance notice of the gathering their local board of health
- Indoor recreation businesses with high-risk activities such as trampolines, obstacle courses, roller rinks and laser tag must remain closed
- Gyms, museums, libraries, offices, driving/flight schools, retails establishments, indoor/outdoor recreational businesses and places of worship must keep their capacity at 40%
The following guidelines will be put in place for restaurants and other venues with seated dining:
- Patrons are required to wear a mask at all times except when eating and drinking
- Restaurants must seat no more than six people per table
- Restaurants must impose a 90-minute time limit on tables
- Musical performances at restaurants will no longer be permitted
- Food court seating must be closed in malls
Additional 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 at all times.
- 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.
For the latest COVID-19 updates for the Town of Ipswich, visit https://ipswichcovid19.com/.