MIDDLEBOROUGH — Town Manager Robert Nunes is urging residents to remain vigilant against the spread of COVID-19 as the community reaches a high risk designation for the disease.
According to the public health data released on Thursday, Dec. 10, the Town’s designation is “Red,” indicating a “high risk” of spread in the community. The average daily incidence rate for the Town of Middleborough is 40.93 per 100,000 residents, up from 21.9 last week.
The report states there were 157 active cases of COVID-19 in the community over the past two weeks, accounting for close to a quarter of the 658 total cases in town 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’ve seen our case counts spike often over the past few weeks, and with this new high risk designation, we’d like to remind everyone of the importance of following the safety measures we’ve been stressing since the start of the pandemic,” Town Manager Nunes said. “Wearing a mask remains as important as ever, and we ask everyone to avoid high risk activities and indoor gatherings.”
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, Middleborough 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.
Middleborough residents with additional questions should contact the Middleborough Health Department at 508-946-2408 or email HealthWeb@middleborough.com.