DEDHAM — Town Manager Leon Goodwin and Dedham Board of Health Chairwoman Leanne Jasset are urging the community to follow COVID-19 prevention guidance following another rise in positive COVID-19 cases recently.
The Town of Dedham was designated a “Red” high risk community on Sept. 10 according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s weekly report. The Town’s designation dropped to a “Yellow” medium risk community on Sept. 23 and has remained within that designation since.
According to the public health data released on Thursday, Oct. 29, the Town’s designation is now “Red” once again, 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 Thursday’s data, there have been 45 new confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Dedham over the past two weeks. Dedham’s average daily incidence rate, which the state uses to calculate risk determinations, has risen to 11.8 per 100,000 residents, up from last week’s rate of 5.3. Anything above eight per 100,000 nets a high risk designation.
“Our community’s daily incidence rate has jumped significantly this week, so we are urging all of our residents to ensure they are being vigilant about taking the proper precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Chairwoman Jasset said. “We encourage everyone to refrain from attending large gatherings, especially during the Halloween holiday this weekend. We also encourage residents to take advantage of the Commonwealth’s Stop the Spread testing initiative and get tested, regardless of whether you have symptoms, to help us understand the recent spread of COVID-19 in Dedham.”
Massachusetts’ Stop the Spread testing initiative remains ongoing, and Dedham residents are encouraged to get tested regardless of symptoms in order to better know their COVID-19 status. The closest Stop the Spread testing sites are located in Randolph or 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 Town of Dedham 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.
Residents are urged to regularly check the town’s COVID-19 information website for regular updates about the status of the virus in the community. Visitors can subscribe via email to receive notifications for new posts.
Dedham residents with questions may additionally contact the Dedham Health Department at 781-751-9220.