DEDHAM — In an effort to continue to update Dedham residents on state and local preparedness efforts and impacts related to COVID-19 (commonly referred to as Coronavirus), the Dedham Board of Health offers the following updates:
October 7, 2020
The Board met and received an update from the Interim Health Director. Dedham has been in yellow for three consecutive weeks, therefore businesses may proceed with the Phase 3 Step 2 protocols announced by the Governor last week.
Some of those include the following:
- Provides a weekly document reported on Thursdays on a DESE dashboard related to COVID19 cases within school districts;
- Allows for additional spectators in youth sports;
- Allows movie theatre concession stands to operate as long as they are following sector specific guidelines;
- Allows dressing rooms to be open in retail clothing stores; and
- Allows patrons to be seated at bars as long as they are following sector specific guidelines.
As reported last week, Schools continue to move toward a phased approach of hybrid and in-person learning. The Board continues to work closely with Superintendent Mike Welch and School Committee Chair Lisa Laprade to ensure a safe and successful transition for students and staff.
The Board agreed that participation in Halloween festivities shall be a personal, informed decision. Those who choose to participate by way of Trick or Treating with their children, or passing out candy to Trick or Treaters are urged to follow CDC and MDPH guidelines to keep you, your loved ones and your community safe.
The Board announced the first of many planned Flu Clinics, beginning with a by-appointment only clinic for seniors. Appointments can be scheduled through the Council on Aging by calling 781-326-1650. The clinics will be held at the Endicott Estate on October 9 and October 30. The Board will have additional information on future town wide clinics as soon as dates confirmed.
Question & Answer
As promised, the Board has added new frequently asked questions. We continue to encourage residents to submit questions and concerns to the Board at [email protected].
Q: Can an establishment refuse service to a customer not wearing a mask?
A: The short answer is yes. However, if the customer is unable to wear a mask due to medical reasons, the establishment should offer alternate means of service, where possible (i.e., curbside, etc.).
Q: What factors into decisions made by the Board with respect to Schools, gatherings, holiday events, closings, etc.?
A: The Board reviews the guidelines provided by both the Center for Disease Control and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and considers all areas of concern. The Board also communicates regularly with Town departments, boards, and committees and offers guidance and protocols necessary to address the specific concern of their respective area. In instances where the Board deems it necessary, it will take action stronger than that recommended by both the CDC and MDPH.
Q: Is it possible to have the Flu and COVID19 at the same time?
A: Yes, it is possible to test positive for the Flu (as well as other respiratory infections) and COVID19 at the same time. This supports the strong recommendation by the CDC, the MDPH and local Boards of Health that everyone should receive a Flu vaccine, as well as continuing to practice social distancing, good hygiene and wearing a mask.
There are 527 confirmed cases of the virus in Dedham as of October 7, 2020. Please note, this number reflects the total number of cases confirmed since March 2020. As a result of the recent increase in confirmed cases across the Commonwealth, the Board strongly urges residents to continue to practice social distancing, proper hygiene and the wearing of a face covering.
Hazardous Waste Day
The Board wishes to express its appreciation to the Health Department, Public Works and Police Departments for their support during a very busy Hazardous Waste Day last Saturday, where more than 270 vehicles participated.
Residents are encouraged to visit the website, dedhamcovid19.com, for all town updates as the COVID-19 situation develops. Visitors can subscribe via email to receive notifications for new posts.
Although Town Hall remains closed to the public, the Health Department is staffed and available to address all questions and concerns. We encourage residents and businesses to contact the office at 781-751-9220 with any questions or concerns. The Board most respectfully asks for your patience and understanding of the demands on the Department. All inquiries and complaints are important and will be addressed. Please remain kind and respectful!
The Board appreciates the continued collaboration with all Town departments in assisting residents and businesses adapt to the new normal.
The Board again wishes to remind the public to properly dispose of gloves and masks at all public locations.
The Board wishes to thank the Health Department staff for their continued dedication during these unprecedented times.
Stay safe and be kind!
Respectfully submitted by the Board of Health
Leanne Jasset, Chairman
Kathy Reda, Vice-Chairman
Mary Ellard, Member