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 14, 2020
The Board met and received an update from the Interim Health Director. As of this date, there are 60 communities in the Commonwealth designated as “red” however, Dedham remains “yellow” for the fourth consecutive week.
Vice-Chair Reda thanked Dedham residents for their continued diligence in following protocols to help minimize the spread of the disease.
Bridget advised the Board about the 18 Free COVID Testing Sites throughout the Commonwealth, known as STOP THE SPREAD SITES. These sites will remain open through the end of the calendar year. For specific information on site locations, please visit www.mass.gov/COVID19
Schools have begun the phased approach of 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 discussed the first Flu Clinic for Seniors, where 41 vaccines were administered. The next scheduled clinic for seniors is Friday, October 30th at the Endicott Estate. This clinic is by appointment only; please call the Council on Aging at 781-326-1650 to schedule an appointment.
The first Community Drive-Thru Flu Clinic, for ages 4 and older, will be held Wednesday, October 21, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Dedham Middle School. Pre-registration is required. Please call 781-292-0340 to schedule an appointment. Information on future clinics will be announced as soon as dates are 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: Is in-person voting safe?
A: Yes! Town Clerk Paul Munchbach and his staff, following CDC and MDPH guidelines, have taken every precaution to keep the polling locations sanitized and safe for voters. Polling booths are sanitized after every voter, individual pens are available, and all poll workers are required to wear face coverings. Social distancing is achieved by placement of markings and barriers to keep voters safely apart while waiting at the polls. Hand sanitizer is readily available at all polling locations. Residents choosing to vote in-person are required to wear a face covering and respect social distancing.
Q: Does the Health Department conduct routine COVID compliance inspections for warehouse-type facilities, i.e. Amazon?
A: While the department does not conduct routine COVID compliance inspections in any capacity, it does follow up on concerns and complaints for all establishments, and provides guidance and recommendations, when necessary.
The department worked with Amazon at the beginning of the pandemic, and conducted site evaluations as they related to facial coverings, physical distancing and sector specific protocols – Amazon was found to be compliant in all areas.
There are 532 confirmed cases of the virus in Dedham as of October 14, 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.
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. The Board would also like to recognize and thank Town Manager Leon Goodwin, and most especially Assistant Town Manager Nancy Baker for their continued support, assistance, and dedication since the onset of the pandemic.
Stay safe and be kind!
Respectfully submitted by the Board of Health
Leanne Jasset, Chairman
Kathy Reda, Vice-Chairman
Mary Ellard, Member