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:
STOP THE SPREAD COVID TESTING SITES remain open throughout the Commonwealth. For specific information on site locations, please visit www.mass.gov/COVID19
November 10, 2020
The Board held a joint Question and Answer Forum with the School Committee and other Town Officials. The Forum was well attended and addressed many questions on the minds of residents.
While we understand there remains a desire to see more detailed data regarding confirmed COVID19 cases, there is great concern about the reliability of the data in real time, as well as maintaining HIPPA and respecting the privacy of those affected. The Board remains committed to providing additional specific data when relevant (i.e., confirmed clusters, rapid spread, etc.).
The Board wishes to extend its appreciation to Select Board Chair Dr. Dennis Teehan , School Committee Chair Lisa Laprade and committee members, Superintendent Mike Welch, Interim Health Director Bridget Sweet, Director of Health Services for Dedham Schools Gail Kelly, and Assistant Town Manager Nancy Baker. The success of the Forum is due in large part to Forum Moderator and Planning Board Chair John Bethoney who managed the Q&A and community involvement, while keeping the Forum to the prescribed time frame. We are extremely grateful.
The insert in the November 13, 2020 edition of the Dedham Times has been provided by the Board of Health. The Board hopes you find this information helpful as you plan for a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday with your loved ones.
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: Are all teachers and students in a classroom considered “close contacts” in the event that someone in the class tests positive? Essentially, if someone from the class tests positive are all students in that class notified? Or only those that are considered to have been closer in proximity to the infected person?
A: It depends. If you have a classroom that is small, no air circulation, and less than six-foot of distancing, then yes, everyone has been potentially exposed. If you have a classroom for instance in a gym, with more than six-foot distancing and a small cohort size, then not everyone is considered potentially exposed.
Q: If someone in a family is contacted about possible exposure and needs to be tested, why isn’t the entire family also being tested and quarantined?
A: The person who had a potential exposure has a 14-day quarantine period to monitor health for signs and symptoms of COVID. They should also get tested. The exposed person in this household is the only person considered a close contact. As long as that person remains asymptomatic or does not test positive for COVID, it is assumed they did not contract the virus. If that exposed person tests positive or develops symptoms, then all household members are considered contacts and must quarantine.
There are 627 confirmed cases of the virus in Dedham as of November 12, 2020. This is an increase of 31 cases from last reported (11/4/2020). Please note, this number reflects the total number of cases confirmed since March 2020. Please be advised that this number is not indicative of any detected cluster in the community.
The continued increase in confirmed cases in Dedham and across the Commonwealth reminds us of the importance of being vigilant. The Board urges everyone to:
WEAR A MASK AT ALL TIMES
STAY SIX FEET APART
WASH YOUR HANDS
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