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:
December 2, 2020
The Board met and discussed the state travel ban, the COVID Compliance Officer who continues to visit local businesses and provide educational materials and the ongoing contact tracing by the Public Health Nurses. The Board and the Department continue to work closely with the Select Board and Town Management on the best ways to support our local restaurants and businesses.
STOP THE SPREAD COVID TESTING SITES remain open throughout the Commonwealth. For specific information on site locations, please visit www.mass.gov/COVID19.
There are currently 18 sites throughout the Commonwealth, and many have seen a significant increase in wait times for testing.
The demand continues to increase at testing sites causing lengthy wait times and delay of test results. The state is aware of this and is working on ways to improve.
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: If a person tests negative for COVID, how long are they considered COVID negative or COVID free?
A: Negative test result is only a reflection of that particular moment in time. There are several different scenarios in which a negative test result may or may not have future implications, therefore it is not a “free pass.” You are encouraged to visit www.mass.gov/cdc for detailed information on the various definitions of negative vs. positive testing.
Q: If I was identified as a close contact and have no symptoms, do I have to quarantine for the full fourteen days?
A: According to the new guidelines, an identified close contact who is asymptomatic, can test with an appropriate test (PCR, not rapid) on day eight. If negative results, you can end quarantine on day ten rather than day fourteen.
There was no update during the Thanksgiving holiday, however on Nov. 25, the state reported 700 cases for Dedham, an increase of 45 cases from the last reported date of 11/18/20. As of December 2, 2020, there are 767 cases for Dedham, an increase of 67 cases since last reported on 11/25/20. 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
Vice Chair Kathy Reda spoke about the impact COVID has on the mental health of adults and children. Widespread unemployment, social isolation and anxiety are taking their toll on people globally. It is important that you stay in contact with friends and family, and your medical providers. Please reach out to these agencies if you need support: Mass Emergency/Crisis Services Hotline 1-877-382-1609 or Good Samaritan Hotline 1-877-870-HOPE (4673).
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