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:
September 23, 2020
The Board met on this date and received a detailed update from the Interim Health Director regarding:
- New guidelines regarding restaurants
- Ongoing, routine inspections & compliance checks
- Update on COVID testing at Endicott Estate
CDC guidelines regarding Halloween were released just prior to the Board’s meeting. The Board is awaiting DPH guidelines, and after a comprehensive review of both, will discuss Halloween at a future board meeting.
The Board provided the following statistics from Sept. 13-17, 2020: 2243 persons tested of which 93% were Dedham residents; 60% female, 40% male; majority of those tested were between the ages of 40 and 70; and total number of positive cases identified was 6. Testing results from the period Sept. 21-25 will be available at the next meeting of the Board.
Superintendent Mike Welch and School Committee Chair Lisa Laprade spoke about the preparedness by the School Department at the ECEC. BOH Vice-Chair Kathy Reda toured the ECEC and reported at how impressed she was at the due diligence and compliance and the District’s commitment to following DESE’s recommendations and guidelines.
As a result of the community wide testing, and the efforts on behalf of the District, the Board took the following action: Based on the community wide testing that was implemented the past week and a half, and following protocols crafted by Dedham Public Schools and guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Board of Health supports the District in moving toward the safe return of teachers and students via the phased approach, beginning with hybrid and in-person learning*.
*Subsequent to the Board’s meeting, the state released the most recent statistics showing Dedham trending from red (high risk) to yellow (moderate risk).
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 clinics as soon as they confirmed.
Questions & Answers
The Board and Health Department have seen an increase in questions and concerns from the public. As a result, we’ve added this new section to our weekly update to provide responses to these and other inquiries.
We encourage residents to submit questions and concerns to the Board at [email protected].
Note: Please do not submit questions by leaving comments on the dedhamcovid19.com website. The site is not monitored 24/7 and all submissions should be sent directly to the Board of Health.
Q: How does one obtain COVID test results from the testing conducted by Fallon Ambulance?
A: Typical response time is 48 to 72 hours, however if you have not received test results during this time period, please call 617-765-0176 or email [email protected]
Q: Why does it take so long to receive a response from the Health Department?
A: While COVID is certainly in the forefront and receiving most of the attention from both the Board and the Department, there are many other areas the Department continues to address; routine restaurant and septic inspections, pre-operational inspections for new businesses, compliance checks and follow up on complaints. In addition, the Department is planning Flu Clinics and continues to provide ongoing support to other Town Departments.
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!
There are 508 confirmed cases of the virus in Dedham as of September 23, 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 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