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:
Governor Baker continues to closely monitor confirmed cases in Massachusetts. Information related to confirmed cases throughout the Commonwealth can be found in the link below, which is updated weekly.
September 17, 2020
Although the Board did not meet last week, they remained actively involved with the staff in providing guidance to various boards and departments, monitoring the COVID cluster information, and working closely with the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, Fallon Ambulance and local officials to provide free testing in Dedham.
Due to a recent increase in complaints regarding large gatherings and other non-compliant matters, the Board would like to remind residents of the action it took with respect to Governor Baker’s Executive Order #48 regarding enforcement. The following was recently adopted:
1st Offense – written warning, to include educational materials and a required signature by the offender acknowledging same
2nd Offense – $200 fine
3rd Offense – $300 fine with a hearing before the Board of Health
The department continues to plan for annual Flu Clinics and will have additional information on dates, times and locations soon.
With the unfortunate delay of in-person learning, we continue to work closely with the School Committee and Superintendent in monitoring the level of risk in the community, and developing plans for a revised re-entry schedule for students and staff.
Questions & Answers
The Board and Health Department have seen an increase in questions and concerns from the public, especially related to the new high-risk designation for the community. As a result, we will be adding 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].
Q: Who do residents call to report concerns regarding matters of non-compliance?
A: During normal working hours, residents should call the Health Department 781-751-9220. Nights and weekends, residents should call the non-emergency line at the Police Department 781-326-1212.
Q: Why is testing recommended if you are not experiencing symptoms?
A: Many people can be asymptomatic or display no symptoms, yet still test positive. By knowing who tests positive, it allows for more accurate contact tracing, thereby identifying and notifying those potentially at risk, and ultimately controlling the spread of the virus.
Q: Why is it important to get a flu vaccine during the pandemic?
A: According to the CDC, flu vaccine prevents tens of thousands of hospitalizations each year. Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, including those who are most vulnerable.
The Board wishes to remind residents of the importance of contact tracing. This is not intended to be a punitive exercise or a breach of privacy; the goal is to determine community spread and promote the public health of all in the community. Information obtained during contact tracing is confidential and not shared in any capacity.
There are 497 confirmed cases of the virus in Dedham as of September 16, 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