Town of Bedford Update on COVID-19
March 25, 2020
The Bedford COVID-19 Task Force met Wednesday, March 25, 2020 to review the latest guidance from the Department of Public Health (DPH), the office of Governor Charlie Baker, and Town Legal Counsel.
The COVID-19 Task Force is comprised of the following Town officials:
Sarah Stanton, Town Manager
Jon Sills, Superintendent of Schools
Heidi Porter, Director of Health and Human Services
Robert Bongiorno, Police Chief
David Grunes, Fire Chief
Taissir Alani, Facilities Director
As of today, March 25, 2020, there have been a total of five (5) presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 reported to the Town of Bedford Board of Health by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MA DPH). Three (3) of these cases have already recovered and have come off of isolation and quarantine, and there are two (2) People Under Investigation. There are anticipated to be more individuals impacted by COVID-19 in the community that have not sought medical attention, and/or have not been tested and are isolating at home regardless. Those individuals do not appear on the surveillance reports the Town receives from the MA DPH.
The Board of Health continues to do the appropriate follow-up and outreach to those residents and close contacts known to us. Many of the identified close contacts of the original three (3) cases never exhibited symptoms, have completed their required quarantine period and have been released from quarantine by the Board of Health. The Town has also been informed of one (1) presumptive positive case at Hanscom Air Force Base. This individual has been in quarantine since returning from overseas, and has no close contacts that the Town of Bedford is required to follow up on.
Anyone exhibiting flu-like symptoms should immediately self-quarantine, isolate from household members and contact their healthcare provider for further guidance on whether testing is warranted.
Please stay tuned for specific information regarding the impending transition from enrichment to structured learning.
Food Bank Update-Hours Change 12-4 PM
To assist and support Bedford residents in need, the Town of Bedford has established a temporary food bank at John Glenn Middle School (JGMS).
This week, the Food Bank will be held Friday, March 27, 2020 from 12-4 PM at John Glenn Middle School. Last week, students and families had a designated time separate from vulnerable seniors/veterans, and existing clients of the Bedford Food Pantry. This week, the aforementioned groups are welcome to come anytime between 12-4 PM.
As a reminder, the Food Bank is for the following groups: school-aged children/families of the Bedford Public Schools in need of food support at this time (including, but not limited to, students currently on free or reduced breakfast and lunch), previously identified vulnerable seniors and veterans, and existing clients of the Bedford Food Pantry. For more information on the Food Bank, please visit www.bedfordma.gov/bedfordfoodbank.
The town has received generous food donations from the Bedford Food Pantry to supplement the provided food offerings each week. Additionally, we are currently working to expand the Council on Aging’s existing relationship with the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) ,and receive food provisions from GBFB in future weeks. While many residents and community groups have offered food donations to the Bedford Food Bank, our limited staffing and surface disinfecting considerations restrict our ability to accept food donations at this time. Should you wish to contribute to this community effort, please consider making a financial contribution to the Town of Bedford Emergency Relief Fund.
There will be a separate food bank delivery system for homebound seniors and disabled residents. If you are homebound resident, and in need of food assistance, please e-mail email@example.com.
Town officials continue to urge residents to deploy social distancing, and limit social gathering. In accordance with Governor Baker’s Updated Assembly Order issued March 23, 2020, gatherings are now limited to no more than 10 people. Town officials continue to urge residents to deploy social distancing, and limit social gathering. Go for a socially distanced walk, order take-out, get your coffee to-go, pick up a gift certificate, and support the local business communities from a distance.
Public health officials strongly discourage activities that promote gathering of people, including play dates, sleepovers, parties, social visits, and other activities where closer contact is the norm.
The Town has stated and continues to advise that those — including municipal employees, residents, or students — who are feeling sick with fever or flu symptoms should stay home, self-quarantine, not report to work or school, and contact their medical provider to determine if they should be tested for COVID-19.
For previous updates on COVID-19, please review the COVID-19 News and Announcements Page at on the Town website (www.bedfordma.gov).
It is important to remember that while the COVID-19 outbreak is evolving quickly, influenza is currently circulating in the area. Many of the things you do to help prevent colds and the flu can help protect you against other respiratory viruses:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Clean things that are frequently touched (like doorknobs and countertops) with household cleaning spray or wipes.
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue or your inner elbow, not your hands.
- Stay home if you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
- Employ social distancing if you are not otherwise required to be in quarantine and must go out.
- For those at home, a little moderate exercise or meditation goes a long way. Get up, stretch, and maybe have a short walk.
The best source of guidance and recommendations is the DPH website: www.mass.gov/covid19
Alternatively, if you are without internet capabilities, please call the State hotline: 2-1-1
You can also the Town of Bedford website for local updates and actions: www.bedfordma.gov
Town and School officials, and the Bedford Health Department, remain in continuous communication about this issue, and further updates will be provided to the community as we receive them.