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COVID-19 Updates

Posted on: February 17, 2022

February 17, 2022 COVID-19 Update

Data

  • DPH is reporting that the 7-day average of confirmed COVID-19 cases has declined substantially, from 2,684 on February 7 to 1,550 on February 14.
  • Statewide hospitalizations have fallen, from 1,325 on February 7 to 902 on February 13.
  • The latest data show the Hingham case count is declining.  DPH reported a 14-day average daily incidence rate of 71 new daily COVID-19 cases in Hingham through February 3, 2022.  DPH reported a 14-day daily incidence rate of 54 cases in Hingham through February 10, 2022. 
  • It is important to note that many residents are now taking home-based testing which is most often not reported and therefore not in these statistics.  As a result we are assuming that the actual number of positive cases is higher than these statistics show.
  • The overall vaccination rate for Hingham is now 84% (for fully vaccinated individuals, up from 83% in last week’s report).  Further, 49 % of Hingham residents have received a booster dose.  According to DPH, 79% of Hingham residents ages 5-11 are fully vaccinated (up from 68% in last report).  

 Temporary COVID-19 regional testing site

  • I decided to close the regional COVID-19 drive-thru testing site at 335 Lincoln Street in Hingham effective February 15.  Given ongoing performance issues closing at this time was necessary.
  • We asked the vendor to reach out directly to residents to cancel any existing appointment – and ensure delivery of test results to everyone tested on or before February 14.  
  • Residents who have not received test results by February 19, or feel they have been incorrectly billed by the vendor, should notify the town, using a “fill in” form on our web site.

 COVID-19 Test kit distribution

  • The Town of Hingham has received over 8,000 rapid antigen test kits from Plymouth County
  • The Town conducted two successful distribution days for Hingham residents:
    • On Sunday, February 13, our team distributed approximately 400 test kits and on Tuesday, February 15, we distributed approximately 700 test kits
  • We are reviewing other options for making remaining kits available to the community

 Restaurant Outdoor Table Service

  • The Outdoor Table Service program in effect during the Covid-19 state of emergency will expire on April 1, 2022. 
  • While there is a possibility that the legislation may be further extended, we currently anticipate that our zoning regulations for restaurants will go back into effect in April. 
  • We encourage all restaurants that have not already contacted us, and would like to maintain outdoor table seating areas approved during the state of emergency to contact Emily Wentworth, Community Planning Director, for guidance on any permitting applications that may be required. 

 Hingham Schools’ Pediatric Vaccination Clinic

  • On March 5, from 9a to 1p, HPS will conduct a vaccination clinic at Hingham Middle School.
  • Vaccinations will be available for eligible Hingham students.
  • The clinic will be run by the state and make available Pfizer and Moderna vaccine.
  • Pre-registration is required.  Tomorrow, HPS will provide clinic information and a link to parents – and post this information on their web site, https://hinghamschools.org/.

Masking Policy

  • Effective September 7, 2021, I instituted a COVID-19 mask policy, acting under Chapter 263 of the Acts of 2016.
  • Under this policy, all individuals age 5 and over, regardless of vaccination status, are REQUIRED to wear a mask covering the nose and mouth when indoors in non-school municipal facilities, with certain exceptions.
  • On February 14, Hingham High School moved to a “Mask Optional” policy.  The entire school district plans to implement a “Mask Optional” policy on February 28.
  • I, alongside our Executive Health Officer and our COVID-19 Command Group, continue to evaluate COVID 19 data and trends.  Consistent with discussions of this group, I am currently planning to lift the mask mandate on non-school municipal buildings on March 7.

Public Health Protocols

  • Please continue to take precautions to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.  As we all know, vaccination, wearing face coverings, practicing social distancing, and frequently washing hands, among other measures, help protect us all from COVID-19. 
  • On January 7, 2022, the Hingham Board of Health issued a Health Advisory strongly recommending the use of face coverings by all patrons, visitors, and employees within any indoor space open to the public in Hingham.
  • The Health Advisory is directed to all visitors and employees within any indoor space in all public places, public housing, assisted living facilities, membership associations, and workplaces in Hingham.
  • The CDC and the Massachusetts DPH guidance on face coverings can be found on their respective websites. 
  • The Board of Health recommends the use of an N-95, KN-95, or a (non-woven, multi-ply) surgical mask. Woven cloth masks, gators, and bandanas provide significantly less protection against this airborne respiratory virus.  Also remember that any face covering should be fitted closely to one’s skin to prevent unwanted gaps and leaks.

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