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COVID-19 Updates

Posted on: March 1, 2022

March 1, 2022 COVID-19 Update

Data

  • DPH is reporting that the 7-day average of confirmed COVID-19 cases has declined substantially, from to 1,720 on February 14  to 704 on February 27.
  • Statewide hospitalizations have fallen, from 902 on February 13 to 445 on February 25.
  • The latest data show the Hingham case count is declining.  DPH reported a 14-day daily incidence rate of 54 cases in Hingham through February 10, 2022. On February 24, DPH reported a 14-day daily incidence rate of 27 cases in Hingham.
  • 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.  Further, 49 % of Hingham residents have received a booster dose.  According to DPH, 79% of Hingham residents ages 5-11 are fully vaccinated.  

Temporary COVID-19 regional testing site

  • This facility has been closed

 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 and Tuesday, February 15.
  • We are reviewing other options for making remaining kits available to the community.  

 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 25, 2022 the federal Centers for Disease Control announced a new approach to COVID-19 prevention, based on community level.  This color-coded approach escalates prevention measures based on community level.  Plymouth County is color coded green, reflecting the lowest COVID-19 level.  At this level, key prevention steps include staying up-to-date with CoviD-19 vaccines and getting tested if you have symptoms.
  • Also on February 25, the CDC announced that, effective February 25, it is no longer required to wear masks on buses or vans operated by public or private school systems, including early care and education/child care programs.
  • On February 28, the entire HPS school district implemented a “Mask Optional” policy, in its buildings and on its busses. 
  • On March 1, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) issued an updated Advisory Regarding Face Coverings.  DPH now advises that a fully vaccinated person should wear a mask or face covering when indoors (and not in your own home) if you have a weakened immune system, or if you are at increased risk for severe disease because of your age or an underlying medical condition, or if someone in your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease or is unvaccinated.
  • 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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