News Flash

COVID-19 Updates

Posted on: May 13, 2020

May 12 COVID-19 Update

Town Administrator Tom Mayo and Assistant Town Administrator Michelle Monsegur gave the following updates at the May 12, 2020 Board of Selectmen meeting.

COVID-19 Cases

  • As of last Wednesday, DPH was reporting 186 laboratory-confirmed cases in Hingham.
  • As of today, DPH is reporting 79,332 cases in Massachusetts, of which 6,507 are in Plymouth County.
  • Please keep in mind that the numbers reported by the state are lower than the actual number of cases, because they only include those who have tested positive.
  • They do not include clinical diagnoses of COVID-19 by medical professionals, people who self-diagnose and stay at home, or asymptomatic people who don’t realize they have the virus.
  • A total of 401,496 people in Massachusetts have been tested to date.
  • About 4% of Massachusetts cases as reported by DPH are currently hospitalized. The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has been slowly decreasing since April 21, according to DPH data.

Non-COVID-19 Care

  • At the same time, hospitals have been reporting a decrease in the number of people seeking medical attention for urgent, non-COVID-related issues like heart attacks, strokes, appendicitis, etc.
  • Medical professionals are concerned that this may mean that people are delaying or avoiding seeking care for serious medical issues out of fear of contracting COVID-19.
  • Many serious conditions like strokes can be successfully treated if care is received quickly — but can be fatal if treatment is delayed.
  • Please do not hesitate to call 911 if you need immediate medical attention.

Governor’s Four-Phase Reopening Approach

  • The Baker-Polito Administration has announced a four-phase reopening approach for transitioning out of our current “stay at home” status.
  • Businesses and activities that provide COVID-19 Essential Services per Governor Baker’s March 23rd order will continue to operate.
  • Certain businesses and activities with a lower risk of COVID-19 transmission will open in earlier phases.
  • The four phases are generally described as follows:
    • Phase 1: Start - Limited industries resume operations with severe restrictions
    • Phase 2: Cautious - Additional industries resume operations with restrictions and capacity limits
    • Phase 3: Vigilant - Additional industries resume operations with guidance.
    • Phase 4: New Normal - Development of vaccine and/or therapy enables resumption of “new normal”
  • This approach comes with the caveat that we may move back to a prior phase if public health metrics fall below thresholds.
  • The state has developed Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission as employees and customers begin to return to workplaces during Phase 1.
  • These Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards are applicable to all sectors and industries that will be open in Phase 1. They create new workplace requirements for social distancing, hygiene, staffing and operations, and cleaning.
  • We continue to work on reopening plans for Town facilities and our Health Department is working with local businesses and organizations to ensure compliance with the reopening guidance from the state.

Elder Services

  • Elder Services staff are in the process of developing additional remote program opportunities, including an open social coffee hour.
  • The Memoir Writing Group began to meet through Zoom this week.
  • Staff are conducting surveys for programming offered at other senior centers to ensure that the programs we are offering remotely in Hingham are helpful and relevant.
  • The Senior Center upgraded its Voice Connect system, so now all pre-recorded messages generated by the Senior Center will appear in your Caller ID as “Town of Hingham, MA (781) 741-1458.”

South Shore Country Club

  • The SSCC opened this past Saturday to permit holders only for the time being. The Club is following the new guidelines established by the Governor to allow golf to safely resume in Massachusetts. These guidelines include the following:

    • Course facilities including but not limited to the clubhouse, golf shop, restaurant, bag room and locker room must remain closed.
    • Practice putting green, driving range, and chipping areas must be closed.
    • No caddies allowed.
    • No golf carts allowed, with certain exceptions to ensure ADA compliance
    • Push carts may be used. Players must either carry their own bag or use a push cart.
    • All golfers must use their own golf clubs. Sharing golf clubs or renting golf clubs is not allowed.
    • All golfers must maintain proper social distancing of at least 6 feet at all times.
    • Groups of players are restricted to no more than 4 players at one time.
    • Tee Time Policy must be 15 minutes between groups.
    • Golfers must stay in their car until 15 minutes before their tee time and must return to their car immediately following play.
    • Online and remote payment options must be utilized.
  • The Greenside Grille at the SSCC continues to offer a local takeout and delivery menu Wednesdays - Sundays from 3-8pm. That menu is available on their website.

School

  • Yesterday, the School Department rolled out new remote learning plan guidelines for teachers and for parents, which include results from the district wide survey the School conducted in late April.
  • The Schools will employ a blended model of learning consisting of asynchronous delivery of core academic content, coupled with synchronous opportunities for students to engage with district faculty and staff.
  • The Remote Learning Plan 2.0 Guideline for Parents can be found on the School’s website at hinghamschools.com.


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