News Flash

COVID-19 Updates

Posted on: October 14, 2020

October 13, 2020 COVID-19 Update

Town Administrator Tom Mayo and Assistant Town Administrator Michelle Monsegur provided the following COVID-19 updates at the Board of Selectmen Meeting on October 13, 2020.

  • As of today, the MA Department of Public Health (DPH) is reporting 137,565 confirmed cases in Massachusetts, of which 10,380 are in Plymouth County.  
  • As of last Wednesday, DPH was reporting 352 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hingham, an increase of 14 cases over the previous week.  Hingham remains in the “yellow” category for now.
  • However, we are seeing a troubling increase in COVID-19 cases in privately run team sports, especially indoor sports like hockey, basketball, and indoor soccer.  The Hingham Health Department has had to quarantine entire teams participating in privately run indoor team sports, along with family members of participants and some spectators who were not practicing social distancing.  
  • These cases from private indoor team sports are impacting Hingham Public Schools as well as the broader Hingham community.  Cases are being analyzed by the state cluster epidemiologist as they are also seeing household transmission at both the state and local level.   
  • To the extent you or your child are participating in higher risk indoor sports, please practice social distancing and wear a mask to the extent possible.  
  • Furthermore, if you receive a call from a local or state public health official for the purpose of contact tracing or imposing a COVID-19-related quarantine, it is vital that you cooperate and follow their guidance.  Ignoring an order to quarantine or declining to share information for contact tracing puts everyone in our town and in our schools at risk.  We need parents to stay vigilant and help us prevent further transmission.   
  • In some cases, privately run sports teams are notifying participants of a potential exposure.  If you are notified of a potential exposure, please stay home until you hear from the Hingham Health Department or the Massachusetts COVID-19 Team.  They should contact you with quarantine guidance within 24 hours.  It is very important that you stay home and do not go to school or work until you hear from them.  
  • If you don’t hear from them within 24 hours, please contact the Hingham Health Department at 781-741-1466 or HealthDirector@hingham-ma.gov during business hours or the Massachusetts COVID-19 Team at 857-305-2728 or 211 during non-business hours.
  • We are all very concerned about these developments.  Please work with us to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Hingham. 
  • If you are sick or have been identified as a close contact of someone diagnosed with COVID-19, there are several steps you can take to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to other members of your household.  DPH recommends the following measures to separate yourself from others:
    • Stay at home and use a separate bedroom and bathroom if possible.
    • Stay at least 6 feet away from other people in the house.
    • Do not leave your house to go to school, work, or run errands.
    • Do not have any visitors to your house during this time.
    • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Do not share eating or drinking utensils with anybody.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
    • Clean surfaces that you touch every day with a household disinfectant.
    • Monitor your health every day. 
    • If you get sick with fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other signs of respiratory illness, call your healthcare provider and tell them if you have been exposed to COVID-19.
    • If you need to see your healthcare provider, do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares to get to your appointment.
    • Make a list of everyone you have been close to (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes) since you first got sick. Those people have been exposed to COVID-19 and should be asked to self-quarantine. 
  • The CDC offers additional recommendations on what to do if you are sick or if you are caring for someone who is sick.  

Halloween

  • To the extent that individuals and families feel it is safe to participate in Halloween activities this year, please follow the state and federal COVID-19 guidance.  DPH offers the following recommendations for a safe and healthy Halloween:
    • Wear a face mask or face covering. 
    • Observe good hand hygiene, including hand washing and use of alcohol-based sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol.  Carry hand sanitizer and use it often, especially after coming into contact with frequently touched surfaces and before eating candy.
    • Refrain from touching your face.
    • Stay home and refrain from Halloween activities, including handing out Halloween treats, if: you feel unwell; you have tested positive for COVID-19; you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19; or you have traveled to or from a state that is not classified as “lower risk” within the last 14 days.  
    • Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet of physical distance from all other participants who are not members of the same household.
  • The CDC offers additional guidance on Lower, Moderate, and Higher Risk Halloween Activities.  
  • We’ve posted this Halloween information on the Town website in the COVID-19 Update Center.


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