EASTON — Emergency Management Director Kevin Partridge, Director of Health and Community Services Kristin Kennedy and Town Administrator Connor Read report that the Town of Easton has received notification from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health of a single presumptive positive case of COVID-19, the illness associated with the novel coronavirus, in Easton. Although the Commonwealth of Massachusetts publishes presumptive positive cases on a county by county level only, Town officials are providing this information in order to keep the community educated and informed.
Easton Health Department officials were notified by Mass. Department of Public Health (DPH) of the presumptive positive test result and have been in contact with the resident. The resident, who is presumptive positive, and all household members, who are not currently symptomatic, are adhering to DPH orders for isolation and quarantine to limit the risk of spread and will be monitored by Easton Health officials on a daily basis. In order to protect the resident’s medical privacy rights, no additional information can be disclosed.
On Friday, March 13, before this first presumptive positive case, out of an abundance of caution and in an effort to proactively promote best public health practices of social distancing, the Easton Emergency Management Association (EEMA) decided to close the Town Offices and Frothingham Hall to the public for one week, from March 16-20. Easton Public Schools will be closed for two weeks, from March 16-27.
“It was not an easy decision, nor one made lightly by Town and School leaders, to proactively close public schools and major public buildings before Easton had its first presumptive positive case, but this notice from DPH underscores how important it is that we all take proactive and preventive steps now to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, the Commonwealth and the nation,” Town Administrator Read said. “Easton officials are working around the clock and in close coordination with DPH officials to closely monitor the situation locally, regionally and nationally and will continue to share information with the community as it becomes available. I strongly encourage everyone to follow the guidance of health officials to observe social distancing, avoid unnecessary gatherings, and practice good hygiene to do their part as we all work together to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”
The Town’s Emergency Management Agency (EEMA) has formed a collaborative working group made of numerous town officials and departments including the Easton Police Department, Easton Fire Department, Easton Public Schools, Board of Health and the Town Administrator’s Office. The Town is closely following recommendations from DPH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Click here for more information on closings and cancellations in the Town of Easton relating to COVID-19.
As always, if anyone displays symptoms of COVID-19, including a fever, cough or shortness of breath, they should not come to work or school and they are advised to contact their primary care physician.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health recommends that residents continue with good hygiene practices including:
- Practice good hand hygiene. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds including under your fingernails. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol content) can be used when soap and water are not available.
- Keep your hands away from your face.
- Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing with a tissue and discard it immediately. Cough into the sleeve over your elbow instead of your hand. Wash your hands often when coughing and sneezing.
- Stay away from people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.
- Consider not attending social gatherings with large groups, particularly if you are over the age of 60, have underlying health conditions, a weakened immune system or are pregnant.