November 6, 2020 – The Town of Needham and Needham Public Health today provided the following update regarding COVID-19.
State DPH COVID-19 Numbers
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reports the number of positive cases and deaths daily on the state's COVID-19 dashboard.
Town-specific case numbers are published by the state every Thursday.
- 445 Needham cases to date (11/06/2020) Needham is in the GREEN category this week. As of 11/05/20, the state has reformulated the way it color codes communities to show risk level. A chart showing the new formula can be found on page 27 of this report. According to the new state guidelines, cities and towns with less than 10,000 people will be deemed in the red high-risk category if they have more than 25 total cases. Cities and towns with between 10,000 and 50,000 residents will be high-risk if they average more than 10 cases per 100,000 people and a positive test rate of 5 percent or higher. Larger communities will be high-risk with an average of more than 10 cases per 100,000 residents and a positive test rate at or greater than 4 percent. See the most recent COVID-19 community map.
- 81 Coronavirus deaths in Needham to date (10/29/20).
New State COVID Orders in Effect
Beginning this morning, Governor Baker’s new COVID-19 orders are in effect. The new orders:
- require face covers in all public spaces, indoors and outdoors, regardless of ability to maintain social distance;
- encourage residents to remain home between the hours of 10 pm and 5 am with exceptions for work and public safety;
- cap gatherings at private residences at 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors;
- require most businesses to close by 9:30 pm with restaurants allowed to offer take-out beyond then.
Select Board, School Committee, Board of Health, Finance Committee Hold Joint Meeting to Discuss COVID-19
Save the Date - As COVID-19 cases rise in Needham and across Massachusetts, Town leaders will hold a joint meeting on November 19th to discuss the pandemic, the Town’s response and ongoing efforts to keep Needham safe. The meeting will be held at 4 pm and will be broadcast live on the Needham Channel and ZOOM. More information to come.
Common Tent to Remain Up Though Thanksgiving
Thanks to Mother Nature’s cooperation, the Town has decided to maintain the Tent on the Common through Thanksgiving. The area under the tent and the surrounding picnic tables have served as an important and enjoyable meeting place for the community through the warmer months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Should the forecast indicate substantial snow before Thanksgiving, the tent may have to be removed. So get out and enjoy it while you can!
Waiting for the Results of a COVID Test? What to Know
With more people seeking and receiving COVID tests, it’s important to remember that you should quarantine at home until you receive the results. Because the virus is highly contagious, individuals who get tested for COVID-19 and then go out in public and interact with others before receiving the results of the test risk contracting the virus before results are received, essentially negating any negative result. PCR test (more accurate than the rapid tests) results are typically available within 24-72 hours. No matter the reason for the test, you should remain at home in quarantine until you receive your results.
How to Celebrate Thanksgiving Safely During COVID-19
With the Thanksgiving holiday just a few weeks away and cases of COVID-19 on the rise, people should strongly consider limiting attendance at this year’s holiday gathering to immediate family. Because of the nature of most Thanksgiving celebrations – eating, drinking, indoor close contact – the risk of spreading and contracting COVID is very high. To safely celebrate the holiday, Needham Public Health is urging people to do the following:
- Limit the number of attendees. The state has limited gatherings at private residences to 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors.
- Host outdoor activities when possible. If not possible, increase ventilation by opening windows and doors, and limit the number of guests. Maintain distance from one another of at least 6 feet.
- Wear a face covering and wash your hands frequently. Provide an area to wash hands and hand sanitizer.
- Do not share food or drink and consider single-serve items where possible.
Find more tips here.
Public Health, Schools Discuss Education in Needham During COVID-19
Needham Public Schools Superintendent Dan Gutekanst, School Committee Chair Andrea Longo Carter, Eliot School Principal Karen Bourn and Needham Health and Human Services Director Timothy McDonald came together last week to discuss the current COVID pandemic and what it has meant for Needham public education. While the NPS have been successful in combatting any spread of COVID-19 within the schools, Needham Public Health says after-school activities and gatherings are contributing to an uptick in cases. Watch the segment here.