Risk Remains Low Throughout Massachusetts
DIGHTON — The Town of Dighton wishes to provide residents with the latest information regarding the 2019 new coronavirus (COVID-19) as federal and state officials continue to monitor the virus domestically and internationally.
There is currently one confirmed case and 27 “presumptive positive” cases of coronavirus in Massachusetts, as of Sunday, March 8, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH).
There are no confirmed or presumptive cases of the virus in Dighton at this time. Health officials report that the risk of contracting the virus in Massachusetts remains “low.”
Late last month, the CDC reported the first cases of community spread of the virus in the United States in California, and 19 people in the United States have since died from the virus. New cases of the virus nationwide have come to light in the past week as well, and currently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting 423 cases of the virus in the United States, including those who contracted the virus from person-to-person spread, travel and those who are under investigation.
There are additionally 49 people with the virus who were repatriated to the United States from the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship and Wuhan, China.
The Dighton Health Department is in contact with the DPH in order to stay up to date on the latest guidance and information regarding COVID-19, and has been communicating regularly with local school leaders about the latest updates and prevention information.
The Town of Dighton additionally has an interdepartmental, robust emergency preparedness group that meets regularly to ensure the town is prepared to best support and respond to a range of circumstances that may effect residents, such as infectious diseases, extreme weather, violent attacks, and so on.
“All of our Town departments are working closely together to share relevant information regarding this virus, but we also want to remind residents that practicing flu prevention steps like washing your hands frequently and staying home while sick are simple steps everyone can take to prevent infectious diseases, like COVID-19 and the flu,” Town Administrator Mallory Aronstein said.
Dighton’s Veterans Service Agent is temporarily suspending his trips to the local Veteran’s Affairs office (through which he brings veterans to their appointments if they need a ride) until further notice. This is being done out of precaution, as many veterans are part of a vulnerable population relative to their likelihood of contracting COVID-19.
According to the CDC, symptoms of the virus appear within 2-14 days of exposure. The DPH reports that symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath and pneumonia in severe cases.
In an effort to prevent the spread of flu, colds and other respiratory illnesses, residents are recommended to take the following measures from DPH:
- Wash hands frequently, with soap and water, for a minimum of 20 seconds.
- When sick yourself, stay home to protect others.
- Always cover your cough or sneeze.
At this time, the DPH is not recommending people wear masks in public as the risk to the public remains low and there is no substantial evidence suggesting wearing a mask protects an individual outside of preventing someone from spreading a respiratory illness to others in a clinic waiting room.
The CDC is urging Americans to avoid nonessential travel to Italy, China, Iran and South Korea, which are designated “Warning Level 3.” The Dighton Health Department urges residents to continue to monitor the CDC website for any additional restricted areas of travel. Additionally, the CDC and Governor Charlie Baker have stated that those who return to the U.S. after visiting any Level 3 country “should stay home and monitor their health during travel and for 14 days after returning to the United States.”
Locally, residents with questions may contact the Dighton Health Department at 774-872-0943.