Town Administrator Anthony Ansaldi confirms that the Town of Wenahm has been notified by Massachusetts Department of Public Health officials of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in town.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has informed the town’s Public Health Nurse that a Wenham resident has tested positive for COVID-19. The Public Health Nurse is following protocols from the DPH to provide isolation guidance and follow-up, and to provide follow-up with close contacts with education about quarantine measures.
COVID-19 is a contagious respiratory virus generally spread through respiratory secretions (droplets from coughs and sneezes) of an infected person to another person or by touching surfaces contaminated with the virus, and subsequently touching their nose, mouth or eyes. Symptoms of COVID-19 include, but are not limited to the following: fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Importantly, some individuals with COVID-19 may be asymptomatic but are still contagious, and some may have symptoms but have difficulty getting tested.
In order to help prevent community spread, residents are encouraged to stay home unless otherwise necessary.
“We encourage residents to remain cautious and to stay home whenever possible,” said Town Administrator Ansaldi. “Cooperation with this guidance is a necessary step to reduce the risk of infection.”
Town officials would like to notify residents and business owners about the announcement Monday, March 23 by Gov. Baker that all non-essential businesses will need to close by noon on Tuesday, March 24 until April 7. This measure is being done to promote social distancing efforts and to help stop the spread of the virus. All non-essential businesses in Wenham are asked to adhere to the governor’s order.
- For a list of businesses that considered “essential” click here
- To file an Essential Service Designation Request click here
This notice is thus intended to underscore the need for our residents to work together to slow the spread and reduce the impact of COVID-19 on our community. To reduce the risk of exposure and contracting COVID-19, everyone is strongly advised to follow these steps:
- Stay home when feeling sick.
- Avoid any social gatherings.
- Practice social distancing. Maintain a space of at least 6 feet between yourself and others, and DO NOT shake hands with others, share personal items including toys and balls as well as eating or drinking utensils, hand towels etc.
- If going out in public, stay away from anyone who is sick, and ensure you keep your hands clean and away from your face. Avoid touching any “high-touch” surfaces, e.g., door handles, handrails, etc.
- Wash hands often, rub your lathered hands with soap for at least 20 seconds before rinsing, especially before eating, after using the bathroom and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers (at least 60% alcohol) when unable to wash hands.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue that you then discard; otherwise, use your elbow to cover nose and mouth..
- Avoid touching your face: eyes, nose and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a household disinfectant spray or wipe, including phones, tablets, keyboards, doorknobs, light switches, faucet handles, toilet flushes, countertops, etc.
The COVID-19 situation is fluid and new information is being posted regularly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and DPH.
Out of an abundance of caution, the Town of Wenham — in close coordination with the Town of Hamilton and the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District — closed town offices and facilities to the public on Monday, March 16, and declared a state of emergency on Friday, March 20.
Town officials will continue to share any new information pertaining to COVID-19 in our community. For questions, please contact the Board of Health at 978-468-5520, ext. 4.