Town Administrator Greg Johnson and the Maynard Public Health Staff report that the Town of Maynard has received notification of two presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, the illness associated with the novel coronavirus.
The Town of Maynard was notified today by the Town’s public health nurse of the two presumptive positive cases. Those individuals are maintaining all current guidelines from the state’s Department of Public Health (DPH) and are in self-quarantine. The two are believed to have contracted the virus while traveling.
The Town of Maynard is closely following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) to prevent the spread of the virus.
“We’re continuing to monitor the situation and will continue to share information with the community as it becomes available,” Johnson said. “We encourage residents to follow and take the same hygienic steps we always share during the flu season, which is also common this time of year.”
The Town’s facilities staff continue to work regularly to thoroughly sanitize and disinfect town facilities with Environmental Protection Agency approved disinfectant, soap and water for the removal of microorganisms.
There are currently 95 confirmed or presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, according to DPH, and Governor Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency on March 10.
The Maynard Fire Department is asking the public to inform dispatchers when they call to request an ambulance if they suspect they have COVID-19, have come into contact with someone who has the virus or have recently traveled to an affected area. Those who are able to safely travel to a nearby hospital if they need medical assistance are asked to do so, but first call ahead to notify the hospital that you think you may have COVID-19. It is also advised that anyone who suspects having the virus should wear a face mask if available when in public to prevent the virus from spreading to others.
The Maynard Police Department would like to remind residents to be vigilant of potential scams around COVID-19, like requesting donations or selling products claiming to cure, prevent or detect the virus. The department is not aware of any of these scams currently happening in town, but would like residents to remain vigilant.
The Maynard Council on Aging has cancelled its March 13 luncheon event, and is also deeply disinfecting and sanitizing its facilities and vans.
Maynard Public Schools are open, but have postponed various activities and events, such as the Spanish Exchange Trip, the UNH Regional Science Fair, the Fowler School Fine Arts Program, the high school play of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and the Fowler School Cookie Contest.
The Girls Basketball State semi-final game was rescheduled to tomorrow, March 12 at American International College at 5:30 p.m.
On Friday, March 13, Maynard Public Schools will be closed for professional development for staff, which will allow our facilities department to thoroughly disinfect and sanitize the empty buildings, as is common practice during the flu season.
The novel coronavirus has sparked an outbreak of respiratory disease with symptoms that may appear 2-14 days after exposure including fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the CDC, and information indicates that most COVID-19 illness is mild. However, state public health officials are urging seniors and those with pre-existing health conditions to avoid large gatherings, including sporting events, concerts and conferences.
The COVID-19 situation is very fluid, and new information and guidelines are being posted by the CDC on a regular basis. The CDC offers the following guidance for how COVID-19 spreads. The virus is believed to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may also be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has determined that it will not count absenteeism from early March onward, and that school districts will not have to extend the school year beyond its planned end dates as a result of the coronavirus. Maynard School District officials will continue to monitor the situation and proceed in a way that both minimizes the disruption to students’ learning while ensuring the wellness of the school community.
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 DPH 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.
Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.