Town’s COVID case numbers drop

Oct 14, 2020 by

Published October 14, 2020

By DAN TOMASELLO

LYNNFIELD — Due to a decline in the number of COVID-19 cases in town over the past couple of weeks, the Massachusetts COVID-19 Command Center dropped Lynnfield from “red” to “yellow” on Wednesday, Oct. 7.

Fire Chief/Emergency Management Director Glenn Davis informed the Villager that the town had 12 novel coronavirus cases from Sunday, Sept. 20 through Saturday, Oct. 5. He said the town’s daily average incidence rate for that two-week period was 7.4.

“The state average is 1.1, so we are still above the state average,” said Davis. “We clearly saw improvement during that two-week period, but we want to stress to people that it is very important to follow the guidelines established by the CDC and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. We are at moderate-risk and not low-risk, so we need to practice good behaviors.”

Town Administrator Rob Dolan was also pleased the town dropped from “red” to “yellow.”

“It’s another step forward toward keeping kids in school, which is where they should be,” said Dolan. “We want the community to continue regaining the freedoms to support local business and improve our quality of life and health for all.”

Board of Selectmen Chairman Chris Barrett agreed.

“I am very pleased that Lynnfield is now a ‘yellow’ community and I greatly appreciate the help and support of all of the people who made this possible,” said Barrett. “However, we must remain vigilant with a goal to get to ‘green’ in the coming weeks. That will take continued effort by all citizens working within the guidelines set by the governor. Our ultimate goal is to keep businesses open, keep children in school and advance to restore the freedoms that we have lost due to COVID-19. I want to thank the citizens of Lynnfield for their continued efforts and support to help make this possible.”

School Committee Chairman Jamie Hayman was also pleased the town dropped from “red” to “yellow. If the town was “red” last week as well as this week, the school system’s hybrid learning model and Lynnfield High School’s fall sports season would have both come to abrupt ends.

“It’s a good first step,” said Hayman. “In order to get kids back into school more, which is our goal, we have to be ‘green’ or ‘gray.’”

Davis recalled that Gov. Charlie Baker revised the state’s gatherings order late last month. He noted that, “All participants in indoor and outdoor gatherings, including gatherings at private residences, must maintain at least 6-feet of physical distance from every other participant in the gathering except where participants are members of the same household.”

“Indoor gatherings are limited to 25 people in a single enclosed, indoor space,” said Davis. “Outdoor gatherings at private residences, in private backyards and at any other venue or location are limited to a maximum of 50 people.”

Davis noted that the state is requiring people to “wear face coverings in public places where social distancing is not possible.”

“Any person over the age of 2 who is in a place open to the public in the commonwealth, whether indoors or outdoors, and is unable to or does not maintain a distance of approximately 6-feet from every other person shall cover their mouth and nose with a mask or cloth face covering,” said Davis. “There is an exception where a person is unable to wear a mask or face covering due to a medical condition or the person is otherwise exempted by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health guidance. A person who declines to wear a mask or cloth face covering because of a medical condition shall not be required to produce documentation verifying the condition.”

Davis noted that people are “required to wear masks or cloth face coverings at all times when inside grocery stores, pharmacies and other retail stores.”

“All persons are also required to wear masks or cloth face coverings when providing or using the services of any taxi, car, livery, ride-sharing or similar service or any means of mass public transit or while within an enclosed or semi-enclosed transit stop or waiting area,” said Davis.

When there is a gathering featuring more than 10 people, Davis said “all people over the age of 5 must wear a face covering when they attend indoor and outdoor gatherings, where participants other than those in the same household will be in attendance.”

“This restriction applies to gatherings in all venues and locations,” said Davis.

The state has launched a strategic testing program in communities across Massachusetts that have continued to see a higher number of residents testing positive for COVID-19. The testing sites that are closest to Lynnfield are in Lynn, Saugus and Salem.

There are two testing sites in Lynn, including Lynn English High School, 50 Goodridge St. The site is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and will be closed from 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. People can either walk up or drive up at this site. For more information about the Lynn English testing site, call (781)-598-4000.

There is a second Lynn testing site on Federal Street, which is directly across from Market Basket. It is open Monday through Saturday from 12 p.m.-6 p.m. Davis said it’s also a walk up and drive up site.

The lone Saugus testing site is at the Square One Mall, 363-365 Essex St. The testing site is open Monday through Saturday from 2 p.m.-7 p.m. It is a drive-thru testing site. For more information about the Saugus testing site, call (781)-233-5504.

The one Salem testing site is at Salem High School, 77 Willson St. The testing site’s hours for Monday, Wednesday and Friday are 2 p.m.-6 p.m. People can either walk up or drive up, and no appointments are needed. The hours for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. For more information about the Salem site, call the Salem Board of Health at (978)-741-1800.

In order for a resident to get test results, they should call (617)-765-0176.

If residents have any questions about any of Baker’s emergency orders or guidelines, they should call the Emergency Management Department at 781-334-8141. To report any violations of the state’s mask or gathering rules, townspeople should call the Lynnfield Police Department’s non-emergency line at 781-334-3132.

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