Category Archives: health

MMA virus resources

This email came this afternoon from the Massachusetts Municipal Association, which contains a link to an absolute trove of links to information on the COVD-19 virus.

BTW, the MMA does not seem to know that Gus is our SB chair – I spent two days at the MMA annual meeting in January with that error on my name tag.

MMA

Dear Board of Selectmen Chair Peterson,

 

I hope that this email finds you and your family safe and in good health. I am writing to share some important resources with you that I hope may be of some use as you work hard to support your community and keep essential services flowing to residents during this uncertain time.

 

First, please be sure to check out the MMA’s COVID-19 Resource Page. This page is being continuously updated and aggregates information to help municipal leaders respond and continue their critical operations.

 

I also wanted to call to your attention a recent article written by Stephanie Helm of the MassCyber Center with some guidance for cities and towns on cybersecurity and telework. As Stephanie points out, “as we modify our work practices to operate remotely, cybersecurity must continue to be an important element of municipal safety and security.” Although we unfortunately had to cancel the March MSA meeting dedicated to this topic, we are hard at work on developing a webinar in partnership with the MassCyber Center that we will share more details about in the coming weeks!

 

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

 

Be well,

Isabelle

 

Isabelle Nichols

Member Services Coordinator

Massachusetts Municipal Association

One Winthrop Square, Boston, MA 02110

 

 

Graphic demonstrates infection rates

Use the link below to see a Washington Post graphic and article on the effect of social distancing.  I encourage reading and viewing.
A key conclusion of the epidemiologists and population health experts providing this:
The four simulations:
  • a free-for-all,
  • an attempted quarantine,
  • moderate social distancing and
  • extensive social distancing

were random.

That means the results of each one were unique to your reading of this article; if you scroll up and rerun the simulations, or if you revisit this page later, your results will change.

Virus – info from MEMA & our medical colleagues

COVID-19 Update

-The Small Business Administration has approved a Disaster Declaration to provide assistance to Massachusetts businesses and non-Profits impacted by COVID-19. Businesses can apply now for low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela Press Release: bit.ly/2xT8cgf -To support the continued response to #COVID19, the Baker-Polito administration has announced new measures, including adapting childcare operations, enhancing MA’s healthcare system’s capacity, assisting small businesses and support for unemployment benefits. Learn more: http://bit.ly/2UjjqC1 The latest information and guidance regarding COVID-19 is always available at mass.gov/COVID19.See more…

 

======================================================

Open Letter from Healthcare Professionals in the Dover -Sherborn Community

March 20, 2020 Dear Friends and Neighbors, Many of us are aching for social contact. Many in the community, particularly our children, are anxious, scared and bored. All we want is a sense of normality, so a play date with a healthy friend or some exercise with classmates/friends seems fine. Unfortunately, it is those very things that seem normal that put our community and each other at risk.

As health professionals living in the Dover-Sherborn community, we want to reinforce the important messages put out by the CDC, Massachusetts State officials and the D-S school system. As hard as it may be to stay home and not have close contact with friends and relatives, the ONLY way to slow the spread of the coronavirus and to protect everyone in the community is to practice excellent hand hygiene and significantly limit close contact with others outside the home. There are some excellent resources shared by the schools and others for helping to cope at home, do projects, manage anxiety for all ages, and use communication tools, such as FaceTime, Skype and Zoom. This will not be forever, but the sooner we can act, the greater the chance we have to make a difference.

COVID-19, the coronavirus pandemic disease, continues to spread throughout Massachusetts, and hospital cases here in metro-Boston are increasing exponentially by the day. The disease can be passed on by people who are infected but have no symptoms. Because of this, young people with mild or no symptoms can spread the disease to older people. This disease is most serious for people over the age of 60 and those with underlying medical conditions, including heart disease, lung disease and diabetes. However, there are also serious cases of patients in their 40s and 50s. The virus spreads easily, and because it is a new disease, LITERALLY NONE of us is immune to it. The ONLY way to slow and eventually stop the spread of this condition is to focus on protecting ourselves and protecting others.

Many of our own community members are working night and day, not seeing their families, to care for patients and get the healthcare system ready. If we don’t slow down the spread, we will not have enough resources (nurses, doctors, beds, masks, ventilators, etc.) to care for the number of people who get seriously ill, and we will lose community members needlessly. As you have likely heard, hospitals are already low on protective equipment. These are not just stories you see on the news; these are your neighbors, friends and parents of your kids’ friends.

YOU CAN HELP. HAVE YOUR FAMILY DO ITS PART.

We strongly support the following practices and implore our amazing community to do the same:

  1. Follow updates from the CDC COVID-19 update website. There is excellent information here on all aspects of the illness and the response.
  2. Protect Yourself
    1. • Wash your hands often (if no sink or soap is available, use hand sanitizer with > 60% alcohol) – especially after being in public places or sneezing, coughing, etc.
    2. • Do NOT touch your face with unwashed hands
    3. • Everyone should avoid close contact with people outside of your own household. This means keeping at least SIX feet apart and only for short periods of time.
  3. Protect Others
    1. • Stay home if you are sick
    2. • Cover mouth and nose for sneezing and coughing with your elbow or a tissue, then throw the tissue away and thoroughly wash your hands
    3. • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, including tables, door knobs, counters, refrigerator handles, etc.
    4. • Avoid close contact with others. Social distancing means deliberately staying at least SIX feet away from others.

 

Resources: If you need help managing anxiety and/or how you can manage or make the most of having your children home, here are some helpful resources.

CDC: Manage Anxiety & Stress https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html

Mass General Hospital Clay Center https://www.massgeneral.org/news/coronavirus/coronavirus-latest-updates

Boston Children’s Hospital http://www.childrenshospital.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions/c/coronavirus

NESCA (Neuropsychology & Education Services for Children & Adolescents) Blog Resources for Families: https://nesca-newton.com/coronavirus/

Child Mind Institute https://childmind.org/coping-during-covid-19-resources-for-parents/

Thank you very much,

Michelle Gurvitz, MD MS Adult Congenital Cardiologist Boston Children’s Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital Alexy Arauz Boudreau MD, MPH, FAAP MGHfC Medical Director for Primary Care & Population Health Management Massachusetts General Hospital Geetanjali Kulkarni MD Carney hospital Department of radiology Heather Lee, ScD, Chief Department of public health research The CnT Lab Sarah Teele Department of Cardiology Cardiac Intensive Care Unit Boston Children’s Hospital Katie Wakeley MD Gynecologic Oncology DFCI/South Shore Hospital Kevin M. Ban, MD CMO, Walgreens Imad H Khan, MD Franklin Pediatrics and Adolescent Care Mohini Daya, MD Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Brigham and Women’s Hospital, soon to be Newton Wellesley Hospital on 4/1/2020. Dan Murphy EMT/Firefighter Dover Fire Department Lisa Slotnick RN, BSN School Nurse Sam Kim, MD Emergency Medicine Nashoba Valley Medical Center and Morton Hospital Jen Dearden, MD Pediatric Anesthesiologist Boston Children’s Hospital Treasurer, Medical Staff Organization Avi Patel, MD Pulmonary Critical Care Medicine Lahey Hospital & Medical Center Sarah Tindall, RN Habit OPCO Methadone Clinics Lynn and Brockton Kathryn Grannatt, MD Chief of Orthopedic Surgery Beth Israel Needham Hospital Gerald Ross Marx M.D. Associate Professor Pediatrics Harvard School of Medicine Senior Associate Cardiology Boston Children’s Hospital Josh Salvin MD Department of Cardiology Cardiac Intensive Care Unit Boston Children’s Hospital Douglas Atkinson MD Associate Cardiac Anesthesia and Intensive Care Boston Children’s Hospital Margaret Parsons, RN Dover-Sherborn Middle School Nurse Allyson Solorzano, CPNP Needham Pediatrics Parul Desai MD Needham Wellesley Family Medicine Dept of Family Medicine Newton Wellesley Hospital Al Sepehr, MD Dermatopathologist & Laboratory Director Northeast Dermatology President and Founder Beacon Pathology Jennifer James, MHA Ted James, MD, FACS Alissa Saunders, MD Goli Sepehr, MD Department of Pathology Atrius Health Heather Coldebella, MS, CGC Genetic Counselor

Medfield Board of Health recommendations

town seal

TOWN OF MEDFIELD
BOARD OF HEALTH
TOWN HOUSE, 459 MAIN STREET
MEDFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS 02052-0315
(508) 906-3006 (phone)

To: Town of Medfield
From: Medfield Board of Health

Date: March 18, 2020

Re: Playdate Guidance for Medfield Families

The Medfield Board of Health today issued tangible recommendations to help Medfield families better navigate the social distancing strategies advocated by Governor Charlie Baker, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With schools and childcare services closed, many parents may be struggling to cope with children at home. Working from home with children present can be challenging, especially when they are younger.

It is important to remember that playdates put people in your family and community at greater risk of getting COVID-19. The best way to protect vulnerable members of your family and your community is to not have playdates; however, for some families, it may not be feasible to completely eliminate them.

If you must have playdates, there are strategies you can use to greatly reduce transmission risk:

  • Have fewer playdates
  • Locate playdates outside and minimize shared equipment
    • Good options: going for hikes, riding bicycles or scooters
    • Activities to avoid: playing on communal play structures or sandboxes.
  • Include as few participants as possible (see recommendation below regarding ‘monogamy’)
  • Encourage your children to play in a way that maintains social distance.
  • Have children wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water after the playdate.

Consider Playdate Monogamy

Consider a “monogamous” playdate relationship. If, because of your work or family situation, you must have your children participate in some playdates, consider partnering exclusively with another family, and sticking with them throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Pick a family that is in a similar situation and is also serious about social distancing. If the adults in both families are consistently practicing social distancing, and their children are only playing with children of one other family, that is much better for slowing down the spread of COVID-19 in our community than a situation where children are playing with children from different families each day.

Please see the enclosed Washington Post article
(https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2020/03/14/parenting-tips-coronavirus/) which contains very good recommendations. This article emphasizes the importance of establishing a routine with your children. It also provides several resource links for homeschool resources, working from home with kids, and screen time strategies.

Guidance and information regarding COVID-19 is being updated frequently. We recommend the following resources:

 

Medfield Board of Health
Carol Read, Chair
Stephen Resch
Melissa Coughlin
Holly Rand

Courts closed next two days

Email alert from the Trial Court –
==============================================
Trial Court Listserv Recipients:


In light of the Governor’s Declaration, Court leaders have closed the Trial Courts to the public for Monday and Tuesday, March 16 & 17.  

Department heads will contact court personnel to arrange emergency staffing coverage.  Employees should check mass.gov/courts for details within the hour.
Courts will contact members of juries now hearing cases.  Anyone with pending matters should contact the Clerks Office when it opens on Wednesday.
We urge all court users and court staff to be vigilant in applying social distancing and hygiene precautions to mitigate spread of the coronavirus.
 
Executive Office of the Trial Court

 

Virus follow-up – mayors/managers told Gov. this PM to close all schools,& Gov. did close all schools

From: Weyant, Elizabeth <EWeyant@mapc.org>
Date: Sun, Mar 15, 2020 at 4:58 PM
Subject: Re: Mayors and Managers: Call TODAY, March 15 at 5pm
Good afternoon, Mayors and Managers:
As a reminder, we are talking tonight at 5pm. If you have questions during the call, please email jcurtatone@somervillema.gov
Web log-in:
Audio-only call-in:
Please see below for a second sign on letter that Mayor Curtatone plans to send to Governor Baker, which several members of the Metro Mayors and North Shore Coalitions have already signed. Please take a look and let me know if we can also add your name. Mayor Curtatone plans to raise this on the call tonight as well, so there will be an opportunity to discuss it.
Best,
Lizzi

SECOND LETTER TO GOVERNOR BAKER

Dear Governor Baker:

 

Thank you for your continued leadership during these uncertain times. We are grateful that you have set up an emergency response center to disseminate information and help, and we are eager to continue working with you to offer guidance and assistance to our cities and towns across the entire Commonwealth.

 

Over 200 communities have now closed their schools for at least two weeks. We applaud these municipalities for making such difficult decisions, as we know that school closures come with a host of impacts on our communities. But scientists and medical experts continue to warn us that for school closures to be effective at stemming the spread of coronavirus, all of the schools in the Commonwealth must close. We ask you to immediately make these closures mandatory for all schools and early education centers across the Commonwealth.

 

We also seek your support and guidance on an emerging set of financial and logistical issues that affect our ability to fight the virus and to overcome this crisis, including ways to address child care for essential personnel and health care workers.

 

Scientists and medical professionals continue to urge that residents remain at home so we give our hospital and health systems the best chance of treating existing patients and reducing the risk to vulnerable individuals. Unfortunately, this means that we must consider additional closures to further limit spread of the virus. Experts have explained that time is running out to prevent an irreversible strain on our healthcare system and significant loss of life. If we cannot make these decisions as a state, individual communities may declare states of emergency and independently take stronger action. This is far from ideal because it could serve to generate panic and confusion among our residents. In order to ensure statewide consistency and follow recommended public health guidelines, you and your Administration may need to require extensive closures, including gyms, parks, health clubs, and places of worship. Restaurants and food establishments should immediately shift to take out and delivery options only.

 

By way of this communication, we are requesting that you meet virtually with a delegation of mayors and managers at your earliest convenience to discuss these issues. Maximizing the sharing of information and perspectives can only lead to better decision-making.

 

Please continue to keep us updated and let us know how we can be helpful in addressing this issue together.

 

Sincerely,

 

Joe Curtatone

Mayor of Somerville

 

Adam Chapdelaine

Town Manager of Arlington

 

Michael P. Cahill

Mayor of Beverly

 

Louis A. DePasquale

City Manager of Cambridge

 

Thomas G. Ambrosino

City Manager of Chelsea

 

Dr. Yvonne Spicer

Mayor of Framingham

 

Thomas M. McGee

Mayor of Lynn

 

Gary Christenson

Mayor of Malden

 

Paul Brodeur

Mayor of Melrose

 

Ruthanne Fuller

Mayor of Newton

Brian Arrigo

Mayor of Revere

 

Kimberley Driscoll

Mayor of Salem

 

Austin Faison

Town Manager of Winthrop

 

 

 

cc:        Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito

Secretary Marylou Sudders

Virus follow-up – mayors/town managers tell Gov. this PM to close all schools, Gov. hears, & closes all schools

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Weyant, Elizabeth <EWeyant@mapc.org>
Date: Sun, Mar 15, 2020 at 4:58 PM
Subject: Re: Mayors and Managers: Call TODAY, March 15 at 5pm
To:
Good afternoon, Mayors and Managers:
As a reminder, we are talking tonight at 5pm. If you have questions during the call, please email jcurtatone@somervillema.gov
Web log-in:
Audio-only call-in:
Please see below for a second sign on letter that Mayor Curtatone plans to send to Governor Baker, which several members of the Metro Mayors and North Shore Coalitions have already signed. Please take a look and let me know if we can also add your name. Mayor Curtatone plans to raise this on the call tonight as well, so there will be an opportunity to discuss it.
Best,
Lizzi

SECOND LETTER TO GOVERNOR BAKER

Dear Governor Baker:

 

Thank you for your continued leadership during these uncertain times. We are grateful that you have set up an emergency response center to disseminate information and help, and we are eager to continue working with you to offer guidance and assistance to our cities and towns across the entire Commonwealth.

 

Over 200 communities have now closed their schools for at least two weeks. We applaud these municipalities for making such difficult decisions, as we know that school closures come with a host of impacts on our communities. But scientists and medical experts continue to warn us that for school closures to be effective at stemming the spread of coronavirus, all of the schools in the Commonwealth must close. We ask you to immediately make these closures mandatory for all schools and early education centers across the Commonwealth.

 

We also seek your support and guidance on an emerging set of financial and logistical issues that affect our ability to fight the virus and to overcome this crisis, including ways to address child care for essential personnel and health care workers.

 

Scientists and medical professionals continue to urge that residents remain at home so we give our hospital and health systems the best chance of treating existing patients and reducing the risk to vulnerable individuals. Unfortunately, this means that we must consider additional closures to further limit spread of the virus. Experts have explained that time is running out to prevent an irreversible strain on our healthcare system and significant loss of life. If we cannot make these decisions as a state, individual communities may declare states of emergency and independently take stronger action. This is far from ideal because it could serve to generate panic and confusion among our residents. In order to ensure statewide consistency and follow recommended public health guidelines, you and your Administration may need to require extensive closures, including gyms, parks, health clubs, and places of worship. Restaurants and food establishments should immediately shift to take out and delivery options only.

 

By way of this communication, we are requesting that you meet virtually with a delegation of mayors and managers at your earliest convenience to discuss these issues. Maximizing the sharing of information and perspectives can only lead to better decision-making.

 

Please continue to keep us updated and let us know how we can be helpful in addressing this issue together.

 

Sincerely,

 

Joe Curtatone

Mayor of Somerville

 

Adam Chapdelaine

Town Manager of Arlington

 

Michael P. Cahill

Mayor of Beverly

 

Louis A. DePasquale

City Manager of Cambridge

 

Thomas G. Ambrosino

City Manager of Chelsea

 

Dr. Yvonne Spicer

Mayor of Framingham

 

Thomas M. McGee

Mayor of Lynn

 

Gary Christenson

Mayor of Malden

 

Paul Brodeur

Mayor of Melrose

 

Ruthanne Fuller

Mayor of Newton

Brian Arrigo

Mayor of Revere

 

Kimberley Driscoll

Mayor of Salem

 

Austin Faison

Town Manager of Winthrop

 

 

 

cc:        Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito

Secretary Marylou Sudders