COVID-19


A Message from MassDPH

Board of Health Press Release - 3/26/2020

As further testing becomes available, additional reports of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to be submitted to the Stoneham Board of Health. As is with most states, the volume of tests being run has led to a minor delay in reporting, which we will continue to seek further information regarding. All cases are monitored in line with the MA DPH and CDC protocols that have been set forth in recent weeks. All primary and secondary contacts are traced and self-quarantined for 14 days out of the utmost precaution for our residents.The Board of Health asks for your continued vigilance in exercising social distancing. The Stoneham Senior Center continues to offer programs for home-bound seniors, at this time, in assisting with groceries, mental health and other areas of need. For more information, please contact the Stoneham Senior Center at 781-438-1157 Mon-Thu 8am-4pm. Continue to check our website for further information as it becomes available.  


On Saturday, March 28, 2020 AFC Urgent Care in Stoneham, MA (located at 16 Main Street in Stoneham) will hold a COVID-19 drive through testing clinic from 9am to 5pm for members and residents of Stoneham and the surrounding communities who qualify for the novel coronavirus testing.

In order to qualify for testing, patients will need to be pre-screened by an AFC provider on Thursday, March 26th or Friday, March 27th via a telemedicine urgent care visit. Upon completion of the telehealth screening and determination of qualification for testing, AFC Urgent Care will send a personalized doctor’s order to that specific patient in order to be tested on Saturday, March 28th. PLEASE NOTE: If a prospective patient does not bring an AFC doctor’s note to the drive through testing clinic, that patient will not be eligible for testing on Saturday, March 28th.

If interested in a screening and to be eligible for an AFC Urgent Care doctors note in order to be tested for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on Saturday, March 28th in Stoneham, please call AFC Urgent Care between 8am and 8pm on Thursday, March 26th or Friday, March 27th at 781.430.8161.

Board of Health Press Release – 3/24/2020

The Town of Stoneham will be issuing up to date press releases as new information becomes available. The Board of Health continues to monitor all reports as they are delivered from the MAVEN electronic reporting database in use by the MDPH. 

Per orders from Gov. Baker, no gatherings of more than 25 people are allowed at this time, and all restaurants have been limited to take-out and delivery services only, with no on-site consumption being permitted. As of 3/17/2020, all presumptive and confirmed cases of COVID-19 shall be counted towards the total state-wide case count. We implore all residents to exercise proper social distancing by employing a 6’ minimum distance between each other, refraining from handshakes and other physical contact, and limiting non-essential activities. At this time, no restrictions have been placed on going outdoors for exercise, walking pets, etc, but again please abide by these social distancing guidelines. 

**UPDATE 3/23/2020 - As of Tuesday, 3/24/2020, Gov. Baker has issued an emergency Stay-At-Home Advisory until April 7, 2020. All non-essential businesses have been ordered to close their physical operation. Essential businesses that have been identified in the MDPH Essential Services List are to remain open. At this time, we ask that all residents exercise these extended social distancing steps that have been taken by the State of Massachusetts in order to flatten the curve regarding the COVID-19 infection rate. Please refer to the CDC and MDPH websites for further information as it becomes available.** 

**Update 3/19/2020 - The Town of Stoneham understands that at this time, there are many displaced students and other individuals that have returned home during this uncertain time, and as such, may find difficulty parking. Effective immediately, the Stoneham Police Department has suspended all overnight parking enforcement and asks that all residents be mindful of neighbors and public ways during this temporary suspension of enforcement.**

We ask residents to call ahead to Town departments if they are required to conduct essential Town-related business and refrain from unnecessary visiting, should phone and electronic communications be sufficient. As of 3/17/2020, Town Hall will be operating on a reduced schedule, with no access to the general public, except by appointment. We ask that all residents remain vigilant in doing their part to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

Please continue to refer to the Town website for more information regarding closures and up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 as we monitor this rapidly evolving situation. 

Note Regarding Senior Center Services:

The SSC continues to provide transportation to grocery stores, pharmacies and food pantries on an as-needed basis during the hours of 8:30a - 4p Monday through Friday. Additionaly, the SSC will be beginning a grocery-furnishing services to at-risk populations in need. Residents are welcome to contact the SSC by phone at 781-438-1157 to coordinate services, seek additional resources, or simply speak to staff regarding their general concern. As a reminder, the SSC will continue to remain closed to the general public, but the Town of Stoneham will continue to provide services that protect the health and well-being of our residents and we will continue to encourage the community to support each other in light of this rapidly evolving situation. 

If you are interested in donating your time towards a volunteer effort, please contact Steve Angelo, Director of Volunteer Fulfillment at 781-279-2621 or by email at sangelo@stoneham-ma.gov

Thank you for your continued vigilance and steadfast precaution.


A message from the Town Administrator 3/23/2020:

                                                                             

                                                                             IN RESPONSE TO GOVERNOR BAKER’S 

COVID-19 ORDER NO. 13

ISSUED ON MARCH 23, 2020

STONEHAM TOWN HALL

WILL CONTINUE TO BE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC

 

BEGINNING TUESDAY, MARCH 24, 2020

THE TOWN HALL WILL BE REDUCING STAFFING LEVELS, WORKING REMOTELY AND PERFORMING ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS.

 

TOWN DEPARTMENTS WILL MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO ADDRESS QUESTIONS, COMMENTS AND CONCERNS MONDAY-THURSDAY 8AM-4PM DURING THIS ORDER. WE APOLOGIZE IN ADVANCE FOR ANY COMMUNICATION DELAYS DURING THIS TIMEFRAME.

 

IF YOU NEED TO CONDUCT ESSENTIAL BUSINESS WITH THE TOWN

PLEASE E-MAIL OR LEAVE A VOICEMAIL WITH THE APPROPRIATE DEPARTMENTAND WE WILL ATTEMPT TO MAKE A SUITABLE ACCOMODATION

 

WE ASK FOR YOUR PATIENCE AND UNDERSTANDING 

AS WE TRY TO LIMIT THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS 

IN OUR COMMUNITY



TOWN OF STONEHAM

PRESS RELEASE-3/13/20

Town of Stoneham Announces Closures Due to Coronavirus


STONEHAM  — Emergency Management Director Matthew Grafton, School Superintendent  John Macero and Health Agent John Fralick announce the closure of Stoneham Public Schools for two weeks, as well as the closure of the Council on Aging until further notice, due to the ongoing nationwide novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

Officials will be constantly evaluating the health situation in town and will provide frequent updates when necessary. As of Friday, March 13, there are currently no confirmed or presumptive cases of the virus in Stoneham.

Stoneham Emergency Management hosted a meeting with senior town officials and stakeholders to discuss the town-wide planning and preparation with regard to the coronavirus situation. The Emergency Management leadership team is meeting on a regular basis, and will meet throughout the weekend to determine next steps and closely monitor the situation.

“We’re taking these steps out of an abundance of caution to protect our most vulnerable residents and ensure their health and wellbeing,’ EMD Grafton said. “We want to remind residents, regardless of their risk level, to take the reasonable precautions outlined by the Department of Public Health and CDC so they can protect themselves and those around them.”

Schools

Stoneham Public Schools are closed today, and will remain closed through Friday, March 27. All school activities during that time period are cancelled. All school buildings are closed to the public. School, town and Emergency Management leaders are remaining in close contact, and will reevaluate and assess next steps on a regular basis. 

During the closure, all town buildings will undergo deep cleaning and disinfecting. 

Stoneham Public School’s breakfast and lunch programs will continue during the closure. Starting Monday, March 16, Grab-and-Go Meals will be provided at Robin Hood Elementary (70 Oak St.) and Stoneham High schools. Pick up at Robin Hood will be in the front entrance lobby, and pick up at the high school will be the Cafe. If picking up at the high school, please use the cafe entrance door by the side parking lot.

 

Breakfast can be picked up from 8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Lunch will be available from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

All meals will include milk, vegetable, fruit and entree.

Senior Center

The Stoneham Senior Center will close indefinitely. Officials will meet this weekend, and further announcements regarding potential closures will be made as they become available.

“Although all programs and activities have been suspended at the center indefinitely, our staff is available to answer any questions and concerns, or if you need to be connected to resources such as Meals on Wheels, please do not hesitate to give us call,” said Maureen Canova, Director of the town’s Council on Aging.

The center will continue to provide transportation to local grocery stores, medical appointments and pharmacies.The Council can be reached at 781-438-1157 Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Residents are encouraged to be mindful of their senior neighbors’ needs, while also also remaining cognizant of the acute risk COVID-19 poses for seniors.

Library

The Stoneham Library will also be closed until further notice, starting Saturday, March 14. Information regarding library services will be updated as those updates become available. 

Moving Forward

The Town of Stoneham is closely following the latest guidelines from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This includes CDC guidance for school administrators.

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 six feet) and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Public health officials are urging seniors and those with preexisting health conditions to avoid large gatherings, including sporting events, concerts and conferences.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is providing relief to school districts regarding attendance requirements for the rest of the school year in light of the international novel coronavirus situation, and school districts will not have to extend the school year beyond their scheduled 185th school day as a result of the coronavirus.

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. According to the CDC, symptoms of the virus appear within 2-14 days of exposure.

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.

For more information, visit the DPH website by clicking here and the CDC’s website by clicking here.

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Previous Press Release 3/12/20

At this time, the Stoneham Board of Health would like to make a statement regarding the recent emergence of the COVID-19 virus, also known as the Coronavirus. At 2pm on March 10, 2020 Gov. Charlie Baker issued a State of Emergency for the State of Massachusetts. The Town of Stoneham has taken proactive measures to disseminate pertinent information and educate the general public regarding the current spread of COVID-19. At this time, the total case count for the state of Massachusetts is 95, with 89 being presumptive, and 6 cases being confirmed by the CDC. 938 cases have been reported nation-wide as of March 11, 2020. No confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Stoneham at this time. Roughly half of the cases have been linked to a Biogen Conference in Boston’s Seaport.

The Board of Health continues to monitor the emerging disease via conference calls with CDC, DPH, FEMA and MEMA. We have been working closely with LBOH’s to discuss mitigation measures that are being recommended by the CDC. The Town of Stoneham will continue to issue up-to-date press releases to the general public via the Town’s website. These releases have been issued by the Town’s Emergency Management Department, Board of Health and School Superintendent regarding this matter.

COVID-19 has been classified as a flu-like upper respiratory disease affecting similar areas of the human body. Symptoms can include coughing, sneezing, runny nose and other classic symptoms of the flu. As with said flu, COVID-19 is most dangerous to high-risk populations such as the elderly, immunocompromised individuals and people with underlying health problems. The Board of Health advises heavy utilization of hand-washing, hand-sanitizers, proper sneezing techniques and the sterilization of high contact surfaces such as handrails, doorknobs, phones, and other common-sense areas. We implore all residents to be vigilant in doing their part to control the spread of the emerging virus. The death toll sits at 26 as of Tuesday, March 20th. By comparison, the CDC reports that in 2018, roughly 61,000 deaths were reported from classic influenza, with roughly 34,000 cases in 2019. So far in 2020, there have been a reported 8,200 deaths. Currently, classic influenza remains a far deadlier disease.

As a general disclaimer, although the use of proper techniques for handwashing and general sanitary practices has been mandated by the Board of Health, the use of personal protective equipment, such as masks, has not been mandated by federal, state of local health officials at this time, and the Board of Health will not be providing such materials to the general public. We ask that all residents of the Town of Stoneham utilize measures commonly associated with the prevention of the spread of classic influenza. We request that any resident exhibiting symptoms of this disease to self-isolate from the general public at this time.

The Town of Stoneham’s website will be updated as new information is received as it relates to the Board of Health’s actions regarding the virus. At this time, we have not mandated school closures, however, as an act of precaution, we will be suspending all activity at the Stoneham Senior Center until further notice as of 3/12/2020. The Board of Health has taken measures to sterilize all high-contact surfaces in all Town-owned buildings, and we implore private businesses to do the same. A guideline for proper surface sanitization techniques will be sent to all of the Town’s food establishments and convenience stores, and said information will be made available to the general public on the Town’s website.

The Board of Health reiterates its previous statement in imploring residents to stay vigilant, as one would with the spread of any disease, however, we ask that they avoid measures that could be deemed as extreme. Adequate handwashing, common sense sanitary procedures, self-isolation (if symptomatic) and a calm, objective approach to the situation will aid in ensuring the proper measures are being taken.

Further information will continue to be dispersed to local Boards of Health as new studies and reports are issued. If you have questions regarding this matter, please refer to the Town’s website at Stoneham-MA.gov as all the latest information that is received by the Board of Health will immediately posted.

BOARD OF HEALTH 3/12/2020 PRESS RELEASE REGARDING STONEHAM SENIOR CENTER SUSPENSION OF ACTIVITIES