August 20, 2020 – The Town of Needham and Needham Public Health today provided the following update regarding COVID-19.
State DPH COVID-19 Numbers
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reports the number of positive cases and deaths daily on the state’s COVID-19 dashboard.
Town-specific case numbers are published by the state every Wednesday on the COVID-19 Weekly Public Health Report.
• 370 Needham cases to date (8/20/2020) *Note, the state revised its cases to take some formerly “positive” cases out of Needham’s case count. The 370 cases reflects an increase of 7 cases in the last 14 days Needham continues to be in the green (low risk) category with less than 4 cases per 100,000 residents. See the most recent COVID-19 community map.
• 77 Coronavirus deaths in Needham to date (8/12/20). No new deaths.
State Requires Flu Vaccine for Children
Yesterday, the Department of Public Health has added a new influenza vaccine requirement for all children 6 months of age and older attending childcare/preschool, students in all grades of school from Kindergarten through Grade 12, and students of post-secondary institutions. This requirement was put in place to reduce influenza-related morbidity and to reduce the overall impact of respiratory illness in a population still facing the COVID-19 pandemic. Students will be expected to have received an influenza vaccine for the current influenza season (July-June) by December 31 unless they have a medical or religious exemption.
The Town of Needham will begin offering flu clinics early this fall. More to come on that soon. Read DPH’s full announcement: https://www.mass.gov/news/flu-vaccine-now-required-for-all-massachusetts-school-students-enrolled-in-child-care-pre
West Nile Virus Threat Now “Moderate” in Needham
State officials have found mosquitoes in Needham that have tested positive for West Nile Virus. A risk level of moderate means residents should take extra precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites.
• Avoid mosquito bites by using an insect repellent with an EPA registered active ingredient such as DEET.
• Limit time outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
• When venturing outdoors wear long pants and long shirts whenever possible.
• Consider rescheduling activities planned for dawn or dusk for a time when mosquitoes are less active.
• Avoid areas known to have a high mosquito population.
• Remove standing water from around your home.
For more information about West Nile Virus visit www.mass.gov/mosquitoesandticks. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Needham Public Health at 781-455-7940.
Early Voting Begins This Weekend
Voters seeking to cast their Primary ballots in person ahead of the September 1st Primary Election can do so beginning this weekend at Town Hall. Face covers are required and COVID-19 health and safety protocols will be in place. Voting will take place in the Select Board Chambers during the following dates and times:
- Saturday, August 22nd and Sunday, August 23rd : Noon to 5 pm
- Monday, August 24th – Thursday, August 27th : 9 am to 5 pm
- Friday, August 28th : 9 am to noon
Voters can still mail their ballots or drop them in the Red Box outside of Town Hall. Ballots must be received by 8 pm on September 1st. In-person voting will also take place on Election Day, September 1st at designated polling locations.