On March 30 the Wanderer received a call from Mattapoisett’s Board of Health Agent Kayla Davis stating, “We wanted to let you know we are releasing a statement today, there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Mattapoisett.” By 2:30 pm, Marion had announced its first case.
The notice on Mattapoisett’s website, mattapoisett.net, was available for all by 1:45 pm.
Following is an excerpt from the town’s press announcement: “COVID-19 Cases In Mattapoisett. Dear Residents of Mattapoisett, As COVID-19 testing capabilities expand in Massachusetts and transmission of the disease continues throughout the State, we will see an increase in the number of positive cases of COVID-19 here in Mattapoisett. Local community spread of COVID-19 is happening now, including in Mattapoisett. We continue to closely monitor the situation and implement the necessary measures to protect us all. We are asking for your help so that together, as a community, we can minimize the spread and impact of this highly contagious disease.
In a follow-up, Davis said the language in the announcement had been drafted by the Board of Health members. The announcement did not establish number of cases in the community. When asked, Davis said there was more than one.
Davis explained the process for reporting confirmed cases flows from the state agencies to the local public-health nurse, then to the local boards of health.
In Marion, Town Administrator James McGrail and Health Director Karen Walega confirmed notification by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health of its first confirmed case of COVID-19.
The infected person was, on Monday afternoon, in isolation per DPH orders with additional contact tracing by health officials underway.
Here is more from the Town of Marion: The individual is currently in isolation per DPH orders. Additional contact tracing by health officials is underway. Close contacts (defined as someone who has spent more than 15 minutes within six feet of a positive case) if any, will be identified, contacted by health officials, and may be ordered to quarantine. Those who are quarantined will be monitored by Marion health officials to limit the risk of spread. In order to protect the resident’s medical privacy rights, no additional information will be disclosed.
Both towns have urged residents to stay at their homes to avoid unnecessary risk.
Marion directs questions and concerns to: the town’s website, marion.gov; Massachusetts Department of Public Health at mass.gov/covid-19; the state 211 line available 24/7; the state’s COVID-19 Text Message Notification System (text COVIDMA to 888-777); and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at cdc.gov.
Mattapoisett directs questions and concerns to the town’s health agent at 508-758-4100 ext. 213 or Mattapoisett’s public-health nurse at 508-758-4118. Also use 211 for 24-hour, seven-day phone connections to information about critical health and human services. Visit Mattapoisett.net/home/pages/covid-19-coronavirus-information-links-mattapoisett.
Marion & Mattapoisett Boards of Health
By Marilou Newell and Mick Colageo