Board of Health Coronavirus update
MAPHCO Joint Information Statement 3.6.20
On Thursday, March 5th, The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced its second presumptive positive case of COVID-19 since testing started Friday, February 28, at the State Public Health Laboratory. The woman is in her 60s and lives in Middlesex County. Her recent European travel included northern Italy. She was symptomatic, did not require hospitalization, and is recovering at home.
The State Public Health Lab’s result is considered presumptive positive and the specimens will now be sent to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for confirmation. This case brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts to three - one confirmed and two presumptive positive - since the outbreak started in the US in January. The risk to the public from COVID-19 remains low in Massachusetts.
Since January, Massachusetts has tested 25 residents, including the first confirmed case and the first presumptive positive case. Going forward, the Department of Public Health will be updating confirmed and presumptive positive cases on a daily basis at www.mass.gov/2019coronavirus.
Actions Residents Can Take
As we approach school breaks, residents are advised that on March 4, the CDC issued an updated Travel Health Alert for all United States residents, instructing travelers returning from countries with a Level 3 alert (currently China, South Korea, Iran, and Italy) to stay home and monitor their health for 14 days after returning to the US. The guidance advises against any non-essential travel to Level 3 countries.
This guidance also instructs travelers from countries with a Level 2 alert (currently Japan) to monitor their health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning to the US.
In response to CDC's Travel Health Alert on March 4, Governor Charlie Baker and Massachusetts Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders urged all Massachusetts schools, including elementary and secondary schools and colleges and universities, to cancel upcoming, organized international trips at this time.
While the risk of COVID-19 is low in Massachusetts, out of an abundance of caution, all schools have been advised to cancel all upcoming organized international travel for the foreseeable future.
The CDC hosts a Frequently Asked Questions page regarding travel at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/faqs.html
We continue to encourage all residents to learn more about the everyday preventative actions they can take at: https://www.cdc.gov/nonpharmaceutical-interventions/personal/index.html
Posted: to Board Of Health News on Wed, Mar 11, 2020
Updated: Tue, Mar 17, 2020