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CoronaVirus Information Hub: The Latest Local Information and Online Resouces

Mar 13, 2020 05:37PM ● By Bill Gilman
(Editor's note: This article will be updates as frequently as possible with the latest information and statistics. If you know of any closings or cancellations or information that should be included, please send to Bill@yourdracuttoday.com or Bill@yourtewksburytoday.com.)

What is CoVid-19 (CDC)?

On Feb. 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people, and others, such as canine and feline coronaviruses, only infect animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses that infect animals have emerged to infect people and can spread between people. This is suspected to have occurred for the virus that causes COVID-19. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are two other examples of coronaviruses that originated from animals and then spread to people. More information about the source and spread of COVID-19 is available on the Situation Summary: Source and Spread of the Virus.

How Does This Virus Spread (CDC)?

This virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person-to-person. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so.

The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

By the Numbers:
World Cases (Per the WHO)
  • Total cases: 128,343
  • Recovered: 68,324
  • Deaths: 4,720
United States Cases (Per the CDC)
  • Total cases: 1,629
  • Recovered: 12
  • Total deaths: 41
  • Jurisdictions reporting cases: 47 (46 states and District of Columbia)

* Data include both confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 reported to CDC or tested at CDC since January 21, 2020, with the exception of testing results for persons repatriated to the United States from Wuhan, China and Japan. State and local public health departments are now testing and publicly reporting their cases. In the event of a discrepancy between CDC cases and cases reported by state and local public health officials, data reported by states should be considered the most up to date.

What are the symptoms of 2019 Coronoavirus (per Dracut Board of Health)?

This coronavirus causes a respiratory (lung) infection. Symptoms of this infection include: 

  • fever
  • coughing
  • shortness of breath
  • in severe cases, pneumonia (infection in the lungs).
Local Confirmed Cases
Dracut: 0
Tewksbury: 0
Massachusetts 100

Presumed Local Exposure:
https://www.lowellsun.com/2020/03/13/tewksbury-high-students-quarantined-after-possible-coronavirus-exposure/

http://www.yourtewksburytoday.com/2020/03/05/299908/coronavirus-concerns-tewksbury-high-students-ordered-to-self-quarantine-after-italy-trip

Local Cancellations and Closings:
  • Dracut Public Schools are closed through March 27.
  • Tewksbury Public Schools are closed through March 27.
  • Shawsheen Tech will be closed through March 20.
  • Greater Lowell Tech will be closed through March 27.
  • The MIAA has pushed back the start of the high school spring sports season to March 30.
  • SAT tests scheduled at multiple locations for Saturday have been cancelled.
  • UMass Lowell On campus classes canceled 3/16 & 3/17, moving online 3/18. All events canceled through 4/3. Check uml.edu/alert for more info.
  • Tewksbury Senior Center has cancelled all activities. However, this will not impact SHINE appointments, AARP Tax appointments, meals on wheels and other transportation services.
  • The Dracut Senior Center will remain open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. But most activities and events have been cancelled effective immediately. Exceptions include, Veterans Services – limited appointments, SHINE – phone consultations only, AARP Tax Preparation Appointments, Meals on Wheels Deliveries (lunch will not be served at the Center.  If you would like to receive a home delivered meal please give us a call), Transportation to Medical Appointments, Transportation to Grocery Shopping, Loaning Medical Equipment (no equipment returns or donations accepted at this time)
  • Wamesit Lanes, Tewksbury: Will be closed Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, March 16-18, to do a "deep clean". They will re-open Thursday, March 19 at 10 a.m.
  • Tewksbury Town Offices remain open but residents are encouraged to use online services and offsite locations when possible, such as mailing payments or documents or using the drop off container located in the parking lot of the Town Hall Annex (11 Town Hall Avenue) which can be used for other Town correspondence in addition to payments. 
What should I Do If I Think I've Been Exposed To CoronaVirus? (Per Dracut Board of Health)
 As of February 3, 2020, if you have been in a place where 2019 Novel Coronavirus is occurring, or you have had close contact with someone who has the virus, you may be asked to partially or completely avoid contact with other people, depending on your likelihood of exposure.
You should also:
  • Monitor your health for 14 days after your last possible exposure.
  • Watch for these signs and symptoms:
  1. fever
  2. coughing
  3. shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Other early symptoms could be chills, body aches, sore throat, headache, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, and runny nose.
  • If you develop any of these symptoms, call your healthcare provider.
  • Before going to your medical appointment, be sure to tell your healthcare provider about your possible exposure to 2019 Novel Coronavirus. 

Where can I learn more about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus? For updated information, visit the DPH website: www.mass.gov/2019coronavirus. More detailed information and additional guidance is available from the CDC at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

RESPIRATORY ILLNESS PREVENTION LINK

Revised CDC guidance regarding returning travelers from Level 2 and 3 countries

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/share-facts-h.pdf

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

Local Tewksbury Updates

Tewksbury Health Department Updates Link

Information regarding the novel coronavirus, COVID-19 is on the Town’s website
https://www.tewksbury-ma.gov/ and will be updated as new information is provided.

Tewksbury Public Schools Updates

CDC CoronaVirus Exposure Risk Guide
Exposure Risk Categories
Table 1: Risk Categories for Exposures Associated with International Travel or Identified during Contact Investigations of Laboratory-confirmed Cases
These categories are interim and subject to change.
CDC has established the following exposure risk categories to help guide public health management of people following potential SARS-CoV-2 exposure in jurisdictions that are not experiencing sustained community transmission. These categories may not cover all potential exposure scenarios. They should not replace an individual assessment of risk for the purpose of clinical decision making or individualized public health management.
All exposures apply to the 14 days prior to assessment.
For country-level risk classifications, see Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel.
CDC has provided separate guidance for healthcare settings.
Table 1. Risk Categories for Exposures Associated with International Travel or Identified during Contact Investigations of Laboratory confirmed Cases 

 


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