One case has a connection to the West Somerville Neighborhood School, which will close for additional cleaning
SOMERVILLE – Today, the City of Somerville’s Board of Health was notified by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) that there are two presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Somerville residents. Both cases are linked to the Biogen conference held in Boston in February.
One of the persons who tested positive is the spouse of a West Somerville Neighborhood teacher and the parent of a student at the school. As recommended by MDPH all three family members are quarantining at home. As recommended by the Board of Health, the Somerville Department of Public Works (DPW) will be conducting a deep cleaning of the entire school this evening, utilizing new equipment that allows them to thoroughly clean and sanitize the building overnight. As an additional precaution, the West Somerville Neighborhood School will be closed tomorrow for any additional work that may be needed. Classes will resume on Friday.
The second case involves a male Somerville resident. The case is also traceable to the Biogen conference. The person affected is in contact with MDPH for guidance and at this time the Somerville Board of Health is awaiting more information from MDPH about this case.
Also earlier today our Board of Health was informed that two people who have presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 were at an event in Assembly Row last week. Neither person is a Somerville resident, and we are not privy to additional information regarding non-Somerville residents.
The Somerville Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) remains in regular contact with the MDPH and regional health agencies regarding COVID-19. The City’s interdepartmental Emergency Response staff are closely monitoring reports and information about the virus, continue to follow all public health recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state public health officials, and are closely following updates from the World Health Organization (WHO). Additional information about actions the City and Schools are taking, along with more information on COVID-19 and prevention measures, can be found at http://www.somervillema.gov/coronavirus, which is updated frequently.
The City and School Department have implemented social distancing measures and postponed or suspended large events sponsored or permitted by the City and Schools in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The City would also like to remind community members of the steps they can take to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
▪ Stay home when you are sick, and especially if you are coughing or sneezing.
▪ Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
▪ Practice social distancing. Examples of social distancing include not attending large events like concerts or sports games, avoiding shaking hands or hugging, remaining at least six feet away from others and especially anyone who is coughing or sneezing, and allowing employees to work from home or teleconference
▪ Wash your hands often, using soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
▪ If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer until soap and water are available.
▪ Cough/sneeze into a tissue. Dispose of used tissues immediately into a trash can. If you don’t have a tissue, cough/sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not your hands.
▪ Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
▪ Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that you touch frequently such as doorknobs, railings, sink handles, phones, and computer keyboards.
Somerville residents are also reminded to sign up for City alerts in all methods they can receive – phone, text, and email. To sign up for City alerts visit http://www.somervillema.gov/alerts or call 311 (617-666-3311).