Board of Health Preparing for Phase 2 Openings

At the Board of Health’s remote meeting on June 8, the Board heard updates from Assistant Health Director Katharine Dagle, Community Nurse Mark Waksmonski, and Health Director Heidi Porter.

Dagle discussed what local businesses have done in complying with safety regulations aimed at addressing Covid-19, and how they will continue to reopen as restrictions ease up. Phase 2 of Governor Charlie Baker’s 4-phase plan began on June 8, allowing limited openings of restaurants, hotels, funeral homes, retail, and other businesses.

Restaurants will be able to offer outdoor dining following careful guidelines, including patrons wearing a mask when not at their table, and distanced tables. According to Dagle, only 4 or 5 restaurants will be opening this week, with 12-15 planning on doing so in the coming weeks. The town has developed a streamlined application process for restaurants hoping to offer additional outdoor seating to support them as they begin to reopen.

Almost all businesses in town have complied with restrictions imposed on them so far. Dagle reported that one restaurant has offered food services outside of what they are permitted to do, one hairdresser was offering services from home, and one restaurant was using its kitchen while repairs were underway. After a conversation about the issue, each complied.

Waksmonski explained the statistics surrounding the town’s current Covid-19 case-count. Bedford has had 232 positive cases in total, 94 of which have occurred since the Board’s previous May 20 meeting. 126 out of the 232 have been in residents not staying in long-term care facilities. 32 of the positive cases are from Hanscom Air Force Base.

Porter shared some positive news, as the food bank at JGMS received a $5,000 grant and plans to continue at least into August.

She also addressed the risks associated with the protests currently happening, both around town and the country. Her message to anybody considering attending a protest is to prioritize safety. This includes avoiding protests where violence may occur, as well as adhering to social distancing protocols such as wearing a mask, washing clothes, and showering after the protest.

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