Town Manager Announces Easing of Pandemic Restrictions

As Covid-19 restrictions continue to be lifted on a state and national level, Town Manager Sarah Stanton provided the Select Board with an update on Bedford’s response to the pandemic at its meeting Monday.

Stanton said that cases in Bedford are going down, similar to the rest of the commonwealth.

Overarching the Town Manager’s report was Stanton’s summarization of the town’s efforts with the Covid-19 testing program, which administered approximately 5,000 tests during its existence.

The Town Manager thanked the Bedford Fire and Health Departments, Middlesex Community College’s administration and students, CERT volunteers, the Broad Institute, and Pro EMS for their efforts to run the testing program.

Reiterating Gov. Charlie Baker’s April 27 announcements, Stanton said that beginning on April 30, the mask order was updated to no longer require masks when outdoors and able to socially distance. Masks are still required at an event. Masks are still required at all indoor public places, but fines for mask violations are eliminated.

Stanton announced that effective May 29, public and private event gathering limits will increase to 200 indoors and 250 outdoors. Similarly, the maximum restaurant party increases from six to 10, and food is no longer required to be served with alcohol (although Bedford’s alcohol policy requires food after two drinks).

The projected date for a full reopening is Aug. 1, which includes a repeal of all industry and gathering restrictions, as well as potential changes to the indoor mask order. This date, however, is subject to change based on public health metrics, Stanton explained.

Stanton also said that the Board of Health and Council on Aging are happy to help with scheduling vaccination appointments. Stanton also expressed her continued hope to have a regional vaccination site closer to Bedford and promised more information on developments of a site when available.

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