WINCHESTER - The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) yesterday notified the Winchester Health Department of two adult residents that tested positive for the novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19. The DPH results are considered presumptive positive and both samples will now be sent to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for confirmation. Both residents are isolating at home and are experiencing mild illness.

All individuals who are considered close contacts of these Winchester residents are being notified by public health officials and will be given appropriate instructions.

DPH announced today that the total number of cases in Massachusetts is 92 and Governor Charlie Baker has declared a State of Emergency due to the increase of COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts. DPH strongly advises that anyone who feels ill should remain at home and call their primary care provider to see if they meet the criteria for COVID-19 testing. For more information, visit www.mass.gov/2019coronavirus.

Coronaviruses are respiratory viruses and are generally spread through respiratory secretions (droplets from coughs and sneezes) of an infected person to another person. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath, and, in severe cases, pneumonia (fluid in the lungs). The severity of illness from COVID-19 is reported to be more severe for older adults and those with serious chronic medical conditions. For more information on COVID-19, go to www.cdc.gov or www.winchester.us.

Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. To prevent the spread of germs, take the following steps:

• Stay home when feeling sick. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If not available, use a hand

sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

• Clean things that are frequently touched (like electronics, doorknobs and countertops) with household cleaning spray or wipes.

• Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow. Throw tissues in trash.

Immediately wash hands or use sanitizer.

“We recognize that these are trying times. Our thoughts are particularly focused on our family members, friends, and neighbors of a vulnerable age, or who have an underlying condition that puts them at greater risk. The Health Department continues to monitor the risk of COVID-19 in our community. Staff has daily contact with DPH and continues to follow all CDC guidance for mitigating community spread of COVID-19. We will continue to provide updates on this rapidly changing situation.”

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