TEWKSBURY — The Tewksbury Board of Health met on Aug. 19 for its regular meeting to discuss continuation of a moratorium on new body art establishments, impending actions relative to Oliveira farm, and to hear COVID-19 updates.
Four members were present in person, with member Tony Boschetti joining by telephone.
Route 38 Tattoo appeared before the board for an application for an apprentice meet and greet with the board.
Chairperson Barry offered that discussion about Oliveira farm would be continued to a date certain.
The body art establishment moratorium was discussed. The measure was in place to allow the new body art regulations to be completed before allowing any new establishments to open. Boschetti suggested keeping the moratorium in place, pending any new guidance relative to COVID-19.
Barry clarified that no business has applied to establish a body art studio, so the moratorium was not negatively impacting business in the community. The board unanimously agreed to continue the moratorium until the end of the year.
Health Director Shannon Sullivan discussed completion of 19 inspections by the food consultant, focusing first on those establishments rated a 4, which means a high risk and requiring four inspections per year. Due to the large increase in additional duties placed on the department related to the pandemic, a consultant was brought in to help, especially given that so many food establishments have begun the process of reopening.
An issue raised was establishments not preparing sanitizer properly. Barry suggested requiring a Serv-Safe person on staff at all times to ensure a trained individual would be available to prepare the solution.
The board discussed possibly adding this to its permits in the future. The board discussed forming a collaborative Serv-Safe training between Billerica, Tyngsborough and Tewksbury using grant money.
Sullivan reported an increase of 39 cases of COVID-19 from the prior week. Sullivan pulls the numbers weekly from the state and puts them on the town website. Sullivan said that the state is reporting the Delta variant as the most common variant in samples tested.
Boschetti suggested that the numbers reported by the state could be from people “crossing the border illegally” and bringing the virus to the state. Boschetti said that mortality rates going up would be more interesting than hospitalizations to him.
“We have to be cautious but take everything with a grain of salt,” Boschetti said.
Member Maria Zaroulis asked, “what is an acceptable death rate for people to realize that this [virus] actually exists?”
Boschetti commented that people are being allowed to come into the country with comorbidities and being allowed to “migrate and travel around the country.” [author’s note: The CDC requires proof of a negative COVID test to fly into the United States. It is not required for land crossings. There is no government requirement to declare one’s potential or existing comorbidities.]
Member Robert Scarano commented that hospitalization numbers could be for many reasons, so as a straight indicator of spread, the numbers might be misleading.
Scarano went on to state that “alternatives to the vaccination… including Invermectin [sic], Remesivr[sic], hyrdocodicozo..[sic] are still available for people who are unvaccinated and need an alternative course of treatment” and “there seems to be some suppression of the information that they’re available.”
Scarano went on to encourage people to “go to the Israeli websites… if you want to see an advancement on the merits of determining what this disease is doing. I implore people… don’t just Google it... do the research… people do not have to simply adhere to CDC guidelines.”
Scarano suggested using alternative search engines, alleging that “some information may be blocked.”
[a/n: According to the FDA, Ivermectin is a medication for treating parasitic infections in animals. It is approved for extremely limited use in humans and is not an antiviral. According to the National Institute of Health, Remdesivir is a treatment for active COVID-19 infections and not preventative. CDC does not recommend Hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug, outside of a hospital setting due to cardiac issues associated with the medication]
Member Charles Roux referred to “comparative analysis out there that last year 438 deaths from the flu for children under 18… people get sick… people die…. In the case of COVID for the same age group, there was a miniscule amount of kids that got sick and died from COVID,” but did not cite his source for the information.
“Figures don’t lie but liars figure,” said Roux.
Roux asked Sullivan how reliable the Delta variant spread information was. Sullivan stated the information is from the state.
“They are an appointed board, and the only science they seem to line up with is political science,” Roux said about the CDC.
Roux added, “they’re scaring the hell out of people.”
Scarano continued to encourage people to search the websites of other countries to find out what they are doing, suggesting that some information may be blocked or suppressed.
The next meeting of the board is Friday, Sept. 9, 2021 at Town Hall.