WILMINGTON — On April 27, the Board of Selectmen was briefed on COVID-19 in the Town of Wilmington by Health Director Shelley Newhouse and Fire Chief and head of Crisis Management Team Bill Cavanaugh.
According to Newhouse, there are currently 34 active cases in town not affiliated with long-term care facilities, and the number tends to range from the mid-30s to 50 cases as recoveries are cleared and new cases added. She expressed Wilmington may be in a plateau with regard to case growth, though it is difficult to tell currently.
She also added that six people are currently in quarantine, though that number would likely change “even tonight.”
Newhouse also stated that Advinia Care is currently a COVID recovery site, and that active cases at the facility would be reported to each patient’s town of residence.
Town Manager Jeff Hull added that AdviniaCare had issues with staffing at the beginning of the crisis, but the situation has stabilized for the time being.
“We’ve been told that they’ve essentially segregated the current residents there so that they’re separate from the patients coming in,” Hull said. “For the moment it appears their situation is more in control.”
CareOne currently has 45 active positives, and their number “keeps going up and up and up.” Newhouse said that the facility has said they are currently in satisfactory shape with regard to staffing, and that a state epidemiologist is on staff.
Windsor Place had an uptick on Monday in number of symptomatic patients. Newhouse said they were in touch with the Department of Public Health and the National Guard to determine how testing at the facility would take place.
Governor Charlie Baker recently released a set of new guidelines regarding long term care. Newhouse stated that the state will be conducting audits to make sure guidelines are being adhered to.
Newhouse urged anybody with family members in long-term care facilities reach out to the Nursing Home Family Resource Line at 617-660-5399 with any questions.
“I feel for the community members who have members there,” Newhouse said. She also urged residents to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
“Really try to adhere to the less than 10 people gathering rule outside,” Newhouse said.
Cavanaugh stated that first responders had been working closely with the health department. He said the fire department currently has adequate personal protective equipment and was sharing with the police department. He also noted that total call volume had decreased, but that the severity of medical issues and the number of COVID positive patience have both increased.
Selectman Kevin Caira thanked both Newhouse and Cavanaugh, and their staff.
“First responders are top notch in the Town of Wilmington,” Caira said.
Selectmen Michael McCoy and Jomarie O’Mahony both encouraged mask-wearing among residents. McCoy added that he would like to see an official statement from the town regarding mask-wearing in public.
“I think residents when they leave the house they should have at least some type of coverage on their face,” McCoy stated, noting that masks did not necessarily need to be medical-grade but that perhaps residents could improvise their own with other materials they already have.
O’Mahony noted that she had seen many people, even those in at-risk groups, not wearing masks.
“I guess I just want to remind everyone to keep following the rules,” she said.
Chairman Greg Bendel thanked both Newhouse and Cavanaugh for their work, and Newhouse for the continued detailed information. He also noted that school had just been cancelled for the remainder of the year, and spoke to the graduating senior class.
“We want to give a quick shoutout to the class of 2020,” Bendel said. “We’re all thinking of them tonight.”
Bendel also offered condolences to the families and friends of those lost to the disease, noting the continued sobering numbers being released.
“Some of those really hit close to home for people living in Wilmington,” Bendel said.