COVID-19: Board of Health ‘Strongly Recommends’ Face Coverings for Essential Workers, Businesses Open to Public

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COVID-19 Statistics as of April 16 at 2:30 p.m.

Total cases in Westford: 54
Active Cases: 35
Total Recovered: 16

Source: State Department of Public Health; Numbers are updated every day at 4 p.m.

With the state Department of Health’s decision to post the number of COVID-19 cases in each town throughout the commonwealth, Westford residents are learning how many have been infected in their community.

As of April 14, Westford has had a total of 54 cases with 35 active and 16 total recoveries. In all of Middlesex County, there are 6,881 cases, according to the DPH. Nation-wide 605,390 have the virus and 24,582 have died from it, according to the CDC.

Board of Health member Sue Hanly

With the growing numbers, Health Director Jeffrey Stephens led the board on April 14 to unanimously support the use of face coverings under specific cirumstances.

Stephens proposed the following: “All residents are strongly advised to wear face coverings in public buildings. (Inside) any essential business that’s open to the public, all employees are strongly recommended to wear face coverings…and I would recommend that any resident exiting or entering a commercial building or complex should have a face covering.”

The board, consisting of Chair Zac Cataldo, and members Sue Hanley, Joanne Belanger, Stephanie Granger, and Michele Pitoniak-Crawford voted unanimously in favor of the resolution.

COVID-19 is transmitted by water droplets that can linger in the air when someone sneezes. A face covering that’s thick enough, will protect someone unknowingly infected from transmitting it to another person.

According to the Centers of Disease Control, “COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person in respiratory droplets from someone who is infected. People who are infected often have symptoms of illness. Some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus.”

The CDC website says the virus can live on surfaces for hours and possibly several days.

Included in the CDC website is a segment on how to wear a face covering effectively.