This is Mayor Mike Cahill. Today, I was informed by the state office of Health and Human Services that, in terms of new positive COVID-19 cases, Beverly has moved into the red zone. We are one of 53 Massachusetts communities in the red zone for the first time this week, joining 77 other communities that were already red. What does this mean for us all?
We have been working with our partners at Beverly Hospital, with Governor Baker’s administration, and with other cities and towns throughout the region to understand where and how people are transmitting and becoming infected with the virus.
As the Governor stated earlier this week, gatherings, especially indoors with people from multiple households, no masks, and little distancing, seem to be a major reason for this spike in cases. The demographic of new cases is younger than back in the spring, with more people under 50 and especially more people under 30. To date, Beverly Hospital is not seeing a corresponding spike in people sick enough to need inpatient care. We hope this trend continues.
For younger people especially, much is still not known about potential long term COVID-19 health impacts to people who experience mild to moderate symptoms. And while most who contract COVID-19 will not get seriously ill, older people and those with one or more risk factors are at much greater threat of death or serious illness. And even though the odds may be with younger and healthier people, there are no guarantees with this virus. In truth, no one age group is immune.
We – each one of us – need to care. Right now. We each need to do our part and help our family, friends, and neighbors.
Again, the virus seems to be spreading in Beverly and other communities through family and friends gathering with no masks and no distancing. It does not at this time seem to be a result of the approved and highly regulated more formal activities such as schools, other workplaces, or youth and school sports - activities that require adherence to wearing masks, social distancing, sanitizing, staying home when feeling sick, and more. We will keep tracking all this carefully as we move forward together. In particular, the city and school contact tracing teams continue to work hard every day to keep us all safe – please answer their phone calls, cooperate with them, and follow their directions.
With Halloween this Saturday, guided by what we see in the data, we will still have neighborhood trick or treating from 5-8 PM on Saturday. The keys to this being a safe way to celebrate Halloween are these:
- Keep it outdoors
- In small family groups
- With face masks, not costume masks on – parents, masks on you too - please
- And keep your group’s distance from others
Those who give out candy should place the candy on a table for the kids. Parents, have your kids wait their turn at a distance when another group is in front of you at a house. Anyone uncomfortable with giving out candy, please turn off your outside lights between 5-8 PM. Families who choose not to trick or treat this year, please be safe and have fun in how you celebrate with your kids. And to everyone of all ages, no parties. This is not the year for them.
We are all at a key point in time here. Please wear your mask and keep your distance. Please do your part every day so we can stop this spread, keep each other safe, and keep our schools and as much of our local economy open as possible. Thank you, All. Be well this evening.