SWANSEA — Acting Town Administrator James Purcell confirmed today that the Town of Swansea has been notified by Massachusetts Department of Public Health officials of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Swansea.
The Town of Swansea has received notification Sunday from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. All appropriate notifications have been made to potential close contacts with this patient, in accordance with established protocol, and all close contacts have been notified that they need to quarantine.
The resident is currently isolated at home where they are recovering from the disease. COVID-19, the illness associated with the novel coronavirus, was declared a Global Pandemic by the World Health Organization and has moved Governor Charlie Baker to declare a State of Emergency and President Donald Trump to declare a National Emergency.
Swansea Board of Health officials are currently involved and will continue to closely monitor the situation. In order to protect the resident’s medical privacy rights, no additional information will be disclosed. Swansea Board of Selectmen Chairman Steve Kitchin, on behalf the Board of Selectmen, extends the best wishes for a quick and complete recovery to the patient.
“We are monitoring COVID-19 pandemic very closely, and we are following the latest guidance from state and federal public health officials, Town Administrator Purcell said. “We will continue to keep the residents of Swansea updated as more information relating to the COVID-19 public health crisis is available.”
Town Administrator Purcell stressed that this remains a very fluid and rapidly evolving situation.
All residents are urged to continue to practice social distancing and appropriate personal hygiene.
Families should practice social distancing with their children and follow these guidelines from state and local health officials:
- Families should not hold “play dates” and those in need of childcare should limit the number of families involved as much as possible.
- Practice social distancing techniques with children and have them practice among themselves
- Clean and sanitize toys, video game controllers and all touch surfaces regularly
Teens are included in this group, and activities like bike riding and hiking/walking are viewed as safer alternatives to gathering indoors.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the following guidance for how COVID-19 spreads:
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Can someone spread the virus without being sick?
- People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
- Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects:
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. As a precaution, it is recommended that residents clean things that are frequently touched (like doorknobs and countertops) with household cleaning spray or wipes.
The state has also set up the phone number 211 to answer questions that residents may have concerning COVID-19.
For more information, visit CDC’s website here or the DPH’s website here. Additional information regarding the Town of Swansea’s response to COVID-19 can be found on the Town’s website: www.town.swansea.ma.us.