EXTENSION OF CAPACITY AND GATHERING LIMITS
Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on December 26, 2020, Massachusetts will implement temporary capacity limits to stop the spread of COVID-19 as cases and hospitalizations rise. Businesses must adhere to the following capacity limitations. The revised limits below supersede existing limits in the Phase 3, Step 1 Sector-Specific Protocols. Except for the specified adjustments to capacity limitations, all other terms of COVID-19 gatherings order (including exceptions) and all sector-specific workplace safety rules remain unchanged. These limits are in effect until January 24, 2021 unless further extended by the Governor. These revised capacity limits do not apply to manufacturers, laboratories, drive-in movie theaters, or construction. (Source:mass.gov)
PRIVATE SCHOOL NOTICE - TOWN OF BROOKLINE
(Private Schools include all non-public schools, Parochial and all Religious schools, and Colleges and Universities)
The Brookline Department of Public Health has been pleased with the level of compliance and cooperation from all Schools and Institutions during this COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. In order to better address Health and Safety concerns the Commissioner of Public Health issues the following notice:
Effective December 18, 2020 all Private Schools deemed essential under the State Order dated March 31. 2020 must follow the following requirements:
All Private Schools must comply with the guidelines established and revised by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) COVID – 19 Guidance Documents, with exception to the stricter standards established by the Brookline Commissioner of Health as follows:
All schools that provide sports activities and events must comply with the established standards of the Massachusetts Department of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) COVID-19 Guidance Documents and receive approval through Brookline Department of Public Health.
A minimum of 6 feet distance is required for students and staff during classroom, transportation and group education and attendees of sports gatherings.
Compliance Operational COVID- plans must be sent to the Commissioner of Health for review and approval.
Local Regulation Adoption and Enforcement will be under the Authority of the Governor’s Emergency Orders # 33,37, 38, 43, 44 and MGL 111 c 122, 123, MGL c 40 s 21D,
SIGNAGE FOR RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS
Q&A: BU CONTACT TRACING SYSTEM EXPLAINED
Read the full article here, regarding the contact tracing protocols that the University has implemented. The article explains how contact tracing works, what it means for classroom time, and what happens when an individual is identified as a close contact.
COVID-19 TESTING SITES
Stop the Spread: Baker-Polito Administration Launches Targeted, Free COVID-19 Testing Sites. ""While these sites are being launched in certain communities, the sites are open to all residents of the Commonwealth. MA residents may visit www.mass.gov/stopthespread to find testing locations & schedule an appointment."
The Stop the Spread program is intended to provide low barrier, free, and easy to access testing to all Massachusetts residents.
- Open to all Massachusetts residents
- Testing is not restricted to residents of the cities where sites are located
- You don’t need to have any symptom(s)
- No cost to you
- Out-of-state residents are not eligible for free testing under the Stop the Spread program
COVID SAFE PRACTICES CONCERN FORM
You should submit this form if you would like to report possible concerns about non-compliance with the Commonwealth’s travel advisory quarantine, face covering, gathering, or other public health rules. Thank you for taking the time to complete this form.
HEALTH ALERT: MARIJUANA, VAPING & COVID-19
With Phase 1 of Massachusetts’ reopening of businesses and services, recreational marijuana stores are being allowed to open. This could mean greater access for teens, who may not realize that even occasional marijuana smoking and vaping can compromise lungs and increase susceptibility and complications from COVID. Vaping has been especially problematic during the closure, which has caused an upswing in black market cartridges, which can be especially dangerous due to unregulated chemicals. At least one Brookline teen has gone to the hospital with a very severe reaction from vaping.
CNN has done a recent informative piece - https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/10/health/smoking-weed-coronavirus-wellness/index.html
PLEASE VISIT BROOKLINECOVID19.COM
COVID-19 Vaccine - Brookline Update - A Virtual Forum
February 2, 2021 | 7:00 PM
Brookline residents can learn the latest about the COVID-19 vaccine and its rollout in Massachusetts at an evening virtual program Tuesday, February 2, 2021, 7:00 pm. The forum, COVID-19 Vaccine: Brookline Update, features Brookline public health professionals who work at the forefront of COVID-19 vaccine activity in Massachusetts. The discussion will explore the status of the vaccines in Brookline and in the Commonwealth, including insight into their development and distribution. Registration for the program, which is free and open to the public, is through www.brooklinema.gov/health.
The featured speakers are; Lindsey Baden, MD, a Brookline resident, who is Director of Clinical Research, Division of Infectious Diseases, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He is also Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Baden is a top infectious disease specialist and an expert in vaccine development for viral diseases. He serves as Principal Investigator of the Moderna vaccine clinical trials at Brigham and Women’s. Dr. Baden will provide an update on the COVID-19 vaccines currently in use and vaccine experiences to date, including vaccine safety and efficacy.
Larry Madoff, MD, also a Brookline resident, will discuss the Commonwealth’s plan for distributing the vaccine throughout Massachusetts. He is part of the COVID-19 leadership team at the Mass. Department of Public Health (MDPH), and serves as Medical Director of the Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences for MDPH. Dr. Madoff is Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Lecturer on Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Swannie Jett, Director of Brookline’s Public Health Department, will outline how administration of the vaccine will occur in Brookline. Dr. Jett has served as the head of Brookline’s public health department since May, 2017. During his tenure he has been a key leader as the town addresses the COVID-19 pandemic. He is a member of the team organizing COVID-19 vaccine clinics for Brookline.
Brookline Village resident, Natalia Linos, MSc, ScD, serves as Executive Director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard Chan School of Public Health. She also serves on the Poor People’s Campaign COVID-19 Health Justice Advisory Committee. Following her doctoral training in Epidemiology, Dr. Linos led the United Nations Development Programme’s work at the intersection of health and climate change. Dr. Linos will serve as Moderator for the program.
"We are extremely lucky to count these experts in the field of public health and vaccines as members of our community, and I am grateful for the unique opportunity we have to bring them together to hear their insights on the vaccine effort in Massachusetts," Dr. Jett said. "While the distribution of the vaccine statewide and in Brookline is an extremely complex and challenging effort, this event will help everyone better understand how it will work and I encourage everyone to attend."
For further information, please contact Lynne Karsten, email@example.com; 617-730-2336.
COVID-19 VACCINE INFORMATION
February 2, 2021 | 7 PM
We have received numerous calls regarding COVID-19 vaccinations. The following is information from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and updated most frequently:
Please visit https://www.mass.gov/CovidVaccine for more information, including Frequently Asked Questions and updates to the COVID-19 Vaccine Plan
For information on when you can get the vaccine, please visit https://www.mass.gov/info-details/When-can-I-get-the-Covid-19-vaccine for regular updates on the prioritization and distribution timeline. The prioritization list on the website is updated weekly. Additional clarifications and guidance are issued as well as information on where to access the vaccine as it becomes available.
PHASE REOPENING GUIDES
Effective December 26, Massachusetts has issued temporary limits on gatherings and business capacity to stop the spread of COVID-19 as cases and hospitalizations.
Effective December 13, all communities will roll back to Phase 3, Step 1 of Massachusetts’ re-opening plan, including the following restrictions:
- Outdoor gatherings at event venues will be limited to no more than 50 people
- Hosts of outdoor gatherings of greater than 25 people will be required to provide advance notice of the gathering their local board of health
- Indoor theaters and performance venues and higher contact indoor recreation businesses will be required to close to the public
- Outdoor theaters and performance venues will be limited to 25% capacity, and no more than 50 people
In all communities, capacity will be reduced from 50% to 40% for the following sectors:
- Arcades/Indoor and Outdoor Recreational Businesses
- Driving and Flight Schools
- Gyms/Health Clubs
- Places of Worship
- Lodging (common areas)
- Golf facilities
- Movie Theaters (Maximum 50 people per theater)
This new capacity limit will not apply to sectors that do not currently have a percentage-based capacity limit, including restaurants, laboratories and close contact personal services.
Restaurants and Venues
The Administration also announced new guidelines for restaurants and other venues with seated dining, including:
- Patrons must wear masks at all times except when eating and drinking
- Restaurants must seat no more than six patrons per table
- Restaurants must impose a 90-minute time limit on tables
- Musical performances at restaurants will no longer be permitted
- Food court seating must be closed in malls
Customers are encouraged to dine only with members of the same household.
Offices and Gyms
The Administration announced new guidelines for workplaces and gyms, including:
- In offices, employees must wear masks at their place of work when not in their own workspace and alone
- Employers are encouraged to close or limit the use of break rooms
- Patrons must wear masks at all times in gyms
The Administration continues to encourage all employers to offer teleworking to their employees when possible.
I’ve been asked many times what population health is. Wikipedia defines it as “the health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group." It is in essence, a strategic plan to improve the health of the entire population.
Health is a dynamic state of complete physical, mental, spiritual, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. (WHO, 1998) Public Health is “What we, as a society, do collectively to assure the conditions in which people can be healthy." (IOM 1988).
- Prevents epidemics and the spread of disease
- Prevents injuries
- Promotes and encourages healthy behavior
- Responds to disasters
- Assures the quality and accessibility of Health Services
“Population health is public health”
- A medical model saves lives one person at a time
- Public Health saves lives millions at a time.
Through public health achievements life expectancy in the United States has increased from 47.3 years in 1900 to 78.1 years in 1996. That’s a 25+ years of life improvement.
Dr. Swannie Jett, Health Commissioner of Public Health, asks that you contact the Brookline Health Department at 617-730-2300 with any questions or requests for additional information.