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.
A MESSAGE FROM THE BROOKLINE PARK RANGERS:
The Brookline Park Rangers proactively and respectfully approach individuals and groups blatantly ignoring the mask order – typically larger gatherings, individuals in crowded playgrounds, or folks playing interactive sports/activities on the fields. We focus on awareness and education rather than ticketing or involving police or other enforcement officials. The Brookline Parks and Open Space Division is aware of these issues and is doing everything in their power to identify problem areas and reach out to groups and individuals. The park rangers patrol all 40+ parks by vehicle and foot to speak with park patrons, emphasize the public safety guidelines and encourage safe usage of the parks.
The Town of Brookline now requires individuals to wear either a mask or a face shield
“Beginning on Sept. 10, those who are medically excluded from wearing a face mask or covering will be required to wear a plastic face shield in lieu of a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth. “
Face shields are available on Amazon; google “Safety Face Shields.” Locally, contact “firstname.lastname@example.org” for information about obtaining a face shield.
COVID-19 Phase 3 Vaccine Trial
Boston Medical Center is looking for healthy volunteers 18 years of age or older to participate in a phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial. This study will test vaccines for the prevention of COVID-19.
According to the BMC site: This is "A phase 3, placebo-controlled, randomized, observer-blind study to evaluate the safety, tolerability, immunogenicity, and effectiveness of SARS-COV-2-RNA vaccine against COVID-19 in healthy adults." For more details visit BMC COVID-19 Vaccine Trial.
COVID-19 TESTING SITES
"The Baker-Polito Administration announced the launch of free COVID-19 testing sites in eight communities from July 10 to August 14 to help stop the spread of COVID-19"
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."
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.
We are approaching bat season in Brookline. If you have captured a bat in your home, rabies testing is available. The Brookline Department of Public Health is collecting bats which will be submitted to the state laboratory for analysis. Our staff will notify you with the results; results are reported as soon as possible but could be delayed during ongoing response to COVID‐19.
Please follow these instructions:
- Place the specimen in a container or double‐sealable, leak‐proof bag. Store in the refrigerator until you can submit it for testing.
- Fill out the form below; include the names of any people or animals possibly exposed to the bat. Print out a copy of the form and securely attach it to the specimen.
- Contact the Brookline Department of Public Health (617) 730‐2300 to alert staff you would like to drop off a bat.
- Bring the bat to the Public Health Department, 11 Pierce Street, Brookline, between the hours of 9am‐3pm. When you arrive, leave the bat in the designated area outside the building (under posted sign) and call to alert the staff you have left the bat for testing.
AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM BROOKLINE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH ABOUT MOSQUITO-BORNE VIRUSES
BROOKLINE - On Tuesday, July 21, 2020, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health identified West Nile virus-positive mosquitoes in traps located in Brookline. The risk level in Brookline is high.
Mosquito-borne viruses are viruses that are carried and spread by mosquitoes. In this part of the country, public health surveillance is done for two mosquito-borne viruses that can cause encephalitis (swelling of the brain) - West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). The period of highest risk of getting either disease can be from late July through the fall.
Mosquitoes get WNV and EEE by biting infected birds. People and animals can get these diseases by being bitten by an infected mosquito. There is no evidence that a person can get these viruses from handling live or dead infected birds or animals. However, gloves should be worn when handling any dead animals and double plastic bags used to discard them in the trash.
"In this time of COVID 19, we still need to pay attention to safeguards to prevent contracting West Nile Virus, especially during warm summer months when mosquitoes are very active. It’s imperative to wear proper clothing and protect your skin when you are outside," said Dr. Swannie Jett, Public Health Commissioner.
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
SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH
"Disasters Don't Wait. Make Your Plan Today."
MAKE A PLAN
Talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster. Make sure to update your plan based on the Centers for Disease Control recommendations due to the coronavirus.
BUILD A KIT
Gather supplies that will last for several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home. Don’t forget to consider the unique needs each person or pet may have in case you have to evacuate quickly. Update your kits and supplies based on recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control.
PREPARE FOR DISASTERS
Limit the impacts that disasters have on you and your family. Know the risk of disasters in your area and check your insurance coverage. Learn how to make your home stronger in the face of storms and other common hazards and act fast if you receive a local warning or alert.
TEACH YOUTH ABOUT PREPAREDNESS
Talk to your kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated. Reassure them by providing information about how they can get involved. Learn more about Ready Kids!
PHASE REOPENING GUIDES
CURRENT STATE: PHASE III, STEP 1 (as of July 6, 2020)
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.