Recent Increase in Positive Cases Attributed to New Cases at Bridgewater State University
BRIDGEWATER — Town Manager Michael Dutton and Health Agent Eric Badger are urging residents and college students to follow COVID-19 prevention guidance, after an uptick in positive cases at Bridgewater State University has pushed the town into a red “high-risk” designation by state health officials.
According to the public health data released on Thursday, Oct. 29, the Town’s designation is now “Red,” indicating a “high risk” in the community. The average daily incidence rate for the Town of Bridgewater per 100,000 residents has risen to 8.5, up from last week’s rate of 5.5. The state’s threshold for being considered a “high-risk” community is 8 positive cases per 100,000 residents.
As of today, there have been 27 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Bridgewater in the last two weeks. Many of those cases are attributed to a recent rise in cases among students at Bridgewater State University (BSU), which has been regularly testing all students since the school reopened in September.
“While this rise in cases and new designation as a ‘high-risk’ community is certainly something we will continue to closely monitor, it is important to note that the increase in recent positive cases is not due to general community spread, but rather is largely isolated to students at BSU,” Town Manager Dutton said. “The Town and BSU have worked closely throughout this pandemic and we will continue to do so. This should serve as a reminder, however, for all residents and those in the college community to take the guidelines seriously and to continue to be vigilant about mask wearing and social distancing.”
Town officials would like to remind residents and members of the BSU community of the COVID-19 prevention tips from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH):
- Remember that an infected individual can spread COVID-19 before they have symptoms, which is why social distancing — maintaining a minimum of 6 feet from others — is critical.
- Those who must go out are urged to:
- Avoid gathering in groups
- Maintain 6 feet from people outside your household
- Do not shake hands or hug
- Wash your hands often
- Those who are at a high risk for COVID-19, including those over the age of 65 and with underlying health conditions, are advised to stay home and avoid non-essential tasks and errands.
- Wear a mask in indoor and outdoor spaces where social distancing from people outside your household is not possible. This does not apply to those under the age of two and with underlying health conditions.
- Face coverings should:
- Cover the nose and mouth
- Fit snugly and comfortably against the side of the face
- Be secured with either ties or ear loops
- Permit breathing without difficulty
- Be able to be washed and machine dried without damage. Face masks should be washed regularly depending on the amount of use.