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11/18/2020 - Community Update - Friday, November 20, 2020

November 20, 2020

* COMMUNITY UPDATE *

It almost goes without saying that the news concerning COVID-19 over the past few weeks has not been good. As predicted by medical experts several months ago, with the arrival of cold weather and most family activities moving indoors, the virus has blossomed into full community spread mode across the nation. Although the New England states still stand out as one of the safest and most controlled in the nation, the rate of infections has continued to rise sharply over the past few weeks.

Today 143 communities in our state, including Bethel, are in the “red zone” with high rates of new infections. Bethel’s new cases have climbed from 12 cases three weeks ago to 66 in the most recent weekly count. You can see the updated statistics and map by clicking here.

Recent data from the state Department of Public Health reveals a very important factor in the increase:

The majority of new infections are occurring within family units.

The CDC is now advising people to celebrate Thanksgiving only with members of your own nuclear family. Everyone understands this is a very difficult thing to ask, especially at this time of year. The “ask” is to help keep everyone in our families safe for one more season while the promising new vaccines that have been announced recently are made ready for distribution. You can see the full CDC guidance on holiday celebrations by clicking here.

While we have been very diligent about mask wearing and social distancing in public, it has become just as important to keep your family members safe at home. If you or anyone in your family begins to feel ill, please do not assume it’s just a cold or a fall allergy. Please follow these steps:

  • Stay away from other family members.
  • Stay in a different room, if possible, and sanitize all surfaces frequently.
  • Do not go to work or school.
  • Call your doctor.

There has been more good news about progress on effective vaccines every day this week. Let’s all work together to keep our families safe through this holiday season. Help is on the way!

Thank you.