As you are aware through news reports, the threat of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE or Triple E) is increasing throughout Massachusetts and our nearby towns. Earlier today, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced that aerial spraying would be taking place in some areas in Worcester County including Auburn, tonight and continuing into next week, weather-dependent, this is to occur at approximately 7:00 p.m.

The strongest method for preventing mosquito bites from potentially infected mosquitoes is to avoid being outdoors during their peak biting times which is dusk to dawn. Important to note is that no known EEE infected mosquitoes have been identified in Auburn, and our risk remains “moderate”, however, in an abundance of caution and considering that neighboring communities have been designated as being at a “high” or “critical” risk level, effective immediately and until further notice, the Auburn Board of Health, Auburn Public Schools and the Auburn Recreation Department are canceling outdoor activities that occur between 6:00 p.m. and 6 a.m. until further notice. This includes school- and community-sponsored athletic events, practices, and all other organized activities scheduled to take place out of doors. At this time, the schools are not making changes to recess routines for students during the school day.

While we understand that postponing or rescheduling planned events can be somewhat disruptive, these precautions are being taken to ensure the safety of our children and community members. All outdoor recreational facilities, including athletic fields, ball courts, public parks, playgrounds, and sport courts are also closed between dusk and dawn. Community members are advised to follow suit and avoid being outdoors between 6:00 p.m. and 6 a.m. as well.

When outdoors at any time, but especially between dusk and dawn, you are advised to apply mosquito repellent in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions; dress in long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks; use mosquito netting on baby carriages; and, ensure window and door screens are in good repair. Parents are encouraged to apply mosquito repellent to students’ clothing before sending them to school or send students with mosquito repellent towelettes or non-aerosol lotions to self-apply before recess. Please be aware that school personnel are unable to apply insect repellent to students without a doctor’s order.

Information about mosquito activity in Massachusetts during 2019 can be found on the Mosquito borne Disease page on the MDPH website at https://www.mass.gov/mosquito-borne-diseases. Facts sheets on EEE and other mosquito-related materials are available by contacting the Auburn Board of Health at 508-832-7703 or by accessing their website at http://www.auburnguide.com