Community Covid Message August 14, 2020

by | Aug 17, 2020

A community message from Town Manager Julie Jacobson

On Tuesday, the Baker-Polito Administration released additional data on the community level spread of COVID-19 and announced additional targeted resources and community specific strategies to stop the spread of the virus. Under the new system of designating communities based on the average daily cases per 100,000 residents over a 14-day period, each city and town is designated as red (higher risk), yellow (moderate risk), or green and white (lower risk).

The color tiers represent:

White: Less than five reported cases

Green: Less than four cases per 100,000

Yellow: Four to eight cases per 100,000

Red: More than eight cases per 100,000

As of last Wednesday’s case count for the prior 14 day period, Auburn’s data showed 5 cases per 100,000, which placed the town in the yellow (moderate risk) category. Based on yesterday’s case data (1 case this past week) for the 14 day period ending yesterday, Auburn is now in the green (lower risk) tier. It is important to note that these numbers will change as daily case counts fluctuate over the coming weeks and months.

We want to assure Auburn residents that the Board of Health has been closely monitoring all cases since the global pandemic began in March, and they continue to work with the State Department of Public Health and other partners to trace and monitor all cases here in Auburn. In addition to our local Board of Health working daily on Covid related issues, the Baker-Polito Administration this week announced a new cross-agency COVID Enforcement and Intervention Team that is available to assist communities if needed. The State’s goal, as well as the Town of Auburn’s goal, is to educate, provide outreach and change behaviors in order to defeat Covid-19 in Massachusetts. Auburn officials will continue to collaborate with the State on efforts to combat Covid-19.

This global pandemic has resulted in policies, procedures, guidelines and orders that change as scientific data changes and evolves, thus the Town of Auburn’s actions and plans need to continually evolve as well. We need to remain nimble and adapt quickly to new data, new Orders and new Guidance documents are issued. Our strategy is to keep the public informed on the most recent changes, orders, regulations, laws and guidance related to Covid-19. You can visit our website at www.auburnguide.com and click on Coronavirus Updates for regular updates and links to Covid-19 resources.

Since March, the Town has developed several new initiatives to combat the spread of the virus, assist our residents and support our most vulnerable populations. We have redirected and reallocated our resources, adapted to new laws and regulations, and put into place measures to curb the spread of Covid-19. The Auburn CARES initiative (Community Assistance Relief Effort Strategy), developed in the early days of the pandemic, is a coordinated effort to provide outreach and assistance to our vulnerable populations and those severely impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis. Auburn CARES consists of two outreach and assistance programs: Our Seniors Matter and the Auburn Connection. Under the Our Seniors Matter initiative, town and school department employees identified contact information and called almost 5,000 seniors aged 60 and over to check on them and link those seniors with available resources if needed. Through the Auburn Connection, we set up a telephone HOTLINE (508-832-CARE or 2273) for residents to call with non-emergency, COVID-related inquiries or concerns. Through that hotline, Town employees work to connect residents to available resources. This includes state assistance programs, food pantries, meal programs, utility information, and support agencies and organizations. This line is staffed during normal Town Hall business hours Monday through Friday.

While we are pleased that the Town is today classified as a green tier community, now is not the time to let down our guard. It remains vitally important for all residents and businesses to continue their efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19. We urge residents and businesses to remain vigilant, follow State and CDC guidelines and take all measures to protect yourselves and your families as well as the Auburn community-at-large as we collectively continue our battle against this public health crisis of unprecedented proportions.