By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer
Northborough – Northborough Health Agent Kristin Black shared a COVID-19 update at the Jan. 11 Board of Selectmen meeting. An increase in cases was expected after the holiday week, but Northborough didn’t see the spike it did after Thanksgiving.
“We are doing okay with our COVID numbers; better than a lot of our surrounding communities,” said Black.
The total case count since the start of the pandemic is 830. On average, Northborough is seeing 8-10 cases per day.
The COVID-19 website is updated on Fridays, and has updated information on testing sites and guidelines.
The Health Department will continue its business outreach with weekly emails including updates, related information and resources. Businesses can be added to the distribution list by emailing email@example.com.
The vaccine plan has been introduced in Massachusetts. Northborough is currently in Phase 1 of the plan. First responders and school nurses have received the vaccine. Long term facilities in town are scheduled to receive the vaccine this month.
Black said that home-based health care workers and aides qualify for the vaccine in Phase 1. They don’t need to work for a big company.
“If you are in someone’s home providing some level of care, we want to make sure that they are offered the vaccine,” Black said.
Phase two is scheduled to start in February and vaccinations will be available to the general public as soon as April.
Black has started discussions and the process for Northborough to be considered a vaccine site for the long term through Phase 3. If approved by the state, it could be housed at the Northborough Senior Center.
Impact on town services
Town Administrator John Coderre said that Town Hall employees are operating using alternating shifts.
“We are operating under extremely difficult circumstances as a staff, with split shifts and limited staffing for operations,” he said. “It is still a very difficult environment to provide…all the things that citizens rely on for day to day activities.”
Coderre gave staff credit for being flexible and working together to continue to provide services.