ATHOL – Well being employee Deb Vondal on Tuesday offered an replace to the Board of Well being on the standing of the continuing pandemic in Athol.
Board Vice President Joan Hamlett requested Vondal if, in gentle of the success of a current community-wide testing occasion, one other comparable testing effort is looming.
“There will not be one other one-day take a look at open to most of the people,” Vondal stated, “however there will likely be a Cease the Unfold take a look at website established right here in Athol.
“Nonetheless, that will likely be particularly for the day care suppliers, the workers and, I feel, additionally the members of the family, after which additionally the college workers. I haven’t got a lot particulars on this but as a result of it’s nonetheless within the works. However we have now been, undoubtedly Athol, designated as a website. In truth, within the governor’s press launch, it was introduced that we’d be a Cease the Unfold website. ”
He stated that metropolis supervisor Shaun Suhoski is working with state well being officers to safe a website and date for the exams. He added that the location would serve not solely Athol however different communities within the area.
Going to the fundamentals, Vondal reported: “As of at present (Tuesday), we have now had three further circumstances. 9 extra have been cleared. We mainly have 74 lively circumstances, and 11 of them are from (Quabbin Valley Well being Care). In order that’s fairly cool.
“It’s fascinating, nevertheless, as a result of over the weekend there have been 16 new circumstances; eight on Friday and eight on Saturday. However since then it has been one case, two circumstances; at present, there have been three. We’re undoubtedly a lot shorter than we have been earlier than. ”
On the first board assembly of 2021, Vondal reported 115 lively circumstances, 25 of them in Quabbin Valley.
“Our numbers are taking place, and that is a very good factor,” Vondal stated. “Nonetheless, residence transmission is happening. You recognize, if somebody within the household will get it, it is tough to quarantine or isolate somebody. Subsequently, it’s usually unfold all through the house. We’re nonetheless seeing that. ”
“For a very long time,” Hamlett stated, “we have been round 110, 118; instantly we broke that 100 mark. Now, it looks as if we’re steadily falling. In order that’s an thrilling factor.
“There are a lot of opinions on why that is occurring,” he continued, “however what individuals have to know is that we’re nonetheless effectively above the September and October figures; we’re nonetheless very, very excessive.
“These vacation gatherings, holidays from Thanksgiving to Christmas and New Years celebrations; Journey companies and airports are reporting a document variety of journeys in that interval for the reason that pandemic started. So it could be pure for us to make a spike, and our numbers are actually taking place. We’re not there but, however we’re on the right track. ”
Regardless of the drop in lively circumstances, Athol continues to be designated by the state as a “excessive danger” group.
Hamlett then requested Vondal to debate the function of the board within the distribution of COVID vaccines.
“I did not know should you might speak somewhat bit about our function, the function of the native Board of Well being, particularly since, right now, we have no function in any of the present vaccination clinics, apart from offering data. ”
“What individuals want to know,” Vondal responded, “We have been repeatedly informed in calls from the (state) Division of Public Well being that the vaccination course of and who’s eligible relies on phases. They only opened up the eligibility for the others in Part One, so it is quite a lot of the PCAs (affected person care assistants), collective care, I imply, it is superb what number of extra individuals are nonetheless eligible on this Part One.
“Proper now, they’re nonetheless regional clinics for everybody. I’ll say there’s quite a lot of planning behind the scenes, however proper now there is no such thing as a group vaccination clinic right here in Athol. We’re working to have one as a part of the Montachusett Regional Public Well being Community.
“However once more, that is all a undertaking,” Vondal continued. “Everybody within the state, in a way, is constructing a freeway as we drive, and knowledge is altering on a regular basis.”
Vondal stated the largest drawback at present is the delay within the quantity of vaccine obtainable within the state.
“You may’t have a clinic if you cannot get the vaccine,” he stated. “And that had been sluggish to come back from the federal authorities and into the arms of all of the states.”
Vondal famous that the state has made adjustments to those that are at present eligible for vaccination.
“Proper now, the highest group that’s eligible, as of Monday, is individuals 75 and older.”
He stated the clinic websites can be found on the state’s web site (mass.gov/CovidVaccineMap).
When requested if the general public has expressed reluctance to obtain the vaccine, Vondal stated the response has been the alternative.
“I’ve solely been contacted by many individuals who worry they will be unable to get the vaccine,” he stated.