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The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) gets the name of all residents who tests positive for any communicable disease, including Coronavirus, and loads that person’s information, including their address and phone number provided at the lab where testing occurred, into a state database called the Massachusetts Virtual Epidemiologic Network, or MAVEN.
The person’s local board of health (local public health department) sees that case and decides whether to investigate it or send the case to the statewide Contact Tracing Collaborative (CTC), run by Partners In Health (PIH). Massachusetts has contracted with PIH to manage the contact tracing operation.
In Weston, a Public Health Nurse on our COVID-19 Response Team calls the person who has tested positive. We will discuss:
We will then attempt to call each close contact and tell them they were likely exposed to the coronavirus. We will not reveal your name when making these calls. You are encouraged to reach out to your own close contacts as well if it is situationally appropriate. We will help these close contacts arrange to be tested. Each close contact is asked to remain at home, in quarantine, for 14 days.
The Local Department of Public Health or the CTC will be in contact with you and will tell you when you can stop isolating yourself. For most people, the required isolation period is 10 days, but may be longer if your symptoms persist, if you develop severe illness requiring hospitalization or are immune compromised.
If you are identified as a close contact of a COVID-19 positive person you will be contacted by your local board of health or the Contact Tracing Collaborative.
Quarantine is for anyone who has been symptomatic and is waiting for a test result or has a negative result but has been in close contact with an individual known to have Coronavirus. Even those who test negative in this circumstance must quarantine because they may have been exposed to the Coronavirus. They must stay away from others because symptoms may not appear for 14 days. If an individual is diagnosed with Coronavirus then they move from quarantine to isolation.
In Weston, if you are identified as a close contact of someone with Coronavirus you will be contacted by a Public Health Nurse on our COVID-19 Response Team. We will discuss:
You will need to remain quarantined for at least 14 days from the date of last exposure. The Local Public Health Department or CTC will be in contact with you and can also provide a referral for testing. If you have any questions or experience a change in your health status during your 14-day quarantine period, please let them know, dial 911 in any emergencies. Involve your physician as a partner in your health statys. You will need to complete the full 14-day quarantine, even if you test negative for COVID-19 during that time.
If you have been asked to quarantine or isolate and you need help with services including food or medication delivery please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Town of Weston Board of Health at 781-786-5300 or COVIDquestions[at]westonma.gov for assistance.
The Town of Weston Board of Health is not releasing any granular information about specifics to the COVID-19 positive case count in alignment with recommendations from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and with intent given the rapid cross-population transmission of Coronavirus. If there is a public health benefit to providing the community with greater detail, we can and will do so and will continue to address all known cases with efficiency.
As we continue to follow privacy regulations and as we’re looking for continued all-age, all-demographic demonstration of the best practices around individual choices relating to preventing the spread of Coronavirus (mask wearing, 6 foot distancing, vigorous hand washing, and staying home if you are ill), it is more beneficial to the promotion of general public health to let the residents of Weston know via general numbers of those we know to be infected. This prevents an "I’m OK; it doesn’t affect me" mentality known to be demonstrated within populations who become complacent with the public health recommendations.
If cases come in for people that do not live in Weston they are transferred to their state or town of residence. This includes college students who put down their Weston address when seeking testing, even though they live in another city or town for most of the year.
The case count and related data provided by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for each of the 351 cities and towns are captured at a single moment in time. It is possible that the weekly count may contain a case that is transferred out of our jurisdiction. This is an infrequent scenario.
Find additional frequently asked questions on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts website.
Don’t see an answer? Just ask: COVIDquestions[at]WestonMA.gov