Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) notified the Wilbraham Board of Health on 8/14/20 of a positive EEE case that has been identified. Because of this information, the town has been raised to a "Critical Risk" Level for this mosquito born illness. With this information, effective 8/15/20, all evening activities are recommended to be rescheduled to daytime hours. Residents of the town should be vigilant with precautions for mosquitos (long clothing & repellant) if you should need to venture out after dusk. The state has also done additional mosquito trapping in the town to test for additional sources on 8/17/20 and will have results back on Wednesday 8/19/20. Initial trapping results have not produced any positive results which suggest that risk is geographically localized. Based on the new results, the state may consider whether or not to do any aerial spraying in our area. Once that information is known, residents will be notified.
What do residents need to do now? The recommendation from MDPH is to encourage residents to move away from outdoor settings between dusk and dawn. This is hard enough during normal times but we know is extra complicated with COVID. Because EEE is so new to our area the recommendations from the state are based on the understanding of EEE patterns in Bristol and Plymouth counties and applying that knowledge that other areas without knowing if there are differences, in this case Wilbraham.
Until further notice, all scheduled evening outdoor activities that are sponsored by the town or on town property will need to be adjusted to end before dusk. This will be effective until further guidance is received from the state on our risk level in town. The Board of Health, Health Inspector, and Public Health Nurse will all be meeting to discuss any restrictions to venues in town that offer outdoor dining/seating/entertainment that might occur during evening hours. These adjustments will be made with the health and safety at the forefront of all of our residents during this unprecedented time.
If you have any further questions, please forward them to either Jill Conselino, MSN, RN, Public Health Nurse at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lorri McCool, Health Agent at email@example.com.