Town of Foxborough PSA: Coronavirus
Posted on 03/12/2020
PSA announcement

Town of Foxborough Public Service Announcement

Concerning Coronavirus (COVID-19)

 William G. Keegan, Jr., ICMA-CM                                                   Pauline Zajdel
 Town Manager                                                                                   Board of Health Director

 March 12, 2020

By now everyone is aware of the on-going concerns over the Novel Coronavirus (also referred to as “COVID-19”).  Town Officials are offering this status report to residents as to what actions the Town of Foxborough is taking in preparation for a possible outbreak within this Community. 

Here is the latest information that we know at this time.  On Wednesday, March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a declaration that COVID-19 has become a world-wide pandemic.  The term “pandemic” primarily means that the virus is no longer a regional phenomenon but is now affecting a much broader area around the world.   On Tuesday, March 10, 2020, Governor Baker declared a State of Emergency throughout Massachusetts so that he could activate several State Agencies and would be better equipped to handle a large scale outbreak; if that situation were to occur.

Here in Foxborough we are fortunate to report that the Town has no known cases of the virus within the community at this time. The current impact on the community remains low.  We fully recognize that this may be a temporary condition and that we must take precautionary steps to help limit exposure to residents and to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community that we serve.

The Town is taking several precautionary steps.  Today we met with all of the major operating departments and provided them with the latest information on the outbreak and how it affects Foxborough and our region.  We also discussed plans for business continuation in the event that members of our workforce were to get infected and become sick or were required to quarantine due to a suspicion of infection.  All departments are actively working on those plans now. 

The Town has set up its website to provide the latest information for residents.  Through the Board of Health’s website, information can be obtained from the Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).  These sources provide the latest information on progression of the Virus and any new information on the protective measures that are being recommended.  Residents are directed to www.foxboroughma.gov/departments/health for links to the latest information on COVID-19.

The Director of Public Health, Pauline Zajdel and Deputy Fire Chief and Director of Community Paramedicine Tom Kenvin have been meeting daily to stay fully informed on all aspects of COVID-19.  Both individuals have stressed that the best measures that can be taken at this time are to take preventive steps to avoid the spread of respiratory viruses such as:  

  • Washing your hands for at least twenty seconds, avoid people who are sick, avoid touching your eyes or nose, and cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue.People who are sick should stay home and not go into crowded public places or visit people in hospitals,

  • Anyone who is experiencing a fever and/ or respiratory illness and is concerned that they may have come into contact with the virus or has traveled to an affected country within the last 14 days is advised to contact their primary health care provider,

  • School and Town Buildings are being cleaned with particular attention to touch points and high contact surfaces.Areas will continue to be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis.

The Foxborough Board of Health continues to be the primary point of contact for any communicable disease outbreaks.  Their work is monitored and advised by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Center for Disease Control.  Moreover, Foxborough residents have the further advantage of being the first community in the Commonwealth who have enacted a Community Paramedicine Program.  Deputy Fire Chief and Nurse Tom Kenvin has been working closely with the Board of Health in helping to advise and monitor situations that may arise in this area. 

It should also be noted that Foxborough is now a member of the SEMRECC, the new regional 911 entity that dispatches all emergency responses for this community.  The entities advanced technical capabilities has been able to monitor all 911 calls to determine if patients are expressing any specific symptoms that have been associated with COVID-19.  That advantage is significant in two ways.  First it allows the Town to early detect possible cases within Foxborough (and Mansfield) and to alert first responders of the situation so that they can take appropriate precautions in responding and attending to patients requiring their services. 

In an unfortunate note, whenever there seems to be a difficult circumstance there are always those individuals who will try and take advantage of a concerned population.  We have been advised that there have been instances reported in the region where cyber criminals will try and gain access to your personal data while disguising themselves as health care professionals.  We ask that residents be vigilant and aware of this situation so that you don’t fall victim to these tactics by offering any personal information over the web as it relates to this current scenario. 

In talking with the Superintendent of Schools Dr. Amy Berdos, the School Department has no immediate plans to cancel school. The Foxborough Public Schools have complied with Department of Secondary and Elementary Education (DESE) Commissioner Jeff Riley’s request regarding school trips requiring travel, and have cancelled all out-of-state and international travel for students. In regards to other extra-curricular activities or events, they are being individually evaluated based on their unique circumstances. Sporting events are not currently impacted but may be affected if the situation worsens.  Please continue to watch for weekly updates from Dr. Berdos and monitor the School Web Site for any changes that may occur. 

We want to assure the residents and businesses of Foxborough that we are taking all reasonable steps to address the concerns associated with this public health situation.  We will continue to keep the community updated on the situation as it continues to evolve.  If at any time you may have a specific concern about this situation you may contact the Board of Health at 508-543-1207 or you may contact the Town Manager’s Office at 508-543-1219.  As always, if your situation involves a health care emergency please contact 911.