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• Across Massachusetts, according to DPH, we are seeing a large surge in new COVID-19 cases. The 7-day average of new cases across the state is now 11,800, compared to a 7-day average of about 4,400 new cases one month ago.
• Hingham is also experiencing a significant spike. DPH is reporting 234 new COVID-19 cases in Hingham during the 14-day period reported on 12/30/2021, compared to 167 cases over the two-week period reported two weeks ago on 12/16/2021. It is also important to note that many residents are now taking home-based testing which is most often not reported and therefore not in these statistics. As a result we are assuming that the actual number of positive cases is much higher than these statistics show.
• The overall vaccination rate for Hingham is now 81% (for fully vaccinated individuals). If you look at only vaccine-eligible individuals in Hingham (people age 5+), the percent of fully vaccinated eligible residents is 86%.
• According to DPH, about 53% of Hingham residents ages 5-11 are fully vaccinated at this point.
• The Town held a successful vaccine booster clinic on December 28, 2021 at the South Shore Baptist Church. Led by a team from our Health, Fire, and Police Departments, the clinic was able to provide 120 Moderna booster shots to eligible residents.
• On Thursday, January 13, 2022, Hingham will partner with Cohasset, Hull, and Scituate to host a second booster clinic at the South Shore Baptist Church from 9am to 1pm.
o The regional clinic will be available to residents of Cohasset, Hingham, Hull, and Scituate only.
o The clinic will provide 300 doses of the Moderna booster to residents age 18 and older. Those who received their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine more than six months ago are able to receive a booster.
o This will be a drive-up clinic. Those receiving a booster will not need to exit their vehicles in order to receive their shot. Members of the Hingham Fire Department and Cohasset Health Department will be administering the doses.
o Those wishing to receive the vaccine at this clinic must Pre-register for the Vaccine Booster Clinic. No walk-ins will be accepted at the clinic.
o More details and instructions on how to pre-register are available on the Town of Hingham website.
• Booster shots are also available at the Hingham Center Pharmacy and local CVS and Walgreens locations.
• As we announced this evening, the Town is partnering with MobileMed LLC and Covid Clinic Inc. to open a temporary COVID-19 testing site at 335 Lincoln Street in Hingham.
• The testing site will be open on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 7am to 4pm. Priority access will be given to residents and employees of the Towns of Hingham, Cohasset, Hull, and Scituate. We are partnering with those other communities to offer this as a regional testing resource.
• Testing options at the site include PCR tests, rapid antigen tests, antibody tests, and other options.
• The testing site will be operated as a drive-through facility and testing will be offered by appointment only. I want to stress this point – walks in will not be accepted at this site. Anyone who does not have an appointment for that day will be turned away. We will have testing staff and detail officers on site to enforce this rule and keep traffic moving.
• We are aiming to open the testing center mid next week. More details will be posted on the Town of Hingham website shortly.
Public Health Protocols
• DPH recently updated its quarantine and isolation guidelines to align with revised guidance from the CDC.
• As of now, if you test positive for COVID-19, you must self-isolate for 5 days. You may resume public activities after day 5 as long as it has been 24 hours without a fever, without taking fever-reducing medications like Tylenol, and have experienced improvement in other symptoms.
• Guidance for close contacts has also been updated.
o If you’ve received a booster shot or completed the primary series of Moderna/Pfizer within six months or Johnson & Johnson within two months, you are now considered fully vaccinated. As such, fully vaccinated individuals who are identified as close contacts do not need to quarantine unless they have symptoms. Fully vaccinated individuals who are close contacts should wear a mask around others for 10 days, and test on day 5 if possible. As always, if you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home.
o Individuals who are not fully vaccinated and are identified as a close contact needs to quarantine at home for 5 days. If they cannot quarantine, they need to wear a mask for 10 days. Testing on day 5 is recommended if possible. Again, if you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home.
• Please continue to take precautions to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. As we all know well by now, public health protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 include vaccination, wearing face coverings, practicing social distancing, and frequently washing hands, among other measures.
• As a reminder, effective December 21, 2021, DPH advised all residents, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask or face covering when indoors (and not in your own home). Masks continue to be required in Massachusetts on public and private transportation, in healthcare facilities, and in congregate care facilities.
• Our mask policy remains unchanged and in effect for municipal facilities. We are working with the Health Department to review the latest guidance and data and determine whether broader community measures may be recommended.