• Massachusetts DPH has not updated its data since our report to you last week.
• Key data, available through January 8, reflect a rising COVID-19 presence in Hingham:
o Our average 14-day case count is 589, up from 415 reported on January 1.
o Our total case count was 3,430, up from 3,093 reported on January 1.
Temporary COVID-19 regional testing site
• A regional COVID-19 drive through testing site, supported by Hingham, Cohasset, Hull, and Scituate, continues operation at 335 Lincoln Street in Hingham. Test site operations have improved substantially with reduced wait times amid more volume. Thanks are due to the many teams supporting the site, including the Hingham Building, DPW, Health, IT, Police, and Public Health Departments, for their work in preparing the site.
• We are working with the vendor to improve the turnaround for PCR test results. The vendor recognizes there is a problem and is working to reduce this turn-around time. The vendor is adding capacity; we expect the time between testing and notification to decrease.
• Due to harsh weather conditions, the Testing Center was closed yesterday, January 17th.
• The testing center will be open on Mondays, Wednesday, Thursdays, and Saturdays, from 7am to 4pm. PCR and rapid antibody tests are available. Rapid antigen tests are not available at this time.
• Residents and employees of the four communities will continue to have priority appointment access from 7am – 11am daily. Online preregistration is required; no tests will be administered without an appointment. All participants will be notified of test results by email.
Public Health Protocols
• Please continue to take precautions to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. As we all know, vaccination, wearing face coverings, practicing social distancing, and frequently washing hands, among other measures, help protect us all from COVID-19.
• On January 7, 2022, the Hingham Board of Health issued a Health Advisory strongly recommending the use of face coverings by all patrons, visitors, and employees within any indoor space open to the public in Hingham.
• The Health Advisory is directed to all visitors and employees within any indoor space in all public places, public housing, assisted living facilities, membership associations, and workplaces in Hingham.
• The CDC and the Massachusetts DPH guidance on face coverings can be found on their respective websites.
• The Board of Health recommends the use of an N-95, KN-95, or a (non-woven, multi-ply) surgical mask. Woven cloth masks, gators, and bandanas provide significantly less protection against this airborne respiratory virus. Also remember that any face covering should be fitted closely to one’s skin to prevent unwanted gaps and leaks.