Playgrounds are closed as six Wareham residents diagnosed with coronavirus

Mar 31, 2020

A total of six Wareham residents have been diagnosed with coronavirus, and there are likely many more who have not been diagnosed.

“More people are being tested and the cases will rise. This should be a strong reminder that COVID-19 is here and we need to continue practicing social distancing, especially staying home as much as possible, and practice good hygiene,” Town Administrator Derek Sullivan said.

In an effort to stop the spread of the virus, officials are closing all playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, and other recreational facilities.

Sullivan explained that the town was compelled to close these facilities after residents were observed breaking social distancing advisories and otherwise acting irresponsibly.

To avoid transmitting the potentially fatal virus, residents must follow social distancing guidelines: no sports, play dates, social gatherings, or picnics. 

While beaches, parks, and trails are still open, social distancing -- staying at least six feet away from others -- should be observed. Benches and other structures are not being sanitized.

Additionally, the Bay Pointe Country Club has closed to golfers because patrons were not following social distancing guidelines.

Wareham has a public health nurse, and has contracted a second, who are working to track the spread of the virus in town. Public health nurses across the state report coronavirus cases to a program called MAVEN (Massachusetts Virtual Epidemiological Network). Nurses are notified of new coronavirus cases in their town, and contact those patients for information about their symptoms, close contacts, and potential exposures. In some cases, the public health nurse will then reach out to contacts and potential exposures to ask them to self-quarantine.

Sullivan is also asking people in town to think before posting on social media. 

“We have spent countless hours, straining our response resources, responding to inaccurate and false information that stemmed from rumors which were posted,” Sullivan said. “These rumors cause unnecessary anxiety and panic. If you have information that the Board of Health should be aware of, please call our offices at 508-291-3100 ext. 3197.”

Although the Council on Aging is closed to the public, staff are still working to help seniors, and can be contacted between 8 a.m. and noon, Monday through Friday, at 508-291-3130. Meals on Wheels is still serving food. Those who would like to register for meals or who want to volunteer to deliver meals should call 508-564-1561.

“As we all go through this challenging time we would like to thank our community members for their kindness and support,” Sullivan said. “As a community we will get through this together.”