Selectmen evaluate efforts to limit spread of coronavirus

Apr 7, 2020

With 14 Wareham residents and two town employees testing positive for the coronavirus, the Wareham Board of Selectmen evaluated the town’s efforts to limit the spread of the virus during a virtual meeting on April 7. The meeting was held via Zoom, a video conferencing application. 

At the time of the meeting, two people from Wareham were reported to have died from coronavirus.

Selectman Patrick Tropeano said that he was “not completely happy” with social distancing efforts in the town so far. He said that he saw too many people at a grocery store who were not wearing masks.

He explained that the masks are crucial to prevent spreading the virus to others, and that “the whole point of this is to protect all of us.” 

He added that while younger people may feel more confident in their ability to cope with the virus, they could still unknowingly spread the virus to older, more at-risk people.

Other selectmen commented that Wareham has done better than some other communities in terms of social distancing, but residents could do better by trying to limit how often they go to grocery stores if possible.

Selectman Alan Slavin mentioned that a Wareham resident asked him about where to go for masks and other protective equipment. 

Selectman Peter Teitelbaum said that there are sewing groups on Facebook who are making masks, and that people should consider getting the handmade masks.

Others in the virtual meeting said that at the very least, a handkerchief could be used as a makeshift mask to prevent spreading the virus to others. 

Town Administrator Derek Sullivan said that the two town employees who tested positive for the virus have been placed on leave and have sought out the appropriate medical attention, although it is not clear what their condition is at this time.

Sullivan added that other town employees who were in contact with the two who tested positive have also been placed on leave as a safety measure. Sullivan did not specify exactly how many employees have been placed on leave at this time.