Health agent presses businesses for more action

Abington COVID-19 cases up to 23

The town’s Health Agent has issued new recommendations to all Abington businesses in an effort to shore up social distancing practices aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19.

The suggestions include closing stores early so employees have extra time to sanitize and restock, limiting the number of customers inside a store to 30 percent of capacity, and marking out six-foot spaces in checkout lines. 

Marty Golightly, Abington’s Health Agent, said at Monday night’s Board of Health meeting that he can’t mandate Abington businesses follow the steps — which were taken from federal and state health organizations — but he can “highly recommend” that they do. 

A copy of the social distancing guidance given to Abington businesses by Abington Health Agent Mark Golightly.

“By and large our businesses are awesome and doing the very best they can,” he told the board during the meeting, which was held remotely over Zoom. 

Massachusetts public health officials said the number of people infected with the COVID-19 virus is expected to peak in the coming weeks. As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, there are currently 15,202 confirmed cases in Massachusetts, and 356 COVID-19 related deaths. In Abington, 23 residents have tested positive. 

Golightly said he has again started posting the number of confirmed cases in Abington on the Board of Health website after hearing from residents. 

“DPH was recommending that [communities stop posting the number of positive cases], but since there was some concern about how many are in town by some of the residents, we decided to put the number back on there,” he told board members. 

The board re-emphasized the need to follow social distancing guidelines, stay out of busy stores, and refrain from using town parks, fields and playgrounds. 

Board member Alex Hagerty said he’s started going for runs at night in order to avoid being around people. 

“Social distancing only works if we’re all committed to it, stand by it and are actually practicing it the best we can,” said Golightly. “The only way we’re going to get out of this is by everybody doing their part.”

%d bloggers like this: