Abington COVID spike partly from sick people in public

No apparant spread from school case

The number of Abington residents testing positive for COVID-19 has more than doubled in a week, and town health officials are blaming the spike partly on people with symptoms going out in public. 

“The increase in cases in Abington is directly linked to symptomatic people not staying home,” Board of Health Chairman Chris Schultz wrote in a Facebook post. “In other words, sick people, who had symptoms, going out into the community and infecting others.”

There are currently 14 Abington residents quarantining at home due to positive COVID-19 tests. Last week, there was 6. The state Department of Public Health releases town-by-town breakdowns on a weekly basis. 

Abington remains classified a “green” risk community based on the number of current active cases — the next to lowest classification possible. A number of communities around Abington, including Rockland, Weymouth, Braintree, Holbrook, Brockton, and Hingham have been elevated to “yellow” risk communities. 

As of Thursday afternoon, no additional cases have been reported after a member of the Beaver Brook Elementary School community tested positive, according to Abington Health Agent Marty Golightly.  

“The schools are doing a really good job of keeping kids safe and doing what they’re supposed to be doing,” Golightly said. 

Schools Superintendent Peter Schafer said once the students complete their 14-day quarantine period, they will be allowed to return to their class cohorts. 

A restaurant in Abington is closed for the third time in a month after either an employee or customer tested positive. Golightly said the restaurant doesn’t face any fines or sanctions because it has taken all the correct steps including social distancing protocols, shut down immediately after hearing about a positive test, and performed a deep cleaning. The restaurant agreed to close for five days to allow for additional employee testing. 

It is the policy of Abington News to not identify businesses closed for positive COVID-19 tests if the business was found to have properly followed all guidelines and precautions, and does not face a fine or any other penalties.word

Golightly declined to comment whether the positive tests at the restaurant were from employees or customers. But he echoed Schultz’s comments about people staying home if they are possible COVID-19 symptoms, even if they think “it’s just a cold.”

“Again I would ask, if you are not feeling well, please stay home,” he said. 

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