In the red

Abington’s COVID cases up, promoting move to high risk category

A rash of new positive COVID-19 tests has pushed Abington into the “red.” But with no cases tied to the town’s schools, Abington students will remain on their hybrid schedules. 

Abington now has 36 positive cases, with almost 100 additional residents in quarantine as a precaution. The state Department of Public Health considers any community with an average daily incidence rate greater than 8 per 100,000 a “high risk” or “red” community. Abington’s daily average is currently 11.5 per 100,000, according to statistics published Wednesday. 

“Anytime Abington crosses 35 active cases it should go red,” Abington Health Agent Marty Golightly said.

Golightly and Schools Superintendent Peter Schafer both said even though some of the new positive cases involve members of the Abington school community, it is not believed they picked up the virus in a school setting. As a result,  Abington schools will remain in their current hybrid format. 

“Our mode of learning has not changed,” Schafer said. “However, we will constantly monitor the DPH community designation over time and data it provides, local data and available information on transmission points with the Director of Health.”

Golightly said the spike was due to “two specific events in other towns that our residents were a part of.”

He declined to specify what those events were, citing concerns it would result in families involved being stigmatized. 

However, sources confirmed to Abington News that some of the cases are connected to a Rockland youth hockey tournament that has resulted in multiple positive tests across the South Shore. CBS Boston 4 reported Wednesday that cases in Canton, Rockland, Hanson, and Marshfield have also been connected to the hockey tournament. 

Twelve South Shore communities, including Hingham, Weymouth, Marshfield, and Hanover are currently considered “red” communities. 

Golightly did confirm that some Abington residents are in quarantine because people with COVID-19 symptoms went out in public instead of staying home. 

Monday’s Special Town Meeting is still on as scheduled. However,  Abington Celebrates’ planned “Trick or Treat Trail” was canceled Thursday afternoon.

With fall allergy season underway, Golightly said one key difference between allergies and COVID-19 symptoms is a fever. Anyone with a fever should stay home. Also if someone has taken their allergy medication and symptoms persist, they should stay home out of caution, Golightly said.

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