The number of covid cases in Abington still remains relatively low; as of Thursday there were 25 active cases in Abington, which is well below the high from January when more than 180 Abington residents were battling the virus.
However, the images coming from other states are disturbing. Tennessee’s biggest hospital says it has no spare beds. The University of Mississippi Medical Center is opening a second field hospital. Multiple regions in Texas have full ICUs.
States like Massachusetts, which generally have higher vaccination rates, have not yet seen this tidal wave of new cases, but cases are on the rise.
Abington’s vaccination rate is below the state average, but as recently as 4 weeks ago, the town had zero active COVID cases. That has changed.
“The uptick in our local number of cases if concerning to the Board and Health Department,” Abington Board of Health Chairman Aaron Christian said. “For that reason the Health Department is urging residents to continue taking precautions to protect themselves against infection. This means: getting vaccinated or wearing a mask and social distancing while indoors.”
It’s in this backdrop that plans are being made for students to return to school and fall sports programs.
The Board of Health was set to discuss the pandemic Monday and possibly vote on whether to recommend that the school department start the year with or without a mask mandate. However the meeting was canceled after Superintendent Peter Schafer said Friday his department was following the lead of the school community, school committee, and state education and health departments in starting the year without a mask mandate. This announcement was met with both cheers and jeers from strongly opinionated parents and guardians. (Good time to remind readers that there are a number of unpaid, volunteer positions currently open in town government)
As of now, the state and town health departments haven’t rolled back any of their reopening plans or instituted new policies. Let’s hope they don’t need to.
Student vaccination clinic scheduled for Aug. 25
The Abington Board of Health, Abington Health Department, and Abington Public Schools will be holding a vaccination clinic for students 12+ on Wednesday, August 25, from 11 a.m. to 3 pm. The clinic will be held in the High School gymnasium and is voluntary. Those interested must pre-register through the Health Department website. Parents/guardians must be present during the vaccination. The second dose clinic will be given Sept. 9 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Fireworks, family event planned for Sept. 18; Coombs 5K on Sept. 19
Abington Celebrates are bringing back fireworks on Saturday, Sept. 18 as part of a special afternoon and evening of events in conjunction with the Jeff Coombs Final Memorial 5K. The road race, which has been held annually for the past 20 years in memory of Jeff Coombs who was killed in the 9/11 attacks, is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 19. The day before, Abington Celebrates will host a family event at Memorial Field from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., featuring food, children’s games, and other activities. The American Legion will be hosting a beer tent and serving food. The evening will end with a fireworks display. The Coombs road race will take place the following morning.
Positions open on town committees
There are currently openings on multiple town committees, including the Charter Review Committee, Open Space Committee, Fire Station Building Committee, Finance Committee, and a number of others. Selectmen and the Town Moderator ask that anyone interested in serving should send in a letter by August 25. The board is expected to make a bunch of appointments at its meeting the following Monday.
Survey about town website
Decision makers in Town Hall realize the town’s website is lacking. So they are taking the first steps towards upgrading it. They want to hear from community members about what features are important to them. Fill out this survey to have your voice heard. https://forms.gle/oSrfsrsSeceh4dN49
Abington Stop & Shop supporting Ellie Fund
Throughout the month of August, Abington Stop & Shop is supporting Ellie Fund, a local breast cancer non-profit with its Community Bag Program. For every reusable Community Bag purchased $1 will be donated to Ellie Fund.
Ellie Fund is a Massachusetts- based non-profit that provides financial services including grocery gift cards, transportation gift cards and nutritious meal delivery to patients who are in treatment for breast cancer. The organization serves patients from all over the state and is especially active in the South Shore.
Law Enforcement Suicide Awareness Walk
Friends and family of former Abington Police Sgt. Alex Kokoros are organizing a fundraiser on Saturday, Aug. 28 to bring awareness to emotional and mental health struggles experienced by law enforcement officers. The Law Enforcement Suicide Awareness Walk starts at 9 a.m. at Braintree High School. Sgt. Kokoros, who was one of Abington’s school resource officers, took his own life in October 2018. He was a native of Braintree.
Abington School Building Committee, 8 a.m., Teleconference. Agenda includes updates on the ceiling panel repair/replacement, site drainage outfall pipe, tennis court crack maintenance, rainwater harvesting system repairs, and the southeast grass playing field.
Community Preservation Committee, 7 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes introductory accountments, FY23 eligibility requests, board reorganization, and publication methods for past and present projects.
Parks & Recreation Commission, 7 p.m., DPW Building. Agenda includes a discussion about September’s Abington Celebrates event, field fees with Abington Youth Football, and other fall activities