Some encouraging news on the. COVID front: as somewhat anticipated, the number of positive cases in town have started to fall precipitously.
Whereas the number of cases hit 661 on Thursday, it has since fallen to 365 on Monday. Now, numbers tend to drop over the weekend, especially a long holiday weekend. But a near 50% drop seems like it’s more than just a lag in testing.
Public Health Director Marty Golightly said he won’t know the town’s true number until the weekend tests come in.
“I’m still hopeful this indicates we’re over the peak of cases,” he said.
Many hope the floodwaters recede as fast as they swelled. However Golightly said South Africa, which has world-leading epidemiology labs, and was the first to identify the new omicron varient, has seen a gradual decline in case numbers instead of a sharp drop-off. So who knows.
“It’s really difficult to properly forecast right now and it’s frustrating,” Golightly said.
The big worry now is about the number of hospitalizations and deaths, he added. As of last Friday, the last date state statistics were updated, 88 percent of all ICU beds in Southeast Massachusetts were filled, and COVID-related hospitalizations now exceeded last winter’s peak. The state’s largest health care system is now postponing 2,000 non-emergency procedures per week – about 40 percent of its usual total – in order to free up capacity.
Is the pandemic over? No. Are there hopeful signs that we’ll be able to gather for the St. Patrick’s Day parade in 8 weeks? Possibly.
COMMUNITY PRESERVATION COMMITTEE DISCUSSING PROJECTS
Upgrades to athletic fields, improvements to Island Grove, historical document preservation, and war memorial repairs are some of the projects being considered by the Community Preservation Committee. The panel will listen to public input at their meeting tonight before voting on which projects to recommend to Town Meeting in April. The group has nearly $1 million to spend, between new revenues next year, saved money from this year, and previous projects that came in under budget. They don’t have to spend every dime. But the town does have a lot of historical, open space, and housing needs.
KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION UNDERWAY
Parents of children who will turn 5 on or before August 31, 2022 can now register for Kindergarten for the 2022-2023 school year. Registration will be held on a rolling basis with families emailing (BBESKReg@abingtonps.org), faxing (781.982.2187), or dropping off their registration paperwork to BBES BEFORE March 4, 2022.
Kindergarten registration packets were mailed to many families in recent weeks. They are also available by visiting the Kindergarten tab on the Beaver Brook webpage or by clicking here.
Community Preservation Committee, 7 p.m., via Zoom. Agenda includes public discussion and final vote on projects that will be recommended for Town Meeting approval.
Strawberry Valley Golf Course Committee, 5 p.m., Clubhouse. Agenda includes the superintendent’s report, course improvements, and 2022 greens fees.
Zoning Board of Appeals, 6 p.m., Town Hall. Posted agenda says the meeting is about reviewing and approving the a proposal for peer review services.
Finance Committee, 7 p.m., via Zoom. Agenda includes discussions about the proposed budgets for the treasurer/collectors, council on aging, and public works departments.