In our continued efforts to outreach to our residents and local businesses about the ever evolving situation of the coronavirus pandemic, the Mansfield Public Health Department has established this Coronavirus Information page. You’ll find up to date information, website links, and contact information from the Town’s COVID-19 Task Force, the Health Department, Town Administration and the School Department.
Update December 3, 2020
The following statistics are for Mansfield residents only.
- Total persons currently positive and under isolation in Mansfield: 58
- Total persons testing positive in Mansfield since the beginning: 432
- Total persons recovered: 358
- Total persons deceased: 16
- Community Designation Level: Yellow
At this point, local tracking is transitioning to the state-run Community Tracing Collaborative (CTC) and it is unknown how many residents are self-quarantining.
Answer the call and help stop the spread of COVID-19
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, along with Partners In Health, has created the COVID-19 Community Tracing Collaborative. The program focuses on reaching out to the contacts of confirmed positive COVID-19 patients to help others who have been potentially exposed to the virus. When the MA COVID Team calls, you can do your part by answering the phone and providing helpful information that will help flatten and reduce the curve in Massachusetts. Phone calls will use the prefix 833 and 857 and your phone will say the call is from “MA COVID Team.” Calls will be made daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sign up for Massachusetts COVID-19 text alerts
To get up-to-date alerts sent directly to your phone, text COVIDMA to 888-777.
COVID-19 Task Force
The Mansfield Town Manager has established a COVID-19 Task Force where the central goal and mission is to provide a balance in which the Town can continue to provide essential services to the public, while trying to prevent and mitigate the spread of the virus. The task force is comprised of Town Manager Kevin Dumas, Assistant Town Manager Barry LaCasse, Fire Chief Justin Desrosiers, Chief of Police Ron Sellon, Health Agent Amy Donovan-Palmer, School Director of Health Services Christine Dooling, Superintendent of Schools Teresa Murphy, and Director of Human Resources Jocelyn LeMaire.
Questions about Coronavirus?
If you have specific question you need to ask, the Mass 211 call center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Mass 211 is an easy to remember telephone number that connects callers to information about critical health and human services available in their community. It serves as a resource for finding government benefits and services, nonprofit organizations, support groups, volunteer opportunities, donation programs, and other local resources. Always a confidential call, Mass 211 maintains the integrity of the 9-1-1 system saving that vital community resource for life and death emergencies.
Massachusetts COVID-19 Response Dashboard
MEMA has developed and maintains a public-facing COVID-19 ArcGIS Online dashboard, available here. This dashboard is continuously updated and captures information about current COVID 19 case counts, cases by age, cases by county, hospital status, hospital bed status, death tolls, and deaths by age. Users should refresh the dashboard on a daily basis as enhancements are continuously being added.
Mansfield Public Schools
Information from the Mansfield Public Schools can be found on their dedicated COVID-19 Resources Page
Baker-Polito Administration Press Releases
Press Releases from the Baker-Polito administration can be found here: Mass.gov - Press Releases related to COVID-19
- CDC COVID-19
- Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency
- Unemployment & COVID-19
- Department of Transitional Assistance Online Portal
- Emergency Childcare Site
- Complete List of Emergency Orders & Guidance
- Frontline Worker Resources @(Model.BulletStyle == CivicPlus.Entities.Modules.Layout.Enums.BulletStyle.Decimal ? "ol" : "ul")>
- Coronavirus Information
- Cloth Face Coverings
- Social Distancing
- Hand Washing
- Testing for COVID19
- Task Force Update Archive
- Mental Health Services
- Phased Re-opening
A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.
On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”.
There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused be a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. The name of this disease was selected following the World Health Organization (WHO) best practice for naming of new human infectious diseases.
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Through Bouy Health, you can learn what you must do to protect yourself from this fast-spreading virus. Also, most common symptoms, best ways to treat, and more.
The CDC has the Coronavirus Self-Checker is to help you make decisions about seeking appropriate medical care. This system is not intended for the diagnosis or treatment of disease or other conditions, including COVID-19. This system is intended only for people who are currently located in the United States.
Effective Wednesday, May 6, 2020, any person over age two who is in a place open to the public in the Commonwealth, whether indoor or outdoor, and is unable to or does not maintain a distance of approximately six feet from every other person shall cover their mouth and nose with a mask or cloth face covering, except where a person is unable to wear a mask or face covering due to a medical condition or the person is otherwise exempted by Department of Public Health guidance. The entire order can be found here.
We now know from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms. If you are an unknowing carrier of the virus, wearing a cloth face covering will help stop the transmission of virus from you to others. If we all wear cloth face coverings, the chance of spread will be greatly reduced.
There are other benefits to wearing face coverings. A cloth face covering acts as a reminder to you, the wearer, to not touch your face directly without washing your hands thoroughly. It is also a reminder to people who see you wearing the face cover that it is essential we all keep our distance of at least 6 feet from each other during this pandemic.
Please know that wearing a cloth face covering is an additional tool we have to slow the spread of the virus. This does not replace the messages you have heard over and over again:
- Wash and/or sanitize your hands often
- Don’t touch your face
- Practice social distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from others
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
There are many ways to make a proper cloth face covering:
The Surgeon General offers simple instructions for a quick at home face covering.
The CDC has several sew and no sew instructions on their web page.
For more detailed information, check out the CDC website:
Mask wearing is new to most all of us and can generate some important questions. Masks must be worn properly to be effective. Forbes has some great questions and answers to help us navigate through this new tool to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
What’s the most important thing to do when wearing masks?
There are actually three things. First, wash or sanitize your hands, clean your face with a warm damp face cloth, and allow your face to dry before applying your mask. Second, avoid touching your face. Third, always wash or sanitize your hands before and after applying and removing your mask. When you remove your mask, take it off only from the ear straps, as seen in this video from the WHO.
How do I manage using my cell phone while wearing my mask?
A 2018 survey shows people use their phones up to 52 times per day and that phones are 10 times dirtier than a public toilet—you don’t want to put the phone up against your mask. It will take a lot of effort to avoid reaching for your cell phone when it rings, so when you are out in public, such as visiting a grocery store, consider silencing your phone completely to avoid grabbing for it if it rings. You won’t be able to speak on it right away if your face is covered by the mask because it will sound muffled.
Be careful how you interact with your mask and your phone. Putting a contaminated phone up to your mask contaminates the mask. Pulling your mask down beneath your chin potentially contaminates your mask. Gently wiping down your phone with a 70% isopropyl alcohol or a disinfectant wipe is enough to remove the virus. Be careful not to set your phone down on surfaces and then apply it directly to your face.
Should I be wearing a mask everywhere, including my home?
While the CDC recommends wearing a mask while out in public, for your safety, DO NOT wear the mask while driving if it inhibits your sight. The CDC has not made recommendations about wearing masks at home if no one has symptoms of COVID-19. If someone has cold symptoms in your home, they should wear masks in combination with social distancing, hand hygiene, and cough and sneeze etiquette.
You do not need to sleep in your mask. Your mask should be removed by the ear straps only, never by the front of the mask. The CDC has not specified whether it’s necessary to wear masks while taking walks or in public parks where there are few people or you are much more than six feet away.
If I need to take my mask off in public, where do I put it until I can put it back on? What if I need to eat or drink something while wearing a mask?
There is limited research in this area, but think of your mask as a part of your face: Wash your hands before touching the mask and gently remove it only by the ear straps. For storing it, have a designated brown paper bag with you that you can place it in when not using it so you don’t set it down. If you are in public daily and will be wearing the mask for hours, change your brown paper bag daily.
When you use the bag, label one side “outside” for the outer side of the mask (the side that faces the public), and label the other “inside” for the inner part of the mask (the side near your mouth). Always put the mask in the bag with the inside part corresponding to the side marked “inside” so that you don’t contaminate it with what is on the outer-facing part of the mask.
My mask is getting wet from condensation from my breath. Do I need to change it out?
In healthcare, using disposable masks helps with this problem, but if you are using a cloth mask and find that this happens often, determine if the cloth you have is breathable or too thick. The CDC suggests using a T-shirt, likely cotton, for DIY masks. However, this NBC story notes a study finding other fabrics may work better—this is an example of an area where more research is essential.
Sweat absorbable or moisture-wicking fabrics similar to Dryfit have not been tested, but they may help absorb moisture from breathing. Avoid waterproof materials. If fluid can’t travel through them then it may be challenging to breathe through them. A study that looked at the effectiveness of cloth masks notes the moisture inside of the masks as an issue and risk for germ transmission.
How often do I wash my mask? Do I need more than one?
These questions deserve further scientific investigation and direction by the CDC, but until we have that guidance, these are my recommendations based on my experience and expertise. Ideally, masks should be changed after every wear, but this may not be possible for most people. Assuming no one in your home is sick, it depends on how many times you leave your home each day and each week how often you change it.
Try to have two masks for when the other is being laundered. How often you change it also depends on how long you’re wearing it and where you go in public. Everyone should be practicing social distancing, but in places like grocery stores, you might engage with people in closer proximity.
To avoid potential contamination from the mask, I suggest laundering it when you get home, especially if you don’t know the next time you’ll need it. This prevents you from having a potentially contaminated mask lingering around your home.
What detergents should I use to wash my mask?
This question also deserves CDC research and guidance, but until then, we can only rely on limited evidence from studies about irritation from contact dermatitis. Many detergents can cause rashes, and most detergents have fragrance and enzyme ingredients that can cause pore-clogging or breakouts, so the best option is to use detergents free of fragrance and enzymes.
If you launder your masks with the rest of your laundry, rinse it for extra time in plain water to ensure fragrances are removed. You can also spray it with a 5% bleach solution and let it dry, but test this first to be sure it doesn’t irritate your skin. Treat your mask as if it is your face with the same sensitivity as your skin.
Are there any chemicals, such as fabric softener or bleach, I shouldn’t use in sterilizing or washing my mask?
Again, treat your mask as if it has the same sensitivity as your skin since it will be up against your skin for long periods. It’s best to avoid fabric softeners, bleach, and any ingredients that might cause an allergic reaction, rashes or other symptoms, including fragrances that can cause headaches with long exposure. In addition, do not spray down masks with products such as Lysols and other disinfectants since their labels state that they may irritate the skin.
Should I dry my mask in the dryer or air-dry it?
You can dry your mask in the dryer, but avoid using dryer sheets. For air drying it, hang it on a coat hanger, clothing line, or laundry drying rack.
What does it mean to “fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face” against my face?
You should not see redness or deep lines in your face as a result of wearing your mask. Some people bruise more easily than others, but if you see an imprint in your skin, you should loosen your mask. There should be a full cupping around the nose and chin area with minimal space or opening on the side. If the mask makes it hard to breathe because it is pushing against your nose, loosen your mask. Skin breakdown and pressure sores can occur if the straps or mask is too tight. Furthermore materials such as rubber bands create tension.
Will the mask catch all the droplets when I cough and sneeze?
No—you should still be coughing and sneezing into your elbow. Because the fabric has to be porous for you to breathe, droplets can still travel through. The mask helps decrease the amount of droplets that would travel from your mouth or nose if your face were uncovered. It may also help reduce droplets that would travel from others to your face, though the existing evidence for preventing infection this way is weak unless someone is directly coughing into your face.
Who should not wear a mask?
What should I do if someone sneezes or coughs on the outside of my mask?
Immediately turn away from the person and remove the mask by the straps. If you are in public, discard the mask immediately to avoid transmitting potential germs on the outside of the mask to yourself or others. Throw it away if it’s disposable or you can make another. If it’s a cloth mask you need to keep, place it in your paper bag. Wash your hands immediately after removal. Remember to continue social distancing while wearing your mask.
As we navigate through this new “normal”, we cannot reiterate how important social distancing is to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Social distancing is the act of limiting human contact and increasing the physical space (approximately 6 feet) between people to help slow the spread of disease.
Social distancing includes the following:
- Stay 6 feet away from people
- Cancel mass gatherings
- Work from home
- Stay home as much as possible
Why is this so important?
COVID-19 seems to be transmitted by close contact, inhalation of droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes or by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your face, mouth or nose. Even people who don’t feel sick and have no symptoms can be infected and spread the virus. Distance will help minimize the chance of spreading the virus to others. Please remember that we all have a role in lowering the curve of the number of positive cases moving forward. We are all in this together.
Currently, Governor Baker has several orders in place requiring social distancing. Gatherings are limited to no more than 10 people, elementary and secondary schools are closed and all non-essential businesses must cease in person operations. These actions will help, but we ALL must do our part by following the orders and practicing social distancing to the best of our ability:
- Go outside to exercise but stay 6 feet away from others not in your household.
- DO NOT gather outside in large groups. It has been observed around town that large groups of adolescents are congregating. Adolescents are also at risk of contracting COVID-19. Even with mild or no symptoms, people can pass the disease to others. Restricting access to school buildings will have little impact on public health if these best practices are not followed in good faith.
- Visit with friends virtually using online apps.
- Check out electronic resources available at the Mansfield library
- Get take out from a local restaurant. To be extra safe, when you get home with your food, take it out of the containers, throw those out, and then wash your hands thoroughly before eating.
- Museums are offering free online tours
- Musicians are livestreaming shows
Do you have other ideas? Please email them to Health@mansfieldma.com to share.
PLEASE we cannot emphasize enough how important it is to follow these social distancing recommendations. Even people who don’t feel sick and have no symptoms can be infected and spread the virus.
Who should get tested? You should get a test if:
- You develop any symptoms of COVID-19, even if they are mild
- OR you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
The Baker-Polito Administration launched a revamped testing website, “Get Tested MA,” as a more convenient resource for the public to find information on testing in one place. The website, available at https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-testing, has information on who should get a test, what to do if an individual receives a positive test, and details on the different types of tests available.
Where can I get a test?
The Commonwealth's COVID-19 test site locator, where individuals in need of a test can search for a test site convenient for them. The map allows for filtering among the more than 250 test sites by features including hours, testing for kids, and drive through options. Before seeking testing at a site, individuals should check the details of each site and call ahead if an appointment is necessary.