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Posted on: August 19, 2019

Eastern Equine Encephalitis - Precautionary Measures in Place

Recently, the state's Department of Public Health (DPH) elevated the risk of levels of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in several communities to which Ashland is adjacent. Earlier today, Town officials joined other officials in the region and MA DPH to discuss precautionary measures to be put in place due to this elevated risk level.

Due to the level of the risk in our area for exposure to EEE and based on a recent diagnose of a EEE for a human case in Worcester County, the MA Department of Public Health (DPH) will be conducting aerial spraying in the communities of elevated risk - our neighboring communities and our community as announced during their conference call today, August 19, 2019. Once the Board of Health and Town Management are made aware of the aerial spraying dates by the DPH, the Board of Health and Town will notify you through the media, reverse 911 and social media outlets. Additional information on aerial spraying can be found at the following DPH link: https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2019/08/07/Short-FAQ-EEE-and-Mosquito-Control-Summer-2019.pdf

During today's discussion, the DPH “strongly” recommended that outdoor activities be cancelled and moved indoors. Based on this recommendation, evening activities and events are being changed by Town and School Departments and community groups. This includes but may not be limited to the cancellation of Ashland Day's Summer Concert Tuesday (8/20) night at Stone Park, and WACA's Movie Night at the Corner Spot on Friday (8/23). We continue to recommend that individuals stay inside during peak mosquito activity periods and utilize insect repellant, specifically those that contain DEET.

It is important to note that Ashland is at a lower risk level (Moderate) than communities to our north and west that are at High and Critical risk. However we feel that for the general health and welfare of the community we should take an abundance of caution at this time. If you have any questions, please contact Mark Oram at 508-881-0100, ext 7922.

Michael Herbert, Town Manager