Marion Board of Health hears, acts on coronavirus update

Jun 16, 2020

MARION —  Though the town is well into the reopening phase, the Board of Health heard coronavirus updates and addressed some concerns with the illness. 

The Board  discussed an issue with the town’s use of N95 masks. These masks are supposed to be fitted to the individual for best effectiveness. Since Town Health Nurse Kathy Downey knew the Fire and Police departments used the masks even before coronavirus, she assumed they had been tested, but learned that the Police Department hadn’t. She was unable to verify if the Fire Department had or had not prior to the meeting.  

Downey thought that the test was “a good place for covid money to be spent,” for whatever situations first responders may encounter. But “fit testing,” is also expensive through Southcoast Health. Board members asked if the town could try to negotiate once it knows how many tests it will need.  

Board of Health members had received reopening plans from the Harbormaster, Council on Aging and Recreation Center (to reopen playgrounds at Washburn Park and Silvershell Beach) to review. 

Board members said the coronavirus guidelines have been updated and organizations are no longer required to take temperatures for children’s activities because medical experts consider it an unreliable screening tool. 

The nurse also said she had received complaints about people gathering without masks in secluded areas at Silvershell Beach. She made plans to place additional signs at the beach.