Rochester ends EEE curfew after weekend frost

Nov 13, 2019

ROCHESTER — According to Health Director Karen Walega, the town lifted its activities curfew on Nov. 13, due to the threat of eastern equine encephalitis being sufficiently diminished, after the town experienced the first “hard frost” of the season over the past weekend. 

EEE is a rare, but potentially fatal disease that is spread by mosquitoes. The town placed an activities curfew for parks, and other town-owned properties earlier this summer. The curfew was set for a half-hour after sunset.

To lift the curfew, health officials look for temperatures to drop to 28 degrees or less for at least three hours to ensure that all mosquitoes and their larvae are dead, which Walega said has now happened in Rochester.

Health officials in Marion lifted their curfew on Nov.9, and Mattapoisett reported lifting its curfew on Nov. 12.

Across the state 12 people were diagnosed with the disease, including one Rochester man. Four people who were diagnosed died from the disease.

Based on the number of mosquitoes that tested positive for EEE virus, Rochester and Marion were considered to be at “critical-risk” for the disease, while Mattapoisett was at “high-risk.”