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Dalton Town Hall Reopens, COVID Cases Drop
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
12:19PM / Friday, February 25, 2022
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DALTON, Mass. — Town Hall is once again open to the public after about two months of closure because of the winter COVID-19 surge. The change is due to a decrease in Dalton's case counts.

Health Agent Agnes Witkowski reported the doors opened last Tuesday when there were seven COVID-19 cases during the previous week. The threshold for reopening Town Hall is 25 cases or fewer in seven days.

"Our latest information is eight for the last seven days," Witkowski wrote in an email to iBerkshires, adding that this number doesn't include at-home tests.

In mid-December, the offices closed to the public until further notice because of an uptick of the virus. The 25-case cutoff was established as a measure for closure based on the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's original guidance for schools.

In early January, the Board of Health reaffirmed this standard.  At the time, the case count was more than 102 with 68 cases occurring in the prior week.

According to state data, the town saw 473 new cases in the two weeks ending Feb. 19, for a total of 1,133 cases. The numbers have dropped off dramatically in the past week, with the entire county recording only 231 cases between Feb. 17 and 24.

During the closure, Dalton's Selectmen as well as boards and commissions met virtually. According to the town's calendar, some meetings are back to being in person.

For masking, the town is following the state Department of Public Health's guidance updated on Feb. 15 that states that unvaccinated people should continue to wear face coverings indoors in public places and that fully vaccinated people should wear a mask indoors if they have a weakened immune system, are at increased risk for severe disease because of age or an underlying medical condition, or if a person in the household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease.

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