Dover COVID-19 Updates & Information
This global public health concern is evolving. Residents can expect that information and recommendations may change. The Town will provide updates as needed, which will be posted here. Please visit our COVID-19 Community Resources page and COVID-19 Business & Employment Assistance page for specific information and helpful links to various programs.
COVID-19 Update 1/15/22
COVID cases continue to increase in Dover and Sherborn.
In the graph below, Dover and Sherborn are combined as a single community (in red) and cases are displayed along with those in surrounding towns. The y-axis has been compressed to accommodate the current surge.
Source: Matt Vitale, MD, Sherborn Board of Health and MA DPH
Testing for SARS CoV-2 RNA from the Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Plant has shown a significant decline over the past several days. This is reason for cautious optimism because changes in wastewater viral RNA levels precede changes in COVID cases. Note that Omicron was first detected in MWRA wastewater on December 9.
MOBILE TESTING UNIT
An AFC Urgent Care Mobile Testing Unit is in place at the High School and is available to all Dover and Sherborn residents and to school and town employees and their household members. Appointments are filled quickly once they are posted. While the AFC system has run smoothly, some people have not come for their scheduled appointments. More than 30 AFC registrants were “no shows” on Thursday. This has a huge impact on the opportunity for others to register as well as AFC staffing. We ask that you use the Signup Genius email confirmation to cancel or change any appointment you cannot keep.
The test positivity rate was 24% for the testing sessions conducted on Tuesday and Thursday of this week.
RAPID ANTIGEN TESTS FOR HOME USE
Dover and Sherborn have each ordered a supply of rapid antigen tests that we hope will be available soon for local distribution. We haven't yet received confirmation that they have been procured or any information about possible delivery date, but we will post that information as a Dover COVID Alert once it becomes available. The Board of Heath is developing a distribution plan, and welcomes comments regarding prioritization. Please send them to email@example.com.
Beginning on January 19, households may order test kits on line from the federal government at COVIDTests.gov
Masks significantly reduce the risk of COVID spread. Surgical masks are more effective than cloth masks, but high-quality medical masks (N95, KN95, KF94) are the best. They're made with layers of filtering material that trap 94-95% of viral particles, and they tend to fit more snugly on the face. There are numerous counterfeit masks available on the internet but it's possible to find genuine high-quality masks fairly easily. For specific advice, visit https://www.nytimes.com/article/covid-masks.html or https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/blog/12-signs-you-have-a-fake-n95-kn95-or-kf94-mask/.
VACCINATION AND DIGITAL VACCINE CARD
The vast majority of people hospitalized with COVID-19, including the Omicron variant, are unvaccinated. Being fully vaccinated and boosted confers the greatest reduction in the risk of serious illness and death. Vaccination appointments are available at https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/.
FOR DOVER COVID-19 OR OTHER TOWN ALERTS AT https://www.doverma.org/list.aspx
Please contact the Board of Health with questions or comments at 508-785-0032, extension 232.
Modified Town, School & Department Operations
Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases and out of an abundance of caution, the Board of Health has issued an order requiring face masks in all municipal and other buildings open to the public in the Town of Dover, effective Monday, September 13, 2021. The Town of Dover municipal buildings include the Town House, Caryl Community Center, Dover Town Library, Protective Agencies Building, and the Highway Garage.
Town Administrator Chris Dwelley's memo can be viewed in full here
The Board of Health Order can be viewed here
The Dover Board of Health has approved re-opening the book and textile bins at the transfer station effective June 17. Recycling containers will only be available only at the Transfer Station.
Signs will inform residents of the appropriate safety procedures to follow at the book and textile bins. The Transfer Station requires face masks for all residents to protect the staff and other residents and has preventive measures in place to promote social distancing.
Areas that currently remain closed are the Swap Shop, Furniture Shed and Deposit Trailer.
While the transfer station remains open, users will be required to park in every other space in order to encourage social distancing.
- Until further notice, we are asking citizens to avoid coming into the lobby of the police department, unless it is a case of an emergency.
- We will be temporarily allowing our officers to take reports over the phone for any issues or incidents that we feel would not require a visit to your home. Some examples could be neighbor disputes/civil matters, calls for advice, credit card/identity theft, and animal matters that are not a threat to public safety.
- No citizen fingerprints will be taken at the station until further notice.
- We are not accepting any food items for police until further notice.
- If you have a situation that can be resolved over the phone by speaking with a police officer, please call our business line at 508-785-1130. Please continue to use 911 for all emergencies and medical calls.
Staying Healthy & Safe
Health & Hygiene
Many of the things you do to help prevent colds and the flu can help protect you against other respiratory viruses, including COVID-19:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds .
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Clean things that are frequently touched (like doorknobs and countertops) with household cleaning spray or wipes.
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue or your inner elbow, not your hands.
- Stay home if you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
- Summer parties are frequent sources of COVID clusters: Parties are frequently the source of clusters of COVID cases, including for people in Dover. Even small parties (<25 attendees) are risky because partygoers tend not to use face coverings or follow the rules of social distancing
You can help prevent COVID-19 with social distancing:
- Call/Facetime/online chat with friends and family
- Stay home as much as you can
- If you must go out:
- Don’t gather in groups
- Stay 6 feet away from others
- Don’t shake hands or hug
- And please continue to wash your hands frequently
- COVID-19 Testing
- Mental & Emotional Health
- Travel Notification Requirements
- Vaccine Distribution Information
- Vaccine Questions and Answers
COVID-19 Testing. The Town strongly encourages people who are concerned that they may have symptoms of COVID-19 to arrange to be tested through their primary care providers. If someone has a COVID swab test (PCR) that is positive, the provider who ordered the test will follow up, and the Dover Public Health nurse will also call to discuss isolation and quarantine in the home, as well as give advice about managing symptoms and, if needed, help arrange for groceries and other supplies. Some people have chosen to have coronavirus antibody blood tests performed. The role of antibody tests isn’t entirely clear yet, as they may indicate past infection, but they may also indicate active infection.
Maintaining Emotional Health & Well-being
Taking care of your emotional health and well-being during this time is important. Decreasing stress can help bolster your immune system and can help keep you and others around you healthy. Please visit the Mass.Gov website for important resources and tips.
Travel Notification Requirements
- In Massachusetts, if you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic. Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. If you haven't been vaccinated yet, visit vaxfinder.mass.gov. More details about travel restrictions are available at mass.gov/matraveler.
- If a recent traveler in your home develops any symptom of COVID during quarantine, they should be tested and should contact their primary care provider. The CDC list of COVID symptoms is at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html., and testing sites are available at: https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-testing. Please note that many local grocery stores deliver, either directly or through Instacart, and the Dover Council on Aging, at 508-513-5734, is available, no matter your age, to advise about other logistical problems that may arise during the quarantine period
VACCINE BOOSTER DOSES
The FDA and the CDC have authorized booster doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for certain populations and for individuals in high-risk occupations who have received a Pfizer-BioNTech primary series. The FDA and CDC will address the need for boosters for people who have received primary series of Moderna and J&J vaccines shortly.
The CDC recommends:
- people 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series,
- people aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series,
- people aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditionsmay receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks, and
- people aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks.
To find a local vaccination site, visit vaxfinder.mass.gov. For individuals who are unable to use Vaxfinder, the COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Phone Line is available by dialing 211 Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM-6:00 PM, Saturday and Sunday 9AM-2PM
Vaccine Distribution Information
Council on Aging and Board of Health staff will be updated on alternative options to scheduling appointments online, including via phone; these options will be communicated when received. Family members are able to book appointments for someone eligible who needs assistance. If you need help with scheduling a vaccine appointment, please contact Dover COA at 508-315-5734 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Council on Aging: Is providing support with registering for the vaccine to Dover residents 65 years of age or older and can provide transportation to adjacent towns. To contact the COA call: (508) 315-5734.
- BayPath Elder Services: Is available to assist individuals 65 and older with making an appointment for the vaccine. You may call (508) 573-7200 to speak with someone at BayPath.
COVID-19 Vaccine Questions and Answers
Who is eligible to receive COVID vaccine now?
People age 12+ who live, work, or study here in Massachusetts can get vaccinated against COVID-19. The vaccine is free, safe, and effective. You don't need an ID or insurance to get it. People ages 12-17 can recieve the Pfizer vaccine. People age 18+ can receive any vaccine.
Where is the vaccine available?
Visit vaxfinder.mass.gov to find a location near you.
I need help. I have a computer but need coaching about online registration and appointment scheduling
Please contact the Dover Council on Aging at 508-315-5734
I need help. I can't use a computer to make an appointment..
If you are 75+ and aren't able to use a computer, please call 211 for assistance. See the graphic above for additional information. You may also contact the Dover Council on Aging at 508-315-5734
If I’ve had COVID-19, should I be vaccinated, and when?
If you have had COVID-19, you should be vaccinated, as reinfection can occur, and it is very likely that vaccination will help prevent reinfection. If you had COVID-19 and were treated with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should defer your vaccination for three months following the treatment.
After I have been vaccinated, can I stop wearing a mask and avoiding close contact with others?
After you are vaccinated, please continue to wear a mask, wash your hands often, maintain physical distance, and avoid indoor settings with people who aren’t members of your immediate household. These measures remain important because people who have been vaccinated sometimes can be infected and spread the virus even while they are asymptomatic or very mildly ill.
How can I stay up to date about COVID-19 vaccination?
The Board of Health and Council on Aging will continue to post updates on the town website and will send them by email to people who have signed up for alerts or who are on the COA email list. The Department of Public Health posts information updates at mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine.
Visit Mass.Gov directly for the latest information and programs.
Stay Informed with News, Updates & Alerts
- Follow Town of Dover Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/townofdovermass
- Follow Town of Dover Twitter: https://twitter.com/TownDover
- Sign up to receive emergency alerts (call & text) via Dover Police Department: http://doverma.org/public-safety/911-notification/
- Mass211.org – 24/7 Residents with questions should call 2-1-1 from any landline or cellphone . Callers dialing 2-1-1 will hear an automated menu of options. Callers press 2-6 for Coronavirus. Residents can also reach 2-1-1 through a live chat option on the Massachusetts 2-1-1 website.
- Dover Sherborn Regional Schools is providing regular updates to families. These are also available on the DSRS website.
Local Hospital Information
Partners HealthCare Coronavirus Hotline: 617-724-7000 (Open 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., 7 days/week beginning on Monday, March 9)
Beth Israel Lahey Hospital: Monitoring COVID-19: Keeping our Communities Healthy
Beth Israel Deaconness Needham: https://www.bidneedham.org/
Norwood Hospital: https://www.norwood-hospital.org/
Metro West Medical Center: https://www.mwmc.com/
Newton Wellesley Hospital: Coronavirus Information: What you Need to Know
Regional Health COVID-19 Information
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Links:
Massachusetts Department of Public Health Link:
Mass.Gov Resources & Information on COVID-19
Town of Dover COVID-19 Response Group
Working together to evaluate and implement local and regional best practices and recommendations are:
- Board of Selectmen
- Board of Health
- Town Administrator
- School Representative
- Police Chief
- Fire Chief
- EMS Administrator
- Parks & Recreation Director
- Council on Aging Director