Somerville's Response to COVID-19
Our goal in Somerville is to do our very best to support and keep everyone safe during this COVID-19 pandemic. We want you to have all the information you need because by understanding what COVID-19 is, how it is spread, and what you can can do to prevent it from spreading, we can each do our part to keep our family, friends, and neighbors safe.
Some of the steps already taken toward keeping COVID-19 away from our community include changes made to the way we conduct business at our Town Office. These changes incorporate CDC recommended COVID-19 prevention measures including keeping appropriate distance between staff and those conducting business, wearing and requiring masks, frequent sanitizing of surfaces and tools. Changes have also been made toward utilizing COVID-19 prevention measures during Town Meetings and during election activities.
We made and distributed informational brochures to Somerville businesses (there are more than you think!) These brochures provide guidance for understanding requirements of the State of Maine guidelines on how to operate while keeping Maine residents and visitors as safe as possible from COVID-19.
We are providing information we hope you can use via links on this newly re-designed website. And if you have suggestions to make it better - please contact our Town Clerk.
Somerville was awarded financial assistance in this endeavor through a grant from the State of Maine’s Keep Maine Healthy 2020 Municipal COVID-19 Awareness Campaign. That funding has covered most of the cost of the steps we’ve taken to protect townspeople and arm businesses with information to comply with State guidelines.
UPDATE: The Maine Keep ME Healthy program was extended to December 11th, but with no further funding. We filed a revised budget to realign how we can spend the balance. That includes 2 more informational mailings, protective equipment/supplies, including supplies to create 240 PPE kits for townspeople plus more masks and hand sanitizer for refills. Contact our LHO or stop by during office hours to get your masks and hand sanitizer!
Funding Provided by the State of Maine’s Keep ME Healthy Program
The numbers are out for Friday the 18th of December. In the last 20 days 101 Maine people have died of COVID-19. That's 100 families who lost someone they love, thousands of people who have lost a relative, thousands who have lost a friend. Please contact Teresa, our Local Health Officer, or ask at the Town Office on Monday or Wednesday, to get a free PPE kit of masks and hand sanitizer. Let's keep those numbers down everywhere we can make a difference - in our own community and wherever we have to visit for necessities.
Wednesdays new daily case numbers for Maine are yet another record increase of 619. If you haven't taken it seriously yet, it's time to rethink how badly you want to contribute to the Maine death toll, which grew to 276 yesterday. Lincoln County cases rose to 213. Personally, 'the plague of 2020' is not on my list of gifts to give or receive. If you love your family, and really care about friends and neighbors, wearing a mask is not too much to ask.
Yesterday the U.S. reached 304,000 COVID-19 deaths, an increase of 2957 dead in one day, and 16.8 million people infected, an increase of 202,000 yesterday.
Yesterday a grim national daily record was set - 3054 people died yesterday from COVID-19. That's more than the 2977 who died in the 9/11 attacks. And in Maine our daily infected count continues a jerky upward trend. The battle against COVID-19 is one we can fight today by wearing masks properly, keeping distance, and washing/disinfecting hands. We went to war over 9/11. For COVID-19 no one has to face bullets. Our duty instead is to wear masks and wash.
Also reported by the U.S. CDC as of noon December 9th - the national COVID-19 death toll reached 285,351. If unchecked this trend will surpass 350,000 dead by year end.
Things to be thankful for - In recent days the Maine and Lincoln County case increases are looking linear instead of exponential. In other words we are flattening the curve. By continuing mask wearing, avoiding gatherings and other risks of spread, many people will be saved from illness and death. We can do this!
Yesterday's Lincoln County increase continues an exponential growth pattern. The one day increase of 10 cases in LC brings our 7-day average increase to 5.0 new cases per day. The state numbers are still rising (not good), but not quite as steeply as they were, showing that people observing safe practices can make a difference. We need everyone to do so. The wild fluctuation from day to day make a polynomial fit trend line misleading, so I've changed to a 7 day average as the trend line.
Nationally the coronavirus deaths are now at 249,998 people. In less than 9 months.
That is more than died in the American Revolutionary War, Korean War, Vietnam War, and World War I combined.
Today NBC News notes US coronavirus new cases per day in November:
Nov. 1: 76,771
Nov. 2: 86,589
Nov. 3: 91,910
Nov. 4: 104,296
Nov. 5: 121,289
Nov. 6: 126,731
Nov. 7: 125,100
Nov. 8: 109,177
Nov. 9: 133,819
Nov. 10: 131,990
Nov. 11: 148,302
Nov. 12: 161,651
Nov. 13: 176,309
Maine has a new record case increase of 243. Nationally, more than 153,000 new cases were reported, with 66,000 people hospitalized and more than 242,000 have died.
The NY Times reports "More than 132,700 new cases were announced across the United States on Friday. The country also reported more than 1,000 deaths for the fourth straight day."
Maine's daily new cases have set a new record 3 days in a row - 127 on Monday, 151 on Tuesday, 183 on Wednesday.
Avoid risk of spread as much as you can. We have to flatten this curve!
Governor Mills has ordered stricter requirements due to the sharp rise in new cases.
The biggest takeaway is that in Maine face coverings are now required in all public places — pretty much anywhere people might interact with other people — regardless of physical distance from other people.
Here's Executive Order 16 with details:
An Order to Revise Indoor Gathering Limits, Strengthen Face Covering Requirements and Delegate Certain Authority (PDF) - 11/4/2020
NBC News reports over 235 thousand deaths nationally so far.