Emergency management committee meets for first time since January

SOUTHWICK- The Southwick Local Emergency Management Committee (LEMC) hosted its first virtual meeting since January after having multiple meetings cancelled due to COVID-19.

During the meeting, Southwick Health Director Tammy Spencer said that there have been some discrepancies between the COVID-19 data being published by the state and the numbers being reported by the Town of Southwick. As of Thursday morning there were 75 total COVID-19 cases in Southwick, but the state has only recorded 68. 

Spencer said that there have been 3,066 total tests of Southwick residents thus fa. As of Thursday morning, Southwick had no known positive cases in the town. 

Spencer also said that there have been cases where the individual who tested positive is a resident of Southwick, but is physically living elsewhere, such as college, and never entered Southwick while they were sick. 

Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional Schools Superintendent Jennifer Willard, who sits on the LEMC, said that her son and his friend tested positive for COVID and while their official address is in Westfield, they are not living at home currently. Spencer said it is likely that those cases were counted as cases in Westfield, rather than where they physically reside. 

Spencer said there has been little spread of COVID-19 in Southwick this month. Most of the recent positive cases in the town apparently came from travel out of state, and led to little to no community spread in Southwick. She also said that most of these cases have been asymptomatic. 

Spencer also said she has been reviewing the town’s existing emergency dispensing site plans to figure out how to handle any possible mass vaccinations that may have to take place for a coronavirus vaccine. The current plans would utilize the school buildings, but Spencer said that she may not want to use them as it would require further cleaning of the buildings on top of what is being done to keep them clean for in-person learning. 

She suggested instead using drive-thru clinics for a COVID-19 vaccine. Spencer and Council on Aging Director Cindy Sullivan hosted a flu clinic for senior citizens where 68 people were vaccinated for the flu in 90 minutes. They held the clinic both to help inoculate seniors ahead of what is expected to be a bad flu season, but also to do a dry run to practice before a COVID-19 vaccine is available.

Spencer advised everyone to get the flu vaccine as soon as possible.

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