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 1/23/21
COVID-19 cases in Dover
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported 18 new confirmed cases in Dover during the week ending on 1/19/2021. New cases in our town rose significantly after Thanksgiving and have remained elevated since then, just as they have in Massachusetts overall. Though some cases have occurred in children, there haven't been any known cases yet of in-school spread at the Dover/Sherborn schools. School health staff and the Board of Health attribute this to adherence to social distancing guidelines, consistent mask use, and careful attention to air quality in the schools. More consistent adherence to these measures by people of all ages in all settings would help bring the infection rate back down.
New COVID-19 variants
Laboratories that do genomic sequencing of coronavirus samples have detected new variants, one of which is the B117 variant, which appears to spread more readily.
The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines now in distribution are effective at preventing infection with the B117 variant, but scientific leaders are concerned that its transmission rate may outpace the speed of the vaccine rollout and lead to further increases in the number of cases. Social distancing, mask use, and avoidance of being indoors with people other than members of your immediate household will be critically important in controlling its spread.
Though there is no definitive evidence yet regarding the efficacy of double-masking, there is a rationale for wearing a snug-fitting cloth mask over a surgical mask to reduce leakage around the mask and to provide extra layers of filtration. For more information:
All priority groups in Phase 1 of the Massachusetts vaccine distribution timeline are currently being vaccinated at multiple locations throughout the state, and vaccine will become available for people in Phase 2 sometime soon. The Department of Public Health posts updates about vaccine availability at https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccination-program#latest-vaccine-update-in-ma-..
Phase 2 will include, in order of priority:
- Individuals with 2+ comorbidities (conditions that create higher risk for COVID-19 complications), individuals 75+, residents and staff of public and private low income and affordable senior housing
- Several categories of workers, including early education and K-12 workers, transit, grocery, utility, food and agriculture, and sanitation workers, and some other workers as well
- Adults 65+
- Individuals with one co-morbid condition
Vaccination sites in Phase 2 will likely include workplaces, primary care physician offices, pharmacies, and public clinics.
For additional information, please click on the Vaccine infographic link here
SIGN UP FOR DOVER COVID-19 OR OTHER TOWN ALERTS AT https://www.doverma.org/list.aspx
If you have questions or comments, please contact the Board of Health at firstname.lastname@example.org
Modified Town, School & Department Operations
Effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, all Town buildings will be closed to the public until further notice . Buildings will be staffed and services will be available online and by appointment only. If you're entering a Town Building for an appointment, masks are required.
Please click here to view all modified operations across Town Departments.
Please visit the Dover-Sherborn School Website for more reopening information.
- In an emergency meeting on Sunday, September 13, the Dover Board of Health, in conjunction with a similar action by the Sherborn Board of Health, ordered that the in-person hybrid re-opening of the Dover Sherborn Regional High School, originally scheduled for Tuesday, September 15, be postponed for at least one week. Read Dr. Keough’s Letter, September 14, 2020
There is no COVID cluster in Sherborn, and the sports program suspension has been lifted.
The Sherborn Board of Health and the Public Health Nurse investigated numerous positive COVID antibody tests that were completed in Sherborn last week. Additional tests indicated that all of the antibody tests indicated either past infection with COVID or were false positive tests. There were three positive PCR tests, which indicate active infection, in Sherborn. The cases are not linked to one another, and so, by definition, they do not represent a "cluster" of cases. The Dover Board of Health advised resumption of the sports programs that had been suspended.
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.
Curbside service will resume 1/19/21
- 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
- Practicing Preventative Measures
- Mental & Emotional Health
- Travel Notification Requirements
- COVID-19 Testing
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.
There are currently no vaccines available to protect against this novel coronavirus infection.
- 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
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
- Travel risk and new travel order with mandatory quarantine: Though states in the northeast have the lowest incidence of COVID, there is substantial risk that travelers from other parts of the country might be unknowingly infected and spread COVID here. On July 24, 2020, Governor Baker issued a new travel order that requires all visitors and returning residents to complete a “Massachusetts Traveler Form” unless they are coming from a state that has been designated a lower risk COVID-19 state or fall into an exemption category. The new travel order also requires that visitors and returning residents arriving in Massachusetts from any place other than a COVID-19 lower-risk state must quarantine for 14-days unless they can produce a negative COVID-19 test result administered on a sample taken not more than 72-hours prior to arriving in Massachusetts. Failure to follow the rules for quarantine could result in a fine. More details are available at mass.gov/matraveler.
- A CRITICALLY IMPORTANT WAY TO HELP PROTECT OUR COMMUNITY FROM COVID: QUARANTINE AFTER TRAVEL In many parts of the United States, COVID cases are skyrocketing. The northeast is the exception, where infection rates are relatively low and stable, as in Massachusetts, or very low and falling, as in several other northeastern states. There is a serious risk that travelers coming to Massachusetts from areas with high infection rates could be unknowingly infected and spread COVID here after arrival. As a consequence, most northeastern states, Massachusetts included, are directing travelers from other parts of the country to quarantine themselves for 14 days upon arrival. Travelers to Massachusetts from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York, and New Jersey are exempt from the quarantine requirement. The Board of Health urges Dover residents to comply with the directive in order to prevent the spread of COVID. For more information regarding domestic and international travel restrictions and recommendations, please visit the state’s travel information page here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/travel-information-related-to-covid-19
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
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.
Essential vs Non-Essential Businesses
Please visit this link on Mass.Gov to understand the definitions of essential vs non-essential businesses during this time.
Always 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
- Park & Rec Director
- Council on Aging Director