Easton Mosquito Samples EEE-Free Since Late August
Health Agent Mark Taylor appeared before the Board of Selectmen Monday night to talk mosquitoes.
Easton Health Agent Mark Taylor told Selectmen Monday night that there have been no Eastern equine encephalitis positive mosquitoes found in the Shovel Town since Aug. 29.
Taylor said he received an email Monday from Catherine Brown, the state's head epidemiologist, who reported that 62 sample pools were collected since Aug. 29 and all pools came back negative.
"I received that email back from her probably two hours ago and I was happy to get it so I could share it with you and the rest of the town," Taylor told Selectmen.
Taylor said residents needed to continue to use caution, however.
His appearance in front of the Board came on the same day that the third human case of EEE was confirmed in the Commonwealth. While the case was not found in Easton, Taylor said it is a reminder of the threat.
The Board of Health recently released an updated advisory for residents, which can be found here.
Taylor reminded parents to be cautious, not just in the evening, but also when waiting for the school bus in the morning.
"It might be a little warm but a nice sweatshirt could be a good idea in the morning," he said.
Taylor also discussed the newly enacted regulation passed by the Board of Health last week, which gives the Board the authority to impose a ban on night time activities in public places like town-owned parks and schools.
Board of Selectmen member Ellen Barlow said she wanted to ensure that there is proper communication between Boards when dealing with the Regulation.
"I just want to make sure that other people are in the loop because there is a penalty," she said.
Taylor said that in Raynham, the Board of Selectmen and Board of Health are made up of the same people. Officials there used Mass. General Laws Chapter 111, Section 104 to impose a ban.
Taylor said the Board of Health was advised by Town Counsel to draft it's own regulation.
He said that while the Board of Health now has the authority, cooling temperatures and groups already complying with suggested activity curtail times make a ban unlikely.
"Fortunately people are listening and they’re using common sense," he said. "The common feeling is if people are complying by themselves, why run around with a stick and say ‘keep on doing what you’re doing.'"
While the State will not lift Easton's "critical" label, Taylor said Easton could use it's discretion at a local level to advise residents when night-time activities are safe.
He said the Board of Health would discuss the issue further at its next meeting on Sept. 19.
"We’re still at the critical level," he said. "We, hopefully, will wane from the critical level at a local point but the state will not move until we have a hard frost."