NORWOOD — Eleven town employees and officials have been in close contact with a resident who has been diagnosed with Covid-19, the illness associated with the novel coronavirus, and will self-quarantine for 14 days, officials announced at a news conference Friday night.
The employees and officials, including General Manager Tony Mazzucco, attended a party at a private residence last Sunday when they came in contact with the resident who has since tested positive for the virus, officials said.
The person is not a town employee or town official. The case is one of the eight already announced by the state, Norwood Health Director Sigalle Reiss said at the news conference.
Mazzucco began showing mild, cold-like symptoms of the virus on Friday and was tested that evening, Reiss said. She said the results of the test should be available about 24 hours from the time DPH received the sample.
A total of 30 people attended Sunday’s event. All have been contacted by their local health department to inform them of the need to self-quarantine and monitor their symptoms, the town said in a press release.
Officials released no information about the other town officials who attended the party, citing federal privacy laws.
Mazzucco had given permission for information about him to be shared.
“I think as a leader in the community he wanted to be totally transparent,” Reiss told reporters gathered at Town Hall.
While Mazzucco and the other officials are self-quarantined, town business will go on as usual, Selectman Chairman Paul A. Bishop said.
“We want to stress that the town remains open, and we are fully operational,” Bishop said at the news conference.
Some meetings may have to be rescheduled, he said, but Town Hall will be open for business Monday morning and through the coming days.
While in quarantine, Mazzucco will continue his duties while working remotely from home. “I am following the instructions of state and local public health officials and I want to thank the Norwood Health Department for their guidance in this matter,” Mazzucco said in a press release issued Friday evening.
Mazzucco and the 10 other town officials who attended the event will self-quarantine at home until 14 days have elapsed since the end of the event last Sunday afternoon. If those who attended the event are asymptomatic on Monday, March 16, they will be eligible to return to work. In the meantime, those who are able to, will work remotely, the release said.
Aside from Mazzucco, the town is aware of one other resident, that is not a town employee or town official, that will need to be tested after displaying symptoms, the release said.
Coronavirus can be contracted via close contact, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines as being within approximately 6 feet of an infected person for a prolonged period of time.
Most of the eight cases identified in Massachusetts to date emerged after a meeting of the tech giant Biogen’s leadership team at a hotel in Boston last week. Three Boston residents and two Norfolk County residents who were all at the meeting all tested positive at the state’s laboratory, with the results sent to the CDC for further confirmation. Three other cases — one each in Norfolk, Suffolk and Middlesex counties that were the result of international travel — had no obvious connection to Norwood.
Reiss could not say whether that patient was among the Biogen employees exposed to the virus at a meeting last week, citing federal health privacy laws.