TEWKSBURY – The Tewksbury Board of Health met on August 19 for its regular meeting to discuss the continued moratorium on new body art establishments, pending actions relating to the Oliveira farm and to hear COVID-19 updates.
Four members were present in person, with member Tony Boschetti joining by phone.
Route 38 Tattoo appeared before the board of directors for a request to meet and welcome apprentices with the board of directors.
President Barry proposed that the discussion on the Oliveira farm continue until a specific date.
The moratorium on the establishment of body art was discussed. The measure was in place to allow for the completion of the new body art regulations before allowing new establishments to open. Boschetti suggested keeping the moratorium in place, pending further guidance on COVID-19.
Barry clarified that no company had requested a body art studio to be established, so the moratorium did not negatively impact businesses in the community. The council unanimously decided to maintain the moratorium until the end of the year.
Health Director Shannon Sullivan discussed the Food Consultant’s completion of 19 inspections, initially focusing on establishments rated 4, which means high risk and requiring four inspections per year. Due to the surge in additional tasks placed on the department related to the pandemic, a consultant has been hired to help, especially as so many food establishments have started the process of reopening.
One issue raised was that establishments did not properly prepare disinfectant. Barry suggested requiring a Serv-Safe person on staff at all times to ensure that a trained person would be available to prepare the solution.
The council discussed the possibility of adding this to its licenses in the future. The board discussed the formation of a collaborative Serv-Safe training between Billerica, Tyngsborough and Tewksbury using grants.
Sullivan reported an increase of 39 cases of COVID-19 from the previous week. Sullivan pulls the numbers weekly from the state and puts them on the city’s website. Sullivan said the state is reporting the Delta variant as the most common variant in the samples tested.
Boschetti suggested that the figures reported by the state could come from people “crossing the border illegally” and bringing the virus into the state. Boschetti said an increase in death rates would be more attractive to him than hospitalizations.
“We have to be careful but take everything with a grain of salt,” Boschetti said.
Member Maria Zaroulis asked: “What is an acceptable death rate for people to realize that this [virus] really exists?
Boschetti commented that people are allowed to enter the country with co-morbidities and are allowed to “migrate and travel across the country”. [author’s note: The CDC requires proof of a negative COVID test to fly into the United States. It is not required for land crossings. There is no government requirement to declare one’s potential or existing comorbidities.]
Member Robert Scarano said the numbers of hospitalizations could be due to many reasons. Therefore, as a direct indicator of the spread, the numbers could be misleading.
Scarano went on to state that “alternatives to vaccination … including invermectin [sic], Remesivr[sic], hydrodocodicozo ..[sic] are still available for people who are unvaccinated and need other treatment ”and“ there seems to be some suppression of the information that they are available ”.
Scarano then urged people to “go to Israeli websites … if you want to see any breakthrough on the merits of determining what this disease does.” I implore people… don’t just Google… do your research… people don’t just have to adhere to CDC guidelines.
Scarano suggested using alternative search engines, claiming that “some information can be blocked”.
[a/n: According to the FDA, Ivermectin is a medication for treating parasitic infections in animals. It is approved for extremely limited use in humans and is not an antiviral. According to the National Institute of Health, Remdesivir is a treatment for active COVID-19 infections and not preventative. CDC does not recommend Hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug, outside of a hospital setting due to cardiac issues associated with the medication]
Member Charles Roux referred to “a comparative analysis that last year 438 deaths from influenza in children under 18… people get sick… people die…. In the case of COVID for the same age group, there was a trace amount of children who fell ill and died from COVID, ”but did not quote its source for the information.
“Numbers don’t lie, but liars matter,” Roux said.
Roux asked Sullivan how reliable the information about the spread of the Delta variant was. Sullivan said the information came from the state.
“They are an appointed council, and the only science they seem to align with is political science,” Roux said of the CDC.
Roux added: “They scare people.”
Scarano continued to encourage people to search websites in other countries to find out what they are doing, suggesting that some information may be blocked or removed.
The next meeting of the Board of Directors is Friday September 9, 2021 at City Hall.