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Threat of EEE and West Nile Cancels Nighttime Events, Including Sports and Applefest Fireworks

After much consideration, and a recommendation from the Department of Public Health, the fireworks ... and nighttime sports ... are canceled in town.

After last week's threat of by the Department of Public Health, local authorities met to discuss the appropriate response to ensure the town's safety.

Due to their proximity to Westborough, the towns of Auburn, Hopkinton, Grafton, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Upton, Worcester an Northborough were elevated to high risk for mosquito-borne illness.

Northborough's police chief, fire chief, health agent, superintendent, the public schools' athletic director and the town administrator met with others to consider steps that could be taken in reaction to the elevated mosquito-borne illness risk level. 

It was determined, unanimously, that nighttime outdoor athletic activities be canceled or recheduled/postponed. Essentially, anything that would occur after 6 p.m. will be canceled or postponed, including the football game at Algonquin this Friday evening.

And on the heels of an excited announcement only weeks ago that fireworks were returning to Applefest (happening this weekend), those fireworks, and the corresponding barbecue on Saturday night, will also be canceled.

Authorities decided on the decision shortly before the Board of Selectmen meeting Monday night.

"With a heavy heart, everyone agreed that the barbecue and fireworks be canceled," said Town Administrator John Coderre. "The public health risk is just one that is not acceptable to the community."

Coderre added that more information would be coming from Superintendent of Schools Charles Gobron as well as Algonquin's athletic director Fran Whitten regarding sports schedules. Independent youth leagues, too, will be informed of the decision and "they would be hard pressed not to concur," said Coderre.

Health Agent Jamie Terry added that people should take necessary precautions by wearing long sleeve shirts, socks and bug spray, as well.

According to the press release that was issued Monday evening, West Nile Virus infected mosquitoes have been found in 106 communities from nine counties so far in 2012. Health officials predic that the state is on track to have the greatest number of west nile virus positive mosquito pools since it was first seen in the state in 2000.

Northborough has not had an instance of EEE, but did have a case of west nile virus in recent years.

Find the compete announcement from the town here.

Jodi September 11, 2012 at 02:16 AM
Oh no! We can't spray to control the mosquito population, we must stop our lives and cower inside afraid of a little pest! We never had these problems growing up and they regularly sprayed for mosquito's, we all turned out just fine. The pesticides used today are much safer than what was used in the 70's, and absolutely safer than west mile or EEE!!!
TR September 11, 2012 at 12:27 PM
You can get your home sprayed for free, just call mosquito control.
Bob Weir September 11, 2012 at 01:14 PM
You can thank the treehuggers for part of the problem as they voted to ban trapping in MA. Now the varmint beaver is flooding forests and turning them into useless swamps killing the trees and ruining habitat, but providing a huge breeding ground for misquitos and their deseases all over the state! People have had there homes condemned due to flooding as well. Something needs to be done to allow people to pay the state money to control them like we used to.
TR September 11, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Beavers? Really? Seems a liitle odd.... I never hug trees because they refuse to hug back. Very rude behavior!

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