Loading… of 0 With colder weather here, are we in the clear from EEE? Many communities are breathing a sigh of relief. A hard frost has ended the EEE threat enough for them to lift restrictions on certain outdoor activities. At this point, the whole state hasn’t had a hard frost, so it’s a community by community decision.
Medfield made the decision Monday after getting the all-clear from Norfolk County Mosquito Control.
A welcome chill for those who have spent months worried about mosquitoes and EEE.
“We don’t usually act happy here in New England because it’s cold, but I’m glad it’s cold enough that the hard frost happened so people don’t have to worry about the problem,” said Paul Fahey, a Chief of Staff in Methuen’s Mayor’s Office.
A hard frost kills mosquitoes, and temperatures dropped low enough and long enough in many cities in towns in Massachusetts.
This summer and fall, in communities like Methuen where mosquitoes tested positive for EEE, outdoor activities were canceled from dusk until dawn – the time that the insects were most active.
Related: EEE 2020: Massachusetts preparing for next year’s risk now
“I know some people were a little frustrated,” Fahey said. “I’m sure a few have children that wanted to go out late trick-or-treating or wanted to play football or whatever.”
The state’s Department of Health will wait until the end of the season to update its risk-level map and is not expected to give its all clear until the entire state sees a hard frost. For now, each community is making the decisions based on the guidelines set out by the state.
For a lot of high schools – including Methuen – that means the Friday night lights will be back on.
“I know that many of the activities are wrapping up because winter is coming, but at least for this remaining period of time some of the sports teams that have had to end their programs earlier will have to not be worried about the EEE threat,” Fahey said.
Four people died this year from triple EEE in Massachusetts.
The state stopped its routine testing of mosquitoes in early October. Most cities and town are expected to reach a hard frost by the end of the week..