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Peterborough Town Clerk wants public to stay vigilant about COVID-19 transmission after positive test

  • The Peterborough Town House Staff photo by Ben Conant

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 6/11/2020 2:41:37 PM
Modified: 6/11/2020 2:41:26 PM

Peterborough Town Clerk Linda Guyette is urging the public to take COVID-19 seriously after she tested positive for the virus. She is not sure how she was exposed, and has not demonstrated any symptoms.

“Anyone could be carrying this,” she said, and that she felt there shouldn’t be a stigma in telling residents she was exposed.

Guyette said she and both her parents tested positive for COVID-19, even though none of them had experienced any symptoms. She and her father were encouraged to get tested after her mother was tested as a precaution while having her lungs examined in the hospital for a separate procedure. “They were shocked that she came back positive for COVID-19,” Guyette said.

To Guyette, the experience has reinforced the serious threat of transmitting the virus within the community. “Wear a mask, wash your hands, wash them often,” she said. Although Guyette is asymptomatic, she said she is still aware that she, and other asymptomatic carriers could transmit the disease if they cough or sneeze. “It’s allergy season,” she said.

In the office, she had been wearing a mask and avoiding previously commonplace behavior like licking her fingers while handling paper. She had been screening visitors and asking them whether they were experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms from a list. “I would have answered no to every single one of them,” she said.

“There’s still no way of knowing where that virus came from,” she said, and that she couldn’t rule out that she had been exposed while working in the town offices. “I don’t go anywhere,” she said, and that she’s been limiting her shopping excursions since the start of the pandemic. Guyette serves on the executive board for New Hampshire city and town clerks, and said that workplace exposure has been an ongoing topic. “People want their life to go on as normal, and they don’t understand that it puts us at risk,” she said, and that everyone working in town offices is at risk when they interact with the public.

The Town Clerk’s office closed on June 8, and Guyette said she is self-quarantining. “As long as I remain symptom-free I’ll be able to go back to work, according to the CDC, on the 18th,” she said.

Anybody who was conducting business in the Town House since the middle of last week should reflect on whether they had any close contact while they were there, Fire Chief Ed Walker said, and consult their primary care physician if they did. Close contact might involve being in the building longer than ten minutes, standing less than six feet away from somebody, doing business without wearing a mask or with a person not wearing a mask, he said.

Residents are encouraged to use EB2Gov system for registration renewals, dog licensing, and vital record requests during the temporary closure, and paperwork can also be submitted via mail or Town House mail slot, per usual.  Please expect a delay in processing. 


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