ORANGE, Mass. (WWLP) - A "Critical" threat level for several towns in Franklin and Worcester Counties... Precautions that come after the third human case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis is affecting people's daily lives in Franklin and Worcester Counties.
So far this year, there have been three confirmed human cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or Triple E. One of those resulted in death.
Now, everyone in Franklin and Worcester Counties are asked to stay indoors once the sun sets,
Empty fields... Blank scoreboards...
Since the threat level of Eastern Equine Encephalitis has been raised to "Critical" in Orange and Athol, public schools have cancelled all after school programs.
Michael Baldassarre, Superintendent of Schools in Orange and Athol, told 22News, "Before the students pick up a pen or pencil, before they read a book, before they do anything, job one in a public school district is safety."
Two elementary schools in that area are next to a swamp. For those students, no physical education or recess.
Here at Mahar Regional High School and Middle School, students are allowed to participate in outdoor activities, but they have to stay in one field that has artificial turf, and the soccer field with real grass is off limits.
And everyone must be indoors by 5:30 p.m.
Many resident told 22News, now they pay more attention to when they go outside and that their family and friends know about the threat as well.
John Ellis of Orange told 22News, "[My friend] has been fishing at night. Very risky. Very risky. This is the time to go outside and get some exercise, not when the sun's down. More publicity it gets, more people we keep alive."
Symptoms of EEE include fever, stiff neck and headache.