GRAFTON, Mass. – Grafton's lack of mosquito spraying will be addressed at the October Town Meeting after a late summer marked by EEE and West Nile Virus scares.
Grafton sent out a Code Red Alert Tuesday warning residents to avoid outdoor activities after dusk and take precautions against mosquitos. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has set Grafton's Eastern Equine Encephalitis risk level at high and the school department is mandating that all school-sponsored outdoor activities conclude by 7 p.m.
"In Grafton, we only have one site where mosquitoes are tested," Grafton Health Agent Lois Luniewicz said. "The towns that are tested usually belong to the Central Mass. Mosquito Control Project and they usually test in more than one spot."
Grafton Town Meeting was last asked to join the Northborough-based Central Mass. Mosquito Control Project in 2007. That request, like two others before it, failed to gain the approval of voters, many of whom expressed concern about the health of honey bee hives in town.
"We're hoping, with everything going on with West Nile and EEE, it will pass this time," Luniewicz said.
West Nile Virus and EEE season started early this year due to the light winter and extended warm season. Mosquitoes testing positive for both viruses have been found in towns surrounding Grafton. A Westborough man recently died from EEE and a Central Mass. child became the third person in the state diagnosed with the virus this year.
The Grafton Soccer Club sent a notice to parents Tuesday noting that all practices and games will be stopped 30 minutes prior to sunset, around 6:30 p.m. All children must wear insect repellant regardless of the time of day, the notice said.