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COVID-19 Update for April 29; 1,986 Positive Cases

For Immediate Release: 4/29/2020 5:38 pm

The City of Worcester has released the following COVID-19 update for April 29:

  • There are 1,986 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in the City of Worcester. This is an increase of 76 cases from Tuesday, April 28.

  • Since April 1, Worcester has seen an increase of 1,873 new cases (average of 65 new cases per day).

  • Positive case counts in surrounding towns: Shrewsbury: 165; Holden: 46; Grafton: 50; Leicester: 88; Millbury: 144

  • There are 5 positive cases to date in the Worcester Police Department and 6 positive cases to date in the Worcester Fire Department. A total of 5 WPD officers are out (2 positive cases are quarantined; 3 other officers are self-quarantined). No Worcester firefighters are out.

  • All combined medical facilities of Saint Vincent Hospital and UMass Memorial Health Care had 269 total COVID-positive in-patients and 104 total COVID-positive ICU patients today. To date, their facilities have had 102 total COVID-related deaths. A total of 162 of their employees have tested positive for the virus.

  • The homeless shelter at the DCU Center has 33 positive clients today. Between five to seven clients are projected to be discharged today. The DCU had 19 non-homeless medical patients today.

  • Beaumont Rehabilitation census: 69 positive patients are currently at the Beaumont facility (2 admissions today; 7 discharges today).

  • Today the City issued a cease and desist order for the Walmart Supercenter located at 25 Tobias Boland Way. WDPH has been informed that 23 employees have tested positive for COVID-19. WDPH conducted an inspection of the store yesterday which revealed staff and patrons not having or wearing proper personal protective equipment. The City is ordering that the operator cease and desist operation of the retail establishment, including any food service, effective immediately and vacate all personnel. The store shall remain closed until it is professionally cleaned and sanitized and a re-inspection by our health department can occur. The operator shall require all employees returning to work to be tested for COVID-19 and shall not allow any employee testing positive to return to work. All COVID-19 testing will be conducted at the direction of the City Medical Director, who will confirm the testing results and determine whether an employee is eligible to return to work. All patrons and employees shall be required to wear face masks while in the store and employees returning to work shall also wear protective gloves.  

  • Small Business Grants: The second round of the City of Worcester’s small business grants will be going live Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. Grants for the second round are capped at $5,000 per business due to limited funding. The City expects to award up to 160 businesses for a total of $800,000. There are a number of restrictions such as: businesses must have a physical establishment occupying commercial space within the City of Worcester; the business owner must be low-to moderate-income as defined by HUD; the business must have experienced a loss of revenue of 50% or more due to COVID-19; and the business must have less than $2 million in average gross annual revenues. Applicants needing translation assistance have a number of options. The Economic Development office has staff that are fluent in Spanish, Vietnamese, Albanian and Portuguese. The City is also working with the Latin American Business Organization (LABO) and the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce to provide an instructional webinar in Spanish, which is planned for Monday, May 4. For more information please visit: worcesterma.gov/coronavirus/business.

  • Today the City Manager visited the Backup Communications Center at the McKeon Road Fire Station. Worcester is only one of a few emergency call operations in the state with a fully-redundant 911 system (Coppage Drive and McKeon Road). There is a staff of 48 with personnel split over each shift between McKeon Road and the Emergency Operations Center at Coppage Drive. City dispatchers handle approximately 180,000 police calls per year and about 30,000 fire calls (includes medical calls). At McKeon Road, communications staff are separated from firefighters to ensure the safety of all employees. 

  • The Worcester Together Fund has raised more than $5.3 million in five weeks, distributing almost $850,000 in grants to area agencies and organizations. City of Worcester employees have raised more than $2,030 to date. The FaceMask Challenge has raised $8,651 with 163 donors. To donate to the fund, visit worcesterma.gov/coronavirus or text worcestercovid19 to 243725.

  • Senior update: Number of seniors contacted to date: 5,282; Number of outreach calls made today: 147; Number of meals delivered today: 1,085.

  • The City of Worcester COVID-19 information line can be reached at 508-799-1019. There is an option for individuals to speak live with a nurse, Monday through Friday 9 am to 4 pm. 

  • Today, the City Manager honored another unsung hero within the City workforce, Kelsey Hopkins from the Division of Public Health. Kelsey has been with DPH for two and a half years, serving as the academic health collaborative coordinator. This is a unique role, matching area college students and faculty with public health projects and initiatives; in particular to support the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) and important research projects that help inform policy. During the pandemic, Kelsey has utilized her skills in matching volunteers with the needs of shelter operations. Kelsey has been working six or seven days a week in the shelters helping our most vulnerable populations through this difficult time. Kelsey lives in Worcester and holds a bachelors in community health from Worcester State University and a masters in international development and social change from Clark University.

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