COVID-19 Update for April 3; 267 Positive Cases
For Immediate Release:
4/3/2020 7:03 pm
The City of Worcester has released the following COVID-19 update for April 3:
- There are now 267 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in the City of Worcester. All 267 individuals are being monitored by the Worcester Division of Public Health and are in isolation.
- In the last three days, Worcester has seen an increase of 152 new positive cases, which is a rate of more than 50 new cases per day.
- Out of an abundance of caution and effective immediately, all City-sponsored construction projects will be suspended until at least Monday, May 4. This proactive decision takes the Commonwealth’s recommendations on construction a step further. All water, sewer and street work in addition to all utility work will continue uninterrupted. The City will constantly monitor circumstances and adjust the time period of the suspension as necessary. Essential work to secure sites for the suspension may continue at certain sites until early next week.
- The City will take advantage of the Municipal Challenges Bill signed by the Governor today. There is a local option to assist those financially affected by COVID-19 to have more time to make payments on recent FY20 taxes (excise, real estate), assessments and water and sewer bills. The City understands the stress that many residents and businesses are under during this unprecedented time and are making every effort possible to alleviate that pressure.
- The City will delay the due date for municipal property tax bills to June 1. The City will also waive the payment of interest and other penalties on late payments that were due after March 10 and paid before June 30 for any excise, tax, betterment assessment, water or sewer bill, or other charge added to a tax.
- First responders update: The Worcester Police Department has 2 positive cases and 6 quarantined. The Worcester Fire Department has 6 positive cases and 25 quarantined.
- Ascension Shelter Update: 2 clients at Ascension Church were removed from the site and tested on Tuesday. 1 result came back negative and the individual returned to the shelter. 1 individual tested positive and is now at the Worcester Tech shelter. 24 clients and 24 staff/volunteers at Ascension were contacts of the indvidual who tested positive. No one currently has symptoms. All staff/volunteers can continue work unless they become symptomatic. All staff/volunteers and clients will wear masks at all sites moving forward.
- Worcester Tech Medical Shelter Update: Currently 5 patients total; 3 positive cases; 2 patients under investigation
- DCU Center: The National Guard completed their mission yesterday afternoon. Space is currently occupied by about 30 UMass employees, City of Worcester staff and DCU employees. Medical supply inventory is underway with supplies provided by FEMA. Planning continues on: getting a generator connected to the power supply, internet connectivity, food distribution and final floor plans.
- DPW site visit: Today, the City Manager and Dr. Hirsh met with street and sanitation workers at DPW. Equipment and materials have been made available (e.g. gloves, masks, misters to clean down equipment/vehicles, a shower facility for use before leaving work for the day). Street and sanitation employees will use appropriate PPE, such as puncture resistant gloves, and face and eye protection.
- Information on proper disposal of trash and recycling can be found on the City’s website at worcesterma.gov/trash-recycling. Residents should follow City ordinances about not tampering /touching anyone else’s solid waste and recycling in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus.
- The Worcester Together Fund today announced more than $158,000 in funding during its first round of awards to 14 area organizations. These funds are going to meet the immediate needs of our community, like keeping food on our families’ tables, supplying people who are in need, funding the services that are vital to supporting frontline workers.
- Recipients include: Boys & Girls Club of Worcester, Building Futures Inc., Catholic Charities, Dismas House of Massachusetts Inc., Friendly House Inc., Living in Freedom Together (LIFT), Mass 211, Net of Compassion, Pernet Family Services, Project New Hope, Rachel’s Table, Regional Environmental Council, Southeast Asian Coalition of Central Massachusetts and the YWCA. To date, the Fund has raised about $2.75 million. To donate visit: worcesterma.gov/coronavirus or text “worcestercovid19” to 243725.
- The City extends its thanks to JoyGuru Humanitarian Services founders Dr. Satya and Mrs. Sheema Mitra, along with all board members, who have donated $29,000 to Net of Compassion as a way to support the city’s homeless shelters.
- Senior Center Update: number of seniors contacted to date: 2,103; Outreach phone calls: 175 calls made today; Number of meals delivered in Worcester today: 2,588.
- The City of Worcester COVID-19 information line can be reached at 508-799-1019. This service is available in multiple languages. Individuals can speak live with a nurse, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The line has received more than 2,500 calls with more than 400 connected to a live nurse.