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COVID-19 update for April 6; 372 positive cases

For Immediate Release: 4/6/2020 6:27 pm

The City of Worcester has released the following COVID-19 update for April 6:

  • There are now 372 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 cases in the City of Worcester. All 372 individuals are being monitored by the Worcester Division of Public Health and are in isolation.

  • Since April 1, Worcester has seen an increase of 257 new cases (average of 51 new cases per day).

  • The Worcester Police Department has 2 positive cases with nine members quarantined.

  • The Worcester Fire Department has 6 positive cases. Three members are self-isolating and three have been cleared to return to duty. 25 members are in self-quarantine.

  • All combined medical facilities of Saint Vincent Hospital and UMass Memorial Health Care had 104 total COVID-positive in-patients and 33 total COVID-positive ICU patients today. To date, their facilities have had 17 total COVID-related deaths. A total of 79 of their employees have tested positive for the virus.

  • Jewish Healthcare Center Update: On Friday, April 3, 15 residents were tested for COVID-19 by the National Guard13 tested positive and 2 were negative. There are now a total of 27 positive cases among residents (2 are symptomatic) There are a total of 13 positive cases among staff (18 are pending test results and are self isolating at home; 6 tested negative).

  • The City’s temporary homeless shelters (St. John’s, Ascension Church, North High School and Worcester Tech) had a total of 60 beds filled, with 15 available.

  • There are 3 individuals at Worcester Tech: 2 who tested positive and 1 person under investigation.

  • As of today, 23 City of Worcester employees have volunteered at the emergency shelters. Employees from various departments including Health and Human Services, Inspectional Services, DPW, Economic Development, Tech Services, Parks, the Worcester Public Library, and Worcester Public Schools have committed to supporting the emergency shelter operations.

  • Air Kraft mission N95s: The Kraft Family donation of masks to Massachusetts includes 29 allocations in the region and 12 allocations in Worcester. More than 11,000 N95 masks were distributed to facilities in Worcester.

  • National Grid info:During the Covid-19 pandemic, residents may see National Grid workers in Worcester. National Grid, as an essential business, will continue to provide the following services: emergency response, electricity and gas service, customer-requested service (Essential customer needs such as turning gas on/off, electricity services. Customers are encouraged to manage accounts online. Call-in service is still available, but wait times may be longer. Those who are struggling to pay their bill should contact National Grid as soon as possible for assistance.

  • The following National Grid activities are temporarily suspended: collections activities and disconnections until at least the end of April (National Grid will evaluate as necessary); non-essential planned electric outages; non-essential electric and gas-related services (manual meter reads, oil-to-gas conversion, gas service upgrades and meter changes (energy efficiency on-premises services).

  • Residents are reminded to beware of scams related to COVID-19, including imposters claiming to be National Grid employees. For tips on how to protect against utility scams, visit nationalgridus.com. For information on National Grid’s pandemic preparedness as well as customer Q&As, visit ngrid.com/covid-19.

  • Tennis courts and skate park closed: In keeping with other steps already taken to encourage social distancing and prevent large gatherings and clusters of people, all City tennis courts as well as the skate park at Worcester Technical High School (Green Hill Park) are closed until further notice.

  • Today the City Manager toured the city’s water filtration plant in Holden. The reservoir at that facility (Lynde Brook Reservoir) serves as one of 10 that make up the city’s water supply system. Combined, the 10 reservoirs hold more than 7 billion gallons of water (located in Leicester, Paxton, Rutland, Holden and Princeton). Like so many other city employees during this pandemic, Water Department employees (about 130 in the water department – about 20 at the plant) are working 24/7 to continue providing water to about a quarter million customers each day (including Worcester, Paxton, Auburn, Holden, Cherry Valley, parts of West Boylston & Millbury).

  • There is no threat of the virus entering the water supply. Worcester area residents who get their water from the City of Worcester public water system should NOT be concerned about the safety of their tap water. Worcester’s drinking water comes from well-protected reservoirs and is treated using ozone and chlorine, both powerful disinfectants that destroy viruses like COVID-19. The water is also filtered to remove small particles that might harbor viruses.

  • Today is the start of National Public Health Week (April 6-12) and the City Manager acknowledged the efforts of another one of the City’s outstanding public health employees, Alissa Errede, chief of emergency preparedness for the Division of Public Health. A resident of Worcester, Alissa was born and raised here and has worked for the City for five years. She is a graduate of Worcester State University and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Alissa serves as the program manager for the region 2 Health and Medical Coordinating Coalition, supporting 74 boards of health and 11 hospitals in central Massachusetts with training and equipment needs to respond to public health emergencies. She is also the City's liaison to the Massachusetts Department  of Public Health Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management.
  • The City of Worcester continues to look for volunteers to staff the temporary homeless shelters. If you are willing to work as part of a team to keep the most vulnerable safe, please email volunteer@worcesterma.gov.

  • The Worcester Together Fund, a joint effort of the City of Worcester, Greater Worcester Community Foundation and United Way of Central Massachusetts, has to date raised $3.7 million. To donate visit: worcesterma.gov/coronavirus or text “worcestercovid19” to 243725. Checks can also be mailed to: Greater Worcester Community Foundation, COVID-19 Response Fund, 370 Main St #650, Worcester, MA 01608.

  • Senior Center Update: Total number of seniors contacted to date: 2,294; 191 outreach calls were made today and 890 meals were delivered.
  • 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.

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