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For Immediate Release: 12/24/2020 1:07 pm

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

To date, there have been 13,762 overall confirmed positive cases in Worcester. That is an increase in 977 cases since the City’s last COVID update on Friday, Dec. 18.

There were 271 new cases today.

Positive case counts in surrounding towns: Shrewsbury: 1,381 (increase of 127); Holden: 653 (increase of 75); Grafton: 532 (increase of 49); Leicester: 535 (increase of 39).

UMass Memorial Health Care and Saint Vincent Hospital, as of Thursday, Dec. 24, have a combined total of 247 COVID-positive in-patients (increase of 9) and 64 total COVID- positive ICU patients (increase of 8). To date, the combined facilities have had 446 COVID-related deaths (increase of 18). A total of 1,184 employees have tested positive for the virus (increase of 100). All changes are from last week’s report.

There have been 322 deaths of Worcester residents, an increase of 1 since last week. 

There were 30 positive in-patients at the DCU Field Hospital as of Thursday, Dec. 24.

There are currently 38 positive COVID cases among City employees and 26 in quarantine, for a total of 64.

19-under: 1,755 (13%)
20-29: 2,404 (18%)
30-39: 2,270 (17%)
40-49: 1,988 (15%)
50-59: 2,013 (15%)
60-69: 1,397 (10%)
70-up: 1,664 (13%)

UMass Memorial Healthcare on Monday, as part of its free, walk-up testing, tested 1,450 individuals. The positivity rate was 12%, and included 32 minors.,

City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. this week announced all Municipal Buildings, including City Hall, will be closed to the public until Jan. 11. All non-essential government employees will work remotely, with essential employees working in-person when necessary. This is being done as a precautionary measure. Government services will continue to be available. You can find more information at www.worcesterma.gov

The City of Worcester's Division of Public health and Emergency Management have been working in collaboration on a plan for vaccine distribution through appropriate dispensing sites when the time arises. An Emergency Distribution System Advisory Group is reviewing possible locations that would be suitable to accommodate various stations, including screening, registration, vaccination and recovery. The city has submitted a preliminary EDS vaccination plans to MDPH, who will ultimately approve our ability to vaccinate our first responders. Should the plan be approved, WDPH anticipates taking delivery of the vaccine, like Moderna, in early January. A booster will be administered 30 days later. 

Gov. Baker this week announced a temporary Executive Order that goes into effect Saturday, Dec. 26 and runs until Sunday, Jan. 10. Among a number of changes is a reduction in capacity levels in several sectors, from 40 percent to25 percent. This includes restaurants. In addition, capacity at indoor event venues is being reduced to 10 people, while outdoor capacity is reduced to 25. Limits at private residences remain the same (10 indoors, 25 outdoors). More information on the new temporary order and revised measures can be found at www.mass.gov.

The state COVID Enforcement Intervention Team, which conducts COVID-19 educational outreach in communities throughout Massachusetts, disseminated 21,925 masks, 4,498 disinfectant wipes, 9,960 flyers and 59 business signs in Worcester last weekend.

The Governor also announced a $668-million Small Business Relief Package that will provide funding to restaurants, retailers and other small businesses across the state. • Details on eligibility requirements and how to apply for the grants are available at www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org. This comes on the heels of the Governor announcing $49M in state grants to more than 1,000 small businesses, including several here in Worcester. 

The UMass Memorial Health Care COVID-19 Equity Task Force and the City of Worcester jointly sponsor free, walk-up COVID-19 testing. Below are upcoming dates for testing. All testing is held indoors at Mercantile Center, 201 Commercial St.

Monday, Dec. 28, 10:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 29, 10:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 4, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 5, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 7, 11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 11, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 12, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 14, 11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

The City continues to urge all residents to reimagine their Christmas celebrations. You can find tips on how to safely celebrate the holidays this y ear on our website, www.worcesterma.gov, as well as on the state website, www.mass.gov.

On behalf of the City of Worcester, Mayor Joseph M. Petty and City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. wish all residents a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. 

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