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COVID-19 Update for July 16; 5,351 Cases

For Immediate Release: 7/16/2020 5:16 pm

There are 5,351 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in the City of Worcester

This represents an increase of 43 over last week, Thursday, July 9.

Positive case counts in surrounding towns: Shrewsbury: 329 (+4 from Thursday, July 9); Holden: 124 (+2 from Thursday, July 2); Grafton: 97 (-1 from Thursday, July 9; 1 duplicate case removed from last week); Leicester: 154 (+3 from Thursday, July 9); Millbury: 256 (+ 3 from Thursday, July 9).

UMass Memorial Health Care and Saint Vincent Hospital on Wednesday, July 15 reported a combined total of 14 COVID-positive in-patients (-13 from Wednesday, July 9) and 3 total COVID-positive ICU patients (-4 from Wednesday, July 9). To date, the combined facilities have had 349 COVID-related deaths (+3 from Wednesday, July 1). A total of 371 of their employees have tested positive for the virus (+1 from Wednesday, July 1).

Step 1 of the Governor’s Phase III plan to reopen Massachusetts is in effect. The City reminds residents, business owners and their customers to follow all protocols and adhere to all state and local rules and regulations pertaining to COVID-19. This includes wearing face coverings/masks inside all public-facing stores, and when maintaining proper social distancing of 6 feet is not possible.

The City has fielded numerous complaints and concerns of some businesses and individuals not following COVID-19 protocols. As we head into the warmer days of summer, and folks continue to venture outdoors and to frequent restaurants and other establishments, it is imperative to bear in mind the progress made in recovering from the virus. While the overall numbers in Worcester show a positive trend, it is important to avoid a backward slide and return to rising numbers of COVID-positive cases that are being in seen in many other states. 

The City’s Department of Inspectional Services will conduct periodic, unannounced inspections of area businesses. Those found to be in violation of the phased-in reopening, or not following COVID-19 protocols and procedures, could be subject to fines.

With summer heat upon us, the City also reminds residents to take precautions guarding against hot weather and mosquitoes.

Hot weather safety tips:
Stay indoors in a cool or air-conditioned space
Drink plenty of water, even if you’re not thirsty
Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing
Limit workouts and outdoor activities
Take a cool shower/bath to cool down
Know the signs and watch for heat exhaustion and heat stroke
Check on neighbors and elders often
Never leave children or pets in cars
Wear a mask/face covering in public
Maintain 6-foot distance from other and obey posted signs in parks/playgrounds

For mosquitoes, practice the 5 D’s:
Dress in long sleeves and pants when possible. Cover up during periods of mosquito activity
Dawn & Dusk are mosquitoes’ most active periods
DEET is effective repellant. Follow instructions for use
Drain water from containers

The City has partnered with the Central Mass. Mosquito Control Project in an effort to control the mosquito population and curb the spread of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus. They can be contacted at (508) 393-3055.

As you practice social distancing and stay safe, stay connected to municipal goings-on by following meetings and other programming on Local Government Chanel 192. Find a programming schedule at www.worcesterma.gov/cable-services, where you can also watch videos on demand.

The City is excited to announce the opening of Recreation Worcester Summer 2020. This FREE program is for youth ages 7-13, and runs from July 20-Aug. 28. It offers both in-person and online programming opportunities. Three meals and to-go weekend meals will be provided. Mental health professionals and nurses will be on site, and there will be a number of summer fun games, reading, sports art activities and more for participants. To guard against the COVID virus, programming will be spread throughout 45 different locations, with an in-person maximum of 15 participants per site. Registration can be done by visiting www.worcesterma.gov/recreation-worcester and clicking on the “Register Online” button. For more information, email francof@worsterma.gov or call 508-799-8486.

The City of Worcester is also hiring seasonal employees in the Division of Youth Opportunities and Parks Department. For more information, including a list of available positions, visit www.worcesterma.gov/employment. You may also apply by sending a resume and cover letter to Human Resources Department, Room 109, 455 Main St., Worcester, MA 01608.

Senior Center update:
13,799 seniors contacted to date
calls made this week
5,716 meals delivered 

The City is no longer holding weekly media briefings, but continues to monitor COVID numbers.

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