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COVID-19 Update for July 30; 24,165 Cases

For Immediate Release: 7/30/2021 3:39 pm

The City of Worcester has released the following COVID-19 update for July 30:

• With the delta variant surging across the country and COVID numbers rising, City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. continues to stress that the virus is a major concern, particularly for unvaccinated individuals. “We remain deeply concerned about the delta variant and its impact on public health,” City Manager Augustus said. “The numbers show our concern has been justified. In the coming weeks, we will discuss with our public health team any strategies and interventions that might best help us protect the health and wellbeing of the people of Worcester.”

• There are 24,165 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in the City of Worcester. This is an increase of 140 cases over last week, and 281 new cases since the July 1 Media Briefing, when there were 23,884 cases.

• This marks the third consecutive week of increases in the number of new cases in Worcester.

• This is the first week of more than 100 new cases since the week of May 14, when there were 107.

• Positive case counts in surrounding towns: Shrewsbury: 3,006 (+19 from last week, +36 from July 1); Grafton: 1,203 (+9 from last week, +13 from July 1).

           WORCESTER    +/-     SHREWSBURY    +/-    GRAFTON   +/-
July 30   24,165         +140         3,006               +19      1,203        +9
July 23   24,025         +82           2,987               +10      1,194        +4
July 16   23,943         +34           2,977               +5        1,190        +1
July 9     23,909         +22           2,972               +2        1,189        -1* (1 case transferred out)
July 2     23,887         +23           2,970                 0       1,190           0
June 25  23,864         +17           2,970               +1        1,190        +2

• All combined medical facilities of Saint Vincent Hospital and UMass Memorial Health Care had 39 total COVID-positive in-patients (+20 from the July 1 Media Briefing) and 7 total COVID-positive ICU patients (+2 from July 1). To date, their facilities have had a total of 753 COVID-related deaths (+8 from July 1).

July 30       39        +17           7                     +1              753                                  +4
July 23       22        +5             6                     -2               749                                  +2
July 16       17        +6             8                     +3              747                                  +1
July 9         11        +1             5                     0                746                                  +1
July 2         10        +4             5                    +3               745                                  0
June 25        6        -4              2                    -3                745                                 +2

• To date, there have been 431 deaths of Worcester residents from COVID-19 (an increase of 2 from the last update.)

• Of the vaccine-eligible population of 164,388 in Worcester (ages 12-up), 100,994 (61.4 percent) have been fully vaccinated, while 115,592 (70.3 percent) have received at least their first dose.

• As of Thursday, July 29 a total of 18,737 vaccination doses had been administered through the City’s Mobile Vaccination Clinics to 11,751 individuals. Of those vaccinations, 8,689 first doses, 6,986 second doses and 3,062 single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been administered.

• The delta variant has contributed to a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 cases across the country, accounting for more than 80 percent of new infections nationwide. While the City has vaccinated more than 60 percent of its vaccine-eligible population, city and health officials remain deeply concerned about the number of non-vaccinated individuals and the potential for continued and worsening spread as we head into colder months and return to more indoor activity, including in-person schooling.

• According to the CDC, the delta variant is more transmissible than MERS & SARS, Ebola, common cold, season flu, 1918 flu and smallpox. It is as transmissible as chicken pox.

• While there have been breakthrough cases among fully-vaccinated individuals, data from the state Department of Public Health indicates these cases represent a significantly small number. Of the approximately 4.3 million fully-vaccinated residents in Massachusetts, there have been 5,600 breakthrough cases – a rate of less than 1/10 of 1 percent. Of those cases, 92 percent had minimal to no symptoms, and only 6 percent required hospitalization.

• Nationally, according to the National Institutes of Health, more than 99 percent of hospitalized patients with COVID are unvaccinated. In Worcester, between the UMass Memorial and University campuses this week, there were 34 COVID-positive patients. More than 70 percent of those were unvaccinated, according to Medical Director Dr. Michael P. Hirsh, with several factors, including underlying immunosuppression, accounting for hospitalization of vaccinated individuals.

• The CDC this week released new guidance pertaining to wearing masks indoors in areas with substantial or high transmission of the COVID-19 virus. While Worcester County is currently not designated as an area of substantial or high transmission, health officials encourage people to take precautions to guard against contracting and spreading the virus. This is particularly important for unvaccinated individuals, who are highly susceptible to the more contagious delta variant. The state Department of Public Health advises all unvaccinated residents to continue to wear masks in indoor settings and when they can’t socially distance. Fully-vaccinated individuals are advised to wear a mask or face covering in indoor settings outside of their home if they have a weakened immune system, are at increased risk for COVID-19, or if someone in their household is at increased risk or unvaccinated. Masks remain mandatory for all individuals on public and private transportation systems, in healthcare facilities and in other settings with vulnerable populations, including congregate care facilities.

• The City Worcester is mask-friendly, and encourages anyone who is in a crowded setting or feels comfortable in any setting, to wear a mask. The city will continue to review CDC and state mask guidance in making any future determinations.

• With all schools required to return to classes in-person, full-time, five days a week this fall, the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the state DPH strongly recommend all students in grades K-6 wear masks when indoors, except for students who cannot due to medical conditions or behavioral needs. Unvaccinated staff in all grades, unvaccinated students in grades 7 and above, and unvaccinated visitors are strongly recommended to wear masks indoors. DESE and DPH recommend schools allow vaccinated students to remain unmasked, while any child or family who prefers to mask at school should be supported in that choice.

• Vaccinations remain the most effective way to protect yourself against the COVID-19 virus and delta variant. The City of Worcester offers many convenient ways to get vaccinated through Mobile Equity Vaccination Clinics.

• See below for a list of upcoming clinics:

Crompton Park Outdoor Pool Friday 7/30 2-6PM
Dogfather Food Truck Festival, Beaver Brook Park Saturday 7/31 11AM-1PM
Piedmont Neighborhood Block Party, 93 Piedmont St. Saturday 7/31 1PM-3PM
WEPA Game, Polar Park Sunday 8/1 12-3PM
Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Square Wednesday 8/4 11AM-7PM
Nu-Red Cab Vaccine Clinic, 6 May St. Tuesday 8/10 9AM-1PM
Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Square Wednesday 8/11 11AM-7PM
Out To Lunch Festival/Farmers’ Market, Worcester Common Thursday 8/12 11AM-2PM
WEPA Game, Polar Park Friday 8/13 5:30-8:30PM
Worcester Public Library Block Party, 3 Salem Square Saturday 8/14 11:30-2:30PM
WEPA Game, Polar Park Saturday 8/14 3:30-6:30PM
Worcester Senior Center, 128 Providence St. Monday 8/16 3-6PM
CMHA Spree Day Event, Foley Stadium Tuesday 8/17 10AM-1:30PM
Roosevelt School, 1006 Grafton St. Tuesday 8/17 3-6PM
Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Square Wednesday 8/18 11AM-7PM
Municipal Service Center, 801 Main St. Wednesday 8/18 3-6PM
WEPA Game, Polar Park Wednesday 8/18 6:30PM
Out To Lunch Festival/Farmers’ Market, Worcester Common Thursday 8/19 11AM-2PM
Heart of the Arts Festival, Worcester Common Friday 8/20 TBD
Back to School Event, YMCA and Fuller Family Park Saturday 8/28 12-5PM
Candlelight Vigil of Memory and Hope, City Hall Plaza Tuesday 8/31 5-8PM

• Among the upcoming vaccination efforts are clinics held at Polar Park, home of the Worcester Red Sox. Clinics will be held at the team’s remaining “Los Wepas de Worcester” games, during which the team changes its identity and uniforms to enhance outreach to the Latino and Hispanic communities. Remaining dates and clinic times are Sunday, Aug. 1, 12-3 p.m.; Friday, Aug. 13, 5:30-8:30p.m., Saturday, Aug. 14, 3:30-6:30 p.m.; Wednesday, Aug. 18, 6:30 p.m.; and Tuesday, Sept. 7, 6:30 p.m. Anyone wishing to be vaccinated during these games will receive a complimentary General Admission ticket to that day’s game at the Ticket Office, along with a free WooSox cap, and will be guided by a WooSox ambassador to the vaccination area on the concourse. Fans who already have tickets to the game, and who want to be vaccinated, can check in with any WooSox staff member when gates open.

• Vaccination clinics continue to be held at Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem St., every Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Gift cards are provided to all those receiving their first dose. Lost book fees will be waived for everyone getting a vaccine.

• For more information about the COVID-19 virus, and the City’s vaccination efforts, including the latest Mobile Vaccination Clinics, visit www.worcesterma.gov/coronavirus/vaccination.

• The City’s Department of Health and Human Services is partnering with UMass Memorial Healthcare on a Youth Influencer campaign aimed at boosting vaccinations among youths and young adults. More information about the campaign will be released soon.

• Starting Monday, Aug. 2, the UMass Memorial Health Care Mobile Program will offer COVID-19 vaccinations in conjunction with free Stop The Spread testing at Mercantile Center on the following dates: Monday, Aug. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30; Thursday, Aug. 5, 12, 19 and 26. All times are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., except for Thursday, Aug. 5 (9 a.m. to 12 p.m.). Please note that vaccinations are not yet confirmed for Thursday, Aug. 26 and Monday, Aug. 30.

• Earlier this month, UMass Memorial Medical Center, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announced it has expanded access to COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatments. The treatment is for people who have tested positive for the virus and are at high risk for developing severe illness. It has been shown to help lower the chances of hospitalization as a result of the virus.

• The Commonwealth’s VaxMillions Giveaway lottery announced its first winners this week – Darrell Washington of Weymouth and Daniela Maldonado of Chelsea. The lottery, which started July 1 and runs through Aug. 29, awards five cash prizes of $1 million to people 18 years of age and older. Residents between 12-17 years of age can enter to win one of five $300,000 scholarship grants. Residents must be fully vaccinated to be eligible. For more information, visit www.mass.gov/VaxMillions.

• The Massachusetts Homebound Vaccination Program is available to any individual who faces difficulty getting to a vaccine site. Individuals can call 833-983-0485 to register for an in-home vaccination. The registration line is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is staffed by representatives who speak English and Spanish. Translation services are available in more than 100 languages.

• For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 and vaccine efforts in Massachusetts, please visit www.mass.gov/2019coronavirus and www.mass.gov/vaccine.

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