For Immediate Release: 7/9/2020 6:42 pm
The City of Worcester has released the following COVID-19 update for July 9:
• There are 5,308 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in the City of Worcester
• This represents an increase of 61 over last week, Thursday, July 2.
• Positive case counts in surrounding towns: Shrewsbury: 325 (increase of 7 from Thursday, July 2); Holden: 122 (no change from Thursday, July 2); Grafton: 98 (increase of 3 from Thursday, July 2); Leicester: 151 (no change from Thursday, July 2); Millbury: 253 (as of Wednesday, increase of 3 from Wednesday, July 1).
• UMass Memorial Health Care and Saint Vincent Hospital on Wednesday, July 8 reported a combined total of 27 COVID-positive in-patients (decrease of 1 from Wednesday, July 1) and 7 total COVID-positive ICU patients (decrease of 1 from Wednesday, July 1). To date, the combined facilities have had 346 COVID-related deaths (increase of 6 from Wednesday, July 1). A total of 370 of their employees have tested positive for the virus (increase of 4 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.
• Businesses that are reopening, particularly those where there is close interaction with customers, including barbershops, gyms, restaurants and salons, are advised to follow COVID-19 protocols and procedures.
• Restaurants are reminded that menus must be single-use disposable paper; by display, such as a chalkboard; or electronic, such as on a cell phone. Staff and customers must wear masks, although masks are not required to worn by customers when seated at a table.
• 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.
• Health Officials remain concerned over the long-lasting impacts of COVID-19. While there are currently no conclusive studies, signs indicate potential long-term neurological and cardio-pulmonary effects. Physicians are seeing an uptick in strokes among young patients with the virus, an increase in inflammation and damage to the heart muscles of COVID-19 patients, and other concerning symptoms. While health experts say more research is needed to understand the long-term effects of COVID-19, City officials remind the public to continue wearing masks, practice social distancing and follow other procedures to guard against contracting and spreading the virus.
• This is particularly important during large social gatherings, such as BBQ’s and parties.
• With summer heat upon us, the City also reminds residents to take precautions guarding against hot weather and mosquitoes.
• Hot weather safety tips:
o Stay indoors in a cool or air-conditioned space
o Drink plenty of water, even if you’re not thirsty
o Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing
o Limit workouts and outdoor activities
o Take a cool shower/bath to cool down
o Know the signs and watch for heat exhaustion and heat stroke
o Check on neighbors and elders often
o Never leave children or pets in cars
o Wear a mask/face covering in public
o Maintain 6-foot distance from other and obey posted signs in parks/playgrounds
• For mosquitoes, practice the 5 D’s:
o Dress in long sleeves and pants when possible. Cover up during periods of mosquito activity
o Dawn & Dusk are mosquitoes’ most active periods
o DEET is effective repellant. Follow instructions for use
o 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.
• Senior Center update: Number of seniors contacted to date: 13,288; Outreach phone calls made to seniors today: 185; Number of meals delivered in Worcester today: 1,052.
• The City is no longer holding weekly media briefings, but continues to monitor COVID numbers.