For Immediate Release: 6/4/2020 6:34 pm
Worcester – The City of Worcester has released the following COVID-19 update for May 28:
• Today, the City Manager reported an increase in total cases as the result of flaw in the overall reporting system. As previously stated, we’ve known the number of new cases reported in Worcester and our Alliance towns was not entirely reflective of the total number of positive cases. From the onset of the outbreak, City officials have been committed to complete transparency, which is the reason for reporting the City and Town numbers daily. The State, on the other hand, has been reporting numbers once a week. In order to help us report daily, MDPH provided WDPH with an ad hoc report and algorithm to draw down daily case information. That algorithm used a 4-day window of dates from which to pull data. It should be stated, this report is a contact-tracing and case investigation report. Data is constantly changing as new information becomes available. As a result, case statuses that had changed outside of that four-day window methodology were not captured in our total daily case count. Changes include false negatives, re-tested individuals and those with address discrepancies (such as Long-Term Care facilities, businesses and other facilities conducting bulk testing). For these reasons, total positive case reporting has been lower than the actual number. To resolve the discrepancy moving forward, WDPH has begun to pull a full report from Maven, drawing down all positive cases daily which will list all cases from March 1 to current. This new system will ensure City and Alliance numbers align more closely to the State numbers but it is important to note there will continue to be some fluctuation based on when the data is pulled. The number we are reporting today are not "new", but represent an accumulation of all positive cases since March that were not reported as a result of this reporting flaw.
• There are 4,949 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in the City of Worcester, which includes 34 new cases from Wednesday, June 3 and 656 unreported cases as a result of the flaw in reporting.
• Positive case counts in surrounding towns: Shrewsbury: 307 (+5); Holden: 102; Grafton: 93 (+1); Leicester: 147; Millbury: 228.
• All combined medical facilities of Saint Vincent Hospital and UMass Memorial Health Care had 138 (-6) total COVID-positive in-patients and 46 (-2) total COVID-positive ICU patients today. To date, their facilities have had 295 (+3) total COVID-related deaths. A total of 340 (+1) of their employees have tested positive for the virus.
• The number of total COVID-positive patients in the combined hospital systems represents a decrease of 146 since May 1.
• The total number of COVID-positive ICU patients in the combined hospital systems represents a decrease of 61 since May 1.
• Beaumont Rehabilitation census: 53 in-patients; Total of 201 treated; 94 beds available.
• North High homeless shelter census: 25 clients. 26 clients have secured more stable housing opportunities or been connected with residential treatment services
• On June 3, City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. signed an Executive Order establishing an expedited process for restaurants to apply for an extension of premises license for outdoor dining. The order creates a streamlined permitting process for restaurants that wish to expand their outdoor seating area or establish a new outdoor seating area. This will include weekly meetings of the License Commission starting next week to ensure all applications can be reviewed in the most expeditious way possible. Application fees are being waived in recognition of the financial hardship experienced by our restaurants. Restaurants will be allowed to offer table dining on sidewalks in front of their businesses and in their parking lots, or on another suitable outdoor area, following established protocols under the Governor’s Order. An application for extended premises can be found at worcesterma.gov/coronavirus/business. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Senior Center update: Number of seniors contacted to date: 9,839; Outreach phone calls made to seniors today: 181; Number of meals delivered in Worcester today: 1,117.
• The next City of Worcester COVID-19 media briefing will be held Tuesday, June 9 at 4:30 p.m. on the third floor of City Hall. Going forward, media briefings will be held each Tuesday and Thursday only. The City will provide updated numbers on COVID-19 cases on days where there is not a media briefing.
• Today, City Manager Augustus recognized the Worcester Fire Department, comprised of 390 firefighters and 25 recruits. WFD responds to more than 30,000 emergencies a year. During the COVID-19 crisis, they have to be more mindful than ever of their own protection as well as those they are helping because of the threat of transmitting the virus COVID-19 has placed a great strain on the Department, because firefighting doesn’t lend itself to social distancing. They've have had to learn to assess patients’ needs from a distance and limit direct contact. This makes it very difficult to serve as a first responder, who often provides more than medical care. They also are a source of comfort to those who are suffering. Another area of impact during COVID has come in community relations. WFD has had to severely limit its education and fire prevention functions.They are constantly finding new and different ways to communicate and engage the community as they deal with the new reality of COVID.