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City of Worcester, MA

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COVID-19 Update for March 22; 13 Positive Cases

For Immediate Release: 3/22/2020 5:29 pm

The City of Worcester has released the following COVID-19 update for March 22:

  • There is 1 new confirmed positive case of COVID-19 in Worcester, which brings the overall total to 13 confirmed positive cases in the city.

  • All 13 individuals are being monitored by the Worcester Division of Public Health and are in isolation.

  • City of Worcester first responders are taking advantage of priority testing that has been set up by the federal government. To date, 19 Worcester Police officers have been tested and 18 Worcester firefighters were scheduled to be tested on March 22. This amounts to a total of 37 first responders being tested thus far.

  • On March 22 the City Manager met with the CEOs of UMass Medical and St. Vincent’s Hospital, along with Dr. Erik Garcia (UMass), the medical director of the Homeless Outreach and Advocacy Project, on contingency planning for surge capacity should there be a need for it in the future. This would include sheltering for homeless that have been tested or test positive for COVID-19 in addition to possible facilities for hospital overflow.

  • Local hospitals are in desperate need of blood donations, especially platelets. The process takes about 75 minutes and can be scheduled by calling 508-421-1901. For general blood donations, appointments are best scheduled online at redcrossblood.org.

  • Governor Baker has convened a COVID-19 Command Center tasked with securing funding for local public health. City of Worcester director of public health Karyn Clark serves as the representative for both Worcester and the Central Mass Regional Public Health Alliance. Worcester will receive $100,000. Other funds will come to the City for dispersal among the City’s six regional towns in the Alliance (Grafton, Holden, Leicester, Millbury, Shrewsbury, and West Boylston). Emergency funds can be used for: surveillance and case identification, monitoring of travelers, data management, isolation and quarantine, surge staffing and risk communications support.

  • MassHire has launched an online tool at masshirecentral.com to connect residents with employers who have urgent non-medical COVID-19 staffing needs. More than 50 people who are seeking employment opportunities have already registered. Businesses that may be experiencing a staffing shortage are also encouraged to sign up and be matched with those who are seeking employment.

  • The Worcester Public Schools website, worcesterschools.org, features a wealth of information for parents and students, including the schedules for free breakfast, lunch and supper meals; the coronavirus; and the WPS Extended Learning Website.

  • Packets containing lists of activities and other information went home with all students. Students can login to the CLEVER program via the WPS website and access classroom work. WPS has been connecting to parents via ConnectED calls in all languages used in the WPS. Principals, students, teachers and community members have also been reading books via the WPS website.

  • A text line has been established to facilitate donations for the Worcester Together fund. Text worcestercovid19 to 243725, then click on the link you receive and follow the instructions to donate by check or credit card.

  • The City of Worcester COVID-19 information line can be reached at 508-799-1019. This service is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Albanian. An option is available for individuals with positive or pending test results to speak live with a nurse, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


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