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COVID-19 Update For May 18; 3,522 Positive Cases

For Immediate Release: 5/18/2020 5:18 pm

The City of Worcester has released the following COVID-19 update for May 18:

  • There are 3,522 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in the City of Worcester. This is an increase of 54 cases from Sunday, May 17.

  • Since April 1, Worcester has seen an increase of 3,342 new cases (average of 70 new cases per day).

  • Positive case counts in surrounding towns: Shrewsbury: 254; Holden: 69; Grafton: 74; Leicester: 118; Millbury: 193 

  • All combined medical facilities of Saint Vincent Hospital and UMass Memorial Health Care had 236 total COVID-positive in-patients and 88 total COVID-positive ICU patients today. To date, their facilities have had 223 total COVID-related deaths. A total of 282 of their employees have tested positive for the virus.

  • The field hospital site at the DCU Center has 9 patients today. The field hospital is likely to close later this week. 

  • Beaumont Rehabilitation census: 73 positive inpatients (1 admission, 1 discharge); Total treated: 164 (74 beds available).

  • Quality Inn Census: the state-run facility for COVID-19 positive individuals at the Quality Inn has 16 clients as of Monday.

  • Reopening Massachusetts: Today the Baker-Polito Administration released Reopening Massachusetts, the report of the Reopening Advisory Board. This is a four-phased strategy for reopening businesses and activities in the state. In addition, a new “Safer At Home” Advisory was issued today, advising individuals to stay at home unless engaging with newly opened activities. Those over 65 and those with underlying health conditions should also stay home other than absolutely necessary outings for health care or groceries. Today begins Phase I of a cautious reopening. Workplaces permitted to open are required to follow new safety protocols and guidance. These protocols and guidance from the state are available online at www.mass.gov/reopening. As of today, manufacturing and construction sites are open with applicable guidelines in place and places of worship are also open with specific guidelines. The City of Worcester will comply with the state's guidelines and will work with City departments over the next week to address specific questions related to Worcester and its facilities.

  • No Public Memorial Day Activities: Unfortunately, as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the City will not hold any public Memorial Day activities this year on Monday, May 25. This includes gatherings at Hope Cemetery, Elm Park and Green Hill Park. The City is preparing a virtual experience to honor all veterans. The streaming celebration/recognition will air on Monday, May 25 at 3 p.m. and will include: the wreath laying, water ceremony, some behind the scenes footage of the new WWI/Memorial Grove construction, set to be complete soon and remarks from public officials. The virtual experience will be available on  Government Channel 192, online at worcesterma.gov, and on the City's social media channels. Memorials and cemeteries are being dressed as usual and flags will be placed on all graves of veterans.

  • Memorial Day Protocols for General Public: While the City has cancelled public ceremonies for Memorial Day weekend, the public is still welcome and encouraged to visit war memorials and Hope Cemetery to pay respects to veterans. Please continue to maintain proper social distancing of 6 feet as required by the Governor’s Order. If you cannot keep your distance, wear a face covering or mask. Be sure to observe current orders on the number of people allowed to gather at a single location. At Hope Cemetery, please note that all water spigots will not be operational on the recommendation of public health officials, because of the number of individuals who could touch them and the overwhelming challenge to keep them disinfected. People are advised to bring their own water, and all spigots have signs encouraging that.
  • The Worcester Together Fund has raised in excess of $6.5 million. The fund has given out $1.3 million in grants. The second round of grants is currently open. To donate, please visit: worcesterma.gov/coronavirus or text worcestercovid19 to 243725.

  • Senior Center update: Number of seniors contacted to date: 7,872; Outreach phone calls made to seniors today: 154; Number of meals delivered in Worcester today: 935.
  • Today, the City Manager recognized another group of unsung heroes within the City workforce: Andy Taylor, Assistant Chief Development Officer and his team in the Executive Office of Economic Development. Andy has been with the City for just about 8 years. He was promoted to Assistant Chief Development Officer in 2015. He also serves as the city’s Grants Compliance Officer. During the pandemic, Andy and his team in the Neighborhood and Housing Division moved quickly and efficiently to lay the groundwork for the City to receive CARES Act funding for our entitlement programs – CDBG, ESG and HOPWA. Through their collective work Worcester was the first municipality in the state to get HUD approval of a substantial amendment to its Action Plan, allowing for receipt of the CARES Act funding. Andy was also instrumental in managing the procurement of equipment, such as portable showers, that was necessary for the operation of the temporary homeless shelters and for our frontline DPW workers. Through the COVID-19 relief efforts, Andy has embodied a teamwork mentality. Andy’s division stepped up to assist the Business & Community Development Division with processing small business grant applications as quickly as possible.

  • The City of Worcester COVID-19 information line can be reached at 508-799-1019. Individuals can speak live with a nurse, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

  • The next media briefing will be held on Tuesday, May 19 at 4:30 p.m. on the first floor of City Hall as opposed to the usual location of the Levi Linclon Chamber on the third floor.  

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