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COVID-19 Update for Sept. 24; 6,268 Cases

For Immediate Release: 9/24/2020 10:54 pm

The City of Worcester has released the following COVID-19 update.

• Today, City Manager Augustus issued a statement regarding new restaurant dining regulations announced this week by Gov. Baker.

• To date, there have been 6,268 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in the City of Worcester, with an additional 137 cases since the last report. (This increase reflects a correction of last week’s total count.)

Reporting Date                       New Cases                Increase/Decrease from previous week

24-Sept                                      137                                           increase
17-Sept                                      106                                           decrease
10-Sept                                      140                                           increase
3-Sept                                        98                                             increase
27-Aug                                       87                                             increase
19-Aug                                       69                                             decrease
13-Aug                                       70                                             decrease
5-Aug                                         97                                             increase

• This marks an increase in new positive cases over the previous week.

• Positive case counts in surrounding towns: Shrewsbury: 393 (increase of 6); Holden: 160 (increase of 8); Grafton: 118 (increase of 5); Leicester: 176 (increase of 2). All changes are from Thursday, Sept. 17.

• UMass Memorial Health Care and Saint Vincent Hospital, as of Wednesday, Sept. 22, have a combined total of 14 COVID-positive in-patients (decrease of 3) and 4 total COVID- positive ICU patients (decrease of 1). To date, the combined facilities have had 378 COVID- related deaths (increase of 3). A total of 431 employees have tested positive for the virus (increase of 7). All changes are from last week, Wednesday, Sept. 16.

• The City of Worcester remains at a “high risk” of spreading the COVID-19 virus, and has been designated a “red zone” as having a rate of average daily cases greater than 8 per 100,000. According to state Department of Public Health data, as of Wednesday, Sept. 23, the City of Worcester is at 8.29 average daily cases per 100,000 over the past 14 days. This is a decrease from last week’s reported average daily case rate of 9.49.

• Last week’s positivity rate (Sept. 13-19) was 3.52%. This was a decrease from the week of Sept. 6-12 (5.61%), which can be attributed to an increase in testing.

• The following are the cumulative number of COVID-positive student cases and active
student cases at the City’s colleges and universities, based on school-reported data, from the week of Sept. 17-23:

o Assumption: 2 total, 1 active
o Becker: 0 total, 0 active
o Clark: 2 total, 1 active
o Holy Cross: 38 total, 4 active
o MCPHS: 0 total, 0 active
o Quinsigamond Community College: 0 total, 0 active
o Worcester State: 4 total, 2 active
o Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI): 11 total, 0 active

• Below is an age breakdown of cases by age in the City of Worcester
o 19-under: 513 (8%)
o 20-29: 929 (15%)
o 30-39: 1,037 (17%)
o 40-49: 982 (16%)
o 50-59: 980 (16%)
o 60-69: 688 (11%)
o 70-up: 1,139 (18%)

• Below is a case breakdown by race and ethnicity in the City of Worcester
o White: 579 (83%)
o Hispanic (all races): 67 (10%)
o Black/African American: 32 (5%)
o Asian: 5 (2%)
o Other (multi-racial/other race): 7 (1%)
   American Indian/Alaska Native: 1 (0%)

• Three cases of influenza have been identified at the UMass Memorial Hospital campus. The City of Worcester advises residents to be aware the flu is now present in the community. The COVID-19 virus remains a threat as well, and the City and its two hospital systems remain guarded about a potential strain on hospital resources during flu season, should a second wave of the coronavirus hit the City.

• Residents are encouraged to get their flu shot, and are encouraged to take advantage of free, walkup clinics in Worcester offering COVID testing and flu shots (see list below). Proof of insurance is needed for a flu shot. All attendees are reminded to wear a mask or face covering and to maintain social distancing.

o Monday, Sept. 28, 12-4 p.m., Main South Community Development Corporation, 875 Main St.
o Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2-6 p.m., City Hall Common, 455 Main St.
o Thursday, Oct. 1, 1-5 p.m., Community Healthlink, 72 Jaques Ave.

• There have been 1,510 flu shots administered at COVID testing sites since Aug. 10. There were 443 shots administered the week of Sept. 17-23.

• While temperatures have temporarily warmed, we know colder days lie ahead. As more time is spent indoors, the City and Division of Public Health urge people not to let their guard down or grow lax in observing COVID protocols. People are reminded to:

o “Mask up” when hosting friends and relatives who do not live in your household
o Continue wearing face coverings/masks when going outside, such as to work or shopping
o Limit indoor gatherings to 25 or fewer people, per the Governor’s orders
o Maintain social distancing

• “We continue to monitor the number of COVID cases in Worcester, and remain ever-
vigilant against the spread of the coronavirus,” City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. said. “We encourage all residents to take advantage of the increase in free testing sites, and we urge folks to strongly consider getting a flu vaccination as well. As we head into flu season, we know a second wave of COVID could strike. It is important to do as much as possible to prevent a huge spike in coronavirus cases, which could, combined with the flu, put a strain on our hospital systems. I thank all residents for the steps they are taking in protecting themselves and others, and ask that those efforts continue. Public health, and the safety of the people of Worcester, is our number one priority. While we all are suffering from ‘COVID fatigue,’ we know that continued vigilance is the best way to get through this.”

• Senior Center update: Number of seniors contacted to date: 19,746; Outreach phone calls made to seniors this week: 634; Number of meals delivered in Worcester this week: 4,337.

• For information about COVID-19, or to talk to a live nurse Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., call 508-799-1019. Information and links to resources may also be accessed at worcesterma.gov/coronavirus.

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