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Worcester Sees Slight Uptick in COVID-19 Cases

For Immediate Release: 4/1/2022 3:13 pm

WORCESTER – After hitting its lowest point since last July earlier this month, the city’s seven-day daily average of new positive COVID-19 cases has risen to 25. Worcester’s hospitalizations remained in line with recent weeks’; the total number of COVID-19-positive inpatients is 26, with four in intensive care units. The city’s test positivity rate currently sits at .73 percent, and COVID-19 levels in wastewater continue to fluctuate, declining this week following an increase last week.

The City remains on track to rescind its Vaccination Verification Policy and no longer require employees not up-to-date on their vaccines to submit to weekly COVID-19 testing as of May 15.

The daily average of new positive cases over the last week in Shrewsbury and Grafton increased to 7.7 and 2.7, respectively.

A total of 527 Worcester residents have now passed away due to COVID-19. On Tuesday, March 29, the city dedicated a COVID-19 memorial at Elm Park, where a permanent plaque was unveiled to serve as a place of reflection for all those seeking solace due to the hardship, loss, and grief caused during the pandemic.

To date, 62 percent of city residents are fully vaccinated and 73 percent have received at least one dose. Of those fully vaccinated, 48 percent have now received a booster dose, which is three percentage points ahead of the state average.

This week, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized a second mRNA booster dose for certain immunocompromised individuals and anyone ages 50 and up, four months after their last booster. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) subsequently recommended second boosters for those populations, as well as for adults who received a primary vaccine and booster dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at least four months ago.

Worcester continues to offer free COVID-19 vaccines and boosters with no appointment necessary at standing clinics four days a week:

  • UMass Memorial Health clinic at the Mercantile Center: Mondays, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. (also offering PCR testing)
  • Worcester Public Library: Wednesdays, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Saturdays, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Beginning Wednesday, April 6, anyone who gets a vaccine or booster dose at the library clinic will receive free masks and rapid, at-home tests while supplies last.

To accommodate a second round of boosters and in an effort to increase the city’s vaccine rate, the Department of Health and Human Services has announced additional clinics for the month of April.

Next week, four clinics will be held in partnership with the Worcester Housing Authority for residents at specific complexes. Each clinic runs from 2 – 4 p.m., and anyone who gets a vaccine dose will receive a grocery gift card:

  • Monday, April 4: Murray and Wellington Apartments
  • Tuesday, April 5: Elm Park Towers
  • Thursday, April 7: Webster Square Towers East
  • Friday, April 8: Webster Square Towers West

Although the standing Worcester Senior Center clinic has concluded, the Center will host two clinics this month on Friday, April 15 and Friday, April 22, both from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Grocery gift cards will also be available to individuals who receive a vaccine dose at those two clinics.

A new biweekly clinic will begin at Rock of Salvation Pentecostal Church on Friday, April 15 and run through May from 5 – 7 p.m. every other Friday. Other special clinics open to the public this month:

  • Saturday, April 9: First Congregational Church, 1 – 3 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 16: Reliant Medical Center, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 24: Pentecost International Worship Center, 12:30 – 3 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 30: Central Community Branch YMCA, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 30: Latin Business Expo at the DCU Center, 12 – 4 p.m.

A full, up-to-date schedule of vaccine and booster clinics around the city can be found at worcesterma.gov/coronavirus/vaccination.

Worcester continues to follow the state’s mask advisory, which recommends face coverings indoors for fully vaccinated individuals with a weakened immune system or at increased risk for severe disease due to age or an underlying medical condition; fully vaccinated individuals if someone in their household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated; and any individual not fully vaccinated.

Face coverings remain mandatory at Worcester hospitals and Worcester Regional Airport, as well as on WRTA buses, the Commuter Rail, airplanes, and all means of public transportation and ride shares. Any other business, institution, or organization may also enact its own mask requirement.

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