Gloucester has seen an uptick in positive COVID-19 cases over the past week, according to an update Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken sent residents on Monday.
As of noon Monday, the status of positive COVID-19 cases Gloucester was 24 active cases; 368 overall cases (321 confirmed and 47 probable); 318 patients recovered; and 26 COVID-19 related deaths. Last week, the city had nine active positive cases.
The newly positive cases are largely tied to isolated cases in the schools and large gatherings or social events in the community, the mayor said
City leaders are working with the state Department of Public Health to get a two-day community testing site set up in Gloucester later this week. Details will be announced as soon as they available.
As of last week, Gloucester was considered to be a green or "low risk" community, with anaverage daily incidence rate of 2.5 positive coronavirus cases per 100,000 people. "These new cases will most likely move our city to a moderate or high risk designation this coming Wednesday," when state releases new data, Romeo Theken said.
"While certainly disappointing, the increase in active cases is not entirely unexpected based on public health forecasts for the fall and winter seasons," Romeo Theken said. "It should serve as a very important reminder that we all must remain vigilant and continue taking steps to mitigate the spread of the virus in order to protect each other and our friends and loved ones."
The city's contact tracing team has been working to identify close contacts, a crucial step in slowing the spread of COVID-19. City officials have also been working with the Gloucester Health Department, state Department of Public Health and local businesses to gather the latest information and encourage testing.
"Together, for months, we made excellent progress in reducing the transmission of COVID-19 in Gloucester," Romeo Theken said. "I want to thank you for all your help in making that happen. We are working very hard to keep our local economy and schools open. In order to do that we must keep our community transmission low."
"Once again I am asking for your help – to keep your family, friends, and neighbors healthy and safe. It is more important than ever that we follow the guidance around social distancing and the use of face coverings so we can reverse this negative trend," she continued.
"Our best defenses against this awful virus remain wearing a mask or face covering when out in public, maintaining a safe physical distance of 6 feet from others, washing and sanitizing your hands and frequently touched surfaces often, and staying home if you’re sick," the mayor said. "If you have COVID-19 symptoms you should contact your primary care physician and discuss whether or not you should get tested. If you are tested, while you wait for the results, you should quarantine,
Here are the latest numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases on Cape Ann, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health:
Gloucester: 321 confirmed cases on Monday, 15 more than Wednesday when 10,244 residents had been tested. At least 26 residents have died from COVID-19 and 318 have recovered.
Rockport: 90 confirmed cases Monday, two more than Wednesday, when 2,490 had been residents tested. As of Monday, forty-four of the confirmed cases are among residents of long-term care and congregate living facilities. Sixty-eight residents among the 88 who contracted the coronavirus had recovered as of Monday. At least 14 residents have died of the virus.
Essex: 29 confirmed cases on Wednesday, one more than previous Wednesday, and 1,890 tested.
Manchester: 24 confirmed cases on Wednesday, one more previous week, and 1,747 tested.
Local hospitals: On Sunday at 5 p.m. at Beverly Hospital, there were three suspected and confirmed cases of coronavirus, one less than Friday, and no patients in the Intensive Care Unit, one less than Friday. There were no cases at Addison Gilbert Hospital.