Gloucester and Rockport's COVID-19 case counts have once again risen over the past week, according to community leaders.
In Gloucester, the most recent uptick in cases are associated with family transmission as well as gatherings in or at peoples’ homes, Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken.said in announcing the city's numbers Monday evening.
As of late Sunday, the status of cases in the City of Gloucester were 493 overall cases — 439 confirmed and 54 probable; 438 patients recovered; 26 COVID-19 related deaths; and 30 active cases.
"Although disappointing this increase in active cases is not entirely unexpected as we are seeing more virus state-wide as well as locally through our wastewater testing," Romeo Theken said. "Cases around the state have been growing in large part because of gatherings of families and friends as well. It again serves as a very important reminder that we all must remain vigilant and continue taking steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in order to protect each other."
In Rockport, the total case count late Monday afternoon was 101, up six from last Wednesday, according to an announcement from Town Administrator Mitch Vieira. The total case count includes seven active cases, up from two last week.
"It is important to note: we have not seen this many active cases at once since the summer. It is important to be extremely vigilant, particularly as we enter the Thanksgiving holiday period," Vieira said. "As the case counts rise in Rockport and the region, it is vital that we are all practicing physical distancing, wearing masks or face coverings, and washing or sanitizing hands regularly. We must all do our part to minimize any spread of COVID-19."
Both Romeo Theken and Vieira also pointed out several new measures put in place by Gov. Charlie Baker to slow the spread of the coronavirus statewide, including:
• A stay-at-home advisory for the hours between 10 p.m. and 5 p.m. Residents are asked to only leave home to go to work or school, or for essential needs such as seeking emergency medical care, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, picking up take-out food, or receiving deliveries.
• Early closure of certain businesses and activities each night at 9:30 to align with the stay-at-home advisory.
• Reduction of the gathering size limits at private residences: 10 people for indoor gatherings and 25 people for outdoor gatherings.
• Face coverings now required for all persons in all public places, even where they are able to maintain 6 feet of distance from others. Certain exceptions still apply for residents who cannot wear a face-covering due to a medical or disabling condition. Further, the order requires anyone carpooling with people outside your household to wear masks inside these vehicles.
"We have worked very hard to keep our transmission low and were able to overcome an uptick in cases last month with the help of all of you," Romeo Theken said. " We must all exercise caution and limit our interactions with others."
"Our best defenses against this awful virus remain wearing a mask or face covering, 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," she continued.
She reminded residents who experience COVID-19 symptoms to contact their primary care physician and discuss whether or not they should get tested. And while waiting for results, those tested should quarantine.
Here are the latest numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases on Cape Ann, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health:
Gloucester: 439 confirmed cases Monday, up from 422 last Wednesday when 16,979 had been residents tested. At least 26 residents have died from COVID-19 and 438 had recovered as of Monday.
Rockport: 101 confirmed cases Monday, up six from Wednesday, when 3,647 residents had been tested. As of Monday, forty-four of the confirmed cases were among residents of long-term care and congregate living facilities. Seventy-six residents among the 101 who had contracted the coronavirus had recovered as of Monday. At least 14 residents have died of the virus.
Essex: 32 confirmed cases Wednesday, up two from Nov. 4, and 1,753 tested.
Manchester: 36 confirmed cases Wednesday, up four from Nov. 4, and 2,863 tested.