The novel coronavirus has spread to all corners of Cape Ann.

Late Monday afternoon, Rockport and Manchester reported their first cases. Gloucester and Essex reported their first cases this weekend.

Rockport Town Administrator Mitch Vieira confirmed two residents have contracted the virus. Residents were updated on the news through the town's CodeRed emergency notification system at 4 p.m. 

"This occurrence was expected as the virus spreads," Vieira's emergency message reads. "As testing increases, we expect the number of cases to rise here and across the Commonwealth. The Board of Health’s public health nurse is conducting the required investigation and contact tracing with the individuals, who are following all social isolation protocols either at home or in a healthcare facility."

Also on Monday, Manchester Town Administrator Greg Federspiel said the town has learned of its first confirmed coronavirus case.

"We're continuing to emphasize the governor's plan on what to do next," he said. "That means staying at home if you can and avoiding crowds as much as possible. It's time to get serious about hunkering down and reducing the spread of the virus."

As in Rockport, Federspiel confirmed the town's public health nurse had reached out to the person who tested positive "to provide guidance and assistance as needed."

Gloucester reported five confirmed cases this weekend, and Essex reported its first case on Sunday. 

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. Worldwide, about 350,000 cases have been reported, and while most people recover in weeks, more than 15,000 have died.

In Massachusetts, the state Department of Health announced late Monday afternoon that the total number of COVID-19 cases reached 777 and that nine deaths have been linked to the illness.

Michael Cronin may be contacted at 978-675-2708, or mcronin@gloucestertimes.com.

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